Founded in 1957, the Long Valley First Aid Squad (LVFAS) provides services to the Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey community. The Squad was founded with eight members, one used ambulance, and a rented bay in the Long Valley Fire House. Through more than fifty years of dedicated service by hundreds of members, the organization has grown to become one of the best manned and equipped volunteer emergency medical service agencies in the area.
The Long Valley First Aid Squad is the sole emergency medical service and rescue provider for the Township of Washington, located at the western tip of Morris County, bordering Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren Counties. The Squad is responsible for servicing an area of 44 square miles, and for protecting a population of over 18,000 residents.
Approximately 50 members currently work to carry out the vital mission of the organization. All members are volunteers who participate without receiving compensation for their time. Members range from 16 to 70 years old, and have a variety of personal, educational, and professional backgrounds. Members are high school and college students, teachers, homemakers, realtors, corporate and non-profit executives, CPA’s, police officers, firefighters, skilled laborers, nurses, paramedics, retirees, technical specialists, and government employees. The diversity of the organization allows it to succeed. Most members participate in calls and activities during time which could otherwise be spent relaxing or with family. Members respond to emergency calls from home, work, and during other travels. Members are grateful for the support of their families and friends who understand when the members need to leave at all times of day to answer calls for assistance.
Most members of the LVFAS are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians in the State of New Jersey. Obtaining this certification requires a 120-hour basic course, 10 hours spent in a local emergency room, and healthcare provider CPR certification. Maintaining the EMT certification requires individuals to participate in a minimum of 48 continuing education units every three years. Through our rigorous internal education program, most members exceed state requirements related to training and recertification. Some members of the LVFAS serve as driver-members. These individuals typically are career police officers or volunteer firefighters who wish to serve their community on another level. The Squad has 10 additional extrication technician members who supplement the EMT members on the motor vehicle extrication/rescue team.
The Long Valley First Aid Squad operates two stations within Washington Township. Our headquarters and training center is located at 70 East Mill Road in Long Valley, and our sub-station is located at 119 Flocktown Road on Schooley’s Mountain. The Squad maintains a fleet of eight vehicles. Three identically stocked transport ambulances comprise the heart of the fleet. In addition, the Squad operates two crash-rescue vehicles which contain vehicle-rescue tools like the Jaws of Life ®, as well as supplies for mass-casualty incidents and firefighter rehabilitation. Due to the geography of the Township, the Squad utilizes three four-wheel-drive rapid response vehicles equipped with a full compliment of medical supplies. These vehicles allow members to arrive at scenes and begin treatment before the ambulance arrives, and assist in reaching border sections of the Township.
The LVFAS constantly plans, communicates, and works with the Washington Township Police and Fire Departments to ensure that the emergency needs of the Township are being met. The Squad is fortunate to have an excellent, mutually supportive working relationship with our counterpart departments. During calls of a life-threatening nature, the LVFAS works in tandem with Advanced Life Support/Mobile Intensive Care Units operated by regional hospital systems. ALS providers are able to perform advanced skills such as endotracheal intubation, IV therapy, and advanced cardiac life support.
The organization is partially funded by the Washington Township Committee, which provides an operating budget and capital funding for the purchase of many of the vehicles used by the Squad. The remainder of the Squad’s operating budget is provided through contributions to its annual fund drive, corporate matching gifts programs, donations of appreciation from patients, fundraiser activities, and donations from the Long Valley First Aid Squad Auxiliary. The Squad would not be able to function without the generosity of the local community.
Although the first contact with the squad by many people is when they find themselves in an emergency situation, the LVFAS reaches many community members through community outreach and education activities. LVFAS members provide CPR and First Aid Classes to volunteer organizations, and work to spread emergency medical knowledge and updates through the semi-annual Healthwatch newsletter. The LVFAS visits local schools, daycare organizations, community groups, and summer camps to share information about our mission, training, and emergency equipment. Members participate in all major Township events, including parades, the fall festival, fireworks festival, and National Night Out. The LVFAS provides medical stand-by coverage to these events, as well as middle school graduation exercises, and West Morris Central High School football games and graduation.
Thank you for taking the opportunity to learn more about the Long Valley First Aid Squad. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the organization’s officers for assistance. Thank you for your continued support.
“The purpose of the Squad is to provide Emergency Medical and Rescue Services to Washington Township (in the County of Morris); answer emergency calls; administer emergency medical services; save life and limb; relieve suffering of the sick and injured; and promote safety, wherever, and whenever, necessary or requested.”
—LVFAS Mission Statement (2006)