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Union: FDNY Response Times Are Much Slower Than City Claims

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The union representing FDNY firefighters charged Monday that the department has underreported emergency response times around the city.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Uniformed Firefighters Association president Steve Cassidy said the FDNY has been burying the real and much longer response times on its website, under an obscure heading of Local Law 19 – a City Council measure requiring them to post end-to-end response times.

“We have the numbers and they’re startling. The total response times for medical emergencies across the city of New York last year were 8 minutes and 11 seconds when the Fire Department previously reported them as 4 minutes and 31 seconds,” Cassidy said.

The report by the FUA said actual response times to fires in 2015 were 20 percent longer than what the city documented, as well as 57 percent longer for emergencies such as gas leaks, building collapses and explosions, and 81 percent longer for medical emergencies.

Cassidy noted the time a caller spent with a 911 operator had been left out of the calculation that the FDNY posted as its response time.

The report further said non-fire emergency responses were 49 percent longer than what the city reported in Manhattan, and 60 percent in Brooklyn. Medical emergency response times were 85 percent longer than reported in Brooklyn and 92 percent longer in the Bronx, the report said.

The union leader said he expects a strong reaction from elected officials.

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