A “cavalry” of paramedics and EMTs from across the country loaded into over 50 ambulances at Fort Totten Park in Queens Thursday, joining the Big Apple’s battle to contain COVID-19 and treat the infected.
“We needed the cavalry to come, we needed the reinforcements to come,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the dozens of emergency responders from states such as California, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi.
“The fact that you’re willing to leave your hometown, leave your family, and come here in our hour of need I cannot thank you enough,” de Blasio said at the park, which was once home to a Union fort during the Civil War.
“When you guys started showing up it was like the biggest shot in the arm, 8.6 million people are profoundly thankful,” he added.
On Tuesday FEMA officials announced plans to send 250 ambulances and 500 EMTs and paramedics to the Big Apple to help the city contend with the “unprecedented” crush of calls to 911 during the coronavirus pandemic.
FEMA workers filled the out-of-state ambulances with supplies like oxygen bottles, surgical gloves and masks as the vehicles waited to deploy.
After his speech de Blasio met with two EMTs from Kalamazoo, Michigan and even handed the emergency responders a card with his personal cell phone on it.
Andrew McCann, 26, with Kalamazoo’s Pride Care Ambulance, told The Post he might just call in a favor from the mayor.
“Looks like I’m throwing out the first pitch at Yankee stadium!” McCann quipped.
Kelley Holloway, of FEMA Battalion 2, who is captain of West Palm Beach Rural Metro, filled the trunk of his white sedan with medical gear before heading into the borough.
“I’m a field supervisor with FEMA, so I stock up here with the essential needs. I’m driving to Brooklyn. The ambulances in my area in Brooklyn text me with what they need and I go to them,” Holloway said in an interview.
“The FDNY has been amazing. They’ve welcomed us with open arms,” Holloway said.
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