The current Los Angeles Fire Chief, Brian Cummings, will retire in February, Mayor Eric Garcetti just announced. The mayor appointed James Featherstone as acting chief starting on Nov. 1. Featherstone, a former LAFD captain, is head of the city's Emergency Management Department. Garcetti's office said he will that Featherstone will go back to that job after a permanent fire chief is found. The LAFD has been controversial lately over response times and how to make cutbacks, and there was speculation that Cummings would not survive the new mayor's screening of department heads. “I thank Chief Cummings for his service to Los Angeles. My agenda for the Fire Department is focused on reducing response times, improving technology, to make sure we’re prepared for every emergency," Garcetti said in a statement.
* Added statement from Cummings:
Effective November 1, 2013 the Mayor will be appointing an Interim Fire Chief. Following a period of transition, I will retire from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Serving those who, live, work and play in Los Angeles is an extremely rewarding experience. It is a profound honor to work with and lead you incredible men and women of the LAFD. Every day, responding to over 1,100 calls for service, you make a positive difference in the lives of so many Angelinos. LAFD employees and volunteers have risen to the multiple challenges of increased workload, decreased funding, staff reductions, fewer apparatus and aging equipment. All the while, you continue to provide world class public safety, save lives and protect property. I could not be more proud of what you accomplish each day.
I remain committed to the on-going success of this great Department. I will retire confident that Los Angeles’ strong support of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Fire Department will afford the continued provision of service befitting the City of Angels. Be well and be safe."
LA Observed file photo