Decision on ambulance services may come at special meeting: Fitzgerald

Decision on ambulance services may come at special meeting: Fitzgerald
Former Trustee Archie Cheng speaks to the Floral Park Board of Trustees Tuesday night. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

Floral Park Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said Tuesday night the village board may call a special meeting before the next trustee meeting to make a decision on whether or not to use NYU Langone for additional ambulance services.

The next board of trustees meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7 and if a special meeting is called, there will be a legal notice placed on the village’s website and New Hyde Park Herald Courier. 

“The board is still studying the issue,” Fitzgerald said. “We may have a special meeting on the topic and we will certainly get that information out to everyone in due time.”

Fitzgerald added that the village is planning to release an FAQ document on the proposed services for residents to inform themselves, which would be released online and the village’s email alerts that come out on Fridays. 

On Jan. 3, a representative from Langone gave a presentation to the village on the current proposal.

If approved, the hospital would station an ambulance in the village with paramedics and would be first due, or the first on the scene whenever there is an emergency. If both the ambulance and fire department are handling a call, then the county’s ambulance service would be dispatched. 

Currently, the fire department, completely made up of volunteers, gets dispatched first for emergencies followed by the county, but staffing issues, triage times at hospitals and stringent training requirements have caused the village’s chiefs association to seek a third party. 

Under the proposal, the county would be third due, behind Langone and the department.

Langone and Northwell were the two hospitals to present to the Floral Park Fire Department’s leadership, with Chief James Dodson saying at the time they preferred Langone partly because Northwell’s model included a pool of nearby ambulances that would be sent. 

Fitzgerald said Tuesday there are at least two potential locations being considered to station the ambulance if approved.

Former Trustee Archie Cheng continued to ask follow-up questions from his original ones on Jan. 3, which ranged from the pricing for the services and what statistics the village has in regard to the department’s recent response times. 

Some of the answers, Fitzgerald said, will be included in the FAQ document but others the village would have to get back to him. 

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