July 21, 2014

CRESSKILL – The newly formed Cresskill Fire Department EMS has started working in the borough.

This comes after the council voted unanimously last week to bring the Cresskill Ambulance Corps under the authority of the fire department.

“This will be more cost-efficient and to more efficiently take care of the citizens of Cresskill,” said Mayor Ben Romeo. “Things are going to work out great.”

The change will enable the department to apply for and secure more grants to help pay for salaries and fund the budget, said Fire Chief Chris Ulshoefer, who will oversee the department, as well as the borough’s Office of Emergency Management.

Firefighters will be trained as EMTs, so that all emergency personnel will be able to provide the best service possible to all residents, he said.

Borough officials said that Cresskill is following a trend as other cities across the nation have already put EMS under the authority of the fire department.

Cresskill’s EMS has 26 members, while the fire department has 32. The borough had 1,000 ambulance calls and 600 fire calls last year, according to officials.

“So far, everything is running smoothly. We’re updating our operating manual for the future,” Ulshoefer said. “We had a few emergency calls already [since last week’s vote]. It all went fine.”

Email: yellin@northjersey.com