Expert Calls LAFD Response Time Data Untrustworthy

Expert Calls LAFD Response Time Data Untrustworthy

News May 16, 2012

May 16--An expert hired to overhaul the Los Angeles Fire Department's emergency response time data collection method told the civilian Fire Commission Tuesday that the current system is flawed and data on response times cannot be trusted.

Jeffrey Godown, a recognized expert in developing computer response tracking systems, said he has been unable to reconcile the times reported by the LAFD's newest system installed in 2009.

"If we can't get the response times right, we're going to have issues as far as credibility," said Godown, who previously worked with the Los Angeles Police Department's CompStat crime tracking system. "Right now, we have to fix the response time issues and that's what I'm extremely concerned about."

The findings were contained in a draft report prepared by Godown for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as he continues to work on developing an LAFD version of the LAPD's CompStat program.

However, the department cannot develop a CompStat-like system, in which the fire chief can assign firefighters and equipment based on community needs, without accurate data on response times, according to Godown's report.

The LAFD's dispatch system and data analysis software produce different response times, according to the report.

The discrepancies were a matter of seconds rather than minutes, Godown told the commission.

The commission named its newest member, Alan Skobin, to serve as a liaison with Godown. Skobin has experience with the CompStat program from his years as a Police Commission member and is familiar with the problems that can develop.

The issue of LAFD response times developed over the past several months, with complaints over the department's failure to meet national standards of responding to calls within five minutes.

Councilman Mitch Englander, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said the initial findings by Godown create concern.

Continue Reading

"His findings validate what my concerns were that the department was not providing accurate figures," Englander said. "The thing is, that this is not just about numbers. My concern is we don't have a dialogue between the people downtown and those in the field."

Pat McOsker, president of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, said he remains skeptical of Godown's work.

"From what I've heard, we might as well have a minister of propaganda for the mayor," McOsker said. "The mayor has a real vested interest in reporting response times. We've had three chiefs in three years."

Godown said he believes the LAFD needs to hire one person who can oversee all the numbers developed by the department to assure the public it is responding promptly to emergencies.

rick.orlov@dailynews.com

213-978-0390

twitter.com/rickorlov

Copyright 2012 - Daily News, Los Angeles

Source
Daily News, Los Angeles
Rick Orlov
State troopers rendered aid before turning them over to responding EMS units and New Castle County Paramedics.
Three people were fatally shot and at least 21 others were wounded in separate attacks from Saturday morning to early Sunday.
Crestline Coach attended the Eighth Annual Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership conference on June 8 to publicly sign the “Mission: Zero” charter on behalf of the organization, its employees and their families.
ImageTrend, Inc. announced the winners of the 2017 Hooley Awards, which recognize those who are serving in a new or innovative way to meet the needs of their organization, including developing programs or solutions to benefit providers, administrators, or the community.
Firefighters trained with the local hospital in a drill involving a chemical spill, practicing a decontamination process and setting up a mass casualty tent for patient treatment.
Many oppose officials nationwide who propose limiting Narcan treatment on patients who overdose multiple times to save city dollars, saying it's their job to save lives, not to play God.
While it's unclear what exact substance they were exposed to while treating a patient for cardiac arrest, two paramedics, an EMT and a fire chief were observed at a hospital after experiencing high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and mood changes.
After a forest fire broke out, students, residents and nursing home residents were evacuated and treated for light smoke inhalation before police started allowing people to return to their buildings.
AAA’s Stars of Life program celebrates the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession.
Forthcoming events across the country will provide a forum for questions and ideas
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has released its 2016 Annual Report summarizing HCOHSEM’s challenges, operations and key accomplishments during the past year.
Patients living in rural areas can wait up to 30 minutes on average for EMS to arrive, whereas suburban or urban residents will wait up to an average of seven minutes.
Tony Spadaro immediately started performing CPR on his wife, Donna, when she went into cardiac arrest, contributing to her survival coupled with the quick response of the local EMS team, who administered an AED shock to restore her heartbeat.
Sunstar Paramedics’ clinical services department and employee Stephen Glatstein received statewide awards.