MONOC Paramedics Protest “Unsafe” Conditions, Aging Vehicles

Hatzolah_monoc[Photo of Hatzolah’s independent MONOC Ambulance] Paramedics protesting outside Jersey Shore University Medical Center on Monday said they are forced to work every day in unsafe conditions, reusing medical equipment and doing other things that could endanger their patients’ health. 

“I am here to make sure the people that I grew up with are being taken care of the way they are supposed to be taken care of,” said paramedic Sherrie LaBarre, 48, of Howell. “This isn’t about money, this is about doing the right thing for the people.”

The paramedics, members of the Professional Emergency Medical Services Association of New Jersey, Local 4610, contend their employer, Monmouth Ocean County Hospital Services Corp., headquartered in Wall, is not providing safe ambulances and equipment.

The labor union has been in contract negotiations with the nonprofit ambulance company since the union was established in 2007. MONOC is owned and operated by 15 New Jersey hospitals, including Jersey Shore.

“Our critical care units are among the oldest in the fleet,” said union President Deborah E. Ehling, a nurse/paramedic. “We are taking the most critical patients to Philadelphia and New York. What happens if we break down midway?”

But a company official said vehicles are rotated out of service on a regular basis.

“We change out our fleet every so many years,” said Scott A. Matin, vice president of clinical and business services. “Regardless of age, if a vehicle is not roadworthy, it is not put on the street.” Full story in APP.

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  1. Why put Hatzolah’s vehicle as your picture. They are not involved with the dispute plus their vehicles are not aging or problematic. They are maintained beautifully. By showing a picture of their vehicle you are leaving the impression that their medic truck is not safe. Please correct this error.

  2. Both Hatzolah & LFA are working with rigs over 10 years old. All the MONOC trucks in the area have the new logo theme so they can’t be more than a year or two old. Its all about the contract.

  3. I guess # 2 is easily fooled by a nice paint job on Monoc’s trucks. And fyi, 4 of Hatzolah’s ambulances are under 10 years old.

  4. Both of LFA’s rigs have 10 year old cabs and the box’s where the patient’s go are approximately 25 years old. All due respect to MONOC employee’s but paramedics rarely if ever transport patients. The patients go in our rigs with paramedics on board so why not purchase us new rigs since ours are the ones doing all the work and are more likely to break down.

  5. Number 4 why should we pay for a new rig for lfa. they fundraise let them buy there own rigs. we pay hatzolah every yr 104 dollars. why should i donate to lfa?

  6. #4, I think your comment opens up a can of worms for those living south of the lake where besides for the 2 summer months have minimal Hatzolah coverage. That is not the area $104 per household comes from.

  7. hatzolah seems to get items handed to them by the town.. lfa has to get for them self..monoc should git rid of the ambulances they were put on the road so they could “take” patients when rigs paid or vol dont show up… there is no reason for monoc to do that at all..the lfa had either been refused or denied monies from the town or the grant that hatzilah hed recieved to purchase new rigs.. yes monies r tight but should be equally divided between all in town including hatzolah, lems and lfas

  8. The town will NEVER equally spend money on LFAS and EMS because the committee doesn’t use those services. But they tend to forget when its Friday ot Saturday and Hatzolah won’t come out. Who answers the call. What we need is someone on the committee that actually cares about the other half of the town. And it is shown every meeting when the Mayor makes one ignorant and unprofessional comment after another. But when you ride the coattails of a certain senator anything can happen. Let’s see if this gets posted.
    Can’t wait for the corruption to be brought to light in this town.

  9. #6 you have a good point there, I have seen paramedic ambulances following Lakewoods as well as Quality, it makes no sense at all

  10. #12-Sometimes paremedics are riding in the BLS vehicle administering ALS care ie running IV lines or doing an EKG – and the MONOC ambulance is being driven by one of the BLS units to the hospital.

  11. Angry,

    You are not telling the truth and you know it. Hatzolah does not receive monies from the township. Hatzolah also responds on Friday and Saturday just like any other day of the week. You are obviously not from the Jewish community and are interested in spreading your misinformation and obvious hatred of the Jewish community. Give it a rest and spend your time (moderated) with people who believe in their own myths just like you.

  12. Angry #9- “monoc should git rid of the ambulances they were put on the road so they could “take” patients when rigs paid or vol dont show up… there is no reason for monoc to do that at all..”
    This makes no sense, if BLS isn’t there and ALS is, you’re saying- wait who knows how long for a BLS unit to show up in order to transport. If you work in EMS, please quit, you don’t belong there. Once upon a time, when Jersey was full of 8 point first aiders and tons of volly squads, this was State policy. But what happenned was, this group dwindled and ALS units were sometimes forced to wait even an hour for a basic unit to show up, hence the change of policy. Please think before you rant. Or is your ego more important than the patient?

  13. This EMS seems to be an odd business. Monoc & 3 other private ambulance companys make money in Lakewood.
    yet Hatzolah, Lakewood First Aid & EMS do not make money…

  14. First I want someone to show me a vehicle registration dated 2007 or older on any of the primary units (SCT and/or MICU) vehicles. More importantly, in EMS the first rule is safety of yourself, your crew, then your patient. If the equipment is so unsafe why are you using it? If the medication in question is no good, why not replace it? Do any of those complaining have any common sense. I think I just gave the answers to their complaints. Wait, what they really want is money. It all boild down to money. They want to scare the public into supporting the union. No one is “forced” to work in unsafe conditions. They choose to work at MONOC, no one is holding a gun to their head. If you don’t like it there, go out and find a new job, or find a career change.

  15. I worked for Monoc and all I will say is that they have valid points. Even if the trucks are new (they aren’t they last upgraded their fleet about 5 years ago) they are ridden a lot. These trucks are in service 24/7. There is a lot more to be said…… There is a serious management issue at Monoc.

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