Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a compilation of questions that we get asked all the time. If you have any question that isn’t listed below, feel free to contact us!

Where are we located?

Our address is 378 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. Next to Borough Hall and Cavallini Middle School.

Do we charge for services?

We do not charge for patient care or a transport to a hospital.

Who makes up the corps (how many)?

The corps is made up of about 30 members who live in the Saddle River Valley area.

How often are we on duty?

Members typically ride one week-night per week, from 7PM to 7AM, and rotate weekend shifts, every fifth weekend, from 7AM Saturday to 7PM Sunday. Members must stay in Upper Saddle River when on duty, and respond to the USREMS building when a call goes out. During the day (7AM to 7PM) on weekdays, there is a paid staff at our building to respond to calls.

When I call 911 for a medical emergency, how are members of USREMS notified?

When you call 911, a regional 911 operator answers, and notifies the USR Police Dispatcher. Upon receiving the 911 call, the USR Police Dispatcher pages the USREMS duty-crew via audible alert pagers and portable radios, with the nature of the call, address, and time of dispatch. Once all members of the crew arrive at the building, the driver notifies the dispatcher that the ambulance is in route to the scene, and the ambulance arrives on scene shortly thereafter.

Who comprises a crew?

Each crew is different, however a typical crew is comprised of; a driver, a crew chief (EMT), and one to two additional EMT’s. Each driver is trained in emergency vehicle operations, and all EMT’s are Certified Emergency Medical Technicians by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services for basic life support. All members are CPR Certified by the American Heart Association.

What type of training do members receive?

Most of our members are NJ Certified Emergency Medical Technicians. All EMT’s are rigorously trained and tested by the state department of health and senior services to ensure competency in all aspects of basic life support. EMT’s are trained to treat a myriad of medical and traumatic emergencies, ranging from cardiac arrest to motor vehicle collision patient extrication, and everything in between. All EMT’s are required to renew their certifications every five years by completing a “CORE refresher” course and “elective” courses to sharpen their skills and stay current with the latest techniques pertaining to basic life support. All members, drivers and EMT’s alike are CPR Certified by the American Heart Association. Drivers are trained in emergency vehicle operations.

What kind of ambulances do we drive?

We have two ambulances:

925 is a 2005 Ford/Horton Type III Ambulance, mounted on Ford E-450 Chassis.

926 is a 2008 International/Medtec Type I Ambulance, mounted on an International 4100 Chassis.

Both ambulances are fully stocked with first aid/basic life support supplies, as well as being outfitted with basic vehicle extrication equipment and other life-saving devices.

How much does an ambulance cost?

Costs for new ambulances vary, but a fully equipped ambulance like ours typically run about $250,000.

What equipment do we carry on the ambulance?

Both our ambulances are stocked with the same life-saving supplies, a few of these items include:

-Vital sign assessment equipment; blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, pulse oximeters, pen lights, etc.

-Bandaging and splinting supplies; cravats, gauze, cling wrap bandaging, various pre-formed splints, SAM Splints, Hare traction splint etc.

-Airway stabilization equipment; nasal and oral airways and suction units.

-Spine stabilization equipment; backboards, straps, head chocks, collars, KED (vehicle extrication device), etc.

-CPR equipment; CPR boards, AEDs, bag valve masks, etc.

-Oxygen equipment; on-bard and portable oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, non rebreather masks, etc.

-Rescue equipment; window punch, seatbelt cutters, halligan tools, water rescue rope, etc.

-Patient-moving devices; stretchers, stair chairs, etc.

Do we provide tours for youth groups?

Yes, please visit our contact us page to schedule a tour.

What is the most common type call we receive?

Every one of our calls is unique, however our most common type of call is a difficulty breathing call.

How can I donate?

Visit our donation page for donation information.

How many calls do you respond to per year?

On average, we respond to approximately 400 calls annually. Most of which are within Upper Saddle River, though on occasion neighboring towns will request us to respond to assist them.

How do I become a member?

New members are ALWAYS welcome! Please see the join page for more information.

Where do we transport?

Our transport decisions depend on the nature of the call and severity of the patients’ condition. However, we typically transport patients to The Valley Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, or Hackensack Medical Center, or Bergen Regional Medical Center.

What should I do when I see an ambulance or other emergency vehicle behind me?

Don’t panic! The best thing to do when you see an ambulance or other emergency vehicle (police car, fire engine, etc), is to slow your vehicle down, and pull to the right if possible to allow the ambulance to pass by you. Remember that when we have our lights and sirens on, we are on our way to a call, or are transporting a patient to the hospital. When seconds count, your yielding to an ambulance can make a huge difference in a patients’ outcome.

What should I do when I see a car or truck with a flashing blue light or lights behind me?

As volunteers responding to an ambulance call, we are permitted to use blue flashing lights, either dashboard or roof mounted, to “ask” other motorists to yield, allowing volunteers to more quickly reach our building. As such, we ask that if you do see a volunteer behind you displaying a flashing blue light, to yield to us, if safe and reasonable to do so. This can help us reach our building faster, shaving valuable seconds and even minutes from our response time to the scene.