To the Editor:
We write this letter hoping that every resident becomes aware of the unfortunate and terrible truth of calling 911 from Roosevelt Island for emergency aid. As a result of poor training and incompetence, on March 15, my beloved friend paid the ultimate price – he died of a heart attack while waiting for EMS to arrive here.
When Kasia first dialed 911 and provided the address, specifying that the location is on Roosevelt Island, the dispatcher kept asking for a cross street, indicating that the computer located Roosevelt Island somewhere in Queens. While our friend was clutching at his chest suffering the throes of a heart attack, Kasia was having a back and forth conversation with the 911 operator trying to explain that Roosevelt Island is not in Queens.
An agonizingly slow 15 minutes later, help had still not arrived. Kasia had to call 911 again and attempt to explain where Roosevelt Island is.
Desperate for help, and unable to receive any due to poor training and incompetence, our dearest friend passed away. He was only fifty years old, a wonderful father, a good son, a fantastic engineer and a darn good sailor, but most of all, the best friend a person could ever ask for.
It is not our intention to scare people, but we felt it our civic duty to warn Islanders of the unfortunate truth. We live in New York City, one of the greatest cities on the face of the planet, but here, on Roosevelt Island, we are isolated. We face a problem that has been around for many years and remains unaddressed. We, residents of New York City, the capital of the world, do not receive timely aid from emergency services because of poor training and incompetence. This cannot be so, this needs to be remedied!
Had the EMS response been more coordinated, our friend’s life could have been saved. Let us hope that, in Mark’s memory, we can bring awareness to this issue and save the next person’s life.
Kasia Krauze and Mike Leinweber