(October 1, 2019) – Earlier today, Mike sent the following letter to neighbors affected by the recent Palisades Fire and Getty Fire.
With flames lapping around them, they stood on rooftops, armed with hoses. With rocks raining down on them, they scaled steep ridges. In the face of blazing heat and sooty air, they worked, with hardly any rest, for days on end.
Those are our firefighters — the heroic men and women from the Los Angeles Fire Department and partner agencies, who put their lives in harm’s way to make sure we averted total disaster in the Getty Fire this week, and in the Palisades Fire the week before. Some of them remain in our neighborhoods, extinguishing embers and tending to perimeters. Others moved on, again without much rest, to battle the next fire, in Simi Valley and beyond.
Those are our firefighters. Over the past several weeks, their work has been superlative. While a dozen homes were destroyed and a half dozen others damaged, they saved thousands of homes, and more importantly, thousands of lives. Recent investments in personnel, equipment, and technology paid off, as firefighters took to the ground and to the air, doing their best work.
Those are our firefighters — men and women from the LAFD, from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, from CAL FIRE, from local agencies throughout the state responding to calls for mutual aid, and from inmates making just dollars a day. Many people are asking how best to thank these heroes.
There are several ways.
- Say Thank You. Literally, thank a firefighter, in person. Buy them a cup of coffee. When things calm down, stop by your location station and thank them in person. Leave a note, or deliver a card from your kids.
- Make a Donation. In the wake of every big fire, LAFD makes a point of reminding people that they can help support their efforts are through donations to the LAFD Foundation, a non-profit which helps finance critical equipment and technology for our firefighters. Learn more about the LAFD Foundation at https://supportlafd.org/.
- Remember they do not work alone. Our firefighters are part of a team, and they are backed up by thousands of others when they respond to a disaster – from the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies, from our Emergency Management Department, from LADOT, Recreation & Parks, DWP, Building & Safety, and many other local agencies. They are supported by Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team, by state, county and federal officials, by local neighborhood organizations and homeowner associations, and by volunteers with the CERT program and the American Red Cross.
- Be Prepared. There are alert services that help notify Angelenos of emergencies and tips for how you can be prepared in the event of another emergency.
- If you have not already done so, please sign up for NotifyLA to get emergency alerts.
- Please review and follow LAFD’s Ready, Set, Go protocols. You can see a video, learn about a family escape plan, and more at https://www.lafd.org/safety/education/ready-set-go.
- Attend our November 9 Town Hall Meeting with LAFD. I am hosting an informational town hall meeting with the Los Angeles Fire Department on November 9 at Paul Revere Middle School to discuss this wildfire season, recent fires, and to introduce you and your neighbors to some of the Department’s firefighting resources and gear. Please visit http://bit.ly/Bonin-LAFD-TownHall-Nov2019 to find out more about the event and to RSVP to attend.
The danger is not gone and high-fire hazard weather will likely remain in the region for weeks, but I believe it is important to pause today to recognize and thank the heroes in our midst. Thank you for joining me in showing our gratitude to our firefighters.
Councilmember, 11th District