A Live Saver
Story and photos courtesy LAFD Board
On Sept. 5, the LAFD’s Board of Fire Commissioners recognized Apparatus Operator Ryan Jensen for helping save the life of a nine-year-old boy during a structure fire in Sun Valley in March.
In the incident, the LAFD responded to a structure fire at an apartment building. The first fire company to arrive found heavy smoke showing from a four-story (three floors over parking) center-hallway-style apartment building. Firefighters prepared to make entry. Firefighter/Paramedics located two critical burn patients. (Six patients received treatment, including the hospital transport of the two burn victims.)
Flames began coming out the third floor window and were lapping up into the fourth floor unit as crews reached the fire. More than 80 firefighters, operating under the command of Assistant Chief Guy Tomlinson, fully extinguished the blaze in 33 minutes. As Light Force 78 arrived, A/O Jensen and his crew were assigned to establish additional ladders to the building. Jensen saw a nine-year-old on a fourth floor balcony, who had been separated from his family, and his escape route was cut off by flames. Jensen extended the aerial ladder to the balcony, and then ascended the ladder himself to rescue the child from the balcony. The boy was reunited with his family shortly after being brought down the aerial ladder.
The LAFD Board of Fire Commissioners statement read: “In recognition of your bravery, competency, judgment and heroic courage while performing your duties as an Apparatus Operator on Light Force 78, you saved the life of a nine-year-old boy during an apartment fire. The Los Angeles City Fire Dept. commends you for your bravery and exceptional efforts in saving a citizen of the City of Los Angeles.”
This is not the first time Ryan Jensen was honored by the Fire Commission. In August 2012, (then Firefighter) Jensen received a Medal of Merit relating to an incident where two victims were dragged from an electrified pool of water, following a traffic collision involving a sheared hydrant and wires down. The LAFD is proud to recognize him again, 11 years later, as he continues a pattern of selfless service to the people of Los Angeles.
The Club congratulates Apparatus Operator Jensen for his heroism, and honors him for his service to the people of Los Angeles.