Posted on



the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey non-profit, which was created by teenagers Drew and Heather Paglia to help others by raising funds $5 at a time, has partnered with the New Jersey EMS Task Force to increase donations to the statewide organization on the front line in the battle against COVID-19.

Starting today, will earmark part of its fundraising efforts for the NJEMSTF,  a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that represents more than 200 career and volunteer EMS providers throughout the state, who are trained in various disciplines of emergency medical services to respond to large-scale man-made and natural disasters as well as pre-planned events.

“We want to help,” said Drew Paglia. “We know how hard the members of the New Jersey EMS Task Force work to keep us all safe. Money we raise can help purchase personal protective gear to keep them safe and to help local businesses by supplying meals to those working on the front line.”


“This is why we created,” said Heather Paglia. “They are there day and night helping others. Let’s help them.”

“Drew and Heather are simply amazing,” said Mike Bascom, president of the NJ EMS Task Force. “They noticed a problem, they reacted and they created a system that makes it easy for others to help. We’re proud of them and excited to partner with them in raising funds to help the men and women who are responding to emergencies throughout the state around the clock.” was formed by the Paglia family at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when they saw local businesses struggling near their Monmouth County home. They knew they needed to help and came up with the idea to ask people to donate $5 – they could also donate more – to be used to purchase meals and gift cards to local restaurants and businesses. In turn, those gift cards were donated to first responders and hospitals to purchase meals. The concept was simple and effective. By letting people know they could help with as little as $5 they activated younger people and have raised more than $25,000.

Anyone can donate to via Venmo at @FiveHelp-Team and through a secure link at For more information about email   

The NJEMSTF was activated in March as part of the New Jersey’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Working side-by-side with local, state, and national health, law enforcement and office of emergency management teams, members have handled such missions as providing administrative and logistics support at the mobile COVID-19 testing sites, deployed Western Shelter tent facilities at 20 hospitals, placed oxygen generators at various facilities, and coordinated the deployment of its medical ambulance bus fleet to transport COVID-19 positive patients from long term care facilities and hospitals. The team is also staffing regional temporary morgue sites, the deployment of out-of-state FEMA ambulance teams, working to obtain and distribute PPE, and coordinating state EMS needs.

The NJEMSTF was formed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a way to better prepare New Jersey’s preparations and responses to large-scale events. Today, through partnerships with local agencies, the NJEMSTF has specialized equipment and EMS providers strategically stationed throughout the state and ready to respond to any emergency. The NJEMSTF has been critical in the response to such events as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, the hurricanes that hit the US Virgin Islands,  wildfires, flooding in Bound Brook, a fire on the Seaside Heights boardwalk, and the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River.


Follow the NJEMSTF on Facebook, on Twitter and online at

Follow on FacebookInstagram and online at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *