Retired and Active FireFighters of The Los Angeles County Fire Department
From our first days as Los Angeles County Fire Department, recruit firefighters, we knew we were part of a very special organization. The people we worked with were proud to be L.A. County FireFighters, and they expected us to be proud too - and grateful for the opportunity to join the organization. You could hear guys complain about things (after all, it's a fire department). But those same guys often could be heard saying, "This is a great job." Most important, nobody ever seemed to quit unless they were killed, injured or retired. A lot of the guys that did leave the job to try something else, were often reapplying to get back on the job.
After retirement we were at odds end as to how to contact all our retired friends. We did have area breakfasts, mostly in the battalion or division that we worked in. They were held once a month, and if you forgot, you missed out until the next one.
Don Borthwick, and Tom Little, started the San Clemente area breakfast, and then they started an annual picnic. This was well received. At one of these picnics, Don Borthwick, on the job, February, 1951, August 83, and me, Dewitt Morgan, March, 1957, May, 1992, got to talking about what a good thing the picnic was for getting guys together, it was held at the beach, and was catered. I suggested that we start collecting email addresses and that way we could stay a little better in contact. I soon became the server. But, also soon I was overwhelmed with trying to get the incoming messages out to the troops it was so well received. We had to do something different because if I was gone for a few days, I was hours getting the mail out. I have a friend, Rae French, who had started her own business, Called Aplonis INC, that has a mail server. We contracted with Rae, to start CyberStreams, the first, and premier email listing. It has worked flawlessly keeping the guys in contact with each other.
There are two other lists that are available. One, SmokeShowing, was started a couple of years after CyberStreams because of the more stringent rules. SmokeShowing, Started by Steve Johnson, was to allow the guys to use more colorful language, I.E. same as in the Fire Station.
One of the things missing was the timely notification of the sick, hospital, and Funeral Notices. This took care of that. As soon as anyone heard of an illness, hospitalization, or death, I was notified, and immediately posted a "Sad News" notice. That has been improved upon considerably in that Bob, "Malibu" Martin, now gets these notices and publishes them in a very timely fashion.