Photos by Rich Maxwell for NJ Advance Media
Clinton First Aid and Rescue Squad, located in Hunterdon County, is among those from across New Jersey deploying a specialized ambulance, known as its ASAP unit, and personnel to the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a request for help following the devastation from recent hurricanes.
ASAP, which stands for Alternate Support Apparatus, is an off-road six-wheel drive specialty ambulance with full patient care capabilities.
The unit will join other similar vehicle from across New Jersey who will be answering a mutual aid request received by the state from the U.S. Virgin Island Territory's Emergency Management Agency for specialized EMS teams to support their local EMS resources.
Clinton's vehicle will be joining five others from across the state. Members of the squad transported the ASAP to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Thursday where it is in the process of being readied for transport to the islands by the Air Mobility Wing.
Deputy Chief H. Bucky Buchanan, who is a module manager with the state task force and part of the Incident Management Team for the task force, has been part of the planning team since the request was received nearly two weeks ago. He will be supporting the team through incident management back at home.
The ASAP Task Force will be assigned to help answer calls for emergency medical service on remote parts of St. Thomas and St. John that are inaccessible by normal ambulances because of the damage from the hurricane. They will also be supporting the ravaged island's EMS providers.
Because of damage from Hurricane Maria, the mission area may be expanded onto St. Croix as well.
The squad received its ASAP in 2014 as part of a competitive grant process from the state task force and was funded with Department of Homeland Security grants. Clinton's unit is designated ASAP 14, of the 21 in the statewide fleet. Clinton has utilized its ASAP for off-road rescues, to respond to emergencies during snowstorms and in assisting fire departments.