January 2018

December 31, 2017

Dave & Bob,

My LAFD yearbook arrived in the mail today, what a terrific book! Both of you, as well as the Relief Association, should be commended for producing such a great historical album that all members can be proud of. There is something within the pages for everyone, active and retired. It was especially gratifying to see the manner in which you honored our fallen members.
Once again, our Relief Association has exceeded expectations and risen to new heights as you continue to treat all members with respect and dignity. Once again, a job well done.

Thanks,

Dick Markota
LAFD, retired

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Dear Bob,

Please accept this donation in memory of two of Air Operations exceptional aviators, Billy Miser and Denny Mendenhall. Billy, in his role as command pilot, directed the first helicopter swift water rescue in the Los Angeles River in 1983. For his action, Billy received the LAFD Medal of Valor. The following year Billy oversaw the development and deployment of the LAFD rappelling teams for the 1984 Olympics. Billy was also the author of the poem “Ten Bells” which is occasionally published in the Grapevine.

During one of LA County’s major brush fires in the fall of 1993, Denny, while serving as the helicopter coordinator, spotted a woman at the top of Saddle Peak whose home was being overrun by fire. The woman, Lauretta Foy, a World War II WASP pilot and an accomplished helicopter pilot, had jumped into her swimming pool for safety. Denny plucked her from the pool and carried her back to the running helicopter. Denny was awarded the LAFD Medal of Valor for his actions.

During kitchen table discussion, Denny shared some of his knowledge of the F-4 Phantom performance during his Vietnam carrier days. On fact of the Phantom was that it consumed 150 gallons of fuel a minute in afterburner operation. That consumption is about the same amount of fuel that an LAFD helicopter consumes in an hour!

Both gentlemen are remembered for their professionalism, sense of humor, and their personal concern for the pilots and crewmembers under their command.

Regards,

Tom Jeffers III
Sun City, AZ

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To whom it may concern,

The enclosed gift is made in celebration of the birthday and exemplary life of service of our good friend and neighbor, Howard Dunford, a retired Los Angeles firefighter. We wish to designate this gift for the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund as we have in previous years.

Very truly yours,

Robert and Moira Fitch
Thousand Oaks, CA

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Dear Andy:

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there to guide me during this difficult time. You were so calm and strong, and knew just what to do to have such a lovely service for Marshall. It was everything he had talked about and requested.

Andy, you are a fine and honorable man, and most dedicated to your dear family, the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the Relief Association and the community. Thank you and may God bless you.

Yours truly,

Maryann Prindle and family
Glendale, CA

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LAFRA-

Russell Clyde was the first member of the LAFD – and in fact the first fireman that I ever knew by name. In the mid- 1960’s, at the tender age of 6, our family lived in a large Van Nuys home with a vast expanse of linoleum. Russ was hired off-duty by my parents for some pre-holiday floor cleaning. He had a stellar recommendation by some picky neighbors, and he certainly lived up to their praise, impressing my folks with a polite demeanor and an exceptional work ethic that brought him back time and again to make our home sparkle. I remember being amazed when my parents gave him the house key, allowing him free reign in our home, an honor they never bestowed on another worker. After all, he was “Fireman Clyde,” and I recall my parents speaking reverently of him and all firefighters. For me, it was just cool to meet and shake hands with a real fireman. Alas, in 1969, my family moved to Westlake Village, and I recall my mom saying it was too many miles for Fireman Clyde to travel – and besides, shag carpet had become the rage.

I never forgot Fireman Clyde, who 16 years later was Firefighter Clyde when I joined the Department. It was indeed a strange (for me at least) honor to work alongside him every now and then at Fire Station 104 before his retirement. While I can’t say he was the single reason I made the LAFD my life’s work, he was certainly one of them, as I can still remember my mom and dad saying “I wish there were more people like Fireman Clyde in this world.” I later came to know that Russ had a sometimes hard life, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only person, young or old, that came to respect the person that he was. Russ, your name will always bring me back to that childhood moment when I first met you. Rest in Peace.

Brian Humphrey

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I had the pleasure of working with Larry Roberts at FS 33 in and FS 27 (both in the 1980’s).

Larry Roberts was the finest paramedic I ever met in my 34 years with the LAFD. His performance was uniformly outstanding, his attitude exemplary even under very trying conditions, his documentation the most extensive I ever saw, the example he set for younger members the greatest.

My wife (Chief Snuggums), still remembers how ecstatic Larry was after he delivered his first set of twins as a paramedic.

As a man and paramedic, Larry was the GOLD standard to which I compared other LAFD members. Larry will be missed and long remembered by those who worked with him.

Pat Shanley
LAFD retired

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