The Fairfield Police Department established another New Jersey first in 1988. an Emergency Services Unit (ESU). This was done so that the department could fill a need to have trained officers on the scene of accidents and medical emergencies with the proper equipment until the arrival of the ambulance and paramedic units.
The ESU was started by four patrol officers from the Police Department who were already certified, two as paramedics and two as emergency medical technicians. These officers had previously worked in other capacities in the E.M.S. field. The officers responded to medical emergencies with proper training, but lacked the appropriate equipment they felt they could use while awaiting the arrival of the volunteer first aid squad and paramedic units.
Much of the equipment was donated to the ESU by different businesses and service organizations like the Fairfield Rotary Club. Within one month of the units existence, a man's life was saved with this equipment after he was crushed by a fork lift which was loading sheet rock onto the back of a truck. The ESU officers on the scene assisted the victim by maintaining and suctioning his airway, ventilating this non-breathing victim and applied MAST trousers. The victim survived the accident although he was permanently disabled. He definitely would not have survived without this equipment.
Today, the ESU has grown to fourteen officers (two paramedics and twelve EMT's). Each of the Patrol Division squads has at least one EMT on duty at all times and provide coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. These ESU officers serve as regular patrol officers until a medical emergency arises. They are then dispatched in their specially equipped patrol vehicle which carries the basic life support equipment for the officer to use at the scene.
Defribrillators Now in All Patrol Units
In December, 1992, the Fairfield Police Department became the first police department in New Jersey to have it's ESU officers certified to use a defibrillator. During this program, the ESU officers were trained by doctors and paramedics from the Mountainside Hospital on how to "jump start" a patient's heart which has stopped beating due to a heart attack or injury to the heart. The heart is "defibrillated" and shocked back into it's normal rythym. The original $ 7,000 defibrillator unit was donated to the ESU by the Fairfield Rotary Club. Currently, all Patrol Units have these defribillators, since the price is now approximately $800 each. All Department officers participate in bi-annual training on this unit in order to maintain certification with the New Jersey Department of Health through Mountainside Hospital. Today the Police Department utilizes more than 10 defibrillators and one can be on the scene of an emergency in 2-3 minutes anytime!
The Police Department ESU officers and non-ESU officers have been credited with numerous "saves" through the use of the defibrillators since 1992!
Quik-Clot Bandages Donated to Fairfield Officers by Area Resident
In 2010, all members of the Fairfield Police Department received a Quik-Clot bandage that was donated by a West Essex Area resident that chose to remain anonymous. These specialized bandages have been widely used by the U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan and now by Law Enforcement personnel around the country to control severe bleeding.
This bandage was a significant factor in saving the life of Fairfield Police Officer, Gerald Veneziano, who was shot multiple times while on duty in January of 2010. All Fairfield Officers are required to carry this bandage on their person, while on duty and it has already contributed to the saving of two civilian lives over the past year and a half.
The Fairfield Police Department's ESU covers two major highways (Routes 80 & 46). In addition, Fairfield has a heavy industrial base which leads to more workplace accidents. The population in Fairfield triples during working hours. We are also responsible for covering the Essex County Airport and respond to aircraft crashes as well. The ESU responds to all fires and assists in setting up aid stations. The ESU handles approximately 80 calls per month.
The ESU officers attend classes annually to maintain their EMT and paramedic certifications. They are also certified to train other department employees in CPR. Since 1988, the ESU has proven to be a valuable asset to the Township.
Officers in Charge
Lieutenant Peter Pollack
Sergeant David Proctor
Members of the Emergency Services Unit
Sergeant Joseph Keegan
Sergeant Christopher Oswald
Sergeant Joseph Keegan
Sergeant Christopher Niemiec
Officer Frank Tracey
Officer John McGrory
Officer Gerald Veneziano
Sergeant Christopher Morgan
Sergeant Charles Zampino
Officer Michael Nyhuis
Officer Ian Rasmussen
Officer Ralph Casendino
Officer Steven Ptaszynski
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Fairfield Police has been involved with the Special Olympics for over 15 years. [learn more]