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NYC firefighter dies of heart attack after being laid off to free up funds for immigration crisis

Derek Floyd died four months after being layoffs to cut staff and pay for housing and services for tens of thousands of immigrants in the city

Derek Floyd fue despedido para liberar fondos para la crisis migratoria | Shutterstock y captura de pantalla

April 29, 2024 10:30am

Updated: April 30, 2024 9:13am

In a tragic incident, a New York City firefighter died of a heart attack months after being laid off from his job in an effort by the city to free up funds to alleviate the immigration crisis.

Derek Floyd, 36, died on April 15, four months after being laid off to cut staff and pay for housing and services for the tens of thousands of immigrants in the city.

Now, his wife and two children are struggling to survive. Before his firing, Floyd was trying to obtain a medical clearance to re-enter the firefighting force.

Floyd was one of 10 “long-term service” fire department employees who were laid off before Christmas.

The veteran had served three tours with the Marines in the Middle East. In his final moments, he worked in the Fire Department chaplain's office, where he was responsible for arranging funerals for fallen FDNY members.

Floyd was about to receive additional medical benefits for his family and more than $600,000 in death benefits when he was laid off, leaving his family with nothing despite his years of service.

"I think the firing took its toll on him," his wife Cristine, 34, told The New York Post after Floyd's death. “He always tried to be positive and wasn't really angry.”

“He used to be very present for our children,” she added. “Being a firefighter was something he was really passionate about. “He was a great family person, he cared about his children.”

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

Floyd was laid off as part of the City Council's plan to cut the FDNY budget by $74 million by the end of 2025 to cover immigrant costs.

The New York Police Department is also facing cuts, with its budget set to be reduced by $132 million through the elimination of five upcoming Police Academy classes. For its part, the city's Department of Education will also lose around $547 million, and the Department of Health will see its budget cut by $32 million.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.