Mayoral Candidate and Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel visited the crew at Los Angeles Fire Department Station 12 on Friday afternoon and promised to prioritize their needs if she is elected in May.
"The mayor needs to understand the needs of the Los Angeles Fire Department," said Greuel, who was seated at a dinner table surrounded by firefighters and cadets.
In April of 2012, LAFD Chief Brian Cummings told the Los Angeles City Council that increased response times were the fault of budget cuts ordered three years ago.
On Friday, Greuel said if she was elected, she would demand that Police and Fire Chiefs be up front about the potential impact of budget cuts.
"Rather than just making due with whatever the city gives them, I want police chiefs and fire chiefs to be frank about what's going to happen if we make cuts," she said.
Greuel also spoke about several specific department issues. She said she was opposed to hiring civilians to work the LAFD's dispatch desk.
"When somebody is working the dispatch desk, you want it to be somebody who has been through the same thing as you," Greuel said.
Additionally, Greuel said she also opposed a plan backed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Cummings to do away with 24-hour shifts at the department's dispatch center with 8-hour shifts in an effort to save money.
"Eight hour shifts is not the way I would go," Greuel said, noting that the change in shifts would reduce the number of firefighters on call in the case of a major emergency.
Greuel told the firefighters she would be their "champion" in city hall.
"I'm not saying I'm going to find a hidden bag of money to fund the fire department," Greuel said. "But, I'm going to prioritize the Fire Department."
Greuel one among a crowded field of mayoral candidates, including Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Councilwoman Jan Perry and Radio Host Kevin James.
Garcetti recently earned the endorsement of the the Northeast Democratic Club.