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NYC’s 911 Overwhelmed With Record Number of Emergency Medical Calls

A pedestrian walks through Times Square in New York on March 19.
A pedestrian walks through Times Square in New York on March 19.Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Calls to New York City’s 911 medical services hit their highest levels since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to emergency workers’ unions, stretching staffs that have already seen their own ranks thinned by coronavirus infections.

Medical emergency calls are up 40% to about 6,500 a day, according to Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, a union that represents emergency medical technicians, paramedics, fire inspectors and dispatchers.