What was your first interaction with the fire department as a kid? For some it was at a local parade or during fire service day at school. For Captain Michael “Mike” Flynn, it was calling 911 during a family member’s heart attack and watching paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department respond in his family’s time of need.
“The feeling of not knowing what to do in that situation and then having people come in who did is what really drove me to join the LAFD,” Flynn said.
Assigned to the LAFD’s Fire Communications & Dispatch Section, Flynn is in charge of the installation, deployment and training of new digital communications technology such as radios, mobile broadband devices and live streaming equipment. His personal interest in communications was sparked when he created an app that provides the LAFD information for fire station locations, radio frequencies, hospital information, maps and other resources. Besides giving members the ability to access these resources outside standard cell coverage areas, it also provides one central location to find everything.
“My goal for creating the app was to build a ‘one-stop shop’ that our members could find anything in three clicks,” Flynn said. “By increasing their efficiency, I’ve increased their safety while working. That’s the best reward for me.”
Besides his duties with communications and dispatch, Flynn, a 15-year veteran, has also explored other areas of the department. Since 2012 he has served as a member of the LAFD’s Swift Water Rescue team. As part of this team, Flynn has worked with the LAFD Foundation to obtain new, life-saving equipment including eye and ear protective gear as well as crossline reach devices. These devices had previously been out of production, but Flynn’s efforts led the manufacturer to reproduce them for the department. This equipment can now be found on all the LAFD’s Urban Search & Rescue apparatus.
When not surrounded by digital screens or riding turbulent waters to help save lives, Flynn enjoys surfing and traveling with his wife and two daughters.