The heads of New York’s paramedic and EMS workers unions have recently called for the dismissal of FDNY’s EMS chief Abdo Nahmod, claiming that Nahmod “jeopardiz[ed] the safety of the public and EMTs, paramedics, lieutenants and captains by not preparing for evacuation of personnel and equipment from known flood zones in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.”
While interviewing anonymous EMTs about the claims, CBS news has learned of some frightening conditions they faced during the storm. And whether or not they’re grounds for Nahmod’s dismissal, they certainly highlight the EMS workers’ bravery that night. From CBS:
They start with charges that EMS stations on piers near the water — in the city’s evacuation zone — weren’t ordered to evacuate until they were already under water.
“We had to trudge through the water hoping we wouldn’t get electrocuted,” one female EMS worker told CBS 2′s Kramer.
The workers said tour changes were made on dangerous street corners, and orders were reportedly given that workers were not to go to fire houses on high ground.
“There were quite a few transformers that were sparking and blowing up,” one EMS worker said.
In addition, the unions are claiming that rather than pay overtime to experienced workers, the FDNY’s EMS division chose to bring in over 100 inexperienced students.
When asked about the claims, FDNY Commissioner dismissed them as “whining about getting wet.”
(Photo: George Hackett/Flickr)