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NYC braces for first responder shortage due to vaccine mandate

Randy Mancini 147 October 29, 2021
TOPSHOT - Municipal workers hold placards and shout slogans outside city hall during a protest against the covid-19 vaccine mandate, in New York on October 25, 2021. - Vaccine-reluctant New York firefighters took to the streets October 25, 2021 to demonstrate against the city's requirement that they get inoculated against Covid-19 or risk losing their jobs. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Municipal workers hold placards and shout slogans outside city hall during a protest against the covid-19 vaccine mandate, in New York on October 25, 2021. (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

New York City officials are bracing for first responder shortages as the COVID-19 vaccination deadline looms. During a press conference Friday, President of Uniformed Firefighters Association, Andrew Ansbro stressed they will likely lose one-third of their service members on Monday.

Media Asks… Whats The Big Deal?

Why Not Just Take The Shot & Comply With The Mandate?

President of The Uniformed Firefighters Association's Answer… Priceless… pic.twitter.com/b25OhiIIPv

— Covid-1984 (@NeverSleever) October 28, 2021

Union leaders have urged New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio to extend his deadline for first responders to get the jab. According to President the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Jim McCarthy, however, their plea fell on deaf ears.

This comes as an average of 60 fires and 14,000 life threatening emergencies occur in New York City every day. In the meantime,  New York City firefighters and hundreds of other city workers have been marching in protest of  De Blasio’s vaccine mandate.

“This is really an absolutely unnecessary threat to the lives of New Yorkers,” Ansbro stated.

Hundreds of protesters showed up at Grace Mansion on Thursday as they marched in opposition of the mayor’s mandate. They were joined by politicians as well as other union members.

Union members said there’s already a staffing shortage as it is and 3,500 FDNY members now face unpaid leave if they don’t receive the first jab.

“This city is going to look very different on November 1,” stressed Ansbro. “You’re going to see dozens and dozens of firehouses closed. You’re going to see response times climb. It is inevitable. Lives are going to be lost.”

Officials said around 64 percent of firefighters have been vaccinated, along with 75 percent of the New York Police Department. The mandate could force the FDNY to undergo significant closures, leaving 20 percent of ambulances off the streets. The mandate could also see serious repercussions on policing.

The protest is one last push to scrap the mandate, but comes after de Blasio assured he wasn’t having second thoughts earlier on Thursday. He seemed unconcerned as he expects a surge in vaccinations while city officials brace for major staffing shortages.

Many protesters in attendance have been vaccinated themselves, but showed up in support of freedom of choice. Meanwhile, FDNY officials have said the department is using all resources, including mandatory overtime and scheduling changes, in order to ensure continuity of operations.

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