GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America-Glendale Chapter held an appreciation evening for the city’s first responders at Phoenicia Restaurant on February 20.
The event was hosted by ANCA Glendale and St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church to recognize and honor the first responders of the Glendale Police and Fire departments and Emergency Medical Services.
“It was a successful night as we showed our appreciation jointly with our local Armenian organizations to our first responders, for keeping Glendale one of the safest cities in the country,” said ANCA Glendale Co-Chair Ronnie Gharibian.
“During the past several years, the ANCA Glendale, in collaboration with the city’s police and fire departments, has been very successful in helping recruit more first responders,” explained Gharibian. “There are over 50 Armenians serving in uniform in the city, as well as many civilian employees.”
Currently, the City of Glendale is accepting applications for multiple open positions, among them emergency dispatch operators who serve as the first line of contact between individuals and the first responders.
“It very important to have Armenian-speaking workers is the emergency dispatch units,” said Gharibian.
After a successful event honoring Glendale police officers last year, the ANCA Glendale decided to broaden the scope and host an appreciation evening for all first responders.
The evening’s program began with opening prayers offered by St. Mary’s Parish Priest, Rev. Vazken Atmajian. This was followed by remarks from Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan who commended the first responders and the important role they play in keeping the city safe. He also thanked ANCA Glendale for organizing the event.
Gharibian, the ANCA Glendale co-chair, introduced Glendale Police Chief Carl Povilaitis, who received an appreciation plaque. Glendale Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas was introduced by ANCA Glendale co-chair Lucy Petrosian, who presented the appreciation plaque to the fire department.
St. Mary’s Board of Trustees chairman Rouben Gourjian, introduced the Emergency Medical Services and after relaying his personal experience with them, expressed gratitude to the first responders paramedics and invited the EMS members to the podium to accept the appreciation plaque.
Joining chiefs Povilaitis and Lanzas was the Director of Emergency Medical Services Cody Smith, and more than 60 uniformed men and women of the Police and Fire departments,
Glendale City Manager, Yasmin Beers, offered the evening closing remarks, in which she thanked the ANCA Glendale for the event.
Also attending the event were Counselors of Armenia’s Consulate General to Los Angeles, Varazdat Pahlavuni and Razmik Stepanyan.
Joining Mayor Sinanyan were Glendale City Councilmembers Paula Devine, Ara Najarian and Vartan Gharpetian. Along with City Manager Beers, Assistant City Manager Roubik Golanian, was also present, as was the City of Glendale Public Information Officer, Dan Bell.
Congressman Adam Schiff was represented by Mary Hovagimian, while Arda Tchakian represented State Senator Anthony Portantino.
Also in attendance were Glendale Community College Board chair Ann Ransford; Glendale Unified School District President Greg Krikorian, and GUSD Board member Dr. Armine Gharpetian, who were accompanied by Interim School Superintendent Kelly King.
Representatives from the ANCA-WR Board, as well as the neighboring Burbank and Crescenta Valley chapters attended the event, as did representatives of the local Glendale chapters of the Armenian Cultural Foundation, the Armenian Relief Society, the Homenetmen, the Armenian American Museum, the Davidian-Mariamian Educational Foundation and the Richard Tufenkian Pre-School.
ANCA Glendale would like to extend its appreciation to Garo Kirkjian for generously providing the evening’s wines and Phoenicia Restaurant for its spectacular service, as well as the ARS “Sepan” Chapter for its donation to the event.
The ANCA Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of Glendale’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.