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Villaraigosa seeks to remedy LAFD response times

A Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter is shown in this undated file photo.

March 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced moves to improve the Los Angeles Fire Department's response times.

The steps include approving the request of six more ambulances for areas most in need; critical software upgrades for the emergency alert system; an audit by the city controller of response time statistics; and the appointment of an interim director of statistical analysis and review at the LAFD.

In a letter to the L.A. City Council, Villaraigosa said he directed Fire Chief Brian Cummings Thursday to appoint Jeff Godown to that interim director role. Godown previously served as the officer in charge of the LAPD's computer statistics bureau. He will be asked to report his initial findings about the department's data analysis within 30 days.

The extra ambulances requested by the mayor would be paid for with money from the city's reserve fund.

The fire department has faced criticism in recent weeks over its use of misleading response time stats and problems with its dispatch system.