The L.A. Fire Department has been criticized recently for its response times, or at least the way it reports them, not to mention occasional firefighter shenanigans that include allegations last year that LAFD rigs were used as backdrops in two porn videos.
The latest scandal?
A "Firehouse Burlesque Hula Hooping" YouTube video (after the jump), filmed at ...
... Venice's Fire Station 63.
The vid depicts a woman demonstrating what the locally based Hoopnotica retailer describes as "the hottest new fitness movement- a high cardio workout program that is so much fun, that it is taking the world by storm."
It's a little sexy. And firefighters watch. Okay.
At today's L.A. City Council meeting member Dennis Zine was critical of the video, saying:
What ever's happening over there at 63 needs to stop. ... They're professional firefighters and what's happening on the video ... is not acceptable.
Battalion Chief Armando Hogan told the Weekly:
Our Professional Standards Division is investigating the matter.
We reached out to Hoopnotica for comment but had yet to hear back. The company seemed to be gloating over the attention on its Facebook page, even posting a photo of a TV news van outside its Venice location.
The company states:
So thankful we have a chance to defend our local firefighters. These guys are a few blocks away and the nicest guys. Hooping compared to porn, this is crazy.
Nobody's comparing "hooping" to porn. It's just being noted that in the wake of last year's LAFD porn scandal, this happened.
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[Update at 3:28 p.m.]: Here's a response sent to us this afternoon by Hoopnotica's CEO, Melissa Palmer:
Hoopnotica is a Venice based Fitness company just blocks away from Fire House 63. They are a mainstay of our local community. Some of the Hoopers from our office were out taking pics of our newest Hoop collection and stopped into the Fire Station to say hello, at which point they shot this video and some pictures.
... What could be more innocent than reminding people to get out and stay active? In this we did so by interacting with a few heroes of our local community.
We stand by these guys 100% and appreciate all that they give back to our community.