Free EMS services arranged for NY high school football season
Five local ambulance companies will provide emergency services free of charge throughout the high school football season
By Charlie De Biase Jr.
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Injuries are a part of playing sports and football, perhaps, is the one sport athletes are most prone to get dinged up while playing.
Fortunately, those who play high school football on Staten Island will be able to get medical attention in a moment’s notice.
Friends of Staten Island High School Football (FSIHSF) have once again arranged for five local ambulance companies to be at every game played on Staten Island during the 2019 campaign. According to FSIHSF chairman John Iasparro, it’s the ninth straight season that EMTs will be on hand for local contests.
Iasparro said the five companies that have graciously agreed to send ambulances to games include RUMC, North Shore Ambulance, Volunteer Heart, SIU Hospital and Priority 1. The companies offer their services free of charge, according to Iasparro.
He said they’ve had an ambulance sent to approximately 350 games dating back the last eight years.
"They’ve done it all these years and don’t charge a penny and that’s something we really appreciate,'' said Iasparro. "We owe them big-time. We’re deeply indebted to them because we just feel that it’s important to get these kids medical attention immediately when they suffer injuries.
"For the last eight years and again this season, we’ve been able to do that, which is great.''
Iasparro, who is joined on the FSIHSF committee by Bobby McGhie, Dr. Mark Sherman, Dr. John Reilly and Dr. Victor Dolan, said the idea was hatched 10 years ago during a game at Tottenville HS.
"A kid got hurt and back then, we had to call 911,'' said Iasparro. "I believe the game was on a Friday night and Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest times (on the road). It took an ambulance 45 minutes to get to the field and, to me, that’s too long.
"Having the EMTs on-site is a big luxury for the kids that get injured.''
And, in some cases, the injuries/ailments don’t even involve the players. Iasparro said on-site EMTs have gone in the stands over the years for heart attack and heatstroke victims.
"I give them credit,'' said Iasparro of the ambulance companies and the EMTs that work the games. "They’ve been great, especially getting the ambulances to every game even when there’s as much as seven or eight on one weekend.
"And even when the game times are changed, the companies scramble and do a great job getting an ambulance to a game regardless.''
©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.