Press Releases

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2013

N.Y.C Firefighter Leaders Say City’s Response Times “Untrue”

Accuse FDNY Commissioner of “Engineering
a Cover Up & Lying About The Facts”

Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) President Steve Cassidy today accused the FDNY Commissioner of undercounting, underreporting and engineering a cover-up about the true time it takes for fire trucks to arrive at emergency scenes across the five boroughs. Mr. Cassidy said that dating back to the unilateral implementation of the UCT 911 call taker system in May 2009, the Bloomberg administration has used this data to validate its effort to close fire companies. The proposed FY 2013/14 budget targets another 20 community fire companies for closure.

The FDNY has long claimed it does not know the amount of time a 911 caller spends with the 911 operator. The union says the FDNY has the data but refuses to report it because it will increase their response times by a full minute. Last week FDNY Commissioner Cassano testified (May 14, 2013) before the City Council and when pressed about the matter said they do not have the data. But data obtained through FDNY sources provides the precise time calculations and not the underreported data made available to the public via the FDNY website or the Mayor ’s Management Report. An examination of the true data for a multi-week period in February and March 2013 shows:

  • FDNY is under calculating and underreporting "Structural Fire" response times by over 1:11;
  • "Life Threatening Medical Emergencies" underreported by 1:01;
  • "Medical Emergencies" underreported by 1:03;

“The Bloomberg administration is once again trying to close 20 fire companies based on a deliberately false statistics,” said Steve Cassidy. “Going back to the implementation of UCT in 2009 the FDNY has published this data and for years the Mayor ’s Management Report certified it as fact. New Yorkers have been lied to and so have our elected officials in the City Council. How long has this deceit been going on and who is the architect of it?”

[Link to Mayor ’s Management Report/FDNY Section: www.nyc.gov/html/ops/downloads/pdf/pmmr2013/fdny.pdf]

[Link to FDNY ’s “Reported” Response Time data: www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/stats/citywide.shtml]

Mr. Cassidy added, “This is not being honest with the public. New Yorkers deserve the truth because lives depend on it. Now we have confirmation that the city has the technology to measure emergency responses from call inception to arrival of firefighters at emergencies. It ’s time to stop misleading New Yorkers into a false sense of security.”

For the past two years the UFA has been in litigation with the city to obtain an unedited version of the “911 Call Processing Review” consultant ’s report (by Winbourne Consulting LLC.). Those who have seen it said it is packed with data related to the UCT System ’s futility in handling major emergencies.

Last month the New York State Court of Appeals said, “the city has repeatedly caused extensive delays in the underlying safety impact case with frivolous legal motions and appeals and has refused to produce the drafts of this report.” The reports were ordered by the by the court to be turned over and the city has said it will provide that by June 1.

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