Reader Mail: Idling Ambulances

4/9/2010:

The Hoboken EMS is one of the most crucial services provided in Hoboken – and they’re all volunteers!

Constant struggle to keep all vehicles working

Some of the drawbacks with having services such as this are, that the residents must deal with the sirens needed to allow the emergency vehicles to get to their destination quickly and safely. Additionally, it makes perfect sense to centrally locate these first responders to cover the city effectively. It’s a fact of life.

However, one Hoboken411 reader who happens to live near the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Headquarters at 8th and Clinton – has some concerns with running vehicles:

“I live on the same block as the EMS and I am so frustrated! They constantly leave the ambulances out on the street – running! I’m sitting in my apartment right now and an ambulance has been out on the street with the engine running for at least 15 minutes. My first question is who is paying for their gas???

Also, I read last week about a car who was ticketed for parking on the sidewalk. These guys are frequently blocking the sidewalk, to the point where you have to walk in the street. see attached a couple pictures of (1) the captain’s car blocking the sidewalk last week and (2) one of their cars which had been running for a while on the street last week.”

Hoboken EMS says: Only if necessary

I swung by the HVAC headquarters yesterday to see what they had to say about their neighbor’s complaints. And wouldn’t you know it – an ambulance was sitting in front, idling.

Supervisor Steve Weintraub explained that when all vehicles are operating correctly – that they store them inside the garage. However, this particular ambulance running out front was having transmission issues – and was left running for diagnostic purposes. There was a mechanic on site – who also happened to just finish up fixing the brakes on another truck inside – which required the EMS to leave some vehicles outside.

He added that diesel-run ambulances may need more time to “warm up,” especially in colder weather. Other volunteers said they do their best to respond to concerns from neighboring residents, and indicated that they re-located one of the running vehicles in a similar instance the other day to appease the complainant.

Weintraub wanted to remind residents that it’s best to have a full fleet of working vehicles, because calling in aid from other cities only delays response time.

Which would you rather have? Peace and quiet (but longer response times) – or one of the best Volunteer Ambulance crews around in close proximity to your home?

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11 Comments on "Reader Mail: Idling Ambulances"

Medidock
Member
Medidock

Eliminate the need for ambulances & emergency vehicles to idle with the Medidock. The Medidock provides climate control (heat/AC) and power for equipment & battery charging without idling. Save fuel and maintenance dollars and keep patients / EMT’s comfortable and safe. See the full story at http://www.airedock.com (follow link to Medidock)

Medidock
Member
Medidock

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Watch our video and see photos/info on our new, improved design!

stella1234
Member
stella1234
Three points… first off, the ambulance ended up running for an hour on Thursday afternoon before I finally got fed up and called to ask them if there was a reason for it. The person on the phone informed me that they were just waiting to put it back in the garage, which they did a few minutes later. Secondly, if you notice in one of the photos – it is not an ambulance idling, but some kind of newer SUV, which I’m sure wasn’t “warming up” and doesn’t need to be running for “diagnostic purposes.” Lastly, I was actually walking down the sidewalk last week behind a woman pushing her baby in a stroller who had to walk in the middle of street because there was an EMS vehicle blocking the sidewalk, and an ambulance was directly behind it on the street. This is not right or safe, and it’s not a rare occurrence. If there had been a purpose for any of these instances (and these are just a few examples, this is very much a constant problem), I would have absolutely no problem with it. I have nothing but respect for emergency workers. I just think they could be more aware and conscious of when they are idling the trucks for no good reason and blocking the sidewalks. It’s not just about the noise. I can’t help but wonder who is paying for the gas to run these idling vehicles and what kinds of fumes are being… Read more »
elainetyger
Member
elainetyger
I always wonder about people who move onto a block where some establishment has been for decades and don’t think to look at what goes on on the block until after they move in. I don’t speak for anyone but myself here, so don’t get mad at the corps if you don’t like what I say, but really, what do you expect when you move onto the same block as EMS and a dog day care and down the block from fire rescue? It ain’t the Elysian Fields. Re parking on the sidewalk: we have volunteer responders from Bayonne, Jersey City, Union City, central NJ, Kearney, etc, who not only do not benefit from our services in Hoboken but do not receive those coveted resident parking stickers. When there is a meeting, or when 2 rigs are in service (meaning up to 8 people staffing ambulances), the 3 spots across the street that are dedicated to EMS are full. Where are they supposed to park? Or should they just stay home and we’ll see what happens? Maybe you would like to take up a collection to sponsor parking spaces in a nearby lot or garage? Also, if you want to clean out the garage or clean equipment in there, you have to move stuff out onto the sidewalk so you have some space to work with. Re running the engines: the diesel does not burn quickly when the rig is parked. I can’t speak for other drivers, but in the… Read more »
escaped68
Member
I have installed many “hot start” systems on all types of emergency vehicles including airport crash trucks. These systems are either 110/220 volts ac and the keep vital systems, everything from engine preheaters and air brake compressors,and keep the vehicles ready for instant use. Also, what do people do in alaska?? Keep the vehicles running for the entire winter, no they have engine heaters. So to say the engines are kept running to prevent freeze ups is BS. In response to elainetyger who said: I always wonder about people who move onto a block where some establishment has been for decades and don’t think to look at what goes on on the block until after they move in. I don’t speak for anyone but myself here, so don’t get mad at the corps if you don’t like what I say, but really, what do you expect when you move onto the same block as EMS and a dog day care and down the block from fire rescue? It ain’t the Elysian Fields. Re parking on the sidewalk: we have volunteer responders from Bayonne, Jersey City, Union City, central NJ, Kearney, etc, who not only do not benefit from our services in Hoboken but do not receive those coveted resident parking stickers. When there is a meeting, or when 2 rigs are in service (meaning up to 8 people staffing ambulances), the 3 spots across the street that are dedicated to EMS are full. Where are they supposed to park? Or… Read more »
krewedetat
Member
krewedetat

Great suggestion, escaped68! I hope whoever can get this done is reading this thread. Anything that can be done to reduce the air pollution around here is welcome.

In response to escaped68 who said:
I have installed many “hot start” systems on all types of emergency vehicles including airport crash trucks. These systems are either 110/220 volts ac and the keep vital systems, everything from engine preheaters and air brake compressors,and keep the vehicles ready for instant use. Also, what do people do in alaska?? Keep the vehicles running for the entire winter, no they have engine heaters. So to say the engines are kept running to prevent freeze ups is BS.

eam144
Member

I call BS on the idling excuse. They keep them idling at the St Ann’s Feast as well. After an hour of sucking fumes through my bedroom window I went to them and asked that they turn it off which they did.

getz76
Member
getz76

It is a bad habit. I am assuming the vehicles are diesels. You had to idle old diesel engines, especially in cold weather. Newer diesels do not need to be pampered as much, but drivers just want to make sure they can hop in and go.

In response to eam144 who said:
I call BS on the idling excuse. They keep them idling at the St Ann’s Feast as well. After an hour of sucking fumes through my bedroom window I went to them and asked that they turn it off which they did.

getz76
Member
getz76

@h411,

Do you purposely pick reader emails that are inane just to generate a lot of comments/hits? 🙂

nacholibre
Member
nacholibre

Next time have the complainant call the WAHHHHMABULANCE! Or as the guy in the Epic Beard Man video calls it, an “amberlamps.”

In response to getz76 who said:
@h411,

Do you purposely pick reader emails that are inane just to generate a lot of comments/hits? 🙂

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