FDNY EMT Recruits ICS!
For some people, having their wheelchair left behind in an emergency is tantamount to having part of their body left behind. A stressful situation like calling 911 becomes even more stressful because people with disabilities are often forced to leave their wheelchair, which is so vital to their independence, on the street and vulnerable to theft.
This summer ICS’s Rehab Repairs and Member Programming teams worked with the Fire Department’s EMT Division on a new initiative to recover and transport wheelchairs after someone is taken to the hospital. Led by ICS Repairs Manager Viannette Oquendo, the teams met with FDNY’s Chief of Planning Fred Villani and his unit at Fort Totten, bringing a group of chairs from our clinic, explaining how different models work, and how to safely secure and lift the chairs without damaging them.
“We didn’t have a way to transport electric wheelchairs from the scene of an emergency,” Chief Villani explains, “This test showed us how we could use our medical evacuation vehicles to pick up the chairs.” This is great news for New Yorkers who use wheelchairs. Watch a News12 story about this new service here.