FDNY Commissioner: Calls To 911 Spike 50%, Members Barely Keeping Up

CBS News Radio 880 - March 29, 2020

by SEAN ADAMS

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- FDNY commissioner Daniel Nigro says calls to 911 have spiked about 50 percent amid the coronavirus pandemic. The excess calls are putting a strain on 911.

"Our members are keeping up, but barely," Nigro said. "I ask for the public's help to please don't over use 911. Use it for when you have to."

Nigro says that the pandemic has people on edge and some calls are not true emergencies.

"People have a stomach ache, a sore arm, they can maybe get themselves to some place other than a emergency room. You know there are many other urgent care centers around the city that can handle things that are less urgent. The emergency rooms are being overtaxed."

He said the department's EMTs and paramedics are being put to the test as calls ratchet up.

Nigro also announced that after suffering a critical shortage, fresh supplies have come in from the Federal Government. The supplies include gloves, masks, eye protection and gowns that Nigro estimates would last them about a month with more supplies promised to be on the way.