September 16, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dozens of Los Angeles firefighters will be reassigned from fire engines to ambulances as the agency deals with a sharp increase in emergency medical calls.
Fire Chief Brian Cummings announced the reassignments Tuesday, saying the reassignments are necessary as firefighters' primary workload shifts away from fighting fires.
The Los Angeles Times finds medical emergencies account for more than 80 percent of 911 responses.
Labor groups representing firefighters and department commanders decried the change, warning it would put firefighters at greater risk.
The newspaper says the chief's plan, which takes effect May 5, would reassign about 60 firefighters citywide to ambulances.
The Fire Department has been criticized for months over its 911 response times.
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