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Press Releases / 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 16, 2013


Fire Department Statement on 911 call to press conference Metropolitan Avenue and Manhattan Avenue this afternoon:

“Every call for medical assistance is important and ambulance dispatching is prioritized so life threatening calls—for a choking child, cardiac arrest or chest pains—take precedence over non-life threatening injuries—where the patient is breathing, alert and communicating.  That was the case here.  In addition, the patient was being treated by a police officer who is an EMT, so care was being administered from the moment the incident occurred. The call was appropriately tagged as not being a high-priority, life-threatening call. Additionally, some ambulances are kept strictly in reserve for life-threatening calls, allowing for them to arrive in minutes, and they are not dispatched to lower priority incidents so they are not occupied when a life-threatening call comes in. With a high volume of calls during extreme heat, a call for a non-life threatening injury with an alert patient being treated by a trained EMT is appropriately not deemed a high priority, which in some cases like this one, means that it takes longer for an ambulance to get to the scene. But it is critical that life-saving resources be prioritized and used for high-priority, life threatening incidents.”


This call was made and the call taker asked a series of questions to ascertain the status of the patient.  The patient was described as breathing, conscious and communicating. The caller explained that the individual fainted and may have hit her head, but was alert.

The Speaker’s NYPD Security Detail also reported that it was on scene, and described the patient’s condition.

EMS calls are given a segment number based on the severity of the injuries to a patient.

For example a segment 1 call is for cardiac arrest or choking. 

This call was labeled a Segment 5 call, appropriate for an injury where the patient is alert and communicating.


Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056


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