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Hailed heroes want more training

DAVID KENE Special to the AmNews | 1/24/2013, 1:46 p.m.

Robinson says he's been able to keep BSAC afloat with sporadic support from the Bedford-Stuyvesant community and monies from his own pocket, which include his pension and $50,000 in a reverse mortgage he has personally taken and is investing into BSAC.

"All it takes is four minutes for a person not breathing to experience brain damage," says Robinson. "I want people not to depend on ambulances, but be able to offer competent medical support and then call an ambulance. I don't want my people on rooftops begging some white knight for help when, with training, they can help themselves. That's why I created this 25 years ago, after I retired."

Yet, for BSAC to continue its effort to churn out self-reliant EMTs throughout Brooklyn and beyond, it needs an infusion of public funds in amounts much greater than is currently being offered. Yet, as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz says, "It doesn't work that way."

When pressed to tell what resources may be available to offer community training to improve the skills of citizen first responders, Markowitz told the AmNews last week that his hands were tied.

"We only have money for capital. We can buy ambulances, but we don't have funds to train anyone. Of course, I'd be open to such a thing, but the City Council has funds for programs. I just get capital."