FROM THE FREEHOLDERS By Laura Kolnoski
Backyard Composting Schedule
Learn the how-to’s of reducing yard and household waste and improving your soil through backyard composting in an informative, free 45-minute presentation by county experts. Space is limited and advance registration is required by calling (732) 683-8686, ext. 6721, or by downloading the registration form from the recycling section of the County Reclamation Center’s webpage at www.visitmonmouth.com.
• 7:00 p.m., Thursday, October 24 – Freehold Township Municipal Building, 1 Municipal Plaza
• 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 23 – Deep Cut Gardens, 352 Red Hill Road, Middletown
Participants may purchase an Earth Machine backyard composting bin at the session for $35 with a check payable to Monmouth County Grant Fund. Those who already compost can purchase an Earth Machine at one of the five towns that have partnered with the county to expand composting opportunities. Call first for availability and pickup hours.
• Hazlet DPW – White Building, 39 Leocadia Court, (732) 264-1700, ext. 8654
• Spring Lake Heights DPW, 555 Atlantic Avenue, (732) 449-6983
• Ocean Township, 240 Whalepond Road, (732) 531-5000, ext. 3364
• Upper Freehold Municipal Building, 314 Route 539, (609) 758-7715
• Freehold Township DPW – Jackson Mills Road, (732) 294-2161
Information Sessions about County Academies for Eighth Graders and Parents
The five career academies of the Monmouth County Vocational School District will host information sessions for eighth grade students considering applying to be a member of the Class of 2018. Attendance at an information session is required for any student planning to apply to a county career academy. Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the sessions. All Saturday sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. All weeknight sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. Applications for the Class of 2018 are due on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
The Academy of Allied Health & Science, 2325 Heck Avenue, Neptune: Saturday, October 5; Wednesday, October 9; Saturday, October 26; and Tuesday, November 5.
Biotechnology High School, 5000 Kozloski Road, Freehold Township: Thursday, October 10; Saturday, October 19; and Monday, November 4.
Communications High School, 1740 New Bedford Road, Wall: Wednesday, October 2; Saturday, October 19; Wednesday, October 30; and Saturday, November 2.
High Technology High School, 665 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft: Thursday, October 3; Saturday, October 19; Thursday, October 24; and Saturday, November 2.
Marine Academy of Science & Technology (M.A.S.T.), Building 305, Sandy Hook/Gateway National Recreation Area: Saturday, October 5; Thursday, October 17; Saturday, October 26; and Monday, November 4.
“Our career academies offer exceptional learning facilities and outstanding teachers and staff,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, who oversees Monmouth County Commerce and Education. “I encourage any interested student to attend information sessions at one or all five schools.” After the sessions, students can obtain an application. Information about the individual academy curriculum, schedule, transportation, and complete application process will be provided at each session. For additional information, visit on the county website or www.mcvsd.org.
Fire Extinguisher Safety
Monmouth County officials stress the importance of having a fire extinguisher in your home, reading the instructions, and knowing how to properly use it.
“Before purchasing a fire extinguisher, it is important to be aware that not all fire extinguishers are used for the same purpose,” said County Fire Marshal Henry Stryker III. “For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that can be used on all types of home fires. It should be large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when using the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.”
Use a fire extinguisher only if:
• You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department or 9-1-1;
• The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket;
• You are safe from the toxic smoke;
• You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route. Leave the building following your fire escape plan and go to the agreed upon meeting place.
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember “PASS”:
• Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
• Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
• Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
• Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
Nurses Honored For Mumps Outbreak Response
On September 12, while the Monmouth County Health Department was still investigating 25 cases of mumps following an outbreak at D’Jais Bar & Grill in Belmar, the freeholders honored staff that assisted with patients, immunizations, inspections, and more. County staff also worked with area emergency departments and agencies and the State Department of Health in monitoring, investigation, and response to the mumps outbreak and getting vital information where it was needed.
On September 8, Health Department personnel immunized 32 D’Jais employees with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine; three additional employees were immunized on September 11.
“Our Health Department goes above and beyond service,” Freeholder Curley said in presenting certificates to three of the attending nurses during the board’s afternoon workshop session. “You stepped up to the plate and attended to individuals with great care and consideration. You go into situations where the rest of us would take a step back.” Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone said that the nurses and Health Department staff, under the direction of County Public Health Coordinator Michael Meddis, “really quelled the situation down. The business owners were happy because they were able to reopen following cleaning and sanitization.”
The cases under investigation in Monmouth County dropped because the county’s Health Department only investigated cases involving its own residents. Other cases were investigated by the New Jersey Department of Health and other places of victims’ origins, including Florida. All of the Monmouth County cases under investigation were D’Jais patrons or employees. The Health Department reinspected D’Jais on September 13 and gave it a satisfactory rating. D’Jais had voluntarily closed its doors for about a week in response to the mumps outbreak.
Anyone experiencing swelling of salivary glands along with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite should seek medical attention immediately and call the county Health Department at (732) 431-7456. The national Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the mumps virus is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
“Healthcare providers and public health officials should remain vigilant for patients presenting with an illness clinically compatible with mumps,” said Mr. Meddis. People who were vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine, as an infant and again between the ages of four and six, are 90 percent less likely to contract mumps, according to the CDC. Most mumps transmissions likely occur before the salivary glands begin to swell and within five days after the swelling begins. The CDC recommends isolating mumps patients for five days after their glands begin to swell.