Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl pressed the top brass of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) to address the accuracy of response time data and explore ways to reduce response times.
Rosendahl and his Council Colleagues brought LAFD leadership to Council Chambers Tuesday morning to discuss a troubling report in the Los Angeles Times last month that showed response times were slower in certain parts of the City. The report named the geographically isolated hillside communities of Pacific Palisades and Brentwood as two communities with the worst response times. Both are located in the 11th Council District.
Shortly after the story broke, Rosendahl introduced this motion in City Council to address the issue.
After the discussion this morning, the City Council amended the motion to direct the Fire Department, City Administrative Officer, and Chief Legislative Analyst to present a “Fire Department Restoration Plan” to the Budget and Finance Committees within 60 days to restore Fire Department service levels.
In addition to the amended motion, Rosendahl called on Fire Department management to look at creative solutions to reduce response times. Rosendahl suggested the deployment of Motorcycle Response Teams staffed with firefighter/EMTs that could provide a rapid initial response to medical emergencies in the hills prior to the arrival of an ambulance; something the Fire Department already experimented with during Carmageddon I and II.
Fire Department leadership also presented the findings of the LAFD Task Force on Information and Data Analysis (IDA) Report, which provided technological solutions to some of the issues mentioned in the Times story.
Rosendahl was enthusiastic about the Fire Department’s report.
“The LAFD Task Force IDA Report does an excellent job identifying the problems associated with the accuracy of dispatch data,” said Rosendahl. “It offers a much clearer understanding of response times, and most importantly provides a variety of long-term solutions for improvement through the implementation of new technologies, systems integration and additional training.”
The replacement of an aging computer aided dispatch system, a new fire station alerting system, and the installation of GPS based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) equipment on fire apparatus were just some of the solutions presented that are already in the works. Each one of these technologies have shown to decrease response times in other cities.
The amended Rosendahl motion will go to the Public Safety Committee for further discussion.