Paramedics of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) are once again speaking out against their management and department, citing a citywide problem that affects public safety. They are raising concerns about the shortage of ambulances, citing a critical emergency call made on April 21, 2023.
According to reports, two 4-year-old brothers were found in cardiac arrest after being discovered in their family pool in Porter Ranch. Although Engine 8 was dispatched within a minute and a paramedic arrived at the scene in four minutes, Station 8 did not have a rescue ambulance. The next closest fire station with an ambulance was Station 107, which was already attending to an emergency in a different district.
Despite a fire engine arriving within six minutes, the lack of an ambulance meant that the children had to wait 14 minutes for the first ambulance to arrive and 15 minutes for the second. This delay has been criticized by paramedics, who claim that this delay is unacceptable and could have dire consequences for patients in critical conditions.
LAFD paramedics have voiced their frustration over the shortage of ambulances, stating that they have been requesting ambulances at every fire station for years but have been told that call volume is not high enough. They claim that this delay in response times is a regular occurrence, and the situation is not being adequately addressed by management.
The LAFD has acknowledged the incident, calling it a tragic event, and stating that it is the strategy of the department to staff Firefighter Paramedics on resources other than Rescue Ambulances. They argue that putting a paramedic, the highest level of medical authority outside of a hospital setting, on as many resources as possible ensures that they maximize their efforts to save lives.
Despite this statement, paramedics remain unconvinced and are calling for better management practices and more forceful advocacy for the true needs of the department. They claim that the situation is not improving, and patients’ lives are being put at risk.
This tragic incident follows a similar case where a mother was killed, and her six-year-old daughter was critically injured on April 25th when a truck driver hit them as they were walking in the Mid-Wilshire district. The shortage of ambulances continues to be a significant issue for the LAFD and is a matter that needs to be addressed to ensure public safety.