Bogged down by an increase of emergency incidents and delayed by an epic snowstorm, the New York City fire department says as of Monday night, their dispatchers were working through a three-hour backlog of Priority 1 incidents, including medical emergencies, and a 12-hour back-log of non-emergency incidents. Sources have told local reporters that the FDNY has asked the city’s Office of Emergency Management to declare a state of emergency because of the 1,300 incident backlog, but that the request was denied. Thousands of travelers have been stranded at the city’s airports, and residents without power or heat have increased the fire department’s normal workload of emergencies, including medical calls. FDNY officials say that even when they have a unit available to respond, road conditions mandate the units travel very slowly, increasing response times. Many fire and EMS units have become stuck in snow and are unavailable for dispatch, EMS commissioner Salvatore Cassano told a press conference. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the city’s museums will remain open for stranded tourists and, “The world has not come to an end.” He added that, “The city’s going on. There’s no reason for anybody to panic.”E-mail this story
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