In coordination with Jefferson Health, the Bensalem Rescue Squad has announced the addition of a Mobile Stroke Unit to their fleet. Several local officials, doctors, and medical experts gathered at BRS headquarters for a ribbon cutting event Thursday morning.
The new Mobile Stroke Unit will come equipped with a specifically trained team, and is telemedicine friendly. It also has everything necessary to save someone experiencing a stroke.
Dr. Robert Rossenwasser, professor and chairman of neurological surgery, addressed reporters at the ribbon cutting. He said the idea is 15 years in the making, then explained why they chose Bensalem for this program.
“You can see the impact it has to the patient, to the family unit, to society, and so forth,” Rossenwasser said. He went on to speak highly of BRS Executive Director Thomas Topley. “I’ve had the good pleasure of taking care of many patients who were delivered by Chief Topley. We get a sense of all the EMS units in the region, and Bensalem is a world class EMS unit.”
The Bensalem Rescue Squad was formed in 1980, and Chief Topley began volunteering 34 years ago. He said the squad hopes to reach 500 people per year.
“Dr. Rossenwasser’s vision to bring this to Bensalem is really going to benefit our community,” Topley said. “The one thing about Bensalem Rescue Squad, and all the emergency services in Bensalem Township, is we really like to get the job done. We’re able to do this with the support we get from our mayor, council, and community. We were quite honored when Jefferson approached us.”
In the United States, there are 750,000 strokes per year and they are the leading cause of disability by a factor of five, according to Rossenwasser. The U.S. spends $40 billion per year for stroke victims.
Mayor Joe DiGirolamo and State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo also attended the event.