Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Park Worker Sent To Hospital After Being Overtaken By Fecal Fumes

A Parks Department worker was forced to spend the day in the emergency room after being overtaken by fecal fumes in Sara D Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side.   "What the hell is this, what the hell I'm I looking at.... Toilet paper and shit,"   (Video Warning: Graphic Language) 


By Geoffrey Croft

A Parks Department worker was forced to spend the day in the emergency room after being overtaken by fecal fumes, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Daniel Roca, 54, arrived at work for his 8 am shift in Sara D Roosevelt Park yesterday but before he even got passed the second set of doors into the building he was confronted by a putrid smell.

The building's basement had been flooded with fecal matter after the adjacent public bathroom was clogged. 

A hoodie and other items were found jammed into the toilet which caused the plumbing to back up into the building.

"It smelled so strong.   I was gagging, " the worker said. 

Roca said he threw up in the street from the stench while out getting masks. 

He said he felt nausuais, dizzy and a tightness in his chest.  

"Thank goodness I didn't have a heart attack, I'm lucky"  said Roca who has a 10-year-old son. 

"My doctor was very clear, he said do not go back there."   

The Park Enforcement Patrol officer is assigned to the Communication Division located in a building in Sara D Roosevelt Park on Broom Street, between Chrystie and Forsythe Streets.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.

The bathrooms were left open overnight on consecutive evenings according to several park workers familiar with the incident. 

"You can't do that there, the junkies stuff rags, shirts and newspapers down the toilet," said a park maintenance worker. 

"There's no toilet paper, the homeless and junkies steal it.  The bathrooms in Central Park and Bryant Park are tended to why aren't these?   

Wearing a mask Roca ventured into the basement to investigate the source of the smell with a parks plumber. 

"What the hell is this, what the hell I'm I looking at," the park worker can be heard asking in a video obtained by NYC Park Advocates.  

"Toilet paper and shit," the other park worker responds.   The worker describes items in the basement including a copier  and paperwork. 

"Its gotta get thrown out," a worker says.  

"I couldn't believe it, you have to be kidding," Roca said as he saw first hand the human waste that had bubbled up from the floor.

"It's a bio-hazzard.  If you can smell it's airborne. You're breathing that in. " 

This is not the first time the basement has flooded. A rusted botton of a filing cabinet.

While the workers eventually got masks they had to regularly remove them to answer the phones.

"We should not be in that building period," Roca said after spending the day in the emergancy room and undergoing a barrage of tests at NYU on 1st Avenue.  

"Would central communications for the Police Department for the Fire Department be located in a building like that, of course not.  This is a disenfranchised agency. We've been marginalized. "  

Mr. Roca works as a Park Enforcement Patrol officer assigned to the Communication Division in a building located in Sara D Roosevelt Park on Broom Street, between Chrystie and Forsythe Streets. 

Approximately two dozen park employees work in the building. 

The red brick building has been plagued by a host of issues including bed bugs and mold since being completely gutted and renovated a decade ago.

"The place is deplorable, " said Local 983 President Joe Puleo which represents the PEP workers.   

"No one should have to endure toxic fumes while working," he said.   

The bathroom toilets are clogged all the time several park employees said.

"There are no workers on the grounds, look at this place, it's disgusting,"  fumed a park worker pointing to the copious amount of garbage piled around the park.

"Everyone is moble,  we have no permant workers assigned here. These people deserve nice parks,"  the worker said.  

Coined "America’s finest playground,” when it opened in 1934,   the city has allowed the 7.8-acre Lower East Side park which serves largely immigrant patrons,  to deteriorate into a cesspool.   

The park, built over demolished tenements,  is in desperate need of tens of millions of dollars in capital funds to fix sink holes that plague the park.   

The park's filth had been caused by decades of neglect due to a chronic lack of staffing.  The neglect has long impacted the safety and enjoyment of the public in this heavily utilized park near China Town.    

The building is adjacent to a popular, and terribly maintained and falling apart, soccer field.

The bathrooms are often out of service due to a lack of permanent staffing needed to deal with unsanitary conditions. 

One of several unsightly flypaper hanging in the building. 

For years the stairs in the front of the building have been blocked off due to the crumbling condition.

1 comment:

  1. This is an unfortunate situation. Not that the pipe burst but that people are subjected to work there. It's even worst that the supervisors didn't even feel that it was necessary to explain to staff what was going on. This place has been falling apart for years with no signs of getting better. And to think that this is the place where they send pregnant employees. To sit in this office and inhale God knows what, day in and day out. Not to mention the Scabies, Bed Bugs, no AC in the summer and no heat in the winter, possible mold in the walls and old paint that's probably laced with lead and asbestos. Moldy ceiling tiles stained and discolored. Unfortunately the staff have no other alternatives where to work. God forbid that staff ask questions and try to find help to get answers. Things just seem to be swept under the rug. Air fresheners aren't the solution nor can they stop respiratory illnesses. Maybe a terminal illness or death will move things along. Sad!