NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More than 10,000 people who had been helped by the FDNY EMS are now victims of a data breach due to an employee copying personal information onto a hard drive – and then losing it.

The FDNY made the announcement Friday, saying an agency employee who had authorized to access the records copied the data onto a personal external hard drive last March. The breach affects all patients treated and or transported by the EMS from 2011 to 2018.

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Fire department officials say they have mailed notices to 10,253 patients who may have been affected, including about 3,000 patients whose social security numbers may have been compromised and are being offered free credit monitoring.

The FDNY said they are following the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) guidelines for those whose personal information may have been compromised.

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Patients can call toll-free (877) 213-1732 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. if they have any questions about the breach or if they think their personal information was included in this breach.