Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday he had asked Fire Department Chief Engineer Brian Cummings to step aside.

Garcetti said he'd grown frustrated with problems tracking emergency response times and the slow adoption of new technology.

"This is a life and death department," Garcetti said.

"One in which response times matter, and I've not seen enough movement there."

Cummings will be temporarily replaced by the head of the City's Emergency Management Department and will officially retire in February, 2014.

-- Eric Leonard in Downtown L.A. (@leonardfiles)