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Supervisors Take on Uniform Fight for Women Firefighters 150 150 Hayley Munguia

Supervisors Take on Uniform Fight for Women Firefighters

Supervisor Hahn wears turnout gear designed for men and experiences the ill-fit constricting her ability to lift her leg. Captain Kelliher and Chief Marrone pictured at right.

Los Angeles, CA—Today, the all-women Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and co-authored by Board Chair Lindsey Horvath to take on a challenge facing women firefighters in LA County and across the country: their uniforms are made for men.

The ill-fitting uniforms and turnout gear leave women firefighters and lifeguards vulnerable to cancer due to exposure smoke and other carcinogens, and injuries due to the uniforms and gear constricting their movement.

“The women of our LA County Fire Department are heroic, and they save lives every day all while dealing with uniforms that don’t fit correctly and restrict their movement,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who tried on the turnout gear for herself before the meeting. “Like so many other women in a male dominated field, they go out of their way not to complain. But this is a real problem and these women need to know that this board has their back – and their hips.”

Watch full video of testimony

The challenge is that most manufacturing companies that produce firefighter uniforms or turnout gear don’t make ones that are meant to fit female bodies. As a result, the women in the Los Angeles County Fire Department are forced to wear uniforms and protective gear that are designed for men and do not fit properly.

“Women on our frontlines deserve to have uniforms and equipment that are suited for the essential, lifesaving work that they perform day in and day out,” said Chair Lindsey P. Horvath. “Today’s motion will further ensure that our diverse and exceptional Los Angeles County firefighters are fully prepared and supported in the essential roles they play in our communities.”

LA County Fire Fighters Emily Fuller and Siene Freeman demonstrate how turnout gear designed for men restricts their movement.

During today’s board meeting, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Anthony C. Marrone, Deputy Chief Eleni Pappas, Lifeguard Section Chief Danielle McMillon, and Battalion Chief Sara Rathbun testified to the board about the challenges the uniforms create for women in the department, including increased cancer risk and getting injured on the job. Women firefighters wearing their turnout gear demonstrated that the cut of the pants limits women’s ability to squat or climb and the cut in the chest and shoulders limits women’s ability to raise their arms.

“I echo Supervisor Hahn’s statement that I’ve never once complained about my uniforms, but that doesn’t mean they fit,” said Fire Captain Sheila Kelliher. “We are problem solvers by nature, it’s what we do. Where I have a problem is, now I’m mentoring the next generation of men and women coming through our department, and when I tell a 23-year-old girl, ‘Eh, just figure it out, just, I don’t know, pull them up, tighten up your suspenders,’ it doesn’t work. We need to do better.”

The motion approved by the board today directs the LA County Fire Chief to work with the CEO and the Women’s Fire League to report back in 60 days on a plan to make work uniforms and PPE specific for women fire fighters and lifeguards available to LACoFD employees. The Board will also send a letter signed by all five women members to the manufacturers and vendors that produce and distribute the PPE and uniforms purchased by LACoFD urging them to manufacture women’s PPE and uniforms and make them more accessible to purchase.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department currently employs just 82 women firefighters– an issue that has drawn criticism from Supervisor Hahn.

Fire Chief Anthony Marrone testified that he was committed to taking on this challenge saying, “this is an issue of equity that we must address as we move forward to not only hire but retain and promote women.”

Full size photos:

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Supervisor Hahn and LASD Seek Public’s Help in solving 1967 Murder of Huntington Park Police Officer 150 150 Hayley Munguia

Supervisor Hahn and LASD Seek Public’s Help in solving 1967 Murder of Huntington Park Police Officer

$20,000 reward offered for information about the cold case

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department are seeking the public’s help in solving the fifty-seven-year cold case murder of Huntington Park Police Officer Robert Keller.

“The murder of Officer Robert Keller continues to be painful for the Huntington Park community and his family,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This many years later, we hold out hope that we can solve this case and provide some sense of closure to Officer Keller’s family. I urge anyone with any information about this murder to share what they know with our Sheriff’s detectives.”

On October 5, 1967, Officer Keller was dispatched to the “Wonder Shop,” a business at 6509 Pacific Blvd. in Huntington Park, to investigate a “silent” burglar alarm call. He confronted the armed burglary suspect inside the location. Officer Keller, who exchanged gunfire with the suspect, suffered gunshot wounds in the gun battle and succumbed to his injuries.

While Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives and officers of the Huntington Park Police Department conducted a rigorous investigation at the time of the murder, the crime has remained unsolved. The case is currently being investigated by the Unsolved Unit using the latest scientific methods and technologies.

“The City of Huntington Park thanks the office of Supervisor Hahn and the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department for the continued support to unravel this infamous crime,” said Huntington Park Mayor Marilyn Sanabria. “We are grateful for the proposed motion to bring additional resources to help solving this case.”

Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn reestablishing a reward for $20,000 for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the heinous murder of Officer Robert Keller.

Anyone with information is urged to call Lieutenant Joseph Purcell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5565, or the Los Angeles Regional Crimestoppers Hotline at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

Hahn Celebrates New Paramedic Unit in Whittier 150 150 Hayley Munguia

Hahn Celebrates New Paramedic Unit in Whittier

Whittier, CA – Today Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri, and Whittier City Councilmembers, and LA County Fire Department officials celebrated a new paramedic unit stationed at LA County Fire Department Station 59 in Whittier.  The new unit is shortening response times amid rising emergency medical calls in the Whittier area.

“In the past few years, residents in the Whittier area have been calling 911 for medical emergencies more often and that was putting a strain on our LA County Fire Department paramedic units and meant longer response times,” said Supervisor Hahn. “Fixing this problem became a priority for my office and this new additional paramedic team dedicated to Whittier is worth celebrating.”

The new Paramedic Unit at Fire Station 59 is made up of two paramedics. Last year, Supervisor Hahn celebrated a new LA County Fire Paramedic Assessment Unit at Station 28 which is made up of one paramedic and emergency medical technician partners. Both new units are proving effective in shortening response times to emergency medical calls across the Whittier region.

“This is the end of a dream come true,” said Mayor Joe Vinatieri who, along with Councilmember Cathy Warner, requested the paramedic unit and the paramedic assessment unit.

“Our residents need to know that their lives matter,” said Supervisor Hahn. “And no matter where they live, when they pick up the phone in need of help for themselves or a loved one, help will be on the way– fast.”

At the event, Supervisor Hahn reflected on the importance of paramedics in our emergency response system decades after her father, Supervisor Kenny Hahn, launched the nation’s first paramedic program here in Los Angeles County.

Event Photo Files:

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Supervisor Hahn Releases Statement on Hate Crime against San Pedro resident 150 150 Hayley Munguia

Supervisor Hahn Releases Statement on Hate Crime against San Pedro resident

San Pedro, CA – Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn released the following statement regarding a recent incident in San Pedro in which a Black family’s car was vandalized with a swastikas and a racial slur.

“Few of us can imagine the fear and anger that Mr. Scott and his family are feeling after this most recent attack. Both as Supervisor and as a resident of this community, I am outraged and saddened that one of our neighbors could be targeted in such a vile way. My thoughts are with the Scott family.

In San Pedro and in all of LA County, everyone belongs and everyone deserves to live in peace. I understand the LAPD Harbor Division is working hard to identify the perpetrator of this hate crime so that they can be held accountable.”

Details about the hate crime were first posted by the victim, Reginald Scott, on a Go Fund Me page.

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