Wounded Vet Marathoners Inspire LA's Firefighters

Sunday, March 04, 2007 |

On Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 1:00 PM, a group of more than 30 physically handicapped Los Angeles Marathon participants, including amputee and blind military veterans and firefighters from across the nation, will conclude their monumental accomplishment of Marathon XXII with a formal group visit to a Fire Station west of downtown.

The welcoming crew at Los Angeles Fire Station 11, 1819 West 7th Street will include Fire Captain Greg Malais ('mal-ay'), himself an amputee who lost a leg in the line of duty.

Captain Malais and his crew will serve as the proud hosts of these courageous and competitive Americans, who will share detailed stories of their challenges - and accomplishments, which for many include the crowning achievement of the morning's participation in Los Angeles Marathon XXII.

Members of the media are encouraged to obtain 'B' roll and generically chronicle Sunday morning's special races, and later mesh those images with the personal interviews and photo opportunities that will avail themselves at Fire Station 11 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon.

The courage of these soldiers and firefighters is indeed palpable, and the stories of the friendships that have developed between them is one that you'll be proud to share.

Courage comes in many ways, and we're confident your audience will be touched by these brave soldiers and firefighters who have given their personal best on the battlefield - and on the streets of Los Angeles.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The LA Marathon presents enormous challenges for the LAFD. This morning I witnessed their efforts twice while riding in the Bike Tour. One crew was trying to save a life on Exposition Blvd as a cyclist in the Bike Tour portion succumed to a heart attack while riding. I can only hope that their CPR efforts were in time to make a difference. Another crew was handling a severe-looking head injury on the 6th St Bridge. Thank you, LAFD, for making these events (race and ride) safer.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your firsthand observation.

What you witnessed were but two of more than one hundred critical interventions that LAFD personnel proudly offered to race participants and spectators along the 26 mile route. Yes, the logistics are daunting.

The men and women of the LAFD begin planning for the upcoming City of Los Angeles Marathon the week following the previous year's event.

That planning is a monumental undertaking, which brings us closely together with Marathon staff, members of our City family, business and civic leaders, and concerned members of the community.

Please know that the Los Angeles Fire Department sees the Marathon as a continually evolving effort, and as such, welcomes the comments or suggestions of any participant or spectator on how we might better serve this important event in the future.

Again, thanks for your kind words, and please know that 'no matter the distance', the men and women of the LAFD will always be there!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Brian,
You guys should look into the story of an Engineer from 37's who pushed a man in his broken electric wheelchair 4 miles to the finish line in his uniform. Now that's a human interest, community relations story which illustrates what this department is really all about.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 2:58,

Thanks very much for the timely and topic-relevant note.

Please know that a heads up from the field is *always* welcome about matters of public or agency interest... more on that in a moment.

Though I may seem omnipresent, I am indeed a 'B' Shifter, and have not been on duty since Marathon XXII began.

I have however, heard of some truly heart-touching stories related to the marathon and associated events.

Each of these occurences, but especially the one you mention, filled my heart with pride - but were tempered with the sad stories that developed later that day (you likely know of which I am speaking).

Regretfully, our 'office of one' was overwhelmed that day, as we easily could have justified five staffers simply to deal with the genuinely newsworthy and inspiring stories of both local and global interest that had the office phones ringing non-stop for more than fifteen hours.

Though it will be darn hard to share the story you mention through 'traditional media' in the days to come; when I return to Los Angeles later this week, I'll do my level best to make it work through the magic of our blog.

Since I've got you here, I've got some good news to share.

Ron Myers, who works on the 'A' Shift and I will thankfully soon be joined by a new PSO on the 'C' shift to replace the superb and sorely missed Brian Ballton, who promoted to Inspector back on January 7th. His promotion and the resultant efforts to cover his shifts were the staffing issues that put the blog on brief hiatus.

To say that we miss Brian Ballton would be an understatement, but his potential replacement has finally been named, and we are excited to finally round out our permanent staff to the three persons necessary for basic daily operations.

You can look forward to an announcement and welcoming of our newest PSO here on the blog in the coming month!

That much said, Ron and I would like to express our profound appreciation to Firefighter Melissa Kelley, who has volunteered to help cover the 'C' Shift position in our office during the month of March, while we help train the newest member of our team.

In closing, please know that we always welcome a phone call or e-mail whenever you know of an event or issue worthy of posting to the blog. LAFD members will find our phone number under Administration on the Department telephone roster, and our e-mail address in LAFD Groupwise. Members of the public and allied agencies can easily contact us through 3-1-1.

Fraternally Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Alan,

Your comments were posted on the blog entry for our 2006 Marathon coverage.

We were pleased to answer your question at that entry. You can click here to view our response.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

redcup56 said...

Brian,

Alan's comment, your reply and his reply to you, ended up on the 2006 Marathon Blog entry.

Stay safe,

Mark
Portland, OR

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