Ogdensburg firefighters say they were sidelined from medical calls

Ogdensburg emergency medical response

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Ogdensburg firefighters say they were briefly out of the business of responding to emergency medical calls.

Their union says firefighters responded to an EMS call Saturday evening. They learned later the patient they tended to tested positive for COVID-19.

The union says that when they informed city manager Steve Jellie, he immediately removed their first responder status.

On Tuesday, however, Jellie issued new guidelines on responding to medical calls.

“I don’t necessarily think there’s a gigantic change one way, one way since he responded this afternoon,” union president Jason Bouchard said. “Initially it seemed he was trying to completely remove our response, which he has hinted at in the past.”

Anything I do is somehow suspect to them,” Jellie said. It has to do with the reduction of overall size of the department versus my ultimate responsibility, which is the safety of the citizens of Ogdensburg.”

In a written statement, Jellie said he has directed the department to maintain a limited response posture to emergency medical calls for assistance.

And he said the primary mission of the fire department is to respond to fires, hazardous materials incidents, and rescue situations.

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