New York City Fire Department paramedic Anthony Almojera said he has seen a lot on his job — but dealing with the coronavirus crisis has posed new challenges.
He described how he tried to comfort a husband after his wife, who was a health care worker, died — but he couldn't touch the grieving man.
“When people pass away, the grief component has to transfer,” he said. “Normally, I would put my arm around him but this time around, I had to keep distance and I watched this man’s grief come over him, his anger, his sadness. We tried to comfort him from a distance because there’s a high probability he has it and I have to be concerned for not only my safety but my crew’s safety," he said, adding that the husband was also a health care worker.
"It didn’t allow me or the crew as well the capability of consoling the living like we do. For the first time in my 17-year career, I went back inside the truck and I cried,” Almojera said.
He said that while his crew is vulnerable, they're still working to help people.
“I just want to say to everybody out there, if you call 911, we’ll be there," he said.