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NYC Medical Emergencies Soaring Alongwith Fire Deaths

For a second consecutive year, New York City first responders took longer to get to fires and other medical emergencies — and more people died in blazes.

Combined response times by FDNY ambulances and fire companies to “life-threatening medical emergencies” were up 20 seconds on average during the fiscal year ending June 30 –  or 3.5% — to 9 minutes and 50 seconds compared to the previous 12 months, according to the Fiscal 2023 Mayor’s Management Report , released Friday.

Fire deaths involving civilians jumped by 10.8%, from 92 to 102, the report found.

Fire companies responded on average in 9 minutes and 23 seconds while agency ambulances took 10 minutes and 43 seconds — both up from the previous year, the agency said.

The FDNY also noted an uptick in life-threatening medical emergency calls, from 564,412 in fiscal 2022 to 605,140 last fiscal year.

And overall structural fires also rose 2% over the same period, from 23,387 to 23,901, according to the annual report.

“We’re on the brink of costing people’s life if things don’t change,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, the union representing more than 4,100 rank-and-file city emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

Barzilay said he didn’t expect much improvement to response times considering the mass influx of migrants and other new residents draining city resources, and City Hall’s anti-car agenda that includes closing off more streets and driving lanes.

“[Unless] the city and state take EMS seriously as an essential service, we’re going to see a total collapse of the system,” he added.

James Brosi, president of the FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association, blamed the rise in response times on the city’s relentless narrowing of streets and changing of traffic patterns in recent years to slow traffic, coupled with an increase in emergency calls coming in.

“Seconds are critical when people’s lives are at stake,” he said. “With budget cuts looming, we must keep every apparatus in service and staffing levels high, so we can protect the lives and property of the people of New York.”

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