Source: RLS Media
A man in cardiac arrest died after waiting for an ambulance for nearly an hour in Newark last week.
According to witnesses, the incident happened outside the St. John’s Church on where the Hudson County-based volunteer non-profit group Help to Feed the Hungry (HTFH) feeds hundreds of the city’s needy every Tuesday night.
The man was reportedly waiting in line to get food when he suddenly collapsed. HTFH volunteers jumped into action and began CPR on the man while several others made multiple calls to EMS/Paramedics for assistance.
“We managed to feed everyone and stay with the man until help arrived,” one of the HFTH volunteers said. “We found ourselves trying to keep this man alive for over 45 minutes.”
“In our close to 5 years, we have seen many things: drug overdoses, seizures and fights, things we normally do not speak about. However, seeing someone die right in front of us was extremely difficult for all of us.”
But “before the man slipped into unconsciousness, I was able to pray for him,” another of the HFTH members said.
An obvious shortage in Newark’s EMS/ Paramedics fleet has been a concern since the year began in January. The response time hasn’t gotten much better, and has forced city officials to act.
On Friday, Newark’s Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara announced that Newark firefighters will serve as first responders in all life-threatening calls for service at a press conference to be held at Engine 10, located at 360 Clinton Avenue, in Newark.
Mayor Baraka said Newark firefighters would deliver advanced and basic life support services, including cardiac monitoring and defibrillation, hemorrhage control, airway clearance, initial wound care and more.
“Newark Fire Houses will also serve as a Neighborhood First Aid Stations, providing basic first aid for minor injuries such as cuts, bloody noses, splinters, etc.,” Mayor Baraka added.
Signs to this effect have have been posted at each firehouse in Newark pointing residents in the direction of these services.