The Los Angeles City Council honored MySafe:LA with a recognition ceremony during its public Council meeting at L.A. City Hall on March 1st, 2017.
Hosted by Council Members Mitchell Englander and Joe Buscaino, MySafe:LA was recognized for its ongoing work in the City of Los Angeles to make the community safer, better prepared, and more resilient. In addition, the council declared March Smoke Alarm Awareness Month in the City of Los Angeles.
CM Englander (CD12), who represents L.A.’s Northridge area and parts of the West San Fernando Valley, lauded MySafe:LA’s QuakeSmart:LA program. Mr. Englander, who is Chairman of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, praised MySafe:LA for organizing and executing a realistic, large-scale “ShakeOut” earthquake drill at an elementary school in his district, which was the epicenter of the deadly and damaging Northridge Earthquake in 1994.
CM Buscaino (CD15), who represents parts of South L.A. and the San Pedro and LA Harbor area, recognized MySafe:LA’s ongoing smoke alarm installation efforts. The former LAPD Officer citied a recent house fire in Watts that killed 2-year old twin brothers just after Christmas. That same day, MySafe:LA teams, under the command of the LAFD Incident Commander, fanned out in the immediate neighborhood, conducting safety checks of homes and installing smoke alarms and CO detectors at no cost to the residents.
During the ceremony, MySafe:LA Communications Director Todd Leitz introduced a video (see below) showing MySafe:LA actively installing smoke alarms in homes, teaching fire safety and Hands-Only CPR in LA schools, and “deputizing” 4th and 5th graders as MySafe:LA/LAFD Junior Fire Inspectors.
MySafe:LA co-founder and Executive Officer, David Barrett, then addressed the Council, extolling the importance of reaching directly into the community to better prepare residents for home or medical emergencies as well as natural disasters. He pointed out that smoke alarms don’t PREVENT fires, and CPR can’t PREVENT sudden cardiac arrest. But teaching people what to do during a medical emergency like a heart attack, and showing people proper ways to react to disasters like house fires and earthquakes, makes the entire community safer.
Chief Deputy Joseph Castro, the second highest-ranking officer in the Los Angeles Fire Department, spoke of his long association with MySafe:LA, and the value he places in the unique pubic-private safety partnership between the City, the LAFD, and MySafe:LA.
And Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (CD13) stood to publicly thank MySafe:LA, talking about the numerous times he and his office have collaborated with MySafe:LA to make his constituents safer and better prepared.
Standing with MySafe:LA team-members were LA Fire Commissioner Rebecca Ninburg and top officers of the Los Angeles Fire Department, including the Commanders of the Operations Valley Bureau and Operations Central Bureau, Deputy Chiefs Trevor Richmond and Philip Fliegel, Deputy Chief Al Poirer, as well as Assistant Chiefs Ronnie Villanueva and John Drake.
MySafe:LA was presented with certificates of recognition from the City Council and the office of LA-area Assembly Member Raúl Bocanegra.
“While MySafe:LA doesn’t seek out accolades and publicity for the work we do,” said MySafe:LA Executive Officer David Barrett, “this type of public recognition and support from elected officials in our hometown energizes our team and assures our grantors and donors that their financial support is well-spent.”