Saturday, June 16, 2012


Most Fire Departments divide their coverage areas in different ways.  The LAFD does it in a common military way. We start with Divisions. In each Division, we have several Battalions. In each Battalion, we have several Fire Stations.

After my probationary period ended, I was assigned to Fire Station 6 in Battalion 11.  Battalion 11 is also the general area in which I grew up.  I was assigned to Fire station 6, then 29, then 11, then 13, and finally at my current assignment, Fire Station 20.  Other than a total of about 27 months here and there, all of my time on the Department was in Battalion 11.

Today was my last day in Battalion 11.  I finally got a transfer out. If you've read my Blog, I wrote that my mother was bedridden and I took care of her. Working near her house and within the coverage boundaries of Fire Station 20 made it easier for me to care for her.

After she passed away this year, I decided to move on. This Battalion is busy, and I'm getting older. It's getting harder and harder to recover from all the calls we get at night. So I believe I chose a Station where I will not get beat up too much.

This past year, 2 other long time members of Fire Station 20 also left. One due to his retirement, and the other due to budget cuts.  Each of them signed their names on the underside of the dining bench with the time they got there, to the day they left.

I had to check on the date I got there. January 13, 2002.  Funny how numbers pop up in your life.  My mother passed away on January 13, 2012, 10 years later.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


On my Blog post dated November 22, 2009, I wrote about how a young girl died when she lost control of her car and crashed. There was one passenger in the car, and we never knew what became of her, whether she lived or died. She was conscious and talking, but you never know what happens after they go to the hospital.

 Today must have been the driver's birthday or some other special day. Her cousin, family and or friends came by and had a candlelight vigil for her. I went over and told them that we were the ones who were first on scene and tried to save the people in the car. They asked me several questions about how she was when we found her. I told them that she looked peaceful, not in pain or shock, that she looked like she was sleeping with her eyes open. One of them said she often slept with her eyes open. 

I also told them that she probably died right then and did not suffer. They seemed relieved. I was told that her friend made it, though I did not ask her condition, if she had any on going physical issues or not. Her cousin cried while I spoke to her, and said this was the first time she has met anyone who was a first responder. I gave her a hug.

I think she felt some closure. In some ways, I did too.