LAFD to overhaul procedures for handling 911 calls

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Updated: 2/10/2014 6:09 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Fire Department is overhauling its 911 call procedures to improve response times.

The Los Angeles Times reports that starting next year dispatchers will use a new set of streamlined questions that will help get ambulances en route seconds — even minutes — faster.

The agency's medical director, Marc Eckstein, says the current system has gotten overly complex. He says it requires dispatchers to funnel medical emergencies into one of hundreds of different categories.

In 2012, a Times investigation found the LAFD call center fell far short of a national standard that rescue units be alerted within one minute on 90 percent of 911 calls.

The newspaper found the average call processing time for medical emergencies increased significantly between 2007 and 2012.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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