It was a year of records for the Fire Department of New York.
Fire officials say 2009 was a historic low in the number of civilian fire deaths. There were 73 reported deaths, the lowest number ever recorded. The previous low occurred in 1919 when there were 77 deaths.
The fire department also had the fastest response time to structural fires on record: 4 minutes and 2 seconds. And the city had fewer fires, including a record low number of serious fires. Those fires have been on the decline for a few years, since a fire prevention initiative two years ago.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the FDNY for its record-breaking achievements in 2009. He spoke at a swearing-in ceremony for the new commissioner, Salvatore Cassano, who took over after the former commissioner retired.
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