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2,300 Firefighters Out ‘Sick’ as COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate Takes Effect

FDNY truck (Photo by Robert Harkness on Unsplash)

Nov. 1, 2021 By Allie Griffin

More than 2,000 firefighters have called in ‘sick’ as the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate took effect Monday.

More than half of the 2,300 who didn’t show up for work are believed to be unvaccinated, NBC News reported, and are apparently protesting the city’s vaccine mandate for its public workers.

In total, 23 percent of the city’s firefighters had not gotten at least one shot by Friday’s deadline and will face unpaid leave, beginning today. There are roughly 11,000 total FDNY employees, including uniformed firefighters, EMS workers and civilian employees.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that 18 units out of 350 units were out of service Monday as a result of the staffing shortages.

Nigro called the number of FDNY staff out sick “phenomenal,” adding that it should normally be fewer than 1,000. He said he believes they are not showing up to work in protest of the city mandate that required them to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Friday, Oct. 29, or be placed on unpaid leave starting Monday.

He and Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while no firehouses have closed, there are many units understaffed due to firefighters calling out.

“We have every reason to believe there’s a lot of people out there claiming to be sick who are not,” de Blasio said. “It’s not acceptable…. Come to work, protect people — as you took an oath to do.”

Nigro called on his FDNY colleagues to show up to work.

“There are understaffed units,” Nigro said. “That understaffing could end immediately if members stopped [calling out] sick when they weren’t sick.”

The firefighters playing hooky will face disciplinary action, he added.

There were 26 fire units temporarily shuttered Saturday including Ladder Co. 128 in Long Island City, according to the New York Post.

The FDNY didn’t immediately respond to the Queens Post’s question of how many units in Queens have been taken out of service.

The union representing firefighters, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, has spoken out against the vaccine mandate, arguing that its member should be able to choose for themselves whether or not to get vaccinated.

The vaccination rate of firefighters is among the lowest across city agencies, data shows, although it has increased significantly in the past week.

About 77 percent of the FDNY firefighters have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination  — up from 58 percent on Oct. 20, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the vaccine mandate for all city employees. Meanwhile, 88 percent of EMS workers, who are also FDNY employees, have gotten the first shot — up from 61 percent on Oct. 20.

The Department of Sanitation has also faced understaffing issues and teams worked Sunday, a day staff normally has off, to catch up with trash pickup.

The DSNY’s vaccination rate is up to 83 percent among staffers from 62 percent before the mandate was announced. Meanwhile, 85 percent of NYPD employees have gotten at least one shot — up from 70 percent prior to the mandate.

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13 Comments

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Anon

The last time the firefighters took the word of a Fed that everything was safe it didn’t go very well for them. In fact they’re still dying from it. While you guys are at it, show your faith in the Feds and get your children vaccinated.

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South

Sounds like a bunch of people that aren’t qualified to do their job. Get them out so they can stop wasting our tax dollars.

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There is stupid then there is Fox stupid.

The small minority of firemen who are afraid to get vaccinated and not getting vaccinated are first and foremost conspiracy believing gullible loud voice. Allowing themselves to be manipulated and weaponized by treasonous propagandist like Tucker Carlson. Their numbers seem to mirror the number of conspiracy believers in the general population. Insignificant.

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unless it's you...

…the CDC reports out of more than 386 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines given from Dec. 14, 2020, until Sept. 20, 2021, there have been 7,899 reports of death among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

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So 0.002 percent? Sounds VERY safe

Anyone can report a death to the site you’re referencing (VAERS), and it is posted without verification whether it’s accurate. They claimed to have occurred after someone was vaccinated, but could have been caused by a different medical condition.

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There is stupid then there is Fox Stupid

Unless – Has there ever been a 9 month period in any nation of 310,000,000 there was 0 deaths? (Ratio 310,000,000 : 7,899, 0.00002). Even if you’re numbers were factual, and they’re not, they would be phenomenally favorable odds) Your post is the words of the weak minded and gullible. Is the death rate in this period (minus the Covid deaths) higher then the same period from the years before? It’s a simple stat to verify. Your concern for the 7,900 doesn’t extend to the 750,000 dead and the even greater number permanently sickened by the virus.

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Please.

Sometimes people die. The fact that they got the vaccine is not connected. My grandpa died a month after his vax. He was 94. Cause of death: old age. Does that still go on your kooky list?

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Momma didn’t raise no fool

He got his source from Fox or some other antivaxxer nonsense because he’s a sheep. Can’t even do simple math. Needs to be spoon fed what to believe because he lacks critical reasoning.

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Gardens Watcher

It is baffling to me that any member of our bravest FDNY, who put their life at risk every time when they enter a burning building or respond to a 911 health emergency call, is afraid to get a vaccine.

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Nom de plum

Shame on our firefighters!! They should be vaccinated like the rest of us. Especially since they come in contact with the public and can spread the virus.

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Back to Work

Fire them all. They want to hold the city hostage because they can’t get their way like a bunch of babies. Throw them out along with the sanitation guys who will not pick up the trash. Create an incentive bonus for qualified workers from other states who are vaccinated and willing to move here, do the opposite of what DeSantis is doing. FDNY, Sanitation, and the NYPD are the most entitled people in the entire country, maybe the republicans are right about the unions. We should let the republicans come in and raid their unions, after all that’s who these guys are voting for. Let them get their wish, and then be promptly fired for not complying.

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