Jersey City Medical Center EMS operates a robust Special Operations Division capable of responding to major incidents within Hudson County and beyond including both pre-planned events and emergent incidents of significance. Recent pre-planned events have included the Red Bull Air Race over the Hudson River, the 2009 Barclay Golf Tournament, the All-Points West Festival, the annual 4th of July Fireworks over the Hudson, OPSAIL 2000, and the 1986 Statue of Liberty Centennial. Our Special Operations team also prepares regularly for overflow from major events in Manhattan. In addition to these large events, the team consistently augments the response capabilities during the dozens of smaller parades, festivals, and conventions held every year in Hudson County.
Our EMS Bike team is a major component of our special events capabilities. Our bike team consists of strike teams of two EMTs which can rapidly deploy basic life support services to areas in which an ambulance would be delayed. Every year our bike team treats and stabilizes dozens of patients until transport resources can arrive.
Tragically, Jersey City Medical Center EMS also has a significant history of response to emergent incidents of significance in the Hudson County and beyond. As a result, we have one of the oldest special operations divisions in the state, having acquired our first Mass Casualty Response Unit in 1990. Since then, our operation has expanded to include a state funded MCRU on a heavy rescue chassis capable of handling 100 patients, a Special Operations Squad, a Waterfront Strike Team trailer, a decontamination trailer as well as multiple grant funded trailers for specialty incident response. We also work closely with the County Office of Emergency Management for rapid access to Gators and a Mobile Communications Unit.
Our most recent incident of significance was the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” Crash of Flight 1549. In 1993 we responded into Manhattan to provide mutual aid for the World Trade Center Bombing, and again in 2001, providing triage services on the Jersey City Waterfront for the September 11th attacks. In 1998, our services cared for the many victims trapped in the State Theatre Collapse in Journal Square. In 1996 we were first due for two passenger train accidents in Secaucus. The first, in February, was a collision between two Commuter trains, and the second, in November, a derailment of an Amtrak passenger train.
In addition to response capabilities, our special operations division also is home to our Honor Guard. Our Honor Guard consists of dedicated EMTs and Paramedics that volunteer their time to provide memorial and ceremonial services as needed. Their purview ranges from the uplifting participation in parades and celebrations, to the tragic assistance with public safety funerals and memorials.