The Firefighter’s Olympics began in 1970 as an opportunity for all California Firefighters to get together in friendly competition which promotes physical fitness and provides an informal forum for exchanging ideas. The games are governed by the California Firemen’s Athletic Association, with a local association bidding to be the host and bring the games to their community.
The United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 hosted the 2015 event in Los Angeles. The Warner Center Marriott was the host hotel where a few of the events were held and was also the site of the “Gala Dinner and Casino Night” on the last evening following the sporting events.
A very successful Olympic soccer tournament was hosted by LAFD Local 112 and coordinated by LAFD Soccer Team manage Firefighter Darin Laier 3-C. The event was played at the Toyota Sports Complex in Torrence, CA. Most importantly, there was no serious injuries, there were great goals and tons of camaraderie. Host LA City FD lost a heartbreaker with 10 seconds left in stoppage time to eventual gold medalist Newport Beach FD. Congratulations to Newport Beach FD on there 1st Gold Medal ever!
LA City Soccer thanks Captain Anderson of FS49 on his last Olympics, at 52 years young and being on the first team formed 28 years ago, you will be missed!
Thanks to the competitors and departments that support there teams, see you in San Jose 2016.
LA City FD Soccer needs new young players!!! email email@example.com for more info
The Golf competition had 128 players from 32 different Fire Departments from all over the state. I proud to say we had 26 players from our LAFD Golf Club. On top of that our guys played great golf and had a total of 19 medals. Congratulations to all of our medal winners. We played 3 great courses; Industry Hills “Eisenhower Course”, Trump National, and El Dorado Park. There was both Individual Stroke play and Team Partners Best Ball.
Submitted by Noel Murchet
Handball was included in the California Firefighter’s Olympics this year! All players were from the LAFD or San Francisco Fire Department, which led to a reunion atmosphere. There were long standing friendships with the SFFD players from past “Sports Days.” Many of the LAFD players and teams had long standing rivalries that were reignited and initiated by some world-class trash talk.
All players enjoyed a catered lunch and refreshments provided by the Los Angeles Firemen’s Handball Association. There were two divisions in both singles and doubles.
In the “Open Singles” Alex Garcia defeated Jesus Pasos with a combination of great serves and aggressive kill shots. Both players were in top form after playing in the 4-Wall National Championships last month. SFFD’s Dean Crispen took the Bronze Medal.
“Contenders Singles” featured Salvador Castillon who defeated Tony Arnado in a match highlighted by hustle and long rallies. Captain Jose Holguin took the Bronze Medal, which is a great accomplishment for a guy with one lung.
“Contenders Doubles” proved to be the most entertaining event of the day. Marcues Toledo and Tony Arnado defeated Chad “Quiet” Rolish and Bobby Raya to win the Gold! There was a lot of talking, a little handball, and even more laughter on that court. Jim McGuigan and Will Reilly from SFFD won the Bronze Medal.
Christopher Yokoyama and Roy Harvey went undefeated in “Open Doubles” to win the Gold against Alex Garcia and Jesus Pasos. Yokoyama was a dominating force with a combination of kill-shots and hustle, while Harvey held down the right side. Eddie Marez and Don Paone took the Bronze Medal.
The next LAFD event will be the Annual LAFD 3-Wall Invitational at Venice Beach on September 12, 2015.
By the Ex-Commissioner
The Horseshoe Event was held at the beautiful Stevenson Ranch Horseshoe Club in Santa Clarita. The singles competition got underway Monday morning with a two-game “all count” qualifying to separate the fire lads into three divisions. There was also a short distance 30’ pitch for the more experienced competitors over 70 years of age.
The “A” division saw a sweep by LAFD personnel, with James Martin taking the gold, Jimmy Meacham the silver, and Matt Long capturing the bronze. The “B” division gold was claimed by Jamie Boyle (SFFD), silver went to Richard Stacey (Hemet FD), and Kevin Day-(SFFD) took the bronze. The “C” division was a close match up with David Morri (SFFD) getting the gold, and Ron Tonelli (Santa Rosa FD) with the silver. The short distance event for the old-timers was a first time competition in the Summer Olympics. Hopefully it will continue to be an option in future Olympics and encourage more of our elders to come out and pitch. The results of the 30’ division was Dan Martin (LAFD) winning the gold, and Eugene Day (North County FD) taking home the silver.
Tuesday morning’s doubles-round robin showed LAFD’s prowess on the courts as James and Dan Martin came out on top in the “A” division for the gold by eliminating Jimmy Meacham (LAFD) and his partner Ron Tonell (Santa Rosa FD) who took the silver. The “B” division gold went to Eugene Day (North County FD) and his son Kevin (SFFD). The silver went to San Francisco’s Jamie Boyle and David Morris.
By Dan Martin, Event Coordinator
Trap, Skeet & Sporting Clays
Thanks go out to Dan Curry and Ed Martin for all of the many hours they put in on the Olympic project.
And thanks to all of our team members for making this a very well run three days. It was because of your expertise and many years of experience that this came off so smoothly.
The shotgun events were held at the Triple B Clays facility in South El Monte. It is very well run and the targets were excellent. Thanks to Billie Barsotti for allowing us to use her facility and all of the little incidentals to make every event run efficiently.
As usual the best things happened, not on the field of competition, but back in the hotel where the stories were told and retold.
Rick Kay, who didn’t make it this year, took some of the hardest hits. I’m amazed he is still standing. There was one that really stood out – if you’re not at least 35 years old this might not make any sense to you, so ask the Bull Engineer.
When Rick was promoted to A/O he would answer the business phone, A.O. Kay. When you say it a little faster than normal it works.
I had the pleasure of sharing a room with Ricks’ longtime shooting buddy, Larry Bickly. All of you parents surely remember standing next to your child’s crib and listening to the little squeaky sounds made when they passed gas in their sleep.
Did you know that guys in their 60’s make the same squeaky sounds? It doesn’t sound possible due to the ravages of age but there it was.
I am sorry not to have any stories of super human gastronomic feats, although there was this pickup truck sized Cobb salad, but Steve Dodge is getting older and he is just a shadow of his former self. There were some questions though about the disappearance of several doughnuts. Steve denies everything but those of us in the know doubt his story.
As you know, we award the Pink Hat Award each year to the team shooter with the lowest total score. To avoid embarrassing some of the prior recipients I won’t mention their names, but there were two Italian guys and another who was a comic book cowboy hero in the 1940’s who had an Indian companion named Little Beaver.
This year the award went to Bill Green, Carpenteria FD retired. It’s a wooden plaque with individual brass plates with the recipient’s name and the year of accomplishment. Did I mention the pink hat and a pink LAFD trap and skeet team t-shirt?
Bill e-mails to tell me that he has misplaced the award and therefore is not actually the official recipient. I informed him that this stunt had been tried before so we have several spare plaques for just such an occasion.
I also mentioned that the jamokes who pulled such a stunt were contacted by Don Vito personally, who counselled said jamoke on the error of their ways, and that Carmine and Nunzio would take him to the pier at 0300 for a short boat ride . . . if you get my drift.
Miraculously the plaque reappeared almost immediately. Sometimes you just have to explain thing properly.
If I may be allowed to editorialize for just a moment, there are 3000 active LAFD members and thousands more retired. It is a disappointment that we were only able to have seven of them in the shooting events. The other events probably found themselves similarly situated. We sponsored the games but there were some events that had to be run by people from outside the LAFD. Now that’s embarrassing.
In all fairness I understand that the overtime situation is out of control and the members are up to their eyeballs in SOD.
I’m not putting this on you but on management. When DROP began, it should have been very simple to calculate how many people needed to be hired and on what exact date. I know that it is not quite that simple, but guys, you had years to figure this out
There is an old saying that poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. This looks a lot like poor planning.
Thanks for allowing me to vent. I hope to see you next year, somewhere in Northern California.
If you are interested in learning about trap, skeet and sporting clays contact me at (805) 551-8518 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Art Sorrentino
California Firefighter Kid’s Olympics
This year’s event took place on Tuesday, July 14th in a Warner Center Marriott ballroom and was co-chaired by Crystal Brandos & Jessica Cunningham; wives of Adam & Joe from FS 15’s. This affair was for children of all ages to enjoy; so just imagine the ‘BIG’ kids – aka moms & dads joining in on the fun!
Walking into the ballroom it was a circus. There was an obstacle course where kids could dress-up in FF attire and grab the hose to crawl through the tunnel to find a “burning” house where they had to save the melting Olaf. This was by far the most popular spot and would not have been a success without the help of FF Rorden (FS 64’s), FF/PM Brandos, and FF/PM Cunningham running it – all with beers in hands.
There were three different bounce houses graciously donated by Pump N Jump, owned and operated by FF Carmona (FS 64’s). The younger ones enjoyed fishing for ducks, bean bag toss and motorized kiddie rides. There were face painters and even a henna tattoo artist where I spied many wives in line for anklets. Another area was for Frisbee tic-tac-toe and a pool noodle ring toss. While the older kids relished over the double basketball hoop, old school video arcade games like Pac Man and a ping pong table (where we would like to add FF Ream from 98’s spent most of his time), everyone got to enjoy photo booth fun with tons of props and photos strips of the memories to take home. At the same time, the crowd got to listen to music mixed by DJ GEE-Q, aka Cliff Taitt (FS 67’s) who kindly donated his time and jams.
Right outside the ballroom there was popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones for the kids to demolish! SureFire was on hand to teach CPR skills, and StationKid had a booth setup selling t-shirts and bringing awareness to their beautiful cause.
There were lots of gold medal winners and tons of prizes passed out—the amazing event would not have been accomplished without the time, help and donations contributed by many which also included Emily & Sean Rorden, Adriana & Fred (FS 64’s) Larios, Mandy & Jud Ream, Chrissy & Steve (FS 15’s) Garcia and of course we cannot forget the five strapping young cadets who helped set-up, monitor the games and teardown from FS 87’s.
By Jessica Cunningham
Olympic softball was held at the Big League Dreams Sports Park in West Covina. The event was coordinated by Joe Cunningham from FS 15.
There were three divisions of play. Division I was for teams from departments of 300 or more uniformed personnel. Division II was for teams from departments with uniformed personnel of 100 – 299. Division III was for teams from a single department with less than 100 uniformed personnel. Combo teams from various departments were also allowed with restrictions.
This year after pool play, the top three teams in each pool in each division played a double elimination tournament in their division. The 4th and 5th place teams from all three divisions were placed in a combined double elimination tournament.
LAFD members past and present earned a combined 13 gold medals and 21 medals overall at the 2015 California Firefighters Summer Olympics bowling event, held at Corbin Bowling Center in Tarzana. Edward Martin and Dan Curry led the way with four medals apiece, while Alex Molina and Raymond Keene added three.
The bowling event has always been one of endurance, skill and strategy. Bowlers potentially could throw as many as nine games in one day. Lane conditions evolved throughout the day, forcing bowlers to change equipment and angles to stay in the pocket. The LAFD’s success can be attributed to overcoming these obstacles – when all was said and done, eight LAFD members had secured 60% of the gold medals and 30% of all medals.
The tournament started off with Singles competition. All eight had unremarkable 4-game sets, but all advanced to the afternoon semifinals. In A Division, Curry used a 236 to earn a #2 seed in the Stepladder Finals, but lost 258-200 to Los Angeles County’s Marc Backos to settle for Bronze. In C Division, Alex Molina rocked a 237 to grab the #1 seed, and defeated Glendale’s Kevin Widner in a tight 174-164 result for the Gold Medal. In D Division, Moe Torres and Martin secured the top two seeds and ended up facing each other for the championship. Torres prevailed 167-160.
Scores started rising in Doubles play. Again, all LAFD members advanced to the semis. Curry, bowling with Delano Roberts, found his form in qualifying play and threw 11 straight strikes. He followed that with seven in a row and put 268-256 back-to-back on the scoreboard. The Roberts-Curry combo finished 2nd in the morning, and then ran away and hid in the afternoon as Roberts tallied a 256 and Curry chipped in a 231. They struggled in the championship match vs. L.A. County, but Curry’s 3-bagger in the 9th and 10th frames rallied the squad to a dramatic 4-pin victory and Gold.
Molina teamed up with Keenan Porche and Martin paired up with Raymond Keene in B Division, and both teams advanced in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Keene and Martin slipped into the finals by just 15 pins (eliminating John Sanchez and his Oakland partner), but Martin’s 198 got them to game #2 vs. Molina and Porche – the first time these two teams had ever faced each other in the finals at the Olympics. Keene made a mockery of the match, throwing 10 straight strikes for a stunning 287 – the highest game thrown by anyone the whole week. Molina and Porche settled for Bronze, and Martin and Keene wrapped up the Gold a game later.
Moe Torres was paired up with Pasadena’s Andre Jones in C Division, and “Hey, Moe” tossed a magnificent 247 game in the morning. However, a loss in the 1st Stepladder Final contest ended their day.
The Team event wrapped up play on the final day of competition. The three morning games completed the All Events portion of the tournament. Curry shot 664 (221 average) to finish with an 11-game total of 2313 (210 average) and the Gold medal in A Division. Keene took Bronze in B Division with an 11-game tally of 2098 (190 average). Sanchez was solid throughout and rang up 1955 pins (177 average) to take Silver in C Division. Torres knocked down 1784 pins (162 average) to earn Silver in D Division, and Martin’s final game 201 was enough to get him Bronze in D’s (1690, 153 average).
Roberts and Curry teamed up with a couple of San Jose FD members to dominate A Division in the morning, running out to a 113-pin advantage to advance to the championship match. There, Curry rolled a 214 and Roberts threw two key strikes in the 10th frame as their quartet won by 59 pins.
Molina, Martin, Porche and Keene were similarly dominant in B Division. All four threw 200+ games in an 849 that propelled them to a 171-pin lead and a berth in the Gold Medal game. Keene’s 206 and Martin’s 198 had the all-LAFD team on cruise control in a 65-pin triumph.
Over the Line
The 2015 Summer Olympic Over-The-Line Tourney was played on a beautiful day at Santa Monica Beach. Sean Millett was the LAFD coordinator. 12 teams entered the tourney and were split it into an A pool and B pool.
Rifle and Pistol
This year our fine department hosted the California Firefighter Olympic shooting events at Angeles Shooting Range. On Monday, retired members Kerry Gallacher and Mike Rodela shot in the High Power Rifle and Rimfire Rifle events. Kerry placed 3rd in the A Division and Mike took the gold in the B Division. Kerry also took home the gold in the Rimfire Rifle event that day.
Tuesday brought the competitors to the pistol range for Bullseye and Action Pistol shooting. We are proud to have the highest number of competitors of any department with five members representing the City! Kerry again represented well with a bronze in Centre Fire and a gold in Rimfire Bullseye.
Then came all the action with the competitors each shooting twice on each of the three courses of fire. Brian Bueler took bronze in the A division and Scot Wise took a silver in the B division. When it came to teams however, the City took top marks with retired A/O Mike Rodela and his son Brian Rodela taking Silver, with Wes Schroeder and Brian Bueler taking Bronze in the A Division. Scott Wise teamed up with FF Dan Lui from San Francisco FD and brought home the Gold in the B Division. All in all, the event was a great success as we all went home with no additional orifices that needed attention!
The Olympic Table Tennis tournament was held on evening of Tuesday, July 14th at the USA Valley Table Tennis Club in Reseda. Stanley Frisbee was the event coordinator.
The Singles tournament was a round robin for seeding purposes, with the winners going to an “A” bracket and the losers a “B” bracket. Medals were awarded in each bracket.
For the Doubles, it was a single elimination tournament. Players had the choice of signing up with a partner or choosing one at the event.
According to Joe Szabados from FS 18-A, the only LAFD competitor and winner of the bronze medal in the “B” division, “There was good competition, with the guys from San Francisco ended up taking most of the medals.”