FDNY EMS union head says crews under attack: Windows smashed, items thrown, rigs graffitied

FDNY EMS Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay cited a string of vandalism in addition to dozens of assaults on personnel

By Laura French

NEW YORK — FDNY EMS Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay says crews and ambulances in the city have been targeted in a recent string of vandalism and assaults that has left rigs damaged and EMS providers fearing for their safety. 

Barzilay told the New York Post of several incidents in 2021 in which ambulances had their windows smashed, had objects thrown at them and were vandalized with graffiti.

In one incident on New Year's Day, an object was thrown at an ambulance, smashing the passenger's side window, according to Barzilay. In another incident, Barzilay says a brick was thrown at a crew responding to a call. 

Barzilay also shared photos of two ambulances that were spraypainted with "FTP," which stands for "F--- the police," while parked near a Brooklyn EMS station, according to the New York Post. 

These incidents are in addition to the 52 assaults on FDNY personnel in 2021 that Barzilay noted in a previous interview with the Post after the biting attack on Paramedic Jenna Piscitello

Barzilay said EMS providers are provided no self-defense or de-escalation training and are only provided expired, 20-year-old ballistic vests. He said the city has not done anything to address the problem. 

An FDNY spokesman told the Post, "FDNY Fire Marshals are working with the NYPD investigating this matter." 

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