Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this week is expected to draw crowds as large as the City has ever seen. As a result Philadelphia officials have been requesting assistance from first responders across the region. Many New Jersey EMS agencies will be staged just across the river in Camden The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is one of just 13 New Jersey agencies approved to stage inside Philadelphia. Summit volunteers will be part of a team consisting of 8 Basic Life Support ambulances and 2 paramedic units to stand by in the City on Sunday. A similar team from New Jersey will do the same on Saturday
Two veteran squad members, Captain Kari Phair and former president Mike D’Ecclessis volunteered for the assignment which includes a 12 hour shift on duty in Philadelphia preceded by a pre deployment briefing on the New Jersey side of the river. The nearby Westfield Rescue Squad is also among the 13 New Jersey units to see duty in Philadelphia.
EMS coverage of events this size requires a considerable pre-planning effort which began well over a month ago. This was not the first time the Summit First Aid Squad has assisted with a Papal visit. Summit was among several area EMS agencies to support the 1994 New Jersey visit of Pope John-Paul along with President Clinton.
The all volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information, please call 908-277-9479, or click HERE.