In Memoriam: Kelly Wong

July 31, 2017

Active, Fire Station 92-B

Born: January 3, 1988
Appointed to LAFD: April 6, 2015
Deceased: June 5, 2017

Eulogy by Danielle Wong

Firefighter Kelly Wong, my beloved husband, was born on January 3, 1988 in Hong Kong. In 1997, Kelly immigrated to California with his mother, Anne. When Kelly arrived in America he didn’t speak any English, but he picked it up very quickly, so quick in fact that by his second year of elementary school he won the 5th grade spelling bee.

He grew up in Upland with his mother and step father, Ron. Kelly always excelled academically taking college prep courses and graduated Upland High School with a 4.0 GPA. He was a student-athlete, involved in Track and Field, Cross Country and Honors and Advance Placement classes.

He attended college at Mt. SAC. He got his Associates Degree in Fire Technology and graduated with academic honors. He was commended by the college’s Fire Technology program for his efforts in volunteering in the community. He received his Bachelors of Science from Columbia Southern University with a concentration in Fire Science while achieving a 4.0 grade point average. He had future aspirations of completing a Masters in Public Administration to further his fire service career.

Kelly knew from age 14 he wanted to dedicate his life to firefighting. The week he turned 18, he enrolled in a Wildland Firefighter Academy offered by CAL FIRE, in hopes of learning all he could about the fire service. From there, he learned that firefighters also respond to a large number of medical calls, therefore they need to be trained in emergency medicine. Hence, he enrolled in and passed an Emergency Medical Technician course and obtained his EMT license. During this time, he also had the great honor of becoming a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Fire Explorers’ Program.

He worked for the Forest Service on Engine 21 in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 and 2013 he worked on Chuchupate Helitack. In 2012, he worked for the BLM, Elko District, as a Ruby Mountain Hotshot. In 2014, Kelly worked for CAL FIRE in Riverside at Station 1.

Kelly graduated as a LAFD Firefighter August 20, 2015, Drill Tower 40 class 14-2; it was his dream job. He was awarded Top Academic Recruit of his graduating class. His first house was Fire Station 35, and then worked at 68’s, and then transferred to Station 92. Kelly’s transfer request to work at 9’s in Skid Row was just approved where he was excited to work alongside Steven Oransky and Ernie Orrante, his two best friends. Kelly was working at Station 9 at the time of the tragic incident.

An avid outdoorsman, Kelly was also a traveler, studier, and a music, fitness and aviation enthusiast. He was obtaining his private pilot’s license from Universal Air Academy at Brackett Field in La Verne. He had a deep love for aviation and all things to do with flying.

We instantly fell in love when we met. We were married on February 8, 2016, and welcomed our son, Colton Michael Wong on August 22, 2016. Kelly loved Colton and I so much and made sure we knew it every day. He was my best friend, soul mate, and better half. He was perfect for me and completed me in every way.

On June 3, 2017, he was injured in a training exercise when he fell off an aerial ladder in downtown Los Angeles. Fellow firefighters and paramedics rendered immediate medical attention and transported him in critical condition to a local trauma center. He had broken his pelvis and skull. Despite the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses at the hospital, he passed away on June 5, 2017.

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