LAFD Aims to Improve Patient Care

LAFD Aims to Improve Patient Care

Los Angeles fire officials recently launched an effort to improve patient care among their medics, requiring that serious issues be reported to regulators daily.

Battalion Chief Daniel R. McCarthy informed his employees at the department’s 104 firehouses that they have an obligation to report problems, as they happen, to both regional and state authorities for investigation.

Why the Crackdown?

In a Times investigation issued earlier this month, issues with paramedics were reportedly overlooked and there were findings of lesser-trained emergency personnel in Los Angeles.

The report cited instances when problems were never passed on to independent regulators when patients were harmed or died.

The newspaper also found that the LAFD had also not reported any of the 30 paramedics that had been suspended since the state cracked down on the requirements about two years ago.

Dr. Mark Eckstein explains that officials should be notified when paramedics or EMT’s are given days off, fired for medical negligence, performance of medical procedures without proper authority and mistreatment of patients or criminal convictions.


In an interview conducted last Tuesday, Eckstein claimed he now receives daily reports on illegal investigations and disciplinary actions. However, the Times found 13 cases in which he was unaware of alleged wrongful deaths, including three that led to settlements of thousands of dollars.

One of these cases included a Hollywood grandmother’s death from pneumonia after being diagnosed with the flu by paramedics who then concluded that she didn’t need to be taken to the hospital.

Although fire departments and ambulance companies are held responsible for identifying their patient care failures to regulators, according to the Times report and other evidence, this doesn’t seem to be routinely occurring, as it should.


Have you or someone you love been harmed because of medical negligence or a fire department error? Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney about getting compensation for your losses.

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