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Who was Derek Floyd? NYC firefighter dies of cardiac arrest after being booted to free up funds for migrant crisis

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In a tragic incident, an FDNY firefighter died of a heart attack months after he was fired from his job. 36-year-old Derek Floyd was terminated as part of New York City’s effort to free up funds for the migrant crisis. The city has ramped up its efforts to pay for housing services for thousands of migrants.

NYC firefighter Derek Floyd dies of cardiac arrest after being booted to free up funds for migrant crisis (FDNY Family Assistance Unit/Facebook)

Floyd reportedly died on April 15 after suffering a cardiac arrest. His widow and two children are now struggling to survive. Before his firing, Floyd was trying to become medically cleared so he could re-enter the fire-fighting force.

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Who was Derek Floyd?

About 10 Fire Department employees were on “long term duty” and Floyd was one of them. FDNY sources reportedly confirmed that he had been fired a few weeks before Christmas last year.

The veteran had served three tours with the marines in the Middle East. He was working a desk job in the Fire Department chaplain’s office after suffering a heart attack back in 2019. At the time of his previous attack, he was in the Fire Academy. Floyd was responsible in the chaplain’s office for arranging the funerals of fallen FDNY members.

At the time of his firing, Floyd was shy of vesting additional medical benefits for his children and wife, as well as over $600,000 worth of death benefits. His family is now left with nothing.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Floyd’s widow, Christine, 34, told New York Post.

“I think it definitely took a toll once they let him go,” she said of Floyd being booted. “But you see a person, and the wheels are turning in their brain where they’re just constantly thinking, so I definitely think it did affect us.”

Floyd began working with a non-profit that helps veterans after being booted. However, here he hardly made any money compared to his FDNY payment. His work hours did not allow him to spend time with his children, a boy, 6, and a girl, 2.

“He used to be so present for, like, our kids and stuff,” Cristine said. “Being a firefighter was something he was really passionate about. He was really a big-time, like, family person, he was all about his kids.”

“If Derek would have stayed on, he would have had a life insurance policy with the FDNY,” she added. “That would have helped out financially because right now, it’s really bad. I’m honestly swimming in a lot of debt.”

‘Terminating Floyd was absolutely unnecessary’

Floyd was booted as part of City Hall’s plan to slash the FDNY budget by $74 million by the end of the next year. “What disturbs me the most is that the FDNY is understaffed by hundreds of firefighters. Terminating [Floyd] was absolutely unnecessary,” Uniformed Firefighter Association President Andrew Ansbro said. “He had an important job, and the FDNY actually needed him in that unit. He was terminated so the department could prove that they were making cuts. He deserved better.”

“We are heartbroken over the passing of former Probationary Firefighter Derek Floyd, and will explore all financial, legal and legislative options to help his family and ensure they have the support they need during this time,” said Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.

FDNY Family Assistance Unit said on Facebook that the “FDNY Foundation has set up a scholarship fund for Probationary Firefighter Derek Floyd’s Children. 100% of donations to the Fund will support his family.”

A GoFundMe set up for Floyd described him as a “kind, brave, and loyal soul.” “He dedicated his life to the service of his country, serving 8 years in the United States Marine Corps and 4 years in the Fire Department of New York. He made a real difference and huge impact on the lives of everyone who was blessed to cross paths with him,” the page said.

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