The Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps will be getting a new home next year.
Joe Karam, president of the VAC, said its original location, a one-rig garage at the village’s Department of Public Works building on Hempstead Avenue in Malverne, was torn down just before Thanksgiving to make room for a new building.
Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris-McDonald said the new facility, which the village is building, is expected cost more than $700,000 -- with $150,000 coming from the ambulance corps, $500,000 from the village and $60,000 secured by Nassau County Legis. Francis X. Becker (R-Lynbrook). The money from the ambulance service will cover its rent for at least the first seven years, Norris-McDonald said.
Karam said the most recent estimate on rent he received from the village was $24,000 a year, which he said was more than the VAC can afford.
Norris-McDonald said the amount was still being negotiated. “Believe me, the last thing we want to do is injure the ambulance corps at all.”
The building will have two bays, one for each of the corps’ ambulances, a basement and a ground floor, complete with a meeting room and state-required bathrooms and showers. The ambulance corps -- which currently holds a $59,500 contract for services to the village -- has raised most of its needed $25,000 to furnish the facility.
Karam said the building was originally scheduled to be completed sometime around March, but construction could last until the summer, depending on the weather. In the meantime, one ambulance stays with an on-duty crew member while the other is parked behind the village police station.
McDonald said she and the VAC hope their investment in the building will attract new volunteers from nearby medical schools. The corps now struggles to staff the day shift.
“It’s worth it 100 percent,” McDonald said. “You’re talking about saving people’s lives, you can’t put a cost on that.”