Retired Guys

July 31, 2019

From 1980 to 1982, I was assigned to RA 19-A. My partner was Ken Smith, a great guy and an excellent paramedic. The Engine 19 crew was: Captain Robert “Butch” Rose, Engineer Bob Schlosser, FF John Elgin and of course, another guy, but I don’t remember who.

Last month I told you about the importance of history and geography. This story from the Westside is one of the little-known episodes that would have slipped into history without the documents you see here.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan ran for, and was elected to, the office of President of the United States. President-elect Reagan lived, at the time, in FS-69’s district. Because FS-69 did not have a paramedic ambulance at that time, Engine and Rescue 19 were invited, by the Secret Service, to tour Reagan’s home in case there was ever a response there for him or his family.

We parked on the street in front of the house and walked up the driveway, accompanied by a Secret Service agent, in order to pre-plan how we would get in and out of the property. The engineer remained with the rigs on the street. As we were taking the tour, the Secret Service agent was telling us how much security they had provided to the Reagans. He explained that no one could possibly approach the house without being captured or shot.

As the agent was taking us through the house, we looked out the back windows and who do we see walking, nonchalantly, down the hill through the bushes and into the yard right through all of the “security?” That’s right, the engineer, Bob Schlosser.

It looked like all of the agents had OD’d on Exlax when they saw him . . . if you get my drift. He explained that he just walked through somebody’s backyard and came right down the hill, unchallenged by anyone. So much for security.

Another story is the request that the Secret Service sent, through channels to FS 19 (See Letter). Fortunately, it never happened. This is a piece of LAFD history that has been long forgotten. It could have had an explosive effect on FS19.

A little interpretation might be necessary, starting at the top of the memo (See Memo), because these terms are no longer used:
• Division 3 covered all of the Valley. Today it is the Valley Bureau.
• The Chief Engineer is now the Fire Chief.
• Bureau of Fire Suppression and Rescue (BFS&R) is now Emergency Ops.

Enjoy reading both documents.

Remember: #1 – I never let facts get in the way of a good story and #2 – You never mess wid a newspaper guy.

If you have any additions or corrections you can reach me at

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