Hermosa Beach votes to contract with LACoFD

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LAflyer

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After more than 107 years of service, the Hermosa Beach Fire Department will soon be no more.

Starting January 2018, fire services in Hermosa Beach will be provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. In a decision described as both difficult and historic, the City Council voted 5-0 at its meeting to contract with the county.

In explaining their move, council members cited the evolving responsibilities of fire departments, ongoing staffing challenges and the multiplicity of services offered by L.A. County Fire, one of the largest departments in the country. And while they acknowledged concerns about what giving up the independent department could mean, they were unanimous in their belief that the county represented a superior option going forward.

“The county provides a higher level of service, a deeper pool of resources, a deeper pool of personnel,” said Mayor Justin Massey.

Under the county option, the Hermosa Beach fire station will remain at its existing location, with units deployed from there. The county will continue to honor aid agreements with surrounding cities.



Hermosa Beach approves county takeover of Fire Department

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Per County presentation, they intend to staff Hermosa with 1 Paramedic Assessment Engine and 1 Paramedic Squad.
 

allend

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Its just like when Lynwood Fire got absorded and La Habra Fire too. Pomona Fire was another good one too.

I bet the rest of the surrounding agencies are chomping at the bit to get absorbed into LACOFD.
 

PaulNDaOC

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Its just like when Lynwood Fire got absorded and La Habra Fire too. Pomona Fire was another good one too.

I bet the rest of the surrounding agencies are chomping at the bit to get absorbed into LACOFD.
Good is a matter of perspective. I think County Fire is subsidizing certain contract cities in order to empire build and taking the money out of the fire districts budget.

La Habra receives close to $12m in service but only pays just over $7m. For example only 25% of the cost of 193's is paid for by the city with the district footing the rest, and there is more.

Inglewood has 6 paramedics in the city per day but only pays for 3.5 and half of LF170.

And Pomona is not paying for all LF185, nor any of Squad 101, which runs 1/2 their calls in the city.

These contract city deals are tailored so the city can't refuse.

Hermosa is getting a 20% break on the squad.

Just food for thought, and my humble opinion.

BTW The Hermosa annexation should be complete by November.
 

Markb

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Probably similar to what OCFA is doing. Irvine is taking it in the shorts.
 

Kingscup

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I am wondering if this is more cost sharing than subsidizing. You guys know more about LACoFD and it's station locations etc then me but if I was a mayor of a city where one of my engines/squads was responding to a majority of their calls outside the city limits because they are the closest resource, I would be a little mad that I am paying the full cost of that. I would want the county to kick in some money to help pay for all calls outside the city limits.
 

LAflyer

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Keep in mind, the philosophy county fire uses to allocate assigned resources is largely predicated on borderless response system whereby the closest unit regardless of jurisdiction boundary is allocated.

Yes this might mean units in a particular city might respond outside city limits regularly, but likewise, county can bring in much-added resources to benefit a city when required.

From my experience, the county is also good at moving up resources to backfill stations, particularly in contract cities if those units are anticipated out of service on calls for an extended period.
 

Kingscup

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Keep in mind, the philosophy county fire uses to allocate assigned resources is largely predicated on borderless response system whereby the closest unit regardless of jurisdiction boundary is allocated.

Yes this might mean units in a particular city might respond outside city limits regularly, but likewise, county can bring in much-added resources to benefit a city when required.

From my experience, the county is also good at moving up resources to backfill stations, particularly in contract cities if those units are anticipated out of service on calls for an extended period.
I can understand that but city officials don't always understand that. When a city unit runs into the county 2000 times a year because of their location and the county unit runs into the city 150 times a year, some city officials don't think that is fair and sometimes wants compensation for it.

I know of a city engine that responds to a majority of another cities calls due to dropped boundaries and the original city is irritated by that because they feel they are subsidizing another cities fire service. It is not being reciprocated due to the location of the second cities fire station.

I can see why Inglewood shouldn't pay for the full cost of LF170 when they respond to calls outside the city. LF170 is more of a regional piece of apparatus that is used by several jurisdictions(?) because of a lack of quint/truck companies. Everyone pitches in. This is just an example.

I don't think cities are worried about a few dollars here and there but when hundreds of thousand or millions of dollars, cities take notice. They want to be apart of the regional system but they don't want to be ripped off either. I can see both sides of this.
 

PaulNDaOC

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I am wondering if this is more cost sharing than subsidizing. You guys know more about LACoFD and it's station locations etc then me but if I was a mayor of a city where one of my engines/squads was responding to a majority of their calls outside the city limits because they are the closest resource, I would be a little mad that I am paying the full cost of that. I would want the county to kick in some money to help pay for all calls outside the city limits.
In my book this a lot of empire building subsidies generously flowing to contract cities served by this agency..

Fire gets away with this having a huge, hard to understand budget with very few details shared with the public, with spending practices than are never looked at by the county auditor, and a website with zip in the way of transparency. .

The following examples will perhaps be more meaningful to other readers that are local.

There is no justification for the District to fund 75% of 193's. They aren't even used as a move-up to the district to cover drills. I really doubt tha, the fact that t this Engine is that beneficial. None of their first-in is in the District and they seldom respond there. Also district pays for the one FF position on E191's, huh? and when the contract was renewed at the same terms 194's was a freebie because of station constructions,, that cost is ,long ove, but not accounted for.

About 15 yrs ago when Fire submitted their first proposal,, it actually called for less staffing in La Habra at a cost over what La Habra was budgeting for their municipal fire at the time.

You have to wonder., when that offer gets rejected, and the next proposal has even more coverage, and a lover pricetag (Thanks to district taxpayers) what is really going on here.

The La Habra contract as well as other pay for service cities will see the getting a break on equipment that supposedly will benefit the district. (No problem to me). Not one Irecovers the cost for district resoures directly benefiting the city, for example Quint/truck service into La Habra, S101 spending about half their calls on runs in Pomona.

Some of the cost shares are very apprpriate and a lot are not, such as up until January the district subsidizing half of LF170, and part of Q159 and Q160, all adjacent to each other. What part of the County Fire area needs three trucks next to each other, and the district lis sharing the cost in a district area that never needed even one right there before contract cities came along. This is clearly done to cut the costs for the cities and resources in district stations fall ie: 41's, 14's, 49's.


In Inglewood there are 3 squads of which the district funds half of of Sq 172 and 173, and a quarter of 172's. I have looked at how often these squads respond respond into the district, it's about 6 times of day at the most. This doesn't take into account 18's answering EMS calls in Inglewood, and other district resources that also do so. A few runs a day does not justify the district subsidizing 41% of the cost of paramedic service there.

This is made possible by cities like La Mirada, Cerritos, paying a lot more in than they receive back (while getting a lower level of service too) .For example La Mirada pays about $11M into the district annually, but is getting back less than $8m in service back. LM also experiencing some of the longest squad response times or first-in company arrival times in district urban areas.. (I observed one call that took 22 mins to get a squad on scene. Contract cities fare much better and have the added bonus of every engine or quint being paramedic-assessment, which is not the case at most district stations..

The La Habra deal ls clearly one that was redone to put into play the level of service that would woo the city over, lower the cost, no matter the cost to district taxpayers.

These are just some of my observations, which all have been taken from official documents.

There is much more.
 
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PaulNDaOC

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In support of what Kingscup said in an earlier comment, apparently, LA County does understand the concept of paying for large inequities when it comes to independent fire agencies.

This being the case with San Marino, they will now being paying for each time San Marino's EMS unit responds to 5's areas.

Here is the agreement: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/112309.pdf

Politics play into these inequities too. The more political areas have better levels of service.,

As for LF170, there were already trucks at two stations next to 170's, at 162's and 159's.

A third truck was not needed at 170's, but would be called for somewhere in Inglewood. Part of packaging a deal that lowered costs for Inglewood fire expenditures was to still deploy the truck at 170's in the form of a LF, then claim direct district benefit, cutting the cost for the city down to of an engine company with three persons, and looking great to the city because they were getting six more bodies inside the city at half the cost.

Fire can tell the Board of Supervisors he district benefits (how ccould they possible know any better) even though 214's was closed and the LF would take longer to arrive than the service provided by 214's. I don't see the benefit, when trucks at 162's and 159's were already being subsidized.

Just my opinion, but I think this goes well beyond the well accepted practice of boundary drops.
 
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scottyhetzel

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Temple city Sta. 47 squad use to handle this area of east pas. and AMR would transport. Also on the map it show San marino covering north west part of temple city?? How long has San Marino been covering east Pasadena county area?
 

PaulNDaOC

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Temple city Sta. 47 squad use to handle this area of east pas. and AMR would transport. Also on the map it show San marino covering north west part of temple city?? How long has San Marino been covering east Pasadena county area?
47's is still the first-in squad, this comes into play when S47 and maybe even S167 is unavailable I'm not sure how CAD is set up for 5's. .After those two squads its a long roll from 90's, 11's, or 32's.
 

LAflyer

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LA County will take at 8am on December 30th.

Hermosa Beach station will be #100 equipped with a single engine along with paramedic squad.

Separately, the city retained it medical transport rights and contracted directly with McCormick for those.
 
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