LAFD Mailbag: CERT, Empathy and Teamwork

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 |

A sampling of letters to the Fire Chief from today's Los Angeles Fire Department mailbag:

Dear Chief Bamattre:

My wife, Donna Dees, and I recently participated in CERT training lead primarily by Marc Shapiro. We know how much residents of our neighborhood have benefited from and appreciate the CERT training and want to be sure that you know it, too. We also know that, in the event of a major emergency, the LAFD will be able to address only the most critical needs and being able to help ourselves before you can reach us will make a tremendous difference in the ability of Los Angeles to recover. We have been very impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of the members of the Disaster Preparedness Section, particularly Marc Shapiro. He is a uniquely talented instruction and leader and we benefited greatly from his teaching.

Tim Tobin

To learn more about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training in Los Angeles, please visit: -BH-

Dear Chief Bamattre:

On June 3, 2006 I was extremely tired and confused until FF/P Jones and Moone of Rescue 94 arrived. My husband appeared to be slipping into a diabetic coma. Not only were the empathetic, they were well versed as to what the problem was and exactly how to solve it.

Mr. Jones and Mr. Moone made me feel special when I explained my dilemma. I had gone through so much the entire day and my husband did not want to cooperate. In fact, they were so confident that I felt comfortable enough to ask all necessary questions.

These paramedics never once made me feel that my questions were foolish, or that this dilemma was due to my ignorance. This talent is missing in many of the people working in positions similar to theirs. Their professionalism was without question; their confidence, I am certain is often misunderstood, but is exactly what men search for and never find, especially in today’s society. Their knowledge and expertise will take them far and you should understand that many patients they come
in contact with daily feel the same way I do but fail to make it known to their superiors.

You would truly be remiss in your duties not to acknowledge these remarkable men. They are an asset to your organization. Thanking you in advance for reading this letter and taking into consideration all that is said.

Delphine E. Magee-Blish

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are proud to offer high caliber Emergency Medical Services. We encourage all members of the community to learn about preventing and managing diabetes by visiting: -BH-

Dear Chief Bamattre:

I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you and the Los Angeles Fire Department for your courtesy in assisting the Arcadia Fire Department.

On Saturday, June 24, 2006, Arcadia Fire Department Truck 105 experienced an alternator problem, disabling our only truck company. As you are well aware, truck companies play a vital roll during fire ground operations by providing for the safety of our firefighters as well as those we serve. Repairing the truck as quickly as possible was of the utmost importance.

While attempting to obtain an alternator from our parts supplier, Arcadia Fire Captain David Hutcheson contacted your dispatch center to request assistance from the LAFD Maintenance Division. Floor Captain Murray was very understanding of the
urgent nature of the situation and provided a telephone number for Maintenance Supervisor Mark Clark.

Captain Clark was contacted and made arrangements for a field mechanic to respond to Arcadia Fire Station No. 106 to facilitate the repair. Mechanic Craig Mason replaced the damaged alternator in less than 30 minutes, effectively placing the truck back in service.

These fine men are a credit to the Los Angeles Fire Department and the epitome of fire service professionals. In a world where a helping hand can be hard to find, they exemplify the brotherhood and goodwill that remains in the fire service today.

Please convey my appreciation to your personnel for their excellent service.

David R. Lugo, Jr
Fire Chief
Arcadia Fire Department

Since 1886, the Los Angeles Fire Department has been honored to work alongside, and when necessary, support the needs of neighboring agencies that share a regional commitment to safety and service. LAFD Field Mechanic Craig Mason is emblematic of that culture. To learn more about this tradition and history, please visit the LAFD Historical Archive at: -BH-

If you'd like to make the Fire Chief aware of your concerns, please write to:

William Bamattre
Fire Chief
Los Angeles Fire Department
200 North Main Street, Room 1800
Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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LA City Nerd said...

Or, readers, if you want to email him, try:

I'd write and tell him what an asset Brian Humphrey is to the Department, the City, and all who read the LAFD Blog.

redcup56 said...


When I read the 3 letters, I wasn't surprised by the first two, and after thinking about it, I wasn't surprised by the third one either.

Once again, the LAFD does whatever it needs to for the benefit of the citizens of Los Angeles (and their neighbors).

Keep up the good work, and stay safe.

Portland, OR

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

LA City Nerd:

Thanks for the link, and the kind words. I'd strongly encourage our readers to make note of and visit your wonderful site at:

Respectfully Yours in Safety and (City) Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thanks for your kind words, they mean more than you know.

Please be aware that a member of our extended LAFD family was recently involved in a traffic collision in The Rose City, and could not offer enough praise to the Portland Fire Department responders.

It is always important for us to hear how we are doing (good or bad) via firsthand reports from those we proudly serve.

If you or any of our blog readers have a comment, concern or observation you'd like to share with LAFD Administration, we'd encourage you to contact the Fire Chief.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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