Press Releases

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2012

Judge Rules in Favor of Firefighter Unions in Matter Related to Independent Report of 911 UCT Dispatch System

Says City Must Turn Over Evidence Relating to Emergency Response Data

Today a judge again ordered the Bloomberg Administration to turn over an independent report of New York City's 911 system that was commissioned 15 months ago by Mayor Bloomberg after the city's disastrous response to the December 2010 Blizzard. The city attorneys have argued they were not sure the report existed and they did not have a copy despite testimony to the contrary. Today Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York State Supreme Court ordered the city for the second time to turn over the report.

Shortly after the city implemented major changes in 2009 to the way emergency fire and medical emergencies were handled it became clear that the quality of the information being relayed to firefighters was inadequate and compromised firefighter and public safety. Additionally the city was now reporting significantly lower response times because they were now not counting the time a 911 caller spent with a 911 UCT call taker. The judge agreed with the UFA that the independent consultant's report on the 911 UCT system is relevant to firefighter and public safety and should be released. This issue is being argued between the city and UFA and UFOA before the Office of Collective Bargaining.

Mr. Cassidy said, "We thank Judge Engoron for today's ruling which mandates the city turn over the 911 independent report. The judge made clear what we have been saying all along, that firefighter safety and public safety are connected. In 2009 the city implemented the Uniformed Call Taker (UCT) System and they stopped counting the time a 911 caller spends with a 911-UCT operator, artificially reducing FDNY response time." The city then used these inaccurate response times to argue they could close firehouses and reduce staffing on 60 engine companies in communities throughout New York City.

Mr. Cassidy continued, "If your house is on fire or a member of your family is having a heart attack or stroke and the fire department shows up in six minutes they should not be able to report they were there in four minutes because of an accounting gimmick. Everyone knows seconds count."

The court ordered the report could not be altered by the city or its consultant from present form and that the city must turn over all drafts of the evaluation report so evidence is not lost.