Essential Worker, FDNY EMT & Dispatcher
What has been one of the biggest challenges for you during this pandemic?
When the call volume jumped to 7,000 per day, and the numbers of those diagnosed were getting really bad, I stayed at a hotel to protect my loved ones, to not expose my mother and other members of my family. I spent about 5 months away from everyone and that was really hard, being so isolated. Normally, if you’ve had a rough day or a bad call, you can go out with coworkers, grab a drink, get support and talk it out – not anymore. That level of disconnect is really challenging.
Did the fear of getting Covid-19 in your line of work worry you on a daily basis?
No, you can’t let it get to you. As EMTs we don’t think about it. We have a job to do, and that job is to help people in their time of need, and sometimes that is the worst hour of their lives. We get in there, we do what we have to do, treat that patient and do everything in our power to give them a chance and get them to a hospital for further care.
What was your experience of the “7 pm” salute in NYC?
I heard about people clapping, banging pots and pans for essential workers and that is cool because that level of praise is not something we’re used to. Normally, we are the unsung heroes—we do our jobs, and that’s it. To have people come together and root us on during that time that was so stressful, is pretty awesome.