To All Active and Retired Chief Officers:
As we come to the end of 2021, your Chief Officers Association (COA) Executive Board would like to wish all our members, active and retired, a very healthy and happy holiday season.
2021 was, without a doubt, one of our most challenging years in the history of the Los Angeles Fire Department, and the leadership of our chief officers was tested every day. As in previous years we dealt with multi-faceted structure fires, complex wildfires throughout the state, and an ever-growing number of emergency medical incidents. This last year, our Chief Officers were also challenged with carrying out directives, enforcing policy, dealing with unprecedented staffing issues, managing morale, and holding members accountable in ways never before experienced. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to create demands on our membership, our families, and each other. We would agree that the new year will continue to challenge us as leaders. During times like these, we must remember why we have chosen to be chief officers within this prestigious organization.
We must examine what has worked and what has gone wrong over the last year and acknowledge where we all might need to listen more keenly, adapt our thinking, and change our actions. We also need to assess how our strategy faired, how our people and processes adapted, and how quality and commitment to the members and communities we serve has helped them respond, recover, and thrive under the strain of extraordinary circumstances.
During times of great uncertainty, we look to the LAFD’s Mission and CORE Values as our north star. We must remain committed to providing exceptional fire protection and emergency medical services to the people of Los Angeles.
The rank and file depend on us to work with them to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead. It is times like these that we must band together and cherish our families and the dear friends who support us through these challenging times.
Let’s charge forward with the hope of better days to come in 2022. We wish we could say it is going to be easy. However, we must be realistic, focus on what lies ahead, and rely on each other to meet future challenges.
During this Holiday Season, the COA Executive Board hopes that each of you has the opportunity to unwind, spend time with your family and friends and enjoy what matters most.
Respectfully yours in service,
Your COA Executive Board
Jaime, JD, Kady, Robert, Dean, Carlos, and Rich