NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (June, 1, 2020) Richard Suarez, a member and former president of Local 1235, International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO and a current Atlantic Coast District Vice President and Executive Board member, has been a man on a mission for the past several years working tirelessly at securing a dedicated ambulance service for ILA members working at Port Newark and Elizabeth. ILA workforce and employers commit themselves to a safe working environment on the docks through extensive training programs and vigilance with safety regulations, but accidents do occur. Brother Suarez recognized that the faster an injured ILA member received medical treatment by EMT and was transported to a hospital, the better their chances for recovery were.
Beginning today, Monday, June 1, 2020, Port Newark/Elizabeth will have a Dedicated Ambulance Service operated by RWJ Barnabas Health, staged at Maher Terminals in Port Elizabeth. If needed, helicopter emergency service will also be available at the Port Newark/Elizabeth Marine Terminals.
According to Brother Suarez, this ambulance/helicopter service is a cooperative effort with the ILA; New York Shipping Association, Inc., (NYSA); Metropolitan Marine Maintenance Contractors’ Association, Inc., (METRO) Fringe Benefit Fund; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; APM Terminals; Port Newark Container Terminals and Maher Terminals.
“No one wants to see accidents occur, but when they do, time is always a critical component,” said Brother Suarez. “The difference with having EMT personnel with an ambulance and helicopter, if necessary, right at the piers could mean the difference between life and death.”
At today’s launch of the ambulance service, Brother Suarez met and thanked Deanna Douglas, RWJ Barnabas Health District Director; Ethan James, EMT and Akarsh Teki, EMET.