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26th Annual Hope 4 Firefighters Festival.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Los Angeles CA.  On Thirsday June 6th 2024 in the Bunker Hill Section of Downtown Los Angeles on and off duty members of the Los Angeles Fire Department joined by members of the Downtown Los Angeles Business community gatherd to celebrate the 26th Annual Hope 4 Firefighers Festival. The event first began in 1998 shorty after the department lost three members and 1 civilain pediatric patient when one of its helicoters known as ":Fire 3" crashed near Griffith Park while transporting a female pediatric female patient to Childrens Hopsital with injuries sustianed in an early morning traffic accident.

Wanting to due something to honor the fallen and help raise the money for the familes of the fallen Firefighers the event was intially just a static display of Los Angeles Fire Department equipment and Firefighters filling a boot to raise money, On that day in just over 4 hours time over $11,000 was raised, Today the event which is now managed by the Los Angeles Firemen;s Relief Associatioin (LAFRA) has grown in size and in populartiy. 

On a warm and slightly breezy Thursday, Hope St between Grand Avenue and 3rd St, Food booths from various Los Angeles Fire Station's were srt up and the mustet game course was rerady to go. As the lunch hour hit and the offices located in the skyscrapers that lined Hope St emptied out hungry patrons were greeted with a wide selection of food, beverage and deserts alll prepared by Los Angeles Firefighers, Many booths had themes with members in costume, Judges were on hand visiting each booth trying a sample of each prepared creation. As hungry patrons ate they're lunch 13 muster teams comprised of local businesses competed in muster games in hopes of taking home the coveted Hope 4 Firefighters Muster game trophy. 

Each muster team was put through a series of three events. Event Number 1 the turnout suit up and life safety net. Each member as quickly as possible was required to don a full set of Firefighter structual turnouts then grab a life safety net rushing down the street co catch a stuffed animal dangling from atop a street light. The second event was the bucket brigade were teammbers formed a line passing buckets back and fourth much like the early days of Firefighting, One team member was required to fill up the bucket who in turn would pass the bucket to another team member until it reached the end all the while an empty bucket was being pased back. The final event of the day the hose cart relay. Muster team members rrunning at top side pulling a hose cart with a 2 1\2 inch hose line attached. Running a lenght of about 50 yards two members would be responsible for connecting the line to a fire hydrant while two other members were in charge of attaching a nozzle and strecthing the line out and hitting and knocking over an orange traffic cone with water from the hose. 

Whole guests ate and watched the muster teams compete they also had a chance to bid on silent auction and raffle items which ranged from VIP travel packages to VIP seating and sports event packages. 

As the events of the day drew to a close Brookfield Properties emerged victorious taking home the coveted Hope 4 Firefighters Muster game champions trophy with Muir Chase Plumbimg taking home second and Rising Reality partners taking home third place. For the Fire Stations that particpated Fire Station 2 serving the Boyle Heights Section of Los Angeles took home the award for best entree. Fire Station 29 serving the Mid-Wishire secton of Los Angeles took home the award for best theme for Jurrassic Park and Fire Station 60 serving North Hollywood taking home top honors for best dessert witth thier choclate cream filled pies. 

The day was fanrastic with everyone enjoying themselves while helping to raise money for the Los Angeles Firemen's relief association widows & ophans fund and event organizers look forward to seeing everyone again in 2025.

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TIM MACIASSenior Correspondent

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