Mayor Garcetti Unveils Los Angeles Fire Department Innovations to Improve Emergency Response, Patient Care

An outgrowth of FireStat L.A. data analysis, Nurse Practitioner Response Unit is among new initiatives to help Angelenos receive focused medical assistance — while enabling Fire Department to deploy resources more efficiently.

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Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the unveiling of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Nurse Practitioner Response Unit (NPRU), the latest innovation to grow from the FireStat L.A. data collection and analysis system. Launched last year to help track and improve the Fire Department’s performance, FireStat L.A. has helped the LAFD better evaluate its work, and continue reducing response times despite a 14% increase in requests for assistance since 2013.

“Our residents need and deserve a swift, proper response to calls for help,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Nurse Practitioner Response Unit is an exciting innovation that will allow us to quickly assess a patient’s condition, connect them to qualified medical professionals for focused care, and preserve the availability of resources that the brave men and women of the LAFD need for effective, timely emergency response. These are the kind of smart, data-driven innovations I envisioned when we launched FireStat L.A., and I am proud of the Department’s progress.”

The Mayor made the announcement at Fire Station 64 in South Los Angeles, where he was joined by L.A. City Council members Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mitchell Englander, Bob Blumenfield, and LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.

Staffed by a firefighter/paramedic and a nurse practitioner, the NPRU will be anchored in Fire Station 64, which has responded to the second-highest number of calls in the city this year. The NPRU is an innovative program that aims to address the needs of those who most frequently utilize Emergency Medical Services by providing direct, efficient on-scene care.

“I enthusiastically support LAFD in taking an innovative approach to providing better support to our population of high users that utilize emergency services frequently,” said Councilmember Harris-Dawson, who represents the district where Fire Station 64 is located. “NPRU will allow us to better serve all residents and provide critical care while freeing up our firefighters and paramedics to provide faster service that require additional resources.”

“With nearly 350,000 EMS calls coming into LAFD each year and the number of emergency room beds failing to keep pace, this Nurse Practitioner pilot program will provide service for those who need on-site treatment and assessment,” said Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, who introduced the motion with Councilmember Paul Krekorian in February of this year. “This is the first critical step to an efficient coordinated response to address both superusers and individuals with minor health care needs.”

“Los Angeles has entered a new era of leadership on innovative approaches to governance,” Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said. “With FireStat and our new Nurse Practitioner Unit, which I was proud to push forward as among the very first projects funded by our City Innovation Fund, we are finding new ways to efficiently direct resources and services to the people and communities who need them most.”

“The new LAFD Nurse Practitioner units are a practical, common sense solution to help assess underserved patients and guide them into primary and follow up care instead of leaving their fate up to a revolving door of 911 calls and trips to the emergency room,” said Councilmember Joe Buscaino.

FireStat L.A. has helped the LAFD make a number of innovations to increase the Department’s capacity to serve Los Angeles. Those advancements include deployment of a Fast Response Vehicle (FRV), a quad-cab pickup truck/brush patrol that functions as both a fire suppression vehicle and first-response Advanced Life Support unit; and a Tiered Dispatch System (TDS), which enables rapid dispatch of resources for 911 calls that involve time-critical emergencies.

Despite the 14% increase in call loads since 2013, there have been improvements in response time — including a 16-second improvement in call processing times, and at least five seconds of improvement in turnout time.

"Over the past two years, we have seen our annual call volume increase dramatically and the majority of those calls are for Emergency Medical Services. As our call volume has risen nearly 14% in the past two years, our response times have remained nearly constant,” said LAFD Chief Terrazas. “I am proud to announce that the Nurse Practitioner Response Unit will help the LAFD continue to innovate and save lives. The NPRU pilot program can provide more expansive care options than our typical rescue ambulances, and most importantly, can free up other LAFD resources to remain available for emergency calls. This is a game-changer for Los Angeles and a direct result of Mayor Garcetti's vision for the LAFD to become a more metrically driven department for all Angelenos.”