The average FDNY response time rose yet again last month – even after union bosses were accused of staging a slowdown. “The department is very concerned . . . and will continue to take the appropriate measures,” FDNY spokesman James Long said.
Responding to structural fires averaged four minutes and 32 seconds, 10 seconds slower than at this time last year.
The figures are compared annually because of seasonal variation in fire frequency, but the average response time has now risen for 10 months straight.
In May, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta wrote a letter accusing the unions of slowing responses in an effort to get staffing levels boosted and shuttered firehouses re-opened.
“I believe your concerted effort to drive up response times . . . jeopardizes public safety and runs counter to the tradition of selfless service and dedication to the people of this city,” he wrote the Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
Peter Gorman, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said yesterday that the response times simply reflected more emergencies.
There were nearly 50 more serious incidents in July 2005 than in July 2004 and a 12 percent increase in total responses, from 38,866 to 43,528.
“There’s more fires and more alarms, so, naturally, it would go up accordingly,” Gorman said.
“Its not about how they’re driving. They’re busier.”