As the state and county continue to roll out vaccines to health care workers and elderly residents, Burbank’s police union president says he’s disappointed that law enforcement has been left waiting. Burbank Police Department personnel were scheduled to receive vaccines last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 3-4, according to Lt. J.J. Pugilisi, president of the Burbank Police Officers’ Association. But as the dates approached, he said, Los Angeles County shifted gears, pushing back police departments’ reception of the vaccines to allow more residents ages 65 and older to get them. Though fire departments in the county were included in an earlier wave of vaccinations — Burbank Fire Department personnel received their second doses last week — because they often respond to COVID-19 related emergencies and other health calls, Pugilisi pointed out that police officers often have to be physically close to residents.
Curtis Virgil Reynolds, 86, passed away peacefully at home in Port Hueneme, California, on Sept. 14, 2020, with his loving wife Nancy by his side. Curt was born Dec. 15, 1933, in tiny Bengal, Oklahoma, to Etta and Alexander Reynolds. They moved to California when Curt was seven. He attended schools in Los Molinos, and upon high school graduation joined the Navy. He served on a mine sweeper in the Mediterranean and then an icebreaker in Alaska. Completing military service, Curt returned to California and in 1958 joined the Burbank Fire Department, working through the ranks to become Fire Chief in 1976. He also earned his B.A. degree in Political Science at California State University at Los Angeles.
With smoke from the Bobcat Fire continuing to billow into communities throughout Burbank and the rest of the San Fernando Valley, health experts are warning residents to limit their time spent outdoors. The Bobcat Fire, which began in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 6, burned more than 60,000 acres, with 15% containment, as of Friday morning. The wildfire, whose cause remains under investigation, previously prompted evacuation orders for parts of Arcadia and Sierra Madre. Evacuation warnings also have been issued for parts of Pasadena, Monrovia and Altadena.
Burbank officials announced Thursday that the city’s annual National Night Out, typically held on the first Tuesday in August, has been moved to October. Public health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic were cited as the reason for rescheduling the event. Each year, the Burbank police and fire departments join neighbors and community members for the event. National Night Out promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie and is aimed at making the city a safer, more caring place to live and work. The event is typically celebrated with social festivities, block parties, cookouts, community gatherings, kids’ activities, interactive safety demonstrations, exhibits by emergency service personnel, and more. However, as the community continues to deal with the pandemic, the police and fire departments decided to postpone National Night Out in the interest of public health and safety. In accordance with recommendations by the official National Night Out organization, this year’s National Night Out event has been rescheduled to Oct. 6, a date that also is subject to change. Although National Night Out has been postponed, the Burbank Police Department encourages community members to communicate with one another through social media channels and neighborhood watch groups. By remaining vigilant and observant in Burbank’s neighborhoods, community members can help keep one another safe, officials said.
Captain Ryan Cortina, a 12-year veteran with the Burbank Fire Department, has been recognized as its Firefighter of the Year, it has been announced.
“His passion and commitment as a company officer is second to none and may only be superseded by his investment in the Paramedic Program,” a fire department spokesperson said. “He spends countless hours both on and off duty working towards the improvement, innovation and ownership of this program. He always goes above and beyond as a paramedic coordinator by maintaining personnel needs, equipment and supplies. He is a key component in the department’s successful relationships with outside agencies and provides continuing education for the Emergency Medical Services Program. Continue reading “Burbank’s Firefighter of Year is Honored”