I read this article and just could not believe the nasty tone. What is so wrong with a Jewish organization making an ambulance company to cater to the community? Is it any more wrong to make a Catholic High School? Or what about Catholic Homes for the Elderly? Why do these things exist? Because a community knows how to serve itself better than an outsider. Why can’t a Catholic go to a secular school and learn religion after school? My answer is that they should not have to. If resources exist to customize a program for a group, and private money is funding it then I see no reason to avoid making that service available. The author of that blog entry implies that FDNY is somehow better prepared to handle medical calls. I don’t see how that is the case. A volunteer and a FDNY employee both go through the same EMT or Medic class. A volunteer might only respond to 2 calls in a day which means he is not as tired or frustrated as the FDNY guy that has been on 8 runs already, and the FDNY guy quite possibly could just care about his paycheck.
As September 11th approaches I can’t help but feel really really sad. Sometimes I look through my photos that I collected from various places. It never gets easier to think about that day even now that two years has past. I remember it clearly. On September 10th, 2001 I was down at AOL in Virginia having a security meeting.
At my day job I am a System Engineer for a large publishing company. My boss Tony and I were sitting in a meeting at 4:15p.m. when the lights went out. We looked out the window to see if it was just us, and noticed that it looked a little dark at Chase next door. Then we noticed flashing emergency lights flashing on some of the floors across the street. I turned on my ambulance radio to see if I could figure out what was going on. It was silent which is not normal. Then I heard my mid-town ambulance trying to reach anyone on the air. I realized the blackout was at least from 50th -> 47th street because the mid-town bus sits on 47th and 5th Avenue. 6 minutes later the dispatcher came back on the air. H-Base, the radio ID of our dispatcher, started asking units to respond to buses in all neighborhoods from down in Manhattan all the way up to the catskills. I knew it was -very- bad.
Well it’s the 4th of July. The Department of Homeland Security here has the threat level elevated. On my ambulance we have not so many people around so I can’t really go anywhere this weekend. Tonight I hope to see the fireworks over by the East River. They close the highway from 14th street to 42nd street, but I live up in the 80s so I’ll have to just go to Carl Shurz park and hope for the best. In past years the view has been pretty good. I hope the weekend is quiet, and emergency-free.
Today I worked at the Israeli Day Parade in New York City. What a fun time I had. It was rainy, but still it was fun. I am in the picture on the right wearing my bright yellow EMS vest. That rickety cart I am in was my emergency vehicle for the parade.