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Do right by EMS


To the editor:

The FDNY's disparity in sick leave policy between its two bureaus, fire and Emergency Medical Services, appears to be like their tens of thousands of dollars difference in pay scale - another festering wound in need of treatment (“Probationary firefighter's death spotlights FDNY terminations,” The Chief, May 10).

The mission of the FDNY's EMTs and paramedics is to provide citywide, rapid, on-the-spot emergency medical treatment and transportation to hospitals for their ill or injured patients. When minutes count, as we saw in last Friday's Bronx fire, this includes injecting patients with lifesaving medications such as hydroxocobalamin to reverse the effects of smoke inhalation.

In carrying out their frequently hazardous work, EMS workers are regularly exposed to numerous contagious, bacterial and viral infections, bodily injury, and emotional trauma. For their dedication, they themselves are treated poorly.

The approximately 4,400 member FDNY EMS is the only NYC uniformed first responder service to be restricted to 12 off-duty days at full pay per year to recover from illness or injury. The city sets no such limit for its other 44,000 first responders.

Recently, Mayor Adams, the first New York City mayor ever to say so, repeated his promise that the FDNY EMS would gain pay and benefits parity with the city’s other first responders.

It's almost two years since the EMS contracts expired. EMS unions and their umbrella organization District Council haven't even started new contract talks. Meanwhile, first responder unions not represented by DC 37 concluded their new contracts months ago. If their unions miss this opportunity for parity, it won't be fair for the consequences to fall one-sidedly on EMS workers. They pay their dues.

Helen Northmore


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  • I totally agree with MR. Northmore. EMS paramedics and EMT are getting the shaft. The City is treating them like manure when it comes to better pay and benefits. They work in hostile environments deal with all types of people nasty and disgusting ways. On top of handling emergencies with professionalism. I want my tax dollars to help these dedicated workers a fair and just pay raise with added benefits. The Fire dept union should step up there game to make this happen and stop the double standard. Get them better packages

    Wednesday, May 22 Report this