The Board declared April 22 as “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” and members of our Department invited their daughters and sons to come to work with them at fire stations, camps, lifeguard facilities and administrative offices. The Department also offered an exciting option to take a field trip with their parents, grandparents and escorts!
The field trip began when 15 girls and seven boys ranging from the ages of 9 to 16 arrived at Klinger Center and were met by our gracious Department hosts from the Public Information Office. Their first stop was a tour of our Dispatch operations inside the P. Michael Freeman Command and Control Facility. It was a very educational and unique experience for them as they witnessed live emergency calls coming in through the 9-1-1 telephone system. The Dispatch tour was then followed by a greeting and welcome from Fire Chief Daryl Osby, who mentored the children to pursue their goals and dreams. Planning Analyst Christina Nunez, who participated in the event for the first time with her 10-year-old daughter Natalie, described Fire Chief Osby’s speech as “very inspirational, with the focus towards the children and assuring them that anything is possible.”
The hosts then transported the children to our East County Training Center, where they observed an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) drill. USAR 103 participated in the drill which included utilizing their Heavy Rescue to lift a school bus! The feat provided amazement to the children, along with educational and other useful information about our Department’s training and operational readiness to respond. Our young guests were also able to observe from a distance some actual live fire training at “Burn City,” which provided an insight of the tactics our Department uses on the front lines.
After watching the firefighters work up a sweat, the children continued to the other end of the County to Fire Station 110 in Marina del Rey, where they were greeted with a delicious lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs! The children then toured the station, explored Quint 110 and Engine 110, and experienced memorable, firsthand interactions with the vehicles and equipment used to save life, property and the environment. The children also ventured for a boat ride, courtesy of the Lifeguard division and Boat 110. Fleet Services Secretary III Mercene Shogren brought her 9-year-old granddaughter Athena to the event for the first time and described the experience as “fabulous,” especially when the children were allowed to operate the boat’s “water cannon!”
Inspector Scott Miller of the Public Information Office stated that he was very impressed with his fellow firefighters and their attitudes, and how they were very eager to walk the participants through their exercises, demonstrate all of their specialized equipment and make it a special day for all the daughters and sons. Every year, our Department opens its doors to its employee’s children in recognition of the “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” And every year, the children are given a very valuable and positive educational experience, along with mentorship and career ideas. After a long and busy day, the trip ended with a return back to Klinger Center but may have planted the seeds for future careers in public service.