"I'm not sending calls over there when I'm not sure there will be a rig or people there," Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said.
McCormac is crystal clear about it. He just doesn't trust the Avenel/Colonia First Aid Squad anymore.
Not after, he says, some members were caught trespassing at a closed skating rink in Edison while on duty.
Not after allegations of wild parties at headquarters with strippers. Woodbridge officials had announced Wednesday that police on July 14 charged a man, who is not a squad member, with promoting prostitution. They said he brought women to parties at the squad building, where they danced nude and were available for sex acts. The case remains under investigation by Middlesex County prosecutors, who declined to comment.
So McCormac issued an executive order and stopped directing calls to their unit.
The guys in the company have an attorney, so they didn't talk on camera. But they did show us dozens of signed petitions from people in the community who want to keep them open.
They are filing suit against the town, saying in part: "These allegations are retaliatory. They come just days after the squad notified the township it was proceeding with the suit to legally challenge the manner in which the township suspended its services as well as other unlawful actions taken by its officials."
Their attorney says the mayor is an honorary member of the Woodbridge EMS unit and by shutting down Avenel/Colonia, he directs more business to them.
"I'm probably an honorary member of 100 groups in town. That has nothing to do with this. That has to be the dumbest thing I've heard in my four years in office," he responded.
So while the two sides battle it out in court, what happens to the people served by the squad?
"I'd like to keep the place open. We have a lot of people living in avenel and it's not as quick for them to come all the way from Woodbridge," Sam Petrone said.
"It's bad that they are shutting them down, but it's good that the town is setting an example," Shanela Jimenez said.
The squad charges patients for services and its captains are paid. Township Business Administrator Robert Landolfi said officials were hoping to keep the squad open if the accused resigned and the squad allowed a township-appointed supervisor to manage it.
Charges stemming from the incident at the skating rink are to be heard in Edison Municipal Court in August.