Matt Troutman

That’s the message Councilman Robert Cornegy and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams sent Saturday as they delivered much-needed personal protective equipment to the service.

Like many frontline coronavirus workers, the corps’ volunteers found themselves in need of masks and other protective gear — and quick.

“We wanted to make sure to provide those face coverings,” Adams said. “They’re on the ground and it’s so important that we continue to give them the supplies on the ground that is needed.”

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Adams has made it a mission of sorts to personally hand out masks, HAZMAT suits and other gear to frontline workers, essential workers and vulnerable people across Brooklyn.

The delivery on Saturday was prompted by a call from Cornegy, who heard the Bed-Stuy ambulance service was in need.

Cornegy said it took Adams’ office only a matter of hours to come up with the supplies. He emphasized how important it is to support the volunteer ambulance corps.

“There was a time in this community when regular ambulances didn’t want to pick up or deal with black bodies,” he said.

Bed-Stuy’s volunteer ambulance corps wasfounded by James “Rocky” Robinson Jr. in 1988 — a time when, as Cornegy said, ambulance response times in the largely black and brown neighborhood fell behind.
The corps’ current commander Antoine Robinson — Rocky’s son — thanked Cornegy and Adams for the “last-minute” donation. The supplies will be put to good use, he said.

“We’re out here fighting every day,” he said.

Cornegy said services like the Bed-Stuy ambulance service shouldn’t be forgotten as the city recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

“We need to make sure that those of us who have been here since day one get those resources,” he said.

The volunteers leave their regular jobs and work unpaid shifts with the Bed-Stuy corps, Robinson said. His voice cracked when he talked about the personnel’s hard work and dedication.

“We are moving forward in keeping the legacy of James ‘Rocky’ Robinson alive,” he said.