LOS ANGELES - On Feb. 25, 2014, the Los Angeles City Controller’s Office released a report detailing the City’s overtime, bonus and healthcare expenses.
The report correctly notes that sworn LAFD personnel “routinely require extended hours,” and the Department’s “constant staffing” model requires emergency response job vacancies be filled. In other words, if an individual calls in sick or is on scheduled vacation, another qualified Department member must be hired to fill that position. Filling this daily vacancy often requires the Department to pay overtime to an individual to fill the position.
The constant staffing model ensures that the public receives the consistent, high quality fire and emergency medical services that they expect and deserve on a daily basis. The Department is poised to respond to a wide-variety of emergency situations and is often called upon to staff additional resources in order to provide the required protection to the City and the public.
On Jan. 27, 2014, for the first time in five years, with the support of the Mayor and the City Council, the Los Angeles Fire Department enrolled a new class of firefighter recruits. This first recruit class represents a positive step in the effort to close the permanent vacancy gap created by ongoing attrition, as approximately 10 Department members retire per month.
According to the Department’s Member Tracking System, since July 1, 2008, the LAFD has seen 726 sworn members depart its ranks. It is expected that while routine vacancies will continue to occur, the ongoing hiring of new firefighters will help alleviate the need for such significant reliance on overtime staffing