Coronavirus News: FDNY EMS chief saluted for coordinating out-of-town ambulances coming to help NYC

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It was a lively sendoff after 30 days of hard work in unfamiliar territory, and most New Yorkers my not realize just how far some EMTs and paramedics were willing to travel to help New York - some came from Kentucky - others came from Arizona and Minnesota, and even as far away as Washington State and California.

There were lines of ambulances at Fort Totten after Division Chief James Darnowski and his members at the academy reached out to the State Department of Health to activate something called the 'National Ambulance Contract.'

"During the coronavirus, we were averaging 6,500 to 7,000 calls a day, which is nearly double our normal volume," said FDNY Division Chief James Darnowski.

They hadn't acrivated this national contract since Superstorm Sandy and September 11th, but this time, the need was the greatest. At its peak, the city had 207 extra ambulances from around the country - each with a crew of two.

"To see everyone just uproot their lives to come help us was truly amazing," added Chief Darnowski.

They say sometimes those who are bravest know when its time to ask for help, and this week the EMS academy received a proclamation for that endeavor.

It is proof that our country coming together can make a huge difference in fighting the pandemic.


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