New York emergency workers overwhelmed by increasing 911 calls

QUEENS, NY — New York’s emergency workers on Wednesday responded to nearly 6,000 9-1-1 calls.

That number is consistently increasing since the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the city: none more evident than in the borough of Queens.

“One thing that is really amazing is hearing all the sirens almost 24/7. All day long, all night long you hear sirens wailing,” said Gary Labao.

Labao lives just two blocks from Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where many Filipinos work. He’s seen a steady stream of people lining up to get tested for COVID-19.

“I lived through 9/11, I lived through the great black out, I lived through Hurricane Sandy. This is unprecedented. I”ve never seen it like this which affects the boroughs.  Back then it only affected very specific portions of NYC. This one is all over. So it’s definitely, I hate to use the word, but it looks more apocalyptic in a lot of ways.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said the state still does not have enough ventilators to meet the coming wave of COVID-19 patients. They predict it will hit a peak in 7 to 30 days.

“At the current burn rate, we have about 6 days of ventilators in our stockpile — meaning if the rate of usage, if the rate of people coming to hospitals who need ventilators continues, in our stockpile, we have about six days.”

The deadly virus has now spread to every county across the state with over 92,000 testing positive as of Thursday, and over 2300 deaths.

Jackie Mariano’s mother has been working at Elmhurst Hospital for many years.

“I’m sure what she sees during the day is very stressful and very traumatic and I have the privilege of sitting at home, working from home and not seeing that trauma face to face so I want to be available for her and just to share what she saw that day. And sharing a little bit of what happened during the day and hopefully, well I think so, can help lighten a little bit, lighten the load.”

Some healthcare workers, police officers and EMS officers are included in the statistics of those sick with COVID-19.

Over 6,000 NYPD officers were out sick this week. Over 1200 tested positive with the coronavirus.

“It is very nerve-racking for me and my family and I’m sure the same way for everyone whose families are frontline workers at this time.”

NY Governor Cuomo said they are doing the best they could, but the fact is New York has yet to see the worst.

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