Today, members of the Los Angeles Fire Department joined the Los Angeles Board of Fire Commissioners and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas in formally recognizing the achievements of Karen Wagener, President of the non-profit Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, on the eve of her retirement.
In a stellar career that has included work in the UCLA Alumni Association, the Peace Corps and an executive search firm, Karen came to City Hall as a strong proponent of public safety during her six years of service to Mayor Richard J. Riordan as Executive Director of the City’s Volunteer Bureau.
Following her tenure at that agency, Karen served notably as President of the Los Angeles Police Foundation for nine years before taking the helm of the newly founded Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation in 2010.
During the past seven years, Ms. Wagener has been a tireless supporter of the LAFD mission, uniting the community and department to assure that responders in the City's 106 neighborhood fire stations are prepared and equipped for whatever may come their way.
Parallel to that commitment has been her steadfast support of LAFD oriented youth programs and public outreach campaigns that reach every corner of our City.
With a majority of its budget earmarked for salaries and benefits, the Fire Department's goal of protecting life, property and the environment has been more readily achieved and invigorated through Karen's daily efforts to coalesce LAFD members with public and private partners.
To date, the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation has provided and supported:
- Special Brush Firefighting Helmets
- Hazard Extracting Heavy-Duty Washing Machines for Firefighter Gear
- Sturdy Flashlights Designed for Firefighting and Rescue
- Stair Chairs That Limit Back Strain and Allow Rapid Patient Evacuation
- Advanced Provider Response Unit
- Community Risk Reduction Unit
- Critical Veterinary Care for Urban Search & Rescue K9's
- Forensic Investigation Tools for Arson Investigators
- Helicopter Multi-Role Night Vision Capability
- Youth Safety and High School Career/Character Development
- Citywide Adopt-A-Fire-Station Projects
- Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones)
- Sponsorship of Medal of Valor and Award Ceremonies
- Citywide Community Events
The men and women of LAFD join the Board of Fire Commissioners and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas in wishing Karen Wagener a long, healthy and joy-filled retirement alongside her husband and beloved granddaughter Kaya, as they plan and prepare for the many things that have patiently waited while she put firefighters and paramedics first.
To learn more about and support the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, visit: SupportLAFD.org
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