John J. Adams

July 15, 201918 Comments

Battalion Chief, Battalion 17-A

July 12, 2019


06/29/1995 – Battalion 17-A

Details about the memorial service

Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund
PO BOX 41903
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Comments (18)

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  1. Raul Miranda says:

    Chief Adams was our B/C in Battalion 17 in the mid 90’s. He was an old school chief officer, and a true gentleman who always worked for the best interest of his crews. Rest in Peace Chief.

  2. Paul Fulton says:

    John and I worked together at old 28s in the 60s. He was a fun guy to be around and taught me a lot about apparatus maintenance and pumping procedures.
    Rest in peace John.

  3. Duane Warth says:


  4. Rudy McTee says:

    John was a drill captain when I entered the drill tower in 1963. We never worked together, however I always thought of him as one of the best. The LAFD family lost another of the good guys…….RIP my friend

  5. James Kinninger says:

    John was my Captain and then my BC for several assignments. I worked directly for him more than any other officer on the FD. He always treated me faily and there was always a lot of laughs! One time I invited him for an Abalone lunch at FD 105. He was late getting there and I decided to fry up a piece of an old chamois in place of an slice of abalone. I breaded it and put it on the grill as he arrived. The look on his face while trying to cut that was priceless!
    He did get his ab and was grateful for the invitation.
    As things happen, John’s son, Ron Adams, lives here in Smith Valley, NV. A few years ago while John was here visiting, several of us retirees host a luncheon for him at our local Mexican restaurant. He was most taken by everyone’s kindness.
    RIP John.

  6. John was my chief during a difficult time on the job. He was always fair and by the book. He supported my decisions both fire ground and station business. He was one of the best fire ground commanders well experienced. R.I.P.

  7. Rick Erquiaga says:

    I met Chief Adams when assigned to my 3rd house at 88’s. John would make his rounds at the old Division 3 office.
    He always had a professional demeanor and kind word to say. My Condolences to the Family. Chief Adams was a quiet leader.
    Rest In Peace, Sir!

  8. Christine Bahr says:

    John was a close friend of mine. He was a fervent supporter of women in the fire service. He wasn’t afraid to stick his neck out. So grateful for the relationship we had.

  9. Robert McMaster says:

    Chief Adams was one of the Chief Officers on my Engineer practical examination in the late 1970’s. He was grading the Draft portion of the examination that year in the harbor. Prior to the draft I began by checking out the apparatus to make sure that it was set up the way I wanted it before the test began. As I worked my way around the rig I noticed that EVERY discharge gate and inlet was wide open, at one point I remember looking at Chief Adams. There was a faint smile on his face. I think he enjoyed watching all of the Engineer candidates going through their pre-checks.

    When I made Engineer, I was assigned to Battalion 17 where I got to know Chief Adams. Definitely “Old School” but ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN. My condolences to Chief Adams family. Rest in Peace Chief.

  10. Ronda Harrison says:

    John was my brother-in-law. A kind, gentle giant. Beloved by many. A man who earned the respect, not demanded it. No more pain.

  11. Lauren deRosier says:

    Chief Adams was a true gentleman, who stood for truth and fairness for everyone… even if it meant standing up when many would sit. In short he was a principled man, and I will remember him fondly, and miss him.
    RIP John

  12. John was my Battalion Chief while I was stationed at 105’s, before moving on to being a Fire Inspector in 1988. He was always kind and a man of integrity w/ a great sense of humor. My condolences to the family. Rest in peace.

  13. Alan R. Cowen says:

    Chief John Adams was my BC when I worked at Fire Station 105 in 1974 – 1976. He not only was a gentleman but truly a gentle man. He cared about firefighters, paramedics and women on the LAFD. In many ways John was a visionary; he could see the change our paramedic program was heading and how important it would become in the 1980’s,90’s, and beyond. He even had the opportunity to observe it flourish. He was able to transition from “old school” to new and accepted the change with opened arms.
    RIP John as you transition from our time to eternity.

  14. Bob Mac Millan says:

    I first met John in 1963 when he was teaching at Drill Tower89 and Truck 89 was put in service. How do you describe John, in two words, an Officer and a Gentleman.
    In my career we worked together a number of special times, a brush fire in Browns Canyon, Strike Teams in San Louis Obispo, a strip mall fire in Encino, that we could not put out.
    John was a long time member of the Southern California Foresters and Fire Wardens during the time I was the LAC Director. Each year he would attend the Annual Training Conference to keep up with changes in wildland fire safety.

    It was a pleasure to meet a man like John and my pleasure to have known him. RIP John, your life was above the mark of a good man.

  15. Mark Gozawa says:

    I had the honor of working for Chief Adams at Fire Station 72 which at the time was Battalion 17 headquarters when he retired. He always took care of his command and was truly a kind and caring person. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Rest in peace Chief.

  16. Mike Littleton says:

    I worked with John for around 7 years in Battalion 17. He was a true professional who loved the fire service and always had its positive image as a primary concern. There were times when the Bureau Office would request a report from the Battalion Office that required the signatures of all three Platoon Commanders. Sometimes, all three Commanders didn’t agree with the Findings and/or Recommendation in the report. That’s when John would come to life! He had a pretty good batting average in changing the mind(s)of his detractors after he would agree to some minor changes in the wording of certain arguments presented on the page. It was during one of those early rounds of negotiations that I learned that John would routinely peruse the contents of the “outbox” on the desk during the early hours prior to platoon change. He took particular interest in any Department mailer addressed to the Bureau office. Armed with this information, I would periodically author a letter to the Bureau Office (that was never requested) on a subject that I knew was near and dear to John’s heart. The points made in the letter were usually in direct opposition to how John felt about the issue and were either totally ridiculous or easily countered with a little thought. I’d place the letter addressed to the Bureau Office in a Dept. mailer in the “outbox” on a morning I knew John was working and there was always a predictable reaction: John would walk in to the dorm with a cup of coffee for me (except for those occasions he never brought me coffee)and the report under his arm. He’d confess that he happened to see the report and that is would not be advisable to forward the report because Chief Anthony would take issue with it (if it made it past Division). John would then make his counter-points or strongly recommend that I not forward the letter at all. At that point, I’d take the letter, rip it up and announce that he’s probably right. I’d thank him for the coffee and the (career saving) advice and we’d exchange Battalion related information. He eventually figured out that I was pranking him and made a run to Division to drop off the mail(containing a bogus letter) after a 6:00 a.m. false alarm in 100’s district. I hung around until Aggie (Division Secretary) was at work and I asked her to pull the parcel and hold it for me before Division saw it because I wanted to make a change. That was the last time I pranked John (in that way). John was not above paybacks on pranks and I was on the receiving end of a couple of them. John was always a gentleman and a pleasure to work with. Rest in peace my friend.

  17. Mike Teslar says:

    I’m sorry to read of John Adams passing. I met him through attending the 1987 Women in the Fire Service Conference in Asheville, NC, along with several other LAFD firefighters. After that time we shared room expenses whenever we attended a WFS Conference. He was a friend and mentor who I will always remember and keep in my heart.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

    Mike Teslar, Cal Fire FF-II Ret.

  18. Mike Hilliger says:

    John Adams was a true gentleman and will be missed by all that knew him.
    He was always an encouragement to me when we had duties together, me as a chaplain, and John as a B/C. It seems that John had a long full life, and I trust that our Lord will comfort his family in their loss.
    (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

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