Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
First Responders Finding Transit-less Ways to Work
Friday, August 26, 2011
With the entire New York City transit system set to shut down at noon on Saturday, first responders are planning alternate ways to get to work.
The MTA said subways and buses will make their last trips Saturday afternoon, after that, city residents who need to get to work — first responders and emergency personnel — will be planning to spend the night on the job or car pooling.
EMS and EMT workers typically work 8 hour shifts, but many are being asked to spend the night on site, according to Isreal Miranda, vice president of the Uniformed EMS Workers Union.
“Many of the employees have already been told that they may be held over at the work site,"he said. "The people that are coming to work are being told to carpool or find some other means of getting to work.”
Firefighters typically work 24-hour tours so a day long shutdown of the subway system won't disrupt their commute too much, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said. “Our members get to work, they are very dedicated.” He added, it won't me much different than past weather emergencies.
Hospitals are still planning how their workers will make the transit-less trip to their shifts. A spokeswoman for New York Presbyterian Hospital said they are "taking every step possible to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. We have an emergency preparedness plan in place, and we are working closely with government authorities." She would not elaborate on the details.
This is the first time in the history of the MTA that the entire subway system will be closed due to weather. The transit system has shutdown before though, after 9/11 and during the 2005 Transit Workers' Union strike. The MTA said trains could remain idle through Monday morning, depending on the level of damage to equipment and amount of debris on the track.