FDNY commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta says since January, firefighters arrive at the scene on average in 4 minutes and 3 seconds. That's 13 seconds faster than response times last year, and is the lowest on record.
Scoppetta credits the drop in part to a new dispatch program that assigns firefighters to an emergency when the location is obtained. Before, 911 operators would first gather more information.
So far this year, there have been 44 fire-related deaths. In 2008, there were 59 and in 2007, 64.
There are also fewer fires. As of August 31, there were 17,176 structural fires across the city. That's about 600 less than the same time last year.