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.
Structure Fire Helmets
Unit Cost: $330
Total Cost: $1.3 million
Structure fire helmets are designed to minimize head and neck injuries, deflect falling objects, and protect firefighters from hazardous debris. Because of the high volume of structure fires that the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responds to daily, up-to-date helmets with increased functionality are a critical necessity for firefighter protection.
When the Mayor appointed LAFD Fire Chief Kristin Crowley in March 2022, she identified firefighter safety and wellness as her key priority. This included ensuring that the LAFD had the most up-to-date equipment with the latest technological safety advancements.
After her appointment, Chief Crowley visited local fire stations and spoke to the LAFD personnel about the concerns. She learned that the firefighters were not satisfied with the current structure fire helmets and heard numerous complaints about the helmet’s weight, eye protection, and adjustable straps.
Recognizing the pivotal role structure fire helmets play in a firefighter's personal protective gear, Chief Crowley made it a priority to reevaluate and upgrade these essential components and has requested the LAFD Foundation’s assistance to purchase new helmets.
Fast Response Vehicle Converters
Unit Cost: $32,323 | 10 Units Needed
Total Cost: $323,323
Currently, the LAFD is experiencing a backlog of rescue ambulances due to supply chain issues with the manufacturer. In order to address the influx of
9-1-1 calls and to help relieve the pressures off of existing resources, the LAFD created an alternative solution that uses current vehicles in a multi-functional capacity.
The LAFD plans to use its existing fleet of Dodge Ram 3500 pickup trucks and convert them into FRVs (Fast Response Vehicles). The conversion of these vehicles will enable them to serve both as fast-response Advanced Life Support Units and as fire-suppression vehicles. The FRVs will carry the same equipment and medical supplies as a paramedic Mobile Intensive Care Unit and will also be equipped with a 150–300-gallon water tank with pumping capacity.
These FRVs can be built in approximately eight weeks and will be immediately deployed into the field. They will be able to
- function in a medical capacity,
- extinguish small rubbish and tent fires,
- and can aid in patrol for larger brush fires within the City.
The LAFD currently has two medical FRVs that are staffed 24 hours by a firefighter/paramedic and a firefighter/emergency medical technician (EMT). Since this pilot concept has proven to be successful, the LAFD would like to expand both the fleet and the capabilities with the proposed FRV conversions.
Body Armor & Tactical Gear
Total Cost: $60,000 for the Arson Unit *immediate need
Unit Cost: $400; Total Cost $1,400,000 for the entire LAFD
The LAFD personnel have fitted body armor as part of their standard operating procedure. However, the existing armor has exceeded its shelf life and budget restrictions have limited the ability to purchase new armor. Body armor is used when LAFD personnel are responding to assaults, stabbings, shootings, or any situation that could potentially turn violent. The most immediate need to is outfit the LAFD Arson Unit with upgraded armor and tactical gear. Body armor vests became required equipment for members of the Los Angeles Fire Department after the 1992 riots, when firefighters battling blazes became targets of people with guns. Over the past couple of years, LAFD firefighters have faced increased rates of violence when responding to 9-1-1 calls. This has led to an increased focus to provide the men and women of the LAFD with as much protection as possible.
Air Operations Flight Data Monitoring System
Total Cost: $123,000
The LAFD Air Operation Section is requesting funding for a Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) System. FDM technology integrates flight-following tracking with the aircraft’s onboard systems. This system provides real-time location and immediate notification to remote users in the event of an aircraft system warning or failure. The current system that the LAFD uses tracks each helicopter via satellite. The tracking of each helicopter is displayed on a single monitor and updated every 30 seconds. There are no provisions with the current flight following product for emergency notification or tracking integration with aircraft warning and failure systems in the event of an incident impacting the airworthiness of the aircraft. The addition of the FDM will expand on the current program and provide an integrated flight following and systems warning program which will ultimately enhance the safety of all passengers and crew during transport on helicopters.
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.
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: