LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles fire chief admitted Tuesday he did not give accurate information about department response times to the LA City Council.
In 2008, the LAFD reported a response time of under five minutes 80 percent of the time. Chief Brian Cummings now says the information was flawed.
Cummings reports the actual number was closer to 64 percent, and has now dropped to 60 percent.
“Our response times have increased,” says Cummings. He says the department’s goal is a response time of under five minutes 90 percent of the time.
Pat McOsker, President of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, says recent budget cutbacks to personnel and equipment have translated to lives lost.
“Forty percent of the time we’re not getting there on time to save a life,” says McOsker. “People have been burned, they’ve been hurt, they’ve been dismembered; they’ve even died while people waited for the fire department to get there on time.”
City Controller Wendy Greuel says she will conduct an independent investigation into the response times, and whether budget cutbacks have had an impact.