Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh lauds Mayor, City Council’s support of enhanced safety measures for FDNY EMS members

May 1, 2024

Mayor Eric Adams signed two bills May 1, 2024, to enhance safety measures for FDNY’s frontline emergency medical workers.

Sponsored by New York City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borelli, Introduction 126-A provides body armor to EMS employees and establishes requirements that protective equipment meet ballistic- and stab-resistance standards of the National Institute of Justice. Introduction 127-A requires FDNY provide de-escalation and self-defense training to EMS workers. The FDNY has been providing ballistics vests and self-defense training to all EMS members for more than 20 years, but the new legislation now makes the Department legally required to do so.

“FDNY EMS members respond to calls day and night, delivering crucial emergency medical care to New Yorkers,” Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said. “Their safety is incredibly important, as is providing them with the protection they need. While the FDNY already provided body armor to all EMTs, we are grateful to the mayor and the City Council for supporting our efforts.”

“They are the ones who are providing emergency medical care to New Yorkers — often unsure of what is going to take place when they walk through the doors,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “Often times, they respond before other first responders. They are the selfless heroes who show up when we need them the most. … Our EMS employees always have the backs of New Yorkers, and we want to make sure we have them covered, as well, with this legislation.”

The New York City Council approved the bill unanimously on April 11.