Tag Archives: Frank Dardani

87-year-old Ozone Park man waits half hour for ambulance


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507

A concerned community is responding to what they say is a “worrisome” and “life or death” situation.

Ralph Franzese, 87, was walking from his Ozone Park home to his car parked outside on 133rd Avenue last Tuesday, July 30. Despite having his walker for stability, Franzese fell backwards, cracking his head on the sidewalk. He then waited nearly a half hour for an ambulance, according to the FDNY.

A teen girl walking by saw the fall and ran to Franzese’s aid. Others nearby gathered around the senior and called 9-1-1.

While they waited for what was estimated to be 10 to 15 minutes, Frank Dardani, resident and president of the Ozone Tudor Civic, arrived on the scene and called for an ambulance a second time, he said.

The wait continued for roughly another 15 minutes, and an EMS team arrived, amounting to a wait time of 26 minutes.

“From my understanding, response time for emergencies is supposed to be four-and-a-half minutes. That’s out the window,” Dardani said. “What the real numbers are right now – that’s scary.”

The initial 9-1-1 call was made at 4:24 p.m. An ambulance arrived at 4:50 p.m., according to an FDNY spokesperson.

“Those had to be the longest [26] minutes,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose own home is just around the corner from Franzese’s. “Response time is life or death.”

During the wait, Dardani said Franzese was “very jittery” and did not want to sit still. The elderly man has a low-grade dementia, he said, and did not want to go to the hospital. Neighbors worked to keep him calm and still.

When the ambulance arrived, EMS workers emerged and said they came from Woodside, which ultimately caused the long wait.

“We get an ambulance from Woodside?” Addabbo said. “That makes no sense.”

Just a few blocks away, on 133rd Avenue near 95th Street, is the Lindenwood Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Franzese was near 87th Street. However, the group doesn’t receive 9-1-1 calls and did not pick anything up on its scanner.

The 9-1-1 response time was recently criticized in July after a teen fainted at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s press conference and waited more than a half hour for an ambulance.

Franzese was eventually bandaged and brought to Jamaica Hospital. Dardani said he is “doing fine” and no problems were found aside from a head wound and swelling.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

New cops join 106th


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photo by Alexa Altman

Following numerous requests from residents and officials for more police officers, the 106th Precinct has added 15 members to its expanded force.

The additional officers were introduced to the public at the precinct’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 9 by Captain Thomas Pascale.

Senator Joseph Addabbo welcomed the cops during the meeting, congratulating Pascale on the new additions and thanking him for keeping the neighborhood safe.

Regardless of the inclusion, Addabbo surmises the area continuously requires extra police.

“While I’ll always be grateful for [additional] cops, I’ll always advocate for more,” said Addabbo.

According to Addabbo, the 106th Precinct loses officers every summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, to reassignments in the Rockaways.
Anticipating the area’s first summer following the opening of Resorts World Casino New York, four additional officers will be designated to the entertainment facility during the weekends.

Addabbo feels there has not necessarily been a recent spike in crime, contrary to recent published reports. He added that area police deal mainly with grand larcenies and burglaries, rather than major, violent crimes.

“We should never just react to spikes in crime. We should prevent them,” said Addabbo. “Local residents want to see a patrol car come down their block. They want to see a presence.”

According to CompStat, the number of grand larcenies in the 106th Precinct over the past year has increased by 35.2 percent.
Community Council president Frank Dardani, who advocated for more officers on behalf of local residents, claims the request for additional police is an ongoing occurrence in the 106th Precinct.

According to Dardani, the extra cops come from impact precincts – ones with high numbers of gun-related and violent crimes – and have been on the job for several years. Dardani said that rookie officers are often sent to work these neighborhoods to dissipate crime by flooding them with an obvious police presence. In Queens, the 101st, 103rd and 113th Precincts are impacts, Dardani said.

He feels the opening of Resorts World should have earned the area between 45 and 50 additional officers.

Dardani believes the entire city is in need of an expanded police presence, claiming that New York has been down roughly 8,000 officers since Rudy Giuliani was mayor. He also alleged that more officers are retiring than are joining the force.

According to 106th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Kenny Zorn, the new officers began patrolling the area last week.

“It’s just good to have more people,” said Zorn. “They made it better than it was.”

Tudor Park’s $1M upgrades ready for their close-up


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Batter up!

The city’s renovations to the Tudor Park ball field have reached completion, although residents may have to wait until spring to plant their feet on the new grounds.

“Tudor Park is always a very active area, and it’s always very full. When you have a park that people use, it needs to be upgraded,” said Frank Dardani, president of the Ozone Tudor Civic Association. “I think this is great. Any time that the city wants to do some work and upgrade things, I’m very happy about it.”

According to Dardani, the original field suffered huge draining problems along with damages from constant overuse.

“The field was not in great shape. It was pretty beat up,” Dardani said. “It was just so old that something needed to be done.”

Now, thanks to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, newly-planted trees and bushes line the perimeters of the new two-sport dual baseball and cricket field, which has been laid down with new and natural grass. Dardani also said the park now has three pieces of exercise equipment for seniors in place of old, concrete bleachers that have been removed from the site.

“We’re a small, tight-knit community. We want to get our seniors out of the house and give them something to do, and we want our young families to come out with their children, too,” said Dardani. “It’s very important to have a very safe environment for everyone to come to.”

Dardani said he hopes the upgrades will draw more community members to the park, ultimately cutting down neighborhood crime and gang activity.

“If more good and responsible people are in the park, just their presence alone will be a deterrent for these people. There will be eyes and ears watching,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dardani said he’s working on securing a sprinkler system in the park to make sure the $1 million spent on the project — provided by Borough President Helen Marshall — doesn’t go down the drain.

“That grass will get beat up pretty quick in the heat of the summer,” Dardani said. “We’re more than happy with what they gave us. We wanted to thank the borough president, but we also wanted to make her aware if at all possible to put in a sprinkler system to finish the job and have it last longer than it probably would without it.”

Construction on the new field began in September of 2011 and was completed this winter. It is slated to open in the late spring when the new sod properly “attaches” itself to the ground underneath, said a Parks Department spokesperson.