NYC Firefighter, who was at Ground Zero on 9/11, is now retiring. He doesn’t want to receive a COVID vaccine and has already recovered from the virus.  

Gary Debiase (55), who was with Ladder109 in Staten Island for 23 and-a-half-years, said to that his job is still a joy. He said that he was forced out by the edict of outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, which required all municipal workers to get the shot by November 1, forcing them all out.

Debiase told ‘I wanna go back but I don’t want a shot. We’re in a position where we can go without for a few more weeks. Coercion is the act of forcing someone to take a vaccination. 

‘I’ll absolutely go back to work if they let me… Everybody is ready to work. Nobody wants to go home.

“My wife is in a position to hold off for a few weeks, but then I’m going in for my retirement. That’s it. 

“I don’t want to retire. But they won’t allow me to work. They say “you cannot go to school”, “you cannot go to hospital”, “you don’t have the ability to do this, you can not do that.” 

Gary Debiase, 55 (pictured right), who served with L 109 for 23-and-a-half years told of stepping over dead bodies on the day of the 9/11 attacks. He refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and was sent home from work on Monday as a result. Anna Rose Carpiento, 54 (left) has been out of her job as a sonographer at Bellevue Hospital for five weeks after she, too, refused the jab. The pair said they felt like 'second-class citizens'

Gary Debiase, 55, (pictured right), who was a member of L 109 for 23-and a half years, said that he stepped on dead bodies on 9/11. He refused to get the COVID-19 shot and was sent home from work Monday. Anna Rose Carpiento 54 (left) has been away from her job at Bellevue Hospital as a sonographer for five weeks since she too refused the jab. They described themselves as’second-class citizens’.

He and Anna Rose Carpiento (sonographer at Bellevue Hospital) lost their jobs as city employees after refusing to get the jab. They feel like they are being treated like second-class citizens because they aren’t vaccinated. 

Speaking at an anti-vaccine mandate in Manhattan on Wednesday, Debiase told of stepping over dead bodies on the day of the 9/11 attacks: ‘I was knee deep in ash, and the chief said ‘if you step over anyone, see if they’re alive. If they’re not, leave them.’

He went back to work on September 12, 2001, despite the apocalyptic scene he had described.

He was sent home by his Staten Island firehouse on Monday after he failed to show up for work with a valid vaccine card.  

'I wanna go back but I don¿t want a shot. We¿re in a position where we can go without for a few more weeks,' Debiase (pictured) told 'Forcing someone to take a vaccine is coercion'

‘I wanna go back but I don’t want a shot. We’re in a position where we can go without for a few more weeks,’ Debiase (pictured) told Coercion is the act of forcing someone to get vaccinated.

 Firefighters told that at least 150 other retirement-age firefighters were spurred to hang up their gear for good.

As of today, 21 per cent of New York’s 11,000 firefighters – or approximately 2,310 people — aren’t vaccinated and have been sent home. 

This is a drop of two percent from the 23 per cent of firefighters who were not jabbed on Monday. It suggests de Blasio’s mandate has some effect.  

It is currently unclear if firefighters who have requested exemptions for religious or other reasons are included in this number. 

Firefighters claimed that New York asked those who chose not to get vaccinated because of their religion to give their place of worship on paperwork. They then called those establishments to confirm that they were indeed parishoners.  

As of today, 21 percent of New York's 11,000-strong fire department - approximately 2,310 people - are unvaccinated, and have been sent home

Today, 21 per cent of New York’s 11,000 firefighters – or approximately 2,310 people — are not currently vaccinated. They have been sent home spoke with Debiase, a Staten Island resident for over 30 years. He said he would get the vaccine if it was a’real vaccination’ – one that comes with a guarantee you won’t get sick – and fears the precedent set by the city’s mandate. 

He said, amid protestors at City Hall Park, “In the end, even if we don’t win this fight,” ‘Mandates will be the new norm – Now you do this, now you do that.’

Scientists maintain that COVID vaccines work well and are safe. However, some ‘breakthrough’ cases of the disease have been reported to undermine public trust in them.  

Debiase’s wife Anna Rose Carpiento (Bellevue Hospital sonographer) has not been back to work in five weeks since refusing to follow the mandate. I never was afraid of COVID in any way.

She is still three years away of retiring, but the vaccine mandates are making her uncertain.  

The couple claimed they had already contracted COVID-19 back in August. They claim that they are now’second-class citizens without a vaccine card in the City’.

“You can’t even get down to eat. Are you kidding? We made a sandwich at the house because we couldn’t sit in any of these places. We’ll take it on the ferry to get home.

Since Monday’s mandate took effect, it has been difficult for us to estimate the number of out-of service firehouses per day. At a Tuesday press conference, union heads stated that members from different firehouses were being “shuffled around” to give the impression that most firehouses are operational.

On Wednesday, it was reported 12 had closed. However, on Thursday, it is reported that this number dropped to 10 – although Mayor de Blasio stated that the number had dropped to as low at four.   

According to, a firefighter stated that they cannot get media outside of a firehouse and said “this firehouse has closed.” 

Protestors gathered outside City Hall Park on Wednesday to protest the vaccine mandate

Protesters gathered at City Hall Park Wednesday to protest the mandate for vaccines

Andrew Ansbro, President of Uniformed Firefighters Association stated that 60 companies closed on Tuesday. He said that the departments were “falling apart behind their scenes.” 

The FDNY and City Hall won’t be able to confirm the exact number of people in the force, but the union stated Monday that they expect it 1,700 firefighters to go on unpaid leave.

Today, Daniel A. Nigro, Fire Commissioner, stated that only four of the 350 units in the city were out of service. However, as many as 20 units can be taken out of service on a typical day for maintenance and training. 

150 firefighters were dispatched on Wednesday morning to help with the cleanup of a’very difficult fire’ that broke out at Lenox Road in Brooklyn. It was the third major city fire that day. Firefighters told reporters that units surrounding the incident – Engines 249, 310 and 248 – were all out of commission at the time. 

The apartment complex at 222 Lenox Rd houses 168 apartments, according to building records, and a number of firefighters told that the shortage in firefighters delayed the department’s response. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, denied the claim at a Thursday morning press conference: ‘I think there is a lot of information being released. Most of it is misinformation spread by people with an agenda. 

When a 'very difficult' fire broke out on Lenox Road in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning (pictured), the third major fire throughout the city that day, 150 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Firefighters told reporters that units surrounding the incident - Engines 249, 310 and 248 - were all out of commission at the time

150 firefighters responded to a’very challenging’ fire that broke out on Lenox Road, Brooklyn on Wednesday morning. This was the third major fire in the city that day. Reporters were informed by firefighters that the three engines involved in the incident – Engines 249, 311 and 248 – were all out-of-service at the time.

(L-R seated), Lt. James McCarthy is President of FDNY – Uniformed Fire Officers Association. Edward Kelly, IAFF President. Andy Ansbro, President and CEO of the Uniformed Firefighters Association on Tuesday morning. 

Around 2,300 firefighters were off work on Monday, as a rule enforcing COVID vaccination. Monday's deadline applied to all municipal workers, ranging from police officers to parks employees. Twelve firefighters from Ladder 29 in Mott Haven, in the Bronx, were sent home on Monday after reporting for duty unvaccinated

Monday’s COVID vaccination rule meant that approximately 2,300 firefighters were not allowed to work. Monday’s deadline was applied to all municipal workers, including police officers and parks employees. Twelve firefighters from Ladder 29, in Mott Haven in the Bronx were sent home Monday after reporting for duty undevaccinated. 

It is unclear how many of the firefighters who walked out on Monday (pictured) will lose their jobs, and how many will find a way around the rules

It is not clear how many firefighters who walked out Monday (pictured) will be fired or how many will find a way around rules

Eric Adams, the Mayor-Elect, won Tuesday’s election with 68% of the vote. He stated on Tuesday that he would “revisit” De Blasios vaccine mandates when he takes office on January 1.   

He said, “We can work it out,” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “This is a very difficult time, but there’s an option to sit down with unions. Yesterday, I spoke with some union leaders and they were open to a sit-down.

One firefighter told that Adams’ response ‘gave him hope’  – another said it was ‘too little, too late.’ 

Mayor-Elect Eric Adams (pictured), who won Tuesday's election with 68 percent of the vote, said on Tuesday that he would 'revisit' De Blasio's vaccine mandates upon taking office on January 1

Eric Adams, the Mayor-Elect (pictured), won Tuesday’s election by 68 percent of votes. On Tuesday, Adams stated that he would revisit’ De Blasio’s vaccine mandates after assuming office on January 1.