The Burbank Fire Department honored the 121 individuals who have served as paramedics in the City with the unveiling of the Paramedic Wall of Fame on Thursday, December 12.
About 80 people attended the ceremony, including more than 35 retired firefighters and paramedics, so the ceremony was held at Fire Department headquarters to accommodate the large group.
One of the original nine Burbank Fire paramedics, Charlie Roark, was in attendance, along with Dr. Steve Rottman, the Fire Department’s Medical Director for 40 years. Current nurse educator Susan Hayward and former nurse educator Sharon Roark, plus three retired Fire Chiefs, were also on hand for the ceremony.
“The Wall of Fame was designed to honor the past, present, and future,” explained Battalion Chief Mark Hatch, who has served with Burbank Fire for 25 years and has been certified as a paramedic for 20 of those years, working eight years as a paramedic on an ambulance.
“We wanted to honor those from the past who provided our foundation, honor the incredible paramedics providing care today, and inspire our future medics to join this elite group,” Hatch added.
Hatch asked Fire Engineer Grant Coffin to design and fabricate the Paramedic Wall of Fame plaque.
Coffin “did an incredible job,” said Hatch.
“We have all seen the equipment, treatments, and technology evolve over the decades,” he commented. “What has not changed is the Fire Department’s commitment to the community and the level of care we strive to provide.”
Burbank Fire’s first paramedics were certified beginning in 1975.
“Next year will be 45 years delivering advanced life support pre-hospital care,” Hatch continued. “The Burbank Fire Department EMS Program has been an integral part of the development of pre-hospital care in L.A. County over the years.”
“The emergency medical program in Burbank has operated over the decades with incredible people put in extraordinary situations with a goal of creating calm out of chaos, giving the care needed and taking them to the appropriate care facility.”
“We are very proud and humbled to honor our paramedics and their service,” Hatch also said.
The Paramedic Wall of Fame plaque will be installed and displayed at Fire Station 15 on Verdugo Boulevard, the EMS headquarters.