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LAFD Chief Terrazas Announces Launch of FireStatLA and Online Publication of Response Data

Thursday, October 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES –Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Mitchell Englander, and Dr. Craig Uchida, president of Justice & Security Strategies Inc., today announced the formal launch of FireStatLA and the online publication of LAFD response data.

As part of the effort to increase the use of data and quantifiable metrics throughout the Department, the LAFD’s FireStatLA Unit was created earlier this year. In May 2014, initial pilot phase FireStatLA meetings were held with battalion chiefs and station commanders and by year’s end every battalion on all three platoon-duty shifts is on track to have completed at least one FireStatLA meeting. During this pilot phase, the Department evaluates four metrics: two response time-related criteria and the location of frequent fire false alarm and emergency medical service calls in each battalion.

“FireStatLA is more than simply data and this is only the beginning of the effort,” said Chief Terrazas. “It’s a leadership and management strategy designed to quantify and evaluate the performance of our fire and EMS units at the station, battalion and Department level.”

“FireStatLA is a signature element of my work to reform the fire department and reduce response times,” Mayor Garcetti said. “FireStatLA combines the experience and expertise of our firefighters with cutting edge data analysis. Combined with intensive data analysis, FireStat is aimed at increasing accountability, improving decision making and better allocating resources, with the primary goal of improving response times – which, in turn, helps us better fulfill our mission of saving lives and protecting property. My back to basics agenda is about making sure city government is focused on those services that matter most to our neighborhoods, so providing the best possible fire and paramedic service to the people of Los Angeles is at the top of our list.”

Councilmember Englander originally introduced a motion in City Council to create FireStatLA in February 2012. “When I authored the FireStatLA motion, I was optimistic that if implemented it would change the way the Fire Department communicates and allocates resources,” said the Councilmember, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee. “The results to date have exceeded my expectations.”

The LAFD today also published a trove of response data on its website. These data are available at LAFD.org/performance and includes Citywide information, as well as response information for 102 individual LAFD neighborhood fire stations. The LAFD is one of the only fire departments in the nation now publicly offering this level of response data detail.

The response data range from January 2013 to September 2014 and were originally analyzed by the Department’s new FireStatLA unit. The times were then validated by two external organizations, Palo-Alto, Calif.,-based consultancy Palantir and Dr. Craig Uchida’s team at JSS. This triple validation was performed in order to ensure the accuracy of the methodology and parameters used to obtain response data results.

“The reports that are posted and the data that are available have gone through a rigorous validation process,” said Dr. Uchida. “We are confident that they are accurate and reliable.”

Additionally, the raw data used to calculate these parameters have been posted to the City’s Open Data website at data.lacity.org. More than 2.1 million individual response records from January 2013 to September 2014 have been posted to the site in a spreadsheet format that will allow the data to be downloaded and processed by the public.

The calculated response data on LAFD.org will be updated monthly, while the raw data spreadsheet will be updated quarterly.

Chief Terrazas added: “As we move forward, I am confident that the use of data in these ways will be a critical tool as we constantly evaluate and continually strive to improve the Los Angeles Fire Department.”

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