Volunteer emergency responders in Mastic Beach have a new home.
Brookhaven Town officials on Monday officially opened the $9.5 million Mastic Beach Ambulance Company headquarters on Neighborhood Road. The new building, at 17,000 square feet, is five times larger than the current location on Whittier Drive and is expected to decrease response time by 90 seconds, according to Chief Charles Voelger.
He expects the building to begin operating in early October.
“This is undoubtedly a needed service to provide lifesaving emergency services,” said Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico, who represents the district, from Monday’s news conference at the facility.
Voelger said having immediate access to Neighborhood Road makes it easier for crews to respond to emergencies.
“We’ll be able to respond in a timely fashion,” Voelger said.
The state-of-the art building will house five drive-through vehicle bays, accommodate up to 15 vehicles, decrease response time, and provide better equipment and maintenance operations, officials said.
The facility, at the intersection of Neighborhood Road and Diana Drive, will include a boardroom, locker room, staff bunk rooms and training rooms that can be used for the public.
“I want everyone in the community to learn CPR,” the chief said.
Town officials said it is the first newly constructed building on Neighborhood Road in decades. It replaces a long-vacant supermarket.
More than 130 residents and first responders attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mastic Beach Property Owners Association President Frank Delustro billed the structure as the first step in the community's revitalization.
“Mark today as the rebirth of Mastic Beach,” he said.
“We need this to elevate the town,” said Mastic Beach resident Steve Sasenarine, 50.
In 2016, town board members approved an $11 million bond resolution to finance the building. Twenty percent of the bond amount was part of a contingency plan required by the New York State comptroller, town officials said.
Construction, engineering and purchase of the land cost $9.5 million, officials said. Construction began in September 2017.
The bond is expected to increase property taxes for residents in the ambulance district from about $89.25 to $97.14 per year, town officials said.
Ambulance company officials said they outgrew their existing, roughly 3,500-square-foot facility on Whittier Drive years ago. Currently, the company has five trucks but only enough room for three of them.
Panico on Monday said plans for that building have yet to be determined.
The company responded to roughly 2,825 emergency calls in 2017, emergency officials said. The district covers about 12 square miles, including Mastic Beach, parts of Shirley and Fire Island.
There are about 60 volunteer emergency responders and 30 additional members who assist the company in other ways. Six members of the staff are paid.
The new facility
Emergency personnel will began responding from the building in early October.
The company responded to roughly 2,825 calls in 2017.
Construction totaled $9.5 million.
The facility is roughly 17,000 square feet, or about five times larger than the current building.