The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, today, will consider a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn to place a special parcel tax on the March 3 ballot for fire protection and 911 upgrades.
The proposed measure would impose an annual 6 cents per square foot in areas where the Los Angeles County Fire Department provides
“Today, more funding is needed to hire and train additional firefighter/paramedics and replace aging safety gear, communications tools and lifesaving rescue equipment,” the motion said.
It cited increased demand for emergency medical services over the past decade, while climate change has resulted in more fast-moving, extreme wildfires.
“However, there has not been a commensurate increase in additional firefighters or paramedics to meet these increasing needs,” the motion said.
According to the motion, local fighter and paramedics are using decades-old equipment, including 20-year-old fire engines and rescue vehicles that break down frequently and are costly to repair and maintain.
In addition, the 30-year-old 911 communications system is incompatible with modern wireless and digital systems, which poses challenges for paramedics who need to communicate directly with emergency rooms, while transporting patients, and does not provide GPS mapping, a critical tool to reduce response times.
“Up-to-date equipment is needed, including thermal image cameras used to locate and rescue children, the elderly and people with disabilities who are particularly vulnerable during fires, floods and earthquakes,” the motion said.
The Board of supervisors meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple St. in downtown Los Angeles.
Antelope Valley residents can watch the proceedings and testify via a video-conferencing hook-up in the Anna Davis Community Room at the Lancaster Library, 601 West Lancaster Blvd.