Started by firefighters for firefighters, the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund has been an important part of the LAFD community for more than a century. The charity’s success depends on the hard work and commitment of our leaders, volunteers and supporters. Few exemplify that level of dedication more than Captain II Rick Godinez, a Trustee of the organization and a familiar face at many of charity’s annual fundraisers. Rick is a perfect example of someone who has found a wide variety of ways in which to serve an organization dedicated to serving others.
The number of positions that Godinez has held in his 29 years with the LAFD is impressive: Firefighter, Staff Assistant, Disaster Preparedness Instructor, Urban Search and Rescue Specialist (CATF-1), Public Information Officer, Drill Tower Instructor, Captain I, Captain II and Dept. Chaplain. The last position in particular has given him insight into the needs of firefighter families facing tragedy. “As a Chaplain, it is real blessing for me to work closely with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund,” Godinez shared, “as we both work to assist our members in time of need.”
In his four years as a member of the Board of Trustees, Godinez has worked at events such as Hope for Firefighters and the LAFD Invitational golf tournament, as well as employing his efforts behind the scenes to provided needed assistance to firefighter families. “Currently, I chair the Scholarship Committee that is dedicated to providing assistance to students that exemplify academic and personal achievements,” he stated.
Beyond serving as a face for the organization, Godinez often serves as a voice as well. “Some of the other work I am proud to be part of is working with our Marketing Department, whether it’s doing voice-over work or videos to showcase some of our members or the benefits that the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund provides.” As the internet and social media become more central to our lives, such videos become an essential way of reaching firefighters and supporters alike.
Godinez enjoys spending his time working alongside the members of the community at large who devote their time for the benefit of the LAFD. “There are many talented and dedicated people that volunteer their time and talents, but know there is always room for more volunteers,” he said. “We welcome the public as a partner in our mission to helping firefighters and their families.”
Firefighters know better than anyone how dangerous their occupation can be and how important it is that the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund is there for them. Godinez sums it up best. “Simply put, I believe in the organization. I respect the work that is done here. It is a legitimate organization that is devoted to helping people, specifically our own LAFD family.”
by Jody Houser