The FDNY could “endanger the lives” of New Yorkers by calling out sick to protest the department’s vaccine mandate, its leader said.
Commissioner Daniel Nigro said firefighters were protesting Friday’s deadline to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement by using paid sick leave.
“The excessive sick leave … because of their anger at the vaccine mandate for all city employees is unacceptable, contrary to their oaths to serve & may endanger the lives of New Yorkers,” Nigro said in a statement, according to reporter and author Ginger Adams Otis, who tweeted that nine companies across the boroughs were out of service Friday due to sick calls.
The FDNY said Wednesday it was prepared to shutter as many as 20 percent of the city’s companies — and take an equal portion of its ambulances off the streets in the face of widespread non-compliance with the directive.
Firefighters who did not show proof of vaccination by Friday were to be placed on unpaid leave.
As of Friday evening, 72 percent of the FDNY was vaccinated, Mayor de Blasio reported in a tweet.
Several calls over a 78-minute timeframe to the FDNY’s 24 hour press line by The Post Friday evening regarding a Brooklyn blaze were not answered. An email to the department was not immediately returned.
Earlier in the day, six members of the department were suspended after they drove a firetruck to New York State Sen. Zellnor Myrie’s Brooklyn office and berated staff about the mandate, officials said.
“This is a highly inappropriate act by on-duty members of this Department who should only be concerned with responding to emergencies and helping New Yorkers and not harassing an elected official and his staff,” Nigro said.