Fire Chief William Bamattre - Statement To The Community

Friday, December 01, 2006 |

The following are remarks offered by Los Angeles Fire Chief William Bamattre to members of the community and media who gathered today at the LAFD's soon-to-debut Training Facility in Panorama City.

"I want to welcome all of you to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s (LAFD) new Training Facility, which will greet its first Recruit training Class in January. I chose this location for today’s message because it represents much more than just a Training Facility. It is a physical statement about my vision as Fire Chief and stands in testimony to the progress, direction and accomplishments of the LAFD during my tenure.

New recruits will be introduced to the various aspects and responsibilities of Firefighters with realistic simulated scenarios in a controlled training environment providing for the safety of recruits and training staff. Firefighter safety is the highest priority in our training and response.

This facility is designed, benefiting from three major reviews and improvements of Recruit Training over the last ten years. It incorporates gender facilities, expandable to meet the training needs of recruits and staff. There are multiple lecture rooms and protected environments for practical “hands-on” training. By design, there is an active Fire Station to introduce the new recruits to the three distinct work environments of a Firefighter:

  • Conventional supervisor/employee/peer relationship.
  • Life-threatening Emergency response to Fires, Medical Emergencies, and other life safety threats
  • The social environment presented by a 24-hour shift. Where Firefighters must learn to live together with respect for individual differences.

All types of training can be provided here: Hazardous-Materials, Fire Prevention, Public Education, USAR and Confined Space Rescue, Apparatus Maintenance, Terrorism Awareness and Response, etc.

Collaborative training will be facilitated for multiple agencies within the City and region as we all deal with the challenge of meeting dynamic Public Safety needs.

Emergency Preparedness; our CERT Program (Community Emergency Response Teams); and our Volunteer Programs will benefit from this facility by attracting new members and maintaining skill sets. This facility embodies our newest initiative to create Disaster Management Districts able to provide sustaining food and shelter for up to seven days for any type of emergency requiring evacuation.

This facility is one of multiple capital improvements in place to address the current and future expanding needs of Public Safety.

The primary “Measure of Effectiveness” that I implemented for the LAFD is our Response Time. Our Response Goal – measured from the receipt of the 911 call to arrival of the first resource – is to 5 minutes. This shall be achieved 90% of the time. With the completion of the new dispatch “Command and Control” center in 2008 the LAFD will achieve this goal.

This morning I submitted a letter to the Mayor informing him of my retirement. I will step down as Fire Chief on January 1, 2007.

This was a difficult decision. As Fire Chief, my actions have always been guided by three tenets:

  • What’s best for Public Safety
  • What’s best for Firefighter Safety
  • What’s best for the Department

Current Fire Department issues have received wide spread media attention and have disproportionately required the attention of both the Mayor and Council. It has also begun to adversely impact the ability of the LAFD to appropriately address other import issues and initiatives. As Fire Chief, I accept the accountability and responsibility to manage whatever issues that the Department must deal with. I remain resolute and confident in my ability to meet the challenges presented by these issues. As Fire Chief for the past 11 years, I will stand on the merits of my record and am proud of the Department’s accomplishments under my leadership.

However, I have always placed the interest of the Department above my own personal interest. I am also a political realist. Over the past few days, I have come to the appreciation that these current issues have political implications beyond the scope of the Fire Department. I have become the focus of the debate and that is to the detriment of the LAFD. I will not allow that to continue. This is my decision and it is the appropriate time. I have spoken with the Mayor, and he is in agreement.

I have a great deal of respect for the Mayor and the Council members. Their individual talents, empathy and leadership are exceptional. Their challenge will be to keep the collective interests of the City of Los Angeles above their own aspirations and political concerns. I am hopeful that they will work together to resolve the difficult issues that lay before them.

In planning for my retirement, I had three objectives:

  • Ensure that the initiatives and programs important to my vision for the LAFD were established
  • Develop a pool of LAFD candidates from which the Mayor could select my successor
  • Ensure a smooth transition

I am confident that I have achieved the first two objectives. The smooth transition may take a little more work!

In dealing with these current issues, I came across the first communication that I sent out to all LAFD members when I was appointed Fire Chief in 1995. I would like to read to you the last part of that communications I believe it applies now as it did eleven years ago.

It is important that the critical tenets of my philosophy are clear to all members. Therefore, they are reiterated to avoid any misunderstanding.

  • Firefighter safety remains my top priority and enhanced training with state-of-the-art equipment will ensure that firefighter safety is maintained.
  • The LAFD must reflect the diversity of the community it serves in order to be successful in its mission.
  • Input from all members and suggestions to improve efficiency and effectiveness are encouraged and welcomed.
  • Department members are free to participate in the organizations of their choice.
  • Every individual is entitled to respect and equitable treatment.
  • Discrimination and/or harassment of any type (ethnic, gender, rank, etc.), whether overt, subtle, or unintentional WILL NOT be tolerated.
  • I am committed to supporting human relations training that will improve the development of interpersonal skills creating a better work environment for all.
  • Resource configuration must be flexible to respond to the needs of a dynamic emergency environment.
  • Individual Commitment is not enough; collectively the membership must contribute their initiative and energy to inspire the innovations that will influence the direction of this department in the years ahead.
  • All members must take a genuine interest in the community they serve.
  • Management and labor can and should work cooperatively and productively to achieve common goals.

During this period of transition, I am asking for your support and personal commitment. The support I seek is not for me personally, but rather for the future of our Department. Throughout its history, the members of this Department have prevailed despite many challenges. Reaffirming our collective unity in commitment and purpose, the LAFD can transform adversity into opportunity.

The strength and values of the Fire Department are found in the exceptional people that work for the LAFD. They have distinguished themselves for over 120 years and they will continue to do so in the future."

(photos) (slideshow)

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Anonymous said...

Keep your head up Chief, I believe you have done so very much for us at the LAFD. You have becaome nothing more than a political scapcoat. I hope the mayor is happy, you were doomed with him from the start. Tennie Pierce, all I have to tell you is that this is a prank gone bad. It wasn't racial and you know it wasn't, you just jumped on the BIG BUCK bandwagonand I truely wish all you get is $1.00 and a lot of neighbors that see you as what you are, a gold-digger.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It saddens me to have to see our chief resign on these terms -- over something so inane and insignificant. Tennie, I hope you can live with yourself after this. You have forever smeared our department's name, you almost robbed the very citizens you protect of $2.7 million, and your actions have now resulted in the ousting of our fire chief. I hope you're happy.

Anonymous said...

Too little to late Chief.

YOU - a scapegoat? We don't think so.

While YOU have made many a scapegoat throughout your career to cover your own adminstration's failings, you certainly ARE NOT a scapegoat.

The consensus is you have reaped what you have sown.

We'll all pass on your retirement dinner.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad day for the LAFD. I agree with the gentleman who posted before me. Do not allow the impeccable grammatical syntax of the Mayor fool you-- this is political.. Nothing more, nothing less. But this is a strong department, and all will be well.

Anonymous said...

This is a sad day for the LAFD. I whole heartedly agree with the post before me. Do not allow the impeccable grammatical syntax, or the Mayor's thousand dollar suit fool you... This is purely political. But the department is strong, and will carry forth.

Anonymous said...


I wish that you would reconsider your decision to step down. I was hoping that you would put up a fight. Since you've been the Fire Chief, you message was improve our public service and overall public satifaction. We've been doing that. The fires go out and we treat and transport the sick and injured. The rank and file just needed to behave.

That fact is people are people and sometimes stupid things happen. So, we make a rule over it, inform everyone of the consequences and guess what...somebody else makes the same mistake why?...because we're human. Much to the public dismay we're not machines. It doesn't seem right that you have to take the fall for this bad time in our fire department. I blame the media for all of the sensationalism, I blame Laura Chick for her "personal" grudge and I blame all of those "shameless" individuals who choose to deface our organization with trumped-up allegations of this and that. Everybody wants something for nothing. Where's the honor, where's the loyalty?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Chief Bamattre is one of the great General Managers to lead a City Department in Los Angeles in the era of the new Charter. Though there have been some challenges, he has led the nation's best Fire Department well for the last 11 years. He deserves our thanks for facilitating the saving of lives, structures, our natural resources, and our City through the work of his department.

I thank you, Chief. There's a lot that goes into running a City like Los Angeles, and your contributions of 11 years will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor said that because of your performance (or lack of)you have become a liability to the city and to the department, therefore he had no latitude but to give you the choice to resign or he would terminate you.
You made the right choice. It' time for an action agent to be put in place. Good luck in your upcoming political pursuits.

Anonymous said...

Chief B:

Why not come right out and tell it like it is.

You wanted to stay on the job through Feb. 2008.

The Mayor wouldn't let you.

Anonymous said...

tennie should get jail time for all that has happened and wasting time and money, also for being a cry baby

Anonymous said...

tennie should get jail time, and he should also quit all the crying, now another man has lost his job

Anonymous said...

I read that the city council pressured Fire Chief Bamattre to step down. Bamattre got embroiled in a minority firefighters attempt to use the race card to get millions of taxpayers dollars. I read that Tennie Pierce referred to himself as the Big Dog. So Pierce can call himself the Big Dog, but firefighters can't respond by feeding him dog food? (I've seen photographs of Pierce playing pranks on other firefighters). Minorities want to be accepted, but if people can't say or do anything to them without worrying about them filing multi-million dollar lawsuits, then how can one work with them? I've read that some elderly people in this country are so poor that they eat dog food every day. If I was on the jury, I would award Pierce nothing. Pierce should be grateful that he doesn't have to eat dog food every day.

Anonymous said...

Let it be said this way.....Sometimes the have and have not's can be traced back to the did and did not's!....The Chief doesn't "have" a job anymore because he "did not" put a stop to the BS that goes on in the L.A.F.D.

Source inside the L.A.F.D.

Anonymous said...

The LAFD is a premier Fire and EMS
provider, you dont become that by being as one disgruntled member said "racist, sexist and homophobic". On a daily basis members of the LAFD interact with each other in a family setting. We live, sleep and eat together and we get along with each other. A small group of disgruntled former and current employees would like the public to believe otherwise and they are doing a great dis-service to the department. If they are truly unhappy with their career, they should leave and find a job where they will be happy. If the LAFD is is such uproar, where are all the harassed employees. Follow the news and you will see the same small group of disloyal and disgrunted employees looking for a quick buck on their way out.

Chief Bamattre. Best wishes to you and your family. Thank you for your leadership.

Anonymous said...

Those shift captain's better get used to riding backwards again....Cuz when Bamattre goes down there will be more to follow....That includes the council and mayor when Tennie gets a settlement worth more $$$$$$$$$$ than first offered by the city....This will be a case of penny wise dollar well as opening the door for litigation for firefighters who where hazed under the same shift captain's watch! Get the check book out city of L.A. there's more to come!

Anonymous said...

You have frustrated many of us by your silence when we have all been accused for the mistakes of a few of us. There have been times when we have wanted your leadership but couldn't find it...but these shortcomings don't seem to fit your politically driven ouster. Thanks for the good changes you have made. Godspeed in your future endeavors.

PS..Tennie, I know you must be scared, and embarrassed, but it's not to late to make things right.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Chief.

But you should have left a long time ago.

Now let's get back our good name.

Anonymous said...


Your tenure at the helm of the LAFD maybe overshadowed by the recent incidents involving the rank and file of the LAFD, It sadens me to know they won't remember how hard you worked to get those very same rank and file into newer more state of the art fire stations and out of old cramped stations

Best of luck in your future endevors

Ashley said...

I have been a fire buff of the LAFD since I was in the 5th grade - 1985. I have had the wonder chance to become very friends with a few LAFD firefighters over the years.

It very sad to see the LAFD go through these challenges.

To the firefighters of the LAFD: It is not easy being being a fire chief in a large city these days. The job of a chief has became too political over the past 15 years. Fire chief's have to cater to the citizens, firefighters and to city administrative staff (mayors and city council members). Long time ago, fire chiefs pretty much only had to worry about the citizens and firefighters. But in this day and age, that isn't so anymore. Fire chiefs can not be fire chiefs anymore. They are politicians. And this needs to change. Fire chiefs need to be fire chiefs, not politicians.

Chief Bamattre was a good chief. He was smart and well educated. Did he make mistakes? I am sure he did. He is human. Humans are not perfect. People make mistakes.

The wounds will not heal over night. It will take months and maybe a couple of years to get things settled back down.

Firehouse joking and playing around is okay. It is part of getting to know each other. But don't take it over the limits to harassment and hazing. Someone is going to get physically hurt one of these days, and then there will be some really big challenges that LAFD will face.

I hope the LA Mayor will pick a progressive chief that is firm, but fair to all. Like any fire department, LAFD needs a fire chief who knows administrative and operation duties.

To Chief Bamattre - I wish you the best of luck in your retirement. Take the time to enjoy it. I am sad to see you go under these conditions. Things happen for a reason, and things will work out for the best. But, you have worked long enough, and I am sure you will enjoy retirement. Thanks for sending me an official LAFD autographed picture in 1995.

Finally, God bless you Chief Bamattre and all of the members of the LAFD. May the Lord keep all of you safe.


Anonymous said...


Taxpayers pay Fire Chief $265,000 a year to do his job

Mayor "fires" the Fire Chief because the Fire Chief is not doing his job

Taxpayers pay retired 53-year-old Fire Chief $180,000 a year for life by the taxpayers not to do his job

Taxpayers pay retired Fire Chief more than 5-1/2 million dollars for doing nothing if he lives to be 83 !


Anonymous said...

Fire Chief Bamattre earned his salary and the money he will receive when he retires. All past and future fire chiefs will earn what they're paid. The fire chief WAS doing his job: he was doing the best he could, to deal with frivolous lawsuits. The mayor fired the fire chief because of pressure from certain people who are influential and in positions of power... the mayor couldn't take the heat. "Big Dog" Pierce didn't earn the multi-million settlement he might get. I did a google search and found out that during volleyball games, Pierce would ask the other firefighters to "feed the Big Dog." In other words, Pierce wanted the ball so that he could spike it. When Pierce was fed dog food, instead of laughing at the prank, he realized he had a chance to get millions of dollars. If Pierce gets any settlement money, it won't be EARNED.

redcup56 said...

How come the comments that are pro-chief leave their name, and the negative comments are from "anonymous"? (There were exceptions above)

I no longer live in Los Angeles, but I still follow the LAFD, and I think the chief has done a great job for his 11 years of service as Chief Engineer. I didn't comment earlier because I was at a loss for words, but lacitynerd and Ashley have summed up my feelings pretty well.

Chief Battamre, Good luck in you future endeavors. I hope you can serve a department that protects my home and family.

Stay safe,

Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

Chief Bamattre:
Despite what the critics say I believe you have led the LAFD with such strong conviction and belief that you could make a difference. That was overshadowed by dirty politics played out by Laura Chick and the Mayor. You simply were not allowed to do your job.
I commend you on taking on such a role. You have led this department so far. It's so unfortunate that so much of the good that you've done has been overshadowed by one person's decision. Tennie: I hope you see what your actions have caused. Last I heard you have done the same hazing acts to other firefighters. It's a shame you are in it for the money.
So sad to see you go.
It will be a huge loss to the department.

Anonymous said...

Chief Bammattre has done alot for the dept..its the group around him that has done damamge..everything that happens with city goes to the deputy chief(Mack) and then goes to chief Bammatre, but the chief lets the deputy chief say the final saying..I belileve the deputy chief should step down and have chief Bammattre assigned a new chief. One who is there with the firefighters of L.A. through thick in thin. I'm a prime example.I work up at a fire dept up north now, but I started my career with LAFD. LAFD was and will always be my family and my brothers.. I was terminated from an incident and the deputy chief had the final saying, something that was not legal, just within the administration .."Chief Bammattre! you've done so much with this dept, that the dept is world renowned. look at the associates around you and make that decision,L.A. city has had 2 of thee greatest chiefs, Chief MannIng & Chief Bammattre".

Anonymous said...

More minorities and females have promoted to the rank of Engineer, Inspector, Captain I, Captain II, Battalion Chief and Assistant Chief under the leadership of Chief Bamattre. How ironic that the group of people that have benefited the most from Chief Bamattre (blacks and females) now stab him in the back. I hope the future Chief learns from this.

Anonymous said...

If the next chief has integrity, he won't hire/graduate/promote persons based primarily on their race or ethnicity to increase their numbers.

The chief is most proud of the fact that during his headship diversity has increased. Diversity is good, but how we get there is key.

You're right - look where it's gotten him - and us - and the city.

Nobody owes loyalty to a bad apple that at some point no one can any longer deny it stinks.

It's going to take true leadership to get the department out of this mess.

Political correctness be damned.

Just because the silent majority doesn't speak out, doesn't mean they aren't in an uproar.

We have families to feed.

Anonymous said...

A Daily News poll stated 73% of readers didn't think Chief Bamattre should leave. Larry Elder a black talk show host called Tienne Pierce a disgrace. John & Ken of KFI called city council members weenies and Antonio the mayor a Metro-Sexual who could never be man enough to be a firefighter. The city of LA was embarrassed beyond belief througout the nation because of the ignorance of city council members and the city attorney. Sadly this whole issue has demoralized the LAFD. Chief Bamattre was a good leader. I've never read anything this negative about the LAFD since he's been chief so that should say something in itself. Many firefighters support him yet have been told they cannot comment. WHy? Cause our mayor is looking pretty bad these days to the intelligent rest of the city.Unfortunately, the blacks would rather cry about this settelement then bring attention to all the murders in their own backyard of blacks killing innocent people. Sadly, 5 firefighters lost their lives and they didn't get this much media attention. So aren't their lives worth more then some idiot eating dog food calling himself "Big Dog?"
We will miss you Chief, the community applauds your efforts.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Responding to a previous post. Don’t misrepresent the facts. The Daily News poll didn’t state “73% of readers didn't think Chief Bamattre should leave.” It stated 73% of respondents to the poll didn’t think Bamattre should leave. Big difference. We weren’t told how many responded. Was it 5, 20, 150 ?

Many claim Chief Bamattre was not a good leader. Just because you’ve never read anything this negative about the LAFD doesn’t mean there was nothing negative to be written – the facts of this administration continue to come out.

You say that many firefighters support the chief yet have been told they cannot comment. Told by who? The fire chief? The fire commission? I say ask firefighters. Many support the chief and many others will tell you they do not support the chief, but have remained silent because of the pattern of retaliation for speaking out.

No one I know has said they will miss this chief and when the community learns more details, I think they will be clapping their hands and whistling like many firefighters that his "reign" is finally over.

Bring the new chief in from the outside to clean up the department and to put good management in place. Many of the rank and file know, this fire chief isn’t the only one that the Mayor should “retire” immediately.

If my comments are censored out of this comment section I will send a copy to the Fire Commission, and ask them to re-submit it.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Dear 7:55:23

Please know that your nearly identical earlier message was not posted because it contained vulgarity and that this blog does not publish foul language - or cater to demands.

Your sole remedy if you don't like the (broad cross-section of) opinions that happen to appear here is to create a blog or website of your own. If you need technical help in doing so, just ask.

I have been very liberal in allowing anonymous comments, some of which sadly border on being impolite.

Persons posting here are welcome to share digressing viewpoints (i.e. love the Chief or not)... but comments that are straightforward, polite and stand on their own unique merit or logic without assailing other commenters are those most likely to be published forthwith.

Respectfully (and far from anonymously) Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ashley said...

I just want to thank the Los Angeles Fire Department and their Media Desk staff for allowing the citizens to post their opinions concerning this hot topic.

I am thankful that staff has edited foul language. I am sure that there are teenagers and young fire buffs that read these blogs, and their "tender eyes" don't need to read foul language on a public/fire department web site.


Anonymous said...

There are adults who don't want to read foul language: I'm one of them.

Anonymous said...

As a citizen of the city of Los Angeles, I have always admired the LAFD. Any encounters that I have had with the LAFD within the past 10 years, have always been cordial and extremely professional no matter what the situation may have been. And for this I am very thankful.

Albeit, the Chief has elected to retire, I do not think he should have been placed in a position to retire. I believe he should have been made accountable for the "problems" that still exist and given the opportunity to address them. In other words, "Clean the house from top to bottom".
Alas, I'm only a citizen, and I wish the Chief well in his retirement and to express my gratitude for your service.

I just read that Douglas L. Barry is to be assigned as the interim Chief until permanent replacement if found. My question to the rank and file is do you think Barry will do what is best for the LAFD and not the Mayor?

A concerned Citizen
South Los Angeles

Anonymous said...

Mr. Humphrey: Glad to see you edited your own words and took out your comment that you do not respond to "threats." When I said I would submit my opinion to the Fire Commission, that was not a "threat," just a statement of fact that I would submit it to a higher power. Also, you labeled what I previously submitted as a "vulgarity." As you know, I was submitting the opinion of a member of the public that is circulating on the internet, and while it is not complimentary to the chief or the LAFD, not everyone would agree that it was worthy of censor. In the meantime, go ahead and continue to choose to post comments that defame Tennie Pierce including the insinuation that he is a criminal that "should do jail time." You choose to publish that comment twice.

Anonymous said...

I ask that fighters give to each other the same level of courtesy, generosity and empathy as they extend to the public.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Dear 9:09:44, labeled what I previously submitted as a "vulgarity.

Yes, I did.

...I was submitting the opinion of a member of the public that is circulating on the internet

Please know that I am not able to remove offensive words from within a comment, and must approve or reject the comment as a whole.

That some "member of the public" posted vulgar text somewhere on the internet is in itself not a reason for it to be copied and pasted into this visitor comments feature, which seeks YOUR (polite regardless of personal viewpoint) comment relative in this case to the post "Fire Chief William Bamattre - Statement To The Community".

Given the passion of this issue, I have been very liberal on the politeness aspect, but have to draw the line somewhere.

Many people are new to blogging, and do not realize that this is not intended to be a forum for back and forth 'discussion'.

Think of it much like the "Letters To The Editor" feature of your local newspaper. They cannot print all of the letters, but try to fit as many in as possible. They allow and encourage different viewpoints, but not vulgarity or ad-hominem attacks on others. They also don't allow Hatfield and McCoy barbs to be traded back-and-forth adinfinitum.

Rather, we seek and support you offering personal comments relative to the subject at hand.

Discussions (i.e. back-and-forth conversation that may lead to passionate debate) can be highly productive, but are not well suited for this blog comment feature.

If people wish to find and discuss among themselves the many personal opionions that exist elswewhere on this and related topics, they can Google as easily as you have, create their own blog or even post to this unedited discussion forum.

...not everyone would agree that it was worthy of censor

I don't purport to be everyone, and I try to keep things polite and family oriented whenever possible - regardless of the point of view. I think it is safe to say that I have been very open to supporting the divergent viewpoints of others, but there are limits.

Recent posts that included the S-Word, F-Word, N-Word, attacked the character of other posters, advocated arson - and several that had bizarre off topic advertising comments and links to a carpet cleaning company were the only that I have chosen not to approve in this thread.

As you have noted, when you removed the vulgarity (and the external link, something else I don't permit due to spam and malware), and resubmitted your comments, it was my pleasure to see that they *magically* appeared. ;)

Please know that I don't have the ability to edit another persons comments once posted. All I can do is remove them. If however, that person has the courage and courtesy to offer an (optional) e-mail address when posting, I will try to send them a note explaining why the comment was rejected. If not, I'd encourage folks like you to review their message, make the corrections they deem necessary and submit again.

...In the meantime, go ahead and continue to choose to post comments that defame Tennie Pierce including the insinuation that he is a criminal that "should do jail time." You choose to publish that comment twice.

--sigh-- I understand that passions are running deep at this time, and that's why I'vew been trying to include as many public posts as possible.

Sadly, due to the reasons mentioned above, I cannot post them all. They are the clearly opinions of others, and do not reflect my personal viewpoint or that of my employer.

Please do accept my apology if I allowed someone's unique post to appear twice. This sometimes occurs when a person clicks the 'submit' button more than once. I sadly remain the single busiest person on platoon duty at the LAFD (ask anyone at OCD), and sometimes when burning the midnight oil, I make mistakes.

Like my Brothers and Sisters of the Departmant, I'm only human.

If there is anyone with concerns about what appears here, please call me via 3-1-1 and I'll be happy to:

- explain my editorial decisions
- help you create a blog of your own!

Talk about empowerment!! :)

Please have a great day - and make it a safe one!

Fraternally Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Fire Chief Bammatre:

I am offended by your statement.

You say "this is my decision and it is the appropriate time. I have spoken with the Mayor, and he is in agreement."

The reasons for your resignation are a disgrace to the firefighters and the public they serve. You admitted that to organizational and personal failure.

The Mayor's aides told the newspapers that the Mayor sent his aides to your office to make it clear that he wanted you to resign. That's why you submitted your resignation.

I agree with the person who said stop pretending.

We are angry at how all this has tarnished our city and made a laughing stock out of us nationwide.

I'm sick of this and its on the front page of the LosAngeles Time day after day. You owe us an apology, not a list of the good things you have done. Not one word of apology. I am angry.

Isabel Steube said...

Well let me start by hoping that Mr. Humphrey will place my comment in the site. Since what I have to say it will hurt a lot of you. Well boys don't we all know that THERE IS racial stuff GOING ON. Don't you boys get all upset when a Black Competent member gets promoted, lets face it. You guys are at 50 MPH and The Black Guys are at 150 MPH. There are many of you, and believe me I don't even work at the FD but I've seen it. And just to top it off, be MAN not BOYS and stop hiding your NAMES. We all know how bad it is, and this is just by former association with Members of the LAFD. They didn't even mentioned just by conversing I could tell. Lets not forget about the Ladies that have also suffer from your kids games. Sorry but if is not WHITE is no good???? Well let me tell you, blacks and browns are just as good if not BETTER the you "boys"
By the way my name is ISABEL STEUBE and I'm from Long Beach. I don't have to hide like you do!!!

Josh Roten, Capt., Roseville City FD said...

To my many friends at the LAFD, and the ones I haven't met. I am sorry to see and hear that times are less than pleasant currently, and I understand some tensions are running high. I won't attempt to wear your shoes and comment pro or con Chief Bamattre or Tennie - not my place to do so. I wish each of those individuals the best of luck in the future. My reason for posting is that ALL of my previous experiences and contacts with the LAFD have been excellent and "you guys" (including all genders) are still regarded as the best firefighters around by many of us in the Fire Service. I hope that as time goes on, Chief Barry, his successor, and the ENTIRE LAFD move ahead and get past this ugly period in an excellent department's history. While the current events may be huge to some, they do not define the LAFD; the day-to-day operations that save lives, protect property, train firefighters to fight fire smart, make the public safer and better, and all the help the LAFD gives other agencies is what defines the LAFD. The brotherhood that lives after the passing of a firefighter (ref: Lane Kemper) are the types of things that define a fire department, at least in my book. My thoughts are with all of you as the department begins to heal together; hopefully as soon as possible. These issues may hurt, but they won't kill you. Not staying focused on the next "greater" could - so put these issues in perspective. In the meantime, take care of each other! I respect all of you BECAUSE you are members of the LAFD.

Anonymous said...

The mayor wanted the Fire Chief to resign because of pressure by the city council and by pressure from heads of black organizations. The reasons were political; the reasons didn't have anything to do with incompetence. The mayor caved to pressure. The Fire Chief wanted to resign in a way that didn't point fingers at the mayor: the Fire Chief was trying to treat the mayor, and others, in a dignified manner. I have done research and found out that in city after city, blacks with much lower scores on written tests than whites, (and therefore lower total scores); are chosen to fill racial quotas. If firefighters were chosen and promoted based on who got the highest scores, there would be a lot less black firefighters. I appreciate your hard work Brian. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

One thing has been made clear. The LAFD is fighting numerous lawsuits and that is a sign that something is wrong with the leadership and the way management conducts business. We will know more as those lawsuits make their way through the legal process. What are they all suing for?

Anonymous said...

Many of the remaining lawsuits involve issues ranging from homophobia to age discrimination to retaliation. They also hold individual defendants personally liable for damages. This is good news for us taxpayers because it holds the individual who behaved inappropriately financially responsible - instead of the innocent taxpayer!

Anonymous said...

LAFD is still the best! There will always be some bad apples in any department... hopefully there will be a day when all people treat others with respect. I’m in the process of becoming an LAFD firefighter myself and I still wouldn't want to have a career anywhere else... CITY!

Anonymous said...

As a citizen, I am tired of the City using taxpayers' money to pay off people suing the City for racial discrimination, ESPECIALLY, since the person suing was involved in hazing others in the department. How could ANYONE even THINK about paying this *&^%* (censored) when he took part in HARASSING (hazing) OTHER firefighters???????????

I think it would be A VERY SAD day for the City of Los Angeles to pay this *&^%* (censored) even a penny.

Stop using the race card and work for your money!

Anonymous said...

How can LAFD be the BEST when its leadership has been the WORST?

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

The phrase 'censored' in 10:17:26 above was posted (included in the message) by the anonymous poster and does not reflect any action taken by the Moderator.

To avoid the misperception that such may be taking place (or is even possible), we will not be approving messages that may imply (even in a comical way) that words have been altered. You can type $@%#@^#, but please don't infer they have been censored.

This thread will remain open for (hopefully polite and on-topic) public comments of *any* viewpoint until December 8th, when the ability to add new messages will be curtailed.

If you perchance wish to continue commentary (now or..) beyond that time in a completely unmoderated forum, you may click here.


Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pierce I hope you got what you wished for. Looks like the consequences of your allegations (which we all know is $$$ driven, and not racial...let's keep it real) have ultimately ended up in your Fire Chief forced to resign and a divided LAFD fire family. If you do receive the money, let's see your true colors and see you donate every penny of it.

Jennie said...

Let's show some love people. It is the holiday season and the best time for healing. On a personal note, in the times I have been around Chief Bamattre and his wife, they have been very nice. I wish them well and hope they have happiness in their lives. As for the new Chief, Chief Barry, good luck to him, I hope all goes well and that he is able to both enjoy and have a productive stay as Chief.
As for the rest of us, let's agree to disagree. I for one love the LAFD. Through the years I have met many great firefighters from all over Southern Ca., but the LAFD has always had the kindest most professional people. You folks rock. There are lots of hurt feelings on all sides but for those that are upset, use that emotion as an instument for positive change. Don't stay angry and let it eat at you. Anger is a strong negative emotion that takes its toll on your health if you hang onto it.

Let's instead show some love for each other, not judge entire groups as people as better or worse than other groups. We are all human beings and individuals just trying to do the best we can. Sometimes we do well, sometimes we fall short. Let us also try and remember that the media relations guys Mr. Wells and Mr. Humphrey are people too and that they do the best they can which I think is a gosh darn good job. Media relations is really hard. Trust me REALLY hard and they always keep this blog well posted with lots of great up to date info. Nice job men.

Finally, if you are still angry and think I'm full of it, blow off some steam by shopping for toys for Spark of Love. I live in Riveride County and on Saturday at one drive only something like 3 toys were collected. I am sure most departments have the same problem. Let's spend our time and energy doing something positive for kids rather than to attack one another.

Anonymous said...

Here are some interesting facts some people might not know about Chief Bamattre... He graduated from Stanford University. He worked his way through college as a student firefighter. He also has a master's degree.

Anonymous said...

Still a fan of the LAFD!

Anonymous said...

Chief, join the graveyard of scapegoats. You should recognize us - you put us here.

Anonymous said...

Amen to making the people who CAUSE the problems PAY for the problems. If I knew that behaving like a jerk meant I would have to fork over my paycheck, I might try to be productive at work instead of wasting time feeding someone dog food, smothering them with condiments, or any of the other ridiculous things I've heard about or seen pictures of lately. HOLD THE PERPETRATOR RESPONSIBLE, NOT THE TAXPAYERS!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Is the chief retiring on Jan. 1 and leaving or just resigning his position and staying on? Thanks.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Fire Chief William Bamattre will indeed retire from the Department and the role of Fire Chief on January 1, 2007.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...


The Times said he was stepping down in January and retiring in March ? Is it possible for a fire chief to step down from his position - demote - but remain on the job ? Is that the mayor's decision ?

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

I can only refer you to the Los Angeles Times to determine the source of that information, and to the Mayor's Office if you need official clarification of what was offered at a Press Conference organized by the Mayor's staff.

What I was told then - and again this morning in a Staff meeting:

"(Bill Bamattre) will indeed retire from the Department and the role of Fire Chief on January 1, 2007."

That's all I have to offer you at the moment. If you desire to make contact with myself, the Fire Chief, Mayor's Office or any City agency, please don't hesitate to call 3-1-1 for assistance.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

What a sad statement - "look at what I accomplished."

Unfortunately Chief, you didn't accomplish what you were hired to do and what you said you could do.

That's why you were fired.

Anonymous said...

Chief- The mayor made it clear through his aides and their statements to the press that he wanted you to resign and the he wants the credit for the change of guard in the LAFD. For the good of public safety, for what's best for firefighter safety, and what’s best for the department, the mayor had no choice. Good luck if you have plans for future endeavors in the fire service.

Anonymous said...

This was your decision?

bill s. said...

Why is it you are more than willing to allow Mr. Pierce's name to be dragged through the mud on this blog, yet you are unwilling to publish the names Arevalo, Tohill and Burton? They have been mentioned elsewhere, as you know, and have as much reason to be blamed for this mess as Mr. Pierce. My email is below and I look forward to an explanation, since - as you stated in another response - you are more than willing to address questionable posts.

Anonymous said...

The chief abused his power and in the end that was his downfall.

Anonymous said...

The veterans are so sick of the low morale at the LAFD that they're counting the days until they retire. It never used to be this bad. Everyone is so demoralized, and in fire stations that is a dangerous climate. Chief Barry - it's your turn, don't let us down. Bring in your new guard, pronto! Chief Bamattre - @#&%$

Anonymous said...

who's posting those negative comments about Chief Bamattre? Probably the mayor or mayor's aides.

Anonymous said...

the Chief did a GREAT job...he will be missed by all the good,hard working people...the rest of the city can now wallow in the mess that has been created by the council members, the mayor and the rag also known as the LA times. In the last 20 years, the city has turned into one huge cesspool, and is getting worse...
thank you Bill for all your dedication and hard work..Let the city rot away in the bad political decisions, filth, crime and scum...You are better off...

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

bill s.

Why is it you are more than willing to allow Mr. Pierce's name to be dragged through the mud on this blog

-sigh- Bill, had you offered an e-mail address when you posted your message, or called me via 3-1-1, I would have been happy to explain that there is no cabal or conspiracy.

...yet you are unwilling to publish the names Arevalo, Tohill and Burton?

I was unwilling to earlier post such names, as I genuinely did not know them to be the 'three persons' who were reported to be involved.

They have been mentioned elsewhere, as you know,

That was regretfully an assumption that I would have been happy to clarify. I did not know.

Upon reciept of your message, I did a quick search on-line, and did not find them mentioned.

It may seem incredible, but I did not see those names mentioned publicly until this morning's Los Angeles Times - and upon that public mention, was pleased to post them here (as being offered by you).

My email is below and I look forward to an explanation, since - as you stated in another response - you are more than willing to address questionable posts.

Regretfully, and probably in haste, you forgot to include your e-mail address (not to worry, it happens).

I imagine that like the rest of us, you're busy. I'm sad however, that you didn't try to call me via 3-1-1 (or our direct office line) to allow me to answer each and every one of your concerns.

To make it clear:

Had you simply mentioned 'the two captains and a firefighter', I would have published your message immediately. Since you mentioned specific names that I could not corroborate, I chose to hold approval of your post while awaiting your call.

The names you mention appeared in this morning's Los Angeles Times, and as such, they now appear here. I held their mention so as to not needlessly sully the reputation of persons who may not have been involved.

Bill, I hope you haven't been stewing about this, and like nearly every one of your messages (and like some of the issues facing us all?), your concerns may have been fully addressed or largely alleviated by engaging in dialogue.

That much said, people visit here to offer and read personally crafted comments, and not watch you and I banter. If you want to know more, or just to chat, you know how to get a hold of me. I look forward to your call!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Dear Friends of the LAFD,

As mentioned earlier this week, we have come to the end of this week-old thread.

We wish to thank the many of you who offered polite and spirited comments that were on or closely associated with the topic at hand.

As I have been widely known to say: "The most important diversity of all is diversity of opinion."

If you still have passionate concerns that you need or desire to share with the men and women of the LAFD, please know that you are always welcome to visit your Neighborhood Fire Station, attend a Fire Commission Meeting or contact LAFD Administration in writing:

Office of the Fire Chief
Los Angeles Fire Department
200 North Main Street, Room 1800
Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA
Fax: (213) 978-3815

...or by telephone.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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