Covid: Bravest But Not Smartest

FDNY Covid vaccine rate less than 50% for firefighters and EMTs

Poor Andy Ansbro.

I feel for the guy.

He’s president of IAFF local union 94, the Uniformed Firefighters of New York, and his job of late has been trying to explain why his members shun the covid vaccine at an alarming rate.

According to the Daily News, he had this to say in January, “We will always have members who aren’t comfortable or don’t feel it’s necessary, and with the amount of members who have already been sick and could have antibodies, some of those members are going to wait and just aren’t going to get it in the immediate future.”

In an apparent act of leadership, Ansbro was photographed recently as he received the vaccine.

The Chief Leader, New York’s civil service news source, reported Ansbro now explains the dismal vaccination rate on member’s medical advice from their doctors as well as their own health histories.

There’s at least one other explanation which is laden with irony.

Where many FDNY members are concerned, it could be said that what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander.

In the City they ride on engine and truck companies staffed with at least four or five firefighters; a cry of blood lust goes up at the mere mention of any staffing cuts or firehouse closures.

Then, many drive home to Nassau or Suffolk counties on Long Island where fire protection is “volunteer” and consequently not subject to any enforceable staffing or response requirements.

The ultimate irony is that many of these “volunteers”are off-duty FDNY members who seem to shed their response and staffing concerns as they leave the City in the rear view mirror.

Who would be surprised then, to learn that the daily new case rates and positive test rates are substantially higher in Nassau and Suffolk than in New York and that the vaccination rates are lower?

And, of the two, Suffolk’s vaccination rate is a rock-bottom 40%.

We should note here that Suffolk County went for Trump in 2020 and that nationally only 41% of Republicans plan to get vaccinated.

Long Island-living FDNY members inhabit their own special world where the science of fire propagation does not apply; why should the science of public health be any different?

Firefighter, DC City Guide and Part-Time Sailor