When I was 10 years old, my brother-in-law took me to LAFD fire station 88 on fire service day. I saw live demonstrations by firefighters and knew this was the career for me. Almost seventeen years later I achieved my childhood dream of becoming a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Los Angeles City Fire Department.
Early in my career, I was shocked to hear the news of Firefighter Kelly Wong’s passing. He tragically fell from an aerial ladder during training in downtown Los Angeles and succumbed to his injuries on the morning of June 3, 2017. I attended his department memorial service and felt the sense that I lost a brother. Seeing his family reminded me of my own. I thought about my wife who was pregnant with our twin boys and was heartbroken for the Wong family.
Later, on May 16th, 2020, the Boyd Street Fire in downtown Los Angeles caused a massive explosion that severely burned eleven of our firefighters! Since I worked with many that were injured, I again was impacted as a part of the fire family. It was encouraging to see so many rally to bring awareness of how to help and donate.
Most recently on July 25th, 2020, Firefighter Paramedic Jose M. Perez passed away from illness complications. He was only 44 years old and is survived by his wife and three children. This is another sad reminder of how injury, illness, and death can so devastate the lives of firefighters, their families, and all who know and love them.
Now, I would like to help raise awareness and support firefighter families in THEIR time of need. The Widows, Orphans, & Disabled Firefighter's Fund is an organization that does just that. Depending on the situation, they can assist with: basic living expenses, health insurance premiums, specialized medical equipment, memorial scholarships for the surviving children, and other needs that come up. Please consider making a direct contribution to this great organization and know that your support will be impacting firefighter lives for generations to come.
I have also created Firefighter Crafted brand and website. Here you can purchase various products specially made or designed by firefighters. You will be encouraging a firefighter's creativity and supporting the fire department family. A portion of all proceeds from this website will go to firefighters that have been injured, disabled, and the families left behind. Thank you for your time in reading this and finding ways to support firefighters in their time of need.