Times Investigation

Life on the line: 911 breakdowns at LAFD

Con­tro­versy over the Los Angeles Fire De­part­ment’s re­sponse times erup­ted in March 2012 after The Times re­por­ted that fire of­fi­cials ad­mit­ted pub­lish­ing in­cor­rect statistics that over­stated how fast resc­uers arrive at emer­gencies.

The Times has fol­lowed up with a series of in­vest­ig­at­ive stor­ies and a data ana­lys­is that un­covered deep-rooted prob­lems in a safety net mil­lions of Angel­enos rely on when they dial 911.

Top stories

How it started

Politics lights a fire under LAFD

Communication breakdown

Injured, ailing wait as dispatchers unable to send help

Dispatch delays

Operators fail speed standards, even in most severe cases

CPR too slow

Dispatchers waste time in life-threatening cardiac arrests

Complete coverage

Garcetti's budget adds more firefighters, overhauls 911 dispatch

Garcetti's budget adds more firefighters, overhauls 911 dispatch

Consultant's report recommends major overhaul of L.A. Fire Department

Consultant's report recommends major overhaul of L.A. Fire Department

LAFD launches overhaul of procedures for handling 911 calls

LAFD launches overhaul of procedures for handling 911 calls

Eric Garcetti appointees select new L.A. Fire Department watchdog

Eric Garcetti appointees select new L.A. Fire Department watchdog

LAFD halts popular Twitter feed, blocks access to 911 call records

LAFD halts popular Twitter feed, blocks access to 911 call records

LAFD proposes boosting ranks with budget increase

LAFD proposes boosting ranks with budget increase

LAFD's top internal watchdog removed by Garcetti appointees

LAFD's top internal watchdog removed by Garcetti appointees

Garcetti replaces LAFD Chief Cummings after 911 disclosures

Garcetti replaces LAFD Chief Cummings after 911 disclosures

L.A. Fire Chief Brian Cummings to step down, mayor says

L.A. Fire Chief Brian Cummings to step down, mayor says

City Council approves Garcetti's overhaul of board overseeing LAFD

City Council approves Garcetti's overhaul of board overseeing LAFD

Mayor Eric Garcetti revamps L.A. Fire Commission

Mayor Eric Garcetti revamps L.A. Fire Commission

New breakdowns reported in LAFD's 911 computer systems

New breakdowns reported in LAFD's 911 computer systems

LAFD chief first manager to interview with Mayor Eric Garcetti

LAFD chief first manager to interview with Mayor Eric Garcetti

LAFD Chief Brian Cummings says he wants to keep his job

LAFD Chief Brian Cummings says he wants to keep his job

Mayor Eric Garcetti asks top city managers to reapply for their jobs

Mayor Eric Garcetti asks top city managers to reapply for their jobs

Councilman calls for upgrading LAFD technology to iPad era

Councilman calls for upgrading LAFD technology to iPad era

L.A. councilman asks LAFD to report back on proposed reforms

L.A. councilman asks LAFD to report back on proposed reforms

Grand jury wants LAFD to reverse cuts, overhaul 911 call center

Grand jury wants LAFD to reverse cuts, overhaul 911 call center

L.A. Council extends LAFD plan to staff extra ambulances

L.A. Council extends LAFD plan to staff extra ambulances

Audit faults LAFD's investigation of top officials

Audit faults LAFD's investigation of top officials

LAFD chief's report slammed by city Fire Commission

LAFD chief's report slammed by city Fire Commission

City Council finds money to halt controversial LAFD staffing plan

City Council finds money to halt controversial LAFD staffing plan

LAFD chief to shift firefighters from trucks to ambulances

LAFD chief to shift firefighters from trucks to ambulances

LAFD chief to reassign many firefighters to rescue ambulances

LAFD chief to reassign many firefighters to rescue ambulances

L.A. Fire Department overhaul measures delayed

L.A. Fire Department overhaul measures delayed

L.A. Fire Department takes step toward linking 911 system to nearby systems

L.A. Fire Department takes step toward linking 911 system to nearby systems

L.A. mayoral candidate Greuel vows to expand police and fire ranks

L.A. mayoral candidate Greuel vows to expand police and fire ranks

Fire Department is the hot topic at mayoral candidates forum

Fire Department is the hot topic at mayoral candidates forum

LAFD probes 15-minute response to teen's death

LAFD probes 15-minute response to teen's death

Flawed data stall California's 911 upgrades

Flawed data stall California's 911 upgrades

L.A. county, LAFD fire chiefs discuss regional dispatch network

L.A. county, LAFD fire chiefs discuss regional dispatch network

LAFD 911 center concerns will be addressed, Villaraigosa says

LAFD 911 center concerns will be addressed, Villaraigosa says

L.A. seeks controversial overhaul at LAFD's troubled 911 call center

L.A. seeks controversial overhaul at LAFD's troubled 911 call center

Inside LAFD's new 911 dispatch center

Inside LAFD's new 911 dispatch center

The Times contributes LAFD fire stations to OpenStreetMap

The Times contributes LAFD fire stations to OpenStreetMap

L.A. fire chief blames slower response times on budget cuts

L.A. fire chief blames slower response times on budget cuts

Once on fast track, L.A. fire chief faces tough scrutiny

Once on fast track, L.A. fire chief faces tough scrutiny

LAFD looks at ways to speed up emergency response times

LAFD looks at ways to speed up emergency response times

LAFD too slow in addressing response time issues, 2 councilmen say

LAFD too slow in addressing response time issues, 2 councilmen say

More LAFD firehouses needed in hill areas, councilman says

More LAFD firehouses needed in hill areas, councilman says

L.A. Now Live: Discussion of LAFD task force report

L.A. Now Live: Discussion of LAFD task force report

Investigation of LAFD response times finds deeper flaws

Investigation of LAFD response times finds deeper flaws

Hangout: Times reporters discuss analysis of LAFD response times

Hangout: Times reporters discuss analysis of LAFD response times

Open source: Introducing Quiet L.A.

Open source: Introducing Quiet L.A.

Map:  How fast is LAFD where you live?

Map: How fast is LAFD where you live?

Medical response time lags in many pricey L.A. neighborhoods

Medical response time lags in many pricey L.A. neighborhoods

L.A. city, county officials seek review of 911 dispatches

L.A. city, county officials seek review of 911 dispatches

Delayed 911 response a matter of geography and jurisdictions

Delayed 911 response a matter of geography and jurisdictions

Case study: The line that help didn't cross

Case study: The line that help didn't cross

Explainer: Inside our 911 response time analysis

Explainer: Inside our 911 response time analysis

Years after ill-fated call, L.A. Fire Department's 911 flaws remain

Years after ill-fated call, L.A. Fire Department's 911 flaws remain

Timeline: The fitful progress of 911 at LAFD

Timeline: The fitful progress of 911 at LAFD

Officials to probe CPR delays involving LAFD 911 calls

Officials to probe CPR delays involving LAFD 911 calls

LAFD dispatchers waste time getting 911 callers to start CPR

LAFD dispatchers waste time getting 911 callers to start CPR

New task force unveiled to address LAFD response times

New task force unveiled to address LAFD response times

Expert says L.A. Fire Dept. didn't give help to fix response data

Expert says L.A. Fire Dept. didn't give help to fix response data

L.A. Fire Department's data expert steps down after less than 3 months

L.A. Fire Department's data expert steps down after less than 3 months

L.A. City Council OKs $7.2-billion budget

L.A. City Council OKs $7.2-billion budget

Audit finds LAFD takes longer on medical calls since budget cuts

Audit finds LAFD takes longer on medical calls since budget cuts

L.A. Now Live: Discussion of LAFD lagging dispatch times

L.A. Now Live: Discussion of LAFD lagging dispatch times

Dispatch lag slows LAFD call response

Dispatch lag slows LAFD call response

Restore Fire Department funding, L.A. councilman urges

Restore Fire Department funding, L.A. councilman urges

City Council committee grills L.A. fire chief

City Council committee grills L.A. fire chief

Mayor seeks new LAFD ambulances, expert to review response times

Mayor seeks new LAFD ambulances, expert to review response times

Mayor orders LAFD to release emergency response information

Mayor orders LAFD to release emergency response information

LAFD stops providing medical response updates

LAFD stops providing medical response updates

L.A. fire chief offers new explanation of response times

L.A. fire chief offers new explanation of response times

L.A. Fire Department troubles are a Beutner mayoral campaign theme

L.A. Fire Department troubles are a Beutner mayoral campaign theme

Injured and ailing people wait as dispatch problems slow LAFD

Injured and ailing people wait as dispatch problems slow LAFD

Weary L.A. firefighters speak up

Weary L.A. firefighters speak up

L.A. council members call for accurate Fire Department figures

L.A. council members call for accurate Fire Department figures

Editorial: Burned by the L.A. Fire Dept.

Editorial: Burned by the L.A. Fire Dept.

Angry Villaraigosa slams firefighter union boss

Angry Villaraigosa slams firefighter union boss

L.A. fire chief: Response-time changes should have been disclosed

L.A. fire chief: Response-time changes should have been disclosed

Politics lights a fire under LAFD

Politics lights a fire under LAFD

Advertisement

Share what you know


If you have a tip about the LAFD for Times reporters, email it to robert.lopez@latimes.com, kate.linthicum@latimes.com and ben.welsh@latimes.com