The West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department And Ambulance Corp. covers the areas of Howard Beach, Rockwood Park, Hamilton Beach, Jamaica Bay, Ramblersville and The Belt Parkway. The Department also responds to John. F. Kennedy Airport on the transmission of a "Crash Box" which is used when a plane confirms difficulty and/or an emergency when trying to land or take off from JFK airport.
The Department covers the Belt Parkway and Nassau Expressway which both run eastbound and westbound and parallel for a good distance. These highways are also known as the southern parkway. The Belt parkway is covered from the Pennsylvania Avenue,Brooklyn exit eastbound to approximately 150th Street in Queens in both directions. The Nassau Expressway is covered from approximately 114th street eastbound to North Hangar Road in JFK airport and in the opposite direction westbound. Whenever the department responds to a box on the highway no matter what the nature of the call may be a "10-70/10-90" will be transmitted, which signifies that an engine will respond with the ambulance for fire suppression and most importantly road safety for the crews.
When responding to JFK airport, the first pieces of apparatus to respond are the ambulances as per department policy. The ambulances are first due, for the possibility of mass casualty that may occur. The engines are left in quarters and manned by personnel because on the transmission of a "Crash Box" all FDNY companies relative to our area do respond. In order to provide fire suppression to the area the engines do not respond and also in case the crash box is activated and the plane is unable to make it to the runway, Howard Beach lurks in the danger zone. FDNY responds to the crash box for water relay, in order to provide the Port Authority Fire Rescue with aide. Due to the fact that foam will be the primary extinguishing agent due to the amounts of jet fuel.
Within our area of response we face a large variety of different construction types, so it is very important that we use our knowledge for scene size-up while en route to an address. Having an EMS service also aids in being prepared for fire duty because while on scene of an EMS call we are able to get an inside and in depth look at our buildings and homes. Our area provides much diversity also as we respond to four churches, two synagogues and a nursing home. The nursing home has recently shut down by the state, but now presents as a vacant high rise building that will be decaying over the years if it is not maintained.