Expert: LAFD Response Time Data Untrustworthy

Tracking systems expert says data collection method is flawed.


 
 

The Daily News of Los Angeles | | Friday, May 18, 2012


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.

"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.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Fire Department, response times

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

British Medics Bid Farewell to Afghanistan Base

Medical team and troops leave Camp Bastion.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crash at Wichita Airport

Small plane crashes into airport safety building.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Authorities Investigate Firefighters at Arizona EMS Call

Confrontation caught on video involving Glendale firefighters.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Radio Problems for New York Medics

Medic’s radio failed during a call with an armed patient.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >