HOWELL — After almost two years of operating with three ambulances, the Howell Police Department’s Emergency Medical Services Unit has added a fourth ambulance to serve the community.
According to information posted on the Howell Police Department website, “Due to the increase in call volume over the past several years, the Township Council authorized the creation of the township’s first full-time emergency medical services unit operated through the police department.
“The EMS Unit is staffed by state certified emergency medical technicians and is responsible for providing first aid and basic life support services within Howell.
“The unit has greatly decreased response times and supplemented the demands placed on the township’s … first aid squads which continue to provide outstanding service alongside the police EMS Unit,” according to the website.
Several years ago, the EMS Unit had to retire an older ambulance, leaving it with only three vehicles to serve a growing community, Howell EMS Coordinator Peggy Doyle said.
Since 2005, the Howell EMS Unit has hired full-time and part-time employees. At present there are 26 part-time employees and eight full-time employees, Doyle said.
“The idea of volunteering (for a first aid squad) is dying because not everyone has the time for it anymore, so that is why we switched to having paid employees,” she explained.
The Howell Police Department’s EMS Unit is in partnership with the Howell Township First Aid and Rescue Squad for different coverage areas.
The EMS Unit covers northern Howell and Farmingdale, while the first aid squad covers southern Howell and part of the township’s Ramtown community.
The squads’ personnel train together and help to cover each other’s area in case of an emergency.
The Howell Police Department EMS Unit serves the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with two to three ambulances on the road at all times, Doyle said.
“The call volume has been so much recently that when we retired the older vehicle, we quickly realized how much we needed to add (a new) vehicle. It took a while to build (the new vehicle) because of backups with parts, but we are happy to have the new unit,” she said.
Howell has a current population of about 53,800 residents (second in population in Monmouth County behind Middletown, which has approximately 67,000 residents).
Howell is 61.2 square miles in size, which makes it the largest of Monmouth County’s 53 municipalities in terms of size.