Los Angeles County Fire Department
The Los Angeles County Fire Department as we know it today does not resemble the beginning organizational layout as was found in
the 1920’s. The L.A. County Forestry Department, headed by Chief Forrester Stuart J. Flintham, was chosen by the County Board
of Supervisors to be the department to be in charge of fire fighting and fire prevention beginning with the fiscal year of 1920-21.
Therefore, a man who was a graduate forester only was expected to do what he could to instigate the fire protection system for the
unincorporated L.A. County territory. Due to his natural organizational ability, he largely succeeded.

Stuart J. Flintham became the County’s first Fire Chief and remained so until his untimely death in 1925. During his tenure, the
first Fire Protection Districts (30) were formed which allowed small towns in the unincorporated territory to pay for fire stations,
engines and manpower. Chief Flintham’s successor, Spencer Turner, continued to build on the framework built by Flintham. By the
time of his retirement in 1952, the Department had grown to have 80 fire stations and nearly 1,000 total personnel. During both the
Chief’s tenure, fires in the brush-covered hills and desert areas continued to be fought by the Forestry Department exclusively
using green engines and men having different uniforms, pay scales, retirement, Labor Unions, etc.
Badges of the Los Angeles County Fire Department
click on image to enlarge
Photos courtesy of:
LaCountyFireMuseum.com
Any info regarding this presentation would be appreciated.
Early Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Forestry badges.
Cap piece for Engineer badge above.
Cap pieces.
Early Explorer Patches for
Los Angeles Co. Forestry and
Fire Fighting
Los Angeles Co. Fire
Battalion Chief.
One rank above
Captain.