What a load of crap. The union and the mayor in a liars contest. There is no magic number for response. It should be a soon as safely possible. There is no oversight and no one is keeping the timekeepers honest over a matter of minutes. If you start to play the game of minutes you get slower driving, stopping before in the middle of intersections and not declaring arrival any more accurately than a doctor pronouncing time of death. Until the firemen decide they can not possibly use any more overtime money they will always be saying they need more (too expensive to hire and train, impossible to layoff) firemen or overtime hours. Hell, even when you have all firemen making over $200,000 a year they will still be juicing response times. And for all this the public is receiving nothing of value. The vast majority of the calls are nuisance calls anyway. Low velocity car crashes where no one could possible be really hurt. Fat elderly women who have fallen and can't get up. Little Johnny not feeling well, can you take him to the ER because we do not have insurance and are to stupid and lazy to take him to a clinic in the morning. For all the reasons LA is a cesspool, this is the poster-boy, and the press, with a slow news cycle, is running with it.
Sean, et al -If any agency responds to medical emergencies, then the caller is the one who determines the need. The chance that the one time you decide NOT to respond, that is the time someone dies, and litigation ensues. In fact, you've hit on a really important point related to our first responders in general: self entitlement is rampant in Los Angeles. "Don't reduce MY service, but stop servicing those I don't care about or understand." Really? Overtime in the the LAFD is not like overtime in your civilian job. And, these days, there is very little overtime regardless of what the media stories or the self entitled public may believe. Most firefighters (yes, we have talented women in the fire service, too) train daily to serve the public, including you and your family... The myriad of cultural and political issues that make up a complex community like LA cannot be explained away by 60 point IQ rants. The public receives a lot of value from both police and fire. The point being made by both the Department and labor is that is you push things too far (budget cuts), it will be firefighters who are injured, killed, or stressed to the point of failure. And while each party has their own agenda, and the firefight union has a lot of money and media momentum, the net issue is ensuring that everyone,mregardless of where they live, or what they earn, is protected. If anyone were to ask he NFPA about the five minute "target" for 90% of emergency responses, they would likely agree that the smallest and largest communities wouldmhavemthe biggest challenge meeting that objective. LA covers 470 square miles, and there are only 990 firefighters on duty at any time to protect 4 million people.