Firefighters Union Chief Disputes Mayor’s Report On Emergency Response Times

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles city and fire officials cleared up discrepancies regarding emergency response times by city firefighters on Tuesday, but at least one union official challenged their findings.

Initial reports had claimed that first responders arrived on the scene of an emergency within five minutes of a call 80 percent of the time.

Those statistics prompted the Los Angeles City Council to make deeps cutbacks to the department in 2011. However, the LAFD said they had used the wrong formula to calculate those reports.

A new report released last week showed first responders actually arrived within five minutes only 64 percent of the time in 2008 and hit that mark even less in the following two years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The department says they are compliant with federal guidelines, but just use a different method to record data.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Brian Cummings also outlined steps to enhance the department’s communication system.

“April 1st we’re going to move some companies around so that we have our units closer to where that call load is, so we can bring down those response times and address some of those issues,” said Cummings.

But union president Pat McOscar said both the chief and the mayor’s statements were inconsistent with the data.

“What the numbers now prove is that we’re only getting there on scene in time to save someone’s life about 60 percent of the time now,” said McOscar.

An independent audit of the data and the impact of personnel and budget reductions is scheduled for later this year.

More from Pete Demetriou
  • The Concerned One

    The April 1st moving of Fire and Ambulance coverage is nothing but a shell game to cover up the inadequate staffing coverage for the City of LA. How many more delayed incidents is it going to take before the hard working Taxpayer holds their elected City Council Members accountable. Councilmen Englander and Zine are about to lose a Paramedic Ambulance that responds to a large area of the West and North San Fernado Valley including Cal State Northridge 2 blocks from their station. An EMT Ambulance will be put in It’s place. It’s a reduction in Paramedic coverage and shouldn’t be tolerated by the Councilmen or their voters. An EMT Ambulance already exists in the North Valley that could and should be converted to a Paramedic Ambulance. The West Valley Citizens will surely suffer from the soon to be delayed response times due to the large gap in coverage and the simple size of the area.

    • Astonished

      Oh, so now the “Mayor” and the Fire Chief are psychic? They know just where those future calls are going to come from, right?

      How pathetic. They were warned that the cuts they made would endanger peoples lives, and it is. But heavan forbid they should admit their error!

  • The Truth about the LAFD

    I work for the LAFD…The management and leadership is a TOTAL joke.

    • Astonished

      I live within the City, and I know that you guys are running hard just to keep pace with the work load.

      Your management may leave a lot to be desired, but please know that I and my family really appreciate all you do for us!!

  • ginny

    There are variables that I have no doubt are not taken into consideration when putting together the response times reports. I know from personal experience that our LAFD are crossing sectors every single day in order to respond. I had to make a call for help with a injury traffic accident. We were at Devinshire and Reseda. The closest available units were in Tarzana. With luck that can be a 20 minute response, if traffic will pay attention to the sirens. This is not the fault of the LAFD, it’s the fault of unknowledgable elected politicians who seem to think they know how our LAFD and LAPD wshould do their job and what’s best for all of us. All the while making sure that they keep enough money in their office budgets to get new carpet and drapes whenever they feel like it. A 5 to 10 min response, based on workloads at the time of a call depends on what the closest unit availble it. I don’t fault the LAFD or LAPD in this one.

    • ginny

      Sorry for my typos


    Let’s see, give up $100,000+ a year in overtime or tell the truth. Gee, they are whiny overpaid incompetent aS$wipes but they aren’t entirely stupid, greedy yes, stupid no…


    Let’s see, give up $100,000+ a year in overtime or tell the truth. Gee, they are whiny overpaid incompetent a$Swipes but they aren’t entirely stupid, greedy yes, stupid no.

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