An FDNY medic from West Babylon died Tuesday night of COVID-19, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
She is Evelyn Ford, a mother of four and emergency medical technician who came on the job in 1994 with the city’s emergency medical service, he said.
"One of the good people at EMS, one of the people who serves us and protects us, passed away," de Blasio said Wednesday at his daily news conference on the coronavirus.
She’s the 12th FDNY worker to die of COVID-19, including five EMS personnel and seven civilians, the FDNY said in a news release.
Her death came as the FDNY, of which the city’s EMS ambulance corps is a unit, announced that vaccination of its personnel has started. The coronavirus vaccine isn't mandatory but is recommended.
"Very, very sad that, just now, as we finally get to turn the corner, the vaccine has finally arrived, we lose a good woman who served us so well for so long," de Blasio said.
Ford’s family could not be immediately reached.
Ford was 58, according to an FDNY Instagram post, which said she had served as a dispatcher helping coordinate responses to large-scale emergencies, including major fires and incidents with a high number of casualties.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the death "really points to how important the vaccinations are to our members."
"We have had, in a department of 17,000 folks, close to 6,000 of them have had COVID over the past nine months. It's an incredible number. We have over 600 people right now on medical leave with COVID," he said.
Nigro said the department hopes to vaccinate 450 people a day "and start to bring this protection, this miracle, that came to us and start to put COVID behind us."
Asked about the infection rate among FDNY and EMS personnel, Nigro said "our members constantly, over the past nine months, servicing sick individuals around our city and putting themselves at risk."
"They’re also catching it from their co-workers, none of whom have the luxury of working from home," he said, "and they're getting it into their daily contact like others … They live with other folks in their homes."