Working side by side with the Galloway Township Police and Fire Departments, the Galloway Ambulance Squad is part of a powerful combination of services in our community.
Also known as EMS or Galloway’s Emergency Medical Services department, this unit is led by Chief Chuck Uhl. Chief Uhl began his EMS career in Little Egg Harbor and came to Galloway in 2009.
The Galloway Ambulance Squad responds to approximately 6,500 calls for service per year, with an approximate 7-8 minute response time. There are typically three Galloway EMS vehicles available; one in the eastern part of Galloway at the Municipal Complex and two in the western part at the Carton Avenue site off Route 30. The dispatch center within the Police station keeps the EMS, Fire and Police resources coordinated and informed.
The Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) aboard the ambulances are trained, salaried professionals. These men and women go through training such as six months at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT), certification courses at the Tony Canale Training Center in Egg Harbor Township studying anatomy and physiology, field training programs; and then must pass the NJ state exam and the national registry exam. These trained professionals are now doing more intense incident site stabilization to cut down on treatment delays during transport to the hospital. Some of this treatment can be equated with battlefield tactical care, where the initial interaction can be the difference between life and death. When asked about the use of helicopters, Chief Uhl said that they have been relying less on them; only once last year as compared to about 6 in the previous year. Some of the most serious and frequent accidents have occurred on Route 30 (White Horse Pike), and NJ DOT has taken some measures to help cut down on recurring problem spots.
Like the fire and police, the ambulance squad has been using the “Pro Phoenix” software program for dispatch co-ordination, reporting and documentation. Chief Uhl stressed that this program works great for Galloway and will be better as more surrounding towns link up as well. An example of a co-operative effort is the multi-jurisdictional FAA Tech Center and Atlantic City International Airport complex; shared by Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Hamilton Township and the fire facility located at the airport/National Guard area. It is imperative that all of these entities be able to communicate with each other across all services. “Pro Phoenix” helps with that. The Stockton University Mainland Campus is another example of a coordinated response area along with the Stockton Police there.
Funding for these services comes through insurance company billings. Chief Uhl says that obviously they provide services to all, regardless of ability to pay. Persons with inadequate or a lack of insurance will be able to pay their bill on terms worked out with the ambulance service.
The Galloway Ambulance Squad faces the added burden of the high rate of drug-related emergency calls. They must be prepared to deal with all sorts of drug scenarios and administer life-saving service. As well they must now be prepared to respond to gun violence incidents of all types. Again, this brings the branches of Police, Fire and EMS together, working in support and protection of each other.
You probably see the Galloway Township Ambulance service frequently responding to calls, but also as a proactive presence at community functions. The importance of cooperation and planning can’t be emphasized enough. Chief Uhl gives high praise to Police Chief Donna Higbee and her staff as well as to Fire Chief Rick Smith and all of the Galloway Volunteer Fire Departments. This level of competence and sustainable service puts Galloway residents and visitors in very good hands in times of need.