What number should I call in case of a medical emergency?
What happens when I call 911 in River Edge?
You will be asked what is your location and the nature of your emergency. If you require medical assistance, the following will take place:
- The dispatcher will immediately notify the River Edge Police Department. The nearest patrol car will be sent to your location. All our police officers are trained to begin life-saving measures like controlling bleeding, providing supplemental oxygen, delivering naloxone or initiating CPR.
- Simultaneously the REVAS volunteers on duty will be paged. They will respond to the ambulance building and then go to your location in the ambulance. Upon arrival our Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) will take over care from the police officers and continue medical treatment while performing patient assessment. EMTs will use necessary equipment to transfer the patient to the ambulance stretcher and then continue care on the way to hospital.
- In case of life-threatening emergencies like difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, stroke, or chest pain, paramedics will also be dispatched from the nearby hospital. Paramedics will join EMTs on scene or in the ambulance. However, if EMTs determine that the patient's condition is less severe than previously thought, they will cancel the paramedics before their arrival.
Do I have to go to the hospital?
If our EMTs determine you require further assessment and care in the hospital setting, they will advise going to the hospital. However, ultimately the decision is yours. You can refuse further medical attention and choose not to go to the hospital, if the following conditions are met:
- You are an adult. For a minor, in most cases only the parent or legal guardian can refuse medical attention.
- You are not behaving in a manner which is dangerous to yourself or others.
- You are capable of understanding the consequences of refusing medical attention. That may not be the case if you are intoxicated or your mental status is altered due to a trauma or a medical condition.
If you do refuse medical attention, be aware of your symptoms and call 911 again if they worsen.
Which hospital do you take patients to?
Generally we take patients to the hospital of their choice in the area:
- Hackensack UMC (Hackensack)
- Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley (Westwood)
- The Valley Hospital (Ridgewood)
- Holy Name (Teaneck)
- Englewood Hospital (Englewood)
- New Bridge Medical Center (Paramus)
However, in certain situations there are protocols for determining a hospital. For example, in the case of severe trauma or stroke the protocol calls for the closest hospital which is Hackensack UMC. In the case of a psychiatric emergency or intoxication we will recommend New Bridge Medical Center.
Can a family member accompany the patient in the ambulance?
A family member is welcome to ride in the passenger seat in the front of the ambulance, however we recommend finding their own transportation instead as that may simplify the trip home once the patient is released from the hospital.
Will I get a bill?
REVAS will never bill you or your insurance. However, you will receive a bill in these situations:
- If the condition was severe and paramedics joined our EMTs in providing care, you will be billed by the hospital providing paramedic service. This happens in about 1 out of every 10 calls.
- If you call 911 when our ambulance crew is attending another patient and volunteer crews from nearby towns are not available, a paid ambulance service will be dispatched. This is rare.