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LAFD Chief Asks For $50 Million To Help Reduce Emergency Response Times

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Fire Chief Brian Cummings Tuesday asked the City Council for $50 million in the next budget to help the department reduce response times to fire and medical emergencies.

Cummings requested the funds as part of a five-year plan to provide the Los Angeles Fire Department with necessary resources.

“The simple answer is money. If you give us money, we’ll have more technology, we’ll have more civilian support staff, we’ll have more resources in the field,” Cummings said. “We’re giving you the best fire service we can provide, given the resources that this council has provided for us.”

The chief has been under fire since March when LAFD officials admitted their response time data had inflated the department’s success at getting to emergencies quickly.

The response times had actually lengthened to a minute longer than the national goal in the face of a $54 million budget cut.

Subsequent reports and an audit by the city controller found significant flaws in the way LAFD officials analyzed and reported the numbers.

A review of response times initiated by the department earlier this year found an outdated computer system and human error were to blame for the inaccurate reporting.

Cummings said the creation of the Task Force on Information and Data Analysis in July has helped the department collect accurate, consistent data.

By January 2013, he said the public should be able to learn the response times from their local fire stations.

The chief goes before the council again in 60 days.

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