Floral Park Board of Trustees Reports Dec. 20

Floral Park Board of Trustees Reports Dec. 20

Trustee Lynn Pombonyo

Fire Department Rescue/Ambulance Services: Updates and Proposal
We want to begin by thanking our Firefighters and Rescue EMTs for their extraordinary voluntary service to our Village. In the case of our Rescue Company, they respond with great expertise and care to all types of illness and injuries at all hours of the day and night, throughout the year. We are truly grateful.

Our Rescue Company is led by Chief Daniel Bennett and Captain (and former Chief of Department) Sal Arrigo. As Mayor Fitzgerald stated at our November 15th Village Board of Trustees meeting and following, Chief of Department Dodson, the Assistant Chiefs, as well as a number (not all) of our Rescue Company members are telling us that supplementary rescue and ambulance services are needed to ensure the immediate availability and presence of emergency medical staff in an emergency situation.

The reasons for this recommended addition of supplementary services include:

1. The Chiefs have advised us and we have observed that there are occasions when it takes fifteen to thirty minutes for an ambulance to arrive at a rescue call, whether it be Floral Park’s ambulance (first due), a Nassau County ambulance which would be called next (second due), or when a mutual aid ambulance from another community such as New Hyde Park is then called in. In many cases, this occurs because Floral Park’s ambulance, a County ambulance, or a mutual aid ambulance may be busy on a prior call or delayed getting a patient from a prior call into the hospital emergency room, or sufficient EMTs are simply not available to cover rescue calls at those times.

2. At the November meeting of the First Battalion Chiefs Association, which includes President Michael Longobardi (Trustee and former Chief of Department), Delegate Frank Wakely, Jr. (former Chief of Department) and our current Chief and Assistant Chiefs, Nassau County ambulance staffing was discussed. It has been difficult for ambulance staffing levels to keep up with the increasing demands for service. Therefore, those ambulances are less available to the local communities. This is further complicated by long wait times that ambulance crews and patients experience outside the hospital emergency rooms, at times, an hour or more. When that happens, the County ambulances remain unavailable for subsequent rescue calls.

3. On most occasions, when a County ambulance is deployed to Floral Park, a Floral Park police officer is required to drive the ambulance to the hospital, thus taking that police officer off patrol duty. A second police officer is sometimes needed to travel to the hospital to return the first officer to Floral Park, taking that officer off patrol duty as well. This is a serious issue for us.

For these reasons, our Chiefs have looked into Northwell and NYU Langone for supplementary services. After presentations by both, the Chiefs are recommending NYU Langone whose proposal includes the following:

1. NYU Langone would assign an ambulance with an EMT and Paramedic (for cardiac and other serious emergencies) to be staged in Floral Park, location to be determined.

2. This NYU Langone ambulance would be first due on all medical emergency calls, with our Floral Park Rescue ambulance designated second due. This would alleviate the high number of responses currently being asked of our Rescue Company.

3. Nassau County and mutual aid ambulances could also be called in when necessary.

4. NYU Langone is a paid ambulance service, as is Nassau County. As with other medical services, billing would be processed through patients’ health insurance.

5. The Village would be asked to sign a one year contract, if it is decided to move forward with NYU Langone.

As Mayor Fitzgerald has said, there are no decisions yet, no Village Board approval thus far, and no contract has been signed. The Village Board continues to seek information and input regarding solutions to this serious issue, and appreciates the work done by the Floral Park Fire Department leadership and the valuable insights provided by our Rescue Company.

The public is invited to the Tuesday, January 3rd Village Board meeting, 8pm at Village Hall. The NYU Langone ambulance team will be there to present an overview of their services, listen to comments, and respond to questions. The Floral Park Fire Department’s Chief and Assistant Chiefs will also be speaking.

Department of Public Works
We’ll begin with a wonderful story for the holidays. Several weeks ago, a cat who lives on Cypress Street got stuck way up high in a tree, possibly for several days. DPW Superintendent Kevin Ginnane and Supervisor Kevin Pearsall came to the rescue, and used a ladder to retrieve the cat and bring him/her back safely to his/her family. All are home again, happy and warm, thanks to DPW.

Our winter prep continues with pot hole repairs, tree planting, and salt trucks and snowplows ready to go for the first storm. New trees are still available for planting along your curb line. If you’d like your own new tree, please contact DPW at 516-326-6320.

Celebrate the New Year with our new recycling program. Separate your newspapers, paper and cardboard from your glass, plastic and metal. Newspapers, paper and cardboard will continue to be collected on your regular recycling day. Starting in 2023, glass, plastic and metal will be collected throughout the Village every Wednesday, along with special collections which will continue on Wednesdays. Separation of these items will result in more efficient and effective recycling in 2023.

Conservation Society (FPCS)
FPCS 2023 calendars, featuring the exquisite flowers, plants, bushes, trees and birds of our award-winning Centennial Gardens, are now available. As always, Christine Kozak Photography has captured the bright, colorful and unique nature present in our Gardens and is providing us with visual reminders of what a special place it is.

You may purchase your calendar at Swing the Teapot or visit the Floral Park Centennial Gardens facebook page, then click on the calendar to preview it and order yours online. Proceeds will go to Gardens enhancements.

So, until reopening day in early April, enjoy the ever-changing Gardens scenes on your calendar. Thanks to the FPCS volunteers and Christine Kozak for this lovely Gardens keepsake (and maybe, holiday or New Year’s gift).

Chambers of Commerce and Our Businesses
From all and to all at our Chambers of Commerce and businesses, Happy Holidays. Enjoy SHOPPING AND DINING LOCAL during our Floral Park and Stewart Manor holiday season.

Holiday Wishes!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year as we celebrate with family and friends. May the holiday season bring joy and peace to one and all!

Trustee Frank Chiara
From our Police Department, our Building Department, and from my family, we would like to wish all of our residents a Happy Hannukah, a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Healthy New Year! Stay safe, enjoy the holiday season and we are all looking forward to a great new year. Thank you.

Trustee Jennifer Stewart

Recreation Center
The multi-purpose rink is really coming along nicely. A new project to beautify the recreation center has begun. The walkway surrounding the perimeter of the Rec center is getting a facelift, including a widening of the path along Pool and Garage Road to the pool.

Many residents took advantage of the 12 Days of Christmas for Pool 2023 memberships, we have extended the sale until 12/31, call the pool for hours. Tonight, we accepted a gift from the Floral Park Little League to renovate Field 2 for play. We are looking forward to working with Little League to improve the field.

We continue to work with the MTA regarding the gate at Tunnel Street as well as other safety concerns along their property. I urge you to log into MTA.org or please email them at [email protected] and leave a comment. You may also call the MTA at
516-203-4955, especially if you have called the Village to report a concern, let the MTA know as well.

Please consider joining your civic association as one of your New Year’s resolutions. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our residents a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

Trustee Michael Longobardi

Floral Park Library
Construction is ongoing at the main entrance. Reminder temporary entrance and book drop are in the back of the building on the Tulip Ave side. Thank you for your patience during this time. The Library will be closed December 24, 25, 26, 2022 and January 1, 2023 for Christmas and New Year’s.

The Friends of the Library Book club meeting is rescheduled to Monday, January 9, 2023, the second Monday due to the Holiday on the first Monday.

All activities and times are listed on the library website: www.floralparklibrary.org. You can also register on the website to receive regular emails on Library updates and events.

Four Village Studio (4VS)
Reminder 4VS runs a scrolling billboard to display local events and/or meetings sponsored by community organizations, schools, government, and Four Village Studio. It is on air all the time except when a program is running. The billboard is a great way to promote your events and activities. To submit your announcement, please go to the website, click the billboard tab at the top of the page and follow the instructions. All announcements are subject to the rules and regulations of the studio.

Productions for 2022 ended about the same as 2021. They are trending upward the second half of the year and an increase is expected for 2023. To see a list of our shows, please visit www.4vs.org or watch your local provider station.

On behalf of my entire family, we would like to wish all our residents a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald
To follow along with Dr. Pombonyo’s statement with regards to the ambulance; a lot of factors have gone into getting us to this point right now which Deputy Mayor Pombonyo laid out. Inclusive of this is the overall decrease in volunteerism and lack of interest in a lot of Fire Departments not only in Floral Park but around the country, volunteerism is on the decline unfortunately. Also, training time to get up to speed to become a certified AMT to EMT, is what I understand, has expanded dramatically over the years taking up more and more time. Now, we do look forward to discussing this at our next board meeting with NYU. We hope to have FAQs ready prior to the meeting to get an understanding of what it could be and what it isn’t, and we’ll go forward from there. It will not be voted on at that meeting, rather it will be discussion only to further understand any proposal. At the next meeting, all comments, ideas, thoughts and questions will be under consideration before any decisions are made.

On behalf of the entire Board, I’d like to thank everyone in the Village, whether it’s the staff here at Village Hall, all our employees, our volunteers – thank you for making 2022 a wonderful year. A lot of hard work goes into this Village, day in, day out, 24/7. I know there are many people in this room and on zoom that make that happen – so personally I thank you for everything you do in our Village for our residents. Just one missing link in the chain hurts. We are a tight knit chain that gets so much done for our residents. I know many people appreciate it. We on the Board are lucky enough to sit up here and see it all first-hand and some residents may not see it first-hand like we do. It is a lot – a lot – of work to make it truly a wonderful place to live, work and especially raise a family. I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may 2023 be even better than 2022.

Thank you to Felix Procacci of ‘Just the Facts Media’ and to Brandon Duffy, Blank Slate Media for attending tonight and for covering the entire year. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

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