PILOT PROGRAM FOR FDNY EMS AS FIRST IN FOR EDPs.

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https://thechiefleader.com/news/news_of ... 8fede.html

Deployed First in 2 Upper Manhattan Precincts
EMS Begins Pilot as First-Responder To EDP Calls in Place of Cops
  • By BOB HENNELLY
  • May 28, 2021 Updated May 28, 2021

The Fire Department is launching a long pilot program that will dispatch specially trained members of the Emergency Medical Service along with mental-health professionals to respond to 911 calls for emotionally disturbed persons that until now were handled by the NYPD.
The initial roll-out includes 20 EMS workers—15 Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics, three Lieutenants, a Captain and a Deputy Chief, according to Vincent Variale, president of the EMS officers union, Local 3621 of District Council 37.
Getting 6% Pay Bump
The Fire Department confirmed that the participants, who will be detailed to two high-need precincts in Upper Manhattan, will get a six-percent pay differential.
"They are already two months behind schedule because they couldn't get anyone from EMS to volunteer to do it because of the lack of compensation and support," said Mr. Variale, who supports the pilot. "We insisted that some of the training include self-defense classes for our members in case one of the patients gets violent. We want our people trained on how to get away."
He said it made sense to take non-violent mental-health-call responses "off of the police officers' plate," because "we have given too much to our police officers trying to turn them into social workers...without giving them the proper training or support to accomplish these goals. We see the result on the news when they take the person down, and that's that."
EMT Union Head Leery
Oren Barzilay, president of DC 37's Local 2507, which represents EMTs and Paramedics, said he had "serious concerns for the safety of our men and women. We have seen a spike of crimes, our mission is to save lives, [and] we don't want to be part of the statistics."
Across the country, in the aftermath of multiple police shootings of emotionally disturbed individuals, local governments have been looking at de-escalating strategies" like the one Mayor de Blasio announced last November.
According to research by the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit committed to improving mental-health care, people with "untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians approached or stopped by law enforcement."
"Numbering fewer than one in 50 U.S. adults, individuals with untreated severe mental illness are involved in at least one of four and as many as half of all police shootings," the TAC study found. "Because of this prevalence, reducing encounters between on-duty law enforcement and individuals with the most-severe psychiatric diseases may represent the single-most-immediate, practical strategy for reducing fatal police shootings in the United States."
Danner Case Resonated
In October 2016, the fatal police shooting of Deborah Danner seconds after being persuaded to drop a scissors she had been brandishing, abruptly picked up a baseball bat and swung it at an NYPD Sergeant, who responded by firing his gun, put a spotlight on how the city handled such calls. The Sergeant, Hugh Barry, was acquitted by a Bronx judge of of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide when the judge concluded he had acted in self-defense against the 66-year-old woman, who had struggled with schizophrenia since her teens.
The NYPD and EMS were dispatched to her apartment after a 911 call was made by the building's security guard because Ms. Danner was screaming in the hallway and tearing down posters in the common area. That response was the third to her apartment within two years. During those prior calls, the responding officers had to break down her door.
At a City Council hearing in September 2017, NYPD officials testified that out of the 150,000 EDP calls the department got annually getting annually, one percent, or 1,500 times, responding officers felt they had to use force, ranging from wrestling the patient to the ground to using a Taser or firing their gun.
In the 11 months before that hearing, six emotionally disturbed individuals had been shot and killed by the police the Gotham Gazette reported.
Took Cue From Eugene
The city pilot is modeled on a program in Eugene, Oregon that was established as an alternative response to situations where the presence of the police could destabilize the situation to the point where physical and even lethal force might be used. OF the 24,000 calls handled by the Oregon program, 150 generated a call for police back-up by the civilian responders.
Similar programs are underway in Albuquerque, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other U.S. cities.
"For the first time in our city's history, health responders will be the default responders for a person in crisis, making sure those struggling with mental illness receive the help they need," the Mayor said last year in announcing the initiative.
"Mental illness is not a crime, but we call upon the police as first-responders in a mental health crisis," said Linda Rosenberg of Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry. "The decision to have health professionals respond to mental-health crises underscores New York City's commitment to caring for, not punishing, people with mental illnesses."
Crisis-Reduction Step
"We are working toward a city where fewer mental-health needs become crises. And when mental-health needs do become crises, we reach people quickly with the care they need," Susan Herman, Director of the Mayor's Office of ThriveNYC, said last fall.
"The results of the pilot period will inform how the City responds to mental health emergencies in other neighborhoods," the Mayor's Office said at that time."
For Mr. Variale, the unresolved issue is the lack of existing capacity for mental-health treatment for the patients his members bring to the hospital.
"We are just putting a Band-Aid on a serious bleeding problem and we are doing this on the cheap," he said. "They are not giving the long-term care that's needed...Are we going to take these people to the hospital, only to have them discharged a day or two later?"
 
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Another "looks good on paper" City Hall project. Wait until City Hall sees the amount of paperwork they'll receive from the field when this peachy keen idea backfires and the responders injuries soar. And just think with the 6% added to EMS salary they can now have a "Twinkie" with their coffee.
 
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I sure would NOT be an EMS guy to sign up for this program. As you say "memorymaster", to have a "Twinkie" with their coffee.

Any first responder, can certainly relate to being sent on calls involving EDPs. Those EDPs might be high on drugs that give them some super strength and it's even been difficult for 2 - 3 police offices to handle them.

I'm sure the whole country will be watching as some of the FDNY/EMS members throw themselves into this added dangerous situation to an already dangerous job. As we remember, they were the first ones in to handle Covid patients. Everyday they may face attack dogs, or unruly crowds, etc., etc.

Of course "I'm on the Outside Looking In", but I would think, why not use Police Officers dressed in civilian clothes, with additional training to be frontline EDP responders. Having EMS/FD etc ready to move in.

I'm also with you "memorymaster" on this one with injuries to FDNY/EMS soaring.

Of course, "I'm Monday Morning Quarterbacking" and I sure HOPE I'M TOTALLY WRONG.

As far as I know, people that work within the FDNY/EMS (my personnel friends) have NOT signed up to be one of these FDNY/EMS EDP Responders. I am very HAPPY about that.
 
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Another "looks good on paper" City Hall project. Wait until City Hall sees the amount of paperwork they'll receive from the field when this peachy keen idea backfires and the responders injuries soar. And just think with the 6% added to EMS salary they can now have a "Twinkie" with their coffee.
So true brother.
 
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A TOTALLY ABSURD IDEA ! .....NO IF'S AND'S OR BUT'S......JUST ABSURD !
Funny don't mention that the EDPs usually have weapons so that 16% statistic mentioned in article are most likely to be shot by PD is BS.
 
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Just play the Star Spangled Banner instead of the siren blasting. They will take a knee and the problem is solved.
 
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Dispatch will screen assignments and on certain runs they believe are safe enough they will send these teams instead of the normal joint NYPD/ EMS response.
 
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Giving them self defense training.... next thing you’ll here on the news everyone’s mad at EMS for physically defending themselves on a call that was recorded.
 
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Giving them self defense training.... next thing you’ll here on the news everyone’s mad at EMS for physically defending themselves on a call that was recorded.
You have that correct! Just another chapter in the book, "You Can't Make This S**T Up."
 
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PROTECT YOUR COMMUNITY FROM VIOLENT CRIMINALS!

Click to tell your Senator and Assembly Member to
Vote NO on S.6615 / A.7835

Dear PBA Member,

I'm writing with an urgent call to action for all PBA members and our families.

With only a few days left in the Albany legislative session, state lawmakers are looking to pass sweeping changes to the state's standard for the use of force by police officers.

In the PBA's view, this "Police Stand Down Act" will make it virtually impossible for police officers to quickly, safely and legally prevent and terminate acts of violence directed at the public or arrest a resisting suspect. The bill would open the door for a criminal investigation every time a police officer uses reasonable force to stop a threat and/or take a suspect into custody.

To fight back against this legislation, the PBA and police unions across the state are asking New Yorkers to email their state legislators to oppose the bill. With just a few clicks on the PBA website, you can email your local representatives and every single legislator to urge them to VOTE NO on S.6615/A.7835.

The legislative session ends June 10, so there is no time to waste. Please contact your legislators today, and urge your family and friends to do the same.

Fraternally,
mail

Pat Lynch
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