Investigative Report Shows Los Angeles Fire-911 Emergency Response Times Lag, Increasing Deaths


Fox 11 is exposing Los Angeles City Council’s ineptness and continuing to cause people to lose their lives. It’s not the COVID, vaccine or fentanyl deaths. It’s the slow response time of emergency services. Little of this is the fault 911 operators or EMTs.

FOX 11 News spent three years communicating with multiple LAFD paramedics. Some of them were willing to appear on camera, but we asked that they keep their identities private in order to avoid retaliation. Others were background sources that provided crucial information. All of them agreed that the truth is what the public should know.

“The truth is that you don’t have the ambulance or EMS service you think you do. Ambulances arrive from greater distances. One LAFD paramedic says that it takes longer and longer for emergency responders to arrive. The longer it takes, you have a lower chance of getting a positive outcome.

The bottom line is that you will need to contact the City of Angels if you have an emergency. It’s worse if you live in an area with high crime and low income. Los Angeles Fire Department serves just shy of 4 million people. This does not include tourists who are, astonishingly, still very common despite rising crime, homelessness, and graft. There are only 106 fire stations in the department, so an average 24-hour shift might see at least 30 calls.

Basic infrastructure is also lacking at many stations, such as a telephone exchange. The longer response times are due to the inability of many stations to have actual ambulances. A Pico-Union station, located near Downtown Los Angeles may need to respond to a Baldwin Hills call. Baldwin Hills is close to the Los Angeles International Airport. On a good day, that’s about 6.1 miles and 17 mins. Los Angeles traffic is always chaotic.

Firefighter paramedics often travel from downtown LA to West Side; from Pacific Palisades South Central to South Central, and from DTLA San Pedro.

One paramedic said that they were talking about “moving the fire engine over here and doing that.” You will often see multiple ambulances outside hospitals. Paramedics can’t leave the hospital until they have transported a patient to the ER. Hospitals are often understaffed so paramedics may be left there for hours.

LAFD staffing has been declining. I wonder why? Burnout is certainly a factor. Is there anything else that could have contributed to this dramatic decline in staff?

In 2021, the City Council passed the COVID vaccine mandate.

LAFD and LAPD officers protested this mandate and even sued the city. The case was lost by the city, and many of them took early retirement to move to more friendly climes (Hello Florida) to continue their work. Others chose to remain on leave while they await an administrative discharge. Los Angeles was also notorious for refusing religious and medical exemptions or slow-rolling them. According to an LAFD spokesperson, nine of the 335 employees seeking exemptions were granted.

“Our staffing levels are decreasing over the years. The call volume has increased more than twice. From about 1000 calls per day when I started, we now receive around 2,000 calls per day. The number of fire stations in the area has not increased,” stated the LAFD Paramedic.

On February 4, the city approved all religious and medical exemptions filed by employees to the vaccine mandate. This policy will also apply to employees who were denied exemptions or who are on leave.

However, people are losing their lives because of the City Council’s self inflicted wound. Fox 11 was able to hear the story of one woman:

Carin Bannos dialed 911 to let her husband Michael Davis (51 years old) know that an ambulance was on the way.

Bannos said, “I was very, very anxious. I kept running from one house to another, back to my house, and back to my street so they wouldn’t miss my house.” She knew that the Los Angeles Fire Department was coming. Bannos and her 9 year-old son panicked as the clock ticked and there was still no ambulance.

“My son screamed, ‘Where is they?’ He ran through the house screaming, Why can’t they save me? Bannos asked, “Why isn’t anyone here?”

Phyllis Patterson, a neighbor next door, was there with the family about 15 minutes after the 911 call.

Patterson said that one of the men said to me, “I’m so sorry,” and I replied, “Why did it take so much?”

Michael Davis died while waiting for the ambulance. He had suffered a cardiac arrest.

According to fire fighters interviewed, Ms. Bannos’ tragic story is just one of many that the public doesn’t hear about.

He said, “It happens every single day.” It’s not something you guys hear about. It’s not something we make public, but it is there on a regular basis. The average response time should take between three and four minutes. If you are lucky, it might take 10 minutes. Fiveteen is the average, while 20 is the norm.

But Huzzah! The Mayor Karen Bass opened the two-million dollar Peace and Healing Centers in the city.

“So many Los Angeles communities were denied progress and opportunity, and these same communities now suffer the highest rates poverty, pollution, and violence,” stated Capri Maddox, Executive Director of LA Civil Rights. They are also primarily communities of colour. Peace & Healing Centers can be one way to begin to heal this harm. They work with trusted community partners and create public spaces for economic, social and environmental healing.

Eight community-based organizations were chosen to operate Peace & Healing Centers within nine REPAIR Zones. This stands for Reforms for Equity & Public Acknowledgement Institutional Racism. Half of Angelenos are living in poverty in REPAIR Zones, which have the most pollution and the most overcrowded housing. Nearly 87% of those living in REPAIR Zones belong to people of color.

The Fox11 series is three-part, so expect more horror stories from the LAFD officers. Remember that while Nury Martinez (District 6) was the former Pacoima (District 1) City Councilwoman, Gil Cedillo was the District 1 Councilmember, and Kevin de Leon, the current District 14 Councilman, were vilifying Los Angeles citizens and fighting for their share of the re-distribution pie. However, it is clear that they didn’t care about how their stupid policies and inattention to LAFD infrastructure were affecting minority constituents, possibly leading to their deaths.

Don’t be fooled by newly minted Democrat Socialist Council critters Hugo Soto Martinez (District 13,) and Eunisses Hernandez, (District 1,), who don’t care one wit.

Los Angeles Fire Department and the city are both in terrible condition. The citizens of Los Angeles are left to clean up the mess.