As Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Fire Captain Scott Polgar prepares for retirement, he recently completed teaching his 200th Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class in the Antelope Valley on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
To commemorate this special milestone and recognize his dedication to the community, local leaders presented him with certificates of appreciation and achievement, including State Senator Scott Wilk, State Assemblymember Tom Lackey, Fifth District County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, City of Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Captain Polgar was hired by the Department in 1983. He calls himself a “prepper” because he is constantly preparing for emergencies. His passion for teaching CERT was influenced by the aftermath of the 1987 Whitter Narrows earthquake.
He recalls assisting people who were not prepared by providing batteries and basic supplies, and teaching residents how to shut off their gas and water. “People became victims of disaster because of the lack of preparedness. And since then, it has been my goal to make citizens self-sustaining,” said Captain Polgar.
Captain Polgar’s interest in public service began at an early age; his mother introduced him to the television show Emergency which sparked his curiosity to become a firefighter. When his family moved to California from Ohio, he had the opportunity to gain more experience in the fire service by becoming a Fire Explorer and ambulance driver.
Over the past 30 years, Captain Polgar has taught hundreds of residents to be prepared and stay safe during a disaster. He has had many highlights throughout his career but remembers how one of his former students contacted him to tell him that his lessons prevented him from dying. His student mentioned that Captain Polgar expressed the importance of watching for oncoming traffic when exiting a vehicle and how the safety tip saved his life.
The Department would like to thank Captain Polgar for his 38 years of dedicated service and wishes him a happy retirement!