With expansion, Peconic Landing hiring on-site EMTs

05/06/2014 9:40 AM |
The community center at the Peconic Landing campus in Greenport. (courtesy)

The community center at the Peconic Landing campus in Greenport. (courtesy)

Peconic Landing and the Greenport Fire Department are working on an agreement to help ease stress on first responders. The talks come in anticipation of an increased number of ambulance calls that could result if Peconic Landing’s proposed $45 million expansion project moves forward.

The details of the deal were discussed at a public hearing during the Planning Board’s Monday night meeting.

A half dozen people — including Peconic Landing’s CEO and a member of the East Marion fire department — spoke about the possible impacts of the project.

Some Greenport Fire Department members were also in the audience, as were some of Peconic Landing’s current resident.

The project would add 46 senior apartments, 16 private skilled nursing accommodations and a 16-suite “memory care facility” for seniors with cognitive impairment.

All the units have been pre-sold, guaranteeing the senior population would increase, and along with it the potential for more emergency calls, which have been largely handled by Greenport Fire Department volunteers.

Should the site plan be approved, it would be the largest expansion in Peconic Landing’s 11-year history.  It is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes for the town, and dozens of new jobs at the facility, as well as construction jobs, according to Peconic Landing’s lawyer, Charles Cuddy.

At least 10 of those new on-site jobs would be EMT positions to decrease mutual aid calls, which have created stress on the Greenport and East Marion fire departments. Since the expansion was first introduced more than a year ago, Peconic Landing has been working with fire wardens to develop a solution.

On Monday, Peconic Landing CEO Bob Syron said the two groups believe that having two EMTs present during every shift at Peconic Landing would help ease the volunteers’ burden.

Peconic Landing has already started the process of hiring and training EMTs. Until the teaching is complete, Mr. Syron said they would supplement rescue service with a private ambulance service overnight. Peconic Landing’s EMTs would be certified and able to respond to emergency calls within the village as well, Mr. Syron said.

Both parties are planning to sign a legal document outlining those agreements prior to construction, he said.

“Peconic Landing is trying to do the right thing for the community,” Mr. Syron said.

“As an EMT with the East Marion Fire Department who has responded to calls at 2 a.m. I am happy to hear that Peconic Landing has a plan,” said Mike Griffin of East Marion.

The facility’s 144-acre campus currently has 250 residential units, 26 assisted living apartments and 44 skilled nursing accommodations.

Peconic Landing said plans for the new facility are necessary to meet residential demand. A spokesperson said the addition would be attached to the campus’ existing community center. The plan also calls an expanded gym facility and a new art room.

The Planning Board left the hearing open until its next meeting on June 2 to allow more time for written comment.

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