Organization Also Seeking Donations of N95 Masks
The Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad has ramped up safety and response efforts to ensure its members are ready to deal with patients who may have symptoms of COVID-19.
Because of these new responding guidelines, the organization is also reaching out to the community for donations of unopened N95 masks and personal protective equipment to protect the volunteers responding to such calls. The masks are in short supply throughout the medical community and are a critical tool to protect first responders going to a call for a respiratory emergency at this time.
The all-volunteer emergency medical rescue service is prepared to deal with such patients and its members are closely monitoring the daily updates from local, regional, statewide and national officials. To assure the safety of borough residents and the volunteers, the squad is operating under CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidelines when responding to calls where someone may exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19. Those guidelines may also require the squad to operate a little differently in some cases, while enhancing patient care.
In addition to mask use, until the COVID-19 crisis passes, with few exceptions, the squad will no longer allow passengers to ride along with patients to the hospital. Likewise, when someone calls for a medical emergency, they be asked a series of questions to better help the squad – and other first responders – prepare for their care. While not delaying care, a patient’s answers may require squad members to ask patients to wear masks. First responders may also wear masks, gowns and gloves, too. There may also be instances where providers ask patients to meet the squad members outside their homes.
For more than 90 years the AHFAS has been providing emergency medical services and rescue operations to the borough of Atlantic Highlands. The all-volunteer organization does this 24/7, 365 days a year and operates on generous donations from the borough and the community. To donate unopened masks or to find out more about how you can help, call the Squad’s non-emergency number (732) 291-8118 or email at email@example.com.
Questions about COVID-19? The New Jersey Department of Health has a COVID-19 dashboard here http://bit.ly/2Q7RyzO and a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wealth of resources about COVID-19 and what people can do to protect themselves here: http://bit.ly/390hPGy.