The Keyport First Aid Squad has a rather large, but welcome addition to its headquarters. The Medical Ambulance Bus (MAB) used to treat people during large scale emergencies was provided to the Keyport and Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squads to serve the Bayshore area. The vehicle, which is the second of its kind in Monmouth County and one of ten across the state, 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. “Having this “Medical Ambulance Bus” (MAB) on hand for large scale emergencies can be a tremendous resource when it comes to providing emergency services,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “Keyport’s geographic location, which is adjacent to ferry terminals and major highways, make it an ideal place to house such a vehicle.”
The MAB is the second in Monmouth County and a collaborative effort made possible by the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office – Office of Emergency Management, the Keyport and Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squads, the N.J. Medical Emergency Services Task Force and the Monmouth County Homeland Security Working Group. “I commend the hard work and efforts of numerous agencies who have taken on the responsibility of maintaining and operating the Medical Ambulance Buses,” said Freeholder Lillian Burry. “The service will not only benefit Monmouth County but the entire state of New Jersey, making it a great opportunity for shared services.”
The 42 foot long 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.
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 vehicle based in Keyport has not responded to calls since it was recently placed into service.
“Our volunteer EMT and EMS providers from the boroughs of Keyport and Atlantic Highlands have been trained on how to use the bus and they are fully prepared to effectively run the operation of the MAB,” said Keyport First Aid Squad President Tom Gallo.
The first MAB in Monmouth County, located in Neptune, went into service August of 2011. It has responded to calls for assistance in Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May Counties, along with Neptune and Red Bank during Hurricane Irene. It also responded to several towns for structure fire support, and, was stationed at the Met Life Stadium during the Jet’s game on September 11th, 2011.
The cost for each 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 when dealing with emergency services,” said Michael Bascom, Monmouth County EMS Coordinator. “As we become faced with terroristic threats, natural disasters and serious accidents we have to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting our region.”