New York City 911 calls shoot to hit their highest level since 9/11 during coronavirus pandemic
  • New York City received more medical emergency calls on a single day during the coronavirus outbreak than the record number of medical calls received during 9/11, a report said.
  • The city received 6,550 calls on March 25 with some wait times reaching between three and four hours.
  • First-responders are also getting sick, with 10% of responders not reporting to work. 
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The coronavirus pandemic has spikes the number of New York City medical emergency calls the city received to levels not seen since 9/11, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The city received 6,550 calls on March 25 alone — a 40% increase from the cities daily average, the report said. While the total number of calls was higher during 9/11 medical calls during the coronavirus pandemic are higher.

The city’s hospital system is being pushed to its brink because of the sheer volume of patients with NYC reporting more than 17,800 coronavirus cases Wednesday.

“Our busiest day of the year, we usually do 5,000 calls. That’s usually New Years Day. We have shattered a record last night,” Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, a union that represents emergency medical technicians, paramedics, fire inspectors, and dispatchers, told Bloomberg. “Due to the spike, we have some calls that are waiting three, four hours to get an ambulance.”

Over the course of the past month, calls jumped from 20 a day to 300 as of last week and the number of calls has skyrocketed since then, according to a Bloomberg report.

Within the city, there are 2,000 first responders, according to Bloomberg’s report. Most are police, roughly 400 are EMS and 200 are firefighters. But with 200 responders out sick, the system could reach a critical breaking point if more have to leave.

“We are already past the surge for our system. We passed that mark,” Barzilay told Bloomberg. “If we lose another 10% of people to falling ill from this, I think the city is going to being a crisis.”

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