Concerns regarding potential backlogs in response times from other ambulance services have been raised as a result of Northwell Health, the largest private hospital system in New York, decreasing ambulance coverage in some areas of Queens.
According to the NY Post, the hospital will have less coverage starting this week in eastern and central Queens.
The Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center, Long Island Jewish, Long Island Jewish of Forest Hills, and the hospital formerly known as North Shore, located close to Great Neck, are all part of the Northwell Health System.
According to a source cited in the article, the reduction will include the elimination of advanced life support on night and overnight ambulance tours in Douglaston, Little Neck, Bayside, Forest Hills, and Rego Park.
Even though the majority of such communities are likely to call Hatzoloh in case of an emergency, some of those places are home to sizable Jewish populations, including orthodox groups.
According to a city report, the FDNY EMS, which is run by the city, is already having trouble with delayed 911 response times.
Additionally, budget cuts across all city agencies were just announced by Mayor Adams. Now, Northwell’s reduction would probably put even more pressure on EMS response times.
Oren Barzilay, president of the union that represents 4,100 of the city’s EMTs and paramedics, claimed that FDNY had agreed to cover the routes being eliminated by Northwell, but he is concerned that they may be in jeopardy due to Adams’ cuts, which are intended to close a multi-billion-dollar funding gap made worse by the migrant crisis.
The financial cuts present a challenge. According to Barzilay, “Our ambulance personnel were intended to take over Northwell Health’s units.
Every second matters and might mean the difference between life and death. Here, minutes matter.
Since the pandemic, response times to 911 life-threatening emergencies have increased, from 9 minutes and 22 seconds in 2019 to 10 minutes and 17 seconds in 2022 to 10 minutes and 43 seconds in 2023.
The FDNY attributed a portion of the rise to traffic congestion and the fact that there were fewer ambulances last year due to the retirement of older ones.
According to authorities, “increases in dispatch and travel time can also be attributed to a seven percent increase in life-threatening medical emergency incidents.”