- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A new report recommends a drastic overhaul of the Los Angeles Fire Department that includes merging its 911 system with the Police Department’s and filling some 200 firefighter jobs with civilians.

The report released Monday says the department does a great job of limiting fire losses but has serious problems: a broken disciplinary system, a revolving-door chief’s job and a culture that doesn’t favor public communication or adoption of new technology.

It recommends a pilot program to use civilian ambulances, giving the fire chief a five-year contract and closing some firehouses during slow periods.

The report by a private consultant was ordered by the City Council after controversies over the department’s 911 response times.

Interim Fire Chief Jim Featherstone says he welcomes the report and already has been making changes.

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