Thursday, May 5, 2011

Joint Medical Emergency Notifications For NY Fire Department and Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Established Following Request By Elected Officials - Hopefully No More 20 Minute Waiting Time For Emergency Medical Responses

 Image Of FDNY Ambulance on Roosevelt Island

A previous post reported on the efforts of Roosevelt Island elected officials to establish a joint medical emergency notification system for the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department and the NYC Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services (EMS). These efforts began after this incident in which an ambulance took more than 20 minutes to reach a one year old baby at the Octagon who was having a seizure.  (Fortunately, the baby is now OK but had stopped breathing and was turning blue).

During last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival, I spoke with Assembly Member Micah Kellner who informed me that a joint medical emergency notification system was put in place between the Public Safety Department and (EMS). Yesterday, Mr. Kellner's office sent over this press release with additional details.
New York State Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner (D-Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island) and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), announced today that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will partner with Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department to share information regarding medical emergency calls originating from the Island.

In response to a letter organized by Assembly Member Kellner, and signed by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Senator Jose Serrano, and Council Member Jessica Lappin, the FDNY will issue automatic notifications to the Public Safety Department when they receive a call through 911 for emergency medical assistance on Roosevelt Island. Effective immediately, the FDNY will call Public Safety directly while the emergency notification system is automated.

Up until this recent change, when Public Safety was called directly about a medical emergency on the Island they informed 911. However the reverse did not apply; Public Safety was not informed when there was a call to 911 for medical assistance. This inequality left residents in limbo during an extremely vulnerable and often frantic time.

“Emergency services shouldn't depend on what phone number you call,” said Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner. “I am glad that the FDNY has recognized the valuable partner Public Safety can be in providing emergency services on Roosevelt Island.”

Public Safety is comprised of 38 officers, each of whom has been granted New York State Peace Officer Status, as well as New York City Special Patrolman Status. Each officer is certified in CPR, Automated External Deliberator (AED) use, and First Aid with the American Heart Association. Public Safety also has a single officer who is a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Although Roosevelt Island is part of the Borough of Manhattan, its only ground access point is the Roosevelt Island Bridge that connects the Island with Astoria, Queens. This presents unique challenges, particularly with respect to Emergency Services. Response times to Roosevelt Island have been a persistent concern for Island residents.

“Improving interagency communication is central to providing the best possible response for those in need,” Assembly Member Kellner continued. “I applaud their quick action on this common sense request to ensure that all New Yorkers receive the fastest available response in an emergency.”

“It is welcome news that the City’s 911 emergency system will now issue automatic notifications to Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department whenever a call for emergency medical assistance is made on the Island,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “I salute Assemblyman Kellner for taking the lead on this important issue and helping to ensure that Roosevelt Islanders’ health and safety is served in the most effective and comprehensive manner possible.”

“All New Yorkers deserve a prompt response and quality care when faced with an emergency. This change in procedure will help ensure the safety of Roosevelt Islanders and will ultimately save lives,” said State Senator Jose Serrano. “It is critical that all government agencies communicate effectively and work together to provide the highest quality of service for the people who count on them, and I commend the FDNY for swiftly addressing this issue.”

“The city needs to improve its emergency response time to Roosevelt Island. But until that happens, this measure will ensure that Island residents receive a timely response when they need it most,” Council Member Jessica Lappin said. “I’m glad that Assembly Member Kellner took the lead on this issue and I’m proud to have joined him in helping forge this important interagency collaboration.”
Below is the full letter.
Kellner RI EMS Announcement

Excellent news!!!


Anonymous said...

This is EXTREMELY good news -- and hopefully will result in quicker response times AND better arrivals at the buildings of the individuals who require emergency assistance.

I have lived here long enough and had enough friends and neighbors require 911 assistance and been horrified as drivers cannot figure out which buildings are which and which entrances to use.

Lets make sure one effective outcome is that a PSO meets the ambulance on the street and makes sure they get to the right building as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who made this happen -- and lets hope folks who need this get the speedy response times they need.

Anonymous said...

On Tuesday I witnessed this great element in effect. An Ambulance came down the ramp and was met by a PSD vehicle, which provided an escort to the Manhattan Park Cmplex. I followed and found that another PSD Officer was already in the building where the call was. This is great. Thanks to all involved in this development.

Anonymous said...

GOOD NEWS! Good job to all involved.

Special thanks to FDNY EMS for coming on board with a serious issue and for PSD for always being there and finally NOT be in the dark on medical emergencies on the Island.

Now, only if they can be now notified and respond to all emergencies on the island, we can sustain ourselves in a very 21st century approach.

Lets start that next!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, error.

Now only if they can be notified and respond to all emergencies on the island, we can sustain ourselves on this island in the 21st century!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but someone with a heart condition only an idiot!!! stress idiot!!! would think 20 minutes is somrthing to celebrate

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