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Puzzling Policy Change in NYC Ambulance Dispatch Protocol

IT HAS ONLY RECENTLY BEEN REVEALED that last month the FDNY has pulled the 35 volunteer ambulance squads in the city from its 9-1-1 dispatch system.  In a memo to the dispatchers, a high-ranking EMS chief said that the volunteers “are no longer required” to help cover the calls sent out for emergency medical services.

The volunteer squads operate about 50 ambulances, mostly in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.  They usually respond to more than 10,000 EMS calls a year, albeit most of them are not dispatched directly from the 9-1-1 center.  When the city is overloaded, or sees a response delay, they sometimes call the vol. units on a phone line or the mutual-aid radio frequency.  Most of the squads have their own emergency phone number and the citizens in their territory call them directly.

NY a flatlands

Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps (Brooklyn) website photo

The medics who ride the units all have the same qualifications and certifications that any other medic units have.  Many of the volunteers, in fact, are off-duty FDNY medics.

The New York Post has the full story on this recent revelation HERE.

The local city council members were caught unawares of this new policy and are already beginning to plan hearings on the reason for this puzzling decision.  The volunteer squads are not only saving the city a lot of money, but they are seriously reducing response times in many instances.

Here are some selected websites for a few of the NYC volunteer ambulance squads:

Hat tip to Chief  Billy G. for vol. links

Comments - Add Yours

  • http://www.lifeunderthelights.com Ckemtp

    I support the NYC volunteer ambulance Corps. I've always thought that they were a way for community members to give back to their city and I can't imagine why anyone would want to take that option away from the citizens.

    Oh wait, yea I can. Perish the thought that there could be a political motive here, especially in a city as clean as NYC. Perish the thought that it might be a decision made not in the best interest of the masses, but instead made at the behest of a special interest group.

    Hmmm… I wonder which group was behind this.

  • http://davidkonig.com Dave Konig

    There is no change to the status of the volunteers in NYC. The fact is that FDNY doesn't call upon them due to the fact that their in service times are unreliable. Not listing them in the CAD when they are available doesn't change the fact that FDNY has already scheduled resources to handle the call volume anticipated. When that call volume is greater than expected, FDNY requests mutual aid from the volunteers as well as the private providers in the city.

    This is vollie politics at work in a system where vollies are a luxury and not a necessity, plain and simple.

  • http://www.lifeunderthelights.com Ckemtp

    I support the NYC volunteer ambulance Corps. I've always thought that they were a way for community members to give back to their city and I can't imagine why anyone would want to take that option away from the citizens.

    Oh wait, yea I can. Perish the thought that there could be a political motive here, especially in a city as clean as NYC. Perish the thought that it might be a decision made not in the best interest of the masses, but instead made at the behest of a special interest group.

    Hmmm… I wonder which group was behind this.

  • http://davidkonig.com Dave Konig

    There is no change to the status of the volunteers in NYC. The fact is that FDNY doesn't call upon them due to the fact that their in service times are unreliable. Not listing them in the CAD when they are available doesn't change the fact that FDNY has already scheduled resources to handle the call volume anticipated. When that call volume is greater than expected, FDNY requests mutual aid from the volunteers as well as the private providers in the city.

    This is vollie politics at work in a system where vollies are a luxury and not a necessity, plain and simple.