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L.A. Now Live: Where you live may matter for LAFD's 911 response

October 22, 2012 |  8:15 am

A Los Angeles Times analysis of more than 1 million Los Angeles Fire Department responses showed that 911 callers within a quarter mile of the city border are nearly 50% more likely to wait more than 10 minutes for rescue crews to arrive.

Times reporter Robert Lopez and database producer Ben Welsh will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. to discuss their most recent findings in their ongoing investigation into LAFD's 911 response times.

According to their article, Los Angeles' city and county fire agencies agreed in 1979 to link their dispatching operations to save lives and cut costs. But a Times analysis of more than 1 million LAFD responses over the last five years shows the agency rarely reaches across jurisdictional lines for county help.

In the case of Stephanie Hooks, who lived in South Los Angeles, dispatchers alerted paramedics at a city station nearly 3 miles away. It took them more than 10 minutes to arrive.

More than a mile closer, just across the city border, rescuers at a Los Angeles County Fire Department station sat idle, unaware of the unfolding emergency, county records show.

Attorney Reginald P. Mason is suing the city on behalf of the family, claiming the response "seemed like an eternity" and contributed to Hooks' death. The family also alleges that paramedics did not do enough to treat Hooks once they arrived. The city denies the allegations, and a trial is scheduled for January.