[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 5-5-2003 by Ord. No. 03-07. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is in an effort to increase the availability of volunteer rescue squads for emergency situations, and to eliminate the use of volunteer rescue squads for nonemergency services.
All state-licensed nursing homes, health-care facilities, rest homes, health maintenance organizations and other licensed medical care providers within the Township are hereby required to own, lease, rent or have immediately available by other arrangement an appropriately staffed ambulance for the transporting of patients in need of nonemergency care. The ambulance shall be available 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, and shall be utilized as primary responder. The resident director, manager or corporate officer of such locations shall certify the availability of an appropriately staffed ambulance, and communicate the terms of the chapter to all employees involved with emergency care.
A duly licensed nursing home, rest home or health maintenance organization and other licensed medical care providers may request the appropriate Volunteer First Aid Squad or Rescue Squad serving said nursing home, rest home or health maintenance organization in any situation which falls within the definition of "advanced life support," as such term is defined in N.J.S.A. 26:2K-7 et seq., and applicable regulations promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Health. Such situations, by way of example subject to any statutory clarifications and definitions cited above, shall include chest pain, difficulty in breathing, sudden loss of consciousness, stroke, diabetic emergency, cardiac arrest, life-threatening hemorrhaging or other life-threatening condition.
All nursing homes, rest homes and health maintenance organizations and other licensed medical care providers shall file proof of the availability of an ambulance with the Township Clerk within 60 days from the final passage of this chapter and on or before September 1 of each and every year thereafter.
Proof of ambulance availability shall consist of a contract with an ambulance company or other documentation satisfactory to the Township Health Officer. If such vehicle is owned by the nursing home, rest home or health maintenance organization, such proof shall indicate the make, model, year, color, serial number, license plate number, location and ownership of said vehicle. If such vehicle is owned by a party other than the nursing home, rest home or health maintenance organization, proof shall be submitted showing the agreement under which said vehicle is available to the nursing home, rest home or health maintenance organization.
It shall constitute a violation of this chapter for any nursing home, rest home or health maintenance organization, or any agent, servant or employee thereof, to cause any Volunteer First Aid Squad or Rescue Squad to respond to a false alarm. For the purposes of this chapter, "false alarm" shall be defined as any circumstance where a determination is made by a mobile intensive care paramedic, emergency medical technician or mobile intensive care nurse at the scene that the situation does not meet the designated advanced life support criteria as defined by the applicable statute and regulations promulgated thereunder.
Any person, firm, association, partnership, company, joint venture or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or 90 days in jail, or both, for each such violation. Each day such violation continues and/or each time a Volunteer First Aid Squad or Rescue Squad is called to the site shall constitute a separate violation. Fines collected under this section shall be returned to the responding squad less appropriate court costs.
The Township Health Officer may, from time to time, promulgate rules and regulations supplementing this chapter in order to provide for recordkeeping and efficient management
Any entity failing to provide proof of ambulance availability by the designated date shall be in violation of this chapter. The entity shall be subject to an initial fine of $1,000 with a daily penalty of $500 for each day thereafter. Each day that the entity fails to file the proof of ambulance availability shall constitute a separate offense.
Enforcement of this chapter shall run concurrently with both the Bridgewater Police Department and the Township of Bridgewater Health Officer. Both are authorized to issue summonses for violation of this chapter.