The city is launching a comprehensive evaluation of its emergency response services in the wake of Long Beach Medical Center’s closing, which officials say continues to strain Fire Department resources and poses challenges for police officers and lifeguards, especially heading into the busy summer season.
City Manager Jack Schnirman said that given the uncertainty of LBMC’s fate — and the status of a proposed 911-receiving emergency room at the facility that would be managed by South Nassau Communities Hospital — the city is hiring a consulting firm to perform a “full-scale evaluation of its emergency response needs.”
“This is going to advise us on how to best protect our residents and deliver emergency services, and we’re hoping that the findings assist us in doing that,” Schnirman said. “I think it will also demonstrate the importance of a 911-receiving emergency room and how to best deploy our emergency services efficiently.”
Schnirman said that consultants from the International City/County Management Association Center for Public Safety Management, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that provides technical assistance to communities in the areas of police, fire, EMS, and homeland security, will assess the city’s emergency-response needs and help identify options for enhancing those services going forward.
“As an administration, our greatest responsibility is to ensure that we are doing whatever we can to provide residents with the best level of care and most efficiently deployed emergency services,” said Schnirman, adding that the review is expected to begin soon and take a few months. “As the summer months are quickly approaching, at a time when we still do not have a 911-receiving emergency room in the city, we fully recognize the urgency of determining how best to protect our residents.”