The men and women on the front lines are the faces that face our fears.
"They are more than essential, they are demonstrating to the city how important they are as first responders," FDNY Captain Lorena Concepcion-Martinez, of Station 55, said.
This EMS Week, the jobs of the 4,400 members of FDNY's emergency medical service have been put to the test like never before.
"We are the ones who come to help when they need it the most," Conception-Martinez said. "We provide just medical care but also psychological care in a time when everybody is panicking and scared and don't know what do expect."
In their honor, the department unveiled a poster featuring seven EMS workers responding to calls during these difficult months.
Concepcion-Martinez of Battalion 55 in the South Bronx, is in the middle.
This year, the pandemic hit her hard. In tears, Conception-Martinez described her mentor, her friend, Lt. David Stone, who lost his life to COVID-19.
She says Stone taught her to be an officer and to be dedicated to the job and help people in the community.
"He was a good friend," she said. "I hope I can make him proud."
As for many of the EMS workers, as they perform their duties, they feel the emotional toll along the way. But they can't stop.
Even with his partner out sick for weeks, paramedic Xiaotian Bao kept aiming straight.
It's what he committed to do 13 years ago. And with a wife and two young children at home, the pandemic has demonstrated his loyalty to his work. Bao has been in a hotel for a month and a half.
"I miss them, honestly, we have to go through this and get it over so we can go back to our families, but they understand," he said. "We are going to get through this together."
They are rightfully known New York City's Bravest, who put their duty first at all times.
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