BROOKLYN - The FDNY says its recent response times are the fastest in the department's history, and fewer deaths have been recorded this year than ever before.

FDNY commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta says the new statistics put together since January show that firefighters are arriving on scene 13 seconds faster than last year. The recent response time, an average of 4 minutes and 3 seconds, is the lowest ever recorded.

Scoppetta credits the drop in part to a new dispatch program that assigns firefighters to an emergency when the location is obtained. Before, 911 operators would first gather more information.

AP wire services were used in this report.