'LA has outgrown its fire department': LAFD's 4K personnel struggle to serve population of 4M

The Los Angeles Fire Department has less than 4,000 personnel servicing the city of Los Angeles, which has a population of 4 million.

"It’s clear to see, Los Angeles has outgrown its fire department," an LAFD Paramedic told FOX 11. 

FOX 11 interviewed multiple paramedics who said the department needs more fire stations, ambulances, medical supplies, and more personnel. They say the lack of resources is slowing down emergency response times. 

"This didn't happen overnight, back in 2007, the fire department was decimated. We removed 318 positions, didn't hire one individual for five years," said Freddy Escobar, President of the United Firefighters of LA City.  


"I came on in May of 1989, we were averaging 500 calls a day," he said. "Today, we average approximately 2,000 calls a day and we have fewer fire stations and fewer members today than we did 33 plus years ago."

Due to a staff shortage, firefighters and paramedics have at times, been forced to work overtime for long extended periods. 

"They're working 5, 7, 10 days in a row without any relief because we didn't have the staffing that this city should represent. So, I understand their frustration," said Escobar. 

LA City Councilwoman Traci Park, who represents the 11th District, was surprised to learn of all the issues paramedics are faced with.

She said, "I think the failure to keep pace with the growth of our city, is a legitimate question and we have got to fix it now."   

Park vows to do everything in her power to make sure the LAFD has the resources it needs.