2012 is the second busiest year on record for New York City firefighters, who have been protecting the city ‘s citizens and property for nearly a century and a half. Following a decade when the expansion of firefighters ‘ responsibilities led to new record levels of Fire Department of New York (FDNY) emergency responses, New York ‘s Bravest’ will respond to more than 495,000 total emergencies in 2012. Last year, New York City Firefighters responded to over 488,000 emergencies.
It continues a five-decade-long pattern, over which calls for help to New York City firefighters have soared. In the 11 years since the Bloomberg Administration began (2002-2012), city firefighters have responded to over 5.225 million emergencies. Emergency responses have risen over 525 percent since 1960.
“New Yorkers are experiencing soaring levels of emergencies and that has necessitated the constant response of New York City firefighters,” said Steve Cassidy, 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 multi-faceted rescue department.”
- Average annual emergency responses 10-year period 2003-2012: Over 480,000/year;
- For the period 2000 to 2012 emergency volumes are up 11.4%;
- From1990 – 2012 emergency volumes for New York City Firefighters grew 38%;
- From 1985 – 2012 emergency volumes grew 59%;
- From 1960 -2012 New Yorkers need for firefighter protection up more than five-fold, up to 526%;
Firefighter Emergency Totals 2002-2012:
- 2012 — 495,329 — (Projected Total – 2nd Busiest Year in FDNY History)
- 2011 – 488,017 – (4th Busiest in History)
- 2010 – 507,017 – (FDNY Record)
- 2009 – 473,024
- 2008 – 473,335
- 2007 – 490,767 – (3rd Busiest)
- 2006 – 484,954
- 2005 – 485,702
- 2004 – 456,689
- 2003 – 443,988
- 2002 – 426,542
FDNY Volumes In Recent Decades:
- 2010- 507,430
- 2005- 485,702
- 2000 – 444,148
- 1995 – 393,383
- 1990 – 358,713
- 1985 – 311,529
- 1980 – 389,703
- 1978 – 472,405 — Pre-2000’s Record
- 1975 – 400,096
- 1970 – 263,659
- 1965 – 142,711
- 1960 – 94,135
Expanded Workload and Responsibilities Cause Volumes to Soar Since 1960
According to the U.S. Census, the city’s population was 8,244,910 in 2011, meaning that over this last 11 years, an average of 63 percent of New York ‘s population required New York City Firefighters at their most urgent time of need.
“Too often it’s overlooked just how often our firefighters are protecting the lives of New Yorkers. Firefighters were effectuating pre-Hurricane Sandy evacuations and following the storm were clearing streets of downed trees and dewatering properties,” Mr. Cassidy said. “A New York City firefighter’s job requires them to always be ready to risk their lives to protect others and to always be on the top of their game. More than anything, the FDNY is the lifesaving agency New Yorkers turn to when they are in trouble. Our firefighter ‘s intense and diverse training prepares them to always be ready.”
New York City Firefighters respond 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. New York ‘s Bravest also train as the city’s first line of defense to chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear threats (CRBN).
Mr. Cassidy said, “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 elimination of the 5th firefighter from 60 of the City’s busiest engine companies in February 2011. It includes the elimination of the engine company protecting visitors to Governor’s Island in 2009; and the closure of six community fire companies in May 2003.