Police & Fire

File photo

A 57-year-old Floral Park woman riding on the back of a motorcycle died after being ejected in a collision with an SUV in Northport on Sunday evening.

Mary Santry-Rosenvinge was driving a 2015 Toyota RAV4 east on Fort Salonga Road at about 5:35 p.m. and, as she attempted to make a left-hand turn into her driveway west of Sandy Hollow Road, her car struck a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle that had been traveling west, according to police.

Martha Garcia, who had been riding on the back of the bike, was pronounced dead at the hospital. James Losito, 53, the driver of the motorcycle and Garcia’s boyfriend, and Santry-Rosenvinge, a 66-year-old Northport resident, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Huntington Hospital, according to cops.

The vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Second Squad at 854-8252.

Thomas Stavola mugshot from the DA's office

A cardiologist has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a Smithtown car crash, 16 months after he killed a fellow medical professional and mother of three.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday that Setauket doctor Thomas Stavola, now 56, will spend two years in prison and five years on probation after last year’s crash, during which his Audi broadsided victim Monica Peterman’s Mercedes at the intersection of Routes 25 and 111. It was shortly before 4 a.m., and Peterman, 45, had been on her way to work as an X-ray technician at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. Instead, the Middle Island resident was pronounced dead at that same hospital she had worked for more than 10 years.

District Attorney Tom Spota said previously that the doctor, who sustained minor injuries in the crash, left the scene without helping Peterman.

“Witnesses who came upon the crash scene said the defendant suddenly left and began walking west on Route 25,” Spota said in a previous statement. “What I found most troubling is the fact that a physician chose not to render any kind of aid or use his cellphone to call 911 to get some assistance for a seriously injured motorist.”

The DA said those witnesses gave police officers a description of Stavola, and a sergeant on his way to the scene spotted the man about 500 feet from the crash, walking quickly with his head down.

According to the DA’s office, Stavola had a .10 blood alcohol content 90 minutes after the fatal incident.

The impact of the collision had embedded Stavola’s front license plate into the side door of Peterman’s car.

Stavola originally pleaded not guilty to his charges. The victim’s family filed a $20 million civil lawsuit against him last year, saying they hoped it would help make punishments stricter for drunk drivers.

But Stavola changed his plea and Peterman’s family supported the two-year sentence and probation, the DA’s office said. Husband Russell Peterman said in a statement that his family wanted to let go of the anger they felt toward Stavola and realized he deserved another chance “to go back to helping people.”

We’re on the case
Police said an unidentified person stole an iPhone case from the Walmart at the Centereach Mall on Oct. 18 around 1:15 p.m.

Narcissistic steal
An unidentified person entered a residence on Narcissus Road in Rocky Point and stole jewelry from the bedroom on Oct. 18, between 2 and 9 a.m.

Hear me roar
An 18-year-old man from Stony Brook was charged with disorderly conduct and damaging property on Oct. 16 after police said he yelled and threatened people nearby and punched a glass window. The incident and arrest took place at a residence on Main Street.

Capt. Underpants
Police charged a 34-year-old woman from Southold with burglary and illegal entry with intent on Oct. 18, after the woman entered the Kohl’s on Route 25A in Rocky Point and stole men’s underwear. Police arrested the woman at the scene 15 minutes after the incident.

A burglary not Selden seen
On Oct. 15 at 3:56 a.m., an unidentified person entered someone else’s residence on Middle Country Road in Selden and stole cash. Police did not say if the person broke into the home or found another means of entering the property.

On the fence
Around Oct. 15, someone broke the fence and an adjacent gutter of the Tierney & Tierney law office in Port Jefferson Station.

Bottling it up
The Suffolk County Police Department said an unidentified person was hit in the head with a bottle at Schafer’s restaurant in Port Jefferson. The incident happened around 2:50 a.m. on Oct. 17.

It’s in the bag
On Oct. 17 around 5 p.m. a woman left her purse unattended at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson and it was stolen.

Thank you very Munch
Police said an unidentified person broke the front glass window of the Munch Repair Service on North Country Road in Stony Brook on Oct. 15 and stole change and cigars.

Put it on my cart
Suffolk County police arrested a 54-year-old woman and a 48-year-old woman for petit larceny on Oct. 15, after police said these two women from Middle Island walked into the Walmart in Setauket and attempted to steal a shopping cart of various items. The 48-year-old was walking with the cart while the 54-year-old was placing items into it as they attempted to leave the store.

Out of control
Suffolk County police said that on Oct. 16 a 17-year-old male from Port Jefferson Station was found in possession of narcotics. The teen was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Don’t sweat it
Police arrested a 29-year-old man from East Setauket for petit larceny on Oct. 18, about a month after the man took a knife and sweatpants from a business on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook.

It wasn’t me
A 45-year-old man from Ronkonkoma was arrested on Oct. 16 for unlicensed operation of a vehicle. The man was driving a 1998 Chevrolet down Nesconset Highway when he was pulled over for an unknown reason. According to police, he was also in criminal possession of a controlled substance and gave the officer a fake identity.

Needle in hand
A 34-year-old man from Hauppauge was arrested at 12:50 a.m. on Oct. 17 after police said he had a hypodermic needle in his hand while sitting in a 2001 Nissan at Miller Pond State Park in Smithtown. He was charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Broken windows
It was reported that a window of a building was broken at Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown on the property at 11 a.m. on Oct. 16

Stealing from a friend
A 52-year-old woman from East Northport was arrested at the 4th Precinct on Oct. 16 at 7:30 a.m. for a crime committed at an earlier time. According to police she stole clothing valuing more than $3,000 between June 1 and Sept. 11 from someone. She was charged with third-degree grand larceny.

Skates and stealth
Someone reported that while they were roller-skating in Robert A. Brady Park in Smithtown they left their wallet on a bench and it was taken between 4 and 5 p.m. on Oct. 16.

Trying to Dodge the incident
On Oct. 15 a 33-year-old man from Central Islip was arrested at Townline Road in Kings Park at 6 p.m. for a crime committed at an earlier date. Police said on Sept. 22 he was driving a 2002 Dodge pickup truck at the corner of Old Commack Road and Old Northport Road in Kings Park when he hit another car and fled the scene at 4:15 p.m. He was charged with leaving the scene of incident and property damage. 

Fire department heats up
A man was punched in the face at the Smithtown Fire Department at 7:40 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Fight on Pine
A 49-year-old man from Kings Park was arrested at his house on Oct. 13 at 5:22 p.m. for punching a man in the face on Pine Street in St. James on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. according to police. He was charged with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury.

Ladies don’t get in this Mercedes
It was reported that all four tires and rims of a 2015 Mercedes on Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset were stolen between 10 p.m. on Oct. 15 and 8 a.m. on Oct. 16.

Outside the lines
Police said a 55-year-old man from Westbrook was failing to maintain his lane on Mayfair Terrace in Commack at 9:40 p.m. on Oct. 16 and was pulled over. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Five-finger shopping spree
A 43-year-old woman from Ronkonkoma was arrested after police said she stole clothing from multiple stores on Oct. 14 including clothes from Sears on Jericho Turnpike in Commack at 1 p.m. and clothes from TJ Maxx on Jericho Turnpike in Commack at 4:50 p.m. She was charged with petit larceny.

Drunken speeding
On Oct. 17 a 43-year-old woman from Ronkonkoma was arrested after police said she was speeding on the Long Island Expressway by Exit 51 in a 2013 Toyota RAV4. She was arrested at 10:17 p.m. and was charged with driving while intoxicated.

An ‘old scam with a new twist’ is soliciting money from some PSEG Long Island customers and threatening to cut off service if payments are not made immediately. Stock photo

Long Island utility PSEG said residents across Nassau and Suffolk counties have been receiving suspicious phone calls threatening to cut their service if they don’t immediately pay bills that don’t exist.

An alert from PSEG Long Island said both residential and business customers have been receiving calls from tricksters claiming to be employees of the utility company and warning that their electric service would soon be cut if payments are not made to them the same day. Similar scams have been reported across the country, with PSEG being one of the latest to see customers fall victim to them, the utility said in a statement.

It was described as an “old scam with a new twist,” in which scammers spoof PSEG Long Island’s interactive voice response system prompt menu so that when customers call back, they are presented with an interaction that is similar to one they would receive if they called PSEG Long Island’s real customer service line.

“The scammers tell customers that, in order to avoid being shut off, they must immediately pay their bill with a prepaid card that can be purchased at many pharmacies and retail stores,” the utility said in a statement.

Dan Eichhorn, vice president of customer services for PSEG Long Island, said there were striking similarities in each of the scams.

“Scammers ask the customer to give them the number on the back of the pre-paid card and take the money from the card — usually within a matter of minutes,” he said in a statement. “This scam has affected companies across the country. We urge our customers to always use caution when making payments.”

The utility reassured that it would never force a customer to give them the number of a prepaid card, especially with such urgency. In a statement, PSEG Long Island said that suspicious residents should hang up the phone if they receive such a call and call back directly to test the validity of that call.

“When PSEG Long Island makes an outbound phone call to customers, customer-specific information is shared with the customer,” PSEG Long Island said in a statement. “That information includes the account name, address, number and current balance. If customers do not receive this correct information, they likely are not speaking with a PSEG Long Island representative.”

The number on the back of PSEG Long Island customer bills is 1-800-490-0025.

PSEG Long Island said the utility was working with local and national law enforcement to investigate the matter further and is reaching out to its contacts at local community service agencies, asking them to spread the word to their clients.

Teens accused of altering students' grades, schedules

Daniel Soares mugshot from SCPD

Three students from Commack High School were arrested Tuesday morning and accused of breaking into their school district’s computer system to change two students’ grades and nearly 300 students’ schedules, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

Cops identified the three 17-year-olds as Alex Mosquera of East Northport and Commack natives Daniel Soares and Erick Vaysman, alleging they were behind an unauthorized breach of the Commack Union Free School District’s computer system back in July. They surrendered to detectives on Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. and were scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip later in the day, police said.

Attorney information for the three teenagers was not immediately available.

Alexander Mosquera mugshot from SCPD
Alexander Mosquera mugshot from SCPD

Police said they were first notified of the data breach in July, when the Commack school district determined an unauthorized person, or group of people, accessed its network and altered the schedules of nearly 300 students. The district was able to identify the alterations and correct the schedules before students arrived for class in September, the district said. The county police department’s computer crimes section also investigated the breach and found two students’ grades were altered, SCPD said.

The district posted news of the arrest on its website Tuesday morning, but did not identify the students by name.

“We know that the actions of a few students do not reflect on the entire student body,” the Commack Union Free School District said in the statement. “From kindergarten through high school graduation, the district teaches and reinforces the attributes that contribute to good character: courtesy, honesty, attaining pride, responsibility, accountability, compassion, tolerance, endurance and respect. With reinforcement and guidance by their families, our students reflect those values.”

Erick Vaysman mugshot from SCPD
Erick Vaysman mugshot from SCPD

Mosquera was charged with computer trespass and criminal solicitation; Soares was charged with burglary, computer tampering, identity theft, computer trespass and eavesdropping; and Vaysman was charged with computer tampering and criminal solicitation, cops said Tuesday. The arrests came just weeks after the district went public with news of the initial breach, which was posted to its website last month. In response, the district bulked up its data protection protocols by adding security features to student management systems and implementing a 24-hour active monitoring program.

Some of the information that may have been viewed, the district said, included student identification numbers, names, addresses, contact information and schedules. Social security numbers, however, are not in the student management system.

Password protection safeguards and network protocols also prevented any further access to the district’s data management system and kept private and personal information safe, the district said in a statement.
“We believe the initial data breach only involved a very limited number of high school student records,” the district said in a statement. “The district continues to cooperate fully with local law enforcement agencies, and our IT department is working closely with the police to provide digital data to assist law enforcement. In addition, a full electronic security review is underway with a company that specializes in network security.”

John Martin demonstrates how to use intranasal Narcan in Northport. File photo by Rohma Abbas

Northport High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions will be dedicating more than a week to raising awareness of drug and alcohol abuse by hosting programs to cultivate prevention and support recovery beginning on Thursday.

Known as the Northport-East Northport Recovery, Awareness and Prevention Week, the programs kick off at the Northport American Legion Hall on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., where families will gather to share their experiences with addiction. The Suffolk County Police Department will also provide Narcan training for the community.

The weekend will feature drug take-back programs at local libraries. The take-back campaign, manned by the village police department, will start at the Northport Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and continue on Sunday, Oct. 25, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The county police department’s 2nd Precinct will also man a post at the East Northport Public Library on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents are able to participate in an anonymous drug drop-off, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at each police precinct, according a press release by the high school’s SADD club.

The club has partnered with the Northport-East Northport Community Drug and Alcohol Task Force, the office of county Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport), the village police and the county police’s 2nd Precinct to host these events.

Darryl St. George, a social studies teacher at Northport-East Northport school district, is a SADD club adviser. He became involved with the cause after losing his brother Corey to a drug overdose.

In an interview this week, St. George said he feels the week’s events, particularly the Narcan training and the drug take-back program, would make a great impact through helping train people in potentially saving lives and by taking drugs off the streets — drugs that put lives at risk.

“I think that this is very meaningful,” St. George said. “I think that this is one of those events that will have very real results.”

Ending on Thursday, Oct. 29, there will be a number of events at the schools in the district and this year, for the first time, programs will take place at elementary school level.

“Of course the message will be delivered in an age-appropriate way, but nevertheless the message will be the same — say ‘no’ to drugs,” he said.

The programs will culminate in a press conference outside the Northport Village Hall, where officials will report the results to the community.

The large numbers behind opioid-related deaths and Narcan saves justifies the need for these kinds of events, St. George said. According to a recent statement from the office of County Executive Steve Bellone (D), there were more than 250 opioid-related deaths in Suffolk County and 493 Narcan saves in 2014.

“This week, specifically, the Narcan training and the drug take-back program give me a renewed sense of hope that we are doing something that will have tangible results,” Tammy Walsh, a SADD adviser said in a statement. “The drugs we are taking off the streets could stop a kid from overdosing or possibly getting addicted. The Narcan training we are providing is empowering people to be in a position to save lives. We are still in this fight.”

For questions about these events, contact St. George at darryl.stgeorge@northport.k12.ny.us.

Caught trespassing
An 18-year-old man from Smithtown was arrested on Oct. 11 after police said he entered a resident’s home without their consent at 4:45 a.m. on Judges Lane in Village of the Branch. He was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing.

The man with the lead pipe
Police said an 18-year-old man from Copiague made threats with a lead pipe to a person on Apple Lane in Commack on Oct. 8. He was arrested at 6:47 p.m. and charged with second-degree menacing with a weapon.

Ay yai yai in the Hyundai
On Oct. 8 police said a 45-year-old man from Yaphank operated a 2012 Hyundai on Ronkonkoma Avenue in Smithtown, hitting a 2015 Ford and then fleeing the scene. He was arrested at 12:20 a.m. and charged with third-degree fleeing from an officer in a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a crime with property damage.

Sticky fingers at Walmart
A 32-year-old female from Bayshore was arrested after police said she took health items and clothing from Walmart on Crooked Hill Road in Commack on Oct. 9. She was arrested at 12:12 p.m. and charged with petit larceny.

St. James DWI arrest
On Oct. 8 a 43-year-old man from St. James was arrested after police said he was driving drunk. He was driving a 2006 Dodge Charger on Route 111 in Smithtown at 8:30 p.m. and hit a pedestrian. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Can’t maintain a lane
Police said a 28-year-old woman from Smithtown was driving drunk at 1:26 a.m. on Oct. 11. She was arrested on Jericho Turnpike in Commack after failing to maintain her lane while driving a 2011 Nissan and swerving into other lanes, according to police. She was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Shattered glass
At Oriental Kitchen on Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset it was reported that someone smashed the glass front door and stole money at 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Documents gone
A resident of Tracklot Road in Nissequogue said that someone entered his or her locked 2006 Volvo and stole documents from a bag at 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 9.

Afternoon cocktails
Suffolk County police arrested a 46-year-old woman from Coram for driving while ability impaired. Police said the woman was driving west on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station on the afternoon of Oct. 9 when she crashed her 2001 Hyundai into another vehicle. Police discovered she was intoxicated and arrested her at the scene.

Rock it out
A 22-year-old woman from Miller Place was arrested for criminal mischief after she caused more than $250 worth of damage to a 2014 Honda. Police said she struck the left side of the car with a rock on Sept. 28 on Long Beach Drive in Sound Beach and was arrested on Oct. 11 on the same street.

Stolen Chevy
On Oct. 10, police arrested a 20-year-old Sound Beach man on Miller Place Road in Miller Place for possession of a stolen car. According to police, the 2014 Chevrolet, which was parked, had been reported stolen.

Busted
A 50-year-old woman from Rocky Point was arrested on Oct. 11 for petit larceny after she entered the Kohl’s on Route 25A in Rocky Point and took a bra without paying. Police arrested the woman at the scene shortly afterward.

Nailed it
A 22-year-old man from Holtsville was charged with petit larceny on Oct. 9, after the man took a nail gun from a business on Pond Path in Centereach. Police arrested the man at the 6th Precinct.

Boosted tech
Police arrested a 23-year-old man from Shirley for petit larceny and criminal mischief after he entered the Walmart at the Centereach Mall on Oct. 8 and stole a Boost Mobile phone and assorted electronics. He also cut the packaging of various store merchandise.

Drinking and swerving
A 23-year-old woman from Rocky Point was arrested on Oct. 9 for driving while ability impaired. She had been driving a 2002 Mitsubishi south on Nicolls Road in Stony Brook when she failed to maintain her lane and was pulled over. Police discovered the woman was intoxicated and arrested her at the scene.

Don’t sweat it
Police said an unidentified person broke the rear passenger window of a 2011 Infinity parked by LA Fitness on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on Oct. 9 and stole a pocket book containing cash and credit cards.

Vive la résistance
On Oct. 9, police arrested a 36-year-old man from Rocky Point for criminal possession of heroin and resisting arrest. Police didn’t specify why officers were called to the man’s residence on Daffodil Road in Rocky Point, but when officers arrived, the man slammed a window on one of the officers before running into the bathroom to dispose of the heroin. When police attempted to arrest the man, he refused to put his hands behind his back or allow police to cuff him.

Shattered glass
An unidentified person shattered the rear window of a 2015 Honda Accord that was parked on East Main Street in Port Jefferson on Oct. 11. Police said nothing was stolen.

On Oct. 11 police said an unknown person damaged the passenger window of a 2012 Honda CR-V. The car had been parked near a residence on Hewlett Drive in Sound Beach.

Egging ’em on
An unidentified person egged a person’s house and 2012 Nissan Rogue that was parked near the residence on Vineyard Way in Mount Sinai on Oct. 9.

It’s MyPhone now
Police said an unknown person stole an iPhone 4 from a 2004 Mercury on Oct. 11 while the car was unlocked and parked at a residence on Tyler Avenue in Miller Place.

Two times the theft
Early in the morning on Oct. 11 an unidentified person took cash and assorted items from a 2014 Jeep and a Chevrolet. Police said the cars were parked on Long Bow Road in East Shoreham at the time of the theft. Police did not say if the cars were locked.

On the hunt for coins
An unknown person entered a 2012 Honda and took coins from the car on Oct. 11. Police said the car was unlocked and parked in the driveway of a residence on Hunters Trail in East Shoreham.

Put it on my tab
On Oct. 9, an unauthorized person used a Centereach resident’s credit card information to purchase items for a substantial amount of money. Police did not say where the suspect acquired the information or how much money was lost.

Boom right in the kisser
Police said a 26-year-old man from Northport punched someone in the face, causing injury at 3 a.m. on Oct. 7. The man was on Green Street in Huntington when the incident occurred, and cops charged him with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury.

Wallet woes
Someone reported that an unknown person took a wallet from a 2002 Ford parked on Lantern Street in Greenlawn at 1 a.m. on Oct. 7

On a roll
Police said a 29-year-old man from Corona was driving drunk at 4:10 p.m. in Huntington on Oct. 10. He was driving a 2003 Ford on East Jericho Turnpike when he failed to yield right of way to an approaching vehicle while trying to turn into a parking lot of Anthony’s Discount Tires. He then struck the other vehicle, struck three parked cars in the parking lot he was trying to turn into and the building itself. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

No sunshine in Malibu
On Oct. 11, an unknown person scratched a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu’s front and side doors at 1:50 p.m. on Park Avenue in Elwood.

Trespassing to pass the time
A 24-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested on Oct. 10 at 10:50 p.m. after police said he remained in a side yard on Leyden Street in Huntington Station where there was a no trespassing sign. He was charged with trespassing.

Jewelry jam
An unknown person entered a home on Kimber Court in East Northport at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 and stole jewelry.

Burglary spree busted
A 17-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested in Huntington on Oct. 10 at the 2nd Precinct and charged with multiple crimes, according to police. On May 6, cops said he unlawfully entered a home on 1st Avenue in Huntington Station and stole property. On Oct. 5, cops said he entered a home in Sioux Place in Huntington Station and stole jewelry, a gaming system and other items. On Oct. 9 he allegedly entered a house on E. 25 Street in Huntington Station and attempted to take property. He was charged with three accounts of second-degree burglary in a dwelling.

Not what the doctor ordered
An unknown person keyed the car door of a 2015 Nissan Altima on Oct. 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Huntington Hospital parking lot on Park Avenue.

Squad says it services highest call volume in town

Huntington Community First Aid Squad is the subject of a recent study. File photo

A report shows that Huntington Community First Aid Squad is requesting more help from neighboring fire departments than any other ambulance service in Huntington.

According to the report, commissioned by Huntington Town, five volunteer fire departments in the town approached town officials about an increase in requests from the Huntington ambulance squad to respond to calls in the squad’s service area.

HCFAS made more requests for ambulance support than those five departments combined, according to the report.

In a phone interview this week, Alyssa Axelrod, vice president of HCFAS, said that the study is misleading because it does not mention that the squad receives more calls than the five other departments combined.

HCFAS was formed in 1967 as a nonprofit and is the only exclusive volunteer ambulance program in the town. The taxpayers and Huntington Town fund the squad’s operations.

The chiefs at the respective fire departments started noticing an increase in requests starting in 2013, according to the study.

Huntington Town responded to those concerns by hiring Medic Health to assess the operational practices of HCFAS and provide recommendations to reduce the number of requests to neighboring fire departments and ambulance squads.

The study began in June 2014. Consultants worked with the Huntington ambulance squad, representatives of Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services and Huntington Town to gather and analyze information.

The study found instances where HCFAS was understaffed during certain shifts.

In one graph, the study shows times of the day and days of the week where current staffing levels, which is a minimum of two staffed ambulances, may not be sufficient to cover the community’s demand. The study states that 1 and 5 p.m. are the two times of the day where resources are lacking the most, during six out of the seven days of the week, according to the study. Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. is the busiest.

Currently the HCFAS services Huntington Town with a minimum of two on-duty ambulance crews based at the station for daytime shifts, and one crew for overnight shifts, according to Axelrod.

The study also highlighted a problem caused by the staff being made up entirely of volunteers.

Commitments from volunteers varied considerably for overnight and daytime coverage, according to the study. The report stated that 17 percent of the planned shifts had an insufficient number of members to staff the desired two ambulances. A chart showed the number of ambulances the HCFAS can field during different shifts based on member commitment. Friday, Saturday and Sunday overnight shifts only have enough member commitments to staff one or fewer ambulances, according to the chart. This is the same for 7 to 11:00 a.m. shifts on Friday and 3 to 7 p.m. shifts on Friday and Saturday.

Although there is no official time for how quickly an ambulance should respond to a call, organizations have given time limits to respond to life-threatening calls.

The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services said a total response time standard of eight minutes and fifty-nine seconds is expected for life-threatening calls.

In 2014, the HCFAS was able to be on the scene to 62 percent of their calls within eight minutes of the call receipt, 76 percent within 10 minutes and 89 percent within 15 minutes. According to the study, 11 percent of the calls required more than 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on the scene.

If an ambulance can’t respond to the scene, mutual aid requests come into play.

Mutual aid requests were designed to allow surrounding departments to assist each other during times of unusual demand for services, like mass casualty situations or disasters. Volunteer-based organizations like HCFAS also resort to mutual aid requests when they are unable to muster sufficient resources to staff an ambulance and respond to a call.

During the first five months of 2015, HCFAS requested mutual aid 41 times compared to 23 times by all the adjacent departments.

The study concludes with eight recommendations for the HCFAS to reduce its mutual aid requests. They include employing dedicated staff to provide coverage for shifts that are too difficult to staff with current volunteer squad members, restructuring the recruitment and orientation process to reduce time investment for prospective members, and more.

It also states Huntington Town should mandate the submission of monthly performance measurements, including response time performance reports and establishing response time expectations.

Axelrod said she believes that there is a misunderstanding about what this study is about.

“We are a busy department,” Axelrod said. “This year we will do 60,000 calls. We’re stripped of our percentage of calls we get in this report. The report doesn’t show that we respond to more calls than the five other departments combined.”

She said this makes the report confusing, but there were helpful discoveries and some recommendations that HCFAS wants to integrate moving forward, according to Axelrod.

She said the squad is changing how it brings in members as it’s currently a lengthy process.

“The process is steeped in caution,” Axelrod said. “We are very careful when we vet people before we let them ride in an ambulance.”

She also said the squad has considered non-volunteers, and has added a line item to their budget for 2016 to add paid personnel. According to Axelrod, the squad’s budget for this year will be cut by 15 percent, so they will have to look into other funds if they want to hire employees.

“The bottom line is we do a great job and these other departments do a great job,” Axelrod said. “But when you take out the number of calls we respond to, it makes us look deficient.”

Shaun McNeice. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police nabbed an East Northport man they accused of robbing five North Shore businesses — one more than once — within the last 30 days.

Shaun McNeice, 29, of East Northport, was arrested on Saturday after police said he robbed a Shell gas station on Commack Road in Commack and fled the scene on a bicycle at about 7:35 p.m. The employees at the gas station were not injured, and McNeice was apprehended a short time and found with the proceeds from the robbery, a skull mask and a loaded handgun, cops said.

Police said McNeice is responsible for a string of other robberies, beginning with a 7-Eleven on Jericho Turnpike in East Northport on Sept. 12 at about 11 p.m. Cops said he robbed the same 7-Eleven twice more last month — on Sept. 24 at about 12 a.m. and again on Sept. 30 at about 12:15 a.m.

According to police, McNeice hit another 7-Eleven, also on Jericho Turnpike on Oct. 2 at about 12:40 a.m., a Speedway on Jericho Turnpike in Commack on Oct. 4 at 4:45 a.m. and Finnians Pub on Jericho Turnpike in Elwood on Oct. 5 at about 10:45 p.m.

The man was charged with seven counts of first-degree robbery, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

He was held at the 2nd Precinct and was arraigned in 1st District Court in Central Islip on Oct. 11. He was held in lieu of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bail bond, according to online court records.

Attempts to reach McNeice were unsuccessful. A call to McNiece’s residence went unanswered on Monday morning, and attorney information wasn’t available.

Two Smithtown High School East coaches were trapped in a bucket truck during a homecoming football game. Photo by Steve Silverman

Two Smithtown High School East football coaches got stuck 30 feet in the air on Saturday when their hydraulic lift malfunctioned during a homecoming game.

Dix Hills firefighter Jacquelyn Stio helps coach Tim Kopiske to safety after the Smithtown High School East football coach got stuck in a malfunctioning bucket truck at a homecoming game. Photo by Steve Silverman
Dix Hills firefighter Jacquelyn Stio helps coach Tim Kopiske to safety after the Smithtown High School East football coach got stuck in a malfunctioning bucket truck at a homecoming game. Photo by Steve Silverman

The Dix Hills Fire Department came to the rescue that afternoon on the turf of the coaches’ rival, Half Hollow Hills High School East, where they were suspended in a truck’s bucket, according to Steve Silverman, a spokesman for the Town of Huntington Fire Chiefs’ Council. The volunteer firefighters brought their 75-foot ladder truck to get the coaches down, as well as other fire engines, three ambulances and first responder and paramedic units.

Personnel from the Dix Hills Rescue Squad were already on the scene with an ambulance, as they were standing by during the first football game of the season.

Silverman said the rescue was a brother-sister effort: firefighter Matt Stio climbed up and helped coach Tyler O’Neill onto the ladder and down to safety, and then sister Jacquelyn Stio scaled the ladder to do the same for coach Tim Kopiske.

The entire operation was quick, Silverman said. It was just three minutes before the firefighters were on the scene, and the coaches were brought back down to terra firma within another 15 minutes.

No one was injured.

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