Mayor Bill de Blasio greeted EMT and paramedics from across the country at Fort Totten Park Thursday morning as they prepared to help New York City’s overburdened emergency medical workers.
“The pressure was on for reinforcements,” de Blasio told the FEMA-deployed new arrivals from Missouri, Alabama, Indiana and Michigan among other states.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, the city’s emergency services become increasingly overwhelmed. Reuters reported that 20% of EMT workers were not working because they were sick or exposed to the virus.
As of 9:30 a.m. on April 2, there are 48,462 cases of the novel coronavirus with 16,336 in Queens, 12,983 in Brooklyn, 9,107 in the Bronx, 7,278 in Manhattan and 2,723 in Staten Island. There have been 1,397 deaths.
During his 11:30 a.m. briefing on Thursday, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the total case number for New York City exceeded 50,000.
“Seeing this outpouring of support for New York… it’s really inspiring. More help is on the way,” said de Blasio.
FEMA announced on Tuesday that it would send 250 ambulances and 500 paramedics and EMT’s to New York City to help with the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Before the pandemic, FDNY responded to about 4,000 911 calls a day, said spokesperson Frank Dwyer. On March 30, the agency responded to 6,527 calls.