FDNY Study: EMS Staffers Got Virus 5 Times More Often Than Firefighters

  • Source: The Chief-Leader - Metered Site
  • Published: 11/13/2020 12:00 AM

While Emergency Medical Service workers and firefighters were 15 times more likely to contract the coronavirus than members of the public during the early weeks of the pandemic, the Fire Department's decision to exempt firefighters from responding to calls involving COVID symptoms made them five times less likely to develop infections than their EMS counterparts, according to a study led by Dr. David Prezant, the FDNY's Chief Medical Officer. The exemption of firefighters from responding to those cases was designed to minimize the possibility that entire firehouses—where members eat and sometimes sleep—would come down with the virus. During the time period studied beginning in March, 62 department responders contracted severe COVID-19 infections, and four EMS members died.


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