Derek Floyd, New York Firefighter

Firefighter, 36, Dies Of Heart Attack After Being Laid Off During NYC Budget Cuts Amid Migrant Crisis

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help his family.

Derek Floyd, a 36-year-old former U.S. Marine and Fire Department of New York probationary fireman, died on April 15 following complications related to a previous heart attack that Floyd suffered in June 2019 while working as a fireman. 

According to a GoFundMe set up by friends of Floyd and his wife, Christine, Floyd was a dedicated father and husband who leaves behind two young children, Ethan, 6, and Abigail, 2. The money raised by the fundraiser will go towards housing expenses, daycare, and the children. As the fundraiser notes, it is also intended as an outpouring of community support for his grieving wife, Christine. At the time of writing, the fundraiser has generated $54,785 towards its initial goal of $90,000. 

The FDNY Foundation has also set up its own fund in the form of a probationary scholarship fund for Ethan and Abigail; they have declared that 100% of those funds will go to the Floyd family. Some have been consistently blaming the City of New York for firing Floyd to help pay for services for the city’s migrants.

In November, New York City Mayor Eric Adams blamed a round of unpopular budget cuts on the city’s migrant crisis and as part of the budget cuts for the FDNY, light duty firefighter positions and civilian vacancies were eliminated. Floyd, who was on desk duty while trying to get cleared to return to active duty following his 2019 heart attack, was one of the employees whose positions were eliminated. At the time, City Council Finance Chair Justin Brannan was one of the voices critical of the scope of Adams’ cuts, telling Fox 5, “I think this is a moment that really calls for a thoughtful surgeon’s blade, not these wholesale cuts across the board.”

Brannan and Adrienne E. Adams, the New York City Council Speaker, wrote a joint op-ed in December for AMNY that was highly critical of Adams’ cuts and his reasoning for the cuts. “Our budget difficulties have been wrongly attributed to being squarely about asylum seekers.” The pair wrote. “The sunsetting of billions in federal COVID-19 stimulus dollars, a static economy, real estate challenges, and other costs that preceded the arrival of asylum seekers have all contributed to gaps in our outyear budgets. These gaps are tangible and cannot be ignored – ranging from an estimated $6 to $7 billion in each of the next fiscal years.”

The pair concluded, “Rather than instituting broad cuts to all agencies, we need to prioritize our investments, reduce ineffective and wasteful spending, and pursue revenues that help us protect New Yorkers. This period will require difficult decisions, but with clarity, we can persevere and ensure New Yorkers don’t fall through the cracks.”

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