The township is looking to eliminate its Emergency Medical Services Department by as early as the end of February, Committeeman Steven Langert confirmed, meaning some 28 workers could lose their jobs
Lakewood’s EMS unit, which pays its employees, had a deficit last year of $770,000 — a debt that is expected only to increase this year and the next, town officials said. Privatizing the service would potentially save the town between $800,000 and $1 million, according to Langert.
"We believe another provider can give better service than the township can to our residents and can do it at a better price than we can," he said.
The Township Committee has informed the EMS’s union of its plans to dissolve the department and authorized its attorney to solicit contract bids from outside companies. The move, if it happens, would lay off 16 full-time and 10 to 12 part-time employees, officials said. The township currently has two ambulances that, along with Hatzolah — the emergency responder for Orthodox Jewish residents — service some 85,000 people within 25 square miles.
"There will be absolutely no loss of services" with the switch, Langert said.