Fire Chief Gets Grilled by Commission - NBC Southern California

Fire Chief Gets Grilled by Commission

Chief Brian Cummings addressed allegations that he misled City Council members



    LAFD Chief Defends Response Times

    Our exclusive report last month found that budget cuts have delayed LAFD response times. On Tuesday, the city's Fire Commission addressed that issue. Gordon Tokumatsu reports (Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012)

    L.A.’s fire chief admitted on Tuesday that he did not clearly communicate data about the Los Angeles Fire Department’s emergency response times to City Council members before a vote to approve the department’s deployment plan.

    But Fire Chief Brian Cummings said his department never misled city officials.

    “We didn’t communicate clearly, or as soon as was necessary, [that's] what the issue was,” Cummings said.

    The chief made his comments during a meeting of the city’s Fire Commission, which called on Cummings to address allegations that council members were deliberately misled so they’d vote for the plan.

    LAFD Response Concerns

    [LA] LAFD Response Concerns
    Several weeks ago, NBC4?s Robert Kovacik released an exclusive report detailing LAFD response time lapses after a new deployment plan was implemented. Mayor Villaraigosa and Fire Chief Brian Cummings responded, and NBCLA has further details.
    (Published Thursday, March 15, 2012)

    So, why did the fire department say it was getting to medical emergencies within five minutes nearly 80 percent of the time when, in fact, the number is closer to 60 percent?

    "There is a feeling that we deliberately misled, which I don’t believe happened," said Fire Commissioner Genethia Hudley-Hayes.

    Cummings told the commission that the calculations were erroneously based on six-minute response times, instead of five minutes, and that the 80 percent success rate was based on computer modeling projections and not real-world scenarios.

    LAFD Alert System Failing

    [LA] LAFD Alert System Failing
    First responders for LA City Fire are not getting all of the emergency notifications meant for them, fire officials told NBC 4 exclusively. One of their alert systems is failing from time to time. Beverly White reports.
    (Published Monday, March 12, 2012)

    Add those, he said, and the results can change.

    Union officials called his explanation hocus-pocus, and say firefighters from one end of the city to the other were seeing the results of cuts in everyday duty.

    "Guess what? We know exactly how fast we got on-scene back then," said Pat McOsker, president of the L.A. Firefighters Union. "Just use the data – the real data."

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