According to the Firefighter Union Chief, a crisis is looming as 26,000 NYC workers miss the vaccine mandate deadline.
New York City is preparing for a possible crisis next week after more than 26,000 municipal workers missed Friday’s mandatory vaccine deadline and were sent home without pay, jeopardizing fire fighters, police officers, and other first responders’ ability to provide service.
Emergency response times might be “over the roof” starting Monday, according to the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, a charity that represents NYC firefighters.
“Today, we can’t even keep fire stations open.” On Monday morning, New York City will be in a crisis,” Andrew Ansboro told CBS New York on Friday.
While vaccination rates among the city’s police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors, and other municipal personnel rose by at least 7% on Friday, only 83 percent of them were unvaccinated by 8 p.m., according to new data released by the city. Workers in the city had until 5 p.m. Friday to get at least one jab and collect a $500 bonus, or they would be sent home without pay beginning Monday.
The immunization percentage of the NYPD jumped to 84 percent on Friday, up from 79 percent the day before, according to the report. The sanitation department’s rate increased from 67 to 77 percent, while the fire department’s rate increased from 69 to 77 percent. Thousands of city employees will likely be sent home on Monday, leaving city authorities rushing to come up with contingency plans to deal with the personnel shortages.
As a result, according to the Associated Press, the fire department may be compelled to close up to 20% of its companies and have up to 20% fewer ambulances in operation, as well as change timetables, cancel vacations, and rely on outside providers. To overcome staffing shortfalls, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea warned the agency may be obliged to relocate officers to different areas.
Additionally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the sanitation agency will switch to 12-hour shifts and begin working Sundays to prevent waste from piling up across the five boroughs.
Residents in several parts of the city have already been warned of anticipated service disruptions. According to WYNC/Gothamist, Manhattan Community Board 12 sent out an email to residents on Friday warning of possible firehouse shutdown.
“You can start as soon as this weekend.” This is a condensed version of the information.