Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. and Shamong EMS asks for donations, volunteers

Shamong Township

The Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. and Shamong EMS submitted the results of their latest fundraising efforts for the EMS brigade to the Shamong Township Committee, revealing a need for community donations and volunteers.

Township business administrator Susan D. Onorato said, according to an Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. report, only 18 percent of community households donated to the EMS brigade. The report also stresses the need for volunteers.

The Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. sends mailers twice a year to raise money for the fire brigade and the EMS brigade. The EMS mailers are sent in March, and the fire brigade’s are sent in September.

As the EMS fund drive has ended, the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. gave a report to committee that the results were “disappointing,” according to Onorato.

Relayed by Onorato, 2,453 requests were sent for donations for the EMS brigade and only 445 donations were received. Donations ranged from $3 to $500.

Having to subtract costs for mailing, as the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. uses a third-party vendor to send the donation letters, it ended up reaping about $15,000. According to Onorato, the fire brigade usually does about the same. However, the hope is fire brigade donations will do much better.

Onorato said the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. wanted the report of its results given to the committee and the public in hopes of raising awareness that donations are needed.

“Their first concern is getting the word out to people to make donations to the EMS and fire brigade and to remind the public that twice a year they come out,” Onorato said.

The Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. also has a second concern with manpower. According to Onorato, volunteer EMTs and firefighters are down throughout the country, including volunteers for the township’s fire company and EMS squad.

“The Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. needs some additional volunteers and new blood,” Onorato said.

To become an EMT in Shamong requires more than 200 hours of training at the cost of just less than $1,000. For those who put in the effort, especially the youth, the company has helped financially for training on occasion. However, those younger volunteers often go off to college or move out of the township and don’t stay with the company.

Also, to become an officer, there is additional mandatory training required by the state. All of the state requirements make it hard to get volunteers, Onorato said.

“They’re trying to find a way to make things work,” Onorato said.

Mayor Tim Gimbel agreed this is not a great situation to be in, but said right now there are no answers. The hope is that relaying the report will get the word out for donations or volunteers.

For those interested, tax-exempt donations can be mailed to either Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. or Shamong EMS at 48 Willow Grove Road, Shamong 08088.

For those interested in volunteering, visit the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Co. and Shamong EMS website at indianmillsfire.com.

In other news:

Fawn Lake Village has had seven extensions of licenses to operate resolutions passed by the committee over the past few months. The primary item outstanding by the owners and operators remains the septic system repair and maintenance, in accordance with an established timeline created in May. Failure to maintain a sewage disposal system in good repair is a violation of the township code.

The township engineer received updated reports on Sept. 8 and Sept. 30, which provided specific updates as to the status of septic systems, permits and construction timeframes, and the original schedule called for submission of TWA permits for the work to NJDEP by Sept. 16. However, the township was updated that will not occur until approximately Oct. 15.

As Fawn Lake Village has missed multiple deadlines, according to the timeline, the township committee previously advised that failure to adhere to the schedule provided by the owner/operator could result in further action by the municipality. Committee approved an extension of the license to Nov. 1. The township will continue to monitor this process to ensure the required repairs and action items are being undertaken on a timely basis.