“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling."
-Chief Edward F. Croker FDNY circa 1910
hareSigns will be added to the exterior of FDNY ambulances that highlight penalties for assaults against EMS personnel, officials FDNY officials announced.
The first ambulances to display the signs are assigned to Station 26 in the Bronx, where EMT Yadira Arroyo was struck and killed in March 2017 while attempting to stop the theft of her ambulance at an emergency scene.
Arroyo, a 14-year-veteran of FDNY's EMS bureau, was killed March 16, 2017 when a man jumped in to the driver's seat of her ambulance after she stopped the emergency vehicle. The man struck fatally struck Arroyo and injured a second EMS worker.
The man jumped into the ambulance and drove forward, striking an EMS worker. He then put the ambulance into reverse and backed over EMT Yadira Arroyo before speeding around the corner where he crashed into a parked vehicle.
Arroyo left five children behind.
“These new images on our ambulances are visible reminders to all that FDNY EMTs and Paramedics perform dangerous, life-saving work every single day; and anyone who interferes with that work by assaulting our members faces a severe punishment,” Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said in a statement. “The men and women of EMS work incredibly hard to care for all New Yorkers; they deserve our protection and respect.”
The signs, which will be displayed in several location around the city's ambulance fleet, read: “FDNY EMTs and Paramedics Are Protected by NEW YORK STATE LAW. Assault is a Felony Punishable by 7 years in prison.”
“The EMTs and paramedics are out there to help the public in their time of crisis. Assaulting them while they perform their duties is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Oren Barzilay, president Local 2507, Uniformed EMT’s, Paramedics, and Fire Inspectors said in a statement. "They deserve to be protected by all means."
So far in 2018, FDNY officials reported 87 instances of EMTs, paramedics and EMS officers having been attacked while on-duty. Last year, 166 assaults were reported by FDNY crews.
“It is important that the general public be made aware that an assault on any uniformed officer/EMT/medic of the FDNY EMS command while in performance of their life saving duties will be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Vincent Variale, President Local 3621, Uniformed EMS Officers Union. “We are thankful for the department in being proactive and responding to our members concerns in regards to their well-being and safety.”