Montgomery Emergency Medical Services
June 8, 2021
Each month, The Montgomery News spotlights a member of Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) in this space, introducing the community to our first responders, and detailing what they do. In honor of National EMS Week, this month we are showcasing the entire squad. Founded in 1972, MEMS is one of the few EMS agencies in the state that has always been and remains entirely staffed by volunteers.
These volunteers range from experienced adult members to high-school cadets just starting out in emergency services. Each member receives the same training and testing as every other professional emergency medical technician (EMT) in New Jersey, regardless of age. EMTs are required to continue their education to remain current with the latest medical developments and best practices. Their hard work was recognized in 2019 when MEMS was awarded “Squad of the Year’’ for the state of New Jersey. Montgomery residents are blessed to have such a dedicated organization like MEMS.
Many people believe MEMS is funded through tax dollars or required by law in every town. However, this is not the case. MEMS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation completely funded through donations from residents, businesses, and various other donors. On their own, they raise every dollar needed to run their operation, which provides first aid service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is particularly notable considering that MEMS has not charged a single patient for any Basic Life Support (BLS) service since they were founded. Finding an agency that provides BLS services at no cost to the patient by an entirely volunteer crew of EMTs is rare in New Jersey, and nearly non-existent beyond our state borders.
As with all other EMS organizations, during the COVID-19 pandemic new procedures were needed to deal with frequent and potentially dangerous challenges that came with the surging number of COVID-19 cases. Even as members were forced to take time off to quarantine due to potential exposure from patients, MEMS continued their operations and was able to respond to every call for service since the onset of the pandemic. For 2020, that was 1,323 calls covered.
Throughout these uncertain times, MEMS was and is still committed to protecting their volunteers and patients on every call. Financially, this came at a tremendous price as the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) skyrocketed to more than 10 times pre-COVID costs. Despite these hardships, MEMS has not only responded to all of the 9-1-1 calls in the township and neighboring towns in some cases, but they have also provided assistance with vaccination of the public. MEMS has provided support to vaccination clinics at Raritan Valley Community College and in Montgomery Township. MEMS is looking for ways to continuously improve their operations and the care they provide to our residents.
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This year, in conjunction with their annual fund drive, they are distributing medical emergency cards (as shown above). When calling MEMS for a medical emergency, it is critical to have the patient’s medical information—medications, allergies, and medical history— easily available. This will enable MEMS, as well as other first responders such as the police or paramedics, to provide the best possible care for the patient and ensure the most optimal outcome.
MEMS encourages every household to fill out the card and have it readily available on the refrigerator or in an easily accessible place to provide the crew upon their arrival. These cards can be downloaded at mems47.org. For those unable to print this card, please email email@example.com and MEMS would be happy to deliver blank cards.
Despite the challenges of the past year, MEMS has a highly motivated team who are trained to the highest standards. They provide emergency services day and night, weekdays and weekends, to serve our community. Their motto “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” is one they live by.
Approaching 50 years of volunteer service, MEMS stands ready and prepared to deliver the highest level of care. That being said, they need your support! Visit mems47.org to learn more about MEMS and show your support in their mission.