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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.
 

NIGHT VISION GOGGLES

Approximately $13,500 per set, including mounting hardware
Total Cost: $67,000

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 $2,500 in mounting hardware costs. The LAFD needs to secure five sets of goggles in preparation for the 2022 and 2023 fire seasons.


BRUSH FIRE HELMETS

Approximately $45 per helmet
Total Cost: $32,400

Every LAFD member assigned to wildfire duties must be equipped with a brush fire helmet as part of their personal protective gear. The lightweight, flame-resistant helmets provide impact and penetration protection during dangerous firefighting and brush clearance conditions.

The Department is in the process of replacing existing brush fire helmets nearing the end of their service life. The immediate need lies in replacing the brush helmets worn by fire captains and the Crew 3 brush clearance hand crew members.

The current helmets worn by LAFD captains will be replaced with the upgraded model in a red colorway. The color change will help with visual communications and make captains more easily identifiable to field members working in wildland environments. Crew 3 members will be provided with the new helmet model in the crew’s signature black colorway.

The Department is seeking assistance replacing 660 captain’s helmets and securing 60 new helmets for Crew 3 volunteers.


BRUSH PATROL SKID UNITS

Approximately $15,000 per unit
Total Cost: $75,000

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.


LIGHT-DUTY HELICOPTER

Total Cost: Approximately $2,600,000

Thanks to generous anonymous donors, $344,000 has been raised so far. Donate today to get the Foundation closer to its goal - every dollar counts!

The LAFD’s Air Operations Unit uses light-duty helicopters for HELCO (command, control, and observation) for incidents including wildfires, high-rise fires, and other major emergency incidents requiring multiple aircraft. The HELCO team is responsible for managing the air space and flight communications for all responding aircraft and providing real-time situational analysis for incident commanders.

The Department’s three light-duty Bell 206 models have logged heavy usage and require frequent, labor-intensive maintenance that prevents one (or both) aircraft from being mission-ready. The inconsistent availability of the current light-duty models requires the Department to redirect a medium-duty helicopter to handle HELCO duties, resulting in fewer water-dropping aircraft available to help with firefights.

The Air Operations Unit has an immediate need for a new light-duty model. The requested replacement model is the Bell 505, ideally suited due to its versatility, affordability, and extensive customization options. The 505 can be outfitted to the LAFD’s performance and equipment specifications, including searchlights, thermal and infrared imaging, and water-dropping capabilities. The 505 can also remain airborne for up to four hours without refueling.

STRUCTURE FIRE BAILOUT SYSTEMS

Total Cost: $438,000  

High-rise and multi-level structure fires can create dangerous and unpredictable environments for firefighters. In extreme situations when an incident is deemed unsafe, firefighters may have no choice but to escape by deploying this bailout system to safely rappel down the outside of an engulfed or unstable building. 

Each firefighter’s bailout system is comprised of three main components:  

  • a harness/attachment
  • a descending rope
  • a safety hook

The LAFD needs to purchase additional bailout equipment and modify its aging escape systems to ensure maximum safety for our firefighters.

 

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.


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 

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. 
 


For more information about the funding priorities outlined above, please contact:  

Tara Gurlides 

Development Director  
(310) 552-4139 
Tara@supportLAFD.org