Two Los Angeles County Fire Department volunteers—a photographer and an explorer—were among those recognized Monday, April 13, at the 33rd annual Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony.
Volunteer Photographer Program Director Craig Durling and Explorer Logan Fogwell were recognized for their achievements by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at the luncheon. This year’s theme was “Volunteers Make the Difference.”
A police officer, Durling joined the Department’s Volunteer Photographer Program in 1994 and quickly became a vital part of its success. He was appointed director of the program in 2010. Along with the Public Information Office, Durling is responsible for assisting 50 volunteer photographers with more than 5,000 assignments each year.
“Craig’s effortless dedication and passion for the program has catapulted this program to a position and status where we have become the standard,” officials wrote in his biography for the event program. “His fellow volunteer photographers look up to him and respect him very much.”
After joining the explorers four years ago, Fogwell rose through the ranks to become one of the top explorers. He has earned his EMT license and gone through the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Wildland Academy.
“When Logan isn’t here teaching the younger explorers about all of the knowledge he has gained, he can usually be found at a volunteer event,” officials said. His volunteer activities include teaching CPR to future EMTs and helping with CERT training, among many others.
In 2014 alone, the County’s more than 100,000 volunteers donated more than 4 million hours worth an estimated $93 million—a greater than 100 percent increase over 2013.
“This extraordinary increase speaks to our volunteers’ willingness to commit to the well-being of their community,” the Board wrote in a letter included in the event’s program. “Indeed, our volunteers’ dedication to public service and genuine care for the larger community is admirable.”
Photo gallery: Volunteer photographer Craig Durling and Explorer Logan Fogwell were honored at the 2015 Volunteer of the Year Awards luncheon. Photos by Melissa Lambert.