New York City’s EMTs and paramedics are being ‘targeted’ by anarchists who are smashing ambulance windows, a union leader has said – as he blasted the FDNY for leaving crews to fend for themselves.
Bricks were hurled through the windows of four FDNY vehicles and ‘FTP,’ which stands for ‘F**K the police,’ was painted on the sides of two ambulances in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, according to Oren Barzilay, president of the Local 2507.
There’s been at least one of these types of attacks every month since January, all within blocks of each other, said Barzilay, who heads the union of over 4,000 Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors.
‘Someone is targeting our crews,’ Barzilay told the New York Post.
‘These incidents are causing a delay in getting the public the help they need as these units are placed off-service for investigation, the wellness of our members and repairs.’
And there’s no help on the horizon, according to Barzilay.
He told the New York Post that crews aren’t being taught self-defense or given de-escalation training, and are using outdated protection equipment, such as 20-year-old bulletproof vests.
The first of the anarchists’ attacks was on the Jan. 1, when something was launched through the passenger side window of an ambulance on Marcus Garvey Boulevard, according to the New York Post.
The same thing happened again on Feb. 14, March 28 and April 11, all within blocks of each other.
On Monday, the ‘FTP’ tag was found on the doors of two ambulances outside of FDNY EMS Station 57 on Throop Ave.
‘FTP’ – which stands for ‘F**k the police’ – was found spray painted on two ambulances in Brooklyn, New York.
The Daily Mail reached out to the New York City mayor’s office for comment Saturday afternoon, but no one was immediately available.
The FDNY said it couldn’t comment on these specific incidents, but they’re all under investigation by the fire marshals and the NYPD.
The NYPD confirmed the incidents are under investigation but couldn’t discuss the matter further.
The vandalism from anti-government agitators is just one threat to FDNY EMTs and paramedics.
They’ve also been physical assaulted by patients, many of whom are emotionally disturbed or on drugs.
The most notable recent incident was the Hannibal Lector-like bite 25-year-old FDNY Paramedic Jenna Piscitello sustained on March 5.
During an early morning call in Brooklyn, a teenage patient bit into Piscitello’s left cheek and ripped out a chunk flesh.
She suffered extensive injuries and possibly permanent face scarring.
FDNY Paramedic Jenna Piscitello, 25, was bitten on March 5 by a patient during an early morning call in Brooklyn.
‘The injuries sustained by our paramedic are horrific,’ Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told EMS1.com. ‘No one should be attacked when they are at work, and certainly not EMTs and paramedics who respond to every incident with one mission — to save lives.’
The FDNY EMTs and paramedics already sustained over a dozen physical assaults the week Piscitello was bit alone, Barzilay said.
‘Here we are, once again, with one of our members badly injured,’ Barzilay said. ‘How much longer will our women and men be sent out on calls without have the proper tools to assist them?’