Founded in 1958, Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance (BSBRA) is a volunteer non-profit organization that provides Emergency Medical Service to the communities of Bay Shore, Brightwaters and West Bay Shore. In addition, BSBRA provides EMS assistance to the residents of Fire Island via the Bay Shore Ferries as well as mutual aid to our neighboring departments. Our district is 25 square miles and has several points of interest including all major highways, Southside Hospital, Bay Shore Schools and the Bay Shore Fire District. BSBRA is separate from Bay Shore Fire Department and provides all medical care/ rehabilitation care for all fire scenes.
BSBRA responds to approximately 4,000 calls a year for emergency medical assistance. Calls for emergency medical assistance are answered by our five New York State Department of Health Certified ambulances and three First Response vehicles, which are staffed by a minimum of an Emergency Medical Technician – Basic. Currently, we have a membership of roughly 175 members, with certifications ranging from Dispatcher to Paramedic. Many of our EMS providers are also certified to provide Advanced Life Support. Since January 2010, we are proud to offer 24/7 ALS coverage to our community.
Besides answering calls for emergency medical assistance, BSBRA also provides “standby” EMS services for special events such as concerts, sporting events, and other large gatherings of people. Our Special Operations vehicle is equipped with large amounts of supplies and specialized equipment to handle these “standby’s” as well as large numbers of injuries in the event of a large scale disaster. An EMS Bike Patrol unit assists us in providing medical care in any situation. Due to our specialized equipment and experience in handling various types of events, Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue has often been called upon to provide our assistance for events throughout Suffolk County.
We work hand in hand with the Bay Shore School District, the local hospitals and nursing homes in addition to the Boy and Girl Scouts. Outreach to the community is extremely important and consistently we are finding new ways to reach out and help those in need. This includes adopting families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, hosting Blood Drives for local hospitals and participating in all community events. In addition, BSBRA has a youth squad for students ages 12-18 who are interested in the medical field and volunteering.
Our volunteers are highly dedicated, spending hundreds, and in many cases, thousands of hours every year training to become the best possible EMS providers. In addition to having 9 CPR Instructors in house, BSBRA holds various Suffolk County classes at their headquarters. Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue has also dedicated itself to having the best equipment available to provide EMS care. Most recently, we have purchased a new Special Operations Vehicle that will help us respond to all large scale disasters. It is important to us to stay current in an ever-changing field of technology and advances in medicine.
In 2009, Bay Shore- Brightwaters was named “EMS Agency of the Year” from Suffolk County and NYS Department of Health. This is the highest award given to an individual agency and a true point of pride for our community. In addition, BSBRA was awarded the “2010 EMS Meritorious Award” for providing exceptional medical care under a dangerous situation during the March 2010, Nor’easter.
More recently however, BSBRA was named 2011’s Impact Volunteer EMS Service of the year award through the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) and EMS Magazine’s National Award Program. While recognition is nice, we are most proud of being able to provide the finest medical care possible to our town in the quickest amount of time.
In the past 5 years BSBRA has made a complete turn around. In 2005, membership consisted of a mere 74 members. Out of 2,653 alarms BSBRA did not respond to 270 of them- having an 87% response rate. Steps were quickly taken to help improve this statistic and overhaul our department. Strong emphasis on retention and recruitment were essential, as well as motivating and keeping old members. Responding to calls quickly and efficiently became a top priority of all.
Today, BSBRA is one of the top responding ambulance corps in the town of Islip. We have 24-hour crew in house, a yearly under 1.5% no response rate, as well as a full and active membership. Emphasis has been placed back on patient care and safety through education and wdepartmental training. We currently have over 15 department committees working on vast array of department, town and community projects.
Community is still the heart of our organization and we proudly participate in the Town of Islip TAC and TAC Medic program and continuously strive to be a positive asset to the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Community.
Additional information about membership, press releases, ways to donate and upcoming events can be found on our website, http://www.bsbra.org/donate.asp or by calling 631-666-5600.