30% of NYC EMS Out on Sick Leave Amidst Covid Outbreaks


The FDNY is reminding New Yorkers to reserve 911 calls for medical emergencies, as the department struggles with an influx of calls even as a significant percentage of its workforce is out sick.

“Our medical leave right now is that 30% for EMS and 17% for fire personnel,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told ABC 7. “Those numbers are even higher than they were back when when we were at the height of the pandemic, last March and April. So it’s certainly affecting our manpower status.”

Despite the depleted workforce, no firehouse or EMS station is closed. Mandatory overtime and more than 100 new EMS workers have been utilized to fill workforce gaps.

Nigro said that despite the staffing drain, no 911 call will go unanswered. Still, the department is urging people to not call when it is not an emergency.

In a public service announcement posed on social media, New Yorkers were reminded that ambulances do not provide covid testing, and ambulances will not transport to people to the hospital for the purpose of a covid test.

Don’t call us if you need a test,” Nigro said. “We don’t do testing. Don’t call us if you think you should get a ride to the hospital for testing. Because that’s really not where you should go for a test.”

The NYPD is having similar workforce gaps. With 17% of its staff out sick, all off days on December 31 and January 1 have been canceled and all uniformed officers that might have been out are to report for duty.

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