East Brunswick rescue squad closes after 67 years of service

PHOTO COURTESY OF VALERIE GROLLMAN

EAST BRUNSWICK–Having served its community by providing emergency medical services for 67 years, the East Brunswick Rescue Squad closed on April 1.

The township was notified at the end of March of this year that the long-time volunteer service, the East Brunswick Rescue Squad, would no longer be able to provide emergency medical service to the township, according to a prepared statement from the East Brunswick Police Department.

In preparation of the squad’s closure, the township extended the contract of Atlantic Ambulance through St. Peter’s University Hospital, which was already providing daytime emergency medical services, according to the police department.

By extending their coverage, the residents and visitors of East Brunswick will have continued emergency medical coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the police department.

Business Administrator Joseph Criscuolo said that the East Brunswick Township Council approved a resolution in February  to put out a bid to find a new provider that can deliver service for 24 hours and seven days a week.

Criscuolo said that the township sent out the bid to find a new provider in March of this year. The due date for potential providers to answer the bid was April 16.

In 2018 the township sued the rescue squad, according to Criscuolo.  

“In 2013, the rescue squad borrowed money from the township for equipment acquisitions to the tune of $180,000. Principal and interest payments were due on Aug. 1 of each year. Payments were made in 2014, 2015 and 2016,” Criscuolo said. “The township repeatedly asked for payments over the past two years and tried to work with the East Brunswick Rescue Squad but got little or no response.” 

The Robert Wood Johnson Health Network brought all of the rescue squad’s assets, according to Criscuolo.

Criscuolo said that a wire transfer of $104,025.66 from a Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health attorney was received by the township on April 2 to pay off the debt.

With the EBRS having been an independent company, Criscuolo said that the township did not own any of the rescue squad’s assets.

No one from the rescue squad commented by press time.

The mayor’s office, the council and Department of Public Safety would like to take this opportunity to thank the past and present men and women of the East Brunswick Rescue Squad for their countless hours, commitment and sincere dedication to serving the residents, employees and visitors of East Brunswick, according to the police department’s statement.

 

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.