NYC Council discusses safety inspections after 1-year-old dies at day care

CeFaan Kim Image
Thursday, October 26, 2023
NYC Council discusses safety inspections after 1-year-old dies at day care
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CeFaan Kim has the details from the City Council meeting.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City officials held a joint oversight hearing Thursday on city agencies' performances of inspections and responses based on indicators from the Mayor's Management Report.

The results were troubling.

Among the many key indicators were long response times by the fire department. At the hearing, COVID-19 was named as a factor.

"In fiscal year 2023, the New York City fire department continued to protect life and property while navigating the unique challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic," said FDNY Chief of Fire Operations John Esposito.

Elsewhere, a drop in inspections of restaurants and child care centers also drew concern - especially after a 1-year-old died at a daycare in the Bronx from fentanyl exposure.

"The Department of Health and Mental Health is still behind by over 2,000 inspections of childcare from pre-pandemic levels," said Gale Brewer, who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Investigations.

"I represent the district where we lost Nicholas Dominici," said Council Member Pierina Sanchez. "I've heard of family based providers who have their licenses that were never physically inspected. They opened during the pandemic but they were never physically inspected."

The other concerning trend was ambulance response times.

The FDNY is seeing a 10% increase in response times for life-threatening medical emergencies.

Officials say some of it has been caused by the recent reduction of the speed limit in the city and less lanes, which causes more traffic.

"I received a call from one of my senior constituents who told me she had been waiting for ambulance for about six hours," said Council Member Diana Ayala.

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