"At This Time, We Cannot Provide This"
Chief Medical Officer of FDNY declines my request for data in a study on 911 calls and ambulances dispatches
The Chief Medical Officer of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has declined my request for data in a study on 911 calls and ambulances dispatches published in 2020.
I emailed Dr David Prezant, FDNY CMO and lead/corresponding author on System impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York City’s emergency medical services, this week to request raw data underlying Figures 1 and 2 in the study.1
He responded the same day, saying “at this time, we cannot provide this.”
I then asked Prezant when he expected to be able to provide the data (which are related to publicly-funded services).
I have not yet received a response.
The study was supported by FDNY, a public entity, so there’s no excuse for declining the request. Really, the authors should have provided the raw data in the supplemental materials for the study.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had difficulty obtaining data from FDNY. I have two outstanding FOIL requests to the agency - one of which is eleven months overdue. (I spoke with a very cordial staffer this week about those missing responses.)
And FDNY isn’t the only New York agency that has told me that basic public data are aren’t available. The state and city health departments don’t have/can’t give me historical or complete daily numbers for hospital admissions, bed occupancy, or patients intubated. HHC, the entity which runs the city’s eleventh public hospitals, including Elmhurst, the so-called “epicenter of the epicenter” in Corona, Queens2 🤔 - refused to access its own systems where pre-2020 death data are kept.
I’ve also had difficulty getting answers from the Office of the Medical Examiner regarding its processing of 11,000 deaths in three straight days during the biggest - and largely nonsensical - mass-fatality event the city has ever experienced.
UPDATE, 2/8/2024: I reached out to JACEP Open, the journal which published the Prezant et al study, and asked whether they have data sharing policy. Editorial director Tracy Napper replied: “JACEP Open does not have a policy on data sharing at this time.”
The daily hospitalization and intubation data in Figure 1 are available via public databases; the daily 911 call data are not.