Woodlawn EMS station opens

Woodlawn Heights won’t be getting a new fire station anytime soon, but it did get a new EMS station.

The new state-of-the-art facility that houses MS Station 27 at 243 E. 233rd Street has been described by the FDNY as “like a place you would see in a James Bond movie.” It opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, August 5.

Station 27 is built on the site where Ladder Company 39 was originally located until it was moved in 2006. Construction on the $11 million EMS station began after the firehouse was demolished in December 2009.

“This new facility shows the department’s dedication and commitment to the residents of the Bronx, where last year our EMTs and paramedics responded to over 290,000 medical emergencies,” said FDNY commissioner Salvatore Cassano. “Station 27 will allow for increased training and decontamination of EMS members, as well as overall greater availability and faster response times in the north Bronx.”

The new station houses a three-vehicle apparatus floor and features newer technologies. These include an automatic fire door, which rapidly deploys if a fire is detected in the station, and a security system that requires employees to use hand recognition software when entering areas where there are supplies, equipment, and medicine.

The loss of the firehouse was fought in Woodlawn, where many residents protested the firehouse closure. Still, there is a sense of optimism regarding the new EMS center.

“We are happy to have the EMS station, but we are also hoping to have a new firehouse or a renovated one,” said Monsignor Edward Barry of St. Barnabas Church.

While many of the residents were disappointed about the closure of the fire house, the EMS station should benefit Woodlawn and the surrounding areas of Riverdale and Kingsbridge, said Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz.

“Having the EMS station there is a plus, and it will service not only the immediate area but also Community Board 8,” Dinowitz said.

Dinowitz added: “You still can not convince me that closing a firehouse would not increase response time to a community.”

Dinowitz said he doesn’t expect to see another firehouse in Woodlawn during the Bloomberg administration.

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