The New York City fleet, working at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., faces more hurdles than fleet operations in other parts of the country. But the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and other fleet agencies are teaming up to do its best during the pandemic, including ensuring vehicle cleaning and disinfecting, shifting mechanics to work on ambulances, and implementing mobile fueling.
As expected, there is a 40% reduction in total vehicle usage overall and a 32% reduction in direct service orders for repair shops, according to data from the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). However, the FDNY Ambulance Shop has seen a rise in work. With a 40% increase in calls for ambulances, this shop has seen a 137% increase in work orders.
NYC maintains 600 ambulances and hundreds of emergency response units at the Review Avenue Ambulance Shop, which operates three shifts with a total of 103 staff members, including a supervisor of mechanics, auto mechanics, rubber tire repairers, and motor vehicle operators. Staff members are working up to 12-hour shifts to ensure that the shop can keep up with its current workload.
The shop has maintained staffing levels of over 90% daily. Other agencies are also helping, with DOT auto mechanics volunteering to assist at the shop.
FDNY Fleet Services has instituted regular cleaning and disinfecting of all fleet facilities. It also has vendors at all of its shops disinfecting vehicles as they come to the repair shops for repair. All employees have been mandated to wear masks and gloves while working and maintain distance where possible.
Implementing Mobile Fueling
New York City fleet agencies are banding together to provide fueling relief to the FDNY. The Department of Sanitation, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Transportation, and Police Department have partnered with the city’s fuel vendor to provide mobile fueling services at eight different hospitals and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) locations in four boroughs. These services are being provided seven days a week and are helping FDNY staff members focus on their work and not fueling.
The city agencies are making use of 35 additional fuel trucks that DCAS procured after Hurricane Sandy. These trucks carry 4,400 gallons of fuel each and require operators with commercial driver licenses and tanker endorsements.