Old Tappan Borough Council Evaluates EMS Options Amidst Community Concerns

In a recent meeting, the Old Tappan Borough Council navigated discussions surrounding the provision of emergency medical services (EMS) within the borough, a topic of high community interest and concern. The council is considering various proposals, including those from Hackensack Hospital and Holy Name, which have offered varying levels of service and financial terms. The chief of the EMTs presented a case for the borough hiring its own EMTs, emphasizing the benefits of quick response times and the potential drawbacks of hospital-based ambulance services, such as additional costs to residents and restrictions on volunteer agencies.

Further deliberation on EMS included the potential for a joint agreement with neighboring towns to share costs, and a review of the number of calls and distribution between the town and mutual aid. The council members highlighted the importance of balancing response times with fiscal responsibility and the potential impact of hospital contracts on volunteer morale and management.

The council also addressed infrastructure and public safety, with updates on the Russell Avenue improvements and Wolf Road drainage work. Concerns were raised about the safety and accessibility of construction sites, especially in relation to the fire department and ambulance corps. The reconfiguration of the borough hall entrance and the firehouse ramp posed challenges due to financial constraints and slope considerations.

Communication systems for emergency alerts and daily updates were another focal point, with Councilman Gwon reporting on the exploration of platforms such as Everbridge, Code Red, and Rave. The borough is also enhancing community engagement through the Veterans Committee, which is working on a memorial and exploring signage options. The Environmental Commission proposed allocating funds from tree permit requirements to a shade tree replacement fund or hiring a forester to advise on tree-related matters.

Councilwoman Massaro reported on the Board of Health’s initiative for a townwide walk and the Historical Committee’s plans to host a historical guest speaker event. The Youth Council is gaining traction, as evidenced by coverage in the school newspaper. The Police Department is set to present a formal report at the next meeting, and the Department of Public Works (DPW) continues with maintenance and repairs. The Building Department’s report highlighted the number of permits and alterations processed, and there was a proposal to change the elevator inspection process by involving a Municipal Inspection Corporation.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Thomas Gallagher
City Council Officials:
Ron Binaghi Jr., William Boyce, Guy Carnazza, Cort Gwon, Christine Massaro, Jin Yhu

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