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Central Indiana EMTs assisting in NYC with COVID-19 response

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — A group of local EMTs are providing aid to local first responders in New York City and the 911 system. 

They’re working 12 hour shifts and have at least two hours of travel time.

The first unit from Heartland Ambulance Service arrived on March 29.

They operate in a task force and are deployed throughout the city.

The purpose is to bring down the response time. On slower days, it’s about five or six runs per shift and busier days, it can be up to 10.

Not all calls are COVID-19 related, but most are some sort of sick call.

Goggles and face shields are worn at all times and if a COVID-19 call comes in, isolation gear is required.

Alex Rosa arrived in New York City on April 3. It’s a place he knows well. He was on the New York City Fire Department for years.

“New York City EMS is where I grew up,” he said. “I started off as an EMT and became a paramedic here. I did 20 years in the system here. It was kind of like a time to give back. I still have many friends that work here and I knew several people who got sick and then the others were just plain out exhausted. It was kind of something I had to do, to give back to the city who made me.”

There are 65 heartland employees in New York City and New Jersey combined and there is no end date in sight.