'Where are we going if we have an emergency?' Long Beach residents rally for reopening of emergency care facility
Local leaders and dozens of Long Beach residents rallied Tuesday to call on the state and Mount Sinai South Nassau to reopen the Long Beach Emergency Care Facility.
The president of Mount Sinai South Nassau says because of staffing shortages following the state's vaccine mandate, the emergency care facility was forced to close. It is the only emergency room on the barrier island.
"Just because we're on the barrier island doesn't mean that we're dead," says Long Beach resident Jacquetta Odom. "We're alive, we are bleeding, they have us bleeding here today. Where are we going if we have an emergency? And especially around the holiday."
Legislators who showed up are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to follow through on her promise to fill shortages that occurred because of the state's vaccine requirement.
"It's time for New York state also to step up..." says Denise Ford. "They have the resources, they have the personnel, let's bring them in before a tragedy occurs. We deserve it."
Those who attended the protest say the current plan to have one ambulance on standby to take patients to Mount Sinai's Oceanside location is not enough.
They said when the emergency room got overwhelmed during the pandemic, they turned ambulances away and they were forced to go to North Shore hospitals.
News 12 reached out to the state and the hospital for a response to the rally, but did not hear back as of 10 p.m. Tuesday.