The Lanoka Harbor EMS squad will soon have the ability to make rescues with a new all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
“It will just give us a lot of ability today,” Chief Bob Resetar said. “Yes, we’ve done without it for so many years but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it. It will give us a whole lot of response capability that we didn’t have before.”
The squad was awarded a 100 percent reimbursement grant by the state Department of Homeland Security. The township will have to shell out $79,400 for the vehicle and will later get reimbursed.
The vehicle will give the squad the ability to respond more quickly to scenes, Resetar said.
“There’s a lot of different types of events where it would be useful on an ongoing basis,” he said.
During the December blizzard, EMS members had to carry patients on their backs to ambulances on street corners, Resetar said.
“With the ATV ability, we won’t have to do that anymore,” he said. “It will ride right on top of the snow.”
The squad can use the ATV for mutual aid to assist the Bamber Lake Fire Department when there are accidents in the woods, Resetar said. The vehicle will allow the EMS team to get into the scene with a small unit.
The ATV will more easily fit onto the high school football field, respond quickly to injuries at the township fireworks show, and drive on terrain the ambulance could not go, he said.
As a member of the New Jersey State EMS Task Force, the Lanoka Harbor EMS was able to apply for the grant, he said. The ATV will be made available across the county and state.
The Polaris 6x6 ATV will have an ambulance box on the back and also comes with an 18-foot trailer. It is expected to arrive in early February.
Committeewoman Helen DelaCruz thanked Lanoka Harbor EMS for securing the grant.
Committeeman Dave Most applauded the emergency services for looking into additional ways to receive funds, although the township matches attached to each grant do make him nervous.
“This is vital equipment that can save peoples lives,” he said.