|LOS ANGELES COUNTY STENTORIANS|
The Stentorians organization was founded in1954 by African-American firefighters of the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. Its purpose was to band together to address the discrimination and segregation challenges in the City’s Fire Department. The name “Stentorians,” was selected for its appropriateness from the word Stentor, a Greek Herald described in the Iliad as "having the voice of 50 men, extremely loud and powerful, audibly expressing a very forceful sound."
The Stentorians began to gain members from the Los Angeles County Fire Department as African-Americans slowly began to be hired in the early 1950's. Today, the Los Angeles County Stentorians membership consists of over 400 men and women (including active and retired, uniformed and civilian) throughout the Southern California area. The Los Angeles County Stentorians belong to the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, a national organization to which the Los Angeles County Stentorians belong as a charter member.
In 1990, the Stentorians re-structured and formed two chapters: the Los Angeles City Chapter and the Los Angeles County Chapter. This re-structuring was due in part to the increased involvement of each organization with their respective departments. Both organizations still remain close and continue to perform their community service endeavors jointly.
Today, the Stentorians functions as a community-based and social organization for their members and families. Many of the traditions that started over 40 years ago are continued today, including special events such as the annual dinner and dance, promotional and recognition luncheon, annual barbecue and holiday toy drive. Over its history, the Stentorians have progressed into a well known and respected firefighter association in the greater Los Angeles area.
The Stentorians office and training facility, old Los Angeles City Fire Station #46, is one of the very first stations integrated by the City Fire Department. This facility is now named in honor of Arnett Hartsfield and Van Davis. Both are former firefighters from the City and County fire departments, respectively. These men were truly pioneers during the civil rights era, advocating for fairness and equality in the fire service.