CBS NEWS – It’s been two years since COVID shut down New York City.
Our EMTs and paramedics were on the front lines, but now many say burnout and fatigue is taking a toll on the department.
Two years ago, Diana Wilson was working 16-hour shifts in an ambulance, caring for COVID patient after COVID patient in Queens.
“One of the worst moments is when I have to take a critical patient to the hospital but can’t let family come along,” Wilson told CBS2 in 2020. “I find myself becoming a counselor in these moments.”
“Since COVID hit our city, members have been leaving in droves. I’ve never seen anything like it.” – EMS Union President Oren Barzilay
That took a toll. Speaking to CBS2’s Ali Bauman on Thursday, Wilson said, “Our workers were checked out.”
Once the curve began to flatten, there was one ambulance run that pushed Wilson, a devoted EMT for 17 years, to her breaking point:
“I responded to someone that had COVID, she was about my age. She didn’t make it. And I think that was my end point. I said, that’s it, I think it’s time for me to get off the streets.”
EMS Union President Oren Barzilay says the pandemic highlighted the peril that EMTs have always faced.
“Nobody wants to do this job anymore. You’re risking your life for $18 an hour,” …