Los Angeles Fire Department spends Federal Grant money on Employee Physicals rather then Protecting the Public.
Los Angeles. We all know we are suppose to be in a budget crisis and the motion to be proposed to all council members includes a study of implementing reserve firefighters to supplement not replace our existing workforce in the LAFD.
“Without acting on this council could be setting the city up for potential litigation and liability because they will be made aware of a method to increase public safety and not acting on it could be potentially disastrous” said a prominent Los Angeles attorney.
What we have uncovered is just how many of them might need replacing and what they used Federal Grant money for. Despite having one of the best medical plans in the City, the Los Angeles Fire Department chose to spend $ in a federal grant to fund not training reserve firefighters, but instead Medical Exams. Despite the State and Federal law which already mandates Physical’s for commercial drivers, they spent this money to learn that some of la’s finest weren’t fine at all. “From the EKG reviews, 92 members received heart scans and 40 received non-invasive angiography.”
It is safe to assume the Los Angeles Police Department aren’t alone in putting away the doughnuts. Having unfit firefighters presents a liability to the City of Los Angeles and a serious risk to the public. Management should have been aware of the health and fitness of it’s employees. Spending this money when 100% of the employees already had medical insurance covering the physical exams is shameful. But it is just another example of the LAFD misspending money in order to keep it’s empire alive.
Daily news reported that “a recently retired LAFD captain said the staffing system needs to be overhauled.”
After weeks of analysis LA City Workers.com analysts have concluded that the strategic use of Reserve Firefighters would immediately result in:
- Overall Decrease in response times with 10 percent more resources available.
- Decreased workload at all fire stations.
- Increased number of resources available for Mutual Aid Strike Teams.
- Increased number of resources for mandatory company training
- No Fire Stations browned out.
- Increased number of resources available for Natural Disasters, response to terrorist attacks, and major events such as train derailments.
- Increased number of resources available for pre-deployment and move-up coverage.
What’s the downside you might ask? Money, Reserve firefighters taken into account result in a substantial loss to the nearly $80 Million, yes nearly $80,000,000.00 the department rewards it’s employees with. Training isn’t an issue because the LAFD would do the training so anyone telling you they wouldn’t be as well trained would be deflecting the real issue greed.
Equipment, it is also an interesting Federal Grant request the LAFD has made since fire stations are browned out new equipment would only collect dust, the real lack of interest comes from the refusal to allow reserve firefighters into it’s rank to protect the golden overtime goose. One firefighter boasted “I make almost as much as the Chief in overtime”. Overtime is only used when a department is understaffed; this only goes to boost the theory that Reserve firefighters are essential in maintaining public safety and increasing our protection against the dangers of terrorism and natural disasters but in life saving emergency response. Take everything that the fire chief said about the need for more funding and replace that with reserve firefighters it all pays off with a huge budget boost, federal grants to pay for the training instead of the equipment, and the saving of human life and property.
Is the LAFD putting their Overtime money before your life?
A young boy in Bel Air paid dearly to keep the fire personnel coffers bulging. Ask the 3 year old boys parents whose little boy passed away, his entire life in front of him, tragically drowned in the family pool as firefighters were responding elsewhere the browned out fire station unable to respond in an appropriate time this browned out fire station cost him his life because firefighters want to keep all of that overtime lottery cash instead of allowing Reserve Firefighters to protect our communities and save lives this priority is pretty clear now.
LAFD response time goal 5 minutes, response time for this incident due to brownout was over 11 Minutes, result Death of a 3 year old boy. Had reserve paramedics been on staff the life of this little boy could have been saved and countless others, so before you run to support your fire department in front of council you had better know the truth, the truth is they don’t care about you as much as they care about their overtime bonanza. Staffing cuts are not based on how much people pay in taxes either, clearly the Bel Air and Pacific Palisades area with the limited stations they have contribute far more to the tax base then other areas of the city yet they are shorted on how much in service they receive per capita.
Los Angeles firefighters average Six times more overtime than Chicago FD
Los Angeles firefighters average Five times more overtime than Houston FD
Los Angeles firefighters average Twice the Overtime of San Diego – a city that has roughly the same ratio of firefighters-to-residents as Los Angeles.
1,176 Employees in the LAFD earn over 100,000.00 in base pay alone.
Firefighters are brave, and we support them we believe that the Los Angeles Fire Department is the best in the world, but you might not know that According to the USFA’s Firefighter Fatalities Report in the United States in 2005, ” heart attacks ” are the most frequent cause of death for firefighters.