New York City emergency workers call for EMS chief’s resignation

New York City emergency workers call for EMS chief's resignation

New York City emergency workers call for EMS chief’s resignation

Rescue workers, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), understand the important role high-quality EMT training plays in keeping themselves, their colleagues and the people in their communities safe. A lack of knowledge regarding proper procedures during emergencies, like severe weather, could lead to disaster.

According to New York City EMTs and emergency medical services (EMS) officers, this is exactly what happened as Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Big Apple and its surrounding areas, the New York Post reported. In fact, these individuals believe the response to Sandy was so poorly managed, they are demanding the resignation of Abdo Nahmod, the chief of Fire Department New York’s Emergency Medical Service Command.

The case against Nahmod
Just because extreme weather can cause chaos does not mean mankind’s approach to dealing with severe storms should be just as chaotic. However, this is how opponents of Nahmod viewed conditions in New York as Sandy pummeled the island.

“Many personnel feel as if they were left to fend for themselves…nobody was steering the ship,” an EMT wrote on the Rant message board,” as quoted by the news source. “People have questions. Hopefully, they will get some answers.”

During the superstorm, EMS stations took on so much water, ambulances became useless. In some cases, medics had to climb to the roofs of these vehicles to prevent themselves from drowning, CBS New York reported. This is far from the only scenario in which rescue personnel had to be rescued themselves. Due to a late evacuation, one EMS chief needed to be carried out of a flooded station.

“The decisions that were made and non-decisions that were made are unacceptable and someone needs to be held accountable,” Israel Miranda, president of the Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Union, told the news outlet.

In defense of Nahmod
While the voices against Nahmod may be loud, there are those who are standing by him, including Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. In a statement, Cassano said that he has the utmost confidence in Nahmod’s performance before and after Superstorm Sandy. The fire commissioner explained that he was the one who ordered city firefighters, paramedics and EMTs to remain in service for as long as they could, not Nahmod.

Whether or not Nahmod steps down from his post, emergency workers nationwide should see what lessons they can take away from New York City’s response to Superstorm Sandy. Those who hold EMT jobs may even find that they could benefit from further first responder training

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