The FDNY shuttered 26 fireplace corporations citywide on Saturday as a consequence of workers shortages brought on by the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, based on livid elected officers, who ripped the transfer as “unconscionable” — and warned it might have catastrophic penalties.
The shutdown got here amid a pitched battle between City Hall, which on Monday will begin implementing a mandate that each one metropolis employees have at the very least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and jab-resisting firefighters, many reportedly saying they have been already sick with the coronavirus and due to this fact have “natural immunity.”
Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI, Brooklyn) mentioned 26 corporations shuttered — 5 in her district — and laid the blame on Mayor de Blasio.
“If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it’s on Bill de Blasio and his overreaching mandates. I hope this fool fixes it ASAP!” she tweeted. Some residents rallied exterior of the Ladder Company 149 in Dyker Heights to assist the firefighters.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro mentioned the division “has not closed any firehouses.
“Irresponsible bogus sick leave by some of our members is creating a danger for New Yorkers and their fellow Firefighters,” Nigro mentioned. “They need to return to work or risk the consequences of their actions.”
No borough or neighborhood was spared, with the shuttered corporations starting from Engine Co. 55 in decrease Manhattan, to Engine Co. 234 in Crown Heights, to Engine Co. 231 in Brownsville. Others included Ladder Co. 128 in Long Island City and Engine Co. 158 and Ladder Co. 78 on Staten Island, based on info supplied by Malliotakis and Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI), who cited the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Borelli mentioned the record of 26 got here from a FDNY alert dispatched to members.
FDNY spokesman Jim Long mentioned the closings usually are not everlasting, describing the businesses as “temporarily out of service” and the state of affairs as “fluid” because it was shifting firefighters to models the place they have been wanted.
As of late Saturday afternoon, the FDNY couldn’t present a precise variety of closings that the pols mentioned have been in impact as of seven:30 am Saturday.
“The situation remains fluid. We hire manpower to get the company back in service or relocate other units to the area for coverage,” Long mentioned.
In anticipation of a scarcity of firefighters, NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit has requested the assistance of volunteer firefighters from Long Island and upstate to again fill the misplaced positions, based on an electronic mail obtained by The Post.
That was little solace to retired electrician Vinny Agro, 63, who lives throughout the road from now-offline Engine Co. 284 in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
“We’re f- -ked. We are going to toast like marshmallows,” he mentioned. “It’s another sad day for New York City.”
A person who lives subsequent door to the firehouse mentioned that he had not seen firefighters for about 24 hours and that they have been desperately wanted within the neighborhood.
“Most of the houses here are semi-attached frame houses. You throw a match on it, and it goes up real quick,” he mentioned. “You need a quick response . . . it’s scary.”
Fire officers mentioned final week that they have been ready to shut as a lot as 20 % of the businesses citywide.
Saturday’s short-term closures represented 7.6 % of town’s 341 engine and ladder corporations. But it was nonetheless an “unconscionable” quantity, mentioned Borelli, who chairs the council’s committee on fireplace and emergency administration.
“The firefighters who are unable to work have all been tested within the week and are not COVID positive, and I doubt New Yorkers care about the vaccine status of the person applying defibrillators to their chest,” he mentioned.
Donald Watson, 57, a Downtown Brooklyn resident, mentioned the firefighters have been simply “looking out for themselves.”
“It’s sad we have to go through this because of COVID,” Watson mentioned. “A lot of them don’t want to take the shot. C’mon. It’s nothing but a shot.”
The FDNY’s vaccination price stood at 72 % for firefighters — and 77 % agencywide — on the finish of Friday, town’s deadline for employees to get at the very least one dose of the vaccine, based on knowledge from City Hall. Nearly 4,000 FDNY workers remained unvaccinated.
The mandate is predicted to be enforced starting Monday, and 26,600 metropolis employees throughout all metropolis businesses have been nonetheless unvaccinated as of Friday night time, based on City Hall. Those who don’t have at the very least one jab shall be suspended with out pay.
The NYPD stood at 84 % of personnel vaccinated, and the Sanitation Department was at 77 %.
The 77th Precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was sluggish to answer calls Friday night time as 4 officers on the 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift referred to as in sick, sources mentioned. Call logs confirmed response occasions of greater than two hours in some circumstances.
“We have contingency plans in place if necessary, and there will not be any shortages in any commands. There will be no reduction in police services,” an NYPD spokeswoman mentioned.
The FDNY — as its high boss did Saturday — has blamed the staffing scarcity on firefighters calling out sick, with one insider saying “hundreds” of members have been taking medical go away to protest the mandate.
“It’s definitely a sick-out. It’s a job action,” the insider mentioned. “If they call in sick they have to go to the medical office. The medical office is overwhelmed.”
More than two dozen FDNY members have been seen leaving the division’s medical workplace on the MetroTech heart in Downtown Brooklyn Saturday.
A memo despatched to members of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association on Friday mentioned it was “still in negotiations” with the Office of Labor Relations “for an extension to the deadline as well as alternate methods of implementation.”
The memo, seen by The Post, suggested all members, vaccinated or not, to report for obligation when scheduled and make notations within the fireplace firm’s journal about why they have been requested to go away.
De Blasio has held agency, saying on Thursday that town wouldn’t lengthen the jab deadline.
Vaccinations surged statewide this week, with 103,348 doses administered from Friday to Saturday, Gov. Hochul mentioned on Saturday. On Monday, 45,217 doses had been given out within the earlier 24 hours.
Additional reporting by Sam Raskin, Larry Celona, Tina Moore and Conor Skelding