I spent the day at City Hall today as the city council voted on the LAFD Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Deployment Plan that would make major at
As we expected, the new plan was passed overwhelmingly.
Councilman presented a motion asking for full He spoke passionately several times about the fact that we are an isolated community that is a high brush fire zone. and the city council need to consider that the current construction on the 405 Freeway at Sunset Boulevard, and the sewer construction on PCH, along with the upcoming Santa Monica incline construction all cause major traffic gridlock and will hamper response time to the Palisades that could endanger lives.
The bad news is that only two city councilmembers voted against the proposal. Councilman Rosendahl was one.
The good news is that city council did vote that this will not be a permanent cut. And any concession from the (they are expecting $7 million) would go right back into restoring service. The chief said he would be happy to negotiate with the councilman when they were off the council floor for a return of some of our men.
As for the Jaws of Life, there is some good news. Pacific Palisades City Council brought to the fire department's attention at our meeting on Friday that when we are at 50 percent staffing, which will be on many days with this new plan, the Jaws of Life will just sit in our station with the hook and ladder truck because there won't be enough manpower to run it.
Chief Richmond told me today that the LAFD realized this was indeed a serious concern. They are now planning to go to the fire foundation that often gives them funds for special items and get money to buy a battery-run Jaws of Life that can be used on an engine. We will always have enough men for an engine.
In addition, the city council is ordering Chief Peaks to report back to them every quarter on how the plan is working so that it can be re-evaluated if necessary. So, if necessary, we can go back to City Hall every three months and plead our case.
Editor's Note: The Los Angeles Fire Department’s $54 million budget shortfall and fire deployment plan has been the mostof Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year and on Wednesday, an amended version of the plan was approved by the Los Angeles City Council.
The amended fire deployment plan will still eliminate one division and two battalion offices, 11 engine companies and seven light forces while upgrading 10 fire companies to paramedic companies, but will keep the framework of the current department and allow the LAFD to add manpower and resources if additional moneys become available.
“We have no longer permanently deleted those resources and we have added paramedic resources,” Eric Garcetti, L.A. city council president, told the council.
Fire Engine 69 housed at Fire Station 69 at 15045 Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades is one of the engines that will close as part of the department’s deployment plan.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who voted against the deployment, reiterated his complaints at Wednesday’s meeting that reduced resources at Station 69 in Pacific Palisades would threaten safety in his district. Rosendahl told the city council that the reason he has taken a strong position against the LAFD 2011-2012 deployment plan is because of the geographical location of Pacific Palisades as well as construction along PCH and Sunset Boulevard.
“To get into the Palisades there is only two ways,” Rosendahl said. “God forbid that we need the Jaws of Life and that we need to save a structure and people’s lives and can’t get a truck there fast enough. That’s the big issue, it’s a matter of timing . . . we are already the most gridlocked district in the city . . . we have 200,000 cars going into Santa Monica every day that totally paralyze my district.”
Rosendahl put forth a motion, which was approved unanimously, to ask Caltrans and the City of Santa Monica for help fund Fire Station 69 to keep current staffing levels since their construction projects would impact LAFD response time to Pacific Palisades. Also, Rosendahl introduced another amendment to the deployment plan, which will direct the fire department to seek additional funding to keep Station 69 at its current staffing levels.
To watch Rosendahl's impassioned speech, click play on the video attached to the article.
To learn more about the Pacific Palisades Community Council click here.