Pacific Palisades’ Firefighters Help in Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Two firefighters in Pacific Palisades—Station 69 Captain Tom Kitahata and paramedic Joe Kovacic— were sent as part of a rescue team to Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

Kitahata has been with LAFD for more than 28 years and participated in the Northridge earthquake aftermath, the civil disturbance of 1992, and the Calabasas and Malibu fires in the 1990s.

In 2005, he was sent to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and a month later to the same area for Hurricane Rita. He was also sent to Texas after Hurricane Ike in 2008.

In an earlier News story, Kitahata told readers, “Whether it be brush fires in our wildland urban interface areas, earthquakes, floods or other disasters, you should have a plan for evacuation, what to take with you, where to go, and who to call.”

Monetary and Blood Donations

To make a monetary donation online to the Red Cross for victims of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, visit

To donate by mail, send a check to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839. To donate by phone, call (800) 435-7669.

Many local churches and synagogues are also establishing ways for residents to give towards the relief effort. Check with your local pastor or rabbi to find out if a relief effort is underway.

Donated blood is always needed in natural disasters. To give, contact the Santa Monica Red Cross, 1450 11th Street, and to schedule an appointment, call (800) 733-2767.

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