Perhaps the greatest fear of LAFD members is to have their job placed in jeopardy due to unseen and unfortunate circumstance. Countless hours of hard work, sweat, and even tears are endured in order to proudly call oneself a Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter. With this in mind it comes as no surprise that when the health of one of our members falls into a dire situation, the strength of the fire department brother and sisterhood is called for help. The fire department is our extended family away from home, and likewise we take care of our brothers and sisters as our own.
Recognizing the need to help Javier with his long term rehabilitation, Javier’s captain, Jim Bates (FS 103-A), helped organize a pancake breakfast fundraiser on November 23rd with the generous support of Fire Station 87. The event was a huge success. More than $20,000 was raised to assist FF Martinez in his long road to recovery.
The spirit of the LAFD was evident as members from the Harbor, Downtown, Westside, and Valley arrived with healthy appetites and deep wallets. Retired members and cadets attended as well, and in a show of leadership, Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas enjoyed his breakfast among others who understood the importance of support, respect, and duty in taking care of brother Martinez.
Javier and his family and friends also attended, and spirits were instantly lifted when he anxiously arrived after leaving the hospital setting for the first time since his accident. His family could not believe the outpouring of support they felt from the LAFD members, UFLAC Local 112, LA Firemen’s Relief Association, and Fire Foundation Family. Organizers addressed Javier’s love for classic automobiles by arranging the car clubs Chevy Tri Fives, Infernos, and others to have their vehicles on display for all to admire. Local businesses such as Smart and Final, Western Bagel, and others donated products so fundraising efforts could be maximized.
After finishing a delicious breakfast prepared by Fire Station 87, Fire Chief Terrazas pulled the winning raffle ticket for a firefighter axe and scabbard donated by FireAxe.com owner and LAFD firefighter Jason Knight. It should have come as no surprise that Fire Station 9 won due to their amazing fundraising efforts which resulted in earning a large amount of raffle tickets!
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” On this day LAFD members showed the great spirit of the organization by giving support to a brother in need, and improved his life with their compassion, generosity, and selflessness. This exemplifies why the fire service and LAFD is truly a special profession and organization.
Donations are still encouraged for the Javier Martinez Support Fund.
Firefighters First Credit Union Members can transfer funds directly to:
Account 100011228842 Last Name EXP
Checks can be made out to Javier Martinez Support Fund and mailed to Captain Danny Wu at Fire Station 4, 450 E. Temple Street, Los Angeles 90012.
Please contact Captain Jim Bates at Fire Station 103-A (818) 756-8603 for questions or comments.
By Danny Wu, Captain, FS 4
Photos by Adam Van Gerpen