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Coronavirus taking a toll on NY's first responders

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:43s - Published
Coronavirus taking a toll on NY's first responders

Coronavirus taking a toll on NY's first responders

The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll, physically and emotionally, on New York City's paramedics and first responders.

Anthony Almojera, a 17-year veteran paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician, says this has been one of the most devastating times in the department's history.

Freddie Joyner has more.

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As the coronavirus outbreak continues to hit the state of New York hard, those on the front lines like paramedics, and EMTs have had to experience the carnage first hand… 17-year veteran paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician, Anthony Almojera, describes to Reuters what it has been like: (SOUNDBITE)(English) LIEUTENANT PARAMEDIC, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT, ANTHONY ALMOJERA, SAYING: "I don't know if any of us will ever be the same after this and that's something we're going to have to manage.

There is going to be a lot of trauma from this for the medics and the EMTs who have seen this all, you know, unfold, you know, firsthand, being on the front line." Almojera said that his colleagues are finding it hard to deal with being unable to hug and comfort people, for fear of being infected.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) LIEUTENANT PARAMEDIC, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT, ANTHONY ALMOJERA, SAYING: "Normally we can get closer to people, you know, I can put my hand on their shoulder or provide comfort or the medics and the EMTs do that, you know, comfort the living when we can't save someone, but during this pandemic we have to keep our distances...It doesn't allow us to get personal like we used to and that takes its toll too because you want to be there for people." The coronavirus outbreak in New York City has pushed ambulance service to its limits.

The department went from an average of four thousand calls to almost seven thousand, putting a strain on EMTs and paramedics.

New York City accounts for the majority of of the nearly 5,500 deaths in the state, which in turn represents about 45% of the nation's total loss of life to date.



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