The Borough of Avalon volunteered to help New York City handle a large volume of ambulance calls resulting from a blizzard that dropped two feet of snow on the city. Avalon Rescue Squad EMTs Jonathan Schwartz and Seth Schoenfeld volunteered to drive an Avalon ambulance to New York City to help with numerous rescue calls in the nation’s largest city.
“Avalon is honored to help our friends in New York City with the emergency calls after the snowstorm”, said Avalon EMS Chief Kevin Scarpa. “Avalon Rescue went to New York City on September 13th, 2001 to assist our emergency rescue partners. We are glad to volunteer in their time of need this week”.
Media reports out of New York City indicate that there were over 1,000 rescue calls backlogged in New York City as a result of the snow storm. Some ambulances in the city became stuck in the snow. Response times have also been delayed due to the heavy volume of snow still on the city’s streets. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expressed his concern about the response time to these emergency calls. One report indicated that 100 ambulances in New York City were literally stuck in the snow; that totals one fifth of the entire fleet of ambulances in New York City.
New Jersey was asked to send EMS “Strike Teams” to New York City to provide mutual aid for the New York City responders. Cape May County Emergency Management Director Frank McCall asked for squads to participate, and Avalon agreed Monday evening. “When the call comes in for help from a neighboring community, we answer that call”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “We are available to help our friends in New York anytime, during a time of need”.
Avalon’s ambulance and personnel left for New York City Tuesday, December 28th at 5:00am to work a 9:00am-9:00pm shift. A New York City paramedic was going to ride with the Avalon ambulance to handle rescue calls. Early Tuesday afternoon, the Avalon ambulance was in Manhattan, but being diverted into Brooklyn.
Scarpa said Cape May County rescue teams from Avalon and Upper Township agreed to help New York City with its emergency rescue needs during this snow emergency.