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L.A. City Council considers shutting down ambulances [Updated]

March 9, 2010 | 11:28 am

The Los Angeles City Council plans to vote Tuesday on deactivating 10 rescue ambulances around the city during nighttime hours, which is when those stations historically have the least number of calls.

[Updated at 12:42 p.m.: Councilmembers delayed a decision on whether to reduce ambulance services. They asked the Fire Department to provide more analysis of how much slower response times would be in outlying areas of the city.]

The locations of the ambulances that could be shut down. By reassigning those 60 firefighters attached to the ambulances, the move could save as much as $23 million next fiscal year when the city's deficit could grow to as much as $600 million.

Fire officials have emphasized that there will still be a firetruck with life-saving equipment at each of the affected stations with firefighters capable of responding to heart attacks and other emergencies. The ambulances slated for closure handle an average of 3.5 calls daily, according to city officials.

But a number of council members are worried about slower response times and are exploring whether the department should instead reassign a number of "staff assistants" to the city's fire chiefs.

-- Maeve Reston at LA City Hall

Photo: L.A. Times file

Map: The locations of the ambulances that could be shut down. Credit: Google Maps