First Black Female LAFD Firefighter Honored by Fire Commissioners

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Los Angeles-

The LAFD Fire Commission honored d'Lisa Davies on March 19, 2024, during Women's History Month, for her contributions to the Fire Service, and accomplishments including being the first Black female firefighter in the LAFD.

Group shot of d'Lisa Davies and others at the Commission meeting, including Chief Crowley

d’Lisa, the oldest of 8 children born in Tucson, Arizona, is a recent retiree of the LAFD after 31 years of service. d’Lisa admits to being an unequivocal tomboy, who would participate in any sport, at any time, against anyone from an early age. The love of volleyball, basketball and softball, was the motivation to coach throughout life. d’Lisa, also an Army veteran, mother of 1, Nana of 1 and auntie of “many!”

The first 22 years of the fire service were spent in the high incident areas, serving South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and Highland Park, representing many of the areas of Los Angeles where she grew up as a kid. d’Lisa then was asked by the Fire Chief to increase women and minority numbers when assigned to the Recruitment Unit. During that assignment, programs were successfully developed and included: the Mentoring program, Mock Oral Interview preparation, CPAT simulated practice and testing, military recruitment, the literature translation program and the high school outreach recruitment program. Other accomplishments included Recruitment Conferences/Expos of 2002, 2003, 2004 and the 25 Year Celebration of Women in the Fire Service.

d’Lisa continued her contributions through work in the Fire Chief's Inter-group Relations Committee, Terrorism Committee, Women's Focus groups, Public Service Officer (PSO) or voice of the department, Incident Management Team member for the EOC and DOC and instructor for the Metro F.I.R.E. Academy.

In 2005, d’Lisa was again nominated by the Fire Chief to the California Professional Firefighter's (CPF-JAC) Committee to Recruit Women in the Fire Service. As a Commissioner, working with women throughout the state, provided a larger platform to continue recruitment of women and minorities into the fire service. d’Lisa provided the Committee templates of framework and statistical successes for different aspects of recruitment of the military, mentoring and interview preparation. d’Lisa has put on interview preparation workshops for the JAC, the African American Museum and the Los Angeles Stentorian’s.

Promoted to Captain in 2009, d’Lisa was assigned to the Bureau of Fire Prevention and Safety, supervising the Legal Liaison Unit and the Environmental Unit/CUPA until retirement. d’Lisa is known for her organizational and leadership skills and is recognized nationally, especially through inter-agency interactions at the State and Federal level. In 2010, d’Lisa was inducted into the Ford Company, Southern California Freedom Sisters Traveling Museum.

Even in retirement, d'Lisa continues her drive to recruit women, minorities and the military, as a proctor for the FCTC written exam and Candidate Physical Agility Test or C.P.A.T. Meeting candidates as they are entering the field, newly graduated from an academy or relocating to join a different department, d’Lisa mentors through the different hiring processes. d’Lisa edits resumes, sends email blasts regarding hiring or training and provides a powerpoint for those needing an assist with interviews. But d’Lisa has a special interest in the military, being an Army veteran.

What does d’Lisa claim as the motivation for success? My father. He taught us “you can do anything you put your mind to do. There was no such thing as the word ‘can’t’ in our family’s vocabulary. Stand up for injustice, as dad would say, “not in my face...!” Always “leave everything you touch in better condition than you found it!”

d’Lisa has received numerous awards for her work in recruitment and mentoring.


To view the full video of the Board of Fire Commissioners Meeting, where d'Lisa Davies was honored, click here.

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