New York City is gearing up for a possible crisis next week after more than 26,000 municipal workers missed Friday’s mandatory vaccine deadline and will be sent home without pay, threatening service capacity for firefighters, police and other paramedics.
On Friday, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, a nonprofit organization representing NYC firefighters, warned that emergency times could be “through the roof” from Monday.
“We can not even keep firehouses open today. New York City is going to have a crisis Monday morning,” Andrew Ansboro told CBS New York on Friday.
New data released by the city showed that while vaccination rates among the city’s police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors and other municipal employees increased by at least 7 percent on Friday, only 83 percent of them were unvaccinated at. 20.00. The city workers had until kl. Friday to get at least one jab and get a $ 500 bonus, or otherwise be sent home without payment from Monday.
According to the data, the NYPD’s vaccination rate rose to 84 percent on Friday, up from 79 percent the day before. The fire department rate ranged from 69 percent to 77 percent, and the sanitation department went from 67 to 77 percent. But still, thousands of city workers are likely to be sent home on Monday, leaving city officials to make contingency plans to address staff shortages.
As a result, the fire department said it may be forced to close up to 20 percent of its businesses and have up to 20 percent fewer ambulances in operation while also changing schedules, canceling vacations and turning to external providers, according to the Associated Press . NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the police force may be forced to relocate staff to various areas to remedy shortages.
In addition, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the sanitation department will move from their usual 8-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts and begin working Sundays to ensure waste does not pile up in the five boroughs.
Some neighborhoods throughout the city have already begun warning residents about possible service delays. On Friday, the Manhattan Community Board 12 sent out an email to residents warning of possible fire department closures, according to WYNC / Gothamist.
“Already this weekend you can see firehouses closed due to labor shortages,” read an email received by the news media. “This will result in longer response times for fires and medical emergencies. Residents of Inwood may have to wait for businesses in the Bronx to show up. I know Engine 95 and ladder 36 are deficient this weekend with the option to close. “These closures can be fatal!”
Newsweek contacted de Blasio’s office for further comment but did not respond in time for publication.