Andover Township halts relationship with Lakeland EMS

ANDOVER. The primary ambulatory service will now be provided by Atlantic Ambulance, with Lakeland and Newton providing mutual aid.

Newton /
| 26 Jul 2022 | 09:10

After months of negotiations with Lakeland EMS, Andover Township and the service decided to table discussions until a later date. That means Atlantic Ambulance will now be the primary emergency service provider for the town. Lakeland and Newton EMS units will now serve as mutual aid.

According to a town representative, Andover had begun negotiating contracts with both Atlantic and Lakeland several months ago. And while the town was able to reach an agreement with Atlantic to serve the community, they were unable to finalize the contract with Lakeland, citing an impasse in contract language.

The town has provided Lakeland with a monetary donation of $6,250, plus gas reimbursements for local calls for the first half of 2022. Per contract, Atlantic will be receiving an amount not to exceed $12,268 from the town. The money helps the EMS agencies recoup the costs of their services.

As far as who gets called to what accident or emergency, that is coordinated by the Andover Township Police Department, which uses its own dispatch services to determine which units are closest. So there should be no disruption in call responses.

In a press release, Lakeland EMS said, “After decades of dedicated service to the residents of Andover Township by the Lakeland Emergency Squad, we are saddened to announce that the Andover Township Committee has decided to end the longstanding partnership with us. While this is not the outcome we were hoping for, it was not Lakeland’s decision to make.

“Throughout the past 83 years, we have been the leader in providing the highest level of care possible for the communities we serve. We look forward to continuing our service to the Borough of Andover and the Township of Byram and providing them with the best possible care.”

Negotiations such as these happen each year, so the agency and town are expected to return to the drawing board at the end of this year and reach an agreement at that time.

The primary strain on just about every EMS and volunteer agency is a lack of volunteers and the financial incentives to keep them on board. If you would like to volunteer for this worthy cause, visit (or call 973-347-2123 for non-emergencies) for Lakeland EMS, (or 973-535-8500) for Atlantic Ambulance, or (973-383-3377) for Newton First Aid Squad, to name just a few of the many local agencies available who could use volunteers.