The death of Alison Russo-Elling will fuel the mass exodus of EMS: union leaders

The unprovoked stabbing death of veteran FDNY paramedic Alison Russo-Elling is likely to further fuel the ongoing exodus of paramedics and paramedics leaving the job, a top union leader predicted.

“This will definitely change the game now,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, the union that represents the city’s more than 4,100 paramedics and paramedics. “We already knew this was a dangerous job, but … this is murder … and that was outrageous.”

Over the past decade, an average of more than 700 new EMTs and EMTs have been hired each year, but staffing levels have changed little as members are already “tired of COVID-19 exposure and other hazards they face on the job.” ‘ without the city’s support – and giving up in droves, Barzilay said.

As of Sept. 28 this year, there have been 199 reported attacks on emergency services workers, which would increase the attacks to around 250 by the end of 2022, according to the FDNY.

Lined up at Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens, where Russo-Elling died of her injuries.
Lined up at Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens, where Russo-Elling died of her injuries.
DANIEL WILLIAM MCKNIGHT

The total is actually a sharp drop from 333 last year and 290 in 2020 during the peak of the pandemic. In 2019 there were 206 attacks.

However, Barzilay said Saturday that New Yorkers should take the FDNY numbers with a grain of salt. He said many of his members felt it wasn’t worth the energy to report an attack because nobody was listening.

“They don’t want to go through the hassle of doing the paperwork,” he said. “City and state laws have become so weak that everyone is using mental illness as an excuse to get out of prison. I think our members are just fed up.”

Suspect Peter Zisopoulos is being led out of the 114th Police Precinct in Astoria, Queens.
Suspect Peter Zisopoulos is being led out of the 114th Police Precinct in Astoria, Queens.
Bridget Stelzer
Ambulance workers mourn Russo-Elling
As of September 28, there have been 199 reported attacks on emergency services workers this year.
Matthew McDermott for the NY Post

Peter Zisopoulos, 34, has been charged with murder and also faces a gun possession charge in connection with the senseless attack on 61-year-old Russo-Elling, who was stabbed 19 times at around 2 a.m. at 20th Avenue and 41st Street in Astoria : 8 p.m. Thursday.

Additional reporting by Susan Edelman.

https://nypost.com/2022/10/01/alison-russo-ellings-death-will-fuel-mass-exodus-of-ems-union-head/ The death of Alison Russo-Elling will fuel the mass exodus of EMS: union leaders

JACLYN DIAZ

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