The Post has learned that the FDNY closed 26 fire stations across the Big Apple as of 7:30 a.m. Saturday due to staff shortages due to a vaccination mandate.
Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican who represents Staten Island and Brooklyn, chirp On Saturday, five companies were in her area — and she said Hizzoner is the one who can get blood on his hands.
“If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it will be on Bill de Blasio and his exaggerated mandates. I hope this idiot fixes it ASAP!” she tweeted.
The businesses that closed included Engine 55 in Lower Manhattan, Engine 234 in Crown Heights, Engine 231 in Brownsville, Engine 128 in Long Island City, Engine 158 and Staircase 78 in Richmond on Staten Island, according to an FDNY warning sent out Saturday morning.
“The exit of 26 companies is an unreasonable number,” said Councilman Joe Borrelli, the Staten Island Republican who chairs the Fire and Emergency Management Committee. “All firefighters unable to work within a week were tested and not infected with Covid, and I doubt New Yorkers would care about the vaccine status of the person applying pacemakers to their chest.”
The FDNY vaccination rate was at 72 percent at the end of Friday. The city’s deadline for workers to get at least one shot of the Covid vaccine. The authorization is expected to take effect from Monday. NYPD counts 84 percent of those vaccinated.
The FDNY blamed understaffing on firefighters who described the illness, with an insider saying “hundreds” of firefighters have taken medical leave to protest the mandate.
“It is definitely a disease. It is a job,” said the insider. “If they call sick they have to go to the medical office. The medical office is overcrowded.”
More than two dozen FDNY members are seen leaving the department’s medical office at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn on Saturday.
An EMT who was at the center for a check-up said people would flee the FDNY.
“People who don’t retire or quit immediately will be on unpaid leave like I am. There won’t be enough dead bodies,” said the 23-year-old EMT, who did not want to be named. Calls are high and the workforce in general is poor, without all of this happening. We always need more people. It would be a little crazy.”
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro described the excessive sick leave as “unacceptable”.
A memo sent Friday to members of the uniformed fire officers’ union said it was “still in negotiations” with the Bureau of Labor Relations “to extend the deadline as well as alternative methods of implementation to preserve the safety of the public and the selection of our membership.”
The memo, seen by The Post, advised all members, whether or not vaccinated, to come to work on schedule, and write notes in the fire company’s journal about why they asked to leave.
De Blasio stuck firmly, saying on Thursday that the city would not extend the deadline.
Additional reporting by Stephen Fago