The Floral Park Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to enter into a one-year contract with NYU Langone to provide additional ambulance services in the village.
Starting Sunday, the hospital will station an ambulance in the village with two paramedics and would be first due, or the first on the scene, whenever there is an emergency. If both the ambulance and fire department’s rescue company are handling a call, then the county’s ambulance service would be dispatched.
The services will be at no cost to taxpayers, only to the people that use them. There is a co-pay associated with receiving the services, which varies depending on ifs some has insurance or not.
It is unclear where specifically the ambulances will be stationed, but Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said there are at least two locations being considered and the village hopes to place them as central as possible in the village.
Chief James Dodson said as he has in past meetings that the agreement was needed for several reasons, including limited volunteers serving the rescue company, more stringent requirements to have an Advanced Life Service and longer turnaround times at local hospitals.
“This has always been about the residents of this village and the welfare of the residents in the village,” Dodson said Tuesday night. “We cannot guarantee them that we are going to have advanced life support when they need it.”
There were 994 ambulance calls last year, according to an FAQ released by the village. 269 of those calls, or 27%, were back-to-back calls that came in one hour or less from the previous one. The previous order of response was Floral Park’s ambulance, then Nassau County’s and then another community’s, such as New Hyde Park, if needed.
Under the new agreement, Nassau County will only be dispatched if the hospital and fire department’s ambulances are already assisting in an emergency.
Langone and Northwell Health each gave a presentation to fire department leadership last year, with the department opting for Langone.
Dodson said one of the reasons between the two was that Langone was stationing an ambulance only for calls in Floral Park while Northwell would have a pool of nearby ambulances that would be sent.
The overwhelming majority of people that spoke, including residents and firefighters, said they were in favor of the proposal.
First Assistant Chief Brian Hamerman, 3rd Assistant Chief Gil Luger and 4th Assistant Chief Eric O’Connor said they were each in favor of the proposal, among others.
Former Trustee Archie Cheng continued to ask questions that centered around clarifications from the FAQ document and the logistics surrounding the ambulance and paramedics themselves.