Voorhees Twp first responders rally against hiring third party EMTs

First responders gathered outside of Voorhees Town Center on Monday night to say "no" to the township’s decision to hire outside help while they also pushed for officials to hire more of their own EMTs.

Last week, Voorhees Township officials announced that they contracted Virtua to supply overnight EMT coverage to alleviate the burden on its 12 career EMTs. But for members of the International Association of Firefighters Local Union 3249, they were blindsided by the decision. 

"I really wish we could’ve had more talks at the table, more conversations," said Craig Fallstick, Local 3249 EMS delegate and Voorhees Township career EMT.


The union says their current team is overworked and burned out, but equally committed and while the newly contracted help would relieve the team, they say that outsiders don’t know the streets like the insiders do.

At a committee meeting Monday night, Voorhees Township Deputy Mayor Jason Ravitz said, "Virtua, for better or worse, has to be involved because we were noticed twice, officially, that these overnight shifts are an issue. Therefore, it becomes an imminent public safety matter."

The township says this is a temporary solution: a contract they can break at any time. It will take effect on Tuesday at 6 p.m.  

Voorhees Township Committee members also confirmed there are no planned layoffs. Instead, they’re looking forward to future discussions with union members to determine a long-term plan.