Record low fire fatalities, ambulance response time in 2012


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

In 2012, there was a record low of 58 civilian fire deaths in New York City.
In 2012, there was a record low of 58 civilian fire deaths in New York City.

Photo by Lou Minutoli

Last year was a banner year for public safety, say officials.

In 2012, the FDNY had the fewest civilian fire deaths and fastest average ambulance response times for life-threatening medical emergencies in New York City history, announced Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

“With record low number of murders and shootings and the fewest fire deaths in our city’s history, 2012 was a historic year for public safety,” said Bloomberg.

Last year there were 58 fire deaths, a decline of 12 percent compared to 2011, four fewer fatalities than the previous record set in 2010, and a 43 percent decline since 2001.

There were not working smoke detectors in most of the fire deaths in 2012, and the top causes were accidental electrical fires, smoking, incendiary fires and cooking related.

Structural fire response time in 2012, at 4:04, was two seconds higher than the previous year, but that was partially due to Superstorm Sandy, said the FDNY.

During the storm, there were 21 serious fires that destroyed around 200 homes and businesses, including more than 120 homes in Breezy Point.

At 6:31, EMS response time improved despite a 3.4 percent increase in call volume, breaking the record low set in 2010.

Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, chair of the City Council’s fire committee, stressed that these records might not have been set without efforts from the city council to fight the mayor’s proposed closing of as many as 20 fire companies.

“We can’t afford cuts to firehouses, and I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure the FDNY receives the required resources to keep us safe,” said Crowley.

 

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