The Arbor Rescue Squad has been servicing the community since 1931. For 85 years we have relied strictly on donations and fundraisers, no citizen of Piscataway has ever been charged a tax dollar for our services. However, over the past decade donations have steadily decreased while expenses have only increased. The economic realities have reached the point that in order to maintain operations and eventually improve and expand operations; we must begin billing for services effective Jan. 1st 2017. This decision was not made lightly and took a very long time to come to. We have spent the last year and a half working with Piscataway Township, New Jersey Dept. of Health, and Cornerstone Adminisystems to ensure our organization and services could continue in Piscataway.
Of our two sister rescue squads in Piscataway, one already has been billing for a few years and the other one is part of a fire department and their Fire Commissioners provide them with funding generated through a tax from their fire district. Most health insurance carriers have payment for 911 services built into their plans; the impact to most people will be minimal. Those who have legitimate hardship cases will be reviewed and our billing company is flexible enough to deal with them as individuals, not as just numbers. Revenue from the new billing will be used to pay our monthly utilities, insurance, and service bills, pay for medical supplies, maintenance of the ambulances, building and property. In the future, we are looking forward to buying a new ambulance, creating community outreach and prevention programs, buying advanced medical technology to provide an even wider and higher level of care. We will still remain a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization accepting generous donations and will be run by a completely volunteer staff. No member shall receive a salary, we will however invest in volunteer recruitment and retention programs just as most of our fire departments have been doing for many years such as a training fund, clothing allowance and LOSAP.
We realize and expected that this news will cause mixed emotions throughout the community, just as it has within the rescue squad itself. However, we would like for everyone in the community to understand in recent years many rescue squads with long standing history in their communities have begun billing or even worse….. closed their doors and shut down. We did not want to do that to our friends, families and neighbors that we serve. We have the passion and will to continue to be there for you when you need us most. Growth is not always done during the good times; sometimes we must go through the rough patches in order to become a stronger rescue squad so that Piscataway’s health becomes stronger as well. For any questions please feel free to message us on our Facebook Page or call (732) 956-4141.