The union chief representing New York City's EMTs has warned that 'people will die' as a result of Bill de Blasio's reduction in their numbers.De Blas
The union chief representing New York City‘s EMTs has warned that ‘people will die’ as a result of Bill de Blasio’s reduction in their numbers.
De Blasio, the mayor of New York City, has announced that 22,000 municipal employees will lose their jobs in October.
Oren Barzilay, head of EMS Local 2507, said officials have told him that 10 per cent of the city’s 3,700 EMTs and paramedics will be made redundant.
‘The response times will go through the roof. That would put people at risk,’ Barzilay told the New York Post.
The head of a union representing the city’s EMTs has said 10 per cent could lose their jobs
Oren Barzilay, head of Local 2507, warned ‘people will die’ if 400 EMTs are made redundant
‘People will die.’
Barzilay said that before the pandemic begun in March there were 4,100 EMTs – Emergency Medical Technicians.
Many have since left their jobs.
Four of his members died from the virus and three others committed suicide, Barzilay said.
They were on the frontline of the crisis, rushing patients to hospitals around the five boroughs, he said.
During the pandemic his members responded to 7,000 emergency 911 calls – double the usual amount.
‘We were the only ones going into homes to save lives,’ he said.
‘That’s what we did. This is the thanks the men and women from EMS are now getting.’
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, has warned that 22,000 municipal jobs could be cut
EMTs responded to 7,000 calls during the pandemic – double the normal number
Barzilay, who has led the union since May 2017, said that the cuts dangerous and would leave the city ill-equipped to cope with a second wave of coronavirus infections, as the weather turns.
‘COVID is not over. What happens if there is a surge?’ he asked.
Another union leader told the paper that the proposed cuts were absurd.
‘I don’t know where they would trim EMS – we are understaffed,’ said Anthony Almojera, vice president of EMS Local 3621.
A FDNY source told the paper that the city has asked for a list of where they can cut by the end of August.
This is expected to be acted upon by the end of September.
‘There’s been some tough conversations about EMS workers and uniformed firefighters – demotions,’ the source said.
Barzilay warned: ‘COVID is not over. What happens if there is a surge?’
A high-ranking FDNY insider confirmed ‘hundreds of EMTs’ will be laid off as part of cuts.
De Blasio’s spokesman, Bill Neidhardt, said the final decision had not yet been taken.
The mayor has said the jobs will be lost unless the city get state or federal aid to fill a major budget deficit caused by the coronavirus.
‘To be clear: City Hall does not want these layoffs to happen, but this is the hole we are in without a stimulus or borrowing authority,’ said Neidhardt.
‘Our EMTs and firefighters save lives every day and we are working with their unions to find personnel savings to avoid layoffs.
‘But unfortunately all agencies will face layoffs.
‘Without a stimulus or borrowing authority, EMTs and firefighters will have to find personnel savings.’