Fire response times in the Bronx are up from a year ago

Fire response times in the Bronx are up 15 to 20 seconds from last year. In July 2005, it took firefighters an average of four minutes and 40 seconds to respond.

Fire department officials say the firefighters union is at fault. Officials say there is a concerted effort to slow response times so that firehouses will be re-opened and more firefighters hired.

The union says there is no effort to drive up response times and the higher times are because there are more fires this year than last. The union also says in Brooklyn there were 20 percent more serious fires in July 2005 than July 2004.

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