City Council Honors Athens Safety Hero
(Irwindale, CA) April 26, 2022 – On a normal Saturday afternoon, while many settled in or prepared for a night out, Francisco Lopez, a 20-year Athens Services loyalist, was clocking in for his shift. For the past few years, Francisco has made it his responsibility to protect the Irwindale Yard and the Athens fleet as a career. A career that he takes great pride in.
After the last truck was parked and everyone had left for the weekend, Francisco closed the gates and began his overnight shift as the Yard Security Guard. As he conducted safety checks and made sure the property was secured, he noticed something far from normal: smoke! An Athens truck was on fire!
Under normal circumstances, Francisco would have called 911, but on this afternoon, he sprang into action to extinguish the fire. Francisco says, “I knew what I had to do and how to do it.” He pulled a fire extinguisher from a nearby truck and began to fight the fire, but the truck’s compactor was fully engulfed. He called 911, and using his driver training from several years before, successfully moved adjacent trucks away from the fire.
Once the other trucks were safe, he grabbed another fire extinguisher, and another, to prevent the fire from spreading. Surrounded by smoke and exploding glass, he bravely continued until he heard the fire truck arrive and dashed more than 100 yards to open the gates. By that time, the fire had destroyed truck 362, but more importantly, the rest of the fleet was saved.
For his heroism, Irwindale Mayor Larry G. Burrola and the City Council recognized Francisco with a special proclamation at their April 13 meeting. Today, we recognize Francisco Lopez as an Athens Safety Hero. Thank you Francisco for your dedication and bravery in maintaining security and safety at Athens Services.