In 2011 and 2012, FTC sought to validate claims made by LAFD that response times were acceptable, would improve with the new deployment plan and were accurate. FTC’s request for raw response time data followed a meeting with the City Attorney, the Fire Chief, UFLAC’s president and a group of 20 neighborhood leaders.
After five months of legal wrangling over access to the records, FTC developed spreadsheets and software to analyze the data. FTC then provided the data and analysis to KNBC’s Robert Kovacik.
As the result of FTC’s statistical analysis, KNBC broke the story of response times that were inaccurate, unacceptable and worsening. The topic then became front-page news on the LA times and on other papers for a year. The story prevented tens of millions from being stripped from the LAFD budget while starting the discussion which has resulted in the first new hiring of desperately needed firefighters in years.
Note: Criticism of response times should not be interpreted as a criticism of our heroic firefighters. In fact, it is the reverse. Firefighters come to our rescue with the resources (human and equipment) that they are given. They do so with the highest level of professionalism, without complaint and to the point of exhaustion. We thank them for everything they do.
FTC is not publishing 2007-2012 raw data as it contains information that may be restricted under HIPAA.
Issues & Rationale
- Public Safety
- Integritry of response time metrics
- There is no more important duty the city has than keeping its city safe.
- The use of false response times misleads the public and decisionmakers.
- The use of false response times provides the basis for determinations of no impacts for new projects.
- The accurate measurement of response times is mandatory for a determination of “adequate” public services per the General Plan Framework.