NJ volunteer ambulance squad returns to service after suspending due to COVID-19
The Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad temporarily suspended operations in April in order to protect its volunteers from the virus
In April, after Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Fraley, BS, BA, NRP, wrote, "Undoubtedly, other emergency service organizations are going to be stressed to their breaking point as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to roll across the country. Hopefully, no other services will choose to stop answering calls, but if your service is getting close to that point, consider a few take away lessons from this story." Read more in his analysis.
By Laura French
CEDAR GROVE, N.J. — A New Jersey volunteer ambulance and rescue squad that suspended operations last April due to the COVID-19 pandemic returned to service last week.
Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad reopened its doors on Jan. 11, roughly nine months after it temporarily closed for the first time in its more than 80-year history in a bid to protect its volunteers from the virus.
In a statement announcing the suspension last year, which has since been removed from the squad's Facebook page, squad officials wrote that some members had begun showing symptoms of the virus and were having difficulty getting tested, noting that many of its volunteers also worked jobs in healthcare.
"This decision was both difficult and emotional for all of us," the statement read. "We definitely expect and look forward to our Squad Members returning to active duty again and we will be able to provide our usual level of EMS service in the future."
In a statement posted to Facebook on Jan. 12, Cedar Grove Ambulance & Rescue Squad officials wrote, "After shutting down due to COVID, the members stayed resilient and brought back the functionality of the squad from the top down. Although as a second crew for now, we are excited to continue the tradition of serving others in Cedar Grove as we have for the past 83 years."
The squad is now working to "strengthen and fully rebuild," and is asking for the community's support to help build up membership "so that we can one day return to being Cedar Grove's primary ambulance service," according to the Facebook post.