At its 14th Annual Police and Fire Appreciation Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza in Los Angeles on September 19, 2019, the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce honored Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Battalion Chief Mark Tolbert, Fire Captain Leigh-Ann Orr and Fire Fighter Paramedic Zachary Balderrama for their dedicated public service.
A.G. Spanos, President of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Chargers, presented custom jerseys to all of the honorees. Chief Tolbert’s jersey was presented to his widow, Liliana.
A special plaque was also given to Fire Station 171 in memory of Chief Tolbert who passed away earlier this year. He received posthumous recognition for providing 30+ years of service in the City of Inglewood.
Battalion Chief Henry Rodriguez worked with Chief Tolbert for over 20 years and shared his fond memories: “I salute you, I respect you, I pray for you. I will miss you, my brother.”
This year’s honorees also included Fire Captain Leigh-Anne Orr and Fire Fighter Paramedic Zachary Balderrama.
Captain Orr is the third African-American female firefighter hired by LACoFD and the second to obtain the rank of fire captain in the Department’s history. She is also the founding member and vice president of the nonprofit Women’s Fire League. For the past 10 years, she has been an active member of the Department’s Recruitment Unit and helped develop the Girls’ Fire Camp and Women’s Fire Prep Academy.
Fire Fighter Paramedic Zachary Balderrama has served as an instructor with the Fire Behavior Burn Cadre. For the past five years, he has been a dedicated disaster drill coordinator and a member of the Explorer Board. Over the years, he has trained and mentored hundreds of youth in the community of Inglewood.