Friday, June 16, 2017
LAFD Spokesperson: Brian Humphrey
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph M. Terrazas was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, members of the City Council and other elected officials, and more than 1,000 fellow firefighters and law enforcement officers from around the region to celebrate the life of fallen LAFD Firefighter III Kelly Wong.
The ceremony at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels was the culmination of nearly two weeks of mourning in the City following the tragic passing of 29-year-old Firefighter Wong. Following the church service, he was escorted to Orange County where he was laid to rest in the presence of his wife Danielle, infant son Colton, mother Anne, his in-laws, friends and family.
“I am extremely appreciative for the outpouring of love and support for Firefighter Wong, his family, and this Department the aftermath of his sudden passing,” said Chief Terrazas. “Any time the LAFD loses a member it is a tragedy, but to lose a firefighter at the beginning of his career is an even greater tragedy.”
“Kelly Wong was the best of who we are and what we aspire to be: an outstanding young man, a selfless and skilled professional, and a dedicated father who committed himself to serving the people of our city,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My prayers will always be with Kelly's family and everyone who loved, respected, and admired him.”
On June 3, 2017, Firefighter Wong fell from an LAFD aerial ladder while participating in a training exercise in Downtown Los Angeles. Fellow firefighters and paramedics rendered immediate medical attention and transported him in critical condition to L.A. County/USC Medical Center. Despite the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses, he succumbed to his injuries on June 5.
Kelly Wong was born in Hong Kong on January 3, 1988, immigrated to the United States with his mother at age 8 and quickly learned English, winning his 5th grade school spelling bee. He graduated from Upland High School and participated in Track and Field and Cross Country, as well as taking Honors and Advanced Placement Classes. He received an Associate’s Degree with honors in Fire Technology from Mt. San Antonio College and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Columbia Southern University in Fire Science.
At 18 years old, he enrolled in a Wildland Firefighter Academy offered by CAL FIRE and also received his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license. He was also a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Fire Explorer Program. In 2009 and 2010 he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter. From 2011 to 2013 he worked as a Hotshot and Helitack firefighter for the Chuchupate Helitack in the Los Padres National Forest and for the Bureau of Land Management in Elko, Nev. In 2014 he worked in Riverside for CAL FIRE at Station 1.
Firefighter Wong graduated in August 2015 from LAFD Recruit Academy 40 on Terminal Island as the top academic recruit. His most recent assignment was at Fire Station 92 in Rancho Park. He was slated to transfer last week to Fire Station 9 serving Downtown and Skid Row. He was working at Fire Station 9 at the time of the accident.
Firefighter Wong was an avid outdoorsman, traveler and aviation enthusiast working towards his Private Pilot license. He is survived by his wife Danielle, son Colton, and mother Anne.
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