The township's Mass Care Response Unit, provided to the township under a state grant, has been officially added to the township's fleet of emergency vehicles.
The 36-foot-long vehicle functions as a mobile emergency room to provide medical support to mass casualty incidents, capable of managing more than 100 patients at a time.
Last fall, the township council to New Jersey Emergency Vehicles, a Wall Township-based company, to build the unit.
Officials said the unit can be used to respond to incidents ranging from large-scale traffic incidents to natural disasters. The Brick unit is one of six stationed across the state, and is stocked with everything from basic and advanced life support equipment to poisonous gas meters, radiation detectors, defibrillators, mass casualty triage vests and tags, generators, misting fans, multi-patient oxygen delivery systems, long boards for moving injured patients, advanced airways, and a full complement of medications that would otherwise be carried on a paramedic unit.
The unit will be held at one of the Brick Volunteer EMS buildings in town and training will be provided to all paid and volunteer EMT’s to operate and utilize the unit during an emergency.
Already, the unit has been used once – on July 10, when a school bus full of children from a summer camp was involved in an accident. Brick Police Sgt. Keith Reinhard said the vehicle left a training exercise to respond to the scene and "invaluable" in treating children who had sustained injuries.
"As with all of our emergency response equipment it is our hope that we never have to use these new assets," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis in a statement. "But citizens should take comfort in knowing that we have one of, if not the finest and most prepared police departments and emergency response teams in the state."
In addition to the mass care unit, the township's Community Emergency Response Team recently received a Specialized Disaster Response Utility Trailer. The $9,830 trailer is equipped with a generator, basic medical supplies, lighting equipment, tools, tents and evacuation support equipment.
"The addition of these two pieces of equipment enhances Brick Township’s and it’s first responders’ ability to respond to large scale incidents, while protecting our residents and our infrastructure during and after a mass care emergency," said Brick Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist.
The CERT team, which trains citizen members to be able to help respond in their communities during disasters, is looking for new members. CERT members are trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.
Those interested in joining are encouraged to call 732-262-1167.