Cabs like this one, outfitted with GPS, an AED and specialized emergency lighting, will soon help shrink FDNY's response times.
At a news conference held at FDNY headquarters, Major-Captain John Brokem the dildo announced that the FDNY EMS would be training hundreds of city cab drivers in basic first aid and CPR, and outfitting their vehicles with GPS, an AED and specialized emergency lighting.
"By doing this, we instantly double the number of available transport units for the citizens and visitors in the City of New York," he said.
"This should effectively cut in half our response times, based on the study done by Fishbine and Unity Consulting."
The initial model would have Emergency Transport Livery Units (ETLU) first in the midtown- Upper West Side neighborhoods, where citizens calling 911 for an ambulance would be more accepting of using cabs for transport.
Based on the results of the pilot program, other boroughs would be enrolled over time.
Not all who attended the press conference were happy with the announcement. Mike Pounsan, representative for the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors Local 2507, indicated that the move was not likely to help.
"There's no need for these cabbies to run around the city picking up patients. They have better things to do. Besides, the way that most of these folks drive, no lights are necessary.
"To me, this is a drain on a valuable resource. What's next — maybe FDNY EMS units get painted yellow?"
The pilot program begins April 1 and is scheduled to run through the end of June.
"If a person doesn't have insurance, in most cases they do not pay," Assistant Commissioner Steve Rush testified at a council budget hearing.
"We offer to those patients charitable payments, which is a reduced fee, but most of them elect not to take advantage of it. There's only so far you can go."
Rush added that the department had tried to sell the mountain of debt to collection agencies but found no takers.
"They are no longer interested," Rush said. "It's a very difficult debt to collect on."
The unpaid ambulance bills represent 32 percent of the $380 million that it costs taxpayers annually to run the fleet of ambulances.
Melissa Jackson was arrested for allegedly trying to swipe about $50 with of goods from a WalMart.
Jackson and another EMT, Jason Greene, were accused of failing to help 25-year-old Eutisha Revee Rennix after she became ill while working at a Brooklyn restaurant on Dec. 9., 2009 The EMTs were waiting in line for their food and later said they were "on break" and not on duty.
Greene was shot and killed last July in a fight outside a SoHo club.
Last October, Jackson was charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor. She was also put on 30 days leave by the FDNY.
This law also amends New York State Public Health Law (subdivision 1 of section 2805-i) by adding a new paragraph that specifies that health care facilities providing treatment to victims/survivors of a sexual offense must:
1. offer and make available "appropriate HIV post-exposure treatment therapies in cases where it has been determined, in accordance with guidelines issued by the commissioner, that a significant exposure to HIV has occurred," and
2. inform the victim/survivor that "payment assistance for such therapies may be available from the New York State Crime Victims Board pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-two of the executive law."
The New York State Department of Health has been requested to provide guidance for the following scenarios.
1. The court must order HIV-related testing of the defendant when the result would provide medical or psychological benefit to the victim/survivor.
* Medical and Psychological Benefit Guidance for Defendant Testing, NYS DOH AIDS Institute, (10/07) can be found at www.hivguidelines.org.
* This guidance also addresses what type of test should be ordered and whether follow-up testing would be medically appropriate.
2. The court should designate a county public health officer to conduct the test.
* For test site locations:
An FDNY EMT fondled a female car crash victim and tried to insinuate himself into a romance with her in the days following the wreck, police allege.
Police say David Taranto, 31, of the 200 block of Kiswick Street in Midland Beach, took liberties with a middle-aged female who had gotten into a crash on West Cedarview Avenue and Kensico Street in Richmond on May 16.
The woman was shaken up in the crash, and once she was in an ambulance, Taranto took his stethoscope, placed it underneath her shirt, and cupped her breast in his hand, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.
He told her she had a "beautiful body," the source said, and accompanied her to the hospital, staying with her for three hours.
At one point, the source said, he took her cell phone and called his own number with it. Over the next few days, he called her and sent her texts, inviting her to his house, the source said. She told him that she was uncomfortable with the contact, and contacted authorities, the source said.
Police arrested Taranto yesterday afternoon, charging him with a single count of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, said Peter N. Spencer, a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
FDNY spokesman Steve Ritea said Taranto, who’s a seven-year EMT veteran assigned to Staten Island, has been suspended without pay for 30 days following the arrest.
A second man, Ramiro Garcia, was also injured and taken to the hospital by FDNY EMS where he is listed in critical condition.
Mayor Bloomberg defended his proposal to save $55 million by closing 20 engine and ladder companies in the five boroughs. On his weekly radio address today, Bloomberg said response times and fire deaths are at a new low, and New Yorkers are only protesting because "people are afraid of change."
The Mayor added "firefighting has changed over the last century," and "a lot of this gets ginned up by people pandering to small constituencies." When asked who is responsible for the funding shortfall, Bloomberg said "Albany is the one that cut all our money." What do you say?
What's your reaction to Mayor Bloomberg defending his plan to close fire companies? Given the improvement in fire safety statistics, do you trust the decision won't jeopardize lives? Are you pointing the finger of blame at Albany or City Hall?
Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan says Musarella also waived his right to appeal.
Musarella has also been fired from his job at Richmond University Medical Center.
Authorities say Musarella took a picture of 26-year-old Caroline Wimmer's body after she was strangled in 2009. It is considered a violation of general regulations for EMS workers.
It happened around 1:30 a.m. outside the Seth Low Houses on Belmont and Christopher Avenues in Brownsville.
The girl was taken to Brookdale University Hospital by FDNY paramedics where she is listed in critical but stable condition.
The baby's mother, a 22-year-old college senior, was recovering Tuesday night at Interfaith Medical Center, where her newborn was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. on Monday. That was 10 hours after the first 911 call from the bloody vestibule on Brooklyn Ave. in Crown Heights.
"No one could get to her. Crown Heights was not plowed, and no medical aid came for hours," said the student's mother.
By the time a horde of firefighters and cops finally trooped to her aid through snow-covered blocks, the baby was unconscious and unresponsive, sources said.
Details of the tragedy emerged as the abominable snowstorm continued to wreak havoc across a city still digging out from the wintry blast. Some of the other blizzard horrors include:
- In Queens, a woman tried to reach 911 operators for 20 minutes Monday and then waited for three hours for first responders to arrive. By then, her mom had died, state Sen. Jose Peralta's office said.
Laura Freeman, 41, said her mother, Yvonne Freeman, 75, woke her at 8 a.m. because she was having trouble breathing. When the daughter couldn't get through to 911, she enlisted neighbors and relatives, who also began calling.
One of the callers reached an operator at 8:20 a.m., but responders stymied by snow-clogged streets didn't reach the Corona home until 11:05 a.m., said Peralta, who wants the death investigated.
"The EMS workers walked down the block trudging through snow," Freeman said. "They tried. I could tell by the look on their faces. I really would just like [Mayor] Bloomberg to admit that there were casualties."
- A woman in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, was forced to spend the night with her dead father after the medical examiner's office took more than 24 hours to claim his body. Ismael Vazquez died at 10:31 a.m. on Monday, and the 82-year-old man's body remained in his bed until 1 p.m. yesterday. His daughter kept vigil in the living room.
"This is New York City, and I'm a New Yorker, and this is not the first storm we've ever had," said Florence Simancas, 51, holding back tears. "Somebody dropped the ball ... big-time."
- A Brooklyn woman was left sobbing at a Bay Ridge bus stop yesterday when the driver said there was no way to get her to a doctor's appointment in Bensonhurst.
"Please help. I have a doctor's appointment that is important and I can't get nowhere," 64-year-old Ludmila Kowalow said. "I don't know what to do," she added, throwing her hands in the air.
A 76-year-old Bay Ridge heart attack victim nearly died when an FDNY ambulance became stuck in a snowbank, but he was rescued by a gang of good Samaritans lugging him through the unplowed streets on a sled fashioned from a gurney.
"My husband could be dead right now," said Lucy Pastore, whose husband, Salvatore, was in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center. "The mayor acts like this is a minor inconvenience. Makes me sick."
Still, nothing approached the tragedy of the newborn on the busiest day for 911 calls since Sept. 11, 2001.
The pregnant woman was walking from her home to the nearby hospital in the still-swirling snow when she ducked into the building lobby, unable to make it any farther.
The young woman had not told her family she was pregnant - she didn't want to disappoint relatives - or that she and her college boyfriend had decided to put the child up for adoption.
An 8:30 a.m. 911 call was made, with the caller saying the birth wasn't imminent, a Fire Department source told the Daily News. The call received a low priority, and the city unsuccessfully tried twice to contact the caller during the next few hours, the source said. A second, more urgent 911 call at 4:30 p.m. reported the woman was bleeding and the baby was crowning - and the call was upgraded to level two, the source said.
An hour later, the NYPD contacted the FDNY/EMS to report the baby had been delivered but was unconscious. Cops cut the umbilical cord and tried to revive the newborn, police source said.
The call was then upgraded to level one - highest priority - and an FDNY crew arrived in 12 minutes, sources said. EMTs were on the scene at 6 p.m.
"The mayor was spouting nonsense to say Crown Heights was plowed. It wasn't," the woman's mother said. "No one could get to her ... any other day she would have gotten to a hospital."
The city medical examiner will do an autopsy today on the baby.
Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano says the department has been slammed with non-emergency calls following Sunday's massive snowstorm.
He says the system is already taxed and that dozens of ambulances and fire trucks have become stuck on the treacherous roads.
"The streets are unpassable," said Cassano. "Our calls really are backed up and we want to make sure we can get the people who need to be transported to the hospital and life-threatening emergencies."
The FDNY says an additional firefighter was added on all 198 engine companies.
A New Jersey EMS task force is also being put together to send 15 ambulances to the city.
Immediately when they walked in the door, their carbon monoxide (CO) meters started ringing, showing levels of 120 p.p.m. (they evacuate at 35 p.p.m.). They went back outside, to shut off the meters, and reentered the restaurant, again receiving the high reading.
They called dispatch and asked for the local fire company to respond as they evacuated approximately 10 people from the store. Luckily, the pair had found the condition in before any of the employees or patrons showed any symptoms, and none needed treatment.
EMT Fredette said at one point he walked up a few steps to go to the upstairs portion of the restaurant and his meter went over the limit. "I've never had that happen before, to that level," he said.
When asked how it felt to know the saved many lives, EMT Fredette said, "It feels great; they could have gotten really sick or died. It's nice to know we could help.
Melissa Jackson, 23, turned herself in to authorities this morning and was charged with official misconduct. She faces up to two years behind bars.
Another EMT involved in the incident, Jason Green, was shot and killed in an unrelated incident in July.
Witnesses say Jackson and Green, who were off-duty, refused to step in as Eutisha Rennix, 25, was dying of an asthma attack.
Jackson's lawyer maintains his client did nothing wrong and actually called the 911 dispatcher directly.
Both Rennix and her unborn child died at the hospital.
Hundreds gathered at LaGuardia Community College on Sept. 20 to cheer as 34 paramedics and 87 EMTs graduated from the EMS Academy.
"You are all the best - the future of the FDNY's Emergency Medical Service," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. "I speak for the entire city when I say that we can all sleep a little easier knowing you're out there protecting the city."
The graduates speak 17 languages, including Spanish, Cantonese, Ukrainian, Serbian, Armenian and Polish.
"Your enthusiasm reflects your commitment to the FDNY," said Chief of Department Edward Kilduff. "This is a difficult program, and you deserve our congratulations."
The class valedictorians included Paramedic Benjamin Friedman, EMT Jesse Lipton, EMT William Morrocco and EMT James Paulson.
"I applaud the dedication of these men and women," said Chief of EMS John Peruggia. "You are the backbone of the Emergency Medical Service, a critical component to the system."Among the graduates was EMT Ryan Blackwell, whose father, Firefighter Christopher Blackwell from Rescue 3, was among the 343 FDNY members killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Four of the graduates also served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Paramedic James Bresnahan served in Iraq with the Marines Corps; EMT David Kojac served in Baghdad, Falluja and Al Asad with the Marine Corps; EMT Phillip Browning served in the National Guard; and EMT Ruben Licona served in the Navy.
The members will be assigned to units throughout the five boroughs.
"I'm excited to graduate and excited to start my career," said Paramedic Eric Ozechowski.
Police say Jason Green, 32, was shot in the face around 2 a.m. at the corner of Vandam and Hudson Streets in SoHo.
He was pronounced dead at New York Downtown Hospital.
Investigators say he was leaving the Greenhouse club at the time.
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Representatives for the Varick Street establishment said those involved in the shooting were not customers.
The New York City Fire Department confirms Green was one of two EMT workers who were suspended in connection with the December death of a woman who worked at a Downtown Brooklyn Au Bon Pain.
Officials say Green and Melissa Jackson were off duty when Eutisha Rennix collapsed, and instead of helping, told onlookers to call 911.
Rennix and her unborn child died shortly thereafter at a hospital.
It’s unclear what the circumstances were surrounding the shooting.
No arrests have been made.
Police say the teenager was shot in the leg and is in critical condition.
A 19-year-old man who was shot in the back is also recovering.Both were treated on by NYC paramedics
As St. Vincent's Hospital prepares to close, some patients will be sent to other hospitals.
As of 10 a.m. today, the New York City Fire Department is only taking psychiatric patients to the Greenwich Village facility.
Fire officials say all other patients will be taken to different hospitals.
The hospital says it will continue to care for walk-in patients for now.
The hospital's board voted Tuesday to close inpatient services after a six month attempt to save the institution, which is estimated to be $700 million in debt.
The move ends the hospital's acute care, rehab and behavioral health services.
Outpatient services like cancer care and HIV and AIDS treatment will be saved.
There is still no official closing date for the 160-year-old facility.
In response to the impending closure of Saint Vincent's, many local hospitals are expanding their hours and services to accommodate its patients and staff.
Bellevue, a seven-minute ride away from St. Vincent's, says it has already seen an increase in patients. NYU Langone Medical Center just next door to Bellevue, has already made some changes.
"We've already seen a significant impact at Bellevue in their emergency department, so we're up about 13 percent compared to last year,” said Alan Aviles, president of the Health & Hospitals Corporation.
"Our emergency department, unfortunately, is small and overcrowded, but we do have a certificate of need on file with the Department of Health right now in order to expand it,” said NYU Langone Medical Center’s Dr. Andrew Brotman.
The New York Daily News reported Thursday that at least two health care companies, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners, are still in talks to take over the emergency department and community clinics.
A spokesperson from Continuum released a statement saying that its hospitals are prepared to take on the extra needs of the community by expanding the hours and services at its existing facilities.
Beth Israel and Roosevelt Hospital will also allow for immediate, temporary admitting privileges for St. Vincent's patients.
Additionally, Continuum has initiated a temporary hiring freeze and will work to place St. Vincent's workers in any job vacancies.
Both Mount Sinai and Continuum had bids to take over the entire hospital, but pulled out to avoid taking on the West Village institution’s $700 million in debt.
Local leaders and residents say they worry the hospital’s closure will leave a dangerous gap in medical care for the Greenwich Village area.
In response, Governor David Paterson said the state will begin seeking grant applications for the development of a new urgent care facility in the neighborhood.
"While I am disappointed that St. Vincent's will close its inpatient services, I am committed to ensuring that the health care needs of the community it serves continue to be met. This project will help maintain access to needed urgent care services in Greenwich Village," said the governor in a released statement. "I am confident that the other providers in the area will come forward with resourceful proposals to ensure that St. Vincent's patients continue to receive timely and high quality care."
Meanwhile, nurses and staffers from St. Vincent's held a rally Thursday to protest the hospital's closing.
They say they're not only concerned about losing their jobs, but also for their patients.
"This community has to know, when you have that difficulty breathing, when you have that chest pain, do not go to an urgent care center, it means your life, you need a full service hospital here in Manhattan, at St. Vinny's and nothing less will do," said St. Vincent's nurse Barbara Cane.
"I really would like to help St. Vincent's stay open and care for this community. I think if we get together strong enough we can stop this," said St. Vincent's nurse Rosemary Rogers.
"I'm here to support the hospital but I think it's a done deal and I think it's a criminal done deal," St. Vincent's nurse Dorothy O'Neill.
About 150 people turned out for the rally, including dozens of neighborhood residents.
Also affected by Tuesday's decision to close up shop are the hospital's 345 residents and interns.
They now have to find somewhere else to finish their training programs. Some are just two months away from finishing.
About 40 of them have already been uprooted once when Mary Immaculate Hospital and St. John's Queens Hospital closed last year.
The Committee of Interns and Residents has been working with all the residents and interns since the problems began at St. Vincent's.
The pair had goofed around in their gas masks and flirted with girls in online chat rooms inside their ambulance between 911 emergency assignments and posted photos of it online before getting fired for their capers.
Medics Ben Duchac and Franco Colon of the Long Island College Hospital EMT corps took pictures of their antics. And Duchac posted the images on the photo-sharing Web site Flickr.
The EMTs were in their parked ambulance when they signed on to the Web site ChatRoulette, in which random strangers chat.
One of the images shows a laptop screen chat between a sexy brunette and the two medics wearing their gas masks.
In another, captioned "Franco Likes Safety," Colon steers with his left hand while texting with his right. It's not clear if the ambulance is moving.
"I made a mistake," Duchac told The Post. "It was unprofessional."
"The EMTs involved in this incident were immediately terminated once we became aware of their actions," said hospital spokeswoman Zipporah Dvash
Elected officials, nurses and hospital workers rallied in front of cash-strapped St. Vincent’s Hospital today.
They are urging state officials to keep the Greenwich Village hospital open.
St. Vincent’s is currently $700 million in debt.
Governor David Paterson had given the hospital a month to develop a viable rescue plan. But the month is almost over and a task force made up of hospital officials, lawmakers and labor leaders has not been able to come up with a solution.
Workers say not only is this a crisis for the actual employees, but it is also a major problem for the community.
"The nurses need to rally because we need to be together. This has been a very stressful situation for all of us for the last couple of months,” said St. Vincent's Nurses Association President Eileen Dunn.
“I've been employed here for the last 20 years, so basically I grew up here at St. Vincent's; it's a family," said another hospital worker. "It's sad what's going on. But the real issue is the impact it's going to have on the community."
Union employees have already agreed to a 10 percent pay cut for the next four months and non-union workers have agreed to slice salaries as much as 25 percent.
The hospital has already laid off 300 unionized workers.
A previous deal to buy the hospital and phase out its emergency care facilities was abandoned after much criticism.
Smiling and laughing, Jason Green and Melisa Jackson reported to FDNY headquarters at the end of their 30-day suspension for abandoning Au Bon Pain worker Eutisha Rennix.
"I'm relieved I still have a job," said Green as he hugged a co-worker and playfully swatted another on the shoulder outside Metrotech in downtown Brooklyn.
"This whole thing's been stressful," said Green. "I'm just hanging in there."
The dispatchers, who still face a criminal probe, were grabbing a bagel at a nearby Au Bon Pain when a worker told them 25-year-old Rennix was having trouble breathing. Rennix, who was six months pregnant, had collapsed and was in the back of the store.
Jackson called a fellow dispatcher to report the incident, but witnesses said she and Green did not try to help Rennix themselves. The mom and her premature baby died hours later.
Green, 32, and Jackson, 23, denied they left the coffee shop and insisted they did all they could to help.
"Hopefully, the truth will be unveiled, and me and Melisa will have our names cleared," said Green.
The Department of Investigation and the Brooklyn district attorney's office are probing the incident. The Fire Department has yet to interview the EMTs, but Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said he could not comprehend a member of the FDNY not stopping to help.
"We help, that's what we do - no matter what," Cassano said. "When you raise your right hand and take that oath, that's what you're pledging to do."
Rennix's co-workers were outraged that the pair was allowed to return to work.
"A girl is dead. I think they should still be off," said Tarsheen Brown, 29. "I asked them for help and they just looked at me like I was stupid."
Investigators say the boy was found just before 10 p.m. where the Jackie Robinson Parkway intersects with Cypress Hill Street.
He had several slash wounds.He was treated & trasported by NYC EMS to a Queens hospital
,where he is said to be in stable condition
Prosecutors met to determine whether EMTs Jason Green, 32, and Melisa Jackson, 23 -- who sources said are romantically involved -- had a legal duty to aid Eutisha Rennix, 25.
The criminal investigation began as the Fire Department suspended Green and Jackson without pay for allegedly ignoring the frantic pleas of Rennix's co-workers to help her after she suffered a seizure Dec. 9 at the Au Bon Pain shop in 1 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn. That's the site of FDNY headquarters and where the pair work as dispatchers.
TRAGIC: Eutisha Rennix, here with twin brother Eudane, died after collapsing in a Brooklyn cafe.
TRAGIC: Eutisha Rennix, here with twin brother Eudane, died after collapsing in a Brooklyn cafe.
Rennix, who had a 3-year-old son, died at Long Island College Hospital after being transported there by a paramedic crew. Her premature baby was delivered at the hospital but died two hours later.
Sources said the FDNY wants to boot Green, a six-year veteran, and Jackson, who has four years with the department, over the debacle, a story that The Post broke Sunday.
But two are fighting back, unleashing a union rep to defend them yesterday.
"These are people that are not in the field," EMS union exec Jeff Samerson said. "They have not had patient contact in years."
Still, even Samerson had to concede, "they could have acted better."
Fire Department officials have already referred the case to the state Health Department, which could revoke the EMTs' certification.
The shocking scandal, which has infuriated Mayor Bloomberg, FDNY brass and the public, even led the union chief to call for punishment for the pair if they failed their duty.
"The entire rank-and-file is mortified by these allegations," said Pat Bahnken, president of Emergency Medical Services Union Local 2507.
Bloomberg raged at the two EMTs for a second day, saying, "There's no excuse whatsoever, as far as I can tell."
FDNY investigators have obtained a videotape from the Au Bon Pain on the day of the incident, department sources said.
Employees said they approached Green and Jackson for help for Rennix.
Shop worker Tareen Brown, 29, said the EMTs initially told workers that "if they reacted, they could get in trouble. They said they weren't allowed to touch her unless a call was made to 911 first."
His co-worker, Lourdes Colon, 19, said, "They said they couldn't do anything. They said they were trainees. They showed no sympathy at all."
Brown said that after Jackson and Green did not go to help Rennix, he went outside where there was a group of about 10 FDNY employees, and told them, "Somebody has fallen out. There's an emergency."
"They said, 'What do you want us to do? Call 911.' "
Jackson actually did call 911 from the Au Bon Pain, according to the union's Samerson.
But sources said Jackson told the dispatcher that Rennix had difficulty breathing -- despite the fact that the EMT never physically examined the stricken woman -- and left before the LICH crew arrived. Based on the information Jackson provided, the call was initially not treated as a critical emergency.