ORGANIZATION HISTORY

The STENTORIANS organization was founded in 1954, by African-American firefighters of the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. Their purpose and goals were to band together and address the discrimination and segregation challenges in the City’s Fire Department. The name STENTORIANS, was selected for its appropriateness from the word Stentor, a Greek Herald described in the Iliad as having the voice of fifty men, extremely loud and powerful, audibly expressing a very forceful sound.

The STENTORIANS began to gain members from the Los Angeles County Fire Department as African-Americans slowly began to be hired in the early 1950’s. Today, the Los Angeles County STENTORIANS membership consists of over four hundred men and women both active and retired, sworn and non-sworn throughout the Southern California area. The Los Angeles County STENTORIANS belong to the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, a National Organization in which the Los Angeles County STENTORIANS are charter members of.

In 1990, the STENTORIANS re-structured and formed two chapters, the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Chapter. This re-structuring was due in part to the increased involvement of each organization with their respective Departments. Both organizations still remain close and continue to perform their community service endeavors jointly.

Today, the STENTORIANS function as a community based and social organization for their membership and their families. Many of the traditions that started over forty years ago are continued today: functions such as the Annual dinner and dance, promotional and recognition luncheon, annual bar-b-que and Christmas toy drive. Over its forty-year history; the STENTORIANS have progressed into a well-noted and respected Firefighter association in the greater Los Angeles area community.

The STENTORIANS occupy as its office and training facility, old Los Angeles City Fire Station #46, one of the very first stations integrated by the City Fire Department. This facility is now named in honor of Arnett Hartsfield and Van Davis. Both former firefighters from the City and County fire departments respectfully. These men were truly pioneers during the civil rights era for fairness and equality in the fire service.