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Fire Service Day 2023

Angelenos Come Out to Support the LAFD

The roar of a portable generator breaches the silence of a warm Spring morning on May 13, 2023. Hydraulic hoses connected to the red and black engine writhe like snakes as pressure builds inside. On the other end of the lines sit two strange devices: a massive set of cutting scythes and a monstrous vice…colloquially known as the Jaws of Life. A firefighter from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) hoists the tool up and around the “B” pillar of a brand-new Subaru, gently turning the throttle to engage the powerful hydraulics.

Metal groans and pops, safety glass explodes into tiny cubes, and soon the doors and panels fall away. The car is dissected into component pieces in just a few short minutes. Then a new roar sounds: applause.   

Fire Service Day had arrived.

A Day of Recognition, Recreation, and Rejuvenation

Fire Chief Kristin Crowley and Mayor Karen Bass spoke at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks, taking time to recognize members of the LAFD and thank the countless guests for spending time with their city’s firefighters. While the day is aimed at community engagement, it goes far beyond that.

Few people have a chance to interact with a firefighter outside of a 911 call, so this event was an important opportunity for Angelenos to meet the men and women of their local fire stations. It was a chance to show support, express gratitude, and learn about the realities of fire prevention and control in 2023.

And, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a car dismembered in under 10 minutes.  

Since 1920, Fire Service Day has served as a chance for community members to meet the local firefighters serving and protecting their neighborhoods. Fire stations around the country open their doors to welcome the people in their cities, sharing food and demonstrations to educate people on fire safety and the tools of the trade.

In Los Angeles, with 106 stations serving over 469 square miles of Southern California, it is a day to celebrate the hard work of the 3500+ members of the LAFD. It was also an opportunity to learn about the various safety, educational, and youth-oriented programs the department offers year-round.

At Fire Station 112 in San Pedro, Howling Heroes 2023 winner Sampson met with his new fans and sailed aboard the LAFD Fire Boat. At Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks, firefighters repelled from towers and leapt off rooftops onto airbags. Fire 2, part of the LAFD’s helicopter fleet, soared overhead at various stations.

For many members of the community, this was a unique opportunity to see the equipment and members of the LAFD up close. For the firefighters, it was a chance to relax with the people they protect on a daily basis.

Become a Friend of LAFD

Approximately 97% of the city’s budget for LAFD goes towards personnel costs, leaving just 3% to cover the cost of essential equipment, new technology, and training programs. The disparity creates funding shortfalls for equipment needed for everyday incidents, and resources for specialty units (such as the Urban Search & Rescue and Air Operations units).

Your support makes all the difference. Donate today