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Sand Canyon HOA honors SCV firefighters

Residents offer big ‘thank you’ to area fire stations

Posted: March 14, 2009 11:25 p.m.
Updated: March 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Ruthann Levison, right, and John Higby, center, present firefighters a HDTV purchased by members of the Sand Canyon Homeowners Association.

 

The Sand Canyon Homeowners Association recently paid tribute to members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department during the association's annual meeting held at the Robinson Ranch Clubhouse in Sand Canyon.

Ruthann Levison, a board member of the Sand Canyon Homeowners Association, said she has long admired the work of the county fire department.

"In 1983, while our home in Sand Canyon was in the framing stages, a fire erupted in the Angeles Forest behind us. The (LA County Fire Dept.) came to the rescue and set up their staging area on our property. They back burned the slope behind us and saved our house," she said. "Little did I know then that this event would start a lifelong relationship between the fire department and me. Who knew we would have a fire almost every year thereafter in our canyon?"

Levison said she conceived of the tribute to the firefighters after being asked by residents what the community could to reward the heroic efforts of the fire department in defending the canyon from repeated fires.

"After every fire we receive dozens of calls and e-mails asking, what can we do to thank the firefighters?'

"Beside an occasional cup of coffee or soup and banners on our fences thanking them, there must be something extra we can do," she said. "We asked them, but they are humble and gracious and say ‘we are only doing our job.'"

Levison proceeded to launch a covert operation to find out what the firefighters really wanted to make life easier at area fire stations.

"I sent an e-mail to our community about our plan. Generously, many neighbors sent in contributions from $20 to $600," she told the assembled audience at the meeting. "We thank you all so much for showing your love and respect for our fire fighters."

The community donations were used to purchase a Kenmore washing machine and dryer and an LCD HDTV for fire station 123 in Sand Canyon. The television was installed by Sand Canyon residents Louie and Carol Scheckwitz of VSP Home Automation. Fire stations 107 and 132 in Canyon Country each received a gas pressure washer.

"This was the top item on both their wish lists. I guess they only have garden hoses to keep their trucks clean," said Levison.
Levison said the tribute was an effort to honor firefighters everywhere.

"The fire truck parked in our driveway could be from Alhambra or Northern California or Nevada, just as our guys go outside our area to help in other fire disasters," she said. "However, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is the best anywhere and we are so lucky to be in their jurisdiction."

Levison then asked the firefighters present to come forward and she read then a short poem she had composed.

"I'm not much of a poet, but I wrote down a few words that express my feelings and I know the community's as well," she said.

"Because you are so brave, because you do your job so well, because you are always here for us, and well ... just because."

In addition to representatives from the various fire stations in the area, Stephanie English, LA County Fire Dept. community services liaison and Chief Luke Claus of the county fire department also attended the event.

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