BY BRIANNA WILLIAMS
NEW YORK CITY
JULY 30, 2020
It’s been six months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health crisis. Even though New Yorkers have flattened the curve, first responders are still overwhelmed by the crises and in need of mental help.
FDNY EMS Local 2057 President Oren Barzilay says EMT and paramedic workers suffer from Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting in some taking their own lives. More than 1,000 EMT workers contracted the virus. Barzilay says the city is not doing enough to reach out to help.
“Before COVID-19 hit our city, we’ve been asking for more counseling services, more peer support, and when this pandemic hit our city in March we said that this is going to be the aftereffects,” Barzilay says. “PTSD is next and sure enough it’s here. We see it every day.”
Hotlines are set up for first responders, but Barzilay says more is needed. He says he would like the city to provide specialized counselors that deal with PTSD and people who are trained to handle these incidents.