PRESIDENT/CHIEF SAFETY COMPLIANCE OFFICER
A long-time safety and compliance maven, Craig’s story begins in civil service as a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Joining the department while just 18 years of age, Craig still holds the title as the “youngest person to ever graduate from the Los Angeles Fire Academy.” Craig then embarked on a path of recognition and valor, beginning with his work in Highland Park while stationed at Fire Station 12. His 31-year career took him up the ranks, culminating in his being promoted to the position of Deputy Fire Chief. In the late 90’s Craig was stationed in Jefferson Park and was in charge of building community relations after tumultuous civil disturbances there in recent years. Demonstrating his ability to blend his fire-fighting talents with community relations, he was promoted to a new position in Hollywood where he was given the opportunity to really put these skills to the test. While stationed in Hollywood, Craig was awarded a California Medal of Valor for a dramatic rescue during the El Nino floods of that year when we jumped into a chest-high flooded street to rescue a stranded mother and two children in a car. Craig, the mother, the two children and another firefighter were carried by the flood for two blocks before they were finally able to scramble to safety. Two years later, Craig was promoted to Commander of the Department’s In-Service Training Section. In this role, Craig was responsible for tracking one of the largest budgets in the fire department, oversaw the development of a Regional Training Center, and directly managed the training of all members of the Department, both sworn professionals and civilians in the Department’s Paramedic Training Program.
Craig’s commitment would further be put to the test the morning of September 11, 2001. When news broke of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Craig was part of a contingent of Los Angeles firefighters who were asked to report for duty in New York City because of the massive losses suffered by the New York City Fire Department. Once on the ground, Craig spent the next 21 days overseeing emergency search and rescue operations. As a result of his exemplary leadership, Craig was asked to serve as an advisor on President George W. Bush’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee.
In 2003, Craig became Battalion Chief of the Hollywood District and was responsible for the management of Emergency Operations in High Profile/Target Areas. In this assignment, he was responsible for commanding over one hundred LAFD employees and for the safety of over 450,000 citizens. At this time, Craig became very involved in the community affairs, and sat on the Hollywood Redevelopment Committee, Hollywood Traffic Committee, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. He worked with homeowners to help resolve Fire Safety issues in the City’s hillside area and brought new emphasis on the importance of the Fire Department’s community outreach. Because of his distinguished efforts in the local community, Craig was named the Hollywood Person of the Year in 2009. That same year, the California State Firefighters’ Association proudly recognized Craig and another Fire Chief, as well a two police officers for their extraordinary acts of bravery. While making sure all the homes in a mobile home park were evacuated as a fire approached, Craig and another fireman found a bedridden woman who was unable to move herself. While Craig and another man were attempting to get this woman out of her home, the house caught fire. Without wearing proper fire-resistant clothing or respirators, the men never left the woman’s side, even as the fire continued to burn. Fortunately, their efforts were rewarded as they safely pulled the woman outside just as the entire home became engulfed in flames.
Later in his career, Craig was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief in the Bureau of Fire Prevention and Public Safety. In this job, Craig was responsible for overseeing and supervising 240 Fire Prevention Officers. As the Division 2 Commander, Craig was responsible for Emergency Operations in an area that included 2 million people.
As Craig’s career progressed, he moved his attention towards the regulatory side of the Department, specifically the enforcement of the fire and building safety code. As a Fire Chief in Los Angeles, he worked with the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) to help draft sections of the California State Fire Code. He was responsible for the oversight of the Fire life Safety laws for the City of Los Angeles. He was instrumental in permitting the expansion for Tom Bradley Terminal runways, taxiways and enforcement of codes and interagency cooperation and has also played an instrumental role in the expansion of the Port of Los Angeles. During this time, Craig served as the South Bureau Commander in which he oversaw all emergency operations for both Los Angeles World Airport (“LAWA”) properties and the Ports of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. The Port of Los Angeles is the largest industrial and recreational port in the United States and LAWA is the second-busiest commercial and passenger airport in the United States. In this role, Craig oversaw 3,300 Department employees and was responsible for the protection of more than seven million Los Angeles citizens.
Craig has served on the Certification Oversight Committee for the Office of Homeland Security that was convened to assist in the development of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). He has also served as a Chairperson of the California Firefighters Health and Safety Committee. While on the National Fire Protection Agency, Craig represented the City of Los Angeles at the State level and assisted with the development and implementation of the California Fire and Building Code. Craig was appointed by the Speaker of the Senate to a position on the California Earthquake Commission. This Commission manages a $15 billion insurance fund with assets of over three trillion dollars and works to provide public education about earthquake safety and develop a new early warning system. In the midst of these responsibilities, Craig still managed to find time to obtain a degree in Government Efficiency from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
After 31 years in civil service, Craig retired from the Fire Department. Deciding that he wasn’t ready for retirement, Craig soon decided to open a business in Pasadena that would focus on a field that he knew well: safety. Six years ago, Craig Fry & Associates was born— a small safety consulting firm that Craig operated with his son, Brian. Soon thereafter, Craig Fry & Associates transformed into general development consulting firm, and now specializes in regulatory compliance in multiple fields, including the burgeoning cannabis industry, and has grown to over 15 employees.