May 2018

April 30, 2018

Hi Dave,

First, thanks again for going through the effort to put the Medicare seminar together, you get “two thumbs up.” I’m one of those who understands how many moving parts must be handled to make these things work. I think we all learned something, and many learned a lot. Even the Pension Dept Rep said that she learned some things that she didn’t know.

Until meeting her today, I had only known Denise Schlegel (HealthScope) as the very helpful person on the other end of an ongoing email exchange and resulting phone calls. I faced a medical challenge the year following joining Medicare. In the past, the required treatment would have been handled easily by Relief Medical PPO, which I’ve belonged to since being appointed to the LAFD. However, I received a notification that Medicare had rejected payment, stating that my treatment may have been related to a former IOD injury. I made several calls to Medicare, all with increasing frustration due to a never-ending run around. I finally called Relief Medical and was routed to Denise, who was the first breath of fresh air. Denise started out by being friendly, followed closely by being attentive, very knowledgeable, and personally engaged. She eventually helped me to untangle the mess that Medicare wouldn’t.

Anyone who knows me is very aware that I believe that credit should go where it is due, and only when it’s due. Denise deserves five stars on a scale of five – in LAFD terms she’s “Outstanding.” We should all be thankful that she’s there for us!

I’m sure that I’m speaking for many others who may not have taken the time to let you know, so please ensure that her supervisors and everyone else know how much she’s appreciated.


Dave Badgett
LAFD Retired



My Dad, Thomas Crockatt, was the hardest working man I’ve known. His nicknames of Sanitary Tom and Mister Clean followed him throughout his career and life. His word was his bond and he didn’t put up with the demeaning actions of others. He was an excellent mechanic – often completing major repairs at the station rather than changing over so HIS engine wouldn’t get dirty sitting out at the shops. He was selfless in training others to drive and pump. Don Anthony was one of many when he was a rookie. Dad served on the Board at the LAFRA for many years, always extolling the wonderful work they do. He was the Shop Engineer late in his career and wrote, approved and accepted new apparatus. He brought the first diesel engine onto the LAFD much to the dismay of Chief Hill. Dad always stood up for what was best for the men of this Dept. He LOVED his time on the LAFD I will miss him dearly.

Lynn Crockatt
Bakersfield, CA



John Harrington was the guy who opened my eyes to becoming a fireman. I was 16 and I wanted to be a policeman. John would talk to me about what it was like being on the LAFD and how much he loved the Department. Thank God I was shown another direction. John, rest in peace and thank you.

Danny Flores
Ventura, CA



Ken Gerhardt]was a good friend of my family and an inspiration for me to get on the job. Always impressed by his physical size and good nature. He and Mary often went out with my parents and were great friends for them.

Trent Hughes
St George, UT



Billie Strickland (center) with Arlington, TX firefighters

I met Billie Strickland at firefighting 48’s when I was a brand-new Auto Fireman in 1977. He was my Battalion Chief and we became friends right away. I don’t know why that was but it happened. The senior members at 48’s weren’t really happy about his arrival but I liked his way of pushing all of the crew to be their best. Billie made me his racquetball partner and we played every shift, which made our friendship grow even more.

After Billie retired and went to Texas to be the Fire Chief of the Arlington FD, I kind lost track of him. Shortly after I made Captain, I received a letter from Billie congratulating me on my promotion. It was very special to me that he still remembered me after so many years. Billie was a good man and it was a pleasure to call him my friend. RIP Billie and my condolences to his family.

Glenn Maurer
Newbury Park, CA


Dear Dave,

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since that morning in Griffith Park and the “hard landing” of Fire 3 and the lost lives of three firefighters and the little injured girl they were transporting to Children’s Hospital.

When I heard of the Memorial Service was being held at the LAFD Hollywood Museum, I knew I had to be there. I finally did make it to the ceremony, and the sun was out and the rain was gone. Whoever coordinated the event did a great job, everything was set up in front of the museum and it was a beautiful morning.

Listening to the speakers and remembering that morning 20 years ago still bring tears to my eyes. I never thought it would affect me for the rest of my life. I vividly remember standing next to my Park Ranger vehicle, and looking up and seeing Fire 3 trying to land in the intersection of Red Oak and Ferndell Drive. If only Steve had been a few feet higher or the tree had been a little shorter. All I can say is he did a hell of a job trying to land the airship in the intersection.

Listening to some of the chiefs speak, remembering when they were firefighters or captain, brought back some good memories. The one person I would have liked to have seen but was not there for health reasons, was Dean Cathey. He helped me so much that day that I will never forget.

Thanks to all of firefighters, captains, and chiefs that have taught me how to stay safe and fight some fires in Griffith Park, and for being my friend and accepting me as one of them.

Lloyd Payne
Temecula, CA


LA Firemen’s Relief-

We wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for your continued business. We truly cannot thank you enough. I also wanted to thank you for your work with our heroes and their families. I went to school with Kevin Woyjeck, one of the Granite Mtn Hot Shots who was killed in the line of duty. It devastated our entire community. It also showed me how important these organizations are. I made a donation to WODFF today in honor of Kevin and the rest of our heroes.


Kelsey, Bertels and Ken
Talent Air, Cypress

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