New York City plans to test out a program where dispatchers send out emergency medical services and mental health crisis workers, instead of police officers, to mental health-related calls, making it the latest city to attempt a pivot away from policing as a cure-all.
The city’s mental health teams will work in two high-need communities starting in February. They will include health professionals and crisis workers from the fire department’s emergency medical services division. They will respond in place of the traditional police and paramedic teams, except in cases that involve a weapon or imminent danger, according to a statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office this week.
From JEMS on October 2, 2020 | By Hanan Cohen
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created extraordinary new challenges for the emergency medical services (EMS) industry. Frequently shifting state and federal guidance and emerging information about the novel virus has required EMS agencies to be even more nimble in delivering care.
This is true for Empress EMS, a PatientCare EMS Solutions company, which serves New Rochelle, New York – the first epicenter of America’s COVID-19 pandemic. Empress first began monitoring for COVID-19 on February 15, 2020, as it recognized the New York City area’s high risk for the virus.
The head of New York City’s emergency medical services union said Wednesday that the city is preparing to lay off hundreds of its members as the budget crisis grows during the coronavirus pandemic.
Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 257, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for the expected fallout.
Rather than expose himself to a stream of infected patients in Queens, Baer opted to retire last month, ending his career at least a full year earlier than he’d planned. That disqualified him from collecting his full pension, and Baer estimates he gave up between $2,000 and $4,000 a year in retirement benefits — a decision he doesn’t regret.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, emergency medical services Capt. AJ Briones’ teams were fielding nearly 700 calls a day, tending to numerous patients going into cardiac arrest, many others needing intubations and seeing more deaths than they ever intended to see.
“We didn’t know that would be the end of life as we know it,” Briones, 32, who works for Empress Emergency Medical Services in Yonkers, Westchester County, said. “It literally shut down the whole world.”
Now with cases down in the state, his EMS teams can sometimes catch their breath for a moment. But with cases rising rapidly around the country, Briones reflected on the virus’ devastating toll, how far New York has come and his concerns about a possible second wave in the state.
In New York, New York, from March 1 to May 31, 2020, 201 102 individuals were diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting in 51 085 hospitalizations and 16 834 deaths.1 The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the largest in the US, responds to nearly 1.5 million emergency medical calls per year in a city of more than 8.4 million people. Active paid FDNY responders include 4408 emergency medical service (EMS) responders and 11 230 firefighters. These FDNY responders are required to don personal protective equipment before patient contact per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.2 In this cohort study, we compared medical leave of FDNY responders during the pandemic with prior years.
Prezant DJ, Zeig-Owens R, Schwartz T, et al. Medical Leave Associated With COVID-19 Among Emergency Medical System Responders and Firefighters in New York City. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e2016094. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16094
Mohawk Ambulance Service has been announced as the recipient of this year’s regional EMS Agency of the Year Award given by the Regional Emergency Medical Organization (REMO). Additionally, Edward Marchand, a member of Mohawk’s Training Center staff, was named as the recipient of this year’s Educator of Excellence award and Dr. Heidi Cordi, Mohawk’s Medical Director, received the Physician of Excellence Award.
With all states reopened to some degree, cases and hospitalizations are rising. Arizona, California and Texas all set records for new cases on Tuesday. The question now is whether hospitals will be able to handle it, and what will happen if they can’t. “Many of them still have a lot of available capacity, but who knows how long that’s going to last,” said Eric Toner, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “They should be getting themselves ready now.”
Nobody wants to know about what I do. People might pay us lip service and say we’re heroes, but our stories aren’t the kind anyone actually wants to hear about. Kids in this country grow up with toy firetrucks, or maybe playing cops and robbers, but who dreams of becoming a paramedic? That’s ambulances. That’s death and vulnerability — the scary stuff. We’re taught in this culture to shun illness like it’s something shameful. We’d rather pretend everything’s fine. We look the other way.
Hugo Sosa arrived here a hero, triumphant over the worst that covid-19 can inflict on the human body. Nearly 100 of his fellow first responders whooped and cheered as Sosa was wheeled out of a hospital last month. They chanted his name. He flashed them a thumbs-up from his gurney.
Twelve days later, frail and drawn in his room at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Sosa puzzled over a pile of coins his speech pathologist had set before him.
“Forty-five cents from a dollar, what do you get back?” Kristen Lucke asked.
“Fifty-five cents,” Sosa responded quickly.
“Good, show me 55 cents.”
That was more difficult. Sosa would have to hold the number in his head while he searched for the right coins. Today that was too much to ask. Perhaps tomorrow.
Visit the New York Times website to watch this excellent video featuring AAA member Seniorcare.
“Bye, Mommy, I Love You’: Medics and Coronavirus Patients Make Hard Decisions
By Yousur Al-Hlou, Leslye Davis and Will Miller on June 3, 2020
Our ride with New York City medics during the coronavirus peak revealed a new side to their job: guiding patients on whether to go to the hospital.
Thank you to the dozens of AAA member ambulance services who answered the call to serve in New York City’s time of need. This Facebook video from fellow member FDNY shows the final deployed medics heading home.
…In Newark, emergency medical services teams made 239 on-scene death pronouncements in April, a fourfold increase from April 2019. Fewer than half of those additional deaths could be attributed directly to Covid-19, said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and chief executive of Newark’s University Hospital…
#AmericaStrong coverage from ABC shares the story of a medic returning home after 42 days of deployment to New York to respond to COVID-19.
…Through it all, Cullen — a registered nurse who started her career at Good Samaritan fresh out of school 15 years ago and returned to the hospital just seven months ago to head the emergency and critical care departments — has also seen a lot of text messages from her father, Ray Florida.
A daughter texting with her dad wouldn’t be noteworthy if it weren’t for the fact that Florida is executive director of Rockland Paramedic Services, a network of EMTs, paramedics and ambulance corps that are the very first of first responders in the pandemic…
New York, NY (April 23, 2020) – The Empire State Building (ESB) today announced the launch of #HeroesShineBright, a weeklong campaign to give thanks to every person putting their lives on the line to save others during the COVID-19 pandemic both in the United States and around the world. Every night from April 24, through May 2, ESB will dedicate its tower lights to a different First Responder organization, shining in their representative colors to acknowledge their bravery and service.
On May 2, the final night of #HeroesShineBright, ESB will partner with the World Federation of Great Towers in a coordinated lighting that will see the Burj Khalifa (UAE), CN Tower (Canada), Macau Tower (China), Busan Tower (South Korea), Willis Tower (US), Euromast (Netherlands), 360 Chicago (US), Calgary Tower (Canada), One Liberty Observation Deck (US), Ostankino TV Tower (Russia), Tallinn TV Tower (Estonia), UFO Tower (Slovakia), and others shine their lights in a red heartbeat from 8:30
– 9:30 p.m. p.m. in their local time zone to bring global awareness to those helping fight the pandemic. The Eiffel Tower will also dedicate its signature sparkle to the campaign that evening.
The schedule of lightings is as follows:
“The Empire State Building is the beating heart of all of us, and the international icon of the skyline of New York City. She shines her lights to show First Responders and essential workers our appreciation, love, and support, which they deserve,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust. “Our tribute to the heroes on the front lines of our great city, one group at a time, will culminate with a worldwide show of support as the World Federation of Great Towers showers universal light to spotlight the contributions of First Responders around the world.”
The Empire State Building encourages fans to participate in the #HeroesShineBright campaign, and leave comments on its posts and stories across its social media platforms thanking essential workers each night of the lightings. On May 2, the Building will share a celebratory compilation video incorporating videos of personal thank yous, fan comments, and inspiring videos of the lightings across the globe.
For more information, please visit http://www.esbnyc.com.
Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna top), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The Empire State Building was named the world’s most popular travel destination in a study conducted by Uber and was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.empirestatebuilding.com, www.facebook.com/empirestatebuilding, https://twitter.com/empirestatebldg, www.instagram.com/empirestatebldg,
http://weibo.com/empirestatebuilding, www.youtube.com/esbnyc, https://www.tiktok.com/@empirestatebldg or www.pinterest.com/empirestatebldg.
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building, the “World’s Most Famous Building.” Headquartered in New York, New York, the Company’s office and retail portfolio covers 10.1 million rentable square feet, as of March 31, 2020, consisting of 9.4 million rentable square feet in 14 office properties, including nine in Manhattan, three in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and two in Westchester County, New York; and approximately 700,000 rentable square feet in the retail portfolio.
On April 15, NBC nightly news profiled the front line COVID-19 response in a segment featuring members Acadian Ambulance, Empress EMS, Medstar (MI), and the Fire Department of New York. Thank you to Lester Holt and Stephanie Gosk for sharing mobile healthcare’s value and perspective during the pandemic.
Emergency responders, used to trauma and danger, say it’s impossible to get used to their new reality during the coronavirus pandemic. “You’re coming to work to deal with death all day,” one New York EMS worker says.