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Fire Station 58 Update

SORO NC and LAFD Community Meeting
Community meeting:

SORO NC General Board Meeting with LAFD Leadership
to discuss their new deployment plan

Thursday, May 19th
7:00pm / Hamilton High School Cafeteria
(map)
 
LA has one of the best Fire Departments in the country and the community is justly concerned about LAFD's proposed changes to Station 58 equipment and staffing. After talking with the LAFD leadership, this is what we know:

Current situation

Station 58 is the 14th busiest in Los Angeles. Right now, Station 58 has four pieces of equipment, organized into three teams:
  • Light Force 58, which has six staff, a hook and ladder truck, and a water pumper,
  • Engine 58, which has four staff and a second pump,
  • Advanced Life Support (ALS) 58, which has two paramedics and an ambulance.

In response to budget cuts in 2009, the LAFD instituted a Modified Coverage Plan (MCP) that shuts down different parts of the station each month. The MCP is still in place.

So right now, during each 27 day period we only have a full complement of twelve staff on duty for twelve days; it goes down to eight staff for six days (when they shut down the Engine); and finally down to six staff for nine days (when they shut down the Light Force). Not ideal.

The new plan

The proposal for Station 58 keeps it open every day. The Station is not closing. They will move the hook-and-ladder to another station, upgrade the Engine team by swapping in a paramedic/firefighter, and put the remaining pump and an additional ambulance in "ready reserve" at the Station. That means we'll have a permanent staff of six (with one more paramedic), instead of the six to twelve rotating Firefighters we have now.

The LAFD leadership feels this is a better plan than the MCP they're under now. Among the benefits are that city-wide, Firefighters will no longer be continually moved from station to station and locally, we'll have a stable team again. LAFD does not plan any furloughs or lay-offs.

Additionally, the Battalion Command Team will move closer to us (to Fire Station 68 on Washington Blvd., 2.5 miles away).

The next closest Fire Station that serves the SORO area is Station 92 on Pico. They were similarly staffed. The plan calls for eliminating their Engine company and placing it in ready reserve (taking their staffing down to eight).

If the two Stations were fully staffed (as it would have been pre-2009), we would have two Light Forces, two Engines, and two ALS ambulances. With the new plan, we'll have one Light Force, one Engine, and two ALS ambulances between them.

Projected impact

Station 58 fields 15.8 calls a day. 13 of those are medical-related; the rest are a mix of gas leaks, people stuck in elevators, actual fires, etc. The new plan for Station 58 places more emphasis on medical response and less on fire fighting, and the extra paramedic should help in that regard. The Engine company is still very able to fight fires, of course.

The extra ready reserve pump and ambulance can be activated in emergency situations, although with some delay.

One of the biggest concerns is that a ladder truck does have specialty equipment, including am extending aerial ladder, chain saws for ventilating smoke from roofs, and the jaws of life. Calls that require a ladder truck would be dispatched from one of the nearby stations:
  • Station 92 on Pico (Century City) - 2.6 miles
  • Station 61 on 3rd St (Fairfax) - 3.6 miles
  • Station 94 on Coliseum (Baldwin Hills) - 4.1 miles
  • Station 29  on Wilshire (Hancock Park) - 4.6 miles
  • Station 26 on S. Western (West Adams) - 4.7 miles

However, LAFD projects that even though we are losing the ladder truck and one pump, response times should be better for us across the board than under the current brown-out plan. They point out that its common now for them to dispatch units from other stations when our team is out on calls or when there is a larger fire.

 
LAFD Projected response times for SORO area (in minutes)


Response Medical: Basic Medical: Paramedic Medical: Ambulance Fire: Engine Fire: Light Force
Full Staffing 4:55 / 78% 5:26 / 91% 5:42 / 95% 4:08 / 91% 5:20 / 96%
MCP (current) 4:57 / 76% 5:30 / 90% 5:47 / 94% 4:13 / 89% 5:40 / 94%
New Plan (projected) 4:57 / 77% 5:18 / 93% 5:46 / 94% 4:11 / 90% 5:31 / 96%

The chart shows average response times and how often they hit or beat that time. Of course, the times shown in the bottom row are only projections.

With the pending high-rise developments in Century City, the need for ladder trucks in our area will certainly increase.

Decision process

The proposed plan comes from Chief Peaks and his team, not the City Council. It's based on their analysis of a million calls over the last three years (download an informational brochure from LAFD). They used a computerized system called ADAM to determine which areas of the City needed which resources. You can see some of that analysis at the LAFD website

They estimate that the plan would save $55 million a year, mainly through staff attrition. The City Council, of course, sets the LAFD's budget. The Council LAFD budget discussion will happen on Wednesday, May 18.

When we asked the LAFD leadership if—regardless of budget—they preferred the new plan to the current MCP with its station brown-outs, they said yes. Individual Firefighters and their Union may disagree.

What you can do

It's important that our Council Members and the Mayor know how we feel before they discuss cuts to the LAFD budget on the 18th.

Similarly, the LAFD needs to understand how we feel about their deployment plan. As noted above, at the request of Council Member Koretz, SORO NC will host the LAFD leadership on Thursday, May 19th at its General Board meeting. We encourage you to attend and ask questions. You can also contact their Public Information Officer, Captain Jaime Moore, at (213) 978-3824 or via email at jaime.moore@lacity.org.

The Station itself will hold an open house on Sunday, May 15 from 9am to 1pm.
 

Should LA ban single-use plastic bags?

This Wednesday, November 10, the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council Green Team Committee will have an open discussion of a proposed citywide ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic bags in the County and City of Los Angeles. The Green Team has invited prominent spokespersons both for, and against, the ban. After the discussion, the public will consider a motion to recommend that the SORO NC Board either support or object to the motion pending before the Los Angeles City Council to ban single-use plastic bags. It is important to attend this meeting because this issue could impact the City for decades to come.

The agenda and meeting details are at right.

Contact Paula Waxman, Green Team Committee Co-chair at paulawaxman@soronc.org.

2010 Peace Picnic

Join us Sunday, October 10 between 1-4 pm at the Robertson Recreation Center (map) for the Fifth Annual Peace Picnic.

This free family event celebrates the United Nations' International Day of Peace. There will be a free buffet picnic lunch (until 2pm), live music, fun activities, arts and crafts for the kids and more! (We recommend bringing a blanket to sit on.)

Visit the Picnic's website to learn more.

Lawn Watering Rules Changed

The City's Water Conservation Ordinance now allows you to water up to three days per week. If your street address ends with an odd number—1, 3, 5, 7 or 9—you can use your sprinkler system on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If your address ends in an even number—0, 2, 4, 6, or 8—you can use your sprinkler system on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. (If your address ends in a fraction, just drop it and use the whole number. For example, for 4321½, treat it like 4321.)

Normal spray head sprinklers and bubblers can water up to 8 minutes per day. Rotors and multi-stream rotary heads are allowed 15 minutes per cycle and up to two cycles per day. You can hand-water using garden hoses fitted with shut-off nozzles any day of the week.

No matter what type of watering you do, you must water before 9:00am or after 4:00pm.

Some rules haven't changed: you still can't hose down driveways and sidewalks, you have to fix all water leaks, and you can only use hoses fitted with shut-off nozzles.

For more information, visit the LADWP water conservation website or call them at 213-367-0771.

Emergency Community Meeting with the LAPD

Thursday, May 13

7pm – 9pm
Shenandoah Elementary School
2450 Shenandoah Street, Los Angeles 90034

(map)

Following the double homicide in the 1900 block of Corning Street on 5/5/10, SORO NC is organizing an emergency community meeting with West Los Angeles Police Department and Councilmember Herb Wesson from Los Angeles City Council District 10 to allow you, the immediately affected community, an opportunity to speak with Captain Evangelyn Nathan, LAPD and Councilmember Wesson about the incident and your concerns for public safety in the area.

Please attend this important community event so that you can hear directly from LAPD and we can hear directly from you.

There will be a Spanish language translator and help with childcare available at the meeting. Please join us so we can hear your voice.

Download the informational flyer in English and Spanish.

Update on the May 5 homicide

Following the homicide in South Robertson on May 5, SORO NC is working closely with West LA Police Department and CD 10 to keep the community informed. Click to download an update from Captain Evangelyn Nathan of West LAPD from Friday, May 7 in both English and Spanish. The flyer is also being distributed throughout the immediate neighborhood.

SORO NC is currently organizing a community meeting for residents to speak directly with the LAPD. Further information will be posted here.

Expo Line: Phase 2 Environmental Impact Report

The Expo Line—with a soon-to-be-built station at Venice and National—will trigger enormous and important changes in our southern area. As Phase 1 nears completion, the final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for Phase 2 has been released. (Download the shorter Executive Summary or the entire FEIR).

On Thursday, February 4 at 10am, the Exposition Construction Authority's Board of Directors will consider certifying the FEIR. If approved, the next phase (extending the line to Santa Monica) will continue with more detailed design and broader community outreach.

It's important that your voice be heard in this process. Whether you support the FEIR recommendations or have concerns, please consider attending the hearing at Kenneth Hahn Hall downtown and/or writing a letter to the Board Chair, our own District 10 Councilmember Herb Wesson:

The Honorable Herb Wesson, Chair
Exposition Construction Authority
707 Wilshire Boulevard, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

(District 5 Councilmember Paul Koretz is on the Board, too, and can be reached at the same address.)

You can also email the Board of Directors directly. Now is the time to speak up.

More details on the hearing, including location address, can be found in the meeting flyer.

2009 Susan Bursk Award winner: Susan Strick

The Susan Bursk Award is presented each year to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods Community. This year's winner was Susan Strick for her outstanding service as both a private citizen and as a Neighborhood Prosecutor in the City Attorney's office.

SORO NC will be publicly recognizing Susan and all the 2009 nominees at the August General Board meeting:

  • Carmen Dominguez
  • Doug Fitzsimmons
  • Susan Gans
  • Gary Garcia
  • Rabbi Kanefsky
  • Penny Mehra
  • Cynthia Ojeda
  • Jane Rogers
  • Daniel Rojo
  • Baila Romm
  • Marjan Safinia

We're deeply grateful for the work all the nominees have done within SORO, and congratulate them on their nominations.

12th Annual SoRo Community Festival

The 12th Annual SoRo Community Festival will take place on Sunday, June 7, 2009 from 12:00 noon to 5 pm. The Festival is located on South Robertson Boulevard, between Cattaraugus and Beverlywood St. (just north of Hamilton High School).

The goals of the SoRo Community Festival are to build bridges amongst our neighbors, local businesses and public service organizations and to celebrate the cultural diversity of our community. The Festival will include ethnic, vegetarian and kosher foods, a live music stage and lots of exciting artist and vendor booths. Plus, tons of activities for kids of all ages at Camp SoRo. There is no admission fee. Street parking is available.

Festival Music Line Up


12:00 - 12:45   |   Island Rhythms (Caribbean Steel Drum Band)
12:45 - 1:10   |   Rock Theatre (Live Dance & Vocal Performance)
1:15 - 1:30   |   Susan Bursk Founder's Award Presentation
1:30 - 2:00   |   Santa Monica Oceanaires (A Cappella Men's Chorus)
2:00 - 2:30   |   Pat Gorman (Country/Folk Singer/Songwriter)
2:30 - 3:15   |   Hamilton High School Jazz Ensemble (Directed by John Hamilton)
3:15 - 3:40   |   Rock Theatre (Live Dance & Vocal Performance)
3:45 - 5:00   |   Westside Crew (Top 40/Latin Soul)
Master of Ceremonies: Michael Cladis
Sound Master: John Lackner

Please check out the PSA on YouTube, which highlights the SoRo Festival in detail. You can also download a printable PDF of the Festival's music line up.

UPDATE: This year's festival was huge success. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to pull it all together, particularly our friends at SORO, Inc.

Introducing SORO Walks at 7

Starting this summer, SORO NC invites you to join the neighborhood as we launch SORO Walks at 7.

This isn't a one-time event: every evening at 7pm, neighbors and residents are encouraged to get out and walk. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, meet new friends and spend time with old ones. SORO Walks at 7 is the perfect chance to get the exercise we all need, spend quality time with those you love and enjoy our beautiful neighborhood.

Together we can build a stronger, safer, healthier and more connected community. One walk at a time.