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  Public Employee Press

PEP May 2006
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

Locals save Queens ambulance station

The Fire Dept. was all set to close the hospital base of Ambulance Battalion 49 in Astoria, Queens, and move its lifesaving personnel into a firehouse, when two DC 37 locals stepped in.

Mount Sinai Hospital had asked the department to find a new home for the Emergency Medical Service battalion — a move that would have resulted in the loss of two ambulances for the Astoria neighborhood.

Uniformed Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Local 2507 and Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621 worked through the political system to reverse the plan.

Local 3621 President Tom Eppinger contacted lobbyist Travis Terry. They quickly set up a meeting with City Council member Peter Vallone, Jr., whose district includes the neighborhood.

Pat Bahnken, president of Local 2507, sat down with officials in City Hall and presented studies showing that problems had occurred in other locales where similar plans had been implemented.
Working separately but with the same goal, they succeeded in keeping the EMS station at its current location.

“There will be no reduction of services in Astoria,” said Eppinger.

“I want to thank Councilman Vallone for his efforts on our behalf,” he said. In addition to keeping Battalion 49 at the hospital, the Fire Dept. will renovate and improve the station.

“I’m glad that with the joint efforts of both EMS locals we were able to avert a harmful situation,” Bahnken said.

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