FDNY labor leaders said firefighters did not call out patients in an organized protest against the city’s COVID-19 vaccination demand for government employees.
Elected officials said a widespread staffing shortage forced the department to close 26 firefighting companies in the five boroughs on Saturday — and an insider told The Post that “hundreds” of firefighters, upset with the mandate, are using medical leave.
Union leaders threw water on these accusations and denied that they were part of a large-scale plan.
“Is there disease? Not to my knowledge,” said Andrew Ansbrough, president of the FDNY Firefighters Association, According to WABC.
“We don’t condone any job action, we don’t report anyone to do something,” Jim McCarthy, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, reportedly said.
“I’ve had vaccinated members say they had flu-like symptoms and had to get sick,” Ansbro said, according to the affiliate. “The department allows people to take two days off after receiving the vaccination.”
This denial contradicts a statement issued by Commissioner Daniel Negro on Friday.
“Excessive sick leave by a group of our firefighters out of anger at the vaccine mandate for all city employees is unacceptable, contrary to their oath of service, and may endanger the lives of New Yorkers,” he said.
“Despite these actions by some, the ministry will continue to respond to all calls for help that come our way.”
City workers who did not receive at least one dose of the vaccine will be placed on unpaid leave on Monday.
More than one in four firefighters were not attacked by the Friday deadline, as the department lagged behind the NYPD and DSNY in compliance, according to city data.