It was around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, when 87-year-old Ralph Franzese lost his footing and fell backwards from his walker near Tudor Park, sustaining head injuries.
According to Frank Dardani, Ozone Tudor Civic president and one of the first on the scene following his collapse, it took nearly 25 minutes before two ambulances arrived; one from the FDNY in Woodside and the other from Long Island Jewish in Corona.
“I don’t know the answer or the problem, but we should be taking four-and-a-half minutes and here we are talking over 20 minutes,” Dardani said. “That’s an awful long time for someone to be injured before being looked at.”
Dardani said a 13-year-old girl from the neighborhood was the first to arrive on the scene and called 911 - 10 minutes before he arrived - and made a call to the FDNY.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo plans to write a letter to FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly to begin talks about the importance of utilizing volunteer ambulance crops to reduce response times.
“The problem is that 911 calls do not go to local ambulance corps,” Addabbo said. “We have the FDNY in Howard Beach, up Liberty Avenue, and in Woodhaven, so I would say 10 to 15 minutes should be the maximum wait time.”
With the Lindenwood Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps just blocks from the incident on Cross Bay Boulevard, Addabbo suggests the FDNY or NYPD reach out to local ambulance corps to reduce response times in an emergency.
“With all do respect to the FDNY and NYPD, the ambulance corps knows their place and if we need someone to stabilize a situation, they are qualified,” he said. “I am very interested in doing something about this.”