BAY RIDGE — If you have a heart attack in your home and have to be taken to a hospital, a Fire Department EMS ambulance will arrive to take you. But you’ll later get a bill for $700. If a paramedic helps you, the bill jumps to $1,200. The ride to the hospital will cost you $12 per mile.
Those figures were cited by Michelle Harrison, a member of the Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization (BRAVO), at a recent Community Board 10 meeting.
BRAVO doesn’t charge patients for transportation to the hospital or for the services of paramedics, Harrison said.
“BRAVO answers 1,200 calls a year. And we go completely free,” Harrison told Board 10.
The nonprofit ambulance service, which was founded in 1974, is funded solely through donations, according to Harrison.
“We rely entirely on contributions to keep us going,” she said.
Contributions arrive from individuals and also from fundraising events such as the Keep BRAVO Running 5K, an annual race along Shore Road.
The Fourth Annual Keep BRAVO Running 5K will take place on May 20 at 10 a.m. along the Shore Road Promenade. The starting point for the 5K race is at 101st Street.
The race is open to runners and walkers alike. Children are also welcome, race organizers said.
There will be an awards ceremony after the race and light refreshments will be served.
Race coordinator Diana Ortiz said last year’s race was a great event.
“With the help of more than 25 local businesses, professionals and other supporters, and over 75 runners, last year’s race was a big success,” she said.
“After 35 years of service, BRAVO is still here serving the communities of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton, with a recent growth in both call volume and in-service time,” BRAVO President Drew Kasler said in a statement.
Kasler called the race “a great opportunity for BRAVO members to interact with the community members we have served for so long.”
In addition to answering emergency calls, BRAVO helps out at community events, such as summer concerts in the park, and the Third Avenue and Fifth Avenue festivals.
For race registration information, visit www.bravoambulance.org.
— Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle