My Family’s Firefighter

Three young girls stand behind a firefighter on an old fashioned fire truck
Kelly Rodriguez and sisters with retired Long Beach Fire Department Captain/Investigator Patrick Wills. (Photo courtesy Kelly Rodriguez)


I know this firefighter who’s been there my whole life. His name is Pat Wills. Well, he was a Fire Captain with the Long Beach Fire Department in Los Angeles, but he retired not that long ago. He now teaches cops to become good. He met my mom just after my sisters died in a fire. At that time he was supervising investigators of the Long Beach Fire/ATF Arson Unit. Pat made sure living in unpermitted converted garages won’t happen anymore. It’s illegal now. When I was young we used to go downtown Long Beach to the city hall to fight for my sisters’ law, Aviles Law. Aviles Law was first made official by the City of Long Beach in 2011, and then became a California state law in 2013.

A young girl with man smiling
Kelly Rodriguez with Pat Wills. (Photo courtesy Kelly Rodriguez)


Pat never left our lives since my sisters died. He has helped us a lot for our sisters. Every year when it’s our birthday he comes and brings us flowers or if he can´t make it another firefighter comes and we take pictures to send them to Pat. Pat’s wife also bakes us cupcakes. They’re the best. 

A family stands posing for a picture
The Rodriguez family with Pat Wills. (Photo courtesy Kelly Rodriguez)


Pat is working on a book about my sisters. He’s been working on it for years, and it’s coming out soon, like around April 2021. He just needs half of the people in the book to sign it so he can  have the rights to say my sister’s name and their names.