Eatontown officials address use of ambulance services in borough


EATONTOWN — Municipal officials have established new regulations for first aid services that require patient care facilities in Eatontown to use their own ambulance services for non-emergencies.

During a meeting on Sept. 14, the members of the Borough Council adopted an ordinance that amends the borough’s first aid and fire company volunteers code by creating regulations for patient care facilities to hire or contract their own private ambulance services, and by defining patient care facilities.

Under the terms of the ordinance, patient care facilities are defined as all state-licensed nursing homes, rest homes, health maintenance organizations, assisted living facilities, healthcare facilities providing in-patient services, and other licensed or unlicensed medical care providers with the capacity to treat 10 or more outpatients simultaneously.

The new regulations are intended to assist the volunteer Eatontown EMS, which provides first aid services to the borough.

According to the ordinance, Eatontown EMS’s resources have become strained and an advent of new patient care facilities in the borough and in surrounding communities has and could further strain its resources.

“The Borough Council believes it is in the best interest of the borough to ensure that patient care facilities either hire or contract their own private ambulance services to service their residents and patients for non-emergency medical care,” the ordinance states.

According to the ordinance, patient healthcare facilities in Eatontown are required to own, lease, rent or have promptly available by contract, appropriately staffed private ambulance services for the treatment and transport of residents and/or patients in need of non-emergency medical care 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

The operators of patient healthcare facilities may elect to own and operate their own ambulances, according to the ordinance. Failure to comply with Eatontown’s requirements is punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000.

If a patient healthcare facility in Eatontown takes an action that results in the dispatch of Eatontown EMS and Eatontown EMS determines the basis for the dispatch did not constitute circumstances requiring basic life support or advanced life support, the patient healthcare facility will be subject to a volunteer first aid squad dispatch fee of $750.

The payment will be made to the borough and the borough may contribute the fee revenue to Eatontown EMS, according to the ordinance.