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9

Member Update

Station 26 EMT members in Albany Lobbying Anti-Gang Bill
Inspired By The Line Of Duty Death Of EMT Yadira Arroyo.

See Media Release under photos

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Press contact: John Quaglione
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
718.238.6044

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

******  Media Advisory  ******


Senator Golden and Assemblyman Lentol Anti-Gang Bill Might Have Prevented EMS Tragedy


Law enforcement, EMS and First Responders Urge Passage of Anti-Gang Bill




3/28/2017
– ALBANY-State Senator Martin J. Golden (Brooklyn- R, C, I) and Assemblyman Joe Lentol (Brooklyn – D) will announce that they are again sponsoring legislation, S.2410/A.5477, known as the New York State Criminal Street Gang Act, which may have prevented the tragic murder of EMS worker Yadira Arroyo by gang member Jose Gonzalez, if the Assembly passed, and the Governor signed the bill that was approved by the State Senate.

The anti-gang bill would have provided for extended criminal penalties for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal gang organization and could have kept Jose Gonzalez off the streets. It is in the public interest to establish a comprehensive approach to the protection of  public order and individual safety from criminal street gangs and gang-related violence. This bill establishes such a comprehensive approach by increasing penalties for gang-related violence, creating anti-crime programs that focus on patterns of criminal gang activity and organization, expanding education and intervention to prevent the growth of criminal street gangs, and establishing an ongoing system of tracking criminal gang activity.

When: Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 10:45am

Where: Albany, LCA Room


What: Senator Golden, Assemblyman Lentol, Law enforcement, EMS and First Responders Urge Passage of Anti-Gang Bill


Who: Senator Marty Golden, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Izzy Miranda President of EMS Local 2507 and members of law enforcement.


***

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10

Member Update

Killing of FDNY EMT Spotlights Issues for Unsung Profession

By Felipe De La Hoz

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Of the city’s various uniformed workers, some dominate media attention and public awareness. Along with the historical presence and mythology of firefighters and police officers, corrections officers have been in the news recently, mostly for the wrong reasons, while New Yorkers rely on sanitation workers for a basic essential of city life.

Public soul-searching over questions about broken windows policing and the future of the Riker’s Island jail also have many New Yorkers thinking about police and corrections officers, with ongoing policy discussions now moving into a city election year.

Yet one uniformed group, which like the others has a unique set of responsibilities, labor issues, and policy priorities, has found itself largely locked out of the conversation, even as its 4,700 members continue to risk their own well-being and save lives on a daily basis: FDNY emergency medical service (EMS) workers, which include EMTs and Paramedics.

The service came suddenly into the limelight on March 16 when Yadira Arroyo, 44, a 14-year veteran of the FDNY EMT and mother of five, was killed, allegedly by a 25-year-old Bronx man who commandeered her ambulance and ran her over.
“The primary concerns have not changed for many years,” said Izzy Miranda, president of Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics & Fire Inspectors Local 2507, in an interview a few days after Arroyo was killed on the job. “We get resistance from the administration no matter which one it is. We’re truly not recognized by the administration as a true uniformed service.”

His members’ primary concern is pay, Miranda said. Base salary for an FDNY EMT after five years on the job is $47,685. A firefighter, meanwhile, can expect to take home $85,292 in base pay after five years, the same as an NYPD officer after 5.5 years.

“They have to work overtime, second and third jobs…We lose the best quality people,” said Miranda, explaining that members turn to private sector jobs like nursing because they cannot afford to live in the city on EMT pay.

That’s the case for FDNY rescue medic Usman Rahyab, an 11-year veteran of the department, who had worked with Arroyo and described her as someone who “sincerely loved her job.”

“I have to teach on my days off, I have to work overtime,” Rayhab said. “I teach paramedics to make enough money to support myself and my son…My own barber makes more money than I do, and he cuts my hair.”

Rayhab also painted a picture of an agency with a multitude of internal budgetary and management issues, and a punishing work culture that drives out talented medical workers.

“We’re constantly, constantly running out of essential equipment. We’re allowed to go out there and respond and not have that. That’s because of the budget,” he said, citing the example of CPAP devices, which can prevent a patient from having to be intubated. “Right now, at this time, I do not have any in my truck. They still send me out…I shouldn’t be told ‘do what you have to do, do the best with what you have,’” he added.

In an email, Frank Gribbon, a spokesperson for the FDNY, denied there is any shortage of the devices, writing “I'm told we do not have a shortage of CPAP devices - plenty in stock.”

A report by the Citizens Budget Commission in December 2015 calculated that just 13% of the FDNY’s budget for fiscal 2015 was allocated for EMS, despite at least 75% of incidents to which the agency responded being medical in nature. The city’s EMS was moved from the Health and Hospitals Corporation to the FDNY in 1996 in an attempt to increase coordination between emergency services and reduce redundancies.

Gribbon said that “the budget for EMS has never been greater, having been increased by nearly $40 million two years ago by the Mayor” and specified that the cost of running EMS was $600 million, with $180 million recovered through insurance billing. He did not answer a question about how the EMS operating budget was calculated internally.

Rayhab also outlined functional and cultural problems within the agency, claiming that members were stretched so thin they could go 12 hours without a single break, even to eat. If discovered eating at an unsanctioned time, he said, they could lose “four or five days worth of pay.”

When paramedics get hurt, Rayhab said, “you’re either going to recover, you’re going to get demoted, or you’re going to lose your job. There’s nothing else. And there’s a high injury rate.”

When an EMS worker does become injured to the point that they cannot continue to work, that can be an uncertain process.

Miranda, the union president, recently held a rally on the steps of City Hall with State Senator Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn) to introduce a bill that would allow New York state courts to grant disability pensions to EMS, corrections, and sanitation workers if they disagreed with a pension denial from the New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS).

Currently, courts can only remand cases back the board. In a phone interview, Sen. Golden said “[EMS workers] fall, mess up their back, their head, they cannot function as an EMS, they’re forced into disability. They have to go back and forth between the panel and the supreme court if they’re denied. This takes time, and it takes money. It can be two years and $10,000 before they’re done.”

Golden also worries about the physical safety of EMS workers. In 2015 he introduced a bill, which passed and was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, removing a requirement that an assault on an EMS worker had to intend to obstruct their official duties for it to be considered assault in the second degree, a class D felony.

For Golden, who was a New York City police officer in the 1970s and early ‘80s, the death of Arroyo is part of a larger pattern of renewed violence against uniformed responders and peace officers. “I remember people throwing garbage cans on firetrucks and EMS vehicles,” Golden said of his time in the NYPD, adding, “it seems to be back to that. They want to attack anyone in uniform.”

Another point of contention is the EMS service’s own leadership. As opposed to their firefighter counterparts, the appointment and promotion of EMS supervisors does not require a competitive civil service examination, a situation Miranda said does not afford EMTs ample opportunity to advance. Rahyab was more blunt: “they promote their buddies…Our members do not look up to the EMS administration.” Golden has introduced a bill in the Senate to require the examinations.

On the municipal front, the EMS workers union has a few specific interests, starting with contract negotiations that will bring their compensation more in line with their uniformed colleagues. Miranda said that their next contract negotiations will begin around April of next year, but his union is open to starting conversations with the city now.

Miranda is also pushing a bill, introduced by Queens Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who is chair of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, that would require bulletproof vests for some EMS workers “meet certain safety requirements related to their warranty, history of use, and fit” and “meet standards for bullet resistance developed by the National Institute of Justice.” The bill is designed to upgrade vests that were issued to EMS workers under the Giuliani administration in the late 1990s.

Crowley said she was also advocating for funding for the vests in the city budget, regardless of whether the bill passes in the Council. “If the [fire] department believes it’s important to give every graduating EMT a bulletproof vest, why are they not upgrading that vest after five years, when it’s no longer effective?” she said.

Crowley also intends to introduce legislation that will require public reporting of so-called vital statistics, internal figures that provide more detail than the department’s annual reporting on fire fatalities. She mentioned that these statistics showed that lives saved by EMS were down year-over-year.

“Unfortunately, many of the calls they get now are about overdoses…So naloxone use should be part of the vital statistics,” she said as an example of what could be included. Echoing the irritation of EMS workers, she said that it “frustrated me in the past, and it frustrates me today that they’re treated like a second class public safety arm.”

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Both Rahyab and Miranda lamented the lack of attention that their profession’s struggles have received, but hoped that if there was one good thing to come out of the recent tragedy, it would be increased awareness.

“It’s a shame that it has to take a tragedy, one of our sisters making the supreme sacrifice, for these issues to even be looked at,” Miranda said.

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38

Career criminal was released weeks before killing EMT Yadira Arroyo because judge didn’t have his rap sheet

By Graham Rayman

March 20, 2017

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Click image above to see video and NY Daily News story

The Bronx judge who ordered the release of the career criminal who went on to kill EMT Yadira Arroyo was acting on less than the full picture, court records show.

Judge David Kirschner of Bronx Criminal Court declined the prosecutor’s request to set $5,000 bail and ordered Jose Gonzalez released on Feb. 26, after he was arrested for trying to hit a cop.

He was captured on video screaming at cops after kicking out the rear video of an NYPD vehicle.

Arroyo’s family and supporters have criticized the fact that Gonzalez was on the street even though he had been arrested 31 prior times.

“It’s something that I questioned from the beginning,” said Israel Miranda, head of Local 2507 that represents EMTs.

“He tried to hit a female police officer and hit a security guard. The DA requested bail based on his history and it was denied. It puzzles me why the judge denied it.”

Bronx prosecutors argued in the Feb. 26 arraignment that Gonzalez’s behavior showed a “disregard for a valid court order and for law enforcement.”

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But a source said Kirschner did not have Gonzalez’s full arrest record in front of him. Gonzalez was never the subject of a criminal warrant.

His psychiatric history was never raised in the hearing, a transcript of the hearing shows. No one requested a psychiatric exam.

“He had the rap sheet which had eight misdemeanors on it mostly for marijuana and the complaint,” the source said. “He didn’t see the video, which came out only this week.”

“What is he supposed to be — Carnac?” the source said. “Out of 100 arraignments, 99 are fine and sometimes one of them blows up. This case ended up horribly and you have an unbelievably sympathetic victim and an unbelievably unsympathetic bum.”

In the Feb. 26 hearing, Assistant District Attorney Hayden Briklin asked for $5,000 bail, citing Gonzalez’s four misdemeanor convictions and a failure to appear in court, court records show.

Briklin also noted that he had an open assault case, the records show.

“By this arrest alone, this defendant has proven he cannot follow court orders and stay out of trouble and not get arrested,” Briklin told Judge Kirschner.

She said Gonzalez had tried to punch a police officer trying to investigate a robbery.

“The defendant, unprovoked, attacked the officer and then resisted arrest,” she said. “Once he was subdued by three police officers, the defendant was placed in the back of a police vehicle and kicked out the rear window of the vehicle.”

But Gonzalez’s lawyer, Anna Sim, disputed that he had tried to hit a cop and pressed Kirschner to release him without bail.

“He adamantly denies trying to hit any of the police officers,” she said. “They (the police) didn’t say they were investigating a robbery and wanted to ask him some questions. All he knew was the police officers were starting to run up on him.”

Kirschner asked whether Gonzalez has another open case.

“No,” defense lawyer Sims replied. “That’s the only case he has: the one tomorrow.”

Kirschner then ordered him released until the court hearing the next day.

“I am going to release him, but I will put this on tomorrow to join even though it’s a short date, just to join since he’s going to be here tomorrow anyway,” he said. “Defendant released on his own recognizance.”

Read story on New York Daily News website

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29

CBS 2

Man Charged In EMT Yadira Arroyo's Death Waives Court Appearance

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Image lnks to video


New York Daily News

Career criminal was released weeks before killing EMT Yadira Arroyo because judge didn’t have his rap sheet

headline links to Daily News


The Chief Leader

EMTs Union Leading Charge on Bill Giving Judges More Say on Pensions

By MARK TOOR

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A disability lawyer and the leader of the union that represents Paramedics and Emer­gency Medical Technicians have teamed up to try to speed the resolution of cases in which a State Supreme Court Justice determines that a pension board has unreasonably denied a three-quarter-pay disability pension to a worker who was injured on the job.

Right now, in most cases a judge is limited to sending such a case back to the board for reconsideration, which can set off a bouncing-ball effect.

Board Can Refuse Again

The pension board, usually acting on the advice of its medical board, can deny the ­request again. Now the worker, who may have a half-pay pension or none at all, must spend $8,000 to $10,000 to hire another lawyer and wait even longer for relief.

Chet Lukaszewski, the attorney, and Israel Miranda, president of District Council 37 Local 2507, announced a bill March 16 that would allow judges to simply order the pension board to grant a disability pension to a worker who has been disabled by an on-the-job injury.

They say the change would help even out the imbalance of power between pension board and workers. Social Security and Workers’ Compensation judges have the power to grant awards, Mr. Lukaszewski said.

The bill is being sponsored by State Sen. Martin J. Golden, who left the NYPD in 1983 after he was seriously hurt while making an arrest, and Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate Jr., who chairs the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees.

‘Levels Playing Field’

Under current law, “a court cannot grant them the pension, no matter how outrageous the judge thinks the no-disability finding is,” Mr. Lukaszewski said in an email. “This really levels the playing field and makes the funds not above the powers of judges, and will help ensure no one falls through the cracks when a medical board flat-out gets it wrong.”

“No one should have such power that they can’t be overruled,” Mr. Miranda said in an interview.

“Our members put themselves on the line every day,” he added. “Many have been denied disability pensions by medical boards although evidence clearly indicates they’re disabled.”

Workers who are badly hurt on the job “have no choice but to put in for a disability pension,” he said, noting that the agency that employs the worker has usually declared him or her disabled. That means the worker cannot fulfill the standard functions of the job.

Often Forced Out

In most cases, he said, disabled workers are forced to leave. Mr. Lukaszewski said that under civil-service law, people can be terminated for a medical inability to return to work.

Mr. Miranda said that most of the three-quarter-pension requests filed by his members are denied and that he believes other unions have the same experience.

“The majority of municipal employees are put at risk of losing their jobs and losing and having no pension at all, and no medical benefits, and having to try and pay an attorney to fight for them for years and years,” Mr. Lukas­zewski said.

“Many may eventually begin to collect a reduced, vested pension in the future, if and when they reach the point where they would have been able to collect a service pension. But before that occurs they will collect no pension and they and their family will have no medical benefits.

“People literally lose their homes and life savings as a result of the current loophole, which this bill, if it becomes law, will close.”

NYCERS Not Talking

A spokeswoman for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, which handles pension requests for Mr. Miranda’s union, said the board does not comment on proposed legislation.

Mr. Miranda said the change in the law would have no negative effect on taxpayers, since the retirement funds depend primarily on workers’ contributions.

Mr. Lukaszewski said he has been urging the change in pension law for years. “The person who finally made it happen was Israel Miranda,” he said. “I presented the idea to him and the proposed language, and he really got behind it and took it to Sen. Martin Golden and Assemblyman Peter Abbate, who have sponsored it. They and their teams are spearheading it in Albany.”

“Our members have been complaining for years about the NYCERS process,” Mr. Miranda said. “We’ve met with them, but nothing has changed because they have absolute authority.”

Gives Judge Discretion

The proposed change would add language saying that a judge, “upon a finding that [the pension board’s] determination was arbitrary and capricious and not supported by substantial evidence, may annul the determination and grant the petitioner the requested disability pension."

Under current law, a judge has that power only when the pension board declares that a worker is not disabled as far as his or her job title goes. Judges have no such authority in cases where the board decides the worker is disabled but the disability is not job-related.

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40

Member Update


Members interested in utilizing the Local 2507 Bus Transportation for EMT Yadira Arroyo's Funeral on Saturday March 25, 2017 should confirm seating availability by contacting the assigned on-site bus coordinators or by emailing your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
All requests for seating MUST be made and confirmed by Friday March 24, 2017 12 Noon.
Please contact the following Bus Coordinators for seating:

Staten Island

Keisha Brockington (347) 432-3686
Seats are available on the Staten Island Bus

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55

Member Update


Members interested in utilizing the Local 2507 Bus Transportation for EMT Yadira Arroyo's Funeral on Saturday March 25, 2017 should confirm seating availability by contacting the assigned on-site bus coordinators or by emailing your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All requests for seating MUST be made and confirmed by Friday March 24, 2017 12 Noon.

Please contact the following Bus Coordinators for seating:

Queens
Fort. Totten: Chris Pierce (516) 644-1412
Station 45: Mike Greco (917) 691- 4693

Brooklyn
Station 38: Alan Cooke (646) 236-0538
David Cook (347) 782-4910
9 Metro Tech: Lance Winfield (516) 506-8019

Manhattan
Station 4: Miguel Perez (34 7) 738-3492

Bronx
Station 20: Tony Dedivanovic (646) 468-2675

Click Continue Reading for bus locations.

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40

Member Update

Saturday, March 25th

Local 2507 Charter Bus Pick-Up Locations for the LODD Funeral for EMT Yadira Arroyo


EMS Division 1
299 South Street Manhattan NY
1 bus - Arriving: 0800 Hrs --- Departing 0840 Hrs

EMS Division 2
EMS Station 26 - 1264 Boston Rd Bronx, NY 10456
2 Buses - Only for Members of.Station 26
Arriving: 0800 Hrs - Departing: 0900 Hrs

EMS Station 20-1410 Pelham Parkway Bronx, NY 10461
1 Bus - Arriving: 0800 Hrs - Departing: 0900 Hrs

EMS Division 3
EMS Station 38 - 554 Winthrop St Brooklyn, NY 11203
2 Buses - Arriving: 0800 Hrs - Departing: 0840 Hrs

9 Metro Tech Center
1 Bus - Arriving: 0800 Hrs - Departing: 0840 Hrs

EMS Division 4
EMS Bureau of Training- Fort Totten Building #325
2 Buses - Arriving: 0800 Hrs - Departing: 0840 Hrs
EMS Station 45 - 58 - 65 52nd Rd Woodside, NY 11377
1 Bus - Arriving: 0800 Hrs - Departing: 0840 Hrs

EMS Division 5
Station 22 / Division 5 - 460 Brielle Ave Staten Island, NY 10314
1 Bus - Arriving 0800 Hrs - Departing 0840 Hrs

 

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38

Member Update

To All Brothers and Sisters,

The Grand Jury will be interviewing witnesses starting tomorrow, Tuesday March 21, 2017 at 9:30 AM. This is a closed courtroom proceeding. We will not be allowed in to observe and it is not open to the public.

On Wednesday March 22, 2017, there will be an open court; this will be the first time the defendant will see a judge since his arraignment. We encourage all to attend on Wednesday.

Opening Court Appearance - Open to the Public

Wednesday March 22, 2017
10:00 AM
Bronx Hall of Justice
265 East 161 st Street
Court Part FB

In Solidarity,
Israel Miranda

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Viewing

Viewing will be Thursday March 23, 2:00 to 4:00PM & 7:00 to 9:00PM

and

Friday March 24, 2:00 to 4:00PM & 7:00 to 9:00PM

at Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home, 726 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462

Funeral

Saturday, March 25 at 11:00AM
St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, 2345 University Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

Interment location has been changed - to be determined.

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65

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President Miranda addresses the press after the court hearing for Jose Gonzalez who was arraigned for the murder of EMT Yadira Arroyo, a mother of 5 and 14 year veteran of FDNY EMS.

 View the news video

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