Mayor: Analyze Heat Wave Deaths To Prevent Future Ones
Senior Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered city health officials to closely analyze the data emerging from the situation so that other deaths might be prevented in future heat waves.
Referring to his directions to Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, the mayor stated: "We want to see if there's anything more that we could have possibly done. Why did they not get the advice and the water and the aid- and what can we do the next time?"
The mayor and city health officials were constantly on watch during the hot, humid days the city suffered through last week, always alert to the dire consequences that might emerge. In fact, the mayor canceled a planned official trip to Ireland so he could be present to monitor the situation.
The city's response to last week's heat wave was developed by studying the effects of past prolonged high temperature days, and the mayor drew from those experiences constantly, urging people to frequently look in on their frail and elderly relatives, friends and neighbors. He stated at one point:
"I think that what we've learned is that we are here together.We should proactively go out, we should train in advance, we should prepare and we should try to convince people to act in what we think is their self-interest, but not everybody agrees with that."
Whatever findings result from Frieden's and Hirsch's analyses will be turned over to the city Office of Emergency Management which will use them to determine whether any situation that contributed to the 22 deaths would become part of the city's future emergency planning.
SENIORS THANK LAWMAKERS FOR $$$: Rabbi Richard Levy, director of the Middle Village Adult Center, used the front page of the center's monthly publication to express his and his members' thanks to local lawmakers for more than $500K in grants and contributions they recently secured for the center.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall gave the center at 69-10 75th St., Middle Village $45,000 to purchase a new 16to 18-passenger minibus and an additional $6,500 to purchase a new, state-of-the-art digital copier.
"The new van will make it possible for us to improve our daily transportation program, which transports people to and from our center for doctors' visits and food shopping," said the bulletin article.
The article thanked Councilmember Dennis Gallagher (R-C, Middle Village) for allocating $45,000 to the center to purchase its new "Hot Shot" Meals-On-Wheels delivery vehicle.
Gallagher was also thanked for his $100,000 grant for the purchase of new computers for the center's computer class and its offices. The grant also includes money to purchase a new 7-passenger transportation vehicle.
Gallagher had previously provided the center with a $225,000 grant for upcoming renovations to the building.
Another $50,000 was secured by state Senator Serphin Maltese (R-C, Middle Village) for the soon-to-begin renovation program and $$25,000 more for ongoing expenses.
Another $50,000 for the renovation program was secured by Asemblymember Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), as well as $6,000 for daily expenses.
In addition to serving members from Middle Village, the center welcomes residents of Maspeth and Glendale.