Susan VandePol’s life changed forever after her husband, LAFD firefighter Robert Ortega, passed away. Navigating through the devastating loss, alongside her children, Susan felt a special calling to pursue a new purpose. Lifted up by her faith and the strength of her beliefs, Susan is dedicated to giving a voice to those who need support and healing. She now hosts special retreats for widows, wrote a book and assists fire departments across the country. Watch as Susan shares her story.

Learn more about Susan’s retreats, book and protocols: Matters of Life & Breath

For the brave men and women of the LAFD, should anything ever happen to them during a lifetime of service, the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighter’s Fund is here to fulfill their needs. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity founded more than a century ago, our organization is dedicated to helping the families of LAFD firefighters facing a serious crisis, such as being injured or killed in the line of duty. Thanks to kind and generous contributions, the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighter’s Fund makes a significant impact, providing assistance with basic living expenses, health insurance premiums, durable medical equipment, and awarding memorial scholarships to children of firefighters who died while active duty.

The needs of firefighters are unique because the profession poses many dangers and consequences. Thanks to our many kind and generous donors, firefighters and their spouses and children may receive many valuable benefits and services as they face a difficult or devastating crisis.