There have been several articles recently that seem to question the response capability and emergency preparedness in the city of Malibu, and we would like to clarify some of these issues.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department is responsible for all emergency medical service in the city of Malibu. We have extremely capable personnel and very well established mutual aid agreements with neighboring agencies, such as the Los Angeles Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department.
On any given day, we are challenged with servicing not only the residents of the city of Malibu, but also the millions of tourists and beachgoers that come to Malibu on an annual basis. We rise to this challenge admirably; in calendar year 2003, our average response time for all emergency medical calls in the City of Malibu was 4 minutes, 11 seconds.
Each of our fire engines, as well as lifeguard response vehicles, carries an automated external defibrillator. Additionally, there are two paramedic squads in the city of Malibu, both of which carry advanced defibrillator telemetry. We also have access to numerous air squads (helicopters capable of transporting critically ill patients with paramedics on board).
As an emergency escalates, the County of Los Angeles, through the Department of Health Services, has systems in place, which would rapidly deploy necessary resources. In the event of a local disaster or a large-scale disaster, those same mechanisms become available to us not only at the county level, but also at the state and federal levels as well.
With respect to emergency preparedness issues, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, over the years, has been involved in many of the city’s programs, offering training, expertise, and other resources as necessary. We are very familiar with the programs they have in place, and together we continually look for more creative ways to enhance those programs.
While we are proud of the services we provide to the city of Malibu, rest assured we are always looking at ways to improve.
Reginald C. Lee
Assistant Fire Chief
Division VII, Central Regional Operations Bureau