Bill requiring FDNY to monitor emergency response passed in City Council after Ariel Russo’s death

ariel russo
Sofia Russo, mother of 4-year-old Ariel Russo, at a City Council press conference on the Ariel Russo Response Time Act, named after her daughter.
Credit: William Alatriste

The Ariel Russo Response Time Reporting Act, named after a 4-year-old who was struck and killed by an SUV in Manhattan, was passed by City Council Tuesday.

The bill, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports, requires the fire department to report and monitor emergency response times, expanding reporting practices implemented after Russo’s death.

“It will require important response time data that will help the city determine how best to deploy limited resources and how we can facilitate swifter emergency responses,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

EMS responders weren’t dispatched to the Upper West Side intersection where she was hit for four minutes and 18 seconds and another three minutes and 52 seconds passed before an ambulance arrived.

“Obviously, every minute — every second — counts in this kind of tragedy,” Quinn said.

FDNY said that the delay was caused by human error when a dispatcher missed the call.

Ariel’s mother, Sofia Russo, said she was “grateful” for the council’s action.

“It means that even though my child died, she didn’t die in vain because, as a result, this change is happening and it prevents other tragic deaths,” Russo said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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