Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Council Hears Plainfield Rescue Squad's Status, Needs

About half the members of the Plainfield Rescue Squad came to Tuesday's City Council meeting to back up board president Sue Kessen, who gave an update on the squad's status and pitched for some help from the governing body.

"The administration is up and running stronger than ever," Kessen said, noting "updated processes and procedures, rules and regulations adapted to today's world." The 30-member squad has significantly reduced "out of service" incidents and can get multiple crews on the streets as needed, Kessen said.

The city squad has "bridged communications" with the Union County EMS that also serves Plainfield, Kessen said. (The county service began five years ago, three years after Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield closed, meaning longer ambulance trips to other hospitals in Edison, Somerville or Summit.) Kessen said having both EMS agencies in town "is a benefit to the citizens of Plainfield."

Another benefit is the Plainfield Rescue Squad's cadet program,which can lead young people to careers as police officers, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, lawyers, paramedics and firefighters. In addition, the squad offers CPR training with eight instructors for other emergency services as well as community and religious organizations.

The answer to what the council can do for the Plainfield Rescue Squad was two-fold: Increase communication and help with obtaining grants, especially for improved radio technologies. Council President Cory Storch, who heads a social service agency, told Kessen he would talk to the squad about three possibly helpful foundations. One opportunity to collaborate just passed, but Police Director Carl Riley said there is a plan to help with networking technology, possibly operational by October.
Storch also presented Kessen and the squad with a resolution of thanks from the council. It was supposed to be presented at next week's regular meeting, but the idea was to spare the squad from having to attend a second meeting.
Donations may be sent to the Plainfield Rescue Squad, 700 West 7th St., Plainfield NJ 07060

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