On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the Los Angeles County Fire Department received full support from the Board of Supervisors to place a local parcel tax measure on the March 3, 2020 ballot. The motion was co-sponsored by Board Chair and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger as well as Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn.
“L.A. County has seen a 50 percent increase in calls for emergencies. (In) my district alone, there’s a 60 percent increase in emergency medical calls,” said Supervisor Hahn. “In that same period, there is a less than five percent increase in paramedic units to respond to the calls. The problem is made worse by the aging equipment, infrastructure and tools. Firefighters and paramedics are using decades-old equipment. They break down and are costly to repair and maintain, and the Fire District’s 30-year-old 9-1-1 communication system is outdated, putting strain on those on the front lines and jeopardizing the District’s ability to respond quickly.”
During the public hearing, Fire Chief Daryl Osby, Medical Director Clayton Kazan, M.D., Assistant Fire Chief Eleni Pappas, Fire Fighter Paramedic Erin Regan, and Local 1014 president Dave Gillotte each provided statements and testified in support of the measure.
“We have not asked for anything in over 23 years, since 1997,” said Chief Osby. “I come here as a last resort to ask for your support in providing the necessary means to assist our firefighters and their mission.”
If approved by 2/3 of voters in the March 2020 election, the measure would generate $134 million for the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget, funding critical infrastructure needs and allowing for the hire of additional staffing to address significant increases in call volume.