New York, NY, November 24, 2014 – In the aftermath of a devastating fire that destroyed two-thirds of Central Park Medical Unit’s ambulance fleet, the agency has been the recipient of an outpouring of support from the community.
Within hours of the news of the fire, a Crowdrise fundraising campaign began accepting donations online, aimed at making up the gap between the expected insurance recovery and the actual replacement cost of the vehicles and equipment. By Monday morning–less than 4 days after the fire–the campaign had received over $40,000 from 180 individual donors. This is more than 25% of CPMU’s goal to raise $150,000 — the funding necessary to cover the gap between expected insurance payments and the cost of 2 replacement ambulances. To help CPMU achieve its goal, donate via Crowdrise.
Also within a day of the fire, both the NorthShore-LIJ Health System and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital contacted CPMU with offers to donate loaner ambulances to CPMU. “These tremendous offers of support allow us to get back on our feet quickly while we make more permanent arrangements to replace the custom-built vehicles,” said CPMU President Rafael Castellanos. Castellanos reported that both NorthShore-LIJ and NewYork-Presbyterian are also in the process of re-striping the vehicles to carry CPMU’s name, at no cost to the Medical Unit. “I am simply floored by their generosity.”
A remaining need is for the donation of parking spots in a Manhattan parking garage or other large moving/storage facility for the replacement ambulances. “Since the original garage is no longer a viable parking solution, at least in the short term, we need to identify a place to safely park the vehicles while they are not in service,” said CPMU VP Operations Garry Resnick. Resnick explains that the loaner vehicles require a height clearance of approximately 9 feet, and also need to be plugged in while not in use, so that the medical equipment on board remains charged. “Anywhere in Manhattan between 42nd and 110th street would be ideal.”
CPMU will provide additional information as the rebuilding process continues.