James W. Bird

June 23, 20208 Comments

Captain II, Fire Station 96-C

Deceased:
June 21, 2020

Appointed:
05/16/1977

Pensioned:
11/29/2001 – FS 96C

Services:
TBA

Donations:
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, PLEASE SEND DONATIONS TO:
Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighter’s Fund
PO BOX 41903
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Comments (8)

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  1. Kevin Kearns says:

    I am in complete shock. I worked with Jim in Batt.3 and our careers kept crossing throughout, as well as our personal lives.

    When I was in Recruit Training Jim was the Guru for Physical Fitness. We would talk on a daily basis.

    His son was the Quarterback at Simi High School and my son played against him. I would look forward to seeing Jim at the game.

    A few years ago his son went through the Oxnard Fire Academy where I teach. Jim and I talked at the graduation. His son now works for Glendale Fire.

    My daughter played Softball both High School and College and I would see Jim. I remember when his daughter hit 2 Home Runs in the College World Series and ESPN showed Jim in the stands holding both balls with a giant smile across his face.

    I am so sorry to hear this news. My condolences to the entire family.

    RIP Jim, you have left an Awesome legacy behind.

  2. Jack "Ed" Sandell says:

    Jim was my captain in Chatsworth…but he was much more than that to me. We became very good friends. Jim was a football guy…but I did not hold that against him. haha. I like baseball! When Jim first got sick…I visited him at his home, and then later the care facility. We laughed and reminisced just like always…even though he was getting a bit forgetful. That didn’t matter to me. Of course, he wore his heart on his sleeve. Some guys got tired of him talking about Suzi and the kids at work. I admired that. Lastly, he was my only boss that drove out to Camarillo to watch me coach my boys in baseball. He just had a good heart. RIP Jim.

  3. Mike Littleton says:

    I was sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He and I met when I was running the women’s Pre-Training Academy at Westlake. Jim had developed the physical fitness module of the program and was running it with Fernando Villacana(sp). The Fire Department owes Jim a great debt of gratitude for his dedication to the Women’s Pre-Training Academy and the results he was instrumental in achieving for those who participated in it.
    My condolences to his family. God Speed,Jim!

  4. Rick Erquiaga says:

    I met Jim in 1979. A friend of a friend had recommended that I talk to Jim about a carrier in the Fire Service. Jim and others mentored me and opened the door to my own career on the LAFD. I have since tried to do the same for others who showed interest and promise in the Fire Service. Thank You, Jim. My Condolences to the Bird Family.
    Rick Erquiaga

  5. Kris Larson says:

    I am sorry to hear about this loss. Jim was at Westlake pre-training when I was applying for the Fire Department. He was very supportive and encouraging as I went through the hiring process. He was tough but very fair, wanting only the best from the women he mentored and who he know would eventually make it onto the Department. My condolences to the Bird family.

  6. Dave Murray says:

    Jimmy was my friend. He was so smart. He never mentioned his many accomplishments. We met at FS 37 in 1981 and have been friends since. He couldn’t do enough for his friends. He fought his toughest battle against Alzheimer’s. I miss him terribly. Rest peacefully Jimmy. Until we meet again.

    • Jack "Ed" Sandell says:

      Dave, I think your comments are very good! One of Jim’s accomplishments was when he was in high school. Jim was a big-time running back! His listed size his senior year was 5’7″ and 150 lbs. Talk about heart…

  7. Craig E Evans says:

    What a great guy and innovative thinker. Jim was always thinking out of the box and endlessly finding ways to make whatever he touched better, more successful and creating a safer community. Jim and I were young captains back in the late 1980s, and together opened the newly reconstructed FS55. For generations the dry hills of El Sereno (and most of the eastside) would burn every spring. Started by the local youth, Jim envisioned an educational program to help break the annual hill-burning cycle. With his ever-persuasive personality, Jim pulled me in and we developed the “Grass Fire Prevention Program” that eventually reached 40,000 LAUSD students with the support of Carl’s Jr, Tommy Lasorda, KNBC and many others. Over the following 3-years, grass fires dramatically dropped. And for the most part those stats remain today. As stated by others above, Jim went on to use his Masters of Science in Kinesiology to assist in the recruitment and training of women onto the LAFD. RIP Jim, the world is a better place because of your being a part. You have been a blessing to many and have left the imprint of your wonderful spirit on so many that you touched. God bless to the family.

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