Written by Rich Forestano Tuesday, 12 August 2014 09:00
The Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Winthrop-University Hospital announced a partnership last week, revealing the hospital will provide one paramedic and a rapid response vehicle, called a fly car, to the corps. Officials say it will assist in decreasing response time on emergency calls.
“[The fly car] has all the equipment you need and all the medications you need,” said MVAC Commissioner Tom DeVaney. “I think it’s a tremendous plus for Mineola residents.”
The Winthrop paramedic will be operating out of MVAC headquarters at 170 Elm Place.
“As the call comes over and the pagers go off, if the paramedic is in his fly car or driving around, the ambulance will be right behind it,” DeVaney said.
Village officials were on board with the partnership.
“You have an increased level of caring to residents and a decreased response time,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “It’ll help the ambulance corps and Mineola.”
The fly car had responded to 15 calls since Aug. 1 as of press time. DeVaney, a 20-year East Williston firefighter, said MVAC’s emergency calls are split between “direct calls” and 911 calls, indicating
MVAC is the secondary call-route option to the Nassau County Police Department. The ambulance corps responded to 1,000 calls in 2013.
“If you call 911, we’re the third option,” he said. “Right now, the calls are split.”
DeVaney said Winthrop considers MVAC, “an extension of the hospital.”
Winthrop held meetings with MVAC as early as December 2013, discussing plans. The two also huddled with the Nassau County Regional Ambulance Council and Mineola village trustees before announcing its proposal.
According to Justin Burke of Winthrop’s External Affairs Department, MVAC members can also utilize training facilities at the hospital, including seminars and a simulation center dedicated to clinical training and education for physicians, nurses, residents, medical students, health professionals and first responders.
“We wanted to partner with MVAC,” he said. “We just want to continue the standard of care that MVAC has done for many years as well and continue to be a good neighbor to the community.”
DeVaney said New York State mandates, specifically emergency medical training certifications, have become cost prohibitive, leading MVAC to seek out other avenues of medical function.
“The state put on a lot of mandates in training,” he said. “An EMT class is 120 hours. A paramedics class is more than 2,000 hours. You’re basically [spending the same amount of time as] getting an associates degree,” DeVaney stated. “And they need to be recertified every three years.”