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L.A. Fire Chief Outlines Major Reorganization Plan

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In a key message delivered to the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas has outlined his formal plans to reorganize the Department's emergency services.

In January 2015, the LAFD will begin a major reorganization of the Department’s Emergency Services Bureau, creating four distinct geographic bureaus, each with a Deputy Chief reporting directly to the LAFD Chief Deputy of Emergency Operations. The objective of this landmark reorganization is for each Bureau Commander and their staff to “own” all issues within their geographic area, establishing a more effective business model than has been possible through the traditional platoon duty system.

The four bureaus, Central (at Fire Station 3 near the Civic Center), South (at the San Pedro City Hall complex), Valley (at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks) and West (at Fire Station 82 in Hollywood), will bring the Department more in line with the established organizational model now in use by the Los Angeles Police Department. Similar to the LAPD, the new four bureau system will make the LAFD more effective and responsive to the needs of those it proudly serves.

Each bureau will be commanded by a Deputy Chief. This Bureau Commander and their staff will maintain normal business hours and be held accountable for all LAFD operations taking place in their bureau. Regardless of the issue or need, the geography will not change, with local decision making and accountability taking full advantage of the new FireStatLA program.

An Assistant Chief will serve as the Assistant Bureau Commander. The existing Assistant Chiefs serving in the current South and North Divisions will remain as 24-hour emergency response units, and will act as the assistant Bureau Commanders for their respective areas. Two new Captain positions will be staffed in each bureau: a Training Support Officer and an Emergency Medical Services/Resilience Officer.

The benefits of four geographic bureaus operating during normal business hours will result in improved communications with all community stakeholders and the establishment of a comprehensive approach to community resilience, defined as the ability of a community to best utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from significant emergencies.

Personnel at your Neighborhood Fire Station will see clear benefit from this new four bureau model, with the new Bureau Offices localizing decisions that previously took place only at Headquarters. The new Bureau offices will allow timely coordination of apparatus repairs, focused training needs and scheduling, special event planning, community outreach, threat assessment, alternative deployment models and other issues that assure you receive consistent quality service from our agency.

This long overdue reorganization is an exciting time for the men and women of your LAFD. In the weeks ahead, we’ll share more detail regarding this important transformation, and the ways it will make the Los Angeles Fire Department of best service to you!

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