LA Rams honor first responders for heroic actions in Woolsey Fire, Borderline shooting

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Rams honored local firefighters and police for their heroic actions in the last two weeks during the destructive Woolsey Fire and Thousand Oaks mass shooting.

Shell and the Rams hosted many first responders at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum during the much-anticipated Rams' game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night. At one point, 500 responders gathered on the field before kick-off.

Shell said it was "a small token of appreciation for their tireless service."

Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Stan Ziegler said he's the one who's thankful.

"What an opportunity the Rams have given us to come and just enjoy a night where we can just relax from the fires and take a break," he said.

The Rams train in Thousand Oaks, where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting at a country music bar on Nov. 7. The next day a pair of wildfires broke out in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, forcing thousands of people to flee.

MORE: Mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks leaves 13 dead, including gunman

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A mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks nightclub left 13 people dead, including a Ventura County sheriff's sergeant and the gunman.

The Rams gave away 1,000 free tickets to the agencies affected by the most recent tragedies. Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Ken Roberts expressed his appreciation.

"The past couple weeks as a firefighter is the toughest I have experienced," Roberts said. "To have one monumental event and have the active shooter was enough for one whole career. Then you add on a fire that impacts the exact same area, we just didn't have a chance to breathe."

To reinforce the unity, players and coaches from both teams wore hats honoring a variety of Los Angeles-area fire and law enforcement during the game.

Several of the 25 players - including quarterback Jacob Poley - were evacuated from their homes. Poley and his family have returned home, which is still standing.

"This has taught me to be more thankful and that nothing is for granted. You have to appreciate everything," Poley said.

MORE: Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler among celebrities to lose homes in Woolsey Fire

The California Lutheran University Choir sang the National Anthem and were joined by first responders, who held the flag. Cal Lutheran alumnus Justin Meek, who was one of the 12 victims in the shooting, was a member of the choir for four years.

"He would have loved an event like this, so we're out here singing for him," said student Maddy Barnes.

Karen and Jordan Helus, the wife and son of fallen Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus, lit the LA Coliseum torch prior to kickoff.

Dylan and Derek Adler, the 17- and 12-year old sons of Sean Adler, served as honorary water boys for the game. Sean Adler was a member of the security team at the bar.

"It's a way to get my mind off everything. It's almost overwhelming what people are willing to do for us," Dylan Adler said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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