The New York City Fire Department is in hot water after it billed an “UNKNOWN ASIAN,” demanding a payment of $784.20 for an ambulance requested the morning after Halloween.
The bill was sent to Parsons the New School for Design in New York, leaving school officials shocked.
Office assistant Chris Rivera first came across the letter on Tuesday.
“I was taken aback, shocked more than anything,” Rivera said Wednesday. “My gut reaction is ‘How did this ever happen? Whatever happened to Jane Doe?’”
Rivera said he showed the letter to Christine Ahn, associate director of academic communications at the Greenwich Village school and her supervisor.
“I showed it to Christine and her supervisor – both of whom happen to be Asian – and Christine thought it was sort of disrespectful and rude,” Rivera said.
“I hesitated to open it but then I was like, ‘Well, I could be an unknown Asian,’” said Ahn. “We were in disbelief. There’s the racial aspect of it. And then there’s the bizarre and kind of hilarious aspect.”
FDNY confirmed answering a call for a female student with a “drug or alcohol intoxication issue” around 3 a.m. on Nov. 1. The woman was too intoxicated to identify herself so the paramedics filled out her paperwork, listing her first name “Asian” and last name “Unknown.”
“Someone there said she was from the New School dorm,” said a FDNY source. “The form was processed and sent to a billing contractor. It was a clerical error.”
FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said the department is “speaking to the vendor and asking them not to process bills that have an ‘Unknown’ for the name.”
School officials plan to pass the letter along to the office of student services.
“We’ll just go down the hall and ask every Asian student if they needed medical assistance,” Rivera joked.
Sources: New York Post, New York Daily News
Wendy Tapia Becomes New York City Firefighter Despite Not Taking Running Test, Which She Has Now Failed 5 Times
A woman was allowed to graduate from the Fire Academy even though she didn’t run the mandatory 1 and ½ miles in 12 minutes without gear. She’s now taken the test five times and failed on each try with another attempt slated for early December.
MSN reports that Wendy Tapia was granted her diploma from FDNY's training academy even though she never performed the requisite run. Claiming a foot injury, Tapia has made five more attempts since graduation, with each ending in failure — the most recent one, she said, due to an upper respiratory infection.
The 31-year-old Tapia was one of only five women among 285 new firefighters who graduated from the FDNY’s Randall’s Island training academy on May 17, according to the New York Post, which reported that other firefighters are not happy about Tapia’s situation.
“I don’t know how she got to graduate. It never should have happened,” a female firefighter told the New York Post. “You should not graduate if you can’t meet all the requirements — male, female, black or white.”
The New York Post also reports that normally, probationary firefighters who fail the running test at the end of academy training don’t graduate — period. They flunk out but can join the next academy class, start over and get another chance to pass the course.
Tapia hasn’t worked a shift at the Queens firehouse she was assigned to in May. She went on medical leave until June 10 to recover from her foot injury and then went on light duty until early July at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn. She reportedly went on full duty, but was sent back to the Randall’s Island training academy for extra help.
Tapia attempted the run again on October 31, but finished in 12 minutes and 23 seconds amid the claims of an upper respiratory infection.
An FDNY spokesperson said Tapia “successfully completed every requirement to graduate from the academy except the run — which she was unable to do after sustaining a work-related injury. We have provided her time to recover from her injury and will test her again on Dec. 2.”
An obese wheelchair-bound Brooklyn woman is suing New York City and an EMT after he posted a photo of her with the caption “Wide Load” on Twitter.
Teena Gamzon, 65, claims fire department EMT Thomas Dluhos, 35, secretly took her photo and then put it on the Internet.
Along with the captioned photo, he posted the following Tweet: “#fatladytweets Look what my husband did to my wheels couch. That bastard.” Gamzon suffers from diabetes.
“'I’m devastated,” Gamzon said. “We're made jokes of as it is.”
Her lawsuit, which was filed in Brooklyn state Supreme Court earlier this week, seeks unspecified damages for mental anguish, ridicule and emotional distress, The Daily Mail reported. Her lawyer, Robert Goldberg blamed Dluhos for “making a mockery out of his job.”
Dluhos has been fired from the FDNY and the Twitter page has been taken down.
A New York City woman set off 44 bug foggers in her Chinatown hair salon last week in an attempt to end a serious roach infestation, but she failed to turn off a pilot light. The highly flammable fumes blew up the five-story building injuring a dozen people.
FDNY investgators found boxes of Raid fumigating foggers and Decon bug bombs all over the Piao Liang Ren Scheng Beauty Salon, reported the Daily News.
The woman apparently set off 20 bombs on Wednesday. On Thursday she set off about two-dozen more, according to the Associated Press.
At 12:45 p.m. Thursday an explosion occurred on the first floor rear of the salon on 17 Pike St. A minor ceiling collapsed and a fire erupted, spreading quickly to the upper floors.
When the FDNY arrived, tenants were on their fire escapes pleading for help. A firefighter found one man unconscious inside his apartment, and using a bucket-ladder was able to get him to safety.
In all, eight people were rescued from the burning building. Two were in critical condition, two more had their conditions listed as serious.
A police source to the Daily News the bug bombs were “used improperly.” Fire investigators are also checking to see if a gas leak was involved, according to FDNY Assistant Chief Robert Boyce.
Boyce said four firefighters were injured in the blaze, which took an hour to get under control.
Xia Jing Mei told the Daily News that her aunt, who lives on the building’s top floor barely got out alive.
“[We] ran right outside,” said Mei. “I got out and there were these huge flames behind me.”
The incident is being considered an accident.
“We did have existing codes violations for this building. We’re looking into them,” Boyce said without going into detail.
It is unclear if the woman who set of the bug bombs will face charges.
The Fire Department of New York tweeted today that there's a "large amount of a thick unknown substance arising from the street" in Brooklyn, conjuring up memories of the pink slime from the 1989 film "Ghostbusters II."
The relatively ambiguous tweet left many to wonder just what it was coming out of the ground on 23rd Street. John Carney of CNBC's NetNet blog tweeted at the FDNY: "Pics or it didn't happen."
After Michael Roston of the New York Times reported that the police scanner says the ooze was just oil, the FDNY tweeted it was “1000 gallons of water mixed with oil.”
Well at least it’s not the harbinger of Vigo the Carpathian and no one will be mentally enslaved to construct his castle of pain, but what is it? Why is oil rising from the bowels of Brooklyn?
The FDNY says a water main break “effected a transformer feeder line,” but there’s a lot more in the ground in Brooklyn than meets the eye.
In a 2007 article in New York Magazine, Daphne Eviatar wrote of ten million gallons of toxic goop trapped in the Brooklyn aquifer that slowly creep up to the surface. The mix of gasoline, solvents, and associated poisions is part of a underground lake of spills and waste dumped by oil companies for over a century.
Now I bet you wish it was just Vigo’s pink slime.
New York firefighters were shocked by one man who chased down a woman in front of their department and started hitting her with a meat cleaver he was storing in his pants.
As firefighters started preparing the department for the day, they saw a man chasing a woman around 10:20 a.m. on Canal Street in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood.
It was seen by Jose Ortiz and a few other firefighters working at Engine Company 9 firehouse. They were preparing their equipment for the day and looked over at some commotion they heard.
The man began dragging the woman by her hair as she cried. She attempted to fight him off as Ortiz approached.
As Ortiz walked over, he saw the 28-year-old man pull out a meat cleaver from his pants. The man began hitting her in the head and face with the cleaver.
“I would guess maybe six, eight, ten times, he hit the woman in the head,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz attempted to hold the man back, but he kept swinging the cleaver. It wasn’t until firefighters Shane Clarke and Jim Trainor stepped in that they were able to get the man to stop.
They were surprised at how difficult it was to control him.
“He was not a big guy, only about 5’5,” but the cleaver made him a little taller,” Ortiz said.
They flagged down a police car and had the man arrested.
Though they had the man under arrest, the woman was still frightened and ran off as soon as she was released from his grasp. Ortiz told Shane to follow her so they could make sure she was treated.
“She bolts. Shane follows her, because I told him, ‘You’ve got to follow the lady, because she’s hurt,’” Ortiz said.
He found her at a nearby restaurant and an ambulance took her to Bellevue Hospital. Fortunately, the woman said her face, back, and hip lacerations are not life-threatening.
Though the department is accustomed to seeing horrifying events, they were extremely shocked by the incident.
“Besides the World Trade Center, this was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Clarke said.
The man is currently in custody and the reason for the attack is yet to be revealed.