Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti Announces Next Steps in Agenda to Reform LAFD and Improve Response Times - FireSTATLA, Verified Data & Online Posting of Response Times

As part of his mission to reduce response times and bring new tools and technology to the fire department, Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced major new reforms being implemented at LAFD:
  • The implementation of FireSTATLA, a process that includes data analysis and regular convening of department commanders to expose problems, examine tactics, and develop solutions. The Los Angeles Police Department has used a similar system, COMPSTAT, to spur innovation and push crime down to record lows.
  • The triple-verification of LAFD’s response time data to create a solid baseline against which to track improvement. The data was analyzed by two outside experts: Palantir, a firm that specializes in analytical tools and conducting analysis of complex data systems; and Justice and Security Strategies, a firm specializing in advising public safety agencies. Their work layers on the work of the Fire Department’s new Statistical Manager, a new position created through the Garcetti Administration’s reforms.
  • The online posting of response times and the underlying raw data used by the department to calculate them on the Mayor’s open data website, data.lacity.org.

“FireStatLA is a signature element of my work to reform the fire department and reduce response times,” Mayor Garcetti said. “FireStatLA combines the experience and expertise of our firefighters with cutting edge data analysis. Combined with intensive data analysis, FireStat is aimed at increasing accountability, improving decision making and better allocating resources, with the primary goal of improving response times – which, in turn, helps us better fulfill our mission of saving lives and protecting property. My back to basics agenda is about making sure city government is focused on those services that matter most to our neighborhoods, so providing the best possible fire and paramedic service to the people of Los Angeles is at the top of our list.”

“When I authored the FireStatLA motion, I was optimistic that, if implemented, it would change the way the Fire Department communicates and allocates resources,” said Councilmember Mitch Englander, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee. “The results to date have exceeded my expectations.”

“FireStatLA is more than simply data and this is only the beginning of the effort,” said Fire Chief Terrazas. “It’s a leadership and management strategy designed to quantify and evaluate the performance of our fire and EMS units at the station, battalion, and Department level.”

“The reports that are posted and the data that are available have gone through a rigorous validation process,” said Dr. Craig Uchida of Justice and Security Strategies, who spoke at today’s press conference. “We are confident that they are accurate and reliable.”

Among the data incorporated into FireStatLA are:

  • Turnout Time: The time interval that comprises when a Fire or EMS unit is dispatched, firefighters put on their protective equipment, and the unit is en route.
  • Travel Time: The time interval that starts when the initial fire or EMS unit is en route and ends when the first unit arrives at the scene.
  • False Alarms: Tracking of false alarms, which tie up resources.
  • Multiple EMS Calls to the Same Location: Tracking of multiple calls to the same location to discover if resources are being tied up without need.

Each of the measurements undergoes a thorough analysis, including by incident type (fire or EMS), battalion average by platoon, comparison by day vs. night, comparison by station, and comparison by like battalions. More data sets and metrics will be added as FireStat is fully implemented and becomes standard operating procedure.

Raw response time data online for reporters, researchers, and L.A. residents is available at: https://data.lacity.org. More user-friendly response time information is also available at lafd.org/performance.

Reforming the Fire Department has been a key focus of Mayor Garcetti's back to basics agenda since day one. Mayor Garcetti has brought new management (including a new chief) and accountability to the department to reduce response times, increase technology, and improve its culture.