As Black History Month draws to a close, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) wishes to recognize one of its team members who has greatly contributed to the success of our organization: Chief Deputy Dawnna B. Lawrence.
Chief Lawrence joined the LACoFD in October 2012 after having been employed with the County of Los Angeles since July 1987. During her tenure, Chief Lawrence has been responsible for many major accomplishments, including the Department’s transition from a simple base budgeting process to the current Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) process; the use of new technology to streamline business operations that have created efficiencies for field staff and enhanced compliance with County policies, rules, and regulations; improvements in the Department’s outward-facing services that allow customers to conduct business online; expansion of the Community, Outreach, Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion (CORDI) Section (formerly the Recruitment Unit); creation of the ARISE (A Reason to Include and Support Everyone) Summits which have brought together women firefighters and lifeguards as well as executives from fire agencies to create strategies in support of the overall growth of women in the fire service and to promote equality in the workplace; and, through collaboration with the Chief Executive Office, Department of Human Resources, County Counsel, and the Department’s Exam staff, improvements to the examination process for our Fire Fighter Trainees to ensure test security, efficiency, and selection of the most qualified candidates.
“It has always been my motto that there is room for everyone to show up equally,” said Chief Lawrence. For her, Black History Month is an opportunity for everyone to honor trailblazers and their dedication to societal advancement.
“When I became the first female Chief Deputy, I knew I had an opportunity to pave the way for those who’ll come next,” Chief Lawrence added. “This is why I was so passionate about CORDI’s initiatives to increase diversity and create an inclusive environment. I believe that the more we learn about people – be it race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. – the better we become collectively. So, I hope everyone embraces and celebrates the achievements and contributions of Blacks during this month. But more importantly, I hope there’s an ongoing desire to continue to encourage diverse perspectives, ideas, and people and share the stories that unite us.”