On April 16, 2014 the Los Angels Firefighters Association honored the 47th Firefighter of the Year, Engineer Dana P. Larsen. This annual honor is bestowed upon one member each year who, not by any single act, has distinguished him/herself as one of outstanding character, dedication, and loyalty to the Department, the Fire Service, and to the citizens of the community.
The opening ceremonies included the LAFD Color Guard and John Keys (LAFD retired) on the Bag Pipes. It was a day of celebration and recognition to a man that has done so much for Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) locally at LAX and nationally as an instructor on ARFF strategy and tactics. Dana has been involved in the design and developed of so many projects on the LAFD including ARFF Apparatus and the current lightweight 4-way valve we use today.
Dana’s dedication is not only seen here at the LAFD but in his own community and church. He is a true volunteer who gives of his time and incredible skills to the benefit of everyone he helps. Whether as a teacher in ARFF attended by students from around the globe or to his students at Northridge Community School, Dana’s always in service to improve and develop those that have a desire to learn.
Supported by his wife and three grown kids, Dana provided all in attendance a perfect reflection as to why we are all so fortunate to be members of the LAFD. As he put so honestly, “Each one of us has something to give that no one else has.” We have all benefited from the outstanding gifts Dana has provided this Department and a sincere congratulations just doesn’t seem enough.
By David Frelinger, B/C
Photos by Adam Van Gerpen