Los Angels Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilman Bill Rosendahl were on hand at LAX Thursday to break ground for a more than $13 million fire station. The state-of-the-art facility will offer 27,500 square feet of space for 14 firefighers scheduled to be on-hand 24 hours a day.
The feds kicked in nearly $11 million of the cost with stimulus funds, and the structure is set to open next year. But we wonder where the mayor and council are going to find the men and women to staff the thing, since they've severely cut back Los Angeles Fire Department staffing.
The city started shutting down entire fire stations in August, at the early end of fire season, in order to save money. The result is that a rescue crew that used to live near you in order to go into action should the worst happen is sometimes not there. As a result of these station “brown outs” you'll have to rely on a farther fire station for service on some days. (The city fire union has a list of stations that are unmanned each day).
“The new Fire Station 80 at LAX will improve our readiness for an emergency
at the airport, clear the way for further airport modernization, and
provide jobs to help revive our local economy,” said Mayor Villaraigosa.
We're sure LAX's gleaming new fire station 80 will be well-staffed, likely with the help of federal funds. But we're just making a point that while city leaders are posing for cameras, acting as pro-firefighter till death, parts of Los Angeles are perilously distant from the nearest city rescue crews.