Photo courtesy of First-In Fire Foundation
First-In Fire Foundationâ€™s program, â€śFirehouse Laundry Roomâ€ť was a Valentineâ€™s Day gift to six Los Angeles County fire stations in collaboration with L.A. County Supervisorial Third District. Pictured are Los Angeles County Fire Station 89, Agoura Hills Crew: (L-R) Firefighter Paramedic Michael McErlean; Firefighter Paramedic James Mehuron; First-In Fire Foundation president and founder Lyn MacEwen Cohen; Firefighter Specialist Ryan Lowrie; Captain Doug Fascenelli; Firefighter Paramedic John Steindlberger. Topanga FS69 crew was also a recipient.
The First-in Fire Foundation shared its â€śLove at a Grassroots Levelâ€ť with six Los Angeles County fire stations that included Topanga FS69.
As a special Valentineâ€™s gift to show appreciation for the courageous service the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) provides, and with a generous grant from the Los Angeles County Supervisorial Third District for needed appliances, the First-In Fire Foundation provided six Los Angeles County Fire Stations, including Topanga, with new dishwashers, washers and dryers.
Calabasas Fire Station FS67 received a washer and dryer; Topanga Canyon FS69 received a washer and dryer; Unincorporated Agoura Fire Station 65 received a portable dishwasher and City of Agoura Hills FS89 received a washer and dryer (see photo); Malibu FS70 received a washer and dryer and FS72 in the unincorporated area of Malibu received a portable dishwasher.
The program benefits local fire stations in the Los Angeles County Supervisorial Third District, (SD3) chosen by the Los Angeles County Fire Department leadership.
Battalion Chief Rick Lewis, Battalion 5, LACoFD said, â€śWe are very grateful for this donation. The new items will be put to good use, helping our firefighters with the basic tasks that they need to complete every day on top of responding to fires and emergency incidents.â€ť
This â€śFirehouse Laundry Roomâ€ť program supports the well-being of first responders as they manage on a daily basis the complications and demands of wildfires, earthquakes, floods and ambulance needs in the community.
The concept originated and was developed by Foundation President, Lyn MacEwen Cohen â€śto enable a firehouse to complete regular household cleaning chores at the firehouse including personal laundry, uniforms, towels and bedding.
â€śBeing a firefighter automatically means getting really, really, dirty in the line of duty,â€ť Cohen says.
â€śTurnout uniforms are normally sent out for specialized cleaning to remove chemicals and carcinogens. First-In Fire gives firefighters exactly what they need. We deliver heavy-duty, highly rated hygienic appliances to handle the heavy laundry loads necessary at a fire station. This is time- and cost-saving and a huge morale boost for our local firefighters,â€ť she says.
The Foundation also encourages residents to befriend their local firefighters and get involved in their local neighborhood emergency preparedness programs, which is greatly valued by the firefighters and Fire Department Command staff.
â€śFriendship is the first step toward preparedness, locally,â€ť Cohen says
â€śIf you would like to be part of the First-In Fire Foundationâ€™s firehouse campaign to support local firefighters email: email@example.com or visit firstinfirefoundation.org.
About Lyn MacEwen Cohen. She founded the First-In Fire Foundation as a public service benefit non-profit in 2008. Its mission is to connect local citizens to their local fire stations.
In 2020, when the pandemic first began, she seized the opportunity for public service wherever there was a need. At the height of the pandemic she established the â€śFirehouse Dinnersâ€ť program, which purchased meals from revenue-stressed local restaurants and merchants.
In 2021 she was recognized as a finalist in the Non-Profit Executive category and was presented with the â€śInspirational Women Awardâ€ť by the Los Angeles Times Business Department for her public service
The First-In Fire Foundation has been connecting local communities to their local fire stations in Los Angeles since its founding and champions all constituents (residential, corporate, business, and cultural, i.e., museums) to prepare for all emergencies and disasters, individually and together, before crises come.
The organization works collaboratively with governmental agencies in the areas of Emergency Management, Los Angeles County Supervisorâ€™s Offices and, of course, the Fire Department.