Fire Response Time Falls To Record Low
On Monday, January 11, only minutes after swearing in Salvatore J. Cassano as the city’s new fire commissioner, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that in 2009 the city experienced 73 civilian fire deaths, the lowest number ever recorded. The Fire Department also achieved the fastest average response time to structural fires on record: 4 minutes and 2 seconds. In 2009 the city also had the fewest number of fires ever, including a record low number of serious fires, categorized as one alarm or greater. Serious fires have declined nearly 20 percent in the last two years, coinciding with a major citywide fire prevention and education initiative that reached more than 1.5 million New Yorkers. The department’s Emergency Medical Service is also achieving among the fastest response times in its history despite a record number of calls.
“The Fire Department’s performance in reducing fire fatalities and saving lives by getting to fires faster than ever, when combined with the extraordinary successes achieved by the NYPD in driving down crime to record lows, are the result of hard work, innovation and use of data to achieve results,” Bloomberg declared. “For years Commissioner Cassano has been a leader in the FDNY efforts to reduce response times and improve fire prevention and fire safety. I’m confident that under his leadership we’ll continue to do even better in the years to come.”
“The Department’s record-breaking achievements in 2009 illustrate our dedication to protecting the public, not just by responding quickly to emergencies, but by reducing the incidence of fires through education and fire prevention,” Cassano noted. “We’re saving more lives by doing both—getting to fires faster than ever before and preventing them through improved and expanded education and fire prevention initiatives. We will continue to focus on these and other areas to further improve the safety of the public and our firefighters.”