Battalion Chief – Battalion 7
07/03/1988 – BATT7
Chief Baker was past President of LAFFA and was active on committee work in CSFA.
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Donald O. Manning says
Chief Baker was a one of a kind, a very special member of the LAFD. He had many jobs on the LAFD and completed them with excellence. He was always a gentleman. He became an actor, doing parts in civil war reenactments as well as other movies. The song , “My Way” by Frank Sinatra was a lot like Dick Baker. Dick was a great friend to all and wonderful husband To Victoria.
Ed Tapia says
I met Chief Baker at Fire Station 17 when I was on probation. He was on the “B” shift and I was on the “A” shift. All the rookies tried the best to beat him to the rig when a call came in, but it never happened. He would be sitting there waiting for all of us fully dressed and ready to go. We all thought, OCD then, gave him a heads up so he could beat us. Learned allot from him and may he rest in peace.
Lawrence Mayer says
I was at Fire Station 39 with Dick Baker in 1974. A true gentleman, and a great captain. I was always amazed that after a big fire at 0300 hrs his hair was perfectly in place. Rest in peace Chief.
Allen Norman says
Chief Baker was one stylin’ Chief. He always obeyed the first rule of gentlemens’ dress; one does not wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt nor does he remove his coat in a social or business environment.
I believe that at one time he submitted a F-225 to the Chief Engineer and General Manager requesting that cuff links be an approved accoutrement for individuals wearing a long sleeved white shirt.
Class will tell.
Lawrence Mayer says
That must be why you always liked the long sleeve shirts.
Dave Coombe says
I worked with Dick Baker at FS 17 for a time in 1976. He was the Captain II and I was a Paramedic. I’ve always remembered him as a good guy. He was interested in the Paramedic Program and saw its long-term benefit to the LAFD. Lawrence if I remember right, we attended the Rescue Ambulance Academy at Drill Tower 40 in October 1973 together. Like you Lawrence, I always noticed Dick’s hair was perfectly in place. Wherever he is, I bet he’s looking good! Blessings to you Dick.
Lawrence Mayer says
Yes we were in that class together, and Dick Baker was supportive of the Paramedic program. When he was developing the “Baker Harness”, he had me put it on to see how well it fit on those of us who stood closer to the ground.
Kevin Kearns says
I met Chief Baker at Fire Station 11. I went there to talk to Capt. Anthony about becoming a firefighter. Captain Baker was giving a drill on the Rescue Harness to the members of Fire station 11. I sat through the drill (It was Greek to me) and then spoke with Capt. Anthony.
Years later I drove Chief Baker as a Drivers Aide in Batt. 5 on a SOD day. Some observations on Chief Baker.
1. Perfect Hair
2. Very articulate public speaker…(The Voice of the LAFD)
3. Handsome man (yes I said it), looks of a movie star
4. He wore Long sleeve white shirts ( I had never seen that while driving Chiefs).
5. Extremely Competent
On my SOD day we had a run after midnight. Chief Baker gets in the car with a long sleeve white shirt and like Larry Mayer said his hair was PERFECT. True Story.
RIP Chief Baker and my condolences to the Baker Family.
Terry Waters says
I work with Dick when he was a Captain II at F.S. 17, and again at Training, when he was the Chief. He was always a great leader. He handled the animal crew at old 17s with class. And was a great Chief at Drill Tower 89.
When the Department approved long sleeve black shirts for Captains, I was told by the lady at the uniform shop that I was the first person to order one. In the early days when I would wear that shirt, some would teasingly compare me to Dick Baker. I took it as a compliment.
His calm demeanor, and smooth voice over the radio, at major emergencies set a standard for the LAFD.
Dave Badgett says
Chief Baker was my BC when I made Captain and went to FS 65. Like nearly everyone has pointed out, he was always in his long sleeved shirt and often in his Eisenhower jacket to be fully decked out. He was good with us rookie Captains because his requirements and expectations were clear and reasonable which helped us to mature as Officers. We were a busy Engine Co. so we had lots of opportunities to work with him during routine and often at more complicated multi resource incidents in addition to the day to day administrative tasks. One of my special memories is about a day when we had a turnout coat stolen from the rig when we were out of quarters on an incident. As a probationary Captain I was expecting rough waters when I had to report the issue to him. However I was pleased to find that he took it in stride, listened to my explanation and gave us time to search the neighborhood before writing my 225. We recovered the coat so fortunately my 225 had a happy ending too. Rest in peace Chief Baker
Tom Czubek says
I was deeply saddened to hear of Chief Baker’s passing. I worked for him in Battalion 13. I had the opportunity to spend a few days with him at Daniel Freeman Hospital after he had his heart attack in 1980. I was in the emergency room after my injury, and there were no beds available for me to go to a room. He came down to visit me and told the nurses that he had a private room and put a bed in his room for me. Needless to say it felt like the Odd Couple. He being Felix Unger and me Oscar Madison. I had the privilege of meeting his beautiful family.
Chief Baker was a great firefighter, and Chief. He was the Face of the LAFD. He will be missed.
My thought and prayers go out to his family. Rest In Peace Chief Baker
Ken Krupnik says
There are a few larger than life personalities on the LAFD. Chief Richard Baker took the saying to a whole new level, he defined the term larger than life personality. He personified a suave Hollywood actor, and gave a classy distinguished look to the LAFD. He also loved taking on the role of civil war actor.
R.I.P. Chief Richard Baker…
Jack Reiss says
I met Chief Baker as a young Firefighter at FS 52. He was our Chief on the “B” Shift in Battalion 5. He and his SA Ken Brondel would come by FS 52 while they were running the Battalion and before long they would come by on a regular basis and in the morning and we would have spirited games of “Pickle ball” My impressions of him were how professional he was and he what was a nice man.
I remember working a SOD day at FS 27 and my job was to clean the Chief’s room that day. I didn’t have to clean very much. His room was spotless, and on the nightstand next to the bed was a bottle of Binaca and a comb so he would be prepared to talk to the press if we got a big fire after midnight.
As we time went by and he retired we reconnected and stayed in touch, and it gave me great pleasure to chat with him on a regular basis.
“Dick,” you will be missed. Thank you for the friendship and for treating me much better then I deserved! RIP my friend, till we meet again.
Alan R. Cowen says
Much has been said about Dick Baker; his professionalism, white long sleeve shirts, impeccable dresser, actor, and voice of the LAFD. Sometime around 1971 I met Chief Baker and could not believe that he was the only individual on the department that wore long sleeve shirts with the exception of the occasional use by the Chief Engineer and General Manager when in civilian clothes. Always a gentleman and a gentle man was his nature. As a Chief Officer he was “in style” at all times and grew old gracefully. If anyone is a legend on the LAFD, then his name is to be added to that list. Requiescat in Pace Chief Baker.