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City Hires Fulltime EMTs, Becomes Sister City To Sassano

The capital improvement bond plan outlined and discussed

Last week’s Glen Cove City Council meeting marked the beginning of the official relationship between Glen Cove and Sassano, a town in the Salerno province of Italy, as the two cities became “sister cities.”

Several residents of Sassano were in attendance, as well as Glen Cove residents who originally hail from the city. The partnership recognizes the long-standing connection between the two cities.

“It is a great honor to reach across the ocean and become friends and sister cities,” said Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi.

The mayor presented the Sassano representatives with three baseballs, signed by himself and the city council members, in addition to several citations, and he was presented with a bottle of liquor made in Italy.

Because August 17 is the official “feast day” of Sassano, Mayor Suozzi said that, beginning next year, Glen Cove will also honor its sister city with a celebration.

The mayor and city council also took the opportunity to recognize the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department, as they approved the hiring of three fulltime EMTs and presented a citation to advanced EMT-Critical Care Christopher Demetropolis for his quick response to a call this spring that ended up saving a life.  Demetropolis was also publicly thanked by the female patient he saved in May.

According to a statement read by the mayor, in the afternoon of May 10, Glen Cove EMS was dispatched to a residence on Nassau Ave. for a female complaining of difficulty breathing. Upon arrival on scene the EMS crew found a female in her 40s with severe respiratory difficulty with an asthma history. Advanced life support was established on scene. The patient was intubated, an electro-cardiogram performed (EKG), intravenous (I.V.) access was gained and medication was administered. The patient was then transported to North Shore-Glen Cove Hospital.

By the time the patient was transferred to the hospital staff she was in full respiratory failure relying on artificial ventilation to breathe. The patient was able to make a full recovery and was discharged from the hospital. She wanted to publicly and personally thank the EMS crew who saved her life during the city council meeting.

In a statement to the Record Pilot, the chief of the EMS department, Matthew Venturino, said, “Our EMTs save the lives of patients every day. This particular life save is just another example of how we make a difference in the community. A job well done to the crew that responded to the call.”

Glen Cove EMS has four ambulances and 64 volunteer members responding to over 2,400 calls a year, according to Venturino.

Currently, EMS has one full-time paid advanced EMT who works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. At the meeting, three additional full time advanced EMTs were hired, which allows the EMS department to have one paid employee on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help fill in the gaps when volunteer members cannot respond.

It was noted that these paid employees will augment the volunteer crews, not replace them. The three advanced EMTs who were hired will begin working mid-July.

“Glen Cove EMS welcomes and looks forward to working with the three new paramedics. Guaranteeing advanced care with a quick response will further strengthen the EMS system we have here in the City of Glen Cove,” said Venturino in another statement to the Record Pilot.

A brief public hearing was held to discuss the city’s Payment In Lieu of Parking program for downtown businesses, to install stop signs on the Kirkwood Drive and Brookdale Drive intersection, and to add a single handicapped parking space on Forest Avenue in front of Trinity Lutheran Church, for use by parishioners, in order to allow handicapped accessibility to the church, which recently installed an elevator to get up to code. The first item will remain open until the July meeting, and the other two items were also tabled, as more information on the exact distances are needed.

A resolution was passed declaring that the city council will no longer be the lead agency regarding the Lee Gray Court development, referring the zoning map amendment and the Environmental Assessment Form to the City of Glen Cove Planning Board and the Nassau County Planning Commission for their recommendations.

Councilman Reginald Spinello commented that the area needs more young people and more affordable housing, and called the project “a step in the right direction.”

Later in the meeting during public discussion,  resident Alfred Evans said that 30 families with roots in Glen Cove had been pushed out at the start of the development project, claiming that they will now have “no chance to return to Glen Cove” since the scope of the project has changed from the initial proposal.

“There is no affordable housing in Glen Cove,” he stated.

Mayor Suozzi said several projects in the works will have affordable housing, and while the Lee Gray Court development will have rental units, the city cannot tell them who to rent to, as it is privately owned.

The council also passed a resolution adopting the 2012 capital improvement bond, outlining projects in need of attendance or completion at a cost of $3,135,270. The projects on the capital improvement plan include upgrades to radios, vehicles and equipment in the police, fire and EMS departments; various park embellishments at an estimated cost of $400,000; sidewalk and curb reconstruction, improvements to the animal shelter, including a new air conditioning system, at a cost of $290,000; storm water piping improvements on East Island at an estimated cost of $225,000; the replacement of the Seaman Road air stripper at an estimated cost of $400,000; and the purchase of land for a new well at an estimated cost of $500,000. The plan calls for the demolition of the incinerator building at a estimated maximum cost of $450,000, $200,000 of which will be covered by a grant. The Glen St. parking lot is also slated for improvements, the courthouse will receive roof reconstruction and the Carney Street pump house is slated for a new roof.

One resident commented, “I don’t think we should have any more bonds. We should make do, and pay for the bonds we do have.”

The mayor defended the plan, claiming that the city has been borrowing less and has reduced the debt over the past six years. Councilmen Spinello and Mike Famiglietti both said that investing in capital improving projects is “improving an asset” and noted that, the longer the city takes to address the projects, the longer it would take to pay back, as costs will rise over time.

“We can’t let the infrastructure suffer,” said Famiglietti.

Several residents of Rooney Court were also in attendance, expressing their concerns about the development project in the works on Glen Cove Avenue, which they claim will “ruin” the tranquility, the views and the property values of their homes. The mayor received their comments, urging them to voice their concerns to the planning board.