Not too many organizations have been in operation for almost 100 years.

That's why it was shocking to hear the news that the Belmar First Aid Squad, the nation’s oldest volunteer first aid squad will stop operations on March 31, 2021. broke the news and it has caught the community off guard. Even Belmar Mayor Mark Walsifer said he was shocked.

So why after 93 years of service is the BFAS going away? The answer is pretty simple. Money.

The organization released this statement:

The stress of operating the BFAS at a deficit in these uncertain times — along with the hours required to operate what has become a year-round 24/7 business with two dozen employees in a highly regulated environment — has taken a toll on the officers and members of the BFAS.

While the pandemic and economic woes were a factor, this is also happening because of a lack of volunteers.

This is a growing issue for many first aid squads that are on the brink of shutting down.

In 2018, BFAS become a paid service because getting and keeping volunteers was so difficult. This made operational costs sky high. Paid emergency medical technicians were hired. With that billing and insurance came into the picture which just made everything more complicated.

If you're like me, you're thinking - so now what?

Lake Como is in the process of amping up its first aid services, and Mayor Kevin Higgins said that the Belmar/Lake Como area will be covered by April 1.

Higgins said that the town will:

weigh all options and decide on the best course of action to provide a level of care for our residents that is equal or greater to the services they have become accustomed to.

Thanks to all of the volunteers and staff of the Belmar First Aid Squad for your dedication and service over the past astonishing 93 years!



Listen to Matt Ryan weekdays from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m on 94.3 The Point. CLICK HERE to Listen Live anytime from anywhere.
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