Mahwah Ambulance Corps Average 12.5, 8.5-Minute Responses
The township commended the volunteer response agencies for improving response times it questioned last year
About eight months after Mayor Bill Laforet questioned the response times of Mahwah’s volunteer ambulance Companies 1 and 4, leaders of the two organizations reported average response times during 2012 that township government officials said were a big improvement.
At a presentation last Thursday to the township council, Ambulance Company 1 Captain Greg Antonetti reported that the company’s average response time to all the calls it responded to in 2012 was 12.5 minutes. According to President Bob Klingen, Company 4 averaged an 8.5-minute response time in 2012.
Antonetti said the corps could not compare these response times to any in the past, because the companies just began tracking response times in 2012. But, he did say both companies’ average times are significantly lower than the national average for volunteer ambulance service response times, which he cited as being 19 minutes.
"I think that's tremendous," he said.
The report comes after a tumultuous year in 2012. Last March, Laforet suggested added a privatized service to the current volunteer corps, citing too-long response times as his reasoning.
In June, the corps and mayor reached an agreement that kept the service “100 percent volunteer.” But, the corps agreed to a 16-point plan that revamped some of the structural components of how the squads operate.
“Both corps have made a big improvement,” Laforet said at the presentation Thursday night. “It’s a job well done.”
Councilman John Spiech commended the two corps for responding to the questions about response times that were brought up last year.
“After the questions were raised, [Company 1 and Company 4] sat down together to figure it out,” he said. The two companies were able to “improve service to our town,” he said.
The two ambulance companies handle all the emergency calls in the township. Company 1 serves about two-thirds of Mahwah, and Company 4 responds to mostly the Fardale section of town.
According to the presentation last Thursday, Company 1 responded to 1120 calls in 2012. Eight of those calls required mutual aid from other towns responding to Mahwah, and 33 saw Mahwah acting as mutual aid to others towns, mostly Ramsey.
Company 4 responded to 663 total calls in 2012; 19 were mutual aid into Mahwah, and 31 were mutual aid out to other towns, mostly Oakland and Ramsey.
Overall, Antonetti and Klingen said they were pleased with the corps' 2012 performance, and are looking to improve further in 2013.
“We really looked to work together more than ever in the past,” Klingen said of the two companies’ operations last year. “Our goal is always to improve.”