2023 Busiest Year in History for FDNY EMS

New York City EMTs and paramedics have answered 28 million calls for emergencies since 2003.

JEMS Staff | January 12, 2024

New York medical first responders of the FDNY EMS are busier than ever, according to FDNY Local 2507.

According to data from the FDNY, New York City EMTs and paramedics have turned the page on a year that was the agency’s busiest of all time, responding to 1,619,863 medical emergencies, up 2.5 percent from 2022 and 8.2 percent from 2021. That was also a 14.2 percent jump from the number of medical emergency responses at the peak of the COVID outbreak in 2020.

Over the past decade, FDNY EMS experienced its busiest years in agency history, while headcount and the number of crews serving neighborhoods have remained largely stagnant.

The FDNY EMS had a headcount of 4,036 EMTs and paramedics as of the end of 2023, compared to 3,858 at the end of 2022.

Since 2003, FDNY EMS has responded to nearly 28 million medical emergencies. Since its merger with FDNY in 1996, EMS has seen civilian medical emergency response climb consistently each year. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, crews could not keep pace with daily call volumes, with the highest daily total reaching 6,527 medical emergencies.

In 2023, New York City EMS personnel responded to 611,443 so-called Segment 1-3 calls, an 8.33% increase over 2022. This code relates to patients with life threatening medical emergencies including choking, cardiac arrest, stroke, gunshot wounds, and other severely traumatic situations.

“Overworked and severely underpaid, New York City’s medical first responders are always there to save the lives of fellow New Yorkers,” said Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 2507, representing EMTs, paramedics, and fire inspectors.

“However, if this agency is facing severe staff cuts in 2024 and 2025, fewer medical first responders on the streets will absolutely result in significantly increased response times, and people will die because of it Today, we are responsible for half a million more runs than just two decades ago. That’s how dramatic this increase is.”