Lafd 2020

Lafd 2020 DEFAULT

Left to right: Firefighter Cody Crippen, Engineer Robert Medrano, Firefighter/Paramedic Wesley Manning, Chief Ralph Terrazas, Captain Rob Scott, and Captain Kenneth Willahan.

Los Angeles, CA | May 5, 2021 – The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and LAFD Foundation held the 2020 VALOR Awards ceremony at Dodger Stadium. VALOR is the LAFD’s annual ceremony honoring exemplary LAFD members for outstanding service above and beyond the call of duty. Originally slated for November of 2020, the ceremony was unfortunately postponed due to safety concerns and pandemic protocols.

The ceremony marked the first private event to be held at Dodger Stadium since March of 2020. The audience of 100 attendees had front-row seats to the intimate, on-field program, which opened with remarks from Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas. NBC4’s Robert Kovacik graciously served as the master of ceremonies for the fourth consecutive year.

The hour-long event recognized five individual members of the Department for their heroic acts, each with a unique and moving story highlighting their bravery, courage, and commitment to the city. Captain II, Kenneth Willahan received the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for rescuing a pregnant woman and her small child during a river rafting excursion on the Colorado River. Three firefighters were honored with the Medal of Merit and another received a Special Commendation for their courageous actions during other emergencies.

2020 VALOR Honorees:

  • CORE – Community Organized Relief Effort, Community Impact Award
  • Farmers Insurance, Corporate Impact Award
  • Station 9, Skid Row, Station of the Year Award
  • Firefighter III, Cody Crippen, Letter of Special Commendation
  • Firefighter III/Paramedic, Wes Manning, Medal of Merit
  • Engineer, Robert Medrano, Medal of Merit
  • Captain I, Rob Scott, Medal of Merit
  • Captain II, Kenneth Willahan, Medal of Valor

“On behalf of the entire Los Angeles City Fire Department, I express our gratitude to all our Medal of Valor, Medal of Merit, and Special Commendation honorees who selflessly risked their lives in protection of others,” shared Chief Terrazas. “I am also grateful to our Community Impact Award recipient, CORE, for their tremendous partnership during the ongoing pandemic, as well as Farmers Insurance, recipient of the Corporate Impact Award.”

The 2020 VALOR Awards were made possible thanks to support from presenting sponsors, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, and platinum sponsors - Air Lease Corporation and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.



The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Foundation exists to fulfill the essential equipment, technology, and programmatic needs of our Los Angeles firefighters. This document highlights the Foundation’s funding accomplishments from January 2020 to May 2021. 

Every donated dollar truly makes a difference. In this timeframe, we provided $7,037,843 in funding for vital tools, equipment, and programs. The Foundation’s ability to adapt to the challenges and uncertainty of this chaotic period would not have been possible without the generous support and goodwill from individuals, businesses, and foundations across Los Angeles.

COMBATING COVID | $1,191,500

Before the world knew of COVID-19, the LAFD was answering 9-1-1 calls related to the coronavirus and transporting symptomatic patients to local area hospitals.  In March of 2020, the city appointed the LAFD to oversee and manage L.A.’s testing sites.

Testing - The LAFD managed the day-to-day operations and worked in collaboration with the non-profit organization, CORE Response, to test approximately four million Los Angeles residents. Managing the testing sites, along with an uptick in EMS-related calls, left the LAFD with a critical need for PPE. By the end of Mach, firefighters were rapidly depleting the Department’s inventory of personal protective gear and other resources used to prevent the virus from spreading.

At the peak of the pandemic, the LAFD was burning through over 10,000 N95 respiratory masks, 17,000 surgical masks, and over 140,000 pairs of surgical gloves a week. The LAFD turned to the LAFD Foundation for help in finding new sources to acquire PPE. Working alongside LAFD leadership, the Foundation helped to fundraise and identify new PPE equipment suppliers who had access to international supplies that could keep up with the Department’s growing demands.

Vaccination Sites and Mobile Program - In December 2020, the LAFD took on the responsibility of administering the city’s vaccination sites. As the vaccines became more readily available, the LAFD began transitioning the testing sites to serve as vaccination sites.

In March of 2021, The LAFD rolled out its mobile vaccination program to expand vaccine access in underserved communities. To date, LAFD personnel have helped administer more than 1,300,000 life-saving vaccinations. 

WILDFIRE SEASON | $1,781,878

The 2020 fire season was the most destructive in California's history. More than 9,600 fires burned 4,397,809 acres – the equivalent of four percent of the state’s approximately 100 million acres of land. Fire season arrives earlier and earlier each year. These extreme conditions are lasting longer, producing a higher rate of incidents, and placing immeasurable pressure on firefighters. Wildfire-related needs are now a year-round funding priority for the LAFD Foundation.

Emergency Fire Shelters - These personal fire shelters are deployed when the unthinkable happens and firefighters become overrun by flames. The fire shelters are light, compact, and quickly deployed. They are designed to reflect radiant heat, protect against convective heat, and trap breathable air within. Over the past two years, the Foundation has secured enough fire shelters for every firefighter assigned to wildfire duty.

Wildland Brush Tools - Clearing fire roads and creating natural barriers in anticipation of fire season can save homes and lives. The process is labor-intensive and exhausting. These light and durable hand tools are specially designed to help ground crews cut through tree limbs, clear brush overgrowth, and remove potential fuel sources. Over the past two years, the Foundation has outfitted more than 80 stations and Crew 3 (the LAFD’s volunteer brush clearance crew) with these tool kits.

Skid Steers - The Caterpillar Skid Steer D3 is a small operating vehicle that can use multiple attachments to address specific needs. The primary use for this vehicle is to assist in brush clearance, aid in debris removal, and provide access and help with large animal rescue.

Skid steers are also useful for commercial fires that require extensive amounts of labor to extinguish. The LAFD Wildland Fuel Management Unit received two new skid steers in time for the impending fire season.

Bulldozer - Bulldozers are often the most overlooked and the least known firefighting tools outside of the Department. Thanks to generous community support, the LAFD Foundation was able to secure a new Caterpillar D5-GR bulldozer just in time for the Palisades Fire of May 2021.

The D5 is a small, nimble bulldozer that can traverse rugged terrain and scale hillsides at a faster and safer speed than its larger counterparts. The D5 can cut a fire line at a rate of one to eight miles per hour depending on the terrain and vegetation. This is especially crucial considering L.A.'s unique environments where many hillside neighborhoods border wildland with heavy vegetation and limited access roads.


Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas’ key priorities include protecting the physical and psychological health of LAFD firefighters, and reducing their risks of near and long-term health concerns. Mental health and cancer prevention are two of the Foundation’s top funding priorities in this category.

Structure Fire Gloves - Each firefighter was equipped with two sets of structure fire gloves. These gloves are used during residential fires, commercial fires, and high-rise fires. Structure fires present some of the most challenging and dangerous working conditions imaginable.

High heat, flames, and toxic smoke from furniture and building materials create a risk-filled environment requiring the ultimate in fire protection. These new gloves offer maximum grip and dexterity while protecting against exposure to chemicals, carcinogens, heat, and direct flame.

Extractors - Firefighters inherently risk exposure to carcinogens, making them 14% more likely to die of cancer-related illnesses. The Foundation purchased 12 commercial-grade washers (extractors) to remove carcinogens and other harmful particulates from dirty turnout gear. Extractors purge toxins and contaminants with the power and speed of 100-Gs (one hundred times the force of gravity).


Given the breadth and scope of what the Department handles, the LAFD must have the most up-to-date technology. The Foundation works closely with LAFD leadership and specialty units to secure equipment that helps minimize threats to firefighters' safety, and save lives and property.

Firefighting Robot RS3 - The LAFD is the first fire department in the country to count a robotic firefighting vehicle amongst its apparatus. The Thermite RS3 is designed for deployment in a wide variety of scenarios, helps to minimize risks to firefighters in dangerous situations like high-rise fires, warehouse fires, tanker fires, refineries, recycling plant fires, and hazardous materials spills. The RS3 can flow 2,500 gallons per minute, is remotely operated, and provides high-definition video feedback for ultimate maneuverability under challenging conditions.

Satellite Phones and Communications Equipment - The LAFD’s Community Liaison Office (CLO) manages communication with external audiences to ensure that critical information and messaging is disseminated to the public. Geographic barriers and telecommunications dead zones can hinder the LAFD's ability to communicate the need for immediate evacuation, provide warnings and other emergency public information (EPI).

The LAFD Foundation equipped the CLO with satellite phones, dual sim iPhones, a mobile P.A. system, and upgraded routers. These items are highly effective communications tools when cellular coverage is at a minimum or non-existent, especially during fire season. The additional equipment augments the Department’s ability to broadcast evacuation orders, press conferences, and pertinent public information clearly and effectively.

Drones - Last year, the LAFD began using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, to enhance its brush clearance inspection process, which annually inspects over 145,000 parcels. Drones are useful in conducting inspections in hard-to-reach areas that are either locked in by other properties or inaccessible due to rough terrain.

In June of 2021, the LAFD received City approval to expand its drone program to survey residential areas in high-fire severity zones. Drones can now be used to identify any governmental or residential parcels that are in violation of brush fire regulations or parcels that do not have an ideal defensible space for brush fires. The two Autel Robotic EVO II Dual 640 drones used for these inspections were supplied by the Foundation.

Bobcat Fire Progression Map - The Bobcat Fire burned 115,796 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains from Sept. 9 – Dec. 18, 2020.

The LAFD's UAS team is also beta testing a new type of drone system that tethers to a command vehicle or mobile console. These drones can be equipped with high-definition cameras, thermal (heat) imaging, gas monitoring sensors, and other tools that give incident commanders real-time data for improved situational analysis and decision making. This system allows operators to live stream mission-critical aerial views without the need for flight authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (as currently required for all standard UAS drone flights).

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping - The GIS Mapping team supports the LAFD by providing full-time resources for mapping systems and technology. With new equipment funded by the Foundation, the GIS team now has three mobile workstations, a state-of-the-art plotter, and a widescreen display which can be set up on-demand to develop real-time maps that support fire perimeter updates, evacuation updates, and more.

This mobility upgrade increases GIS operational efficiency while reducing downtime during the beginning stages of critical incidents. As an unforeseen bonus, the new GIS equipment has also been used in conjunction with the UAS Unit to create detailed site maps for COVID testing and vaccination sites.


The LAFD Foundation helps meet specific needs of the LAFD’s specialty units, such as Air Operations, the Supply & Maintenance Division, the Fire Prevention Bureau, and widespread needs for the entire Department.

Air Operations Section - The Foundation helped cover the costs of two significant upgrades to the LAFD’s fleet of multi-mission AW139 medium-duty helicopters - the first line of defense in combating large-scale wildfires. The first upgrade was the purchase of two snag-free hover pump modifications at $45,000. This upgrade increases a pilot’s ability to hover while replenishing their water supply from fill stations, reservoirs, lakes, and various bodies of water throughout Los Angeles. The snag-free feature prevents the hover pump from inadvertently snagging or becoming entangled during hover-filling operations, making refilling faster, safer, and more efficient.

The second upgrade consisted of modifications to the actual water tanks. More specifically, the systems and mechanisms involved with opening the tank doors to release its contents in a more controlled and uniform water column. A helicopter drop tank typically carries close to 350 gallons of water, adding more than 2,900 pounds to the aircraft’s payload.

Jet Skis - Two Kawasaki 15F Series watercraft (jet skis) and a custom trailer were provided to the Swift Water Rescue Unit. Since the jet skis can operate in as little as two feet of water, they will be deployed in washes, channels, and side tributaries where a boat or rope system may not be an option. Funding was provided for both jet skis, equipment, a tow trailer, and upgrades to retrofit a second transport trailer. The acquisition of these jet skis ensures that the LAFD has the ability to outfit and deploy two complete Swift Water Rescue teams at a moment's notice.

Heavy-Duty Rescue Flashlights - In 2012, the Foundation purchased a heavy-duty flashlight for every member of the Department. Each year since then, the Foundation has continued to purchase flashlights for all LAFD academy graduates as they enter the field. These rugged, over-engineered lights were designed specifically to meet the LAFD rigorous performance standards, continue to be a firefighter’s go-to tool in a wide range of incident types.


Firefighters work 24-hour shifts. This means everyday kitchen essentials, laundry appliances, and exercise equipment at fire stations withstand use around the clock. The buildings themselves and everything within sustains substantial wear and tear. When an appliance, ceiling fan, or coffee maker breaks down, the firefighters are out of luck. Budget constraints and limited resource availability result in firefighters frequently shouldering the costs for repairs or replacements of basic items.

This is why the Adopt-a-Fire Station program (AAFS) exists. The AAFS program enables communities to give back to their local station, and to say thank you for the selfless service LAFD members provide each day. Donations can be designated to specific stations to address immediate needs or help improve general living and working conditions.

The Foundation allocated funds towards AAFS needs in 2020, including:

  • Washers and dryers
  • Power tools and hand tools
  • Commercial-grade ice machines and kitchen appliances
  • Treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights, and exercise equipment


The LAFD Foundation provided funding for four vital recruitment and outreach programs administered by the Department. These programs offer teens and young adults the opportunity to explore careers in the fire service while they develop skills in leadership, teamwork, and overall confidence.

The LAFD’s youth programs provide an invaluable service to underserved communities, and act as a recruiting pipeline for future generations of the LAFD family. The programs supported include:

  • Cadet Program - Designed for 14-20-year-old individuals who are serious about pursuing a career with the fire service.

  • High School Magnet Program – Prepares Los Angeles Unified School District students for entry-level careers and post-secondary education in the field of Public Service.

  • Girls Camp - Two-day workshops for young women to provide hands-on exercises, CPR training, leadership building skills, and insight into pursuing fire service careers.

  • Youth Fire Academy – Introductory seven-week program to educate, mentor, and teach life skills to high school students throughout underserved L.A. neighborhoods.

Canine Therapy Program - The LAFD Canine Therapy Program launched in December of 2020 as part of the Department's Behavioral Health Division. The purpose of the program is to help alleviate psychological and emotional trauma impacting our firefighters.

The program currently has one canine and handler duo to assist all 3,500 members of the Department. The LAFD Foundation is working closely with the Department's Behavioral Health Division to fast-track acquiring a second therapy dog.

For more information about the items or programs highlighted above, please contact:

Tara Gurlides, Development Director
(310) 552-4139 | [email protected]

Photo credits: Gary Apodaca, Jorge Arellano, Chris Conkle, Austin Gebhardt, Garet Jatsek, Justin Johnson, Thomas Raymond, LAFD Air Operations, and the LAFD Wildland Fuel Management Unit.

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VALOR is the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation's annual awards ceremony honoring LAFD members for outstanding service above and beyond the call of duty. This ceremony recognized actions taken during 2020.

To support this and other projects and programs made possible by the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, please visit

LAFD Medal of Valor from Los Angeles Fire Department on Vimeo.

***VALOR Awards 2020 Program PDF***



MEDAL OF VALOR: The Medal of Valor is awarded to sworn personnel who have demonstrated bravery at great risk to their own lives, beyond a doubt and clearly above the call of duty, whether on or off-duty.

MEDAL OF MERIT: The Medal of Merit is awarded to sworn personnel who distinguish themselves by performing an act where the individual’s actions, if not taken, would have resulted in serious injury or present imminent danger to life. The individual must have demonstrated a conspicuous act of bravery with calculated personal risk to his or her own life.

LETTER OF SPECIAL COMMENDATION: A Letter of Special Commendation is awarded to department members who perform an act requiring initiative and/ or ability worthy of recognition during emergency or non-emergency conditions.

CORPORATE IMPACT AWARD: The Corporate Impact Award is presented to a company that exhibits philanthropic excellence in the community, outstanding corporate citizenship, and longstanding support of the Department and its personnel.

COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD: The Community Impact Award is presented to an organization that provides invaluable service to the community and outstanding support for the people of Los Angeles.

STATION OF THE YEAR AWARD: The Station of the Year Award is presented to the men and women assigned to one specific station, who collectively exhibit exemplary service, professionalism, bravery, and compassion.


Community Impact Award - CORE

Corporate Impact Award - Farmers Insurance

Station of the Year Award - Station 9

Special Commendation - Firefighter III Cody Crippen, FS 29 B Platoon 

Medal of Merit - Engineer Robert Medrano, FS 15 A Platoon

Medal of Merit - Firefighter/Paramedic Wesley Manning, FS-107 B Platoon

Medal of Merit - Captain I Rob Scott, FS-95 B Platoon

Medal of Valor - Captain II Kenneth Willahan, FS-95 B Platoon

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Special Commendation - Firefighter III Cody Crippen, FS 29 B Platoon

Cody Crippen

On a sweltering August evening, Firefighter III Cody Crippen was set to enjoy some family time at the local pool. Not long after settling in, Cody heard screaming, ensued by a whirlwind of commotion. He looked up and saw a woman carrying a lifeless little boy.

Cody rushed to help as a crowd gathered. He encountered a father performing CPR on the unconscious child. Cody identified himself as a firefighter and knelt down to help.

He quickly cleared the boy’s airway, delivered a series of back blows alternated by chest compressions. During the third set of compressions, the boy began to regain consciousness.

Within minutes of reviving the boy, local firefighters arrived on the scene. Cody conducted the handoff with the ambulance crew, then proceeded to comfort the child’s parents while paramedics rendered care.

Thankfully the little boy has recovered fully due to the father’s CPR training and Firefighter Crippen’s heroic actions.

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Medal of Merit - Engineer Robert Medrano, FS 15 A Platoon

Robert Medrano

On a late August evening, Task Force 15 was dispatched to a sizable residential fire near Exposition Park. As is customary, Engineer Robert Medrano went to work securing the water supply for Engine 46 as soon as he arrived on the scene. With his primary task completed, he quickly moved on to survey the exterior of the structure.

He made his way to the backyard and encountered a frantic group of residents. They were unharmed but claimed two members of the household were still trapped inside.

At this point, heavy fire was showing from all sides of the building. With no time to waste, Engineer Medrano entered through the back door in search of the entrapped victims. He crouched low and moved with haste as thick, noxious smoke billowed throughout the house.

He searched until he located a blocked door, but it was too late. His eyes were searing. His lungs burned from the smoke and from holding his breath. He had to retreat to the backyard and regain his breath.

Twice more, he reentered the burning home in search of the trapped victims. On his third attempt, the door was breached with help from Engine 66 crew members, and the two victims were extracted. Engineer Medrano proceeded to render aid to a barely breathing female victim until she was loaded into an ambulance.

Medrano performed these acts despite not having his selfcontained breathing apparatus (SCBA) - a firefighter’s face protection and breathing system. He suffered significant smoke inhalation and was transported to a nearby hospital. While receiving oxygen treatment, Medrano learned the unfortunate news that the patient he helped rescue had passed away.

Engineer Medrano risked his personal safety in hopes of saving others. Despite the somber outcome, he is commended for his bravery and selflessness.

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Medal of Merit - Firefighter/Paramedic Wesley Manning, FS-107 B Platoon

Wesley Manning

A simple shopping errand resulted in a heart-breaking incident that prompted Firefighter/Paramedic Wesley Manning to act heroically.

Wes Manning was off-duty, shopping for towels at his local Costco. While browsing towards the rear of the store, he heard gunshots ring out. Turmoil ensued as terrified shoppers scrambled towards emergency exits.

Wes encouraged his fellow shoppers to remain calm and quiet as he helped usher them out a nearby exit. Instead of fleeing for safety, Wes chose to stay inside the store in case someone needed help.

Manning cautiously made his way from the emergency exit through the aisles until he came upon a male lying on the ground. The man was leaning on his side while pointing the barrel of the firearm down a separate aisle.

Wes crouched behind a waist-high refrigerator unit for cover, then calmly engaged the man with the gun. Wes asked the man a series of simple questions and learned that no other shooters were present. At great personal risk, Wes proceeded to search the scene and encountered multiple victims — one deceased and two requiring immediate medical attention.

With help from a few brave Costco employees, Wes tended to the gunshot wounds of the victims. Wes remained with the victims until law enforcement and medical help arrived.

After the two conscious victims were in the hands of paramedics, Wes returned to examine the gunman for injuries while police secured the scene. After a nerve-racking 25-minute ordeal, Wes helped turn the shooter over to law enforcement without further incident.

Thanks to Firefighter/Paramedic Manning and a few courageous Costco employees, the two wounded victims survived.

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Medal of Valor - Captain II Kenneth Willahan, FS-95 B Platoon

Medal of Merit - Captain I Rob Scott, FS-95 B Platoon

Kenneth WillahanRob Scott

CAPTAIN ROB SCOTT AND CAPTAIN KENNETH WILLAHAN are leaders and close colleagues at Fire Station 95, located near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Off-duty, they are best friends who spend family vacations together.

Captains Scott and Willahan are being recognized for their courageous acts during a recent family vacation trip to Utah. On a picturesque rafting excursion in Moab, Utah, the captains found themselves involved in a dangerous river rescue.

Their group had paused for lunch along a sandy embankment of the Colorado River, in between sets of Class II and Class III rapids. As the children played and explored along the shore, the group’s rafting guide spotted signs of trouble upriver.

In the distance, their guide spotted an upside-down kayak racing towards their position. Soon after, two individuals appeared in the water behind the kayak. The pair showed signs of distress.

The rafting guide retrieved a rescue throw bag — a whitewater safety device with a floating rope. Then, the two captains and their guide ran upriver towards the overboard kayakers. The would-be rescuers spaced themselves along the shore, hoping to deploy the throw bag in time to catch the first victim.

The distance was too great. The first kayaker was swept past them out of reach of the rescue rope. As the river carried the kayaker away, Captain Scott heard him yell out that his wife and son were in the water behind him. “My four-year-old is in the water! He can’t swim!” screamed the man.

Captain Scott shouted downriver to alert the others as a woman and small boy came barreling down the rapids. Captain Scott waded into waist-deep water, hoping he could reach them. Unfortunately, he could not. The woman and little boy rushed by, visibly struggling to stay above water.

A short distance downriver, Captain Willahan attempted to reach her. The woman extended an outstretched oar, but it was no luck. Another miss. So, without a life vest, Captain Willahan plunged into the river, swimming frantically behind the mother and child.

Captain Willahan swam to them, grabbed onto the oar, and assured them that everything would be okay. He tried to swim back to shore with one arm, but the current was too strong. The three would have to endure another section of rapids on their own.

Captain Willahan held on tightly to the mother and child as they traversed the rapids. Even though the two were wearing life vests, the frigid river was exacting its toll. The mother and child were exhausted and losing strength with every passing moment. Without a vest, Captain Willahan managed to keep them all afloat with only one free arm.

Meanwhile, Captain Scott sprinted down the riverbank back to their raft. He and the guide ushered the group back into the raft to pursue Captain Willahan. They paddled furiously to catch up, scanning the banks as they rowed.

Shortly after they cleared the rapids, a second kayak had caught up with Captain Willahan — It was the grandparents of the little boy. They had witnessed the whole ordeal while racing to catch up.

Captain Willahan heaved the child into the grandparents’ kayak. With the boy safe, Captain Willahan could focus on saving the mother. He held tightly to the side of the kayak with one arm and helped keep the woman afloat with the other.

The grandparents paddled a short distance to a safe embankment. Moments later, Captain Scott and the rest of the party arrived at the rescue scene to find the mother, boy, and Captain Willahan safely ashore.

The father of the little boy, the first of the kayakers to rush past the Captains while still on the riverbank, was rescued moments later by a group of paddleboarders.

Captain Rob Scott and Captain Kenneth Willahan successfully helped rescue a mother and her young boy at grave personal risk. Unknowingly, they also saved a third life, as it was later revealed that the mother was six months pregnant at the time of the incident. They exemplified exceptional bravery, courageous spirit, and the very best of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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Community Impact Award - CORE

CORE: Community Organized Response Effort is the Los Angeles Fire Department’s partner with the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

In late March of 2020, Los Angeles became the first major city in the U.S. to offer free COVID testing. Responsibility for managing public COVID testing fell on the LAFD. As the strain of this unprecedented effort unfolded, CORE recognized an opportunity to assist.

Six days a week, since the onset of the pandemic, CORE’s staff and volunteers have subjected themselves to the rigors of operating public testing sites across Los Angeles. Together with the LAFD, CORE leads the frontline effort to administer thousands of daily COVID tests. In fact, CORE has administered more than 4,200,000 COVID tests in Los Angeles in partnership with LAFD.

Founded in 2010 by actor and humanitarian Sean Penn, CORE arose to help provide vital relief and recovery services in the wake of the devasting earthquake in Haiti. Not long after, their disaster relief programs expanded to Puerto Rico, other parts of the Caribbean, and the Gulf Coast of the United States.

CORE continues the scope of its testing programs in communities across the country. Modeled on the success of their unconventional LAFD partnership, CORE now operates COVID sites in six states, Washington, D.C., and Navajo Nation.

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Station of the Year Award - Station 9

Fire Engine exiting the front of LAFD Station 9

Fire Station 9 is located in downtown Los Angeles, serving the community referred to as Skid Row. Despite covering a relatively small geographical service area, Station 9 has historically ranked as one of the busiest, if not the busiest fire station in the nation.

Station 9 serves an area plagued by some of the most dangerous, sensitive, and complex challenges facing our communities. The approximately 60 firefighters at Station 9 regularly respond to everything from seizures and overdoses, to stalled elevators and commercial fires — all in an area defined by extreme poverty and homelessness.

Station 9 averages about 80 emergency calls per day. Many of the 7,000 homeless people living on Skid Row rely on these firefighters as their primary health care provider. The Station 9 crew does their best to help these patients who are often victims of crime, or crippled by addiction and psychiatric disorders from years of living on the street.

In 2019 alone, Station No. 9 logged nearly 22,800 emergency calls across just 1.28 square miles — about 7,500 more than the LAFD’s next-busiest station. Serving one of our most vulnerable communities has given those at Station 9 a unique perspective on life in Los Angeles. But rather than dwell on non-stop challenges, they serve with pride, professionalism, and a sense of family shaped by their shared commitment to one of the city’s most intense assignments.

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Corporate Impact Award - Farmers Insurance

Farmers Insurance Logo

When Farmers Insurance began its operations in 1928, its founders instilled values of service and charity throughout the organization. Nearly 100 years later, Farmers actively supports the communities where its customers, agents, and employees live, work, and play.

Farmers puts its values into action through its philanthropic support of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the LAFD Foundation. In total, Famers has contributed more than $786,000 towards technology, tools, and equipment to help keep the men and women of the LAFD safe.

The Woodland Hills-based insurance leader has also graciously sponsored LAFD community events, helped raise awareness for the Foundation’s immediate funding needs, and donated over $185,000 specifically to the LAFD’s cancer prevention efforts.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is honored to count Farmers Insurance among its most valued community partners.

You can support important projects and programs made possible by the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, by visiting:

LAFD Foundation 2020 Community Impact Award: CORE
La Tuna Brush Fire


The Los Angeles Fire Department encourages you to be prepared in the event of a brush fire. For those of you living near the current incidents, be vigilant and keep your TV or radio on. Make certain you have your family critical papers, phone data, pets, and other valuables ready to evacuate if so directed.

Start Preparing Today

Red Flag Parking


To increase public safety, the Fire Department and Department of Transportation have created a program to remove illegally parked vehicles in posted locations within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. The goal of this program is to educate the public on the potential hazards associated with a fast-moving brush fire, and the importance of keeping roadways clear.

Learn More About Red Flag Parking



The canyons of Los Angeles are always a challenge in terms of fire safety. In addition to obvious brushy hillsides, there are multiple types of fire hazards that exist because of ornamental vegetation. The Los Angeles Fire Department works year-round to ensure those with this type of shrubbery obey the Fire Code relative to clearance and care.

Learn More About Brush


2020 lafd


S10 E8: Fire Station 9


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