April 20, 2020
The California Department of Public Health has announced that there are now more than 31,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which includes more than 1,200 deaths across the State from this global pandemic. Testing for this virus is expanding throughout California and here in Los Angeles, with many of our LAFD Firefighters and Paramedics assisting in the testing efforts.
Unfortunately, testing has confirmed that COVID-19 remains present in our communities, which is why it is essential that everyone remains vigilant in following Department policies and does their part to follow lifesaving instructions of Staying at Home, maintaining a safe social distance from one another, and doing all that we can to avoid public places and large gatherings.
Since testing began here in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department has a total of 66 employees who have tested positive for Coronavirus, while the Los Angeles Fire Department has a total of 20 members who have tested positive. The good news from the LAFD is that FOURTEEN of the members that tested positive have fully recovered and have already returned to duty, SIX are isolated and recovering at home, and NONE are currently hospitalized.
Given that we work in the second largest city in America and come into contact on a daily basis with “high risk” populations for the Coronavirus, the fact that our numbers have remained relatively low speaks volumes about the actions that our Firefighters and Paramedics are taking to protect themselves, their co-workers, their families, and ultimately the general public by following the protocols that have been sent out by the Fire Chief, UFLAC, and other leaders in the LAFD and the City of LA.
With all of this being said, we are very proud to announce that our newly created United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112 Fire Foundation has purchased 3,500 non-emergency face masks for all sworn members of the LAFD to be worn in non-emergency situations, such as visits to the grocery store or other situations where our members are seen out in public. This is important not only to protect our own personal safety and those around us, but it also serves as an opportunity to promote good health practices for other Angelenos to follow.
It is critical to know that these masks are NOT intended to be used as a replacement for our LAFD approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as the Department issued N-95 face masks.
The UFLAC Fire Foundation, a 501(c)(3) was founded in 2019 as a way to raise funds in order to exclusively to support UFLAC members, retirees, and their families. The Foundation has NO overhead expenses as everyone on the Board and all of our supporters, including pro-bono legal work, give their time and money generously to this cause so that we are able to do things like this – advancing the safety of our members during this pandemic.
These high quality, non-emergency face masks will be arriving at UFLAC this week and we will be distributing them through our Battalion Chiefs to members in the field. Chief Terrazas and his Administration will be doing the same for members of the LAFD leadership team.
Special thanks are in order for retired UFLAC Executive Board Member, Brian Hishinuma, who received unanimous support for the rare honor of being named a Lifetime Member of UFLAC. Brian was instrumental in getting these masks at an excellent price and putting all of the logistics together. Special thanks also go to Adam Walker, the Chairman of the UFLAC Fire Foundation and the Chairman of the Health and Safety Committee, for his continuing dedication to do everything possible to make the health and safety of our members a top priority for LAFD Administration and UFLAC Local 112.
If you have any questions or comments regarding these special face masks that will be distributed free of charge to all of our LAFD Firefighters, feel free to send an email to [email protected].
May God Bless each and every one of our Firefighters and Paramedics on the front lines of this battle, along with the nurses, doctors, and other health care providers who are literally risking their lives on a daily basis in an attempt to save others.
UFLAC Executive Board Local 112
UFLAC Fire Foundation Board of Directors