May 18, 2020

EMS Week Monday Honoree: IAEP Local R2-087 of Elizabeth, NJ!

In true New Jersey fashion, Local R2-087 has not taken the hits of COVID-19 lying down and fought back twice as hard. The combination of a resilient attitude, a supportive community, upstanding elected officials and the camaraderie of local 87 members has beaten back overwhelming infection numbers in a national COVID-19 hotspot. It is our honor to shine the spotlight on them as we kick off a positive and powerful EMS week! 

    IAEP National Representative Frank Wagner on Local R2-087:
 
Carlos Gomez, EMBA/IAEP Local 87 President, myself and our hard working members have been at it night and day for weeks just like the other IAEP locals around the country. We have organized delivery of food and meals for both shifts every day since this pandemic began, all made possible by generous donations from local New Jersey restaurants and businesses. When we have leftovers, we drive to various locations giving out the remaining food to local homeless folks that we encounter on a regular basis.
            
Besides daily and nightly meals, we have snacks, drinks and hand sanitizer also graciously donated to the unit by locals. The support we have received has been incredible beyond physical donations, for example an on-site counselor visits several times per week (Joe Rodriguez, retired EPD LT.) and has been very helpful to us all in dealing with this crisis. We also have a barber, a hair stylist, and a chiropractor that visit to provide much needed aid for our members who work around the clock including the FEMA crews who work with us throughout the week, both day and night. A group of comedians also came through this past week to liven things up. 

In addition to our normal duties, our local in Elizabeth has been providing decontamination services for the entire county of Union. EMS, Police, and Fire who require decontamination get their vehicles fully cleaned by our state-of-the-art equipment and go through our specialized personnel decontamination tent.

We were able to perform all these tasks and stay on top of the daily unpredictable fluctuations caused by COVID-19 demanding the best for our members. By having strong local union leadership, the support of the city council, and the generous donations from area businesses along with other good-hearted people in the community and surrounding areas we have stayed strong. Without resilient local union leadership, the local would not be what it is today. 

I would like to thank each one of our members for their service to the community, their dedication to the EMS profession and their collective strength which makes me proud to represent and work alongside them.


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