“Hundreds” of New York City’s EMTs and paramedics are on the chopping block because of the city’s budget crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, a union official said.
Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS local 257, toldNBC News 400 people are at risk of losing their jobs.
“Even with the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 looming and two recent outbreaks in Brooklyn, [New York City Mayor] Bill de Blasio and his team at City Hall wants to balance the city’s budget on our backs, eliminating some 400 emergency medical responder positions and placing every New Yorker’s life at risk,” wrote Barzilay.
A spokesperson for the FDNY referred questions to City Hall. A City Hall spokesperson told the station the city “does not want these layoffs to happen, but this is the hole we are in without a stimulus or borrowing authority.”
The comes as the city’s emergency medical responders responded to record call volume during the pandemic. In March and early April, it peaked at some 6,500 calls a day.
Barzilay said nine union members had died from COVID-19.