Photo by Derek Endo.
The County of Los Angeles Fire Department (LACoFD) held its 60th Explorer Fire Academy graduation ceremony on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Del Valle Regional Training Center. Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby attended with Acting Assistant Fire Chief Henry Rodriguez to congratulate the newly certified explorer graduates.
In his remarks, Chief Osby congratulated the 66 graduates for their hard work and dedication, and commended the Explorer Program in the milestone achievement of graduating its 60th class of explorers.
Class speaker and Board of Supervisors Award Recipient David Madrigal, gave a moving speech on the important role that being an explorer had played in his life. He shared how he had been through many challenges with his family and even became homeless as a result of a family member suffering from a drug addiction. When he became an explorer, Madrigral said that he felt a sense of relief, and received direction and encouragement to reach for his goals.
“Many people ask me, why are you so passionate about the career of a firefighter? I always reply to them because it’s the best job in the entire world” said Madrigal.
Congratulations to all of the 60th Explorer Fire Academy graduates!
33rd Annual Explorer Recognition Banquet
Two of the newly certified explorers, Tony Balestracci and Asher Luna, were also honored earlier in the month at the 33rd Annual Explorer Recognition Banquet, where fire and police explorers from throughout Los Angeles County are recognized. Acting Assistant Chief Henry Rodriguez was a guest speaker and Certified Explorer Emely Garcia of Post 13 was the Mistress of Ceremony.
Congratulations to everyone who was recognized at the banquet.
Asher Luna- Post 9 (Life Saving)
James Serna- Post 9 (Valor)
Daniel Zepeda- Post 13 (Valor)
Anthony Gomez- Post 13
Explorer Top Seller
Tony Balestracci- Post 9
Associate Advisor of the Year
Mike Trinidad- Post 9
Rosemary Vivero- Post 13
The Explorer Program, established in 1975, is a joint effort between the Department and Learning for Life. Their mission is to help young people prepare for a career in the fire service or in other industries.