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 By Jack Davis  October 31, 2021 at 9:07am

With Mayor Bill de Blasio refusing to budge on his COVID vaccine mandate, New York City firefighters stayed home in droves on Saturday amid tensions over a mandate that could impact about a quarter of the department.

Twenty-six firehouses were out of service Saturday due to personnel shortages linked to the vaccine mandate, according to the New York Post, which reported there are 341 firehouses across the city.

Under the mandate, all New York City employees were required to have at least one dose of the vaccine by 5 p.m. Friday or be placed on unpaid leave starting Monday. About 72 percent of firefighters were vaccinated by Friday’s deadline.

🚨As of 7:30am this morning, 26 @FDNY companies are closed including 5 in my district due to @NYCMayor locking out unvaccinated firefighters.

If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it’s on Bill de Blasio and his overreaching mandates. I hope this fool fixes it ASAP!

— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) October 30, 2021

Jim Long, an FDNY spokesman, told the Post the closings are not permanent, describing the firehouses as “temporarily out of service” and the situation as “fluid” because firefighters were being sent to units where they were needed.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro was irate at firefighters staying home, according to WPIX-TV.

“The excessive sick leave … because of their anger at the vaccine mandate for all city employees is unacceptable,” Nigro said in a statement, adding that it’s “contrary to their oaths to serve.”

“Despite these actions by some, the department will continue to respond to all calls for help that come our way,” he said.

Are the firefighters right to push this issue?

Union officials denied there was a labor showdown afoot.

“Is there a sickout? Not to my knowledge, no,” said Andrew Ansbro with the Uniformed Firefighters Association, according to WABC-TV.

“We don’t condone any job action, nor do we inform anybody to do a job action,” said Jim McCarthy, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

“I have had members that have received the vaccination say they are having flu-like symptoms and they’ve had to go sick,” Ansbro said. “The department is allowing people to have a couple days off after they get the vaccination.”

.@FDNY Ladder 149 in Dyker Heights #Brooklyn was closed today due to Mayor de Blasio’s overreaching vaccine mandate. If he doesn’t reverse course, the city will lose first responders and put New Yorkers in more danger. pic.twitter.com/jVo1WUVkgM

— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) October 30, 2021

Retired electrician Vinny Agro, 63, who lives in Brooklyn, said he is expecting the worst.

“We are going to toast like marshmallows,” he told the the Post. “It’s another sad day for New York City.”

Donald Watson, 57, a duct worker from Brooklyn, has no sympathy for the firefighters.

“It’s sad we have to go through this because of COVID,” Watson said. “A lot of them don’t want to take the shot. C’mon. It’s nothing but a shot.”

One EMT said chaos is likely.

“People that aren’t retiring or quitting right out are gonna be on unpaid leave like myself. There’s not going to be enough bodies,” said the EMT, 23, who didn’t want to provide his name to the Post. “You know New York City: The call volume is high and the manpower in general is bad, without all this going on. We are always needing more people. It’s going to be a little crazy.”

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack can be reached at [email protected]

Location

New York City

Languages Spoken

English

Topics of Expertise

Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues

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