Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, a candidate for Queens borough president, is calling on the city to set up COVID-19 testing for emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
Crowley visited and spoke with EMTs in Elmhurst, Rockaway and Jamaica and found that many frontline emergency workers who have symptoms of the virus are not getting tested and are asked to come back to work just three days after their symptoms subside.
“Our borough is being hit the hardest. Queens has always been underserved, but now more than ever we need to protect the health and safety of our frontline workers in the war against COVID-19,” Crowley said. “It was both a heartening and eye-opening experience meeting EMTs who are working back to back tours in Queens. I am calling on the mayor to set these sites up as other cities, including Boston and Oakland, have done. First responders take on many risks to keep the public safe — how can we rightly ask them to do their jobs if they themselves are not protected?”
Union leadership appreciated Crowley’s visits and her call for COVID-19 testing for first responders
“EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 and our health allows us to help the public during this crisis,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507 FDNY. “We need first responder specific testing as too many of our brothers and sisters have fallen ill. I support Elizabeth’s advocacy for first responder testing.”
Anthony Almojera, vice president of Local 3621 EMS Officers, agreed.
“We are overwhelmed and overjoyed about all the love that has been shown to EMS during these trying times,” Almoguera said. “As many of you know EMS has many issues we need to fix and with the help of Elizabeth Crowley and every one of you we will get it done.”
The special election for Queens borough president is scheduled for June 23 with early voting set to begin June 13.