Captain Drew Smith has been with the Los Angeles County Fire Department since 1988. Before participating in a panel on L.A. and the Santa Ana Winds—he’s fought Santa Ana-driven fires for over 20 years now—he revealed how he’d fight a zombie apocalypse, why he can’t throw out his broken surf racks, and his lucky charm in the Zócalo green room.
What weapon would you choose in a zombie apocalypse?
What’s the biggest misconception about firehouse life?
It’s always fun.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Coffee. [How do you take your coffee?] Straight-up. Black.
Describe your singing in one sentence—or one word.
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Artichoke hearts. [You can’t get that everywhere.] At Lombardi’s in New York you can. Check it out, it’s the best.
Where would we find you at 9:00 on a typical Friday night?
At home with the family.
Do you have a good luck charm?
I’d have to say my dog tags.
Did you have any nicknames as a kid?
What’s your least favorite freeway?
What are you keeping in your garage that you should have thrown out already?
My broken surf racks from the early ’80s. [Why haven’t you thrown them out?] I just can’t. They look great on the wall.