Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) lift a patient in protective clothing into an ambulance while the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in New York City, New York on March 24, 2020.
Stefan Jeremiah | Reuters
The New York Emergency Services Union chief said Wednesday the city was preparing to fire hundreds of its members as the budget crisis mounts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Oren Barzilay, President of FDNY EMS Local 257, blamed Mayor Bill DeBlasio and his government for the expected consequences.
A statement said: "Despite the looming second wave of COVID-19 and two recent outbreaks in Brooklyn, Bill de Blasio and his team at City Hall want to balance the city's budget on our backs and eliminate around 400 rescue workers." Answer Positions and Threats to Every New Yorker's Life. "
A spokesman for the FDNY referred a request to City Hall. A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio did not respond immediately.
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"Yesterday we were lauded as heroes, important workers who save lives," said Barzilay. "Today the city government treats us like zeros. New Yorkers who lived through this deadly pandemic know otherwise."
De Blasio said the city may have to cut up to 22,000 employees as it grapples with declining contributions from the state and a tax base that is being decimated by people leaving the city, a closed Broadway and a nearly non-existent tourism industry.
The city's paramedics and paramedics responded to the record volume of calls in March and early April, hitting a high of around 6,500 calls per day.
The paramedics and paramedics were not immune to COVID-19. At its peak, nearly one in four was ill when the virus ravaged New York City, killing over 23,000 residents to date.