Residents of High Line condominiums fuming over ambulance fumes

April 10, 2012 12:00PM

Idling ambulances stationed located underneath the High Line on West 23rd Street have local residents fuming, DNAinfo reported. The loud sirens and exhaust fumes have made their sometimes pricey real estate far less pleasant to reside in, DNAinfo said. And they are especially angry because the FDNY wants to begin a long-term lease.

The FDNY established the depot, called EMS station 7, in November at 512 West 23rd Street between 10th and 11th avenues. Its location allows ambulances to service the West Side in the wake of St. Vincent’s closure in 2010. The FDNY now seeks to turn its monthly rental lease agreement for the site into a long-term lease until the department can find a permanent site. The owner of the plot, according to ACRIS, is the city of New York.

In the meantime, residents who live in the Marais at 520 West 23rd, Ten23 located at 500 West 23rd Street, the Spears Building at 525 West 22nd Street and HL23 at 515 West 23rd Street, say that idling ambulances emit fumes that get caught underneath the High Line overpass and seep into their homes.

The FDNY told DNAinfo that, without a nearby power source, these ambulances need to run idle to keep medical equipment powered up and to keep medicines at a cool temperature. At a Community Board 4 meeting last week where the FDNY proposed its long-term lease plan, the community board voted to deny the lease unless the department keeps the area ventilated, uses alternative fuels and searches for a permanent location away from residences.

“We’re working to reduce the time the unit has to idle,” said Capt. James Foley, the commanding officer of EMS station 7, to DNAinfo. “We’re reminding our crews that this is something that affects the neighbors.” [DNAinfo]