NYC Vaccine Mandate Could Result in Police and Firefighter Staffing Crisis

The first responders in New York City are grappling with the “new reality” caused by the stringent COVID vaccine mandate issued by the city. This is revealing a steep decline in the number of personnel.

As a result, NYC was forced to close as much as 20% of the fire companies and 20% less ambulances are available to respond to calls. 

NYPD, NYFD to push for mandatory overtime to compensate for lack of personnel

On Wednesday, the New York Fire Department announced the possibility of a shortage in personnel, due to the vaccine mandate. The announcement was made at the same time the New York Police Department began pushing for vaccinations as the deadline approaches. 

On the other hand, New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro stated they would utilize “all means” within their power to guarantee the continuity of operations.

Included among these means are mandatory overtime for personnel, mutual aid from other EMS providers, as well as a significant shift in schedules of the remaining members. 

The New York Police Department likewise announced they will be prepared for any possible changes caused by the mandate. According to the recent report by the New York Post, the NYPD (which has the largest police force in the United States) still has 6,000 unvaccinated police officers. 

NYC mayor’s vaccine mandate could result in “catastrophic” shortage of manpower

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City ordered police officers, firefighters, and other city workers to at least get the first shot on or before 5 pm of October 29.

To push the initiative further, the city mayor announced city workers who are able to get vaccinated will be given a $500 bonus. On the other hand, those who fail to get vaccinated within the given deadline will be forced to be on leave without pay starting Monday. 

Meanwhile, a firefighter who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated the regulation in NYFD tells them officers who are placed on leave for over 30 days are then ordered to turn in their badges. 

At the time Blasio made his announcement on October 20, at least 46,000 city workers were still left unvaccinated. Unions that represent both the police department and the fire department have already filed separate suits against New York City.

On Wednesday, the president of the Firefighters Association, Andrew Ansbro, gave a warning of the potential “irrefutable” and “inevitable” consequences that could be caused by the mandate. He also highlighted the “catastrophic” staffing and manpower shortage that could happen as a result. 

Ansbro alleged he does not think the New York City mayor understands what could possibly happen on November 1. He warned there could be dozens and dozens of fire stations closed.

This could result in longer response times and people could lose their lives in a fire. It is foreseeable and irrefutable.