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FDNY EMS Chief Demoted In Wake Of Snow Response

The chief of New York City's emergency medical services has been demoted because of the quality of service during last month's snow storm, officials said. Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said in a statement John Peruggia was going to be moved to an as-yet undetermined position in the fire department, The New York Times reported Thursday.

There was also an investigation into sanitation workers responsible for keeping streets plowed, a factor that created mayhem for ambulances and fire trucks during the blizzard, the report said. Delays in response times have been linked to at least three deaths, the newspaper said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last week he was "extremely dissatisfied with the way our emergency response systems performed."

Patrick Bahnken, president of the Uniformed EMT's, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors FDNY, told the Times Peruggia was unfairly being singled out.

"I believe that there were some system failures that were certainly beyond his pay grade, and that he simply did not have the authority to make decisions or not make decisions," Bahnken said.

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