BRICK TOWNSHIP FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST VOLUNTEER EMS
Brick, NJ – The Township of Brick has filed a lawsuit asking the courts to transfer ownership of the building that was formerly used by the Volunteer EMS Squad to provide emergency services back to the Township of Brick. The building is no longer being used for emergency services and is instead being used as a rental facility. The Township is seeking to reclaim the building and utilize it for the Police EMS unit and other administrative uses as needed to serve the residents of Brick.
The Township also is accusing the Volunteer EMS of misusing nearly $250,000 of funds. (As reported on Brick Patch)
When reached for comment the Brick Volunteer EMS Squad President Doug Doerrhoefer adamantly asserts that no funds were ever misused and what has not been mentioned is that they have replaced the roof after Sandy, pay taxes per year of appr. $15,000, monthly utilities, have purchased equipment for the group amongst many other items.
The EMS building is located on Aurora Place. It was sold by the Township to the Breton Woods Fire company decades ago for $1 under the condition it was to be used for emergency services. The volunteer squad was once a viable resource for emergency response but over time became more frequently unavailable and ultimately unreliable. In December 2014, the volunteer First Aid Squad filed a Certificate of Dissolution with the State of New Jersey. Doug Doerrhoefer disputes this assertion and says that the organization was suspended by the Chief of Police in 2016.
In 2006, in response to a dire need for emergency medical services, the Township established the Brick Police EMS unit. In 2017, Police Chief James Riccio confirmed the dissolution of the volunteer squad when it could no longer be relied upon to respond to calls for service.
“Despite our best efforts we were unable to bring the ailing squad to an acceptable level of service that our residents should expect. It’s an unfortunate situation but it was a decision that was made in the interest of public safety,” the Chief said. The volunteer squad lacked the proper certifications to administer certain lifesaving medications such as narcan, aspirin, albuterol, and EpiPens.
The First Aid Squad was formed as a non-profit corporation on or about November 1942 “to acquire and maintain ambulances and equipment for First Aid work, to render aid to the sick, injured and disabled, and for transportation of persons requiring transportation by ambulance.” For many decades, the volunteer First Aid Squad provided valuable and beneficial services to the residents of the Township and others in need of emergency first aid services and transportation by ambulance. The Squad received funding over the years through substantial periodic contributions from the Township and its taxpayers, and through charitable donations from numerous organizations and individuals. On a regular basis over the years, the Township purchased new ambulances and equipment for use by the First Aid Squad and maintained workers’ compensation and liability insurance on the equipment and vehicles operated by the First Aid Squad.
“We first and foremost want to thank the many people who served on our volunteer EMS squads for their selfless service. For decades, these volunteers were the primary source of emergency response for our community,” said Mayor John G. Ducey. “Their contributions can never be diminished and will never be forgotten. As with all areas of volunteerism, the time constraints on today’s families have made it harder to offer time, especially in an area that requires immediate response and a need for constant training on techniques, procedures, and interventions that are needed to save lives in critical moments.”
We are committed to providing our residents with the best possible service especially in an emergency when minutes count. The building will continue to be used for emergency services as it was always intended, said Chief Riccio.
The Aurora Place building will serve as an EMS post for the south side of the Town, with another location on Lanes Mill Road.
The Brick Volunteer EMS Group have hired counsel and plan to vigorously defend their position in court. They state that the Community of Brick Township has always been their priority and would like to see the building sold and all remaining funds distributed to other 501 (c) 3 groups such as MD1program.org that can serve not just Brick but the entire state.
State tuned for further developments…