On Thursday in the City Council Chamber, City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito honored the Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BSVAC) with a proclamation recognizing the company's service as first responders to the shooting of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in December.
Since 1988, BSVAC has served Bedford-Stuyvesant and its surrounding communities by training individuals to deliver emergency medical care, supplying volunteers who can operate their ambulance service and also providing individuals training that can help them secure further employment in the emergency medical field.
On hand for the ceremony were BSVAC co-founder, Captain James "Rocky" Robinson, dozens of BSVAC volunteers and a host of City Council members.
"We are honoring [The Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps] for the great service they provide the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a community faced with a crisis in emergency medical service that afflicts many of New York's minority communities," said Cornegy at the ceremony. "It is with great pride, as the Council Member representing Bed-Stuy that I stand here today to honor the work of these fine individuals."
A proclamation was read aloud to become part of the official City Record for posterity. Afterward, Robinson led the BSVAC cadets in a chant, echoing their commitment to saving lives while and providing job training to residents:
"What are we? The people's EMS!
What do we do? Save lives!
What is failure? Not an option!
How do you stop the violence? Jobs!"
Currently, BSVAC responds to more than 100 emergency calls per month with an average response time of less than four minutes and has trained over 2,000 residents as first responders who can save lives in emergencies.