Mayor Adams Enhances Safety For FDNY EMTs And Paramedics With New Legislation

May 1, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed two pieces of legislation.

One requiring the city to provide body armor and a second that provides de-escalation and self-defense training to all Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. While the Adams administration already makes body armor available to all FDNY Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members, this legislation codifies that all FDNY EMS members will have access to this protection permanently.

“Every day the brave men and women of the FDNY’s EMS provide emergency medical care to New Yorkers, often under very difficult circumstances,” said Mayor Adams. “Our FDNY EMS members have always had the backs of New Yorkers, and today, we are making sure the city has theirs by providing extra protection for them while they are out saving lives. I applaud my colleagues in the City Council for their partnership in passing this legislation and look forward to continuing to work together to support the selfless heroes who always show up when we need them most.”

“FDNY EMS members respond to calls day and night, delivering crucial emergency medical care to New Yorkers,” said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “Their safety is incredibly important, as is providing them with the protection they need. While the FDNY already provided body armor to all EMTs, we are grateful to the mayor and the City Council for supporting our efforts.”

Intro. 127-A — sponsored by New York City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borelli — requires the provision of body armor to all EMS employees who provide emergency medical services. The body armor must meet ballistic and stab resistance standards of the national institute of justice. FDNY already provides body armor to all EMS employees upon the completion of their training and offers replacements when members make a request.

Intro. 127-A — also sponsored by Council Minority Leader Borelli — requires the provision of de-escalation and self-defense training to all EMS employees at least once every three years. The training will address the unique characteristics of emergency medical services, with a focus on violent situations in the context of patient care. FDNY provides extensive de-escalation and self-defense training to all members during probationary training. FDNY will now make de-escalation and self-defense training available to active members once every three years. 

“Every day, the brave men and women of the FDNY emergency medical services put themselves in harm’s way to save New Yorkers’ lives. They are often the first to arrive on the scene, and the most vulnerable,” said Council Minority Leader Borelli.  “The least we can do is help protect them so they, too, can get home safe to their families.”

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