NJ EMS Conference Shows Task Force Abilities
Secaucus, N.J. - April 3, 2016 - More than 350 people attended the 2nd Annual New Jersey EMS Task Force Emergency Preparedness Conference and experienced a day of informational classes and a massive display of EMS apparatus, supplies and demonstrations.
“This is the biggest event we’ve ever had,” said Mickey McCabe, one of the founding members of the New Jersey EMS Task Force.
“We’re not just mutual aid ambulances,” said Task Force leader Michael Bascom. “We’re highly equipped, specially trained resources.”
The 2nd Annual New Jersey EMS Task Force Emergency Preparedness Conference was designed to show those in the healthcare provider, long-term care and first responder communities what the NJ EMS Task Force can do to help in planning for and responding to natural and man-made disasters as well as pre-planned events.
The NJ EMS Task Force was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and consists of 300 members across the state and covers 62 local agencies. The NJEMSTF has been integral in the EMS response to Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, wildfires, nursing home evacuations and for such pre-planned events as the Super Bowl and the Bamboozle concert.
NJ Hospital Works to Reduce Opioids in ER
Mark Rosenberg doesn't need to go to his job as chairman of emergency medicine at New Jersey's busiest emergency room to get a bracing insight into the mushrooming problem of opioid abuse.
He can think of his own mother-in-law, who was treated at an emergency room for chronic wrist pain stemming from a fall, received five Percocet tablets and was told to see her family doctor — who then prescribed 100 more.
"She's 93 years old," Rosenberg said Monday. "A hundred Percocet! The point is that our culture is such that it's really out of control."
To combat what health professionals say is a nationwide epidemic, Rosenberg's hospital, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, has been using opioid alternative protocols in its emergency room since January.
The goal of the Alternatives to Opiates (ALTO) program is to try to treat most patients without opioids before considering using them. In the first two months, 75 percent of the 300 patients that have gone through the program did not need opioids, Rosenberg said. Patients with cancer or those with chronic pain who are already dependent on opioids aren't part of the