2011-11-18 / Top Stories

EMS Cuts Two Ambulances From Rockaway Firehouse

By Howard Schwach


An EMS ambulance at a recent accident on Beach Channel Drive. Two ambulances now stationed on the peninsula will soon move to Howard Beach. An EMS ambulance at a recent accident on Beach Channel Drive. Two ambulances now stationed on the peninsula will soon move to Howard Beach. Two ambulances, one of them a specialized advanced life system unit, will soon be moved from the Beach 48 Street firehouse to Howard Beach, EMS sources told The Wave this week.

And, while an EMS spokesperson says that the agency is simply moving the ambulances that were posted in Rockaway when Peninsula Hospital Center was threatened to close, other sources, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the city agency, says that the transfer is anything but routine and will threaten the health and welfare of Rockaway residents.

“The orders have been cut to move the two ambulances away from the peninsula,” that source said. “With the Rockaway population growing and an increase of fires and medical emergencies, the transfer will increase response time and will eventually cause harm because the ambulances will have to respond from off the peninsula rather than from Beach 48 Street.”

Frank Dwyer, a spokesperson for the city’s fire department, says that is not true.

“Those ambulances were transferred there for the duration of the PHC emergency and there are still sufficient units to cover the peninsula at the firehouse now that the emergency is over,” Dwyer said. “EMS deployments change all the time. We added resources and now we are redeploying them to Howard Beach, where they are needed. There will be no problem with response time and the firehouse is now back to the number of units it historically housed.”

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