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FDNY EMS union reports rise in life threatening medical emergency calls – but no budget increase – NBC New York

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What to Know

  • There has been an increase in the number of life threatening medical emergency calls citywide over the last two years, according to FDNY Local 2507 — a time that saw no increase in the EMS budget, but rather a reduction in the ambulance fleet.
  • “While 911-switchboards were ringing off the hook with critical civilian medical emergencies, the FDNY’s ambulance fleet available to patrol city streets shrunk by 11 percent. EMS budgets also saw no increase in the city’s 2024 fiscal year, despite a budget increase in the Fire Department as a whole,” the FDNY Local 2507 said.

The FDNY EMS union is sounding the alarm.

There has been an increase in the number of life threatening medical emergency calls citywide over the last two years, according to FDNY Local 2507 — a time that saw no increase in the EMS budget, but rather a reduction in the ambulance fleet.

“While 911-switchboards were ringing off the hook with critical civilian medical emergencies, the FDNY’s ambulance fleet available to patrol city streets shrunk by 11 percent. EMS budgets also saw no increase in the city’s 2024 fiscal year, despite a budget increase in the Fire Department as a whole,” the FDNY Local 2507 said.

“While 911-switchboards were ringing off the hook with critical civilian medical emergencies, the FDNY’s ambulance fleet available to patrol city streets shrunk by 11 percent. EMS budgets also saw no increase in the city’s 2024 fiscal year, despite a budget increase in the Fire Department as a whole,” the FDNY Local 2507 said.

According to the union, the lack of a budget increase but the shrinking fleet could explain why the average response time has increased by more than one minute in the last two years.

Union statistics reveal that New York City EMS personnel responded to 611,443 so-called Segment 1-3 calls, an 8.33% increase over 2022. This code relates to life threatening medical emergencies including choking, cardiac arrest, stroke, gunshot wounds, and other severely traumatic situations. Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances staffed with EMTs respond to Segment 4-8 calls.

EMS has seen civilian medical emergency response has consistently increased each year, since the department merged with the FDNY. Since 2003, FDNY EMS has responded to 28,109,321 medical emergencies — making it the busiest medical first responder agency worldwide. The city’s Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics responded to 1,619,863 total medical emergencies in 2023 — up 2.5% from 2022 and 8.2% from 2021.

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