The Changing Role of LA's Fire Department

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The work of Los Angeles' Fire Department is changing. Fire prevention and building codes have been so successful that 80% of 911 calls these days are for medical emergencies. Yet the department has less than 500 paramedics out of a staff of 2800. A recent tragedy dramatized the shortage as a mother was recruited to help keep her infant alive when one of the two paramedics sent to the scene had to drive. A member of a Bel Air homeowner association faults policies it says fail to keep the department responsive to "true emergencies". The LA Fire Department Chief, a County emergency administrator, and veteran paramedic explain how the city is trying to cope.
  • Newsmaker: Yesterday's failure of air-traffic control computers delayed and cancelled hundreds of flights all over the Southwest US, leaving thousands of travelers frustrated and angry. The Public Affairs Officer for the Federal Aviation Administration promises that there will be no more problems as new software is customized to better handle air traffic.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Emperor Hirohito was not a military puppet but an active aggressor in Japan's violent expansionism, says American historian Herbert Bix. His Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan reveals the deception cultivated by the Japanese and American governments to shore up Japan during reconstruction and ensure that it would be an American ally throughout the Cold War.



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton