Flight From Newark Diverted Due to Illness; Dementia Training for Gloucester County First Responders

Sources: NJ Sentinel Gloucester Co.; New Jersey Patch

A JetBlue flight heading toward the Dominican Republic from Newark Liberty International Airport was diverted Sunday after passengers and crew members got sick, according to reports.

JetBlue flight 1203, which was flying from Newark to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic when it was diverted to JFK Airport in New York City, according to the airline.

The plane was diverted “out of an abundance of caution after the crew reported a handful of customers and crew members feeling unwell,” the airline told Patch in a statement.

JetBlue told Patch there was no odor that sickened passengers, despite what earlier reports have said.

The aircraft will be inspected before returning to service, and flight 1203 was sent to Santo Domingo on a different aircraft, the airline said.

The Port Authority confirmed the Dominican-bound flight was diverted to JFK and landed safely, saying the incident is still under investigation.

Consider the range of unpredictable situations first responders face each day. About 51 million Americans are age 65 and over while about 5.8 million live with some type of dementia. These statistics drastically increase first responders’ chances not only, of encountering older adults, but also those with cognitive impairments.

As an educational public service, United Methodist Communities at Pitman is offering a free Dementia Training on Wednesday, July 31 to first responders in Gloucester County. The senior community is conveniently located at 535 North Oak Avenue in Pitman. The evening begins at 6 pm with a light dinner followed by the training 6:30pm.

Pamela Garofolo, corporate manager, Tapestries (UMC’s Memory Care residences), is a Certified Assisted Living Administrator, Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, and holds a Master of Psychology.

The training will help equip first responders when assisting individuals who have cognitive impairment. The planned content includes the basics and biology of Alzheimer disease and other related neurocognitive disorders, why emergency management and related services need to know successful approaches and communication tools, and developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Garofolo states, “Dementia competency is essential among our first responders, who selflessly lend aid in all types of situations. They are, pretty much guaranteed to see more and more dementia in the course of their service.”

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