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FDNY EMS union reacts to delivery drivers making more than EMTs

EMS union president asked if the city government values speedy delivery of bagels over EMS saving lives


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By Bill Carey

NEW YORK — The union representing the FDNY’s EMTs and paramedics issued a tersely worded letter to Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Consumer & Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga, about their members’ need for increased wages.

The letter comes after Mayor Adams announced a mandated minimum wage scale for app-based delivery drivers. FDNY EMTs start at $18.94/hour, less than the $19.96/hour planned for app-delivery drivers by April 2025, a press release from FDNY EMS Local 2507 stated.

Low wages created a severe retention problem, with 30% of EMTs quitting after three years and 50% after five years, the letter stated.

EMS Union President Oren Barzilay noted in the letter that app-delivery drivers “will see their compensation leap 185% by a total of $13/hour, while the lower wage of FDNY EMS members sticks out like a sore thumb.” Barzilay asked, “Is the message that the city government values speedy delivery of bagels, fast food, and pizza more than its medical professionals saving the lives of other New Yorkers?”

With the EMT salary starting at $39,386 and only rising to $59,534 after five years, Barzilay stated, “Job turnover is stratospheric, as wages are comparatively 65% lower than our peer first responders at NYPD and FDNY.”

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