Council to Vote on Ambulance Agreement Monday
The Township Council is expected to vote Monday night on a resolution appointing Kennedy Health System as EMS provider through Dec. 31.
The Township Council has called a special meeting for Monday night in part to vote on a resolution that, if approved, would formalize an agreement with Kennedy Health System to make it the township's ambulance provider through at least the end of the year.
Gloucester Township EMS Alliance was banished as the township's emergency-medical services provider early last week.
The agenda for the special meeting was posted to the township's website Thursday afternoon.
Per the resolution, Kennedy will have two staffed ambulances in Gloucester Township on a 24/7 basis, and a third ambulance from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Kennedy would not charge the township under the agreement, but would instead bill patients for services—as was the case under Gloucester Township EMS Alliance.
(Editor's Note: To see the full resolution, click the PDF to the right.)
The agenda, which has a total of three resolutions on it, including the ambulance measure, did not include a start time for the meeting, but Council was already scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday for a work session.
The municipal building was closed on Friday, so Patch could not confirm the special meeting's start time with the Clerk's Office.
Council Vice President Orlando Mercado, however, indicated the special meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., with the work session to follow.
Mayor David Mayer announced during a press conference last Tuesday that the township had severed ties with longtime ambulance service provider Gloucester Township EMS Alliance, a private, non-profit business.
During a surprise inspection at EMS Alliance's Erial station house Tuesday morning, Gloucester Township Police and state Health Department personnel found five ambulances and a sport-utility vehicle were unregistered and two ambulances had not passed required inspections, Police Chief W. Harry Earle said. The state put the ambulances out of service.
The registration lapses were not the sole reason for the township to sever ties with the ambulance service, according to Mayer, who indicated he has been concerned with EMS Alliance's management since he learned of IRS liens on its property around the time he took office in January 2010.
"Day-to-day management of this nonprofit organization is not only lacking, but is in disarray," the mayor said at Tuesday's press conference. "Gloucester Township has been requesting a complete financial audit of the EMS Alliance, copies of their organizational charts, and other business documents to which nothing has been provided to us."
EMS Alliance Chief Tom Eden Sr. indicated after the press conference that the IRS liens had long been cleared up. He noted on Wednesday afternoon that the state had already cleared all EMS Alliance ambulances to return to the road.
In a press release issued late Thursday night, conservative watchdog group South Jersey Citizens suggested residents arrive at 6 p.m. Monday to express their displeasure with Mayer's decision.
"SJC is concerned when any government official believes that the private sector is beholden to the 'thugocracy' that has become the norm in South Jersey," the press release states.
SJC was not the first group to blast Mayer for the decision.
Gloucester Township Republican Municipal Committee chairman Ray Polidoro called Mayer's move "an outrage, a staggering abuse of power."