Dear Fire Department Family and Friends,
On January 25th, 2014 our family suffered a significant, near fatal traumatic event that changed our lives and future. At approximately 0630, I suffered a significant stroke at home. As my left side weakness turned into full paralysis, I was struggling to get up from the floor I had fallen to, let alone get out of the bathroom for help. As I drug myself across the floor, our little MinPin/Jack Russel Terrier was already alerting my wife and oldest daughter that something was wrong. By the time I was able to reach the door, my wife and daughter were already coming out of the bedrooms. Unable to get up and barely able to speak, my wife immediately called 911 and off we went to Torrance Memorial Hospital.
While my wife dealt with getting me to the hospital, my daughter called Captain White to inform him what was happening. He and others immediately mobilized, coming to my family’s assistance. The overwhelming support by the hospital accommodating the mass amount of Fire Department members who showed up to support my family and myself allowed the magic of healing to begin.
As the provider for our family, being helpless on a bed wondering what will happen is frustrating to say the least. As the medication started taking effect and my brain began to relax, my day got foggy with the time and some details faded. The one thing that was always there was the reassurance to not worry about the family or job as meals were being prepared for the next weeks, donations were being set up, and it seemed that every other need was covered by someone in the Fire Department. This reassurance gave me a peace of mind to concentrate on getting passed the critical first 48 hours and then months to follow as I pushed my recovery with one goal in mind: to get back to my job both in the department and at home.
On April 15, less than three months after the initial accident, I returned to full duty. I must extend my deepest gratitude, because I can never be thankful enough for my family and friends of the Fire Department. For without you, I would not be here today. The ability to not stress about anything but recovery, surrounded by positive energy, prayers, and help is the reason I was able to make such a quick and full recovery. My family and I are forever grateful for your generosity, physical and emotional support, and will never forget those who stuck out a hand in a time of need.
Thank you for your support to the following Fire Stations: 18, 19, 24, 35, 39, 45, 52, 59, 71, 72, 73, 74, 81, 82, 83, 86, 88, 89, 91, 96, 98, 99, 102, 105, 106, 108, 109
And a special thanks to: Craig White, Tom Henzgen, Hollyn Bullock, Scott Mitchell, Wes Schroeder, James Martin, Mike Flynn, Mike Finger, Tom Haus, Greg Felix, Houston Hermon, Brian Simon, Steve Ziemer, Ty Baker, Frank Aguirre, Geoff Balchowski, Greg Terrill, Ron Klamecki, Kamron Carlis, Rich Diede, Derrick Goldstein, Chris Winn, Richard Ramirez, Al Poirer, Scott Hilton, Jose Morales, Jorge Garibay, Chrsitan Crawley
Our deepest appreciation extends to the Fire Department for going above and beyond to provide full support because without you, we would not be in this position today.
Robert MacInnes and family
Fire Station 38-A
Thanks again for all the effort you made to make my 90th birthday so great. I found the perfect place to hang the Certificate of Appreciation.
I enjoyed sitting in the kitchen eating and visiting with each fireman. It took me down memory lane more years than I can remember. I appreciated the crew showing me around the quarters and all the changes. It’s been years, but with the crew sharing their time, memories, and conversation with me, I felt the old fire station camaraderie.
Once a fireman, always a fireman. Please accept my check for the Widows and Orphans Fund.
Frank Disparte, LAFD retired
Huntington Beach, CA
Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association.
Our family is grateful to receive the beautifully encased flag. We want to thank all of you who are responsible for flying the flag at Fire Station 88 during the ceremony commemorating Joe Lockwood’s career with the Los Angeles Fire Department. We were very impressed with the plaque on the flag case indicating his years of life and his LAFD service. The flag will remain in our family forever. We are so appreciative that LAFRA honored Joe’s memory in this way.
Thank you so much for your kind, heartfelt words in the letter. It is such a comfort to know how well respected Joe was. He was a great guy, devoted father, and dedicated fireman. I am grateful for 63 ½ years of marriage to this loving and caring man.
Please accept this donation to the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund in Joe Lockwood’s memory.
Las Vegas, NV
Dear President Albarran and Board
On behalf of FS 33, I would like to thank you and your board for the support in April when Craig Poulson and I traveled to Boston to attend the funerals of Lt Edward Walsh and FF Michael Kennedy, Boston F.D. Engine 33 Ladder 15. We were there as representatives of the LAFD to support the grieving members of the Boston Fire Dept.
Our attendance at these Line of Duty Death funerals would not have been possible without the generous support of LAFRA. Uniformed members from across the country were in Boston, and because of you, the LAFD was able to be a part of this national brotherhood of firefighters.
For us to be a part of this collaboration between the Relief, UFLAC and the Administrative Office was an honor. This partnership to send our members to Massachusetts to pay respects to the fallen was something that I have never witnessed in my 33 years of service. We were proud to be in uniform representing all the members of our Department.
Craig and I thank you for your support. The goodwill that was spread across the country to our brothers and sisters in Boston is priceless. Thanks for allowing the LAFD to be a part of it.
John Paxton, Capt II,
Fire Station 33-A