LA firefighters protest budget cuts at City Council

Dozens of Los Angeles city firefighters converged on City Hall this morning. They protested L.A.’s plans to shut down some fire engines and ambulances on a rotating basis. The plans are designed to help the Fire Department cut more than $50 million from its budget.

Pat McOsker of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City predicted the effects of that plan on L.A.’s emergency services.

UFLAC President Pat McOsker: "Every day in Los Angeles, firefighters and paramedics get there in the nick of time to save lives. We go on about 1,300 emergencies a day in Los Angeles. When they close down 10 percent of our resources, ambulances, and fire trucks, we won’t be getting there in the nick of time nearly as often and people will get killed. And I say this not just on speculation but because we’ve been through it before."

The service cuts are scheduled to begin Thursday. The firefighters union has offered to defer some payments for the rest of this month to delay the cuts while it negotiates further with the city. The L.A. City Council is considering that proposal.