Concerns of first responder shortage grow as vaccine mandate for city employees inches closer
There is growing concern that the five boroughs will have less police officers and firefighters available with Mayor Bill de Blasio's vaccine mandate for city employees is set to go into effect Friday.
First responders across New York City have until 5 p.m. Friday to get vaccinated or be placed on unpaid leave.
De Blasio has said staffing shortages won't be a concern, but police and fire unions have a different opinion.
The Police Benevolent Association says there could be as many as 10,000 police officers removed from the streets, as around 25% of officers are not vaccinated.
The FDNY says 35% of firefighters and 20% of EMS workers are not vaccinated.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis says the city is going to be put into a difficult situation.
"You're going to see a great impact, and people are going to be put in dangerous situations," Malliotakis says. "God forbid you have a fire, a car accident, you're getting robbed or raped. My concern is that on Monday, people are going to wake up and they're going to realize just how important our first responders are."
During his daily briefing Thursday, the mayor gave no indication that he would reconsider the deadline. He said he thinks many people will agree to get vaccinated once the deadline inches closer and they realize they are not going to get paid.
De Blasio compared the mandate to the one imposed on Department of Education employees, which have a 95% vaccination rate.