Robert Lee, who died June 22, served Los Angeles County for 37 years, the last 31 years as a professional firefighter with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Chief Lee was promoted through the Los Angeles County Fire Department as Firefighter Paramedic, Specialist Firefighter, Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief. As Deputy Fire Chief, Chief Lee served in Administrative Services and the Bureau of Prevention respectively.
In 1984, Chief Lee became the first African American Battalion Chief in the history of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He was later promoted twice to assistant fire chief and then to deputy fire chief, again becoming the first African-American to ever hold positions in the department.
Chief Lee has demonstrated a strong commitment to the community and its citizens throughout his career. As Chief Warrant Officer, Chief Lee was assigned to the San Gabriel Valley. Under his leadership, his department was the first in the county to implement the “Youth Rescue Program,” a countywide partnership between the fire department and the district attorney to mentor “at-risk” youth. Chief Lee was also a member of the Altadena/Crown City Kiwanis Club for over 40 years.
Chief Lee received his formal education in the Los Angeles City School System, graduating from Manual Arts High School in 1963, then graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in Fire Protection Engineering.
While working at the fire department, Chief Lee attended numerous classes at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He also participated in the Executive Firefighter Academy program. Prior to serving in Los Angeles County, Chief Lee served in the United States Air Force for four years.
Chef Lee was married to his beautiful wife Diane Lee for 52 years. They raised five children together, Detra, Dennis and Eric, Demetria and Antonio, and have several grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Robert Lee, County’s First Black Battalion Chief, Passes Away – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Robert Lee, County’s First Black Battalion Chief, Passes Away – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel