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Fire chief appears at City Hall to respond to criticism of LAFD (video)

Brian Watt/KPCC

Fire Chief Brian Cummings appeared before the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday to explain what the LAFD needs to lower response times and improve service.

Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Brian Cummings appeared before the L.A. City Council Tuesday to face criticism that the department has done little to improve response times and manage its budget. 

Cummings' two-hour appearance ended with council members giving him 60 days to report on how the LAFD expects to restore service over the next five years.

The fire department has faced months of criticism after it was revealed that their response times were calculated incorrectly. The fire chief blamed part of LAFD’s problems on money. The L.A. City Council cut the department’s budget by $89 million from 2008 to 2011. But, this year, the LAFD’s budget was back to $513 million.

“The simple answer is money," Cummings said. "If you give us money, we’ll have more technology, we’ll have more civilian support staff, we’ll have more resources in the field. You gave us a budget. We’re giving you the most effective fire department we can within that budget.”