New FDNY Station Fills Need in former St. Vincent’s Area

Filling a Need
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) EMS recently opened a new station in the former St. Vincent Hospital area, contributing to keeping the residents of Manhattan safe.

Serving the communities that encompass Manhattan’s west side, Station 7 contains supply areas for advanced and basic life support, a vehicle supply room, oxygen storage area and a decontamination bay. With more than 3,600 square feet of space, the new station can house nine units and staff 21 ambulance tours per day.

FDNY worked with the Mayor’s Office of Management and budget and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to quickly establish this EMS facility.

St. Vincent’s Hospital fought for several years to stay afloat despite millions of dollars of debt. In April 2010, the hospital closed its doors for good. FDNY increased the number of units in the area to immediately replace the loss of the hospital, but having a new station is exactly what the neighborhood needed. “This neighborhood has been so gracious,” said Capt. James Foley, the commanding officer of Station 7. “We know we’ll have a long, happy relationship with everyone in the area.” FDNY members cut a ceremonial ribbon opening EMS Station 7 in November.

We give a thumbs up to FDNY for opening an EMS station that will help fill such a huge void for Manhattan residents.

Above-Average Rates
The National EMS Academy (NEMSA), partnered with South Louisiana Community College and Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc., is exceeding the national average pass rate for both EMTs and paramedics.

NEMSA’s paramedic pass rate went up 13%–from 73% in 2010 to 88% this year. According to the National Registry of EMTs, the national average pass rate for paramedics went up 2%–from 70% in 2010 to 72% in 2011.

NEMSA Director Gifford Saravia reported being very proud of staff and students’ accomplishments, seen through their improvements in first-attempt pass rates, using combinations of didactic and hands-on work.

NEMSA provides both initial certification programs and continuing education courses, and is an authorized American Heart Association training center for CPR and ECC courses.

The EMT-basic class is offered up to three times a year and is three- to five- months long. Classes are offered in Louisiana, Texas and online.

We applaud NEMSA for its ability to go above the national standard, not only with its pass rate, but also with its dedication and intensive training.

Questionable Character?
In recent news, EMS providers have been highlighted in the news, shown taking advantage of their access to victims and presence on accident scenes to do unlawful or unethical things.

In November, a 48-year-old EMT in Saukville, Wis., was discovered taking money from the jacket of a man on
a scene.

John Marchek, along with two other EMTs, was at the patient’s apartment when one of the workers noticed him take something from the patient’s jacket pocket.

When he was confronted later, Marchek revealed a $10 bill, admitting he took it from the patient.

He was charged with one count of theft from a person, and he could now face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Later that month, a Summerville, S.C., paramedic was charged with obstruction of justice after he was seen taking a small package from the pocket of a felony driving under the influence suspect.

Chelsea Arrowood, 27, a paramedic with Berkeley County EMS, allegedly took marijuana from the suspect in an attempt to conceal the drugs from law enforcement officials on scene.

Although obstruction of justice is a misdemeanor, it can carry a sentence of up to 10 years.

We give a thumbs down to anyone in EMS who takes property from a patient or fails to function in an ethical manner. By taking an oath to help others,

EMS professionals should know better than to get themselves into these types of situations. JEMS

This article originally appeared in January 2012 JEMS as “Last Word: The Ups & Downs of EMS.”

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