FREEHOLD, NJ - It’s the type of vehicle first responders hope they will rarely have to activate, but having the new “Medical Ambulance Bus” (MAB) on hand for large scale emergencies is a tremendous benefit to the area. The vehicle is designed to provide mass casualty incident response and transport, medical evacuations, on site triage, firefighter and EMS rehabilitation and medical support for long term emergency incidents. The MAB is the second in the state, and a collaborative effort by the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office – Office of Emergency Management, Neptune Township EMS and Shark River Hills first aid squad, the N.J. Medical Emergency Services Task Force and the Monmouth County Homeland Security Working Group. “This bus will be a huge resource across the region when it comes to providing emergency services,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “It can be activated during large scale fires, evacuations, bus, train or ferry accidents, and, weather related emergencies when there is a need to treat people at the scene or transport them to hospitals.”
The 42 foot unit comes equipped with stretchers to accommodate 20 patients and medical personnel for transport, patient monitoring equipment, metered oxygen outlets, electrical capacity to supply power for necessary medical equipment, and, a refrigerator for storing medications and rehab supplies, all in a climate controlled area.
The cost for the unit was $340,000 and purchased through a federal grant provided by the Department of Homeland Security. “These funds have been put to great use,” said Michael Bascom, Monmouth County EMS Coordinator. “We are just a few weeks away from the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks and that day will forever be a constant reminder that we have to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting our region.”
The Medical Ambulance Bus is located in Neptune Township at the Shark River Hills First Aid Squad and will be available for activation starting August 18th. “This could not have been made possible without the hard work and efforts of numerous agencies,” said Freeholder Thomas Arnone. “The service will be available not only throughout Monmouth County but the entire state, making this another prime example of shared services.”
The first MAB was received by the Elizabeth Fire Department EMS and Union County OEM. In Monmouth County, a second MAB is expected to be placed with Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad in partnership with the Keyport First Aid Squad.