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Bellmawr Gloucester Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

Girl Scouts Host Appreciation Luncheon for Bellmawr Police, Fire & EMS

Today, Bellmawr Girl Scout Troops #30215 and #30082 hosted an appreciation luncheon to honor Bellmawr Police, Fire, and EMS for their dedicated service to the community.

Troop leader Debbie Allen said that the business community and the families of the Girl Scouts were “very generous” with their food donations for the luncheon.  Because of the amount of donations, the Girl Scouts were able to serve a full lunch that featured a large assortment of entrees and desserts.

The luncheon was held in the Bellmawr Ballroom. Among the offerings were ziti, meatballs, salads, hoagies, wings, stromboli, rice, hot dogs, cookies, brownies, candy bars, tiramisu, and water ice.

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The members of the departments took time to meet and talk with all of the Girl Scouts.

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Alexis Blackson, 13, has been a Girl Scout for five years says being a part of the luncheon today was “important.” She said: “I want to show my appreciation. They risk their lives for us so we wanted to do something special for them.”

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Megan Gordon, 13, has been a Girl Scout for six years said: “I don’t think people today realize how much Police, Fire, and EMS do for us. I took today to appreciate the sacrifice they make for us.”

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The Police, Fire & EMS brought out their apparatus so the Girl Scouts could get an up close look.

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Group Photo: Bellmawr PD Facebook

Pastor Vincent Kovlak of Bellmawr Baptist Church came to the luncheon to offer a prayer of gratitude and safety.

Pastor Kovlak prayed:

Our Heavenly Father, how grateful we are for these civil servants whom you refer to as ministers of God, who daily jeopardize their lives to preserve and protect our lives. We honor them today. We pray that as they keep us safe, so you will keep them safe – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Especially at a time when so many of them are targets of those who have no fear God or the law. May they accept our thanks for the tremendous job that they do for our good. Grace this luncheon with Your presence and bless this food. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.  

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*Article updated on 7/25/2016 at 9:00 a.m.
Categories
Bellmawr Gloucester Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

Bellmawr Fire Chief Explains EMS Arrangement With Brooklawn

Due to underlying issues involving Brooklawn’s volunteer ambulance service, Bellmawr EMS has been providing emergency medical services to its neighboring town since June 6.

Brooklawn’s ambulance issue was the subject of a recent article by CNBNews.net.

Because Bellmawr’s EMS is involved, SJO contacted the Borough of Bellmawr to find out the specifics of the EMS arrangement and was referred to Chief Jim Burleigh. Chief Burleigh was reached by telephone and he provided clarification about the situation.

Chief Burleigh said that in early June, he received a telephone call from Brooklawn’s Borough Clerk, Ryan Giles, asking if Bellmawr could provide ambulance service on a temporary basis.

“Brooklawn was having underlying issues with their ambulance service. Because of a Mutual Aid Agreement that is already in place through the County, Bellmawr is second due into Brooklawn. That means, if there was ever an emergency in Brooklawn and their ambulance was tied up, Bellmawr always responded,” Burleigh said.

Chief Burleigh was asked why this arrangement wasn’t brought up at any of Bellmawr’s recent council meetings or voted on. He explained that it’s not necessary.

Without going into specifics about Brooklawn’s issues, Chief Burleigh said that in general, an ambulance could be taken out of service for any number of reasons – including a flat tire or a mechanical issue. “If an ambulance is taken out of service for any reason, surrounding towns all cover each other because of that Mutual Aid Agreement. This happens quite frequently, in both fire and EMS.”

Providing additional insight, Chief Burleigh said: “This is common and does happen with fire and EMS. Recently, Westville’s ladder truck was out of service. So Bellmawr’s ladder truck was the first into Westville for two months. We didn’t have to go to council for approval because we were the next ladder in because of the Mutual Aid Agreement.”

Chief Burleigh said that Bellmawr will be providing ambulance services to Brooklawn until further notice. “Bellmawr runs about 2,300 EMS calls a year and Brooklawn has about 500. So it is a small percentage of runs.”

As for concerns that should an emergency should arise in Bellmawr while personnel provides EMS to Brooklawn, Chief Burleigh said: “If our ambulance is tied up, there will be no delay in service because of automatic backup from personnel from surrounding towns.”

Based on the Mutual Aid Agreement, any costs incurred to the Borough of Bellmawr for providing EMS services will be recovered through billing for its services, he said.