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    Default Department That Understands It's Changhng Roles

    Home >> Los Angeles Fire Dept. Plans Engine Cutback
    Los Angeles Fire Dept. Plans Engine Cutback
    The Daily News of Los Angeles

    Posted: Sun, 04/24/2011 - 11:28am
    Updated: Sun, 04/24/2011 - 11:28am

    BUDGET: Chief says changes will boost city's ability to respond to medical emergencies.

    Bracing for a $54 million cut in the next budget, Fire Chief Millage Peaks on Friday announced a new plan to reduce the number of fire engines in service while boosting the city's ability to respond to medical emergencies.

    Peaks said the new plan, detailed in a 14-page memo released Friday, brings an end to the rolling brownouts at fire stations around the city, but gives the department flexibility to respond to emergencies.

    "The 2011 Deployment Plan is designed to maximize service delivery under a reduced budget," the memo to all LAFD workers said.

    The plan will be phased in beginning in June and take full effect by July 5.

    Once implemented, it will eliminate one division and two battalion offices; end service by 11 engine companies and seven light forces; upgrade 10 fire companies to paramedic companies; and open an emergency medical service battalion office.

    It eliminates the staff assistant positions from seven battalion companies and renames the remaining staff assistants as emergency incident technicians.

    The changes are partly to reflect the fact that demand for fire service is secondary to the medical calls the department receives. Officials have said more than 80 percent of its calls are for medical care.

    Pat McOsker, president of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, harshly criticized the new plan.

    "This is really disgusting," McOsker said. "The mayor and the fire chief came out with a plan to permanently reduce fire company and ambulance protection in neighborhoods throughout the city only two days after the City Council's Personnel Committee voted to hire nine more civilian investigators.

    "The money they are throwing at their pet project would be much better spent keeping a couple of fire companies or ambulances open to protect lives. Closing fire department resources means responses will be delayed to emergencies and that means lives will be lost unnecessarily."

    The Personnel Committee action was taken to hire investigators for the voter-approved Professional Standards Division.

    The proposal is modeled after the Inspector General's Office in the Los Angeles Police Department and was the result of a number of lawsuits and incidents within the LAFD.

    Under the new plan, emergency medical services are being elevated and a new concept of paired battalions is being developed to make sure there is coverage throughout the city.

    Plans are to develop a computerized tracking system of calls to adjust deployments.

    In the San Fernando Valley, which is being renamed from Division 3 to North Division, five engine companies are being closed and two light force companies are being dropped, to be replaced with assessment companies. Also, there are a number of shifts in ambulance service throughout the area.

    The plan is expected to be reviewed by the City Council's Public Safety Committee as well as the Budget and Finance Committee as they review the $6.9 billion proposed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa


    Like it or not, LA City has realized that they are primarily an EMS organization as compared to fire. While fire is still part of what they do, it is a part of the 20% that is not EMS, and needs to be funded as such with fewer suppression companies and EMS as the priority.
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    You know --- I have tried to give you the benefit of the doubt --- but you post stuff here just to stirr crap.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Like it or not, LA City has realized that they are primarily an EMS organization as compared to fire. While fire is still part of what they do, it is a part of the 20% that is not EMS, and needs to be funded as such with fewer suppression companies and EMS as the priority.
    You're only partially correct. LAFD is acknowledging that 80% of their call volume is EMS related.

    The EMS response should be funded to reflect that disparity in call volume, however that doesn't necessarily mean that you should "take" from the Fire response and "give" it to the EMS response.

    To me, the article didn't read as if EMS response was truly enhanced in any significant fashion. It stated that some suppression companies are being disbanded, some are being upgraded to Paramedic non-transport level, a couple chiefs and aides are being eliminated and adding an EMS supervisor. I don't recall seeing anything about putting more transport units on the street.

    So, the net effect is the department being "less able" to respond to all calls. Less suppression units (which they appear to not have been staffing lately) means less units available for initial EMS response and less units available for fire response. Service delivery will be affected. Doesn't sound like much of a "boost" in "ability to respond to medical emergencies" to me.

    To me, this isn't any grand revelation about the services they provide. They didn't just figure out they were "overstaffed" on the fire side. It was a somewhat logical (although controversial) response to a significant budget cut. At an 80/20 split, cutting transport units isn't much of a realistic option. The cutting of the suppression companies is more about the lack of money than it is an emphasis on EMS. The Chief pretty much said as much in the article. It's a change in deployment due to reduced funding.

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    How the heck would you know?

    Seriously, you think you have a real understanding of all that is going on there?

    Get real.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    How the heck would you know?

    Seriously, you think you have a real understanding of all that is going on there?

    Get real.
    Was this to me or LA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Was this to me or LA?
    If I was a gambling man, I'd say LA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfpd109 View Post
    If I was a gambling man, I'd say LA.
    I'm assuming that too given the close proximity of the time stamps, but just wanted to be sure - or at least be sure that he knew it was to him.

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    BUT at least they are not changing their name to FEMS!
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Was this to me or LA?
    Definitly not for you... to the OP.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    You know I don't have all the stats and facts to look smart, but here is what it boils down to....for me. If someone is having a cardiac emergency and because of cutbacks the response goes from 3 minutes up to 7 minutes...not a whole lot of harm done..(figuratively speaking, of course)...Now add on the same amount of time for a second due company on a working fire. Alot of Sh*t can go back quick in just a little bit of time when you are playing with fire.

    I don't have to be reminded that most departments do more ems than fire now. We know. But to start shifting response styles and sogs to adhere more to the ems side and then in turn begin to become stagnant with the fire training and company staffing is asinine. Just my opinion but if we see more and more of this going on then I dread the next couple of years LODDS totals. People pay taxes for fire protection. They expect the same level of fire protection regardless of what percentage of the local FDs calls are for ems.

    What if i told you that at my FD we just carry a pea can to all fires because they rarely, if ever, require a hose line to extinguish. Like 85% of our fires can be handled with a can...so of the ten engines in my department we keep only one equipped with hose...centrally located of course....

    I have a feeling you would call me an idiot.

    We prepare and wait for that 20%. Its that 20% that can kill and will kill if we keep slanting our business towards the other 80%.

    Im off my box....
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    Quote Originally Posted by truckedup133 View Post
    What if i told you that at my FD we just carry a pea can to all fires because they rarely, if ever, require a hose line to extinguish. Like 85% of our fires can be handled with a can...so of the ten engines in my department we keep only one equipped with hose...centrally located of course....

    I have a feeling you would call me an idiot.

    No, I'd call you a co-worker of LaFireEducator!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TVFR9923 View Post
    No, I'd call you a co-worker of LaFireEducator!
    HAHAHAHAHA, too funny.

    LaFireEducator, how the frig do have any knowledge of what was going throught the minds of the administrators that made this change? It doesn't matter what amount of their call volume is EMS, this was done for lack of fundings. Which in the long run is more than likely going to come back and bite them in the arse.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 04-25-2011 at 12:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TVFR9923 View Post
    No, I'd call you a co-worker of LaFireEducator!
    no silly I said pea can...not ladders...
    "It's a living thing brian..."

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    Lets take a look at what ACTUALLY happened here:

    1) remove 11 engine companies
    2) remove 7 light force companies
    3) Close 2 battalion chiefs spots
    4) Close 1 division chief spot
    5) Upgrade 10 engines to ALS
    6) Make an EMS BC

    So, basically: they sent 30 guys (assuming a 3-platoon shift schedule) to paramedic school, and opened up a new BC position. All the while, displacing 174 guys from line companies....RESULTING in SIGNIFICANTLY less coverage. What good is ALS going to do if you increase your response time to a cardiac arrest (theoretically) from 4 to 7 minutes....NOTHING.

    "Understand it's Changing Roles"? No. Sugarcoating closing companies to meet a budget? Yes.

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    And once again, to no ones surprise, LA jumps on a CAREER PAID UNION fire department announcing cuts in line firefighting capability.

    LA do you wonder why you are so despised by so many here? You shouldn't. It is your almost gleeful willingness to post when career FDs cut staffing. Or your willingness to post ANYTHING negative towards the career fire service.
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    You are a ****twit, time and again you prove that you have no concept of the realities in firefighting. Member after member here has tried to help you see the light because they care about all firefighters, yet you have failed to take in an ounce of the advice they have been trying to give you.

    Reducing firefighting capabilities of a community because the call volume is mostly EMS is misguided thinking. Firefighting capabilities of a community should be based on the actual fire POTENTIAL of that community. Fires still happen, even with all the prevention activities done by FD's today. There may be fewer fires, but using the percents of fire vs ems can be misleading. Often these percentages used by politicians to reduce firefighting staffing don't take into account actual numbers of incidents.

    But the key to the whole equation is that FIRES STILL HAPPEN, and when fires happen most citizens expect their FD to put the fire out... Guess what, that ****ty run down project housing complex (as one example) that helps up the EMS percentage of incidents is the same fire problem with the same fireground factors requiring the same number of firefighters and resources to perform the critical fireground tasks as before staffing cuts were made because of some narrow-minding idiot saw that the fire department runs more EMS calls than fire.

    Based off of the drivel that you have continuously posted on this forum in the past, this all may be new to you... so why don't you go over to NIST's website and look at the reports they did on firefighter manpower on low-risk residential structures. If you can see past you prejudices you will notice that staffing, capabilities and staffing actually do make a difference in firefighter. Reduced firefighting capabilities equate to reduced life safety... in other words, you cut firefighters you are going to kills someone, it is just a matter of time.
    Last edited by aromania; 04-25-2011 at 01:48 AM.
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    When the LA basin has the earthquake that makes the one in Japan seem like a nudge... the folly of this "restructure" will become glaringly evident.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aromania View Post
    You are a ****twit, time and again you prove that you have no concept of the realities in firefighting. Member after member here has tried to help you see the light because they care about all firefighters, yet you have failed to take in an ounce of the advice they have been trying to give you.

    Reducing firefighting capabilities of a community because the call volume is mostly EMS is misguided thinking. Firefighting capabilities of a community should be based on the actual fire POTENTIAL of that community. Fires still happen, even with all the prevention activities done by FD's today. There may be fewer fires, but using the percents of fire vs ems can be misleading. Often these percentages used by politicians to reduce firefighting staffing don't take into account actual numbers of incidents.

    But the key to the whole equation is that FIRES STILL HAPPEN, and when fires happen most citizens expect their FD to put the fire out... Guess what, that ****ty run down project housing complex (as one example) that helps up the EMS percentage of incidents is the same fire problem with the same fireground factors requiring the same number of firefighters and resources to perform the critical fireground tasks as before staffing cuts were made because of some narrow-minding idiot saw that the fire department runs more EMS calls than fire.

    Based off of the drivel that you have continuously posted on this forum in the past, this all may be new to you... so why don't you go over to NIST's website and look at the reports they did on firefighter manpower on low-risk residential structures. If you can see past you prejudices you will notice that staffing, capabilities and staffing actually do make a difference in firefighter. Reduced firefighting capabilities equate to reduced life safety... in other words, you cut firefighters you are going to kills someone, it is just a matter of time.
    So we have X number of dollars. And the run volume is 80% EMS. Where do you think those dollars should go?

    Bottom line is LA City is dealing with a reduced and finite amount of money, and the run percentage is primarily EMS, so where would you cut resources? The EMS side?

    LA City has simply acknowledged that they are primarily an EMS agency that less than 20% of the time delivers fire suppression services, and because they have shrinking funds, the side that is not the primary function sees the reduction in funding.

    Again, for those that don't understand the changing roles of a fire department ... we are now primarily EMS agencies. There are parts of the service that get that and accept that, and there are parts that either don't or won't.

    But the key to the whole equation is that FIRES STILL HAPPEN, and when fires happen most citizens expect their FD to put the fire out... Guess what, that ****ty run down project housing complex (as one example) that helps up the EMS percentage of incidents is the same fire problem with the same fireground factors requiring the same number of firefighters and resources to perform the critical fireground tasks as before staffing cuts were made because of some narrow-minding idiot saw that the fire department runs more EMS calls than fire.

    Yes, fires still happen, but you simply accept the fact that you have fewer companies, or possibly the same number of companies, but in a longer response frame, and you do less. You take fewer chances. You go interior less often. Bottom line is most communities lose more civilians to medical emergencies than fire, so where is the logical place to cut resources, if you are forced to by simple economics, if your goal is to actually save lives? The fire side.

    Based off of the drivel that you have continuously posted on this forum in the past, this all may be new to you... so why don't you go over to NIST's website and look at the reports they did on firefighter manpower on low-risk residential structures. If you can see past you prejudices you will notice that staffing, capabilities and staffing actually do make a difference in firefighter. Reduced firefighting capabilities equate to reduced life safety... in other words, you cut firefighters you are going to kills someone, it is just a matter of time.

    See above. In most places, inadequate EMS response will kill more people ina typical year than reduced fire response. Will we lose a few more civilians with a reduced fire response? Yes. But I would doubt it would be a number that would be greater than the number that would be killed with reduced EMS capabilities. The fact is with reduced funding we often need to make choices, and EMS does more in the area of life safety than fire suppression in most areas.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-25-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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  19. #19
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Again, for those that don't understand the changing roles of a fire department ... we are now primarily EMS agencies. There are parts of the service that get that and accept that, and there are parts that either don't or won't.
    Funny, my department does NO EMS... in fact, they recently went paid (contracted) during the day.

    You don't have a clue. Once and for all, please take "educator" out of your name, I'm beggin you.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Funny, my department does NO EMS... in fact, they recently went paid (contracted) during the day.

    You don't have a clue. Once and for all, please take "educator" out of your name, I'm beggin you.
    I would dare to say that you are in the minority as most departments with career personnel run either EMS first response or EMS first response and transport.

    The fact is LA City had to cut resources, so it cut them on the side where it would have the least impact on it's delivery of services. Given that EMS was 80% of it's responses, they cut in the area of supression as it represented less than 20% of it's runs.

    To many firefighters like to bury thier heads in the sand and don't like to acknowledge that fire is no longer, in most departments, our primary role.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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