Because of COVID-19, on this St. Patrick’s Day, Stay Home.


Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Photo Courtesy of Landon Jensen

St. Patrick’s Day has always been important to public safety professionals in the United States—after all, the Irish are well represented among our ranks. Although today are positions as first responders garner a lot of respect, it wasn’t always that way. When Irish immigrants first started flooding to the U.S. in the 1840s, they faced significant discrimination. For many, police and firefighter jobs were their only option, these being dangerous jobs that many native-born Americans avoided.

But the irony is, the holiday most connected to Ireland celebrates a man who was not even Irish! St. Patrick was British, born into a noble family but kidnapped by Irish pirates. After 17 years in captivity, he escaped, but returned to the Emerald Isle years later as a missionary. He is often regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland. Today, St. Patrick’s Day commemorates his death, but is also a religious and cultural holiday for people inside Ireland and throughout the world.

Pour One Out for the Irish In addition to their rich history within fire and law enforcement, Irish Americans have contributed greatly to building this country, and St. Patrick’s Day is an excellent day to celebrate them.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, because of COVID-19 celebrate safely and stay home!  I know I sound like a big party pooper but this will protect yourself, your family, and your brothers and sisters in your department.  One of the scary things about the Corona Virus is that it’s possible for a person to spread it and be asymptomatic.  So celebrate at home with with green beer, boiled cabbage, and corn beef and hopefully the COVID – 19 crisis soon will pass and we’ll be able to go back to normal.

About Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Sam DiGiovanna is a 33-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as fire chief at the Monrovia Fire Department and currently serves as chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale, Calif.