Hundreds of FDNY EMS workers facing layoffs as city in budget ‘hole’

By Kimberly Dole

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Hundreds of FDNY Emergency Medical Services workers may be laid off as the city continues to struggle to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Bill de Blasio previously warned there could be 22,000 city workers laid off because of a projected $9 billion needed in federal aid or adjusted borrowing limits.

Oren Barzilay, president of FDMY EMS Local 2507, warned of delayed responses to emergencies with as many as 400 members now facing potential layoffs.

“Even with the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 looming and two recent outbreaks in Brooklyn, 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,” Barzilay said in a statement.

A spokesman for de Blasio said the city does not want layoffs to occur.

“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. 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.”