Today’s news:

Glen Oaks corps’ home ahead of schedule

The Glen Oaks Ambulance Corps had scheduled the groundbreaking for the construction project to rebuild its fire-ravaged headquarters, but a strange turn of events canceled the Dec. 30 ceremony.

Due to the unseasonably warm weather that hung over the New York area for the better part of December, the contracting company building the ambulance corps headquarters got a jump on the construction. So the day everybody was expecting to break ground, the builders had already poured cement for the structure’s foundation.

“We got ahead of ourselves,” said Ted Rabinowitz, president of the Glen Oaks Ambulance Corps. “We did not expect the work to go as quickly as it did. It is a good thing.”

Besides the warm weather, which was perfect for pouring cement, he said, the contractors the corps hired are very good and “know their stuff.” As of the end of December, Rabinowitz said, the contractors had dug the hole, laid the foundation and poured the cement for the basements walls.

He said the corps was hoping to be up and running in the new building by April or May. They are still raising the necessary funds to pay for the project, Rabinowitz said, and are hoping for donations. The corps has also sent out mailings and had bucket brigades in the street asking for money.

The corps serves Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Little Neck, Bellerose, the Queens side of New Hyde Park and North Shore Towers. Its station house on the corner of Union Turnpike and 257th Street in Floral Park was gutted by an electrical fire April 12, 1999.

Rabinowitz said the electrical fire was discovered by a police officer on patrol who called the Fire Department. Four hours later, the fire was extinguished but not before it had spread throughout the basement of the building, destroying the interior of the corps headquarters and all its equipment.

The ambulance corps has been temporarily housed in an office at the Glen Oaks Village Apartments between 255th Street and 260th Street and between 73rd Avenue and 74th Avenue. Bright yellow signs have been posted to direct residents to the headquarters.

“We were back in service eight hours after the fire, as soon as the phones went back on,” Brenda Morrissey, community affairs co-chairman said last year. “The night after the fire we did a whole bunch of calls.”

The Glen Oaks Ambulance Corps announced its new officers for 2002 Friday. The newly elected officials are Ted Rabinowitz, president; Frank Racaniello, 1st vice president, Jerry Gelbard, 2nd vice president, Brenda Morrissey, treasurer; Janet Sendar, assistant treasure; Judy Rabinowitz, recording secretary; Edward Weinberg, corresponding secretary.

For those interested in helping the 27-year-old volunteer ambulance corps, which has responded to more than 21,000 calls, donations can be sent to the Glen Oaks Volunteer Ambulance Corps at PO Box 340, Glen Oaks, N.Y. 11004.

Those who want to join the 80-volunteer force can stop by the station during operating hours from 6 p.m. to midnight during the week and 24 hours a day on the weekends.

For more information call 347-1637 or in case of an emergency call 347-1600.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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