2010-01-15 / Top Stories

Popular EMS Captain Transferred Off Peninsula

By Howard Schwach

Fire trucks and ambulances line up outside the firehouse that Emergency Medical Service shares with FDNY. Fire trucks and ambulances line up outside the firehouse that Emergency Medical Service shares with FDNY. A popular and highly successful Emergency Medical Service captain was transferred to another area in Queens last weekend despite the fact that she has had a very accomplished six-month tenure in Rockaway, a number of her co-workers say.

The EMS workers, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, told The Wave that Captain Nancy Gilligan, a longtime Rockaway resident, has made a difference in the new firehouse on Beach 64 Street that EMS shares with FDNY units.

“Our response times are down, we have more in-service training and she has made a difference in our dealings with the firefighters. She has made our pre-hospital save rate the highest in the city,” one of the EMTs who came to The Wave said. “Despite the fact that she has received a few pats on the back from the higher-ups for her great work, she has been transferred out.”

“The new battalion commander decided to ‘shake the box’ by moving all the captains around,” another said. “It’s his prerogative, but it makes no sense. She was doing a great job and Rockaway needs her.”

“The commander has knocked down all of the morale she has built in the unit over the past six months,” he added. “The job will probably tell you that [Gilligan] is ‘soft on the personnel,’ but that is far from the truth. She follows the rules and she is tough, but she educates us. She is the best manager I ever had.”

One of the men added, “She wants to be here, and we want her here, and she was transferred for no other reason than that they could do it. This is a recipe for disaster.”

A spokesperson for the Fire Department said that it could not comment on personnel matters, but that battalion commanders have the authority to transfer senior command personnel within their command for any reason they deem necessary.

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