Fire Chief Brian Cummings on Tuesday announced the formation of a task force to analyze the department's response time data.
The 11-member Task Force on Information and Data Analysis is aimed at restoring the LAFD's reputation in the wake of a scandal that erupted this spring, when department officials admitted presenting inaccurate data to City Council members in 2011 as they made decisions to cut the department's budget and re-deploy fire trucks and ambulances.
"This task force provides an excellent opportunity for the LAFD to refine its process for presenting clear, consistent and easily understood information regarding our response times, as well as establishing measurements and benchmarks for all that we do,'' Cummings said.
The IDA will include data experts from the RAND Corp., the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as sworn and civilian LAFD members. The task force will be charged with analyzing and validating the department's raw data, including response times and developing separate systems to share LAFD data with fire department members and the public.
Cummings named LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler to head the task force. Butler lost the chief's job to Cummings, though he was the top candidate recommended last year by a group of advisers to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, including Fire Commission President Genethia Hudley-Hayes and Fire Commissioner Alan Skobin.
Hudley-Hayes called the creation of the task force "an important step forward in both rebuilding public trust and using data as an effective management tool."
She applauded Cummings for the make-up of the panel, which has already held one meeting to create a strategic plan and divide into two committees -- one focused on data interpretation and accuracy and another on performance measures.