Press Releases

For Immediate Release: January 26, 2012

2011 Was Third Busiest Year for Firefighter
Emergencies in FDNY History

Busiest Decade for Firefighters in Almost 150 Years of Legendary FDNY

2011 will go down as the third busiest for New York City Firefighters in the 147 year history of the Fire Department of the City of New York, as Bravest' responded to 488,017 total emergencies in the year just concluded. Yet, that is just part of the story.

It continues a five decade-long pattern, over which calls for help to New York City Firefighters have soared. In the ten years since the Bloomberg Administration began (2002-2011), city firefighters have responded to nearly 5 million (4,730,035) emergencies, coming to the aid of countless New Yorkers. Emergencies have soared 539 percent since 1960.

"The FDNY has always been recognized as the busiest fire department in the world, but this last decade has set an even higher standard as demand for firefighter protections has soared," said UFA president Steve Cassidy, pointing to emergency volume growth statistics since 2002, when the Bloomberg Administration began. "As New York continues to grow and evolve, its citizens have needed more services and not less from the FDNY and its firefighters. The modern FDNY is truly a rescue department for all New Yorkers in need and statistics illustrate how New York City Firefighters likely touched the lives of virtually every citizen of New York."

  • For the period from 1990 to 2010 emergency volumes for New York City Firefighters grew 41%.
  • From 1985 to 2010 emergency volumes grew 63%.
  • From 1960 to 2010 New Yorkers demand for firefighter protection soared an astounding 539%.

Firefighter Emergency Totals 2001-2011:
2011 - 488,017 - (3rd Busiest in FDNY History)
2010 - 507,017 - (2010 Sets FDNY Record)
2009 - 473,024
2008 - 473,335
2007 - 490,767 - (2007 Second Busiest Ever)
2006 - 484,954
2005 - 485,702
2004 - 456,689
2003 - 443,988
2002 - 426,542
2001 - 437,021

Snapshot: FDNY Emergency Volumes Since 1960
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 FDNY Record)
1975 - 400,096
1970 - 263,659
1965 - 142,711
1960 - 94,135

FDNY Emergency Volumes Soar This Decade & Since 1960

According to the U.S. Census, the city's population was 8,175,133 in 2010, meaning that over this last decade, nearly 60 percent (57.85%) of all New Yorkers needed to call on New York City Firefighters in a time of critical emergency.

"It is time to recognize just how closely our firefighters are intertwined with protecting all New Yorkers lives, as well as their property," Mr. Cassidy said. "A New York City firefighter's job is to be all hands on deck all the time. Firefighter's intense and diverse training has cemented FDNY as the lifesaving department citizens in crisis turn to, time and again."

The diversity of emergencies firefighters are responding to ranges from fires, explosions, gas leaks, building collapses, scaffold rescues, serious vehicle accidents and extractions and terror threats. New York City Firefighters are also trained as the city's first line of defense responding to chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear threats (CRBN).

Mr. Cassidy said, "New York City Firefighters productivity is through the roof even while suffering through ten major staff cuts since 2003. It is something that each and every New Yorker should be proud of and confident in knowing that when you need the FDNY, our firefighters will be there to protect your family."

Staff reductions at the FDNY have included elimination of the 5th firefighter from 60 of the City's busiest engine companies in February 2011. This staffing reduction lead to serious burns to two firefighters on December 19 in Brooklyn; 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.

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