Lawrence village halts ambulance bid


A process that has already taken a few years will take some more time as the Village of Lawrence board of trustees unanimously voted to reject the current bids for an ambulance and restart the bidding at a special board meeting on Jan. 12.

The village received a $300,000 grant through Nassau County with the assistance of County Legislators Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) and Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) in 2016 for an emergency vehicle. Chavira Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau County, the volunteer ambulance corps, will lease the ambulance from the village.

In the latest bidding process two bids were reviewed by Hatzalah officials, who reported their findings to the trustees at that Friday morning meeting. Both bid specifications – one from Specialty Vehicles Inc. in East Farmingdale and another from Horton Emergency Vehicles of Ohio -- were not up to Hatzalah’s standards as the cabinetry, the areas where equipment and medications are kept, did not match the set up Hatzalah currently uses. That difference is vital, according to Hatzalah coordinator Scott Orlanski.

“Lost time means lost lives,” Orlanski said, as he explained that the medics are working quickly and with only so much time to aid a patient knowing where exactly everything is is critical. “We know the CPR device is right above the driver.”

Headquartered in Far Rockaway, the not-for-profit Hatzalah organization responds to roughly 7,000 calls per year, 24 hours a day, and has about 150 state-certified volunteers, officials said. Its coverage area stretches from the Rockaway end of the Marine Parkway Bridge, across the South Shore, including the Five Towns, North Woodmere, Atlantic Beach, East Rockaway, West Hempstead and Long Beach. There is now an ambulance garage on West Broadway in Woodmere.

The board tried to salvage the time and work already done on the bids, but Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin concluded that was not likely. “Both bids are deficient,” he said. “Hatzalah will be using the ambulance, it should be user friendly.” Mayor Alex Edelman noted that one of the bids is missing 13 requested items.

Lawrence is required to put out another bid in 30 days. The next trustee meeting is Feb. 8 at Village Hall at 196 Central Ave. at 8 p.m.