LAFD USAR Team Removes Hard-to-Reach Graffiti

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 |

At 9:00AM on Thursday April 8th, the Los Angeles Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team will come-to-the-rescue and help cleanup graffiti on the historic Eagle Rock. Why you ask?

Traditional removal methods have been deemed too dangerous for City workers. Therefore LAFDs elite USAR Team will remove this precarious paint from the 150 foot high famous rock as part of our training.

This graffiti cleanup comes from the urging of citizens, Council Member Jose Huizar along with the Department of Recreation and Parks, all of whom will be on hand for this undertaking.

It was hoped that recent rains would have washed away the vandalism from the south side of this well-known rock, unfortunately the down-pour just faded the paint. At a loss of anything else that could be done, efforts turned to the Fire Department for assistance. The LAFD agreed, pointing out that the removal could be used as part of our required training exercises. This creative solution helps restore a cultural landmark at no additional cost to the city.

"We cannot say enough how appreciate we are of the fire department for working with us to make this happen. They said yes the moment we asked them without hesitation."-Councilmember Huizar's Staff.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely ridiculous. A waste of Department resources. Someone pout the grafiti up there, so it's not that dangerous. Why, when this Department is being eviscerated by the City Council do those same individuals continue to ask us to do more and more that we have no business doing. The City Council needs to stop ttreating us like a step-child. For that to happen, the Department has to make them stop. Unbelievable.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 2:29,

Thank you for taking the time to write. While there are passionate but half-thought arguments for and against many of our daily endeavors, the truth in this case remains that our fellow City workers who handle graffiti cleanup on a full-time basis found this task to be beyond their ability to perform safely.

While such a declaration does not automatically bring Los Angeles Firefighters to the scene, the Department was asked directly by civic and community leaders to lend a hand - and the request was given full consideration.

For those unfamiliar, the nearby community had the moniker of "Eagle Rock" long before it became its own incorporated City by that name in 1911.

The LAFD has proudly served the area since 1923, when Eagle Rock was formally annexed into the City of Los Angeles - in large part to the quality of services expected from their new Fire Department.

Precious few outside the neighborhood, or who have not had the honor of serving at nearby LAFD Stations 42 or 55 can appreciate the strong appeal and sense of community identity the massive geological feature brings to the neighborhood.

As such, when given the opportunity to help in such a locally important matter - we did so - with both safety and enthusiasm.

Only 1 LAFD specialized unit was assigned to the site with personnel who were already on-duty. They remained "available by radio" to LAFD 9-1-1 dispatchers throughout their less than 4 hour presence in the neighborhood.

Clearly, your LAFD cannot and does not answer every appeal for non-emergency services. What we owe those we serve however, is a rightful and honest consideration of their request. In this case, we were able to make it happen while gaining some necessary practice in rope rescue and equipment skills. Such will not always be the case.

In closing, if you are a member of Fire Service, we welcome you to more effectively articulate your opinion through your employee organization.

If you are a local resident, we encourage you to contact your local elected leaders to help them better understand your personal point of view.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

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

lev said...

While I hear "Anonymous'" frustrations clearly, I see this as a perfect opportunity for Los Angeles' Fire Department to do what fire departments around the nation are known for; serving their communities in both an emergency and non-emergency capacity... what makes the fire service unique is it's reputation for helping people through community service and involvement that is unfound in any other profession. Firefighter on and off duty are known to spend countless hours involving themselves in community projects, fundraisers, toy drives, or often times, simply assisting a neighbor in need. While this clean-up operation may seem as a waste of department resources, I see it as a win-win for everyone involved, the firefighters who get their required training while serving their community in a non-emergency capacity, and the citizens win by getting a civic landmark restored to its original beauty while relying on their fire department to provide what their neighborhood firefighters are known for; service. I hope this brings to light the value of Los Angeles' firefighters to the citizens and City Council as the city faces more budget shortfalls. Perhaps they will reconsider their neighborhood firefighters they will lose when faced with cutting fire department staffing and resources.

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