Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“While 2020 was filled with tremendous pain for our department, with 12 of our members lost to COVID-19, this year also demonstrated once more the unwavering bravery and tremendous resilience of the FDNY,” Fire Commissioner Nigro said.
By Forum Staff
The city had 63 civilian fire deaths in 2020, 5 percent fewer deaths than in 2019, when 66 people lost their lives in fires, City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced Tuesday.
This marks the 15th consecutive year there have been fewer than 100 fire-related deaths, Nigro noted.
“While 2020 was filled with tremendous pain for our department, with 12 of our members lost to COVID-19, this year also demonstrated once more the unwavering bravery and tremendous resilience of the FDNY,” Nigro said. “Our EMTs and paramedics faced the busiest period in EMS history during the height of the pandemic, responding day and night to thousands upon thousands of calls for help, with the utmost professionalism and care for their patients. Our firefighters raced into burning buildings as they have for 155 years and continued to reduce the number of lives lost to fire. The life-saving efforts of all our members during this horrific year – especially as so many of our members themselves battled COVID-19 – are truly remarkable.”
At the height of the pandemic in March and April, EMS responded to the most medical emergencies on a daily basis in New York City history. Call volume increased by thousands, with the highest total ever coming on March 30 when there were 6,527 medical emergencies.
FDNY EMS responded to 1,412,690 medical emergencies in 2020, down 8 percent from 2019, when the department responded to 1,531,870 medical emergencies—the most ever recorded in a single year.
As the commissioner noted, EMS responses fall into one of two broad categories: Segment 1-3, which include life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrest, unconscious and choking calls; and Segment 4-8, incidents which are triaged as non-life-threatening incidents. FDNY EMS responded to 530,354 Segment 1-3 calls in 2020, and 882,336 Segment 4-8 incidents.