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Stuart Flintham

Spence D. Turner

Cecil Gehr

Keith Klinger

Richard Houts

Clyde Bragdon

John Englund

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Clyde Bragdon
County of Los Angeles Fire Department


1977 ยท 1982

Chief BragdonWhen Chief Houts retired, Clyde Bragdon was selected to take over the reigns of the third largest fire department in the country at a time when the maximum strain on the taxing system used to support it became evident. Proposition 13, a measure designed to roll back property taxes to the 1976 level and allow only a one percent increase each year thereafter, was passed by California voters.

As an immediate result, hiring of new personnel, freezing of promotions, and new apparatus purchases occurred. Only emergency legislation allowing distribution of a timely surplus in the state treasury to the cities and special districts saved the day. Subsequently, Proposition 8's successful passing then allowed permanent augmentation funds to be distributed each year thereafter.

Several large brush fires and forest fires occurred on a seemingly regular basis during Bragdon's tenure: The Kanan, Pinecrest, Orange County, La Tuna, Stable and Dayton fires, all varied in size from 10,000 to 42,000 acres and made headlines each time. This was about an intense a period of fire activity as had ever been observed.

To his credit, Bragdon was able to continue to fund his growing organization. Despite these financial changes, he was still able to increase the number of ladder trucks by 5 while not shorting any engine companies or fire stations. The next top chief would closely follow in his footsteps. .


Borrowed from the County of Los Angeles Fire Department