With a vaccine mandate for FDNY members days away from kicking in, officials warned fire companies across New York City could close and ambulances could be taken off streets because of worker shortages.
Many firefighters and emergency medical workers are still unvaccinated and have no plans of getting the COVID jab. An estimated 20 percent of fire units could close, officials said. New Yorkers could see around 20 percent fewer ambulances on the road.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the agency has plans in place to mitigate staffing issues. “The Department must manage the unfortunate fact that a portion of our workforce has refused to comply with a vaccine mandate for all city employees,” he said. “We will use all means at our disposal, including mandatory overtime, mutual aid from other EMS providers, and significant changes to the schedules of our members. We will ensure the continuity of operations and safety of all those we have sworn oaths to serve.”