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Thread: FDNY's too slow, say pols

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    FDNY's too slow, say pols

    FDNY's too slow, say pols


    FDNY response times have spiked an alarming amount since the city closed six fire companies last May, according to a report released yesterday by three state lawmakers.
    It took firefighters nearly a minute longer to respond to calls in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, according to the report. In Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the Fire Department's response times for medical emergencies jumped by an average 51 seconds, the study said.

    "Over the last six months, we've seen a 23% increase [citywide] in fire deaths, and I don't think that's any coincidence," Assemblyman Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) said outside Engine 204 in Cobble Hill as he demanded the companies be reopened.

    "Seconds do matter."

    Harlem; Astoria, Queens, and Cobble Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Greenpoint and Sunset Park, Brooklyn - the six neighborhoods that lost engines - saw response times jump an average of 27 seconds, the report said.

    When the companies were closed to save $6 million a year, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta predicted the average response time across the city would rise by just a second.

    The study, which gauged response times for fire and medical calls from June to January, put the average FDNY response at 4 minutes, 56 seconds. That was up 13 seconds from the corresponding period in recent years.

    FDNY officials maintained the closings weren't causing response times to rise.

    "The closure of the six companies has had a minimal effect on citywide operations," said FDNY spokesman David Billig. "Four of the six areas where engine companies closed have response times that are still below the citywide average."

    The main reason for the increases, according to FDNY sources, was last year's blackout. They added that emergency calls in the six affected areas amount to less than 2% of total FDNY call volume.

    That was little consolation to Mary Cubeta, 85, who suffered a fractured rib after being hit by a car Aug. 26 near Engine 204.

    "I was lying on the street for 20 minutes before an ambulance came," she said yesterday. "If the firemen had been there, they would have helped me in a jiffy."

    Klein and Assemblywomen Joan Millman (D-Brooklyn) and Margaret Markey (D-Queens) vowed to make the fire companies a "bargaining chip" in budget negotiations.

    "We're not voting for any extra money [for the city] until we get a guarantee," Markey said.

    With Greg Gittrich

    Originally published on March 22, 2004

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    FDNY Scorched By Slow Response Time



    March 22, 2004 -- Politicians and community activists gathered outside a shuttered Brooklyn firehouse yesterday - and used the FDNY's own numbers to argue for the reopening of six firehouses that were closed last May.

    The figures, released earlier this month, show response times increased in all of the six neighborhoods that had been served by the units.

    The increases were under a minute, but "seconds do matter. Speed is of the essence," said Assemblyman Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat.

    "The results of closing these firehouses is not only detrimental by putting these six communities in danger, but it's a bad symbol that the city of New York can no longer respond effectively."

    Since the closing last May of Engine Co. 204 in Cobble Hill, the site of the protest, there has been a 39-second increase in overall response times. For medical emergencies, the response time was up by 51 seconds.

    The figures cover June through January.

    After Engine Co. 212 closed in Greenpoint, there's been a 46-second increase in response time to all emergencies in the area.

    It's taking firefighters 56 seconds longer to reach building fires.

    "A lot of people are going to lose their lives before they say they found the money, because [the city] certainly won't say they made a mistake," said Lt. Stephen Carbone, vice president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

    "We have these statistics. They're real. And they know they have a problem. We talk about seconds, but in this business seconds count."

    FDNY spokesman David Billig later said that while minor increases had been predicted all along, "four out of the six areas where engine companies were closed still have response times below the citywide average."

    The citywide average response time for all emergencies from June 2003 to January 2004 was 4 minutes and 56 seconds.

    Areas once served by Engine Co. 212, Engine Co. 278 in Sunset Park, Engine Co. 209 in Bed-Stuy and Engine Co. 36 in Harlem are still under the citywide average, Billig said.

    "What that means is that those areas, even without those engine companies responding, still have a better response time than other areas in the city," he said.

    "The closure of these six companies have had a minimal effect on citywide operations."

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