Progress has been made to resolve Roosevelt Island’s 911 emergency response issues according to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).
A team from RIOC toured the 911 Call Center on September 15 and were shown a sophisticated new mapping system and a demonstration of how location information is used to help emergency workers better pinpoint callers. In the past, residents have had problems with the 911 system because it required a cross street, which the Island doesn’t have. The result was confusion and delay while help was occasionally sent to Roosevelt Avenue instead. In March, a resident died while waiting for an ambulance.
The system now reflects that while the Island holds a Manhattan zip code, it is only accessible by vehicle from Queens. RIOC was advised that anyone who calls 911 should identify their location as Roosevelt Island; it will then immediately appear as such on the dispatcher’s screen. If EMS is needed, calls from Roosevelt Island will be routed directly to the Queens North Unit.
On June 28, 2016, a Town Hall meeting, hosted by Council Member Ben Kallos and State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, was held at Good Shepherd Community Center to discuss the concerns of Roosevelt Island residents regarding delayed 911 emergency response to the Island. NYPD Chief Rich Napolitano, commanding officer of the NYC 911 Emergency System, spoke at the town hall, describing the 911 system and alerting residents that emergency dispatchers had been given a refresher training regarding Roosevelt Island.