I have mentioned the EMS system in NJ several times in my blog. It seems to be at the critical intersection of funding crisis, identity issues, big population numbers and the decline of volunteers seen throughout the country.
This editorial in the Star Ledger provides an overview of the issues in NJ.
What most outsiders don't realize is the impact of transition from older models steeped in tradition to newer models. I believe there is a benefit, both fiscally and for the age old concept of neighbors helping neighbors, in keeping a volunteer presence in communities when it can be maintained with quality and consistency.
Unfortunately the psychology of maintaining that balance can be more elusive than finding 14 million dollars to implement reform.