Los Angeles County firefighters from stations around the region are leaving on buses early Tuesday morning to attend a memorial service in Prescott, Ariz.
The Tuesday service, scheduled for 11 a.m., will honor 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew who died battling a wildfire in Arizona on June 30.
Firefighters from both county stations in La Cañada Flintridge plan to take time off to support the families of the fallen firefighters in Arizona. Around 200 Los Angeles County firefighters are leaving Tuesday, joining over 100 members who left earlier, according to the department.
Mark Savage, Los Angeles County battalion chief for Station 82, said he and at least one other firefighter at the station are attending the memorial.
“We’re a giant firefighting family,” he said, “whether we’re in the same area or another part of the county. It’s a tragic loss and there is a large group from our department going.”
Savage said many firefighters are attending the memorial to support Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Joe Woyjeck, whose son, Kevin Woyjeck, perished in the Arizona fire.
“Our main goal is to not only support the member of our department who has lost his son, but support all the families and friends who have lost loved ones,” Savage added.
Savage was the lead information officer during the 2009 Station fire, which the Hotshot Crew assisted on. Last week, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council recognized the crew.
“We had many, many resources,” said Savage of the Station fire. “It just goes to show you that firefighters will travel all over … when others need help.”
-- Tiffany Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org