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Why I Want the Fire Department Data
Are you following the story in the Los Angeles Times concerning the facts that the data given to their City Council on the amount of time it takes their Fire Department to respond to fires and calls for medical assistance is actually not correct? After cuts to their Department, response times have increased so that now LA Fire Department is only responding within the national standards for response times 60% of the time instead of the 90% that is the standard.
What does this have to do with Long Beach and why did the City Council approve my agenda item calling for a full data report on the Fire Department response times since severe cuts were made to the department?
Well, actually it was a coincidence that my agenda item hit the same week that the LA Times story on the LA Fire Department came out. I pushed for a report in Long Beach because I am hearing too many stories from firefighters and residents that because two Fire Stations (18 in our district and 12 in the 3rd district) have been cut in equipment and staff and daily staffing levels are down to a low of 177 firefighters -- there have been delays in responses.
Don't you think quite honestly that the Mayor and City Council would want to know the impacts of budget cuts on a department before they announce even more?
Unfortunately, the day after I asked for this data, I received the announcement that our Fire Chief, Alan Patalano has given notice of his retirement effective April 6th. Chief Patalano objected to the cuts and the proposal to take a firefighter off each engine. Maybe his retirement is a coincidence with the announcement by the Mayor that more cuts are coming.
So stay tuned. I will report the data as soon as I receive it. You can click here to read what I have requested.
Thanks for staying engaged in local government.
P.S. Please call me at 570-6932 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you call the Fire Department and you believe the amount of time they took to respond was too long.
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