Big Brother is watching you — in the toilet.
That’s how outraged paramedics and EMTs feel about a new FDNY directive requiring bosses to document and report when ambulance crews refuse an assignment because they are answering nature’s call, The Post has learned.
Their union responded to the FDNY’s restroom monitoring order with a furious letter to members advising them to “take photographic evidence” every time they go to the loo — and email pictures to their captains.
“What does this come down to — document your poop with a TikTok loop?” a veteran medic fumed, calling EMS brass “the bathroom police.”
The FDNY’s push to document bathroom breaks comes as it tries to lower EMS response times to medical emergencies that typically rise during the summer tourist season.
EMTs and paramedics are stationed in ambulances parked on the streets, so they have to go “out of service” to use a restroom in a local hospital, restaurant or gas station. Meanwhile, 911 calls are assigned to the next available unit.
“Every time a unit refuses an assignment, another unit must respond from a further distance,” says the order to fellow EMS chiefs from Division 3 commander Claudio Dinorah. “Another unit has to travel a longer distance using lights and sirens on priority assignments, placing the responding crew in a greater risk of an MVC [motor vehicle collision]. Refusal of an assignment increases our off-service time, and increases our response times.”
Starting this week, the email states, officials “will begin generating a daily report that reflects the number of times in a day that your members refuse to respond to a 911 assignment.
“The goal is not to refuse our members the ability to use the facilities, but to ensure that those who are falsifying signals/refusing 911 assignments are held accountable.”
The directive prompted a livid letter from Michael Greco, vice president of Local 2507 of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors.
“To aid our chiefs and supervisors in the important work of investigating all bathroom usage claims,” Greco wrote to union members in a missive dripping with disgust, “we are advising you take photographic evidence to attach along with requested statements.”
The letter instructs, “Make sure there is a time and date stamp on the picture. You can forward the picture to the station email of the supervisor requesting the statement and they can print it out to attach to the statement form.”
Greco adds, “Responding to 911 calls will always be our priority. Your union would just like you to be prepared for the potential discipline associated with a misunderstanding about the timeline of bathroom usage.
“It is your right to provide any evidence to help aid in an investigation.”
The veteran paramedic called the lavatory mandate “humiliating, degrading, and soul-sucking,” especially in light of the union’s complaint that EMS workers get paid about 40 percent less than firefighters and cops.
“There isn’t enough indignity in the job between the low pay and working conditions without sitting in the stall and having FDNY monitor me.” he said.
FDNY spokesman Jim Long noted that 911 calls have returned to pre-COVID levels of about 4,000 a day.
“When units are assigned a call and unable to take it — for whatever reason — it must be recorded by supervisors to ensure that the department has resources available for the thousands of 911 calls made by New Yorkers each day for life-threatening injuries, cardiac arrests, and other emergency medical assistance,” he said. “This is critically important to fulfill the mission of responding quickly to assist those in need and the department monitors it very closely.
“No EMS members shall be denied the need to use the facilities when necessary.”