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LA aims to save $3.2 million with fire department 911 center overhaul



Close up of a fire engine.
Close up of a fire engine.
Phil Thomas/Flickr/Creative Commons

Los Angeles officials are considering an overhaul of the Fire Department's 911 system that could save millions in overtime costs.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the city council and Fire Chief Brian Cummings are backing a plan to switch emergency dispatchers from 24-hour shifts to 8-hour shifts.

The Los Angeles Times says that could save an estimated $3.2 million a year in overtime costs and cut the number of dispatch center call takers by up to 40 percent.

However, critics are worried that there might not be enough dispatchers to handle disasters and large-scale emergencies. The department already has been criticized for having slow response times.

The mayor and other officials are scheduled to discuss the proposal Tuesday and the change could take effect next month.