Gary Miller, a 32-year EMS veteran who retired as a captain in July, launched the EMS FDNY Help Fund after New York City’s First Lady absconded with a Department of Defense grant for help never provided.
Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, promised in April to help the first responders by teaching them combat stress management tactics through a new city-run program called HERO-NY — nearly five months later, not a single one of the city’s 3,700 FDNY EMS workers have received the training, according to the New York Post.
They were supposed to train 1,000 health care workers in combat stress techniques with money granted by the Department of Defense but have only trained 380 staffers at local hospitals, but an FDNY spokesman said there have still not been any sessions for their workers.
The missing moolah goes back to McCray’s $1.5 billion-budget, famously unaccountable ThriveNYC program.
According to the Post, ThriveNYC hasn’t counseled anyone in combat stress management, claiming that the training was the responsibility of Health+Hospitals.
Meanwhile, a Health & Hospital representative said that they were training people in the program but that the public hospital system was not involved in efforts to help city employees from other departments.
And while nothing was actually ever done to help the brave men and women who faced hundreds of EMS calls per day because of the Corona Virus outbreak and panic, McCray still took credit for the program’s success during a virtual conference hosted by Mental Health America on Sept. 4.
“We were able to help our health care workers who were traumatized,” McCray said at the event. “We at least had structures in place to give people the kind of attention they needed.”
The blatant lies and hypocrisy of the mayor and his wife is astounding and yet many still believe that the Democratic Party is still a viable option and cares about the people. (And if you think the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, remember their daughter Chiara was arrested at a BLM riot in SoHo mid-pandemic.)
The whole idea was to help the first responders by teaching them combat stress management — nearly five months later, not a single one of the city’s 3,700 FDNY EMS workers have received the training.
First responders carried an unbearable burden during the height of the pandemic that led to a high rate of suicide by Emergency Medical Service workers — nearly six times that of the general population.
“Their work environment changed from ordinary rescues to a war-zone environment where they were just seeing people in their death beds or on their way to deaths. They need trauma specialists that deal with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. They need battlefield psychiatrists to deal with what they’ve seen and nothing has been provided to us. Nothing after numerous requests,” said Oren Barzilay, head of the union that represents FDNY EMTs and paramedics.
Captain Miller stepped forward to actually do the work that politicians — and their wives — failed to even attempt.
“I think the availability of counseling is the most important thing,” Miller said. “The psychological emotional toll” of handling COVID-19 calls “is just unbelievable.”
For months, New Yorkers gathered at their windows at 7PM each night to cheer the emergency workers. While that outpouring has petered out, like the pandemic, itself, their bravery must continue to be championed.
These are New York City’s real heroes who do good where the city pols just do bad.