First Aid Squad Seeks Help During Day Hours
Township Committee says 'PRIDE' can't work due to lack of manpower.
What was once a convenience and an inter-local shared service has now fallen by the wayside, and likely won’t be replaced any time soon.
That was part of the discussion at the Washington Township Committee’s recent work session meeting, when Chief of Police Michael Bailey talked about the potential of the town’s PRIDE unit with the elected officials.
PRIDE, according to Bailey, was an agreement between the police department and first aid squad that would allow for on-duty officer, with the ability to drive a first aid squad vehicle, to respond to a call if a volunteer squad member was unavailable to do so.
The reason for the discussion, Bailey said, was because the all-volunteer Long Valley First Aid Squad has had trouble establishing a full crew during day time calls while members have been at work or away from town.
The squad approached the police department in hopes the PRIDE agreement, which ended several years ago, could be reenacted.
“They’ve asked us to help out,” Bailey said, “but we just don’t have the manpower.”
“I think PRIDE is a great idea,” Washington Township Mayor Ken Short said, “But we’re simply not staff to do it.”
The committee has approved two new police hires for 2013, but they will be replacements rather than additions.
Committeeman Tracy Tobin said he has spoken with first aid squad member Rob Cline, and the department is trying to work with Hackettstown as a backup plan if a call is made and the Long Valley squad is understaffed.