By Carl Campanile |. December 24, 2023
he city’s life savers — paramedics and EMTs — are in full panic mode over a controversial plan that will force them to pay a $15 congestion toll just to drive to their jobs in Manhattan.
An emergency worker union president is warning the congestion pricing plan, set to take effect as soon as May, will make hiring EMS workers in the city more difficult and ultimately increase response times in some of the Big Apple’s busiest neighborhoods.
More than 400 ambulance workers are assigned to three FDNY Emergency Service stations south of 60th Street in the congestion pricing district, said Oren Barzilay, president of the Local 2507 union representing paramedics, emergency medical technicians and fire inspectors.
Because of low pay and high housing costs in and around New York City, many EMS employees commute from their homes throughout lower-cost exurbs of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island and the northern New York suburbs — instead of taking less convenient mass transit, he said.