Tag Archives: FDNY

Op-ed: End critical delays in EMS response time


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The need for our EMS to be unparalleled here in New York City is increasingly great. As a city, we must make critical policy changes that will decrease response time and save lives. This February, the average response time to life-threatening medical emergencies in Queens was 10 minutes and 15 seconds, which is not acceptable.

The City Council passed a law that would track end-to-end response times for both fire and medical emergencies, and further require the FDNY to report that response time. New Yorkers need to know the truth. This involves recording not only the time it took for an emergency unit to be dispatched, but also the time it took to process the call.

The law was named for Ariel Russo who was tragically killed when she was struck by a reckless driver trying to evade the police. After the crash, there was a clear error in dispatching an EMS unit and emergency personnel lost at least four critical minutes. The “Ariel Russo Emergency 9-1-1 Response Time Reporting Act” now provides a more transparent record of response times.

Last year, two young siblings, Ayina and Jai’Launi Tinglin, were killed in a Far Rockaway fire. EMS personnel did not reach the scene until 20 minutes after the call was received. The city found that personnel errors preceding the dispatch caused delays in reaching the children, but we see this as only half of the truth. Reports from dangerous, deadly fires have shown that the FDNY only dispatches ambulances after an FDNY unit on the scene confirms it is a structural fire. In this case, had the need for EMS to wait not existed, they could have been dispatched more than six minutes earlier. A lack of resources is likely the main reason the FDNY delays the EMS dispatch.

We believe the FDNY must dispatch EMS units once the report of a structural fire comes in through 9-1-1 and make it part of the many units dispatched within a first-alarm fire.
The FDNY again wasted critical time by waiting to dispatch EMS during a structural fire in Midwood. The fire killed seven children in the Sassoon family: David, Yehoshua, Moshe, Yaakov, Eliane, Rivka and Sarah. It took nearly 14 minutes for EMS to get to the scene.

We write this op-ed to call on the fire department to make three critical policy changes that would reduce response times and improve the level of pre-hospital care.

First, the fire department must change its dispatch policy and immediately send an ambulance upon receipt of a 9-1-1 call reporting a structural fire as part of a “first-alarm.”
Second, we need to greatly expand the number of department ambulance tours. This is the surest way to reduce response times, and the additional tours managed correctly will not only save lives but could also generate revenue for the city.

Lastly, in order to increase department professionalism, promotional civil service exams must be instituted for upper-ranking officers, just like those for the fire department’s firefighters and other public safety agencies. This would also bring the city into compliance with federal and state guidelines to ensure emergency scenes are properly and efficiently handled.

Our EMS personnel work every day to keep us alive, and for that they deserve not only our unconditional gratitude but effective procedures to abide by. Let’s make our EMS stronger for today and always.

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Man falls into LIC sidewalk grate while trying to retrieve keys


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Appleguysnake

Updated 2:52 p.m. 

Authorities had to rescue a man after he reportedly fell down a sidewalk grate in Long Island City Tuesday morning after slipping off a ladder he placed into the grate while attempting to retrieve his keys.

According to the MTA, at about 11:30 a.m. a man dropped his keys into the sidewalk grating in front of 24-20 Jackson Ave. just above the Court Square subway station. The man, who has not been identified, then opened the grate and placed an A-frame ladder into the grate. While climbing down the ladder he lost his footing and fell.

The man suffered minor head and leg injuries and after fire officials got him out of the hole, he was transferred to Bellevue Hospital, the FDNY said.

There is no visual defect to the grate and it was secured after the incident, according to the MTA.

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Five-alarm inferno in Queens Village amid stormy weather


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@FDNY

Updated Monday, June 1, 11:24 a.m.

Firefighters battled a five-alarm inferno at a Queens Village commercial building Sunday night amid wild weather that caused street closures borough-wide due to flooding.

According to the FDNY, the blaze broke out at about 6:30 p.m. on the ground floor of the warehouse located in the area of 218th Street and 98th Avenue.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the city were battling the inferno, which was upgraded to a five-alarm fire at about 8:47 p.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported, and the blaze was brought under control about four hours later.

The 109th Precinct tweeted that the odor of heavy smoke from the fire wafted across northeast Queens. Residents in the Queens Village area were advised to keep their windows closed and limit outdoor activity until the smoke dissipated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, as thunderstorms carrying torrential rains rolled through the city, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reported numerous road closures due to flooding.

As of 9:01 p.m. Sunday night, the OEM reported flooding forced the closure of the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Union Turnpike in Glendale and the Long Island Expressway at Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows. Both roads have since reopened.

The 104th Precinct also reported that part of Cypress Avenue at Vermont Place in Glendale was closed after a sinkhole developed at a construction site.

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Richmond Hill firehouse celebrates 100th anniversary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FDNY

BY ANGELA MATUA

Fire Department brass gathered at the headquarters of Engine Company 294 and Ladder Company 143 in Richmond Hill Wednesday to celebrate the firehouse’s 100th anniversary.

The firehouse opened in 1915 when the FDNY decided to expand to all five boroughs.

“The people who live in this community care for our department deeply and their admiration drives us all to be better every single day,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Past and present firefighters stationed at this house, which primarily serves Richmond Hill, have been recognized at the site for individual acts of valor. Mark Janesky from Engine 249 and Arthur Shaw from Ladder 143 received the house’s first medals in 1922 when they rescued people trapped in a fire on Atlantic Avenue.

At the ceremony, two firefighters from Engine 249 who died in the line of duty were honored with a plaque. Members discovered that Firefighter Arnold Hafner, who died in 1955, and Robert Denney, who died in 1960, did not have their own plaques in the firehouse, but now their names will join three lieutenants who sacrificed their lives to help others.

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“We remember their names always on the walls of this house,” Chief of Department James Leonard said. “It’s important to remember them today especially because their memory inspires us.”

Captains James Raymond of Engine Company 294 and William McCarthy of Ladder Company 143 congratulated the current members for their service and their efforts to celebrate the history of the firehouse.

“Our traditions must be carried on to all those that come after us,” McCarthy said.

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Jackson Heights residents call National Grid a ‘bad neighbor’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Updated 5:20 p.m.

Residents on one Jackson Heights street are calling on National Grid to be a good neighbor and take care of “dangerous” holes left unattended for weeks after digging was started last month to work on gas pipe updates.

Councilman Daniel Dromm and residents on 80th Street gathered on the block Tuesday morning to speak out against holes created by the utility company that were left ignored for weeks.

The holes, which measure about 13 feet by 3 feet and go as deep as three to six feet, were dug by National Grid in April to start renovations on underground gas lines. However, residents said that in the beginning of May work just stopped and the holes were left uncovered and surrounded by barriers and cones, most of which fell into the holes.

“The damage they have done to this street makes you understand that National Grid is a bad neighbor. You don’t come into communities, dig up streets, leave piles of dirt and then leave the exposed pipes open to all types of foul play, to children falling into them, and then not respond to the community,” Dromm said. “We are here today to demand that National Grid minimally put plates over this, fix this work, and ensure the safety of the community is taken care of here.”

Dromm added that his office communicated with National Grid several times, but no fixes have been made. The councilman said he even left his personal number and never received a call back.

Some residents expressed concerns that they have seen children playing in the holes, and others said the exposed gas lines have been letting out gaseous odors.

A Courier reporter on the scene also smelled gas odors coming out of one of the holes.

“The unfinished repair work initiated by National Grid on April 17, 2015, has not only resulted in a trip and fall hazard to pedestrians but has made us nervous because we were told originally the construction was to remedy a gas leak,” said Ricky Castro, co-op board vice president. “Despite many complaints we have received no answers about why we smell gas and if it’s safe.”

Castro added that last weekend when it rained, water filled the holes and caused the basement of one of the apartment buildings, which has storage units belonging to residents, to flood.

According to residents, National Grid workers showed up Tuesday morning but no work was being done. They also added that they have called the FDNY, Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection and were told National Grid is responsible for the holes.

A spokeswoman for National Grid said the company is committed  to ensuring the safety of the public.

She added the company is using industry-approved methods to secure the work site and have the appropriate work permits. Also, National Grid is conducting daily surveys of the area to maintain safety until the repairs are completed.

“We apologize for the inconvenience but the work is necessary to ensure a safe and reliable gas system for the community,” the spokeswoman said. “Last month during an investigation we detected a gas leak and made arrangements to schedule the repairs, working around parking restrictions on the block.”

She added the gas lines had been replaced on the street and now each home in three buildings has to be transferred to the new service lines. The company is working to notify everyone in the buildings.

Crews are expected to be on site starting Wednesday through the end of the week to complete the work and have the holes filled.

Residents are urged to call 911 or National Grid’s Gas emergency number, 718-643-4050.

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City to deploy ‘shelter repair squad’ to fix homeless shelter issues


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Five city agencies are coming together to investigate and solve the issues faced at over 500 homeless shelters throughout the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the city will deploying hundreds of “special SWAT teams” — made up of employees from the FDNY, Department of Buildings, Department of Homeless Services, Department of Health and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development — to accelerate the process of repairs at homeless shelters all over New York City.

“These SWAT teams are necessary because we aren’t dealing with a problem that just started in the last year or two, we’re dealing with a problem that is decades old and has gotten worse for several reasons,” de Blasio said. “This city has seen a homelessness crisis that in the last decade went from a very troubling level to an absolutely unacceptable level.”

According to the mayor, 56,000 people are currently living in shelters, and although that number is down from 59,000 people a few months ago, there is still much more to be done.

The implementation of the inter-agency shelter repair squad comes after de Blasio received a report from the Department of Investigation two months ago that put forth the unhealthy conditions at the city shelters. The DOI found 25 shelters that required immediate attention, and those have since had almost all violations addressed.

One of those shelters included the Corona Family Residence, where de Blasio made the announcement Monday afternoon. This facility had violations such as smoke detector problems and rodent infestations.

The squads will go out to individual shelters, identify the problems and solutions to them, then reach out to various departments and agencies that could find the resources to correct the conditions. Typical violations — such as broken or missing smoke detectors — will be expected to be fixed within a seven-day period after being identified. Some of the more complicated capital repairs will begin in about 30 days with a plan of completion within the calendar year.

Along with the squad, there will also be an accountability system put into place where members of the public will be able to track the city’s progress through online scorecards.

“Every effort is being made to reduce the number of health and safety violations within DHS shelters, and the creation of the shelter repair squad will provide immeasurable support to us in these efforts,” DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor said. “This engagement is truly reflective of our city’s collective responsibility, serving our most vulnerable New Yorkers. These measures will indeed help DHS to overcome the many years of neglect that our city shelter system has been subjected to.”

Last week, de Blasio also announced that in the city’s 2016 $78.3 billion budget $100 million will go toward homeless prevention and assistance, including rental support, anti-eviction and legal services, and more. The budget will also include $4.7 million to expand the number of shelter beds for runaway and homeless youth by another 100, while enhancing mental health services.

For Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who attended the Monday announcement, the issues residents have to live with at these homeless shelters hit close to his heart because his family once lived in a shelter. Van Bramer said that many of the issues the families are facing are the same as those his family faced years ago.

“Every family that comes to [a] shelter is in a state of crisis in one way or another, but the fact that they found shelter means that they are on the path to recovery, like my family. So going to [a] shelter is the first step, in many cases, to making it out of [the] shelter,” Van Bramer said. “But when you get to that shelter, it should be a place where any New Yorker could live because it’s about dignity and it’s about knowing that you matter, your lives matter, your children matter.”

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College Point to celebrate Memorial Day with 11-year-old Poppy Queen


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Feehan family

This year’s Memorial Day Parade in College Point has a pretty Poppy Queen with a patriotic heritage.

Julia Elizabeth Feehan, a fifth-grader at a local Catholic school, is a talented young performance artist who enjoys acting, singing and dancing, and both her paternal and maternal grandfathers served in the U.S. Army.

“I enjoy the spotlight sometimes so it’s nice to do that and honor the soldiers at the same time,” Feehan said.

Her paternal grandfather, William Feehan, was a veteran of the Korean War who served from 1951 to 1953. He spent his professional years after 1959 as a New York City firefighter until he lost his life as a first deputy fire commissioner responding to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Feehan’s maternal grandfather, Bob Fetonte, served in the U.S. Army in 1961 and was honorably discharged.

Julia’s father, John, was also involved in public service, serving as a corpsman in the Army Reserve from 1999 to 2003 with Fleet Hospital in Fort Dix. He is now a chief in the FDNY.

The grand marshal of the parade will be Army veteran Louis A. Di Agostino. Di Agostino was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart after serving in the Korean War, and he will be leading the way for marching bands, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the First Reformed Church, among other youth groups and service organizations.

The parade is set to start at 2 p.m. on May 24.

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Fire breaks out inside Pan American homeless shelter


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated 3:35 p.m.

No injuries were reported after a one-alarm fire ignited early Wednesday morning inside the homeless shelter at the former Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst, fire department sources said.

The blaze started at about 1:54 a.m. inside a third-floor unit of the seven-story structure at 79-00 Queens Blvd. Firefighters responded to the scene and quickly extinguished the flames.

According to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the entire facility was evacuated after the fire broke out, and families were allowed to return once firefighters brought the situation under control. The family residing in the burned unit was transferred to another facility until repairs are made.

Coincidentally, the fire happened on the deadline date that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Office of Temporary and Permanent Assistance set last week for the DHS to remediate violations at the Pan American and other homeless shelters in operation across the city.

As reported last week, community residents reported seeing rats looking for food in a trash pile outside the shelter. A NY Daily News investigation also revealed that many of the units — some of which house as many as five people at a time — are infested with cockroaches.

The DHS did not comment on the governor’s deadline in an email to The Courier.

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Tenant charged with attempted murder, arson in fire that destroyed eight Woodhaven homes


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

Updated Monday, March 23, 12:41 p.m.

BY SALVATORE LICATA AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

A man was arrested for allegedly setting a fire that caused eight houses in Woodhaven to go up in flames on Wednesday night because his landlord had just evicted him.

Luis Lopez, 30, a tenant at 91-21 90th St., where the blaze started, was arraigned on Friday on charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree arson, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated cruelty to animals in connection to the fire that left eight injured and killed two dogs, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Lopez, who faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, was being held on $100,000 bond, according to court records. His next court date is April 7.

“The defendant is charged with setting a fire that could have killed numerous people and did take the lives of two dogs — all because the defendant was allegedly angry about being evicted from his apartment,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Arson is a serious crime and the defendant now faces spending a considerable amount of time in prison.”

On Wednesday, at about 8 p.m., Lopez was ordered to vacate the premises of where he was living, according to officials. About 10 minutes later, the landlord and her boyfriend smelled smoke. The door was blocked from the other side and it took them several attempts to escape from their basement apartment, prosecutors said. As the two fled, they saw smoke and an orange glow coming from Lopez’s first-floor bedroom.

By the time firefighters arrived at the two-story home, the flames had spread to the roof and adjacent residences.

The Courier/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The Courier/Photo by Salvatore Licata

About 39 units and 168 members responded to the blaze, which left six residents and two firefighters with minor injuries. The fire also displaced more than 60 individuals, officials said.

“The investigative work by our fire marshals resulted in the timely arrest of this suspect,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Setting a fire is a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences. Fortunately there was no loss of life at this incident, but tragically the quick moving fire destroyed eight homes before being brought under control.”

Councilman Eric Ulrich, Assemblyman Mike Miller and Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) announced on Friday the creation of a special relief fund by CCBQ to help the families affected by the fire.

Donations will go toward providing essentials including gift cards to local supermarkets, clothing, replacement household furniture and other necessities. Monetary donations can be made payable to CCBQ online at www.ccbq.org or by mail. Contributions should designate “Woodhaven Fire Victims” in the memo. For more information contact CCBQ’s Office of Development & Communications at 718-722-6202.

“We cannot erase what occurred, but this fund will help these families work towards rebuilding for a better tomorrow,” Miller said. “We ask the community to help in any way they can to assist these residents in this time of need.”

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77-year-old woman found dead in Rockaway fire


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Updated 2:41 p.m.

An elderly woman was killed Saturday afternoon after an accidental fire sparked by a cigarette broke out in her Rockaway Beach apartment, authorities said.

The blaze started about 1:35 p.m. on the seventh floor of a building at 107-10 Shore Front Pkwy., according to the FDNY. Firefighters were able to control the flames, which were contained to one apartment, by about 2:15 p.m.

Inside the residence, they found a 77-year-old woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not immediately release the victim’s identity.

No other injuries were reported.

The FDNY said the cause of the fire was smoking and that there were no working smoke alarms in the apartment.

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Selling point: Joe Abbracciamento site sells again and more big sales


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The closing and sale of the nearly seven-decade-old Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant in Rego Park caused an emotional stir in the neighborhood last year.

The buyer, Criterion Group, had plans to demolish and build on the property, but nearly one year after the eatery closed, the new owner has sold the property. That transaction is just one of the big sales in the borough over the week.

Address: 62-98 Woodhaven Blvd., Rego Park
Price: $10,850,000

Plans to transform the former site of Rego Park’s beloved Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant haven’t gone anywhere. The restaurant and adjoining buildings were sold to 62-98 Realty LLC, a firm based in Flushing, for $10.8 million, according to city records filed on Friday.

After the family-owned eatery closed and was sold along with the adjoining buildings on the block for $9 million to Criterion Group, according to property records, permits were filed by the new owners to demolish the buildings and build a seven-story residential building on the lots with nearly 120 apartments and 60 parking spaces. The stores attached to the restaurant were closed last year for the impending demolition, which has not occurred as yet.

Address: 39-34 43rd St., Sunnyside
Price: $8,100,000

This warehouse building near Torsney/Lou Lodati Playground traded hands for $8.1 million, according to city records filed on Tuesday. Jay Kestenbaum is the buyer.

Last year, the FDNY tried to acquire this site to store about 100 spare and reserve fire engines, according to published reports. The plan needed Uniform Land Use Review Procedure approval from the city. Although it was approved by Community Board 2, the plan was met with some opposition. Residents cited potential problems of increased traffic and noise. The FDNY withdrew its application and plans for the site in August.

Address: 39-50 24th St., LIC
Price: $5,675,000

Greiner-Maltz Investment Properties closed on this apartment building on Tuesday. The four-story, 30-unit building has 21,680 square feet of space. There are also two vacant retail spaces in the building on the ground floor. The sale has yet to hit city property records.

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Op-Ed: Risking it all for $27/day


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY STEVE CASSIDY

When the FDNY began its efforts to recruit New York City firefighter candidates back in 2011, it sold them on the merits of “the best job in the world has the best benefits in the world.” Now, several years later, it appears that the city failed to tell these prospective first responders the truth.

Since 2013, the city has hired more than 1,400 new FDNY firefighters, most of whom don’t have disability benefits. What the city recruitment posters should have read in 2011 was, “Don’t get hurt in the line of duty or else you and your family will be in trouble!”

Here’s why: If any probationary (rookie) firefighters hired by the FDNY since January 2013 are seriously injured, paralyzed or permanently disabled on the job, the approximate value of their disability protection amounts to only about $27/day.

This all began when Governor David Paterson vetoed the New York City firefighter and police Tier II extender bill in June 2009, forcing all future FDNY and NYPD hires into Tier III, which has no real disability benefits. Today virtually every firefighter and police officer in New York State has real disability benefits, except for those in the FDNY and NYPD.

It is wholly unacceptable for newly hired city firefighters to face the same dangers as fellow veteran firefighters but only be protected to the sum of $27/day, or less than $190 per week, if they’re seriously injured.

It’s already a highly dangerous profession and firefighters need to be 100 percent focused on their responsibilities in a fire/emergency situation and not distracted with “what if” concerns about who is going to take care of their family if they’re seriously injured. Having this lingering concern — especially among firefighters who are married or have children to provide for — clearly jeopardizes public safety, and simply doesn’t serve taxpayers’ interests.

How can the city demand new hires enter a burning building, or conduct a dangerous rescue or take other risks, while denying them the same disability protections?

I believe most New Yorkers will stand united with New York City’s firefighters to declare that it is immoral for the city to ask the young men and women of the FDNY to risk their life and health without a safety net. What’s more, the public is best served when every firefighter is solely focused on their job, because they know that if they are seriously injured in the line of duty, they will be taken care of.

The Uniformed Firefighters Association is advocating and fighting for necessary corrective legislation that requires the support of a majority of the New York City Council and passage of legislation via the state Assembly and Senate and signed into law by the governor.

What legislation would do is guarantee that each of our city’s firefighters and police officers who risk their lives would have similar disability protections that more senior New York City firefighters and other first responders across the state are granted.

New Yorkers should want and expect a fire department with members who will never have to think twice about if their family would be cared for if they were permanently disabled. New Yorkers should join with firefighters and call upon city and state legislators to take action and correct this serious problem.

Steve Cassidy is president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

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Jackson Heights fire caused by food on stove: FDNY


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@nicky_andacatnamedmishu

A fire at a Jackson Heights apartment, which injured two people last week, was caused by food left on a stove, according to fire officials

The two-alarm blaze began at 11:33 p.m. on Feb. 12 on the top floor of 35-64 81st St. and was under control about an hour later, the FDNY said.

The two injured people were taken to Elmhurst Hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries.

Fire officials also found no working smoke detectors in the home.

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Video: Teens rescued after becoming stranded on ice in Little Neck Bay


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video YouTube/courtesy of Mary Marino

A venture onto a frozen Douglaston bay turned dangerous on Valentine’s Day when two teenagers got stuck on the cracking ice and had to be rescued by the fire department.

Ladder Company 164 and Engine Company 313 responded to the stranded pair around 5 p.m. Saturday, when they found them near Bay and 223rd streets about 300 to 400 feet from the Little Neck Bay shoreline, fire officials said.

When they arrived, FDNY members witnessed one of the teens, believed to be a boy, fall into the icy water and be pulled out by the other person.

Mary Marino, who lives right on the bay, saw the emergency vehicles and ran out to see what was happening.

“The water started rising up and the ice started cracking,” she said.

Marino then grabbed her phone and filmed the speedy rescue.


The teens, a boy and a girl, managed to make it closer to the shore, but were still stuck on the weakening ice, she said. The video shows the first responders placing a ladder across the ice so the two could crawl across it to shore, while some rescuers were in the water in insulated suits to hold the ladder steady.

“They did an excellent job — it was fast,” Marino, said, adding that the entire rescue took about 10 to 15 minutes.

One of the teenagers was taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center for treatment due to exposure to the water.

Marino, who has lived near the bay for 40 years, said it’s very rare for someone to get stuck on the ice, but decided to post her video of the rescue online to make sure no one else gets stranded on the body of water again.

“You can’t walk on this ice because it’s dangerous,” Marino said.

“They didn’t realize the tide gets high,” she added.

Earlier this month, the FDNY and Parks Department held a press conference on the dangers of walking on frozen waters in city parks.

“This winter we have seen incidents in Central Park, in the Bronx and [on Saturday] in Queens where, if not for the quick response and brave work of FDNY members in frigid, icy waters, New Yorkers may have lost their lives,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro in a statement. “Venturing onto the ice of New York City’s rivers and waterways is dangerous. I urge all New Yorkers to stay off the ice for their safety, and for the safety of all FDNY members who respond to these emergencies.”

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Fire truck and car collision in Briarwood leaves five injured


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A collision between a fire truck and car in Briarwood on Thursday night left five people, including two firefighters, hurt, the FDNY said.

The two vehicles crashed into each other at Hillside Avenue and Queens Boulevard about 6:30 p.m.

Three people were taken to Jamaica Hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, fire officials said.

Two firefighters, who suffered minor injuries, were transported to Queens Hospital Center.

The cause of the crash is reportedly under investigation.

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