Steve Romas fights fires, saves lives and, once a year, trains civilians how to knock over a traffic cone with a fire hose for the always fun Hope for Firefighters “Muster Games” competition benefitting the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.
During this annual event, which fills L.A.’s Hope Street the first Thursday each June, Steve helps with the Muster Games, a series of firefighter-themed athletic competitions done by sponsored teams of civilians. Of course, a bank teller or a company executive can’t just pick up a hose. They need to be shown the secrets of the trade. So Steve and other firefighters and event committee members host a practice picnic where Muster Games participants learn how to pull an old-fashioned hose cart, work together in a bucket brigade and more.
Tom Hyde, Muster Games Chair, said, “He’s a terrific guy, he’s a dynamo.”
While those who know him sing his praises, Steve doesn’t volunteer for the accolades. “He isn’t looking for the notoriety,” Tom said, “or the credit he really deserves.”
Besides Hope for Firefighters, the LAFD Captain II also helps with several other fundraising events such as the Lane Kemper Softball Classic and the LAFD Invitational golf tournament. For the Softball Classic, Steve helps Captain II Bill Bringas organize and run the event. He also gets donated items such as sodas and food. And during the LAFD Invitational, he often can be seen driving around the course in a golf cart making sure people stay hydrated and have breaks.
Dave Lowe, a Trustee with the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association (the organization that manages the charity), said, “Steve is a dedicated member of our association and, as corny as it sounds, his heart is in the right place.”
Tom feels Steve’s work is key to the success and longevity of the charity’s fundraising events. He said, “Without him, it wouldn’t come together.” He added anyone thinking of volunteering should be warned that they might not be able to stop coming back. “Once you do it, it becomes contagious.”
Development & Marketing Director Marlene Casillas says “When firefighters volunteer their time, it means so much to the families our charity helps. Many take comfort in knowing their firefighter family will always be there for them. It’s firefighters helping firefighters. It also raises the profile of the charity in the community because now our volunteers and donors get to meet and work side-by-side the firefighters themselves. It builds a personal connection for our supporters to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.”
Whether you’re a firefighter or not, you can sign up to volunteer online for many of our fundraising events. So, join us and say hello to Steve, who’ll undoubtedly be making sure everything runs smoothly.
By David Vienna