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LA Fire Department response time lags after budget strain

An LAFD paramedic vehicle is seen here at the Avenue 19 maintenance facility in downtown.
An LAFD paramedic vehicle is seen here at the Avenue 19 maintenance facility in downtown. Collin Robinson/KPCC

Following changes to its deployment plan to save the city money, the L.A. Fire Department's emergency response times appear to be up and further away from its goals, according to an NBC LA report.

Under the new deployment plan, four ambulances and 18 fire companies have been shut down for good. When the new deployment plan was put in place last July, the department found it was able to respond within five minutes of a call about 63 percent of the time, according to documents obtained by the station. Its goal was to be able to meet the five minute mark at least 90 percent of the time.

Now, fire officials find they're able to respond within five minutes of a call less than 60 percent of the time. For the majority (90 percent) of calls, it takes LAFD an average of seven minutes and 24 seconds to reach their destination.

"That means somewhere in the array, if you look closely enough, there are 10 and 12 minute responses, which is unacceptable," former LAFD Commissioner Tom Curry told NBC LA.

Between July and November 2011, the longest response time occured on Sept. 20, when emergency responders got to a call at South Hillcrest Drive in a little over 44 minutes. 

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