CURRENT FUNDING PRIORITIES
The LAFD Foundation channels community and corporate support into tangible resources for L.A.'s firefighters. For more than a decade, the LAFD Foundation has bridged critical gaps to secure essential equipment and support vital safety programs that would otherwise go unfunded. Every donated dollar has a direct and meaningful impact on those who risk their lives to keep Los Angeles safe.
Just 3% of the city's fire budget is allocated for everything from fire engines to flashlights.
Firefighters often rely on equipment that is in use well beyond its intended service life.
As the Fire Department’s official non-profit arm, the LAFD Foundation focuses its fundraising efforts on projects that:
- Improve firefighter health, safety and wellness
- Affect firefighters' ability to perform their life-saving duty
- Expand the resources relied upon to protect lives, homes and the environment
The Foundation works closely with Fire Chief Kristin Crowley, her leadership team, and various LAFD specialty units to determine immediate funding needs and ongoing support opportunities. Current funding objectives are listed below.
LAFD CREW 4 EQUIPMENT
In an effort to devote more staffing to wildland suppression and firefighting, the LAFD received approval for the creation of Crew 4 – a fulltime cadre of wildland firefighters dedicated to brush clearance and brush fire suppression.
The newly established crew will consist of two 26-member teams. Funding support is needed to outfit the incoming crew with basic gear, such as fire shelters, brush jackets, helmets, hand tools, chainsaws, equipment-hauling packs, and necessities for the rigors of protecting communities and habitats with wildland interface.
Crew 4 is gearing up now for the 2023 fire season. Their objective will be to clear hundreds of miles of brush along fire and access roads near high-risk neighborhoods and hillside communities. During fires, these firefighters will hand-cut defensive lines in rugged terrain to help with active fire containment.
THERMAL IMAGING CAMERAS
Unit Cost: Approximately $535 | 100 units needed
Total Cost: $60,000
TICs have proven to be useful a tool in search and rescue operations to find lost or trapped victims, and to locate fire hotspots obscured by walls, structures, or debris. Firefighters have also reportedly used TICs to self-rescue. In low visibility conditions or when separated from their teammates, firefighters can follow the cold water signature of their fire hoses and follow the hose line out to safety.
In 2019, the LAFD Foundation purchased 1,000 TICs – enough to equip every on duty firefighter. An additional 100 units are now needed to replace lost/broken cameras, and to equip newly hired firefighters with this life-saving tool.
NIGHT VISION GOGGLES
Approximately $14,000 per set, including mounting hardware
Total Cost: $70,000
Night vision goggles (NVGs) are worn by the LAFD’s helicopter pilots while conducting nighttime and low visibility operations. The goggles are necessary for pilots during brush fires, search and rescue missions, and other emergencies with potential structural or natural flight hazards.
NVGs provide the ability to zero in on the heart of a wildfire by locating hot spots – an easier and more efficient task conducted at night.
Most importantly, the NVGs allow the pilots to deploy more accurate water drops.
The LAFD’s goggles are safety tested and inspected every six months. During the most recent inspection, two pairs of goggles failed to pass, and additional pairs are nearing the end of their service life. Each set of goggles costs approximately $11,000, with an additional $3,000 in mounting hardware costs. The LAFD needs to secure five sets of goggles in preparation for the 2022 and 2023 fire seasons.
BRUSH PATROL SKID UNITS
Approximately $18,000 per unit
Total Cost: $90,000
Skid units consist of a motor, high-powered water pump, 200-gallon reservoir, and 200 feet of hose, and all are affixed on an aluminum frame. The skid units are designed to be easily mounted to the bed of a pickup truck. These units can be converted from a standard department pickup truck into a versatile firefighting resource.
Just a two-member crew can operate skid unit-equipped pickups. During brush fires, they are primarily deployed to extinguish hot spots or defend high-risk areas and residential communities from encroaching flames. Strategic use of skid unit-equipped trucks allows the Department to keep larger apparatus at the forefront of the firefights. The LAFD requests help outfitting five existing brush patrol pickups with new skid units.
DIGITAL LOAD BANK
Total Cost: $25,000
The LAFD’s Critical Incident Planning and Training Section (CIPTS) needs a portable load bank to test and maintain the Department’s emergency power generators.
The LAFD possesses more than 20 power generators strategically positioned throughout the city. These generators are used to power basecamp operations during wildfires and other sizeable incidents, such as the Department’s COVID response or for a disaster response. Generators also provide back-up power to older fire stations during outages. Generators can fail at critical times if not routinely tested and maintained. The Simplex Infinity 200 Digital Load Bank can help LAFD personnel ensure that generators are mission-ready and help maximize the service life of the generators acquired during the pandemic response.
A portable load bank would allow the LAFD to test generators in the field, or at select staging areas with hauling the generators downtown by trailer.
The load bank will keep the LAFD’s generator fleet in top condition and help with resource availability for secondary issues like powering emergency cooling shelters or providing back-up power to assisted living facilities during prolonged outages.
INJURY PREVENTION UNIT
TOTAL COST: $65,000
Grounded by the latest advances in kinesiology, sports medicine, and certified athletic training, the LAFD's Injury Prevention Unit focuses on treating minor injuries, improving body mechanics, and educating members on wellness best practices.
The first-of-its-kind program treats firefighters as "tactical athletes," and its benefits are available to all firefighters and firefighter recruits. The program also aids injured firefighters in the recovery process with hands-on rehabilitative treatment by a certified athletic trainer.
The LAFD Foundation seeks funding to provide personnel and equipment support to establish athletic training treatment rooms at the Frank Hotchkins Memorial Training Center (LAFD training headquarters) and at the Harbor and San Fernando Valley drill tower locations – the training academy facilities for incoming firefighters. Implementing essential injury prevention practices will help to mitigate the volume of injuries occurring on duty by:
- Conducting functional movement screenings (FMS) for all firefighter recruits that is designed to evaluate physical readiness and injury susceptibility
- Providing personal and tailored fitness programs to firefighters/recruits, and one-on-one form-function exercises that addresses individual needs
- Developing and executing Department-wide educational training programs
- Helping firefighters returning to duty from extended injury-related leave
LUCAS CHEST COMPRESSION SYSTEMS
Unit Cost: $18,000 | Four units needed
Total Cost: $72,000
More than 85% of the 9-1-1 calls the LAFD responds to are medical emergencies. Department Rescue Ambulances (RAs) transport about 590 people to area hospitals each day, with many of these incidents involving patients in cardiac arrest.
When a firefighter or paramedic performs chest compressions on a patient in cardiac arrest, multiple compressions are needed to build up and maintain adequate intravascular pressure for proper perfusion (the passage of fluid through the circulatory system or lymphatic system to organs or tissues).
Continuity is critical when delivering chest compressions. Even a slight halt can lead to pressure loss, resulting in suboptimal perfusion of the heart and brain. For this reason, it is critical that compression interruptions be kept to a minimum to help increase a patient’s chances of survival and recovery.
The LUCAS device is a highly advanced, yet easy-to-use mechanical chest compression device that helps paramedics deliver hands-free consistent chest compressions to patients in the field, or in the back of the ambulance while in route the hospital. These systems are already delivering promising results for other major metropolitan fire departments.
The LAFD’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Bureau hopes to equip each four Advanced Provider Response Unit (APRU) ambulances with a LUCAS device – one device per geographic bureau. The cost of each system is approximately $18,000.
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) involves the location, extrication, and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces. USAR is considered a "multi-hazard" discipline since it may be needed for various emergencies or disasters, such as structure fires, construction accidents, earthquakes, storms, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, hazardous materials releases, and acts of terror.
This highly specialized team frequently responds to incidents in Los Angeles but also deploys throughout the state and country. The LAFD's USAR team requires the following tools and equipment.
RAKER SHORE EXPANSION KITS
6 kits at $10,000 per kit
Total Cost: $60,000
Structural collapse incidents involving outward leaning walls require USAR crews to erect raker systems - part of shoring a structure to provide safe entry and exit for life hazard operations.
These systems deploy quickly to support a load of unstable walls while firefighters perform their life-saving work.
Shoring a wall often requires multiple raker systems to be placed. The expansion kits requested by the USAR team will allow rescuers to quickly establish a shoring system around rubble piles without the need for traditional lumber resources.
THERMAL IMAGING CAMERAS
Four cameras at $8,000 per kit
Total Cost: $32,000
USAR rescuers often encounter unseen challenges and dangers. Advanced thermal imaging cameras provide valuable information about rapidly changing conditions when flames, smoke, and darkness create a dangerous environment. These ergonomic, easy-to-use cameras will help firefighters navigate difficult surroundings, locate victims and hotspots, and protect their personal safety.
TWO-WAY VOICE COMMUNICATIONS & RESCUE SYSTEMS
Seven kits at $22,230 per kit
Total Cost: $155,610
Reliable communication amongst USAR team members is of the utmost importance. This comprehensive kit can be configured according to the type of rescue required. It provides hands-free, simultaneous two-way (private) communication between the victim and the rescuers. The system is specially designed for the following complex operations:
- Confined space rescue
- Collapse structure rescue
- Trench rescue
- Mine rescue
- High angle rescue
- Shoring & tunneling
- Victim location
DIVE TEAM SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Approximately $25,000 | Repairs and Replacement Costs
The LAFD’s Dive Team consists of 18 front-line divers and six backup divers who deliver 24/7 emergency services to the port and coastal communities. The LAFD Foundation seeks $25,000 to address ongoing equipment repairs and replacement costs.
The Dive Team is one of the most important assets involved in the port’s safety, responsible for supporting essential operations at the 25 cargo terminals, 82 container cranes, and over 40 miles of waterfront. Divers deploy at least twice per week incidents such as water and cliff rescues, emergency medical calls, wharf fires, boat fires, stranded or sunken vessels, fuel spills, and tanker inspections.
The LAFD's divers will often use a piece of equipment past its service life or after repeated repairs because replacement costs are unaffordable. Forcing divers into this compromised approach increases the risks of equipment failure, jeopardizing their individual safety, the safety of their teammates, and those they are sworn to help.
The Dive Team requires funding to address ongoing equipment repairs and replacement costs - This includes the purchase of full-face masks, underwater communications transceivers, smart diving computers, dry suits, and replacement of high-use items including hoses, seals, and tank straps.
US&R CANINE SEARCH SPECIALIST SUPPORT
Total Cost: $10,000
The LAFD utilizes specially trained dogs in its Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) operations.
The program’s eight members and 12 working dogs (eight live find dogs, and four human remains detection dogs) frequently deploy to a variety of incident types ranging from wildfires to structural collapses, to mudslides.
Unit Cost: Approximately $9,500 | Six units needed
Total Cost: $58,000
Due to their frequent and prolonged exposures to carcinogens, firefighters are 14% more likely to die of cancer-related illness. Extractors are a vital asset in the LAFD’s fight to reduce occurrences of occupational cancer.
These machines are essentially commercial-grade washers that remove carcinogens and other harmful particulates from soiled and contaminated turnout gear. An extractor purges toxins from turnout gear with the power and speed of 100-Gs (one hundred times the force of gravity).
Having an extractor on-site at each fire station is the LAFD’s goal, so firefighters can immediately wash their contaminated gear upon returning from an incident. The LAFD Foundation aims to purchase six extractors during the FY22-23 cycle.
For more information about the funding priorities outlined above, please contact: