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Township Banishes EMS Alliance

Township officials say a failure to register its ambulances was the latest in a series of issues with the privately run Gloucester Township EMS Alliance.

UPDATE, 5:27 p.m. 6/26: New Jersey Department of Health spokeswoman Donna Leusner confirmed shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday that three of five Gloucester Township EMS Alliance ambulances have been cleared to return to service.

She indicated that of the five ambulances found to have been in operation while unregistered, the registration for one had expired in March.

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One thing is certain: Gloucester Township EMS Alliance, a private, nonprofit emergency-medical services provider based in the township's Erial section, will no longer be running its ambulances to emergency calls in Gloucester Township.

The reasons behind the township's decision to will likely be debated for months, if not years, to come, as the chief of the ousted ambulance squad claims the move is of a "political" nature.

Police Chief W. Harry Earle announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that state health officials earlier in the day, at around 8:15 a.m., had ordered the EMS Alliance ambulances temporarily placed out of service due to their being unregistered.

Asked by a reporter about EMS Alliance Chief Tom Eden Sr.'s assertion prior to the press conference that the ambulance service would be operational by Tuesday afternoon, Mayor David Mayer responded: "They're not going to be back in operation in Gloucester Township."

Kennedy Health System took over for EMS Alliance in Gloucester Township effective at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Pine Hill and Runnemede dedicated two ambulances to respond solely to Gloucester Township calls in the interim, Earle said. The police chief also noted the emergency plan had township fire districts responding to all calls for potentially life-threatening matters over the roughly 10-hour period Tuesday.

"Let me be clear that as a result of this plan and the assistance from the Camden County Emergency Communications Center, our local fire departments and numerous neighboring communities...EMS services are being provided to our residents," Earle said.

Mayer indicated there were just three calls for EMS services in the township Tuesday between 8:15 a.m. and the start of the 2 p.m. press conference.

Township Business Administrator Tom Cardis indicated he reached out to Kennedy last week after police were informed EMS Alliance ambulances were not registered.

Township and personnel with the New Jersey Department of Health's Office of Emergency Medical Services conducted an inspection at the ambulance service's Woodshire Drive station house Tuesday morning.

This inspection of EMS Alliance vehicles revealed that five ambulances and a sport-utility vehicle were unregistered and two ambulances had not passed required inspections, Earle said. Another ambulance was not on scene during the inspection, reportedly having been sent off for repairs.

Earle noted there were additional "EMS code violations" with the ambulances.

During a visit to the EMS Alliances's Woodshire Drive station house following the press conference at the municipal complex, Eden told reporters the ambulances were registered, but that the state had not yet forwarded no-fee license plates matching the new registrations.

"I didn't realize it was going to take the state as long as it did," Eden said regarding the license plates.

Eden showed reporters what appeared to be a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission registration card valid through January 2014 for an ambulance run by the EMS Alliance's Glendora squad.

As of publication of this article at 5:01 p.m. Tuesday, a Department of Health spokeswoman had not confirmed Eden's assertion that three of the five ambulances had already been cleared to return to service.

Mayer says the lack of proper vehicle registrations on the part of the EMS Alliance was the final straw for the township.

"Day-to-day management of this nonprofit organization is not only lacking but is in disarray," the mayor said. "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."

Mayer indicated officials told Eden during a meeting last week that the township was no longer recognizing him as EMS chief and that a new EMS provider was being sought.

Earle refuted Eden's assertion the township's decision to sever ties with the organization he heads was about "internal politics," as one reporter put it.

"All of the information we've requested for a long period of time, and we have received none of that," the chief said. "So that certainly is not politics. It's just we have a right to know this information here in Gloucester Township—to know that the organization is solid."

Township officials noted there was no contract between the township and EMS Alliance, which has been in existence since 2000 and bills its patients directly.

Mayer described Gloucester Township EMS Alliance as "staffed with many competent emergency-medical professionals."

Gloucester Township EMS has 45 employees, 15 of whom are full-time, Eden said.

Eden's son, Thomas Eden Jr., was arrested in early April on charges alleging he purchased prescription drugs from a confidential informant while on duty as a township police officer. He was suspended without pay following his arrest.

Alex Allen June 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Looks like a contract for Kennedy which Norcross controls - Muscle the Gloucester Township contract out and bring in the family Kennedy Health System Board of Directors John. P. Silvestri, Chairman - View Profile John F. Durante, Vice Chairman- View Profile Joseph A. Maressa, Esq. Secretary - View Profile Michele A. Fletcher, CPA, Treasurer - View Profile Donald A. Barone, D.O. - View Profile Harry T. Gamble - View Profile Stanley J. C. Giberson, Sr. - View Profile Bruce J. Paparone - View Profile Daniel J. Ragone, CPA - View Profile Albert E. Smith, CPA - View Profile Kennedy University Hospital Board of Trustees Albert E. Smith, Chairman - View Profile Martin A. Bieber, Ex-Officio - View Profile Bruce J. Paparone, Vice Chairman - View Profile Stanley J. C. Giberson, Sr., Secretary - View Profile Thomas A. Cavalieri, D.O., Ex-Officio - View Profile David V. Condoluci, Treasurer - View Profile Barry Bannett - View Profile Donald A. Barone, D.O. - View Profile Robert I. Barsky, D.O. - View Profile Ronald L. Caputo - View Profile Daniel J. Dalton - View Profile John F. Durante - View Profile Michele A. Fletcher, CPA - View Profile Harry T. Gamble - View Profile Wanda P. Hardy, EMBA - View Profile Joseph A. Maressa, Esq. - View Profile Daniel J. Ragone, CPA - View Profile Denise V. Rodgers, M.D., Ex-Officio - View Profile John P. Silvestri - View Profile John E. Wallace, Jr. - View Profile
GT resident June 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Shame on the GTPD and the mayor. This is just another riduclous stunt the GTPD are pulling. It is ridiculous that our "so called mayor" is putting 45 of his own GT residents out of jobs. It was an error that a simple phone call could fix and yet it was not resolved that way. Even after all the technicallities were fixed, the mayor still chooses not to let GT ambulances run. Now it will effect the time it takes for ambulances to arrive on call efficiently. It sickens me that the mayor who is supposed to "speak for us" and the cheif of police who is supposed to "protect us" are causing all of this drama over tags that were in the mail? Shame on them.
Sean McCullen (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM
We're not aware of any connection between George Norcross and Kennedy Health Systems or Kennedy University Hospital. As most know, Mr. Norcross is chairman of the Cooper University Hospital Board of Trustees.
someone in the field June 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM
As stated, this wasn't a isolated incident. The organization has been mis-managed for years. Not even a year ago, the chief (unknown if it was Eden at that time), responded to a call in his command vehicle while intoxicated.
Sean McCullen (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Mr. Eden was that chief. The incident occurred in October 2010. He claimed he was slurring his words due to medication he was on for his knee. The DWI charge was ultimately downgraded to reckless driving in April 2011 in a plea deal: http://patch.com/A-htVp
Sue June 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The Mayor stated that their were issues with the IRS and GT EMS. When searched online, it states "“The accountant failed to pay taxes at different times over the past 10 years. When we realized it, we paid them all off,” EMS Chief Tom Eden said. “Now we’re trying to figure out who’s responsible for the penalties and interest.” Eden said the actual amount of the unpaid taxes came “close to $48,000.” He said he believed the EMS’s accounting firm, Mellace & Associates in Turnersville, should pay the remaining balance of interest and fines." Anyone have any information on the accounting firm? Anyone have any idea if it was the Accountant's error? The above quote contradicts what the Mayor stated today.
Stacey Hornyak June 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM
tisk tisk....the truth will come out and GT will be shamed when their dirty laundy is aired
rescue6102 June 27, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Yes Accountant's Fault, all was properly remedied and IRS conducted a full financial audit, however an IRS audit isn't enough for Dave Mayer and Council they require an audit handled by their friends in the biz, with a whopping $20k bill to be paid by GTEMSA. So when Mayor speaks of the Financial Audit they Request, its because they didn't recognize a legal IRS audit, only a crooked, friend's audit will suffice. To the Residents of GT I feel sorry for you. I hope and pray that nothing serious happens in the township, I can guarantee that Kennedy will not produce 5-8 Ambulances within 10 minutes, as GTEMSA has done on many occasions.
ymbdfa June 27, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I'm curious about something. Does anyone know if the accountant was actually holding the payroll, was payroll EVER LATE? NO....was payroll ever not funded...NO AGAIN. Did the EMS get fines for the payroll or for not paying the payroll taxes they owed? OH for not filing or paying taxes, so how does that blame fall on the accountant that never wrote a check or paid a bill for the EMS the drunk pill popper handled all of that, so what now that he cost 45 people their jobs he wants to blame the accountant? What a joke. Here is a clue for you druggie...don’t buy drugs in your cop car and don’t drive an EMS vehicle on drugs drunk and most of all REGISTER YOUR VEHICLES, an man up for your crimes for once in your life. The EMS accountant did not control or write checks in fact all the firm did was consult them and at NO CHARGE...learn what you are talking about Sue and rescue6102 if you did before maybe you would still have jobs. Pretty obvious (Sue and Rescue6102) are pretty desperate to find a scapegoat now that the drunken drug addict father and son put them all out of work. Or let me guess next you’re going to blame the accountant for the Eden family drug and alcohol problems. Don’t they have another 2x DWI survivor in the family that ran as a republican for town council in 2005 or 2006 named Harry? Wasn’t he taken off the ballot because of his multiple drinking and driving convictions? This family is trash and it’s about time they got put in the dumps.
Alex Allen June 27, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Gloucester Township pays $35,000 to man who fell down stairs while in police custody. On February 2008, Gloucester Township or its insurer paid local resident Robert J. Tarves $35,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming that he was seriously injured during a December 2005 drunk driving arrest. According to the lawsuit, Gloucester Township Police Officer Michael Miller took Tarves into custody because he "was adversely affected by intake of alcoholic beverages." The lawsuit goes on to state that Tarves was handcuffed, with his hands behind his back, even though he "offered absolutely no resistance to the arrest." Upon arrival at the police station, Tarves allegedly had to descend eight concrete steps, which had a metal handrail on the right side, to enter the police building. Tarves allegedly asked Officer Miller to remove the handcuffs so that Tarves could use the railing while descending the steps. Miller allegedly refused the request and Tarves "who was already unsteady because of the intake of alcoholic beverages" stumbled and fell down the steps and allegedly suffered "severe injuries to his right ankle and fibula" that required surgery. The settlement agreement and the lawsuit referred to above are on-line hereen or disproven in court.
Kelli June 27, 2012 at 05:52 AM
So, your point is? What?
Michael June 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I think his point is that there are drunks in both parties in this township. ymbdfa brougth up that Tom and his family have some issues and are certainly not the Cleaver family. By the same token, I think Alex Allen is pointing out that those living in glass houses should not throw stones. Your friend Amy and her family have just as many issues as the Eden family. BTW ymdbfa, I checked my old ballots, and no where do I see that Harry Eden ever ran for Council. Could it be that your facts are incorrect?
Township Resident June 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Why do township residents hav e to pay for ambulance service, when each individual town has there own recuse squad? If we need to have an outside ambulance squad, why isn't this service included in our taxes? What services do we exactly get for our tax dollars at work?
sam jones June 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Because that would increase your taxes by $3M-$5M a year. What's included in your taxes? Basic services you feel entitled to....Trash removal, recycle, snow removal, leaf pick up, education, road maintenance, salaries for police, fire, inspectors, shall I go on. My in-laws live in NY and their taxes are lower than mine....however they pay for trash & recycle pick-up separately from their tax bill...in my book it's still a tax. It's not so bad....EMS is a service, just like anything else and it's expensive like $500-$700 a run and it's worse if you don't have health insurance because you have to pay it if you use it. I kinda like the pay as you go scenario for this service. If you want it for free....they will have to have nationalized health insurance...and you can pay another tax for that one....
Big Daddy 1 June 27, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Our taxes pay for protection against potentially unregistered ambulances. Don't you feel safer knowing that? Of course having an Ambulance come from outside GT has to add to response time. Just think of all the lawsuits our taxes may pay for as Dead On Arrivals increaese.
sam jones June 27, 2012 at 02:14 PM
i would very much doubt anyone except for the BOSS is going to be out of a job. They should be able to hook on with the new carrier. Frankly, if the vehicles were uninspected and unregistered the EMS Alliance put us at risk...PERIOD, END OF STORY. They broke the law. Ever get pulled over for no registration? I did and I paid the fine and had to take my vehicle off the road. I had to arrange for another way to get to work because it happened on a weekend and I couldn't do anything until Monday. So I paid the price. This is on a much bigger scale. Assuming what the police dept and the mayor are saying is true in any way shape or form, I would do the same thing if I was running the TWP. We need a service that will not only be prompt, caring etc. but we need one that follows the laws.
Paul J. DiBartolo June 27, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I think I have to agree with Sam that this should be a 'pay-as-you-go' service. If you never need it you don't pay for it. As soon as you make it a guaranteed service paid for in taxes you create a breeding ground for waste and corruption. If we want to go the way of Europe and remake the U.S. into a cradle-to-grave nanny state we will eventually end up in the same predicament as Europe where people riot in the streets because their retirements are being forced out two additional years due to inability of the government continue to pay by laying the care of everyone on the backs of the few still working. In fact, with our National debt approaching $16 trillion and slated to go to $20 trillion by 2020, I would say we're just about there.
Michael June 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM
According to the press conference, our tax dollars are not used to support the EMS Alliance, the EMS Alliance directly billed those using the service. As far as I know, and please correct me if I am mistaken, no taxpayer funding is used to support EMS Alliance. That being the case, the mayor and his cronies have no right asking to see the books. If the IRS did an audit, and EMS Alliance has paid their back payroll taxes, then it shouldn't be any of the Townships business. By the mayors reckoning, half of the Presidents cabinet should be fired for failing to pay their taxes. If you watch the press conference, the excuse that the mayor gave was that he had to ensure the fiscal viability of the EMS service in GT. That argument doesnt hold water. If EMS Alliance went belly up, then the Township would have done exactly what they did yesterday when they "discovered" the unregistered vehicles, they would call upon mutual aid and set up a contract with one of the area hospitals. The mayor and police chief (who I no longer have any respect for) are throwing out smoke screens to "justify" their actions and set GT up to "reward" someone with the contract to provide EMS service to GT. I have no dog in this fight, other than being a taxpayer. I think the current administration in GT is corrupt, and I think Tom Eden is a poor role model for anyone to follow with many character flaws.
Paul J. DiBartolo June 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I don't pretend to know, and have not yet had the time to do the math, but if what you're saying is true than this is a very disturbing occurrence.
taratrip June 27, 2012 at 08:08 PM
yea i like pay as you go too because the last thing anyone needs or wants is a tax hike that most people wont utilize but once or twice in their lifetime.
Sharon Tress July 02, 2012 at 10:12 PM
The Gloucester Township Ambulance co should have been checked on a long time ago. I feel ashame to say I ran with them over 30 years ago when they were legal. Now I would refuse to call them unless I can't lift the person my self. I am a EMS trained person for 35 years, had called them out for a diabetic person who's sugars was over 800 and couldn't walk and they made him walk to the rig and hitting his head on the door never checked his vitals, then had the guts to bill him. Since when is an non profit organization bill their patients. 2nd call was a heart attack patient I was doing CPR on and they told me to let them do, and stood and did nothing. I shoved the so called EMS tecs and said " Do what your paid for or get the XXX out of the way." finally one did help me until the paramedics showed this isn't what we were trainned for, and if mr Eden thinks I forgot about his remarks he's a fool. Sharon Tress Ex fire fighter for Lambs Terrace fire Co and old Erial ambulance EMT at time we were called 1979-85.
Paul J. DiBartolo July 02, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Gee, Tim Geithner, Obama's Treasury Secretary, had unpaid taxes for years...that is until he realized he was being nominated for Sec. Treas. To make matters worse, he worked for a company that paid him a salary and then paid him with an additional check that was specifically meant to pay his taxes. I wonder why this was such a Big Deal for EMS but nothing of consequence for our Treasury Secretary?
Alex B July 18, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I read your statements numerous times and it is very hard to understand due to your overwhelming spelling, grammatical errors and the face that half of your information is wrong from what I can put together. The only fact I can gather is that your either a past disgruntled employee or a friend of one who works or worked there! If you knew any better you would know that in fact the accountant did in fact write the checks out. The fact that you think that he consulted the firm at no charge is rediculous and shows you have no idea what your talking about and that you just want to ramble on about this family. But I'm sure your just one of them tax paying citizens ( which I'm willing to put money on your not ) that just likes to run his mouth. So.. Until you have any facts to your statements, your mine as well shut your mouth and go back to school. :-)
Alex B July 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
lol, I'm sure your a big bad woman who told the EMT's to do what your paid for or get out of the way. EMS is a whole diff style now then it was in the 70's when you did it. I'd love to hear your so called remarks your speaking of..

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