BBC reports of a brave, but very intimidated senior parademic who goes by the name of Anthony Almojera.
Spanning 17 years in career, his life is in a crisis that no one could have foreseen – the corona virus pandemic. New York state has more diagnose confirmed cases than any other countries in the world, a truly astounding amount. Almojera is currently at a 16-hour shift, trying to convey the people to the safest area, in the meanwhile trying to help his peers overcome their own fears in the midst of the crisis. He is currently lieutenant paramedic and vice president of the Fire Department of New York’s Emergency Medical Services officers’ union. He tells this in the interview:
“New York City has the busiest emergency medical services (EMS) system in the world – with about 4,000 calls a day on average. Sometimes you get a spike like with a heatwave or a hurricane, but the busiest day before this was 9/11. That day, we had 6,400 calls but that wasn’t 6,400 patients – either you made it out or you didn’t. This is 9/11 call volume with patients every day.”
“When we saw this spike, the system wasn’t set up for it.We were like: ‘How are we going to do this with the resources we have?’ It was just a case of ‘let’s get going’.
Right now, about 20% of the EMS workforce is out sick.We have a lot of members who’ve contracted Covid-19, we have members who are in the ICU – I have two of them who are on ventilators – and we have over 700 people who are being monitored with the symptoms.
“I’m single and have no kids.This is the only time in my life that I’ve ever been happy that I’m single because I don’t bring it home.
But so many people are worried about this.I signed up for a job where I can get sick and die. Members’ families signed up knowing that their loved one could get sick and die on this job, but they did not sign up for the loved one to bring it home to them.
Right now I have guys who sleep in their car because they do not want to bring it home to their families.The stress that members have that weighs heavily on me is their worry that if they die on the job their families won’t be taken care of. ”
“I’m 16 years in therapy, I’m a practising Buddhist and I meditate, but even I’m having trouble disconnecting now.
The emotional drain that happens on days like this stays with you because you know you’re going to have to go to work tomorrow for another 16 hours and you’re going to get it again.Medics survive a career in this because we always have hope that OK, we didn’t save this one but the next one we will save.
We are pretty good at saving people’s lives.But with this virus the odds are against us. Hope fades fighting it. We are fighting an invisible enemy that is taking out our co-workers – and right now, hope is fleeting. This is happening all over the city.
The people who were actually died in the describe shift of Anthony’s shift has not tested positive for the pandemic virus. The result, their deaths are one of many who are not included in the tally at all. You can see the whole account here:
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