The township is one of the hardest-hit outbreak areas in New Jersey, where many EMTs have moved away from their own families to protect them, reports CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
“Just got back from a COVID-19 call where the patient was pronounced dead on the scene,” said one EMT responder. “Unfortunately during this time, this is something that’s happening on a day-to-day basis. With little time to process or reflect, we are dispatched to the same facility for an elderly female, another COVID-19.”
Jacob Finkelstein says normally they’re staffed weekly with 50 to 60 volunteer, now they’re down to about half.
“Three members who were hospitalized, the longest one being in there for about a week and a half,” said Finkelstein.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
There are others at home being monitored by doctors, others with symptoms but haven’t been tested.
It’s more work for the rest of these volunteers who don’t get paid a dime.
“I got about 45 minutes of sleep before I was called back in,” said another responder.
Members say it’s been a blessing in disguise that they haven’t had time to think about the risk to themselves or to really process what they’re seeing.
“You are there and you experience everybody’s most tragic moment,” said another EMT.
As they take on that burden, they’re asking for donations so they can continue helping.