Emergency medical services (EMS) are often the first on the scene during a crisis and can play a crucial role in keeping people alive through time-critical injury, illness, and trauma. According to new data from New Jersey’s Department of Health Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS),
EMS responded to 75,258 calls in February this year. That’s an increase from the 74,442 calls in February 2018. However it’s a significant decrease from the 79,589 calls that were made in January 2019.
Keeping response times short can mean the difference between life and death. The county with the shortest response times in the state was Camden; response times were within 10 minutes of a call. The counties with the longest response times were Sussex and Warren (within 22 minutes). Camden’s 10-minute response time and Warren’s 22 minutes remain unchanged from February 2018 while Sussex County’s response time edged down from February 2018, when it was 23 minutes. The city of Camden — which accounted for a large number of the emergency calls in Camden County — attributes its success in keeping response times down to Cooper University Healthcare taking over emergency medical service response three years ago.
The most common reasons people called EMS were for a sick person (13,195 calls), breathing problems (11,102 calls), falls (7,265 calls), and unconscious individuals (6,785 calls).