New York City’s municipal workforce has been warned by Mayor Bill de Blasio to be vaccinated by Nov. 1 or face unpaid leave which FDNY Firefighter Association President Andrew Ansbro argues will only cause chaos.
In an appearance on Fox News Radio’s “Brian Kilmeade Show,” the firefighter expressed how the department refuses to go down without a fight which will only lead to fewer workers on duty and more emergencies waiting to be responded to.
“The staffing just is not there, there’s no way to do it,” he said. “The response times are going to go through the roof. We’re just not going to be able to get to the emergencies in time.”
“Fires are going to burn longer. Heart attack victims are going to be laying on the floor longer,” he continued. “People in stuck elevators are going to be stuck there for hours if not days.”
According to Ansbro, 45% of New York City firefighters are unvaccinated and the number who have shown up in the last week to receive the vaccination is most likely “pretty small.” The firefighter predicted that come Nov. 1, the city will be forced to close down 30 to 40% of the firehouses.
“On Friday, when they’re tallying the numbers of who complied and who didn’t, they’re going to be faced with a stark reality that they’re going to have to close firehouses down,” he said.
Ansbro revealed that firefighters are instead opting for early retirement and the number of people who normally retire in a month has been recorded in just two days. The department was told that medical and religious exemptions would be available but they would be “highly scrutinized” and very unlikely.
“The religious exemption is going to be held to the standard which is as per the needs of the department and the department needs you vaccinated, according to them,” he said. “So they can basically waive any religious exemption and we expect them to do that.”
Ansbro is pushing to counteract the “immoral” mandate by persuading the federal government to reinstate the test or vaccine option for the FDNY and other city agencies, coming to terms with the fact that living with COVID is the new norm.
“This is not a crisis,” he said. “Months ago, the mayor had his parade to say this is over. As far as we’re concerned, it’s over… Members need to have a choice to either get tested or vaccinated.”
“The mayor is going to be faced with either sending us home or sticking to his guns,” he concluded. “And his guns are going to get New York City residents killed… When this city goes into utter chaos on Nov. 1, be ready to pick up the pieces that the mayor causes.”