In easier times at the Hudson Valley Irish Fest. John Manning is on the far right. Others pictured (l-r): John Moroney, Sean Pender, Dan Dennehy, Tim McSweeney, Keith Carney, Fr. Henry Reid. Photo by Jeff Nisler.
By Irish Echo Staff
New York State AOH Vice President John Manning has switched roles from his FDNY special events coordinator job to an EMT role.
Manning is no stranger to the grim realities of being a first responder with the FDNY. For the past fourteen years as a coordinator with the FDNY's Special Projects and Events Office, John has been involved in helping coordinate different kinds of events including last farewells for many of his brother responders who have succumbed to 9/11 related illness. On that day, John had himself responded to Ground Zero as an FDNY EMT.
COVID-19 is showing itself to be an equally deadly foe, said an AOH statement.
The FDNY EMS has set new records for 911 call responses on an almost daily basis and is currently responding to 6,800 calls a day.
John has reported the terrible psychological toll that the COVID-19 response is taking on first responders, this in addition to many themselves contracting the disease.
As John noted to his AOH colleagues (he did not speak directly to the Echo): "We are fighting something we cannot see, and it is never-ending. Unlike 9/11, I cannot even go to a church and light a candle."
Concluded the AOH release: "While, like John, we too cannot go to church, we can offer him a prayer and light a candle for him and all first responders and medical personnel who are fighting this disease on the front lines."