Last month, the Los Angeles City Fire Department celebrated the career of one of its long standing film site inspectors at a retirement party in his honor.
Bill Parker was appointed to the Los Angeles City Fire Department on December 14, 1980. In the early years Parker worked various assignments throughout the City of Los Angeles.
Eight years after becoming a firefighter, Bill Parker was promoted to Inspector I and in October 1991 he was promoted to Inspector II. On July 7, 1996, Inspector Parker transferred to the Film Unit where he worked closely with FilmL.A. and the film and television industry.
As part of the LA City Fire Film Unit, Inspector Bill Parker was instrumental in providing approvals for filming locations and fire walk through support. Having extensive training in fire and FX in entertainment and serving on special effects and fire safety committees, Inspector Parker was passionate about the industry and keeping all workers and the community safe during production work.
Parker will be remembered as a no-nonsense fire professional who was very serious about fire safety and safety prevention. FilmL.A. staff members reflect on their experiences with Inspector Parker:
Inspector Parker tried to be very intimidating. Whenever I had to call he would always answer with a very impatient “Yes!!??” Then, he would always pause for an awkward silence after I told him what I needed. When you got to know him, it was evident that he was a really nice person. He was always very helpful, he will be missed.” – YULIZZA RAMIREZ, Production Coordinator
“In the name of fire prevention and safety, Inspector Bill Parker was an extremely valuable asset to the Los Angeles City Fire Film Unit. With a vast history of experience, knowledge, and resources, his presence and diligence will definitely not be forgotten.” – BRIAN PALMERT, Production Coordinator
“I remember the first time I called over to the LA City Fire desk to request a spot check. I was really excited because it was my first call to a City office. When Inspector Parker answered, I introduced myself, and there was silence. I remember thinking the call had disconnected. When I checked to see if Inspector Parker was on the line, he responded with “Yes??!!” I told him what I needed, and he asked if that was it. I replied, “Yes.” Before I knew it, he’d begun asking a barrage of questions, for which I had no answers. He promptly told me to call back when I could answer all of the questions he’d asked. From that experience, I learned to be as prepared as I could be when calling the Fire Desk. It was a great training experience!” – SOPHIA ALEXANDER, Production Coordinator
“My first encounter with Inspector Parker was similar to what all Coordinators experience. Inspector Parker was very intimidating. After I got to know the Inspector I respected him immensely. He is a no-nonsense, by the book fireman. He was dedicated to protecting the safety of human life whether on a movie set or conducting a fire prevention walk through, safety was always his top priority. Inspector Parker’s ardent concern for public safety is difficult to duplicate. He helped to guide and educate FilmL.A. staff in the areas of fire prevention and related issues. He will be missed. He is truly one of a kind.” – RAMONA JONES, Operations Specialist
“Inspector Bill Parker has been pivotal in shaping the Los Angeles City Fire Department’s Film Unit into what it is today. When Bill joined the film unit in 1996, FilmL.A. was in its early stages. The ‘Film Unit’ took us under their wing and taught us all a lot about special effects and public safety issues. Bill Parker could be grumpy, cranky but once you got to know him, you knew that it was mostly bark with very little bite. Over the years, we have laughed and joked and built a really good working relationship. Inspector Parker is a great guy. I am honored to have worked with him for the last 17 years. The ‘Film Unit’ will not be the same without him.” – JODI STRONG, Director, Production Planning
FilmL.A. is grateful to Inspector Bill Parker for his service to the LA City Fire Film Unit. We wish him all the best in the next phase of his life.