Q: Does the South Orange Rescue Squad charge patients for their services?
No – We do not charge for our services and we never have, since our inception in 1952. Your taxes do not support us either. We rely strictly on donations to fund our operations!
Q: I got a bill for my ambulance trip to the hospital. I thought SORS doesn’t charge. Can you explain?
You are correct; SORS does not charge for our services. However, there is a charge for hospital-based paramedics. Additionally, during times when our volunteers are not available, a paid ambulance service who does charge for service may come to assist.
Q: Are your members all volunteers? Are any of your members paid?
Yes, all members of SORS are unpaid volunteers. No one receives compensation for any of their EMS or administrative work for SORS.
Q: What is the level of training of your typical member?
All Crew Chiefs and most of our members providing direct patient care are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). At present, the curriculum for the EMT program is approximately 225 hours. EMTs are also required to recertify every three (3) years. Crews are additionally comprised of 3rd (and 4th) members who are in EMT school and/or high school cadets. All members are certified in CPR, which includes the use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).
Q: My neighbor needed an ambulance. Why did two (2) ambulances arrive to the house?
What you probably saw was a SORS ambulance and Paramedic Unit. In New Jersey, paramedics, who are hospital-based, sometimes use large SUVs or ambulances. Sometimes referred to as MICU (Mobile Intensive Care Units), these vehicles and the paramedics who operate them are an extension of the hospital’s emergency room.
Q: I remember seeing an ambulance crew transport a patient and I did not see the paramedics. Why?
This was probably because the Paramedics were not needed. Each patient’s need is different. It’s very likely the patient’s need did not require that type of medical attention. It is also possible that the ambulance crew could have been on their way to rendezvous with paramedics, enroute to the hospital.
Q: Who makes the determination for whether or not paramedics are needed?
There are very specific protocols that spell out the need for paramedics. When someone calls 911, the dispatcher can quickly determine the need for paramedics, based upon the nature of the injury/illness/event. Additionally, the ambulance crew can also request paramedics, should the crew determine there is a need or the episode worsens. Our EMTs train extensively in this area.
Q: What hospitals do you take your patients to?
Our primary hospitals are Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, East Orange General Hospital, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, University Hospital and Newark Beth Israel in Newark.
Q: Besides answering ambulance calls, what other activities does SORS do?
There are lots of activities in addition to answering ambulance calls. The members of SORS are members of your community. Look for us at Columbia High School Football games, July 4th events, Play Day, Seton Hall events, Maplewoodstock, 5K races, National Night Out, and more!
Q: My elderly parents live in South Orange and I do not. What can I do to help you in the event they need an ambulance?
Elderly or not, everyone should have written down on a piece of paper your own health information, such as your medical history (conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, etc.). Include the names of any and all medications you take and any allergies you might have. Emergency contact numbers are helpful too.
Q: How can I join the South Orange Rescue Squad? What is the time requirement?
We are always looking for members to join our ranks. Our senior membership (aged 18 and over) is expected to obtain EMT certification within the first year of joining, and the time commitment is approximately 15 hours a week. Our cadet program for high school students has a time commitment of approximately 6 hours a week, with a 6-7 week training period prior to membership. In addition to the duty requirement, for all members, there are meetings to attend, training drills, and care and maintenance of our building and vehicles.
Q: I don’t want to ride the ambulance but I want to help. Could you use my services?
We are looking for people with certain skills to assist, such as mechanics, accountants, attorneys, and more. If you think you might have skills that can help us, give us a call!