The Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department has gotten a $1 million boost from the state in its efforts to construct an ambulance station for about 40 volunteer EMTs who serve tens of thousands of residents and commuters each year.
“I believe this $1 million will serve as a kick-start to hopefully get this project moving forward,” Assemb. Gina Sillitti (D-Manorhaven) told Newsday. “This has been so many years in the making. I’m hoping this money will get them one step closer to building a beautiful facility for our first responders.”
The department’s ambulance unit is stationed at Company No. 3 in Great Neck.
“Over the last several years, the needs for EMS have outgrown that building,” said Lee Genser, captain of the department’s Ambulance Unit. “ … You saw with COVID that an EMS station needs certain features that are unique to EMS that the firefighters don’t necessarily need.”
Department officials said a classroom for training and education, individual bunk rooms and an exercise area are among the features they envision at the new station. The station would also house three ambulances, a first-responder vehicle and the unit’s utility task vehicle.
Some of the department’s apparatus is stored at its district office, at 170 East Shore Rd. in Great Neck. Genser said that during times of high call volume the unit must send someone over to retrieve an ambulance.
“If you have a serious call, a few minutes could make a big difference in a patient outcome,” Genser said. “Being able to have all our equipment in one facility will certainly help us be able to help the community.”
Assemb. Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Sillitti, who represents the area, recently announced the funding at Cumberland Avenue in Great Neck, the potential location for the new facility.
Officials said it will cost about $10 million. The department has about $3 million saved for the project. The remaining funds will likely come from a bond referendum later this year, officials said.
The Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department Ambulance Unit was founded in 1988 with 22 members and one ambulance, which was owned by the department. The Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department’s coverage area is 10 square miles, and its members serve about 45,000 residents. The number grows during work hours when commuters are factored in, Genser said. In 2021, the ambulance unit responded to nearly 1,000 emergency calls, officials said.