Steve Ruda is Throttling Back

February 28, 2018

It’s always a bright and sunny day in September for the LAFD Invitational Golf Tournament. The urbane Steve Ruda is always chosen to handle the hosting duties for this event at the Mountain Gate Country Club. And when Steve steps up to the microphone, with a slight off-shore blowing at his back and a sweeping view of the Sepulveda Pass beneath him, he always says, “Your worst day of golf is better than your best day on the 405.”

Steve has worn many hats in his nearly forty-year tenure with the LAFD – yellow, orange and white helmets; ball caps with the Hope for Firefighters logo; Chairman of the Board of Honorary Awards; and the heavy coronet of a LAFRA Trustee. In fact, he has done two long stints as a Trustee, and has now decided to step aside. “We need to groom other members to take over and take us to new heights,” he recently told me. “We need to add new assets to the organization.”

An unabashed disciple of Lane Kemper (they worked together as firefighters at 10’s), Steve also adheres to Carter Ames’ old adage “Do your job and a little extra.” Working on the LAFRA Board, Steve says, is that little extra. “To be a part of this organization is the epidemy of service.”

Ruda has spent many long hours in the Relief and Assistance Committee rooms; was a strong proponent of the 1986, 2006 and 2017 yearbooks; and I’m sure he holds the world’s record for attending, presenting badges and presiding as master of ceremonies at more retirement dinners than anyone else in LAFD history. The “Golden Voice” of the LAFD may now be lightening up his work load as he approaches his golden years, but he will remain heavy in the heart and soul of LAFRA and the LAFD for years to come.

Interviewed by Dave Wagner

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