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Nov 18, 2009 12:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village moving forward on new ambulance corps headquarters

Nov 18, 2009 12:15 PM

The Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance Corps has received the Village Board’s blessing to move forward in its efforts to either expand its headquarters on Meeting House Lane or find a new site on which to build.

After hearing at their meeting Thursday night how the village ambulance company’s facility compares to others in neighboring municipalities and hamlets, Southampton Village officials decided to commit to hiring a consultant to assess the deficiencies at the current garage and either find another location or propose a renovation.

“We’re beginning the process,” Mayor Mark Epley said at Thursday’s meeting.

The mayor said he does not know who the village will hire for the project, or how much it will cost. He did, however, suggest a portion of village property between the Village Police Department and Lola Prentice Park on Windmill Lane that might one day house a new ambulance headquarters.

“It’s central to the village, and it’s accessible,” Mr. Epley said. “That’s the only one that jumps off the page at me.”

The 41-member ambulance corps presented the Village Board with a study they completed that compares their facility to others on the South Fork with a similar membership. The study, presented by corps member Ron Hill, who is also a member of the company’s building committee, stated that the storage space, office space, meeting room space and kitchen at the Southampton headquarters is much smaller than those at others. For example, the meeting room at the Southampton headquarters is 280 square feet, whereas the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance has a total of 900 square feet.

“Their presentation was very accurate, and it’s even more dramatic in real life,” said Village Trustee Paul Robinson, who is the liaison to the ambulance corps. “We need to do something—the community does not look like what it used to look like.”

Mr. Robinson noted that, for example, Southampton Hospital has undergone many changes since the ambulance facility was built in 1976. Former Village Police Chief Lars King, who is also a member of the ambulance corps, noted that the department makes about 600 calls per year.

And Mr. Epley noted that the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, located on County Road 39, has 280 beds and has added to the ambulance’s workload.

“We recognize that they need something,” Mr. Epley said. “There’s the demands on the village ambulance that have grown exponentially, especially since the nursing home was built four years ago.”

Joe Hurley, a member of the ambulance corps who is also on the group’s building committee, said that he hopes that the ambulance can be in a new headquarters within four years. He emphasized that it takes a long time for progress on building projects.

Mr. Hurley said that the lack of meeting space makes it difficult for the group to comply with New York State and Suffolk County regulations for paramedics. He explained that the corps has tried to find space at the Levitas Center for the Arts at the Southampton Cultural Center, but found the center has limited availability.

The ambulance corps, like the fire department, which is slated to get a new $5.9 million building within the next year, is also having trouble fitting its vehicles into its garage.

“There’s not enough bay space,” Mr. Hill said.

At the garage on Monday afternoon, Mr. Hurley showed that once the doors of the ambulance are open, there is not enough space in the building to walk around them. He added that many ambulance corps members often bump their heads on the side-view mirrors of the ambulance, and can knock their knees into the vehicle’s bumpers because of the limited space in the building.

At Thursday night’s Village Board meeting, Trustee Nancy McGann asked about the feasibility of expanding the current facility, and whether or not doing so would be cheaper than finding another location.

On Monday, Mr. King explained that the property the facility is located on is limited. The west side of the building is nearly at the property line, Mr. King explained, and there is only 10 feet of empty space on the eastern side of the structure.

Mr. Hurley said that extensive renovations would need to be completed on the second floor of the building, including the construction of dormers, as space is limited and there is limited electricity and no plumbing.

Mr. King emphasized that the next structure should have the future of the village—and potential growth in the ambulance corps—in mind, as well.

“We’re more than willing to listen to anything the village has to say,” Mr. Hurley said.

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I hate it when things are printed with mistakes I mean is it so hard to get the name of a road that's been there since 1641 correct. It's Meeting House LANE
thank you.
Of course anyone can see that a larger building is needed for the ambulance. Ideas have been floated for a new hospital; It is so needed. can't y'all think of a way to accomlish both real soon?
And please leave Lola Prentice Park ALONE. the village needs open space too.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Nov 17, 09 12:56 PM
Hi Summertime,

Thank you very much for catching that mistake. It's fixed now.

Jessica DiNapoli
By Jessica Lynn DiNapoli (2), East Quogue on Nov 17, 09 1:16 PM
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on Nov 21, 09 5:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes the ambulance does need a new barn and no, the new firehouse is not more important. They money for the new firehouse is already approved of. Yes the fire department needs a new firehouse, but the ambulance also needs a new headquarters. Think before you say things.

By SH Local (8), Southampton on Nov 22, 09 12:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is obvious, just looking at SVVA's small building, that their(OUR!!) ambulances are in need of larger and improved facilities. When SV residents have medical emergencies and call 911, these are the people they want to arrive as quickly as possible. We are fortunate to have such a trained and dedicated crew!!! We should support them in any way possible!
By ocean27 (21), Southampton on Nov 22, 09 1:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Step One: Buy fire trucks that are too big for the jurisdiction and building.

Step Two: Put on a dog and pony show in front of the Village Board and claim the Firehouse is dangerous and outdated and won't accommodate new big Fire Trucks. Inject OSHA standards that don't apply to the Village.

Step Three: Pay a public relations firm $17,000.00 to pump up support for a new 8 Million Dollar Building.

Step Four: Have a permissive referendum in October when no one is around ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Nov 23, 09 6:13 PM
Interesting Ron Do. Did the Village pay you to conceive this plan?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 24, 09 6:09 PM
No, RonDo is just Chris Broich. Myabe if he voluteered, he would see the conditions. Secondly, the ambulance got the same size ambulance as they already had dontated because the village would not pay for a new one!

Its a good thing you didn't become trustee, it is apparent how supportive you are of the volunteer agencies.
By courtesy (43), Southampton on Nov 26, 09 12:29 PM
My comment was intended to trigger some thoughts on the necessity for another multi million dollar project that Village taxpayer will be burden with. It was also intend to flush out the politico(s) within the corp who are pushing this agenda.

The reality is that the entire ambulance fleet and personnel would fit nicely in the new Firehouse. The Village Board should include some extra garage space in the new firehouse to be constructed on Hampton Road. The SVVA should learn to get along ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Nov 29, 09 7:10 PM
Historical Museum.
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Nov 29, 09 7:14 PM
chris broich is a very nice person
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on Nov 28, 09 4:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you.
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Nov 29, 09 7:11 PM
As I previously stated when Mr. Broich sought a seat on the Village Board, volunteer your time with the emergency services and then make derogatory comments. Until you walk a mile in their shoes you do not have the right to disparage what the volunteer services are requesting. While we are all securely tucked away for the night the local fire and ambulance members are donating their time day and night to protect us. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED!
By K Aventi (33), Southampton on Nov 29, 09 7:19 PM
K Aventi
My 20 years as a first responder with two documented CPR Live Saving calls and participating in the Search and Rescue Mission in New York City during the 9/11 attacks on our country qualifies me to comment on this subject matter. I am a Village Resident and have friends in the Ambulance and Fire Departments.

There is nothing disparaging in my comment. Not every solution requires 8 Million Dollars. Maybe my idea makes too much sense.
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Nov 29, 09 8:37 PM
Actually, your idea of merging the two organizations and combining their headquarters makes perfect sense. You did not seem to be too worried about “the Village taxpayer” while you were collecting Village paychecks during your time with the Police Department. Moreover, I do not believe for one second that you are put the “Village taxpayer” first with your plethora of frivolous litigations. In addition, for the record, I am also a Village resident, and have many friends who VOLUNTEER their time to ...more
By K Aventi (33), Southampton on Nov 30, 09 8:41 AM
Like you said I make perfect sense.

It would seem that the Federal Judge that ruled in my favor did not see anything frivolous. Maybe you should consider reading the complaint and the decision in their entirety BEFORE making any blanket assessments.

Finally, I wore a bullet proof vest to work for 19 years and earned every penny the Village paid me. I was the only Police Officer to buy a house in the Village with his own money and continue to pay Village Taxes. You may not like ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Nov 30, 09 6:04 PM
I think that a better ambulance headquarters is much more needed than the African American Museum. That project can be put on the back burner until the current facilities and volunteer agencies are brought up to date. God forbid one of the volunteers gets hurt at the ambulance headquarters, then the village will be in a major lawsuit. It makes more sense to take care of the problems now, rather then wait. And also, this is not approving a new ambulance headquarters. This is just to allow the SVVA ...more
By courtesy (43), Southampton on Dec 1, 09 10:34 AM
Being a firefighter for many years, the ambulance should be a seperate department then the fire department - they have different functions. Most fire departments try to take the ambulance because ambulance calls take up about 90% of emergency call response. So to justify their needs, the fire tries to take them over. They also try to steal the ambulance revenue for new fire trucks to sit at the station while the ambulances are out there working their butts off! DO NOT MERGE THEM - WORSE THING YOU ...more
By Fireman1405 (1), New York most of the time on Jan 22, 10 10:15 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By acallahan (8), Southampton on Sep 27, 10 10:17 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By 290 (8), Southampton on Jan 6, 11 2:07 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By acallahan (8), Southampton on Apr 2, 11 1:20 AM