Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FDNY Marks Record-Setting Year for Emergency Responses

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced on Dec. 16 that Fire Department personnel responded to a record number of emergency calls in 2014, which likely will exceed 1.6 million by Dec. 31 the highest total ever in the agency’s 149-year history.

“I’m proud to mark this impressive achievement,” Mayor de Blasio said during the press conference at Rescue 1 in Manhattan. “The professionalism of this Department makes all this possible. Whatever the call is, they are working to protect the people of New York.”

The previous record high was in 2012 when the agency responded to 1.575 million emergencies.

Fire responses are up nine percent, largely due to an increase in reported gas emergencies; and emergency medical service calls rose three percent, continuing a nearly 20-year trend in rising EMS responses citywide.

“Our firefighters, paramedics and EMTs members serve and protect the people of New York City every single day,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “They are willing to help anytime, anywhere.”

Preliminary Statistics
Firefighters responded this year to nearly 18,000 more gas/unknown odor emergency calls in 2014 than 2013 – stemming largely from heightened concern and awareness following the explosion in East Harlem on March 12, which killed eight people. Following the tragic incident, the Mayor and Commissioner urged New Yorkers to call 911 and report any suspected gas leaks.

Gas emergencies:
2013 26,024
2014 43,692 (+68%)

Fire Related Deaths Remain at Near Record Lows
As of Dec. 15, there have been 68 fire-related deaths in New York City – one more than in 2013. (This includes the eight deaths that occurred at the East Harlem gas explosion.)

The overall trend for fire deaths remains the lowest in city history: During the last five years, fewer New Yorkers have died in fires than in any comparable five-year period since accurate record-keeping began in 1916.

Fire-related deaths:
2014 68 (thru Dec. 15)
2013 67
2012 58
2011 66
2010 62

The record high number of fire deaths in New York City was 310 in 1970.

Serious Fires
Serious fires are up slightly in 2014 – about two percent - but are down more than four percent overall in comparison to the previous four year trend (2010-2013).

Serious fires (one alarm and higher):
2014 2,380
2013 2,333
2012 2,549
2011 2,504
2010 2,573

EMS Responses
While the total number of EMS incidents increased more than three percent in 2014, responses to calls categorized as life-threatening (e.g., cardiac arrest, unconscious and choking) rose by six percent, to 459,366 – up from 431,630 the previous year. Non-life threatening medical incidents increased to 930,719 in 2014, up from 920,859 in 2013.

Total EMS Responses
2014 1,289,854 (+3%)
2013 1,249,530

This continues the upward trend of steady increases in medical emergencies since the FDNY and NYC EMS merged in 1996. From 1996 to 2014, EMS responses have increased in 15 of 18 years, and have increased overall about 28 percent compared to 1996.

Community Outreach and Education
The continued trend of record low fire deaths is accomplished in large part by extensive educational efforts by the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit (FSEU). Funded by the FDNY Foundation, this year the FSEU educated more than 600,000 New Yorkers at more than 7,000 Fire Safety presentations; in addition, FDNY members distributed more than 7,300 smoke alarms, 72,000 batteries and installed smoke alarms in the homes of seniors and homebound New Yorkers.

Through a partnership with NYC Service, FDNY also trained 13,000 New Yorkers to perform compressions-only CPR. In 2015, FDNY, NYC Service and the Department of Education will train 5,000 High School students citywide to perform this life-saving skill.

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