John "Big John" Glowacki

As you all know, I got started in EMS at a very young age. The area of New Jersey that I grew up in is rich with a long, distinguished history of Volunteer EMS and Fire personnel. I remember being in my EMT class at the age of 16. It was taught in a large auditorium filled with about 75 people. Every Tuesday and Thursday night, we’d sit there enjoying lectures, or break up into groups and run skills stations, with the ultimate goal of adding all of us to the long, distiguished list of graduates of Community Medical Center’s EMT program. That was where I met a man by the name of “Big John” Glowacki. He was a man whose reputation as a gruff, hard nosed, demanding yet professional person preceded him. John was an EMT Instructor, one of our dispatchers, and Life Member and Captain of the East Dover Volunteer First Aid Squad. It was impressive that had accomplished all of this by the age of 30. When I turned 18, John approached me and asked me if I would be interested in riding with him on his Tuesday Day Duty Crew on his squad. I wasn’t a member, but a lot of us who rode days down in Dover Twp (now known as Toms River) worked together to do what we could to get as many trucks on the road as possible. At some point during my career down there, I rode on a rig from five of the six Township departments. For the next three summers, and starting in the afternoons when I was in high school, I would come home, call John, and let him know I was in service. During that time, I learned a lot from him, not only from a patient care stand point, but also from an attitude and professionalism stand point. John wasn’t as mean as some people made him out to be. Sure, he was demanding and authoritative sometimes, but there are few people who I have encountered in my career who were more dedicated to the field. I never saw John lose his cool on a call. He was always so calm,...

The Revision of EMS in New Jersey

As some of you may or may not know, I got my start in EMS in the state of New Jersey, and more specifically at the Jersey Shore.For the first 8 years or so I was an active member with two different Squads servicing Ocean County.I still have family and friends in the area who are very active in the EMS Community. New Jersey possesses some unique issues when it comes to Pre-Hospital Care.A large amount of the system State wide is still Volunteer based at the BLS Level.ALS Services are limited, and must be hospital based or hospital affiliated, and largely participate in prehospital care as non-transporting units. While there is a State EMS office, it is often rivaled by the New Jersey State First Aid Council which advocates for what it feels should be beneficial changes to the EMS system in the state to keep Volunteer EMS alive.Membership in the NJSFAC is not mandatory, but they expect departments affiliated with them to maintain the minimum standards they set. As time goes on, more Volunteer departments are having a tough time getting rigs on the road to care for the sick and injured.As a result, many municipalities are starting to turn to paid ambulance services or Municipal Third Service or Police Department affiliated EMS systems.The NJSFAC’s solution in response to this problem though is to lower the required level of care on most ambulances within the state from a mandatory 2 EMT staffing to one EMT and one First Responder/Driver. Paid ambulance services, municipal or not however, are required to have a minimum of 2 EMTs on each truck. While speaking with family today, I was told that they had a conversation with one of our New Jersey State First Aid Council representatives who voiced his displeasure for pending state bill S-818, seeing it as something that could potentially destroy the Volunteer EMS system in the State of New Jersey.Intrigued, I decided to take a look at it for myself. NJ State Bill S-818 was developed in response to a state-wide EMS study that was conducted in 2006 and released in 2007.It is a 150 page document that outlines the accomplishments and short...