We are proud to introduce you to one of the most dedicated public service members of our time. Not only is he one of our favorite members, but most importantly, he is a family member, a mentor, a friend, and an amazing man.
Meet Battalion Chief Lawrence “Larry” Wickliffe, a true community hero that has been serving our community, protecting the public, and working at Las Vegas Fire & Rescue (LVFR) for an astounding 46 years!
Larry’s long and credentialed history with the City of Las Vegas and Las Vegas Fire Department (LVFD) has made him a cornerstone within the community, and a staple within the fire department.
LVFD hired Larry in 1975. He was fresh off the division 1 football field in Idaho, and seemed to effortlessly breeze through the academy, finishing in the top of his class and making a name for himself. In 1978, after getting his bearings in the fire culture, Larry volunteered to go through the second paramedic class held by LVFD. Once again, he excelled and went on to serve as a paramedic for more than 14 years! For anyone that may not realize, that was and still is a highly respected accomplishment.
During his time as a paramedic at LVFD, Larry played in the annual Fire / Police Football games hosted for the community, calling on the football skills that made him a decorated football player at Clark High School in Las Vegas, Palo Verde Junior College, and College of Idaho. He played in 10 Fire/Polices games and was their all-star player leading them to victory in 9 of the ten games. Can we say G.O.A.T.?
In 1988 Larry tested for Fire Captain and landed number one on the Captain’s list! In 1992 Chief Harrington mentored Larry and helped him prepare for the Battalion Chief exam. Twenty-eight people took the test, and Larry again placed number one! At the time, there were only two battalions: Battalion 1 and Battalion 4. During the first two years as Battalion Chief, Larry was in Battalion 4 and moved to Battalion 1 (our busiest Battalion).
Larry is thankful he had terrific mentors and knew he wanted to return the kindness. His goal has always been to mentor and make leaders out of all his captains. And that is exactly what is what he has done. His captains and crews hold him in high regard and respect him for always having their back, fighting for their rights, and having a big heart.
If his decorated history with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue wasn’t enough, Larry went through the National Fire Academy and graduated as an executive fire officer. He has acted as deputy chief, training chief, and assistant chief. He has tested for fire chief in many departments, including Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, Virginia, and LVFR. Larry was a finalist for Deputy Chief in Compton, but the hiring process froze due to budget cuts. Lucky for us, Larry got to stay with LVFR!
It’s obvious he lives and breathes for all of our brothers and sisters. Larry is always looking for more ways to help and be of service of those in need. He even joined the United Firefighters of Southern Nevada and served in multiple capacities before becoming president.
In the past 46 years, Larry has been part of some of our state’s most historic calls, including the MGM fire in 1980, The Hilton fire in 1981 and the October 1st Route 91 shooting. He even provided medical treatment to the mayor of Las Vegas back in the ’80s.
Larry’s critical roles from the past have shaped who he is today and made him a valuable role model for successors eager to learn from the best.
Larry has dedicated his life to serving our community, our members, and the citizens of Las Vegas for almost half a century! He has lived through significant changes and has been part of some of the most historic fires. His leadership, mentorship, and friendship have helped shape Las Vegas Fire and Rescue to be the premiere department it is today.
Thank you, Chief Wickliffe, for everything you’ve done for our members and department.