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Council, unions note FDNY vacancies, bloated OT

Department short 483 firefighters, 30 percent of dispatchers

Posted 3/24/23

The FDNY has 483 unfilled firefighter positions and is down more than 30 percent of its dispatchers, leaving the department short-staffed just as the New York’s Bravest are responding to increasing numbers of calls, including to fires caused by e-bikes’ lithium-ion batteries.  

The shortages obliged the FDNY to raise the overtime cap for its uniformed employees earlier this month, according to Oren Barzilay, the president of DC 37 Local 2507, which represents uniformed EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors. Paramedics and EMTs now work overtime totaling upward of 75 percent of their typical hours, a situation Barzilay said the department has to contend with given stagnant staffing levels.  

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