and the Ambulance Squad received recognition from the for a pair of rescues during Tuesday night, May 22’s meeting, and Sgt. Joseph Picardi and Ambulance Squad Chief Chuck Uhl spoke about the need to replace existing Automatic Existing Defribrillators (AEDs).
Their case was aided by Maureen Geary, who was saved by an officer using an AED following a heart attack on March 10.
“On March 10, we responded to for a report of an unconscious person,” Uhl said. “The Galloway Police Department got there first and discovered a female had suffered cardiac arrest. Her heart was not beating and she was not breathing.”
“Her chances of surviving outside the hospital were between 8 and 10 percent,” said Geary’s brother, P.J. McGettigan. “The Galloway EMTs saved her. I have to than the nurses who were already at the bar because they gave her CPR. They took control of the situation when everyone else was stunned. The police responded within three minutes of the 9-1-1 call.”
The police on the scene arrived with one of 10 AEDs the department has, and was able to revive her. The Ambulance Squad arrived shortly thereafter, and Geary was taken to , where she recovered.
“I want to thank the EMTs and the police officers because I would not be standing here without you,” Geary said on Tuesday night. “This shows that with the right equipment and the right trained staff, positive things will happen.”
“Often the heroes of early defribrillation are the police officers,” Uhl said.
According to Picardi, the police department began its AED program in 1995, making it among the first police departments to use the devices. Every Galloway Police Officer is certified in CPR and use of the AEDs, and the 10 AEDs are rotated among the officers on the force.
All of the current AEDs have reached the end of their recommended service life, and thus the department is in need of replacements. The department needs to raise $12,500 to purchase the 10 AEDs, and on Tuesday night, the Ambulance Squad presented the department with a check for $1,250, the cost of one AED.
According to Mayor Don Purdy, AtlantiCare will also help with placing AEDs in the cars and has also donated one to the new Senior Center, which is scheduled to open the first week of June, with a ribbon cutting tentatively scheduled for June 9 at 10 a.m.
AtlantiCare has also offered training assistance for anyone who wants to learn how to use an AED.
Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola is also donating to the cause and has an AED in each of his restaurants in
is also accepting donations toward the effort. Cape Bank is located at 320 East Jimmie Leeds Road. Donations can also be sent to the Galloway Police AED Fund c/o the Galloway Township Ambulance Squad, P.O. Box 784, Pomona, NJ 08240.
Police and Ambulance were also recognized for their efforts following a school bus involving a bus leaving on March 29. The accident resulted in 18 students being injured and the driver of an SUV being airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
“It was a very chaotic scene,” Uhl said. “The police officers did everything. They secured the scene, but there were also police officers consoling little kids. They went above and beyond their duty.”
“When something like that occurs, we’re all police officers, we all go out,” Police Chief Patrick Moran said. “It was a smooth running scene. All went well.”
Uhl recognized two Galloway Police Officers and six EMTs who were on the scene that day, including: Chris Snow, Tom Grentz, Matt Letts, Mike Wolfschmidt, Adel Flint, Tim Collins and Felonee Rhoads. He also recognized EMTs Ian Kane and Shane Leaming, who were on the scene at McGettigan's.
“I was there and Chuck Chuck was coordinating everything,” Purdy said. “He had everything laid out. He had Emergency Medical Services from the airport, from Atlantic City. The chief just jumped in. The township should know their Ambulance Squad is second to none.”
They were all recognized as part of National Emergency Medical Services Week. Also on Tuesday night, the police department was recognized as part of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, and Kevin McDowell was recognized as part of National Public Works Week.