VOORHEES TWP., NJ (WPVI) — A restructuring of emergency services sparked a demonstration in Voorhees Township, New Jersey, Monday night.
From Tuesday, the ambulances of the municipality of Voorhees from each of its two fire stations will be operated by the rescue workers of the Virtua hospital from 18.00 to 06.00. The temporary contingency contract was secured in part due to staff shortages and burnout.
A regularly scheduled community meeting was held on Zoom’s Monday night, leaving many upset and hoping to air their concerns in person.
Public Safety Director Jackie Fetbroyt said the emergency contract was intended as a stopgap measure.
“Based on the recent communication from our EMS department regarding the emergencies and their inability to provide the staff needed by the community and expected by our residents, Voorhees has entered into a temporary emergency contract to cover its night shift in support of employed emergency responders pending the committee’s review and continue analyzing the situation. To that end, I met with the EMTs this morning and look forward to continued dialogue in connection with this matter. The community has not taken any action to eliminate the EMS department,” Fetbroyt said.
Keith Kemery, president of IAFF Local 3249, said they had proposed reallocating overtime pay to pay five full-time paramedics instead.
“We’re going to need five paramedics just to stick with what we got and then stick with your part-timers. The community was not 100% sure that our solution was viable. They said they would look into it.” Kemery said.
Craig Fallstick, who is the EMS delegate for the same union and works in the community, responded when asked if he thought it would bring some relief to staff.
“Do I appreciate it? Yes. Do I accept it? I have to,” Fallstick said. “I wish we had more conversations around the table. We can do this internally. We don’t have to resort to external resources. We have the part-time staff to bring over.”
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https://6abc.com/voorhees-township-nj-emt-ambulance-virtua-hospital-temporary-contract-iaff-local-3249/12128746/ IAFF Local 3249 union upset over shakeup in emergency services in Voorhees Township, New Jersey