Nearly 500 members of the New York City Fire Department have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and nearly 3000 are out sick.
EMS Lieutenant and paramedic Anthony Almojera joined CNN’s “New Day” to discuss the situation on the ground inside the department Tuesday.
“I don’t know how we’re doing it. It is truly a testament to the EMS workers that we have here, the EMTs and paramedics. We’re really stepping up,” Almojera said. “It is pretty amazing to see how they’re going out in spite of seeing all the co-workers get sick, it is frightening for a lot of us. We don’t want to bring it home. We don’t want to get sick with it. This is our job. We treat the sick and injured daily. We still have our regular 911 calls to go to. It is truly a testament to the EMTs and paramedics doing this day in and day out.”
“I got to say, as a new Yorker, I see you guys out there and the risks you’re taking and health consequences, I can’t help but think of the wake of 9/11,” host Jim Sciutto responded. “It just echoes those memories in my mind.” (RELATED: NYC Health Committee Chair Says Mass Graves In Parks Could Happen — 30 Days Ago He Told New Yorkers To Party In Chinatown)
Sciutto then read aloud one of Almojera’s tweets from last week, which read, “16 hour day, 15 runs and 10 cardiac arrests calls. That’s a lot of death. Please everyone stay home this is not a joke.”
— Anthony Almojera ????✈️???? (@AnthonyAlmojera) April 2, 2020
“As you know, some communities around the country have been slow to institute the stay-at-home orders,” Sciutto continued, asking, “What is your message to communities like that who might imagine they’re somehow immune from this?”
“They’re not immune. Nobody is immune,” Almojera said, addressing those who were ignoring stay-at-home orders and going about their activities as normal. “It is really — it is really a true pandemic that will hurt you.”
The toll it is taking on the people that I work with, you know, I get phone calls every day about people who are sick and injured and, you know, and you know what, what really moved me the other day was EMT call, she was sick, and she’s giving us an update and says, ‘You know, I feel bad,’ I go, ‘Of course you feel bad. You’re sick with the virus.’ She said, ‘No, I feel bad because I’m not there with you guys.’ That’s, you know, that’s EMS.
Nearly a week later, Almojera logged another similar day.
logged on at 6am it is now 11:05am. I’ve done 7 runs and 6 cardiac arrests. One was a woman who’s dad died three days ago and now her mom. I don’t have anymore words to describe this other than EMS is still answering the call in all this sadness. @UEMSO_FDNY @NYCEMSwatch
— Anthony Almojera ????✈️???? (@AnthonyAlmojera) April 5, 2020