A bullet, a pellet, a rock — something shattered a window of an ambulance in North Bellport Tuesday, police and ambulance officials said.
Two EMTs from the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company were returning from dropping off a patient at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue when the passenger side window shattered, said Charles Voelger, chief of the volunteer company.
“The window exploded,” he said. “We don’t know if someone threw a rock at it or if someone shot at it.”
Broken glass hit the EMT sitting next to the window and she suffered minor cuts on her arm, he said. “She was turned toward the driver at the time, thank God,” the chief said.
The window was broken at about 3 p.m. on eastbound Sunrise Highway, just east of Station Road, Voelger said.
Police searched the ambulance for evidence, but did not find any projectile.
The incident came on the same day the ambulance company learned its $20,000 grant request to buy bullet-resistant vests had been rejected by FEMA, Voelger said. The money would have purchased about 50 vests for the company, which has six full-time, paid EMTs and a core of 50 volunteers, he said.
Voelger said his members have been concerned about safety due in large part to tense relations between police and some communities across the nation.
He said he’s trying to pursue funding with state officials.
“It scares me and it keeps me up at night thinking I’m putting my members in danger,” the chief said. “We volunteer our time to help people and it’s very difficult sometimes when you think of putting yourself in harm’s way to do that.”