Jose Melano Perez, also known as “Joser,” was an extremely loyal and dedicated man to both his family and the fire service. He died on July 25,2020, in the line of duty at the age of 44. Jose’s career as a Los Angeles City firefighter/paramedic started in 2003, and he served the Los Angeles community for 17 years. He was well known throughout the city.
Jose taught many of us what it meant to serve others with compassion, diligence, and patience. He served in the most impoverished neighborhoods and busiest fire stations in the city. His dedication in serving the citizens of Los Angeles never wavered. He always did it with a smile, often with extended on-scene time from calls, but always with an immeasurable amount of humanity and understanding. Jose taught us that public service was noble and necessary, that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values of faith and family. He realized that giving to others enriched the giver’s soul, and Jose was one bright candle that lit a thousand more.
South Los Angeles is a promising and vibrant city that Jose added hope to, a place that faced many challenges. He was an optimistic man who truly cared about his community. Joser was an empathetic man who could relate to people from all walks of life. He valued character over pedigree. Jose looked for the good in people, and he usually found it. Jose’s heart was large. He had room for all people. He was generous to friends and patients he met on the job. He made sure that if there was a need, he would work hard to fill it. He was known for saying, “Hey, Buddy, I got you.” and “I got a guy for that!”
Jose’s life was full. He was happy doing what he loved, serving people! The Bible says this about serving others: If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:8) Jose was a living example of this.
Jose will be sadly missed by his loving wife and three incredible children. His two sons and daughter are blessed to have had the time that they did with their heroic father, even though it was cut short.
Our hearts will always burn with love for our heroic firefighter and paramedic, Jose Melano Perez. December 9, 1975 – July 25, 2020