Sparta Squad Answered 20% More Calls With Paid Workers
Two part-time paid medical technicians help cover daytime calls.
The addition late last year of two part-time paid medical personnel has increased the number of calls that the Sparta Ambulance Squad handled, the Township Council was told.
The local volunteer ambulance squad was beset with the same daytime response problem that affected many ambulance squads in New Jersey: The lack of close-by volunteers able to respond to daytime calls.
The result, Capt. Robert Shugard told the council, was that many emergency calls were answered by other municipalities or a squad from St. Clare’s Health Services.
With the addition of the two daytime employees, Shugard said, “That is now a rarity.”
Shugard said between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 the local squad answered 260 calls, of which 172 were daytime calls.
That represented a 20 percent increase in the number of calls that the local squad handled, he said. At that pace, the local squad would answer 1,560 calls this year, he said.
He said that is a small sample, but the change appears to be working as intended. He said it will take six months or a year of data to develop a true picture of the impact of the change.
Former Capt. Andrew Smetana said an issue with the change is aligning the insurance repayment system to account for billing Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance companies.
The paperwork that would allow faster repayment is pending, Smetana said. Once it is processed, the payments that have been delayed will be paid. He said the service is owed about $100,000 in reimbursements.