New Ambulance Bays Improve Emergency Department Access | NYC Health + Hospitals
Cristina Contreras (with scissors), executive director of NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, is flanked by Dr. Mark Melrose, chief of emergency services at the hospital, and FDNY Chief Vincent Walla as the ribbon is cut on two new ambulance bays.

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx Officially Opens Two New Ambulance Bays

Nov 16, 2018

Bronx, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx celebrated the opening of two newly designated ambulance bays this morning. Directly adjacent to the emergency room, the additional bays were created to ensure dedicated parking spaces for ambulances dispatched to NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx.

Hospital administrative and clinical leaders were joined by representatives from the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, which controls the operation of all ambulances in the New York City 911 system, and elected officials in cutting the ribbon on the two new bays, which, combined with the existing two bays, doubles ambulance capacity.

When ambulances bring patients to the hospital, the duties of their emergency medical technicians (EMTs) take time. The EMTs come into the emergency department to provide a report on the patient to the clinical staff and to answer any related questions. They also often need to hose down stretchers and clean out the ambulance to prepare it for the next patient. Typically, an ambulance may occupy a bay for 15 to 30 minutes. In the past, when the hospital’s two ambulance bays were occupied, EMTs would need to take their patients to another hospital where the ambulances could park. The added capacity will allow more patients to get emergency care at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx.

“These spaces were designated specifically to provide FDNY and other ambulance providers increased access to our emergency room,” said Cristina Contreras, executive director of NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. “The additional ambulance access will be reassuring to the north Bronx community. It’s just another way we are working to engage, encourage, and empower our patients to live their healthiest lives.”

“With these new ambulance spaces, the hospital is making a positive impact in the emergency medical care FDNY members provide,” said FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Every second matters when transporting a patient to the emergency room, and these spaces will provide greater and quicker access for our members as they care for their most critical patients.”

“In the first few weeks since our soft launch, we have already seen a dramatic decrease in the number of times ambulances are diverted from NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx because there was previously not enough room for them to park,” said Dr. Mark Melrose, chief of emergency services at the hospital. “As a result of this change, we will see more patients arriving by ambulance, and that is a win for everyone.”

“I’m extremely excited about the ambulance bay expansion at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx,” said New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “This will provide even greater capacity and better access for the hospital to admit patients and provide even more incredible service to Bronx residents, specifically the Norwood/Bedford Park section. Congratulations to the leadership of Christina Contreras and Christopher Mastromano and the entire hospital staff for this and providing excellent care to the community.”“I am excited to see these two new ambulance bays next to the emergency room at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx,” said Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez. “Providing easier access to FDNY and ambulance providers to emergency rooms will be greatly beneficial to our community, and I’m proud that the investment has been made here in the Bronx.”

“We must ensure that our community always has access to immediate medical attention, so it is important that we designate more space for emergency service vehicles,” said New York Council Member Andrew Cohen. “I know that in critical times these new ambulance bays will have a major impact. I am thrilled that NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx Hospital is committed to offering high caliber services while expanding to meet the needs of our growing community.”

“There is an incredible population growth in the north Bronx and around the hospital,” said New York City Council Member Andy King. “With this growth comes an increase for emergency care closer to home. The addition of two newly designed ambulance bays helps to ensure exceptional service for FDNY and ambulance providers at the emergency room of NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. The demand is here and the volume is here, which is why I’m pleased the hospital was able to create this added opportunity for our residents. Kudos to Cristina Contreras, executive director for NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, and her team.”

The two new bays were soft-launched starting in September.

“We are well prepared to handle the increased patient volume, and we look forward to saving more lives in this community we love,” said Ms. Contreras.


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