July 1, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The FDNY has opened a new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) station in Astoria and local leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility Tuesday.
The facility, called EMS Station 49, will serve as a base for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics to serve Astoria and the rest of western Queens. The station is located in the industrial section of Astoria, near the Steinway Creek, at 19-40 42nd St. and is around 26,000 square feet in size.
The facility comes with 12 ambulance bays for its fleet of emergency vehicles, according to the FDNY.
The station is staffed with more than 120 FDNY medical responders who will operate 28 ambulance tours each day. An ambulance tour represents one emergency vehicle in service for 911 calls for an 8-hour shift.
The facility cost around $4 million, and construction got underway in early 2020.
The FDNY originally opened EMS Station 49 in 1996, and at that time it was housed in the basement
of Mount Sinai Hospital in Astoria. In 2013, the hospital
underwent a major renovation requiring the station to move. In 2014, the station relocated into temporary space under the R.F.K Bridge while it waited for new space– which led to the opening of the 42nd Street facility.
Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and EMS Station 49 staff members were among those in attendance to cut the ribbon Tuesday.
“Station 49 is essential to our department’s operations, and to the health and safety of all Queens residents,” Kavanagh said.
“The brave and dedicated men and women who serve in Station 49… deserve this new home because they provide outstanding emergency pre-hospital medical care 24/7 to their patients.”
The station also includes offices for the lieutenants and station captain, a conference room, a kitchen and dining area, and a lactation room for mothers who are nursing. It is also stocked with personal protective equipment and medical supplies for basic and advanced life support.
The facility also has a memorial area to honor the late Carlos Lillo, a former Battalion 49 paramedic who died on 9/11, aged 37. The memorial contains photos of Lillo and his old locker.
Acting Chief of Department John Hodgens, who also attended the event, said staff at the station play an important role in helping residents with medical difficulties.
“Whenever I come to a new facility – the thought that always comes to my mind is all the outstanding, heroic work that will be done there by our members,” Hodgens said.
“FDNY EMTs and paramedics perform incredible acts each day – and for the members of Station 49, that will begin right here at the start of their tours.”