“They never thought black guys would want to save lives”
October 4, 2019 3:09 PM Subscribe
James Robinson, 79, Dies; Filled an Ambulance Gap in Brooklyn: Frustrated that responses to emergency calls took too long in Bedford-Stuyvesant, he started a volunteer ambulance corps, and it’s been nimble. At first he and a friend with whom he started the corps listened to police and fire department radios and went to addresses they heard on the air — accident scenes or apartments where sick people needed help. They answered the calls in their own cars. Before long they got an ambulance [in 1990], the first of several that the corps would operate. Mr. Robinson recalled in 2017 that on the first day with the first ambulance, the corps treated 10 people at the scene of a fire. On the second day, corps members delivered a baby.
James "Rocky" Robinson, Founder of Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Receives the Community Service Award (New York State Senate): Eventually BSVAC established a record-breaking ambulance service that has responded to over 400 emergency calls a month with an average response time of less than 4 minutes.[...] Rocky designed a comprehensive emergency medical training program including Trauma Troopers, First Responders, and Youth Corps. To date, thousands of local residents have been trained to save lives in emergencies. In addition, hundreds of young people have completed the youth Corps program (basic EMT training), and almost 100 of the graduates have become EMTs or have otherwise pursued careers in medicine as nurses, physician’s assistants, or doctors.
Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corps Founder James Robinson Dies (Patch): Through BSVAC, Robinson provided emergency medical training to minority communities across the United States, responded to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and helped save the life of a firefighter on 9/11, his New York state senate biography reads. BSVAC responded to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, and it sent the first medical support team to reach Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
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