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Ambulance Coverage Cutbacks In Bergen County Threaten To Increase Response Times

Ambulance Interior (file / credit: clipart.com)

Ambulance Interior (file / credit: clipart.com)

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PARAMUS, NJ (CBSNewYork) - The Bergen County Regional Emergency Medical Service is like the cavalry, there when you need them, a backup for several Bergen County towns.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

“We continue to grow. We are going out anywhere from two to five times a day to cover areas which otherwise might not have ambulance services,” said EMT Judy Herman.

Herman says two ambulances are at the ready 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., 365 days per year.

The service could be eliminated by the end of the month. It’s falling under the budget axe.

The Record reports the county executive’s office considers the squad redundant.

But some local ambulance corps. leaders disagree, saying the service is a life saver, especially as volunteer ranks dwindle.

The Regional Emergency Medical Service answered 788 calls last year.

Herman warns the shutdown could increase response times.

“They definitely increase,” she said. “The conversation is that the hospitals will be filling in where we leave out, except that means two things. It means that their response times can be much greater and it also means that it will cost the residents more money.”

Ten EMTs could lose their jobs.

They plan to take their case to county freeholders at next week’s meeting.