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Emergency swervice! FDNY ambulances block sidewalks, bus stops, and fire hydrants

Oh, irony: For more than two years Hiram Salgado has complained to the city about ambulances causing traffic jams, parking in front of fire hydrants, and blocking a bus stop on 50th Street near Seventh Avenue.
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The city must crack down on scofflaw Fire Department ambulance drivers who are making Sunset Park unsafe by parking on sidewalks, in bus lanes, and, ironically, in front of fire hydrants, people living near Station 40 on Seventh Avenue are demanding.

“They come over here, they figure they can do whatever the hell they want to do. They block Seventh Avenue, park in the bus stop — which is illegal — and they park in front of my driveway,” said Hiram Salgado, who lives in front of the B11 bus stop around the corner on 50th Street. “They’re supposed to be helping people, and instead they’re causing all this trouble.”

The Emergency Medical Technicians moved into Station 40 between 50th and 51st Streets in 2010, and the trouble began soon after, according to locals. Since then, Salgado and neighbors have logged dozens of complaints to 311 over the years with little results. Even after speaking with station captain Lizette Claro, nothing changed, said Salgado.

“When I speak with the captain, she said they’ll talk to the workers, that they’ll take care of it, and if it happens again call 311,” he said. “But then nothing changes. I don’t see why it’s so hard for them to follow the rules. There used to be a firehouse there, and we didn’t have any trouble with them.”

It is illegal for the vehicles to block a bus stop or double-park, and cars must park at least 15 feet away from fire hydrants, according to the Department of Transporta­tion’s website. But ambulances and Fire Department vehicles frequently double-park on Seventh Avenue — sometimes in front of hydrants — causing traffic and congestion for commuters. It is an especially dangerous situation for bus riders, one resident said.

“It’s a major safety hazard,” said Wanda Soto, who lives on 50th Street near Seventh Avenue. “They’re always parking in the bus stop, so the bus has to pick people up in the middle of the street, because it can’t pull into the lane. It’s really not safe. It’s just ridiculous.”

But city workers say they’re just trying to make do with a difficult situation.

“It’s honestly not our fault, because [the city] put us here and there’s not enough parking — this use to be a firehouse — it’d make more sense for us to be down on Second or Third Avenue where there is more parking,” said emergency medical technician Lt. Kyle Wigglesworth, who has worked at Station 40 for the last three years. “We understand the community’s concerns, we park some of our vehicles elsewhere, but we try not to inconvenience the neighborho­od.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 9:07 am, January 31, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Chris from Sunset says:
Take a bunch of parking spots on this block and convert them to Fire/EMS use. Problem solved. Community meetings are full of people advocating for FDNY until it could possibly take away their free/nearly free, on-street parking.
Jan. 30, 2017, 10:14 am
Rob F from NYC says:
It's "honestly not" their fault that they block fire hydrants ? I don't know what to call that attitude, it's so absurd.
Jan. 30, 2017, 10:49 am
Frannie from Sunsetpark says:
When it was a fire house there was one engine and just the veicles of the workers. Now as an EMS station we have several ambulances and many workers that need to park there vehicles. Not only is there never any parking but the neighborhood people park in the fire spots and then we have to double park until we can find a spot. We also have the vans that the asian community has double parking in front of the station dropping people off all hours of the day. we have people double parking because they r running into there home, or going to the store right next to the station to get food . So its not only EMS. We all have a job to do but we do try, now we havent parked at the bus stop because we were told not to .. we do park in the areas to get our vehicles checked our equipment on the truck and out to our area, we do need to be out on the road by a certain time . we take up spots and stay by the hydrant for that period of time because we dont want to block the street. If we are at a hydrant dont you think if there was a fire we would probobly get the job and move the vehicle.. we arent hurting anyone we are just trying to work with what we have it seems to me whatever we do it doesnt help. im sorry we are a burden to the community but we all come to work to do a job and do the best that we can... we are one of the best stations out there with the people we have working. its a shame we cant figure something out and wok together on this... we have alot of people and vehicles to tend to and finding an area to accomodate us isnt easy . hopefully the department can figure it out but in the meantime instead of complaining help us try to figure it out. we can only work with what we have right now. We are not ur enemy we are here for a reason.
Jan. 30, 2017, 12:53 pm
JT from harlem says:
"just the veicles of the workers. "

"many workers that need to park there vehicles."

So if you have one of these jobs you get free-on street parking where ever you want? Wow, that's great. Is that benefit taxed? If it in your contracts? That's really great for you.
Jan. 30, 2017, 1:19 pm
Ray says:
Oh stop the complaining and go do something constructive with your sad lives, you people are also the first to complain when it's your turn to need an ambulance and it takes too long because guess what, the ems station was moved away from the area. Bunch of snowflakes
Jan. 30, 2017, 1:19 pm
Frannie from Sunset park says:
Well yes the parking is for employees and is at every fire house and ems station... i didnt hear anyone complain when it was a fire house? Nd they had there personal vehicles parked outside the fire house...the only lyrics difference now is there are about 6 ambulances that don't fit inside the fire house and employees that need parking to get the vehicle out to there are a so they can do their job..
Maybe the public needs to be educated on what it is we do and how things are run by all means at anytime u can come by the station and I will run u through a days work from beginning to end... that is if I have time ... because it's been busy call volume is up and we don't get a meal break... if u catch me ill be more than happy to run u through a day in ems...
Jan. 30, 2017, 2:26 pm
Jack from Greenpoint says:
Guys stop complaining get a real job will ya!!
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:13 pm
Stopcomplaining from Brooklyn says:
Waoo people really do need to find something else to do with their lives, what's going to happen if they move those bus stop further, so they can park the ambulances. A firehouse only housed one or two vehicles, now an EMS station has at least 6 and they have some extra to keep the 911 system going if one breaks down. People need to adhere to those in need not to your right to complaint.
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:20 pm
Gino from Bay Ridge says:
Grow up. These people do a very important service for this city. They have helped my family members in Sunset Park. So show some appreciation for their hard work. There is no parking over there, but that's where the city put them. Maybe you should write the mayor and tell him to find a larger spot for them and the ambulances.

All everyone else wants to do now a days is —— and moan about everything. Keep it moving and do something constructive with your lives.
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:20 pm
Fdny Emt says:
Step in our boots for a day and THEN let's see how you feel.
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:32 pm
JT from Harlem says:
"Oh stop the complaining and go do something constructive with your sad lives, "

"Grow up. "

It's amazing that you two have to start insulting people who have pointed out an illegal perk these people are getting in their jobs. THAT is sad.

"Keep it moving and do something constructive with your lives."

This is constructive. Public space is for the public. It's not for people who think their job entitles them to use it for themselves. This is basic. Stop defending illegal actions.

"Maybe you should write the mayor and tell him to find a larger spot for them and the ambulances."

No, you should. Rather than defending people stealing public space to make their commute easier.
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:35 pm
JT from Harlem says:
"Step in our boots for a day and THEN let's see how you feel."

No.

No parking for your commute job? Then take the bus or subway or walk. Or pay for parking. A lot of us do that. Or quit.
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:38 pm
ty from pps says:
they should all be on bikes anyway. the polar bears will thank them.
Jan. 30, 2017, 3:47 pm
Aponte from Williamsburgh, /lives in BX says:
CAROLINE SPIVACK, are you Kidding me?
Jan. 30, 2017, 4 pm
SunsetHero from Sunset Park says:
"Hiram Salgado and Wanda Soto" you should be mindful of who you going to call when you have an emergency. Not everyone is bless to have an emergency response crew in their neighborhood. I see ambulances get block all the time on those one way street because of double park cars but nobody complain about that
Jan. 30, 2017, 4:08 pm
JTisanidiot from Data Bronx says:
"Free on street parking?" Do you even own a car, JT, or are you that clueless? It's street parking. Of course it's free! There's no privilege there. The only tax benefit they get is the same you get, nothing! These people made cuz now they have less parking for their cars. Ever wonder why there's an ambulance station there now? Maybe that area keeps calling 911 and they had to put a station there. As far as worker's cars, that issue was already there since it was a fire station. You absolutely have no idea what you're talking about. Keep trolling elsewhere
Jan. 30, 2017, 4:12 pm
Suckin maballs from Sunset says:
So I hope people flip —— over the jerkoffs stopping to get dumplings and double park, or all the delivery trucks that are doubled parked. I never knew keeping the 4 ways on meant it was a parking space. All the things in the area and your gonna cry like a —— about this. Now if they weren't there and took longer to get to you I'm sure your panties would be in a bunch too. "Waaaaa what took them so long"
Jan. 30, 2017, 4:42 pm
BennyBlanco from Bronx says:
This JT person is a total idiot. Why don't you quit your job, if you even have one. Just one of those guys who are irrelevant in society and want to make a splash about anything. If you're riding the bus, then what exactly are you complaining about?
Jan. 30, 2017, 5:01 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
Each individual snowflake is special because there is no one exactly the same. Even though they appear to look and think the same, upon closer examination there are intricate differences that make them one of a kind, each a personal brand(ing) of wonder and sophistication, a million sharia le bouff tards melting in the light.
Unique in their differance and splendid in there conformity, snowflakes are extremely useful for closing roads, icing discussion and making parking difficult. Yet, once the dirt gets on them its not long before they melt away of their own ugliness.
Jan. 30, 2017, 5:30 pm
Jenny from The block says:
Yea get those ambulances out of here. I don't want them making sure they have their proper equipment and medications when they are coming to save me. Let them search for parking for days so that the unit can't log on and help people on time. I have a solution to this all...since you are so concerned about parking your plethora of vehicles, how about not calling the ambulance and driving your own family/self to the hospital.
Jan. 30, 2017, 5:34 pm
TOM from MURPHY says:
Double-parked vehicles is proof there is not enough parking at the curb or off-street anywhere. That's certainly true of anywhere in Sunset Park.

Industry City is adding employees and business with visitors everyday. People with cars are moving into the new apartments. Still the City is trying to eliminate spots or make it impossible to park. Who are they listening to?

Even where you would expect parking, west of 3rd Avenue, it is no longer there. The NYS DOT last year grabbed twenty spots under the expressway across from COSTCO for their personal vehicles. They could not find spots so they took them and walled them in for themselves alone.

Yes, there are even signs of road rage over spots so lets cooperate.
Jan. 30, 2017, 5:39 pm
ED from BROOKLYN says:
Oh, wow you're so concerned about ambulances blocking fire hydrants and bus stops, because a vehicle that big is going to accommodate the community in finding parking 'first' while the lady on the 3rd floor who called for EMS is having a severe allergic reaction and no longer has her prescribed medication to stop it. And oh, Hiram Salgado, you sir, continue on complaining to the oh so great city of New York, I commend the FDNY for doing what they do day in and day out, I would much rather deal with ambulances blocking my path instead of people confusing 'hazard lights' to be 'double-park lights'.
Jan. 30, 2017, 7:17 pm
Shut up JT from Harlem says:
Shut up you cuck.
Jan. 30, 2017, 8:55 pm
Big Shot from Dyker Heights says:
Disclaimer: I do not work for the FDNY, or any city agency.

I don't get it. We have a fire house on a residential one way block here in Dyker Heights (not a two way avenue like that EMS station), and nobody ever complains about the firefighters taking spots, the designated FDNY vehicle area, double parking, or even putting a car on the sidewalk here and there (they always keep it close to the house so they don't block foot traffic). We get along with the firefighters at that house. Always have, and always will. I've seen the situation in Sunset Park when I visit Mr. C's, and it is not that bad. I think it's just sour grapes from the immediate neighbors who can't find parking within two minutes of getting home, not safety. If it were about safety, then people would also be complaining about the double, and triple parking near the schools during the start of, and the end of the school day. That situation is a real danger for the children. Why don't you worry more about the fighting on 3rd avenue by the bars, the drunk and homeless people who hang out in the park, the assaults and robberies that take place all the time, and not worry about hassling the people who are there helping solve the REAL problems in your neighborhood that you choose to ignore. Why not do what the people of Dyker Heights do, and welcome your public safety personel into your neighborhood, engage in conversation with them, because they will always be there to help, and educate you about their job, and other subjects that can help you in an emergency while awaiting the short time for the ambulance to arrive.
Jan. 30, 2017, 9:40 pm
Tommy D from 12th Street says:
it does not look like all this has caused Hiram to miss a meal
Jan. 30, 2017, 10:04 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
In a place where you never know when you are going to catch one in the gut, I would err on the side of the FDNY paramedics.
Jan. 31, 2017, 1:22 am
Mikey B from sunset park says:
take a look At 8th avenue....take a look at 5th ave .....but all you wanna do is target people who will come to save YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. You are playing with fire because mark my words they will never treat anyone in sunset park the same again. For a neighborhood that dont want them good luck when it takes that ambulance 15 minutes to come when you are shot or stabbed or worse not breathing.
Jan. 31, 2017, 3:32 am
Joe from Dyker Heights says:
Typical spics complaining about city workers. Really? You people are already on foodstamps and Medicaid and now you want parking and you want to chase a ambulance station out of the neighborhood???? Good luck when you need them. After they see this post i wouldn't be surprised if no-one showed up to any call in Sunset anymore.
Jan. 31, 2017, 3:37 am
Frank from Furter says:
You know it's perfectly legal to stand at a fire hydrant. As long as the driver is in the vehicle. Have you ever actually heard of a fire engine having a problem when there is a fire and they need access to a hydrant? Fire fighters have a simple way of way of dealing with a car at a hydrant. They break the Windows and pass the hose through the car adds five seconds max and a lot of times it floods the car too.
Jan. 31, 2017, 7:23 am
Frank from Furter says:
Btw I have heard similar complaints in other neighborhoods. It's not unique to any ethnic group. They city sometimes prepositions ambulances in bus stops no standing zones and even fire hydrants. I have heard complain about that too. Those who disparaged those based on ethnicity should be ashamed of themselves.
Jan. 31, 2017, 7:46 am
Harry Potter from ParkSlope says:
Is Lt.Wigglesworth His real name! :-)
Jan. 31, 2017, 11:53 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Ambulance parked at bus stop? Police can actually ticket it if it's not on a call. Cops love to ticket FDNY.

Ambulance parked at hydrant? Non-issue, since that's not taking up a legal parking space, and EMS is part of FDNY, and it's only their vehicle at risk (and either likely to be moved if the hydrant is needed, or likely to be needed in a fire emergency). FDNY doesn't let buildings burn down because someone is parked at the hydrant - they just work around it, and the owner is responsible for any damage done to it.

Ambulance parked in your driveway? Inconsiderate, but addressable, since you know where the drivers should be located, and you should be able to call the station to tell them you need to get your car in or out.

Ambulance double-parked? Just as enforceable by NYPD as if it were a private vehicle. If they aren't ticketing double-parked cars on the avenues or during alternate side, the problem is at the precinct.

If you think this situation is bad, come visit the area around the 62 Precinct house. Aside from the official vehicles parked on sidewalks, the officers there indiscriminately park their private vehicles at bus stops, hydrants and driveways all day long, and there's no chance at all that they'll be ticketed or towed for it.
Jan. 31, 2017, 1:26 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
BTW, my earlier post is NOT to bash the NYPD. Just noting that enforcement is possible in most of these cases.
Jan. 31, 2017, 1:27 pm
Patrick from Staten Island says:
Instead of blaming the EMTs and paramedics who are forced to work in a repurposed firehouse which is inadequate to its needs; perhaps all those complaining should pressure the FD and the city to acquire a property and build a station with adequate parking for vehicles and employees.
Jan. 31, 2017, 2:42 pm
Blitzkrieg from Bay Ridge says:
Rather than cry to the paper about how terrible the problem is with the EMS station, go thorough the right channels to have your voice heard. Right your city council member, show up at community board meetings and let your grievances be heard. I personally think the EMS station should be moved closer to 2nd or 3rd avenues where the impact on residents quality of life wouldn't be effected by a station that runs 24/7
Feb. 1, 2017, 9:14 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Emergency vehicles shouldn't be used by those who are off duty period. Even those who have placards and special parking permits can't just park where they want to. The only problem is enforcement of the laws, and emergency workers feel that they are above them, so something needs to be done to those that abuse their roles. Meanwhile, I do feel that better locations should be given for EMS stations especially with more parking spaces so that others won't have to sacrifice the little spaces they have for them, but I feel that groups such as Transportation Alternatives will oppose this due to their anti-car bias.
Feb. 1, 2017, 4:09 pm
Christopher T from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY says:
I've lived down the block from this station all my life, and chit chat with the paramedics there on my way to and from the bakery on 7th Ave. They are very nice and hard working people. They've come to the aid of my family members, and I am personally thankful they are so close.
It must be tough working somewhere where everyone is so hostile to you. I've walked by and have heard people yelling and cursing at them, for being there to help you. I walk down 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th avenues everyday, as well as the side streets and what do I see? people double parked. hydrants blocked, bus stops blocked, by everyone from the UPS guy, to cab drivers, to our friends and neighbors. Not one word or complaint to them, only the men and women who are there to save you.

Are these paramedics sinister? Are they purposely parking at a hydrant and laughing among each other about how above the law they are? I highly doubt it.
They are just like us, they double park their personal vehicles when there is no parking. It's brooklyn, there usually never is.
And the ambulances? These paramedics do change shifts. They have to go somewhere to change personel. Along with that they constantly changing and re stocking equipment and medications. They go back and change their uniforms that get soiled multiple times a day by vomit and blood.
Sometimes they go back just to talk to their supervisors or co workers about a difficult call. These evil horrors that are on the news every day, they are witnessing first hand on a daily basis.

I am so grateful that we have FDNY Paramedics in our community. Other areas are not so lucky. Unfortunately, due to the complaints of my fellow neighbors over parking spots, it has come to my knowledge that one by one, these FDNY Ambulances are being sent away from Sunset Park to other neighborhoods that welcome them, as we should have been. These complaints over parking has led to our neighborhood losing life saving help.

Thank you very much Hiram Salgado.
I hope you can sleep peacefully now knowing an ambulance will never be parked on that corner bus stop again. Nor will that same ambulance be there when you or your family needs it. I did some research. The next closest ambulance stations will be Station 38, in Flatbush, and 43 in Coney Island.
Everyone, please feel free to thank Mr Salgado for his fine work.
Feb. 4, 2017, 6:35 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Christopher T. While I agree with you about the amazingly difficult and necessary work these EMTs do (my niece and nephew are city paramedics, and EMTs responded to a call to help my daughter a few weeks ago, and we are grateful). But, like police, like fire, like any city worker, when they are off-duty, they are just like every other citizen. They have no special parking privileges for their personal vehicles. Doctors and nurses at hospitals who can't find parking near work take public transit, or drive further afield to find it. Is it fair that an elderly or handicapped person, or mother with a stroller has to venture into the street to board a bus that can't get to the curb because an EMT overslept? In uniform and on-duty, these are angels and heroes. Out of uniform and off-duty, these are Joe Q. Public, like you and I.
Feb. 6, 2017, 1:43 pm

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