The Boonton Kiwanis First Aid Squad has seen some tough times with the lack of volunteers, ever-growing costs and the lack of sustainable donations over the past few years. In 1997 at the start of the volunteer decline, we were forced to bring on a limited paid staff in order to provide you with guaranteed 24 hour Emergency Medical response. The average annual cost for that program alone was $80,000. In addition, we have maintained an operating budget of roughly $100,000.00 per year. In December of 2015, we were forced to lay off our paid staff due to a lack of sustainable donations.
The Volunteer decline is no stranger to all community service organizations and such, has impacted the Kiwanis Club of Boonton as well. The Kiwanis Club has served the Boonton Kiwanis First Aid Squad faithfully since 1938 as our Corporation Trustees and financial arm. The layoff of our paid staff and financial difficulties has forced all of us to step back and evaluate all aspects of the organization in order to continue to serve the citizens of Boonton, Boonton Township and Mountain Lakes into the future. The following are some examples of changes that we have made in order to better serve you:
- The Kiwanis Club of Boonton and the Boonton Kiwanis First Aid Squad have retained a volunteer Administrator to oversee all aspects of the First Aid Squad and its parent corporation Kiwanis Ambulance Service of Boonton, Inc. As the current administrator, I bring to the table, over 30 years of Emergency Medical Services experience in various capacities of running several large EMS agencies throughout New Jersey.
- Both the squad and the club have enlisted the support of the governing bodies of Boonton, Boonton Township and Mountain Lakes and together we have developed a new Board of Trustees that will replace the current board of Kiwanis Ambulance Service of Boonton, Inc. The new board will consist of a representative selected by the squad who is not a current member of the squad, a representative selected by the club who is not a current member of the club, and one municipal government representative from each of the three towns.
- All financial accounts have been turned over to the Administrator who in turn shares sole access with the municipal representative of Mountain Lakes as an added financial control. All financial accounts have been reviewed for the past 2 years and detailed reports have been shared with the new Board of Trustees. Let me be clear that there is no evidence of financial improprieties as some people in the community have suggested.
- A contract between the Kiwanis Ambulance Service of Boonton, Inc. was signed with Prime - Saint Clare’s Health System to provide primary EMS coverage to the residents of Boonton, Boonton Township, and Mountain Lakes, Monday – Friday, 6 am – 6 pm. This contract replaces our paid staff program and with the Boonton Kiwanis First Aid Squad covering nights and weekends, assures the residents uninterrupted 24 hour EMS response.
- The Boonton Kiwanis First Aid Squad is considering other avenues of revenue enhancement such as a billing for service model in addition to our annual donation fund drive and fundraisers throughout the year.
In summary, the Boonton Kiwanis First Aid Squad continues to review all aspects of the operation for areas of improvement. Your financial assistance is paramount in making sure each of you receives cost effective Emergency Medical Service response for the future. Please consider donating to this life saving initiative today.