Fifteen Years Ago Today...
TELETYPE MESSAGE FROM FIRE ADMINISTRATION
S P E C I A L N O T I C E
MARCH 23, 1998
EARLY THIS MORNING, LAFD UNITS RESPONDED TO A TRAGIC ACCIDENT AT SUNLAND AND WHEATLAND IN FS-24’S DISTRICT. THEY REQUESTED AN AIR AMBULANCE TO TRANSPORT A 12-YEAR-0LD FEMALE PATIENT TO CHILDRENS HOSPITAL. FIRE-3 RESPONDED WITH A PILOT AND TWO HELITAC PERSONNEL FROM FS-90. TWO FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDICS FROM RA-81 WERE ON BOARD PROVIDING TREATMENT. WHILE REROUTE TO CHILDRENS HOSPITAL, THE HELICOPTER CRASHED...
by Nicholas Reiner
March 23rd, an ordinary day, just one to forget.
Maybe for you, but not for me, not yet.
I was changed that morning, changed in my soul and my heart,
A morning for me that will stand apart
My Dad died that day doing what he did best
Saving lives without much rest.
The helicopter--the cradle of life had rudder failure and started to descend.
The girl in the chopper dying, my dad and others gave a hand to lend.
The aircraft was lost, my Dad lost with it.
I was thunderstruck, shocked, and utterly sad
That my life had taken this turn because of the loss of my Dad
I didn't know what to think, or say
I experienced nothing but sadness that horrible day.
I was left without a father to guide me on my way.
Left without a leader, I began to sway
Back and forth with a question I had
Why did God choose to take my Dad?
Why me, why him, why o why?
What would my life be like if he were here, alive?
How would I have been, what would I have done?
Would I have been a good or bad son?
I'll never know, because I can't change the past
This is why my memories and prayers must last
One of his favorite quotes was "Always take the high road."
Well, when I think of him I ponder this quote.
And I think that if he died to save then I can stand up and be brave
Face my fears, and take up my crosses
Accept hardship, and deal with my losses
I am scarred forever because he died
Unable to forget what is contained inside
This wound, once open and throbbing without control
Now silent, numbed, a deep meaningful hole
Eternally present, once only pain,
Now death gives way to hopeful gain
A tear, a smothered cry, anguished undenied
Find here a knowing, a caring and warmth supplied
The day is gone, the scar will stay
His courage, now mine, will lead the way.
Please take a moment to learn about the gallant crew of Fire 3;
...and when time permits, join us in visiting their memorial:
View Larger Map and Directions to the Fire 3 Memorial Site
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department