Fire, Traffic Deaths Hit Record Lows in NYC Last Year
The mayor and fire commissioner said response times to fires and life-threatening medical emergencies improved by 5 seconds for fires and 21 seconds for medical calls in 2016, and they announced the early completion of the nation's largest smoke alarm giveaway/installation program.
In safety terms, 2016 was a good year for residents of New York City. Mayor de Blasio announced Jan. 11 that the 229 traffic fatalities recorded during the year were the fewest ever in NYC and marked three years of decline and a 23 percent reduction since 2013. Two days earlier, de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced there were 48 fire fatalities during the year, also the fewest fire deaths ever recorded in a calendar year dating back to 1916, and that the city had a 9 percent decline in serious fires in 2016, which was the largest annual decrease since 2008.
The mayor and fire commissioner said response times to fires and life-threatening medical emergencies improved by 5 seconds for fires and 21 seconds for medical calls in 2016, and they announced the early completion of the nation's largest smoke alarm giveaway/installation program – the $4 million GetAlarmedNYC – with more than 100,000 combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors distributed in 2016. With partners from the NYC City Council, the FDNY Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Kidde, the program targeted communities most at risk for fires and fire-related injuries and deaths.
"Never has our city been as safe from the ravages of fire as we are today, thanks to the heroic work of our firefighters and all FDNY personnel," said de Blasio. "This record-breaking, historic achievement is the result of true teamwork by our fire and EMS first responders, fire marshals, and dispatchers, as well as inspectors and fire safety educators who helped reduce serious fires by 9 percent this year. Together, these hard-working FDNY members have made a tremendous impact on our city and ushered in a new era for fire safety for all New Yorkers."
He said the Vision Zero plan enabled the city to have its safest-ever year in 2016 with the fewest traffic fatalities ever recorded. "No loss of life on our streets is acceptable. Under Vision Zero, we have now seen traffic fatalities in our city decline for three straight years, strongly countering national trends. I have said where Vision Zero is concerned, we are just getting started and can always do better, but I nevertheless want to thank the NYPD, DOT, and supporting agencies on all their hard work to deliver another year of strong results."