This week, L.A. Fire Department Chief Brian Cummings dropped some disconcerting news: His previous assessment that the LAFD had been meeting the national standard for emergency response times was maybe not so accurate.
In fact, he said, firefighters are only arriving to the scene within 5 minutes about 60 percent of the time. (Then he enacted a media blackout on the details of all new injury-related incidents, and tried to blame it on the City Attorney. It's almost like he wants bad press.)
Since the LAFD itself is being so damn cagey...
... it looks like we'll have to rely on city activists to provide us the info we deserve. Better yet, future candidates for city government!
City Controller candidate Cary Brazeman released a "citizens audit" at the beginning of March, showing exactly how and when City Hall budget cuts had affected crucial Fire Department services.
And now, mayoral hopeful Austin Beutner has Googled up this handy map, on which residents can observe just how terrible response times have gotten in their respective neighborhoods. (So now when you're burning to death, you'll have a better idea of how long the agony will last before someone shows up to douse you! Not funny though.)
Click on your nearest fire station to get the bad news over with:
View LAFD Response Times Map in a larger map
We've got to say -- all this campaigning for the 2013 municipal election is lining up quite conveniently with the L.A. Fire Department scandal. It apparently takes a team of eager non-incumbents to do the job we're currently paying Chief Cummings $260,000 to do.