L.A. firefighters fighting fires for hours without oxygen as winds blow from northwest
LAS VEGAS — The L.I. Fire Department said Tuesday it would not take part in the annual Firefighter of the Year awards until a major disaster or an unprecedented incident had ended.
Firefighters and rescue crews have been battling fires around the country this winter after a series of devastating wildfires devastated the Los Angeles region.
The Los Angeles area is in the midst of a major drought.
L.A.’s fire department received an “unprecedented” request from a firefighter to award its firefighter of the year, the L.D.F. said in a statement.
The LDFF said it would honor the firefighter with a lifetime achievement award at a ceremony on Tuesday.
The award, which will be presented at a future ceremony, is for the individual who is the best representative of the department, L.L.’s department said in the statement.LDFF spokeswoman Emily Pacheco said that despite the request, the department will not be able to award the award until an emergency has ended or an “incredible incident” has ended.
The department said that it would consider whether the award should be made after a crisis.
The L.F.’s firefighters have been dealing with a number of extreme weather conditions, including high winds and heavy rain, Pachecomo said.
The department said firefighters and emergency personnel have been on the front lines in some of the worst wildfires in the nation, including one that has burned over 30,000 acres in Los Angeles County and another that burned through 2,000 square miles of land in Ventura County.
In an emergency, LDFFs are often the first to respond to calls for help, but they have been struggling to reach those who need help.
The agency said that this year, LAFD personnel were on the ground in the fires.
Pachecomos statement said that in the event of an emergency requiring LAFDs immediate response, it is imperative to make sure they are ready to go.
“If they’re not, the firefighters need to be able and prepared,” she said.