FEMA Reinforcements Will Ease Pressure On Strained NYC EMS

New York's overworked emergency medical services officers have some reprieve coming.

Uniformed EMS Officers President Vincent Variale says the FDNY has struck a deal to provide hotel rooms to dozens of officers who had been sleeping in their cars for fear or bringing the coronavirus home to their families after grueling 16-plus-hour shifts.

"I'm happy to report that it's been addressed and so far everything is open and members are able to take advantage of the lodging opportunity to stay and keep their families safe, so that's a good thing," Variale told Q104.3 New York's Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein on Thursday.

The next priority is reducing the EMS' colossal work load from 16-17 hour double shifts to 12-hour shifts.

"You can imagine [a 16-hour day] takes down the immune system," he added. "It's very difficult on people. Now at least we got them some rest when they're working those hours. the next step is to get those hours down to 12 hours a day. This way everybody can get some down time and rest in-between."

State officials on Wednesday announced that the federal government was sending 250 ambulances and 500 EMTs to New York City. City EMS has been strained under record-breaking call volume, more than double its usual volume for this time of year.

Variale says those recruits will take the low-priority calls off the FDNY EMS's plate.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above or via iHeartRadio.

Photo: Getty Images

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