Photo credit: VPP Juan Guerra.
by Jennifer Hubbard
Saturday, May 20, 2017, was a day set apart to honor the lives of Los Angeles County Fire Fighter Specialist (FFS) Hector Magallanes and Fire Fighter (FF) Gino “Rick” Zeni at Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) headquarters. The names of these dedicated firefighters were added to the memorial wall as part of an annual tradition in respecting those who have passed.
Chaplain Scott Tolcher led the service attended by family members and the LACoFD community. In his address, Fire Chief Daryl Osby remarked, “There is nothing more noble than protecting life and property in the service of others.” To the families of FFS Magallanes and FF Zeni he said, “We thank you. Their service will never be forgotten.”
Fire Fighter Specialist Hector Magallanes
Chaplain Paul Rusin spoke of the fond memories colleagues and family have of FFS Magallanes, who loved being a firefighter, paramedic and engineer, and devoted countless hours to teaching young people.
Fire Fighter Gino “Rick” Zeni
“He had a servant’s heart and an infectious personality,” said Chaplain Mark Griffen. He described FF Zeni as someone with a unique ability to win over everyone he met. Griffen ended with an emotional farewell, “See you later, buddy.”
The service closed with a reading of all names on the wall, followed by a moving rendition of Amazing Grace, a beautiful hymn performed by the Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums. Afterward, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1014 hosted a barbecue lunch for guests.
The Department is grateful to both the Memorial Committee and the IAFF Local 1014 for their commitment and service in creating an event that serves as a meaningful tribute for our community to share together.