Addabbo Sets Legislation To Aid Volies
City Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. announced that he has cosponsored legislation and a resolution in the Council aimed at aiding the city's volunteer ambulance companies. The proposed legislation would allow New York City's volunteer ambulance companies to purchase gasoline or diesel fuel, for their ambulances, directly from the New York City Fire Department or New York City Police Department.
"New York City's volunteer ambulance companies provide essential medical services in the city's five boroughs, supplementing the care provided by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and private ambulance companies," said Addabbo, adding that it is reasonable and necessary to require the Fire Department and Police Department to sell gasoline and diesel fuel to New York City's volunteer ambulance companies at cost plus five percent in order to assist the volunteer ambulance companies with their operation.
In a related resolution Addabbo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to allocate unlimited-use MetroCards to non-municipal first responders in order to allow them quick and easy access to the subway system in the event of an emergency.
In May 2005, the Fire Department of New York ("FDNY") City distributed more than 1,200 Metropolitan Transit Authority ("MTA") MetroCards to each of its engine and ladder companies, special fire units, and ambulances throughout the City, including those in the voluntary FDNY system. In a press release on the May 2005 MetroCard distribution, the FDNY noted that "the MetroCards, given to the Department by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), will ensure that firefighters and EMS [Emergency Medical Service] workers have quick and easy access to the subway system in the event of an emergency."
The MTA's providing of MetroCards to the FDNY is a proactive and practical measure by which to increase the safety and security of New Yorkers, eliminating a possible impediment to the FDNY's immediate emergency response in case of a crisis. Non-municipal first responder services such as the city's Volunteer Ambulance Companies, Basic Life Support (BLS) First Response Units recognized by the Regional Medical Council of NYC (REMSCO), and Auxiliary Police Support Units (APSU) provide another significant component of the City's network of emergency service providers.
"The City's public transportation system is vital to the economy and is the chief, if not only, means of commuting for many New Yorkers, therefore non-municipal first responders should have the same quick and easy access to the subway system in the event of an emergency as their municipal counterparts," said Addabbo.
"Such comparable access, as provided by the MTA's distribution of unlimited-use MetroCards to the city's Volunteer Ambulance Companies, BLS First Response Units recognized by the REMSCO, and APSUs, would enable less restricted, better coordinated comprehensive emergency response efforts to the benefit of all New Yorkers," said Councilman Addabbo in calling on the MTA to provide unlimited-use MetroCards to these volunteer first responders. "One of the reasons I am so committed to these issues is that I have five volunteer fire and two volunteer ambulance corps in my district and I greatly appreciate their efforts." Add
For more information call Council Member Addabbo's office at 718-738-1111.