Tag Archives: ity Council Speaker Christine Quinn

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.

 

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Two wanted for allegedly assaulting woman videotaping anti-gay altercation on subway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A subway ride following Gay Pride festivities last month turned from celebration to hate when two men got into an altercation with a group of LGBTQ youth.

Police are looking for those two men for allegedly assaulting a woman as she videotaped the incident on her phone.

The victim has had her own alert out for the suspects since July 2. She posted the video of the June 30 incident to YouTube in hopes of identifying and catching the two men.

According to the description that accompanies the video, the woman said she was riding on a Queens-bound F Train around 11:45 p.m. following the Gay Pride celebration when she heard the two men making loud homophobic comments.

Warning: This video contains graphic language and may be disturbing to watch.

“When a group of queer youth got on the train, the men proceeded to harass them, stating that the teens made them want to puke and that they would be killed if they were in Iran. The first assailant then threatened to rape them, at which point I took out my phone to document the incident,” she wrote.

“Seeing that he was being recorded, the first assailant lunged at me, violently grabbing my arms while trying to steal away my phone. One of the youth took the phone from me temporarily to protect it and told the assailant he shouldn’t attack a woman. When the assailant threatened to punch me, I took the phone back and ran to the other side of the train to push the emergency button and alert the authorities. At this point the second assailant got up and came towards me, grabbing my body and hands to try and get the phone to destroy the evidence. I yelled and told him I was an attorney. An onlooker then got up and stood between the assailants and myself, and another person left to get the train conductor,” she also wrote.

Durring the struggle, the victim suffered minor injuries to her hands and the suspects exited the train at the Roosevelt Avenue station, said police.

In a statement, the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) said it was “deeply disturbed” by the video footage and encourages the community to report any LGBTQ violence.

AVP also said it is contacting the Queens District Attorney’s Office, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember Ruben Wills and community partner Make the Road New York about the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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