NEW YORK, NY—2012 was the second busiest year on record for New York City firefighters. Following a decade when the expansion of firefighters’ responsibilities led to new record levels of FDNY emergency responses, responded to more than 495,000 total emergencies in 2012. During 2011, New York City Firefighters responded to more than 488,000 emergencies.
It continues a five-decade-long pattern, during which calls for help to the FDNY have increased. In the 11 years since the Bloomberg Administration began (2002-2012), city firefighters have responded to more than 5.225 million emergencies. Emergency responses have risen more than 525 percent since 1960.
“New Yorkers are experiencing soaring levels of emergencies and that has necessitated the constant response of New York City Firefighters,” says Steve Cassidy, United Firefighters Association (UFA) president. “The statistics demonstrate that firefighters’ expanding responsibilities in protecting New Yorkers—as medical first responders, their role responding to Hurricane Sandy, fire duty, and more—is critical as the FDNY has become a multifaceted rescue department.”
According to the United States Census, the city’s population was 8,244,910 in 2011, meaning that during the last 11 years, an average of 63 percent of New York’s population required FDNY assistance.
The FDNY responds to emergencies ranging from fires, both man-made and natural disasters, explosions, gas leaks, building collapses, scaffold rescues, serious vehicle accidents and extractions, medical emergencies, and terror threats. Firefighters also train as the city’s first line of defense to chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear (CRBN) threats.
Cassidy says, “In spite of being hit with ten major staffing cuts since 2003, New York City firefighters have done so much more, and with drastically fewer resources. The demands and toll on our firefighters are now greater than ever, but we know that when New Yorkers are in trouble they expect New York City’s firefighters will always be there to protect them.”
Staff reductions at the FDNY have included eliminating fifth firefighter from 60 of the City’s busiest engine companies in February 2011. It also includes eliminating the engine company protecting visitors to Governor’s Island in 2009 and closing six community fire companies in May 2003.
For run statistics, click here.