As if I needed another reason to avoid New York.
NY Post: If you’re really sick, avoid The Bronx. City EMTs and paramedics took almost 15 minutes to get to Bronx patients who called 911 this year — four minutes longer than it took in Staten Island, according to city data analyzed by The Post.
And despite 21,764 fewer medical emergencies in the city — and the de Blasio administration’s pledge in February to speed up response times — the citywide average so far this year has been 12 minutes, 23 seconds, or 37 seconds slower than it was in the first eight months of 2014.
In The Bronx, ambulances arrived at emergencies in an average of 14 minutes, 29 seconds, according to city 911 data. Staten Islanders, by comparison, waited 10 minutes, 26 seconds for an ambulance.
“The lack of EMS services is dangerous and puts countless lives at risk,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens), who demanded more ambulance tours. “If you live in The Bronx, these numbers say your life is just not as important, which is unacceptable.”
The average response times so far this year were 11 minutes, 36 seconds in Brooklyn; 11 minutes, 38 seconds in Queens; and 12 minutes, 8 seconds in Manhattan.
Last winter, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who oversees the Emergency Medical Service, blamed frequent snow and ice for sluggish response times and promised the City Council in February that he would speed up the average response by 20 seconds in 2015. In the same month, Mayor de Blasio pledged to spend $18 million to hire 149 new EMS dispatchers and add 54 ambulance tours with an emphasis on improving Bronx medical care.
But response times have only gotten slower.
Bronx EMS workers arrived at emergencies an average of 40 seconds slower in the first eight months of the year compared with the same period in 2014, even though medics and EMTs handled 2 percent fewer cases. EMS took 1 minute, 4 seconds longer to get to emergencies in Manhattan, even though there were 2,818 fewer incidents to treat.
FDNY officials would not address the slower response times but said an additional 45 ambulances tours will help. They noted that for life-threatening emergencies, the average response time in The Bronx was 7 minutes, 51 seconds.
But that figure comes with a caveat, because the FDNY measures the time from when an EMS dispatcher receives a call to when a unit arrives on the scene. City 911 records calculate response times differently — from the moment the 911 call is made to when a unit arrives. By that measure, life-threatening emergencies in The Bronx took much longer to get to — 9 minutes, 53 seconds.
By either calculation method, the average response time in The Bronx for life-threatening calls was slower this year than last, a Post analysis of the data found.
A rapid EMS response significantly increases a patient’s chance of survival. Brain death can occur in four to six minutes in respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest and overdose cases. “When you overdose, you stop breathing,” an EMS source said. “What makes a world of difference whether you live or die is how quickly I can get to you.”