DOH Threatens Bed Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corps

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Bed Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corps S.O.S.

The Bed Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corp (BSVAC), along with residents of Brooklyn suffered a damaging blow recently when the NYS DOH informed them that their brand new EMT training facility located on Greene  Ave and Marcus Garvey Boulevard  cannot be used for training purposes, their reason allegedly being that "the facility is too small."

Sources say that the “BSVAC  Academy is in direct competition with the FDNY EMT Union's Agenda who challenges that the BSVAC should not be allowed to operate at all.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz  previously responded to BSVAC's need for a new trailer for its operational headquarters by allocating $135,000 under the NYC budget to fund a new trailer.

As a result of the DOH’s demand that BSVAC not operate for training purposes, over 200 students directly from the community are being forced to travel outside their community to Downtown Brooklyn for their EMT training.  Even more troubling is the fact that the facility they are being sent to is smaller than that of the BSVAC Academy.  These candidates  do not have the money  or financial means to travel , especially since the fares have gone up.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BSVAC) is the first minority-run volunteer ambulance corps in the nation.  BSVAC was founded in 1988 by two EMS workers, Captain James "Rocky" Robinson and Specialist Joe Perez.  The creation of BSVAC was their response to the crisis in emergency medical service that afflicts New York’s underserved minority communities.  In continuous operation since 1988, BSVAC is the busiest volunteer ambulance service for its size in the nation, answering over 100 calls per month.

A rally to save the BSVAC Training Academy will be held in front of the facility to call on the Governor and the City Council to come to the  Rescue and help save the Academy today, (Monday, May 11, 2009) at 727 Greene Avenue (Greene Avenue and Marcus Garvey Boulevard) at 5:45 pm.  

Community Advocate Anthony Herbert and The Urban Community Council are organizing the rally. Bed Stuy Residents, former graduates of The Academa and Community Leaders.  Everyone is welcome to participate in the rally to save the BSVAC Training Academy.

Contact the BSVAC at (718) 453-4617.  For more information and updates on the BSVAC, visit ,
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