Frequently Asked Questions


Membership at HVAC affords you with many opportunities. First and foremost, all HVAC members have the distinct privilege to give back to their community in a regular, meaningful way. Hawthorne has the heart of a smaller community that consistently gives to all of its residents. Membership at HVAC gives its members a chance to give back to those in their deepest time of need.

Additionally, the time spent with HVAC provides the members with experiences that they most likely would not encounter in any other setting. Our members hone and refine their leadership skills, often at ages in which leadership is not common in the workforce; they develop the ability to think on their feet in stressful situations; they discover interests in healthcare and medicine; they build friendships with other members of the community whom they may not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, and they learn skills as Emergency Medical Technicians that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Is HVAC accepting new members?

HVAC accepts new members on a rolling basis throughout the year. Just complete our Membership Application and send it in....we'll contact you shortly thereafter.

Does HVAC have age requirements?

We welcome applicants of all ages over 16, as long as the individual is physically able to perform the duties of an EMT.

I am not an EMT - can I join HVAC?

Yes, you can join our Observer program! Observers are assigned to a duty crew and rides along on calls with established EMTs. This program enables non-EMTs to experience EMS up close, to ensure it’s the field for you! If you commit to joining HVAC following your EMT training course, we will provide you with a tuition waiver.

How do I become an EMT?

EMT certification courses are administered in many locations throughout the states of New Jersey and New York, the closest facilities to Hawthorne are Passaic County Community College Public Safety Academy in Wayne, NJ, Bergen county EMS Training Center in Paramus, and the Bergen County Police, Fire and EMS Academies in Mahwah, NJ. The courses run in Fall (begins in September), Spring (begins in January) and Summer semesters. Specific registration and start dates vary from year to year, but all courses fill very quickly. It is imperative that registration forms are submitted as soon as they are received in order to secure a seat. The 240-hour course generally meets two evenings a week (see specific sites for details) with several weekend classes throughout the semester; day classes are also available. The state of New Jersey requires all EMT candidates to be 16 years of age by the first day of their certification course.

What time commitment does HVAC require of its members?

HVAC members commit to a 12-hour weeknight shift once a week (6pm-6am), a 6-hour weekend daytime shift once a month, and one 12-hour Saturday night shift every 6 weeks. Taking weekday daytime calls is encouraged, though not required.

What shifts are available for riding?

All shifts are available.

Can non-residents of Hawthorne join HVAC?

Absolutely! HVAC currently has quite a few non-residents on our roster, who provide service to the Borough of Hawthorne just like their resident counterparts.

If HVAC never charges their patients, how does it function financially?

HVAC is not a municipal agency, but is rather a private, non-profit corporation. The Borough of Hawthorne provides us with our building and maintenance, heat, and electric, as well as vehicle insurance and fuel. HVAC's annual budget amounts to over $80,000 per year, with major expenses for insurance, training, vehicle maintenance, and disposable sterile supplies. The rest must be raised via voluntary contributions.

Where does the money raised for HVAC through fundraising go?

All of the money raised for HVAC through fundraising directly supports the day-to-day operations of the corps. Though HVAC does not pay salaries, all of the other expenses of a company need to be supported, office supplies, medical supplies, insurance, training costs, vehicle maintenance, vehicle replacement and many, many more expenses that are necessary to enable HVAC to continue to function as a corporation.

Does HVAC loan medical equipment?

No. However the Hawthorne Lions Club does. You can leave a message at (973) 423-4219. They are a volunteer organization and will return your call as soon as possible.

Can I donate my used medical equipment to HVAC?

No. However the Hawthorne Lions Club will accept. You can leave a message at (973)423-4219. They are a volunteer organization and will return your call as soon as possible.