May 19, 2020

Tuesday's EMS Week Honoree: IAEP Local R2-020 of Yonkers, NY!

In one of the highest call volume and highest infection rate areas of the country, Local R2-20 has seen heavy action since pandemic day one. Throughout their constant trials at the hands of COVID-19 this local has stayed strong. With multiple infections among members and many more frightening quarantines on top of that the last few months have been far from a cake walk. It is our honor to highlight the brave women and men of Local 20 for their bold and determined tact in combatting this global health crisis. 

            National Representative Nathan Smith on Local R2-020

    To the members of IAEP Local 20 of Yonkers New York, this deadly virus was the unknown, the uncharted, and the unsure. On March 8, 2020 the operations of Empress Ambulance Service would change in ways we never imagined. Governor Cuomo’s state of emergency declaration was only the beginning and since that day our members have never blinked.
 As days and weeks go by, the members of Local 20 have seen changes in the way they work hour by hour. The fear set in early on our member’s minds in regard to personal protection equipment, the potential to infect their family after a tour of duty and their ability to make ends meet if they were infected. In addition to continual fluctuations in CDC guidelines, members also often dealt with the angry and saddened family members of COVID patients who were pronounced deceased in their own living rooms, due to those same guidelines. Like many across the country, Local 20 members wore defeat on many more days than not as the unknown still loomed ahead of them. It seemed there was no relief in sight. Now, as the hope of a flattening curve is around the corner, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The men and women of Local 20 must be commended for their professionalism and dedication to their roles as emergency medical services workers during this pandemic. These persevering individuals have adapted to get the job done with whatever came their way, all without complaint or a second thought. Our members have held the front line of this pandemic while never missing a step in their regular emergency calls and while juggling a life of seclusion after punching out.
Today, there are only two members we know to be COVID-19 positive in quarantine and currently at home recovering. Having transported over 16,000 COVID related cases, this number is nothing short of incredible for Local 20. No matter the challenge, no matter what resurgence comes, our members are Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow.
To the members of Local 20 and all EMS professionals on the front lines today; I thank you, my family thanks you, the IAEP thanks you, and a grateful nation stands behind you.

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Image Courtesy of Austin Magnuson of Local R2-20
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