In an Editor’s Note in JAMA Cardiology, Robert O. Bonow, MD, Northwestern University, Chicago, and colleagues said the American people owe a debt of gratitude to first responders for their “heroic work” triaging, resuscitating, and transporting thousands of people affected by COVID-19.
“Although the typically bustling NYC streets remained eerily deserted, the characteristic cacophony of sounds of the ‘City that Never Sleeps’ was replaced by sirens wailing all hours of the night,” they wrote.
First responders to OHCAs in the COVID-19 era place themselves at extremely high risk, in some cases without optimal personal protective equipment, they pointed out. “Sadly,” many first responders have fallen ill to COVID-19 infection, they added.
As of June 1, 29 EMS workers and volunteers across the United States had died of COVID-19.
They are James Villecco, Gregory Hodge, Tony Thomas, Mike Field, John Redd, Idris Bey, Richard Seaberry, and Sal Mancuso of New York; Israel Tolentino, Reuven Maroth, Liana Sá, Kevin Leiva, Frank Molinari, Robert Weber, Robert Tarrant, Solomon Donald, Scott Geiger, John Farrarella, John Careccia, Bill Nauta, and David Pinto of New Jersey; Kevin Bundy, Robert Zerman, and Jeremy Emerich of Pennsylvania; Paul Cary of Colorado; Paul Novicki of Michigan; David Martin of Mississippi; Billy Birmingham of Missouri; and John “JP” Granger of South Carolina.
“We offer their families, friends, and colleagues our sincerest condolences and honor their memory with our highest respect and gratitude,” Dr. Bonow and colleagues wrote.
This study was supported by the City of New York and the Fire Department of the City of New York. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
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