A Fond Farewell to LAFD's First Lady

Sunday, December 31, 2006 |

Chief Bamattre and his wife Liz say farewell. Click to view more...

With the arrival of 2007 comes much in the way of change at the Los Angeles Fire Department.

While change is inevitable and ultimately beneficial to our vocation, it is not without collateral impact that causes us to take pause, remember and give thanks.

Though this New Year's Eve gives us reason to thank so many, the men and women of the LAFD wish tonight to publicly salute our First Lady, Liz Bamattre for her remarkable support of our members, our families and at all times, our mission of saving lives.

At no time in our Department's 120-year history, have we been more proud of or well supported by the spouse of our Fire Chief; in this case, a woman who clearly set the highest of standards in her tireless pursuit of doing good in the name of our agency.

While the job of Fire Chief seems largely autonomous, there is a quiet understanding that the Chief must have a close and loyal confidant in whom he or she can unquestionably rely. From the moment Bill Bamattre took his oath of office, Liz Bamattre has been just that person - and more.

And it hasn't been easy.

As often as not, it was Liz who answered the phone at the Bamattre household, including one early Sunday morning in 1998 that would prove to be the first of several occassions when our Chief - and later every member of our Fire Department, would rely deeply upon her personal strength, love and support.

Yes, Liz Bamattre is one remarkable woman, who has not only devoted herself to nurturing and healing our agency in difficult times, but also to preserving the memory of our fallen colleagues evermore.

It is not infrequently that we receive calls at LAFD Headquarters asking about the Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Museum, often times from a caller who was inspired by a "wonderful docent with a lovely British accent".

These inquiries of course, bring a smile to our face, as we picture the countless hours that Liz has devoted to the Museum and Memorial, often with broom or paintbrush in hand, and in recent years, not only serving as a 'can-do' docent, but also gracing celebratory events with her truly regal presence.

From graciously greeting dignitaries at LAFD Headquarters, to attending countless luncheons and banquets at which she proudly represented our agency, to the fallen Firefighter and family funerals at which she stood proudly by the Fire Chief, Liz Bamattre has always been there for her husband, and also for every member of her Fire Department family.

As we look forward to the great things to come in 2007, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank and offer a fond farewell to Liz Bamattre.

Thank you Liz. We love you, and we'll miss you.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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david barrett said...

Brian -

Well done. Liz Bamattre has been and will continue to be an inspiration to many. Your description of her energy and commitment to excellence were right on the mark.

If anyone ever has the chance to spend some time with this wonderful woman, don't miss the opportunity. She can make anyone feel good about their personal objectives and her mission to do things that better the community at large are infectious.

Thank you, Liz - and thank you, Brian.

Best regards,

Ashley said...

Mrs. Bamattre was a wonderful LAFD supporter. I will miss hearing about her activities and seeing her lovely smile in LAFD related pictures. I sincerely hope that retired Chief Bamattre and Mrs. Bamattre remain active with the LAFD Museum and Memorial.

I regret the chance not being able to meet Chief Bamattre and his wife. Maybe one of these days I'll run into them at the Museum.

My best and warmest wishes to the Bamattre family.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Liz definitely deserving of acknowledgement and thanks for her work on behalf of the LAFD. She's always been supportive of the Department publically. She too will be missed in her unofficial role as first lady of the LAFD.

Anonymous said...


You are truly inspirational. The words elegant and down to earth usually don't appear in the same sentence but they certainly do when describing you. You, and your wonderful husband, are great role models and really do lead by example. I am in awe for all of the time and effort you put into our noble organization.

With total respect and admiration... I salute you
A. Ken Krupnik
EMS 7 "B" Platoon
EMS Battalion Captain

Jeff Miller said...

Liz Bamattre is a wonderful woman and has been by her husband's si9de always. She truly is the "First Lady" of the LAFD. Brian, your wording was very accurate and truly deserving of that elegant Mrs. Bamattre deserves. She is the "Lady Di" of the LAFD! I salute both Mr. & Mrs. Bamattre. They will be missed.

Jeff Miller
Fire Photographer

Anonymous said...

All members do not agree.

Anonymous said...

Bill's forced early retirement does not mean that Liz' involvement at the museum must cease. Maybe Bill could apply to be a docent there too. What a team!

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