Legendary LAFD Spokesman To Retire

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 |

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 was the last day of duty for a legendary Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighter/Specialist Jim Wells retired after 31 years of service, and we thank our readers, especially active and retired members of the media, for offering their well wishes during his final tour of duty.

Jim spent more than a quarter-century as a Fire Department media representative, talking to staff from 'The Valley News and Green Sheet' before they became 'The Daily News', conveying word of local calamity to the typewriter-filled newsroom at the Herald-Examiner, rallying radio news reporters from then top-rated KMPC, and informing national television newscasters long before there was something called CNN.

How the world has changed...

During his tenure on the LAFD, Jim dealt with countless emergencies and disasters including such noteworthy events as:

- S.S. Sansinena Explosion, December 17, 1976
- Topanga Canyon Fire, November 14, 1977
- DC-10 Crash at LAX March 1, 1978
- Mandeville Canyon Fire, October, 1978
- Kirkwood Bowl/Laurel Canyon Fire, September 16, 1979
- The Dorothy Mae Apartment Fire, September 9, 1982
- Los Angeles Central Library Fire, April 29, 1986
- First Interstate Bank Fire May 4, 1988
- Pan Pacific Auditorium Fire, May 24, 1989
- US Air Boeing 737 Crash at LAX, February 1, 1991
- The Los Angeles Riots, April 9 - May 4, 1992
- Old Topanga Fire, November 2 - 11, 1993
- The Northridge Earthquake, January 17, 1994

...as well as LAFD response to:
- The World Trade Center Attack, September 11, 2001
- The Hurricane Katrina Disaster, August 29, 2005

Jim also had the dolorous task of dealing with the press and public in the line-of-duty deaths of several Los Angeles Firefighters, including:

- Firefighter Jaime Foster
- Captain Raymond Peterman
- Apparatus Operator Michael McComb
- Firefighter Lead Paramedic Eric Reiner
- Firefighter Paramedic Michael Butler
- Captain Joseph Dupee
- Firefighter Benjamin Pinel
- Paramedic James Fitzpatrick
- Apparatus Operator Thomas Taylor
- Firefighter Frank Hotchkin
- Firefighter Lynn Hazlett
- Firefighter Brian Phillips

Jim worked his final shift on Wednesday, May 31, 2006.

A lively and well attended retirement dinner for Jim was held on July 21, 2006.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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ResQRev said...

Congratulations on a job well done, Jim. You should be proud. Good luck and God bless!

Rev. John G. Fleischmann, FF/Paramedic
Center Moriches, L.I. NY

Ashley Rogers said...


Congratulations on your fire service career with the LAFD. You certainly have been one of the well known "voices" of the LAFD.

I remember listening to you on CNN during the Northridge Earthquake. Retired Deputy Chief Anthony and yourself were taking turns giving telephone interviews during that crisis on CNN. I was glued to the TV for 17 hours straight that day.

You always sounded professional on TV.

I am honored that I have been able to meet you in person.

My warmest wishes. Enjoy your retirement. God bless you.

Ashley Rogers
VNC Fire Dispatcher
LAFD Fire Buff

redcup56 said...


Congratulations on your retirement.

I have enjoyed reading your posts on the blog.

Best wishes,

Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your help and encouragement during my two-years at CSU. I wish you a happy retirement, and your family the patience and fortune to see you everyday.
Bill Wick, Captain II

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