Wait time for ambulances in NYC is the longest since the start of COVID-19


By Matt Katz | July 1, 2024

Ambulance response times in New York City are getting longer — reaching their highest levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic four years ago, Gothamist has found.

During the week of Memorial Day, the latest data available from the city, it took Emergency Medical Services an average of 12.81 minutes to respond to life-threatening medical emergencies and 28.31 minutes to show up to non-life threatening situations. That’s the longest on both counts since the middle of March 2020, when response times averaged 16.91 and 46.40 minutes, respectively. A 2017 study showed that nationally, the average EMS response times in urban areas is seven minutes.

The Memorial Day week wasn’t an anomaly: Lengthy responses to medical emergencies mirror annual trends observed in the city. The average time for an ambulance to arrive at a scene after being dispatched increased 69 seconds — to almost 11 minutes — in the fiscal year that ended last June, compared with two years before, according to the mayor’s management report.

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