I’d heard of the house fire in the Hollywood Hills Wednesday night and of the firefighter on-scene who was gravely injured as a result of the blaze. It just so happens that the day after the tragedy, a morning bike ride took me past the LAFD training center in Elysian Park. Veering into the parking lot I found myself before the 9/11 memorial and saying a prayer for the firefighter’s recovery.
It’s a prayer that went unanswered and I was saddened to hear that Glen L. Allen, a 36-year veteran of the department, succumbed to his injuries yesterday. He is the 61st Los Angeles firefighter to die in the line of duty in the department’s 125-year history.
The department is a collective force of many but its core strength comes from individuals like Glen Allen who without fail are ready to plunge headlong into danger, to risk their lives in service of others. It’s important to remember not just those heroes who we lost yesterday, but those who will not hesitate to put the uniform on and endanger themselves similarly tomorrow. To Firefighter Allen and to all emergency personnel who answer the call, who put the lives of others ahead of their own, all I can say as a proud citizen of this city is thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My thoughts are with Allen’s family and friends and my hopes are ever for the safety of all his fellow firefighters.