7 On Your Side: Ambulance troubles

Seven On Your Side
January 8, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
It's the height of humanitarian work -- a volunteer ambulance corps serving the community for decades. But now they're stuck in a tangle of bureaucratic red tape.And there was only one to way get untangled. Instead of calling 911, they called 7 On Your Side.

For the past two decades, a dilapidated trailer has been home to the Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corp.

Boards now cover gaping holes in the floor. The ceiling is starting to collapse and the power lines are a corroded potential hazard.

Rocky Robinson: "It's not fit for human habitat."
Tappy: "No working toilet?"
Rocky: "No working toilet, no heat, no running water."

So, months ago they move to Rocky's cramped apartment.

Now the dispatcher takes calls in his dining room. And Rocky's office? It used to be a bedroom.

"This is my apartment. This is how we run and we refuse to give up," Rocky said.

In July 2006, the Brooklyn borough president allocated a hundred and thirty five thousand to the corp to get a new trailer. But ...

Rocky: "Bureaucratic red tape that's the whole thing."
Tappy: "It's not getting done?"
Rocky: "It's not getting done it's just not happening."
Tappy: "And you need it?"
Rocky: "And we need it. The community needs it."

Rocky says the funding was held up at the city's Department of Finance.

"First one agency then another agency ... everybody had to sign off for it," Rocky said.

But after they found out we were involved, the comptroller made the money available to the corp.

"It does seem like it's finally going to happen ... I just want to thank you and ABC for your intervention because it's been stalled for and a half you know," Rocky said.

The trailer company still has to construct the new headquarters. That could take a few months. But we'll be there for the ribbon cutting.

Log on to bsvac.org.