LAFD Chief Takes the Mound at Dodger's Firefighter Benefit

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers saluted firefighters from across The Golden State on Tuesday evening, during Firefighter Appreciation Night at Dodger Stadium.

The August 19, 2014 event featured a matchup between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, and started with a hosted pre-game reception for firefighters and their families, and continued through a warm summer evening of exciting Major League Baseball.

During pregame ceremonies, newly appointed Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas was asked to throw the honorary first pitch:

While the Dodgers bested the Padres (8 to 6), the real winner of the game was the California Fire Foundation, which benefitted from a generous portion of the evening's ticket sales. The non-profit organization provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters and the communities they protect.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department thank the Dodgers organization for their longstanding support of California first responders, and encourage you to join firefighters and their families for an afternoon or evening of fun this season at Dodger Stadium.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Firefighter Goes the Extra Mile to Help Family in Need

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 |

DOWNTOWN -  Firefighter Steve Ortiz, along with other members from Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Fire Station 10, were recognized by Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and Fire Commissioners on August 19, 2014. 

10 LAFD Firefighters standing in line looking forward, holding a certificate of appreciation.

After extinguishing a structure fire at a three-story apartment building, Firefighter Ortiz carefully escorted a family around hazards and back into their small burnt apartment, so the mother of six children could gather some of the kids clothes for school the next day. Inside the humble apartment, he noticed the mother searching through trash bags filled with neatly folded children's clothes. They did not even have dressers for furniture. Troubled by this, Steve tenaciously set out to locate some furniture for this family in need. After an exhaustive search, he was able to arrange the donation of some beautiful dressers and other items. The entire Fire Station enthusiastically delivered the furniture to the family of eight. As you could imagine, the family was very touched and grateful.

While Firefighter Ortiz was not seeking attention for this good deed, we thought you would appreciate hearing it. Hopefully this small yet powerful story will encourage us all to follow his example and go the extra mile to help others in need. Way to go Firefighter Ortiz and Fire Station 10! 

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Destroys North Hollywood Food Supply Business

Saturday, August 16, 2014 |

NORTH HOLLYWOOD- A fast moving fire Friday evening ripped through Hy-Grade Food Supply. The quick work of the Los Angeles Fire Department saves adjacent businesses.

Just after 7:30 PM on August 15, 2014 the LAFD received multiple 911 calls reporting fire coming from a building at 7440 North Fulton Avenue. Firefighters arrived quickly to find flames through the roof of a 75' by 75' one story industrial building.

Firefighters aggressively attacked flames so intense they had melted a steel door. The fire behavior led to a coordinated retreat and defensive firefight with large hose streams.

A total of 118 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Ernst, fully extinguished the blaze in just under an hour. The fire was confined to the business of origin, limiting damage to adjoining businesses. One firefighter was medically evaluated but didn't require treatment and was able to return to work.

The LAFD will maintain a fire watch overnight and at daybreak will begin salvage and overhaul. Dollar loss from this destructive blaze is still being tabulated. The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.

Dispatched Units: E81 E289 E89 T89 RA89 RA889 E102 E260 T60 EM14 BC10 BC14 E60 E7 E39 E77 E290 E90 T90 E275 T75 E278 T78 DC3 EM11 BC12 T88 E288 UR88 E27 UR27 BC5 T39 E239 SQ21 RA81 RA7 AR2 E98 E76 EA1 RT83 RA909
Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

130 Year Celebration at the Plaza Firehouse; LAFD's First Fire Station


DOWNTOWN - The Plaza Firehouse, Los Angeles Fire Department's first Fire Station, is celebrating 130 years on Saturday, August 16, at the El Pueblo Historic Monument located near Olvera Street in the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District. The event is free to the public, and all are welcome.

Image of Old Plaza Firehouse with mention of 130th Anniversary event
This historic milestone is being celebrated by showcasing:
  • Historic rigs and fire apparatus
  • Rarely seen photos & artifacts on display
  • Arts & crafts tables
  • Living history performances at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Pico House
Spend the day celebrating this anniversary of the oldest firehouse in Los Angeles, which operated from 1884 to 1897. Since then the building has been used as a saloon, cigar store, poolroom, "seedy hotel", Chinese market, "flop house", and drugstore. The building was restored in the 1950s and opened as a firefighting museum in 1960.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
10 AM to 3 PM
The Plaza Firehouse is California Registered Historical Landmark No. 730. The plaque reads "Dedicated to the firemen of the Los Angeles Fire Department--past, present and future--who since 1871, by their courage and faithful devotion to duty, have protected the lives and property of the citizens of Los Angeles from the ravages of fire."
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: Los Angeles Fire Department | LAFD Historical Society | Fuego Tech Fire Rangers | African American Firefighter Museum | Burbank Fire Department | Vernon Fire Department | FDNY Rescue 5 | Crown Fire Coach Club | Presented by: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, El Pueblo Park Association, & the Box 15 Club.
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ten Years Ago Today: Remembering Firefighter Jaime Foster

Thursday, August 14, 2014 |

Kindly join members of the Los Angeles Fire Department today in remembering fallen Firefighter Jaime L. Foster, who became the first probationary member and first woman to die in the line-of-duty at the Los Angeles Fire Department, following a tragic accident on August 14, 2004.

Los Angeles Firefighter Jaime L. Foster standing beside an LAFD Fire Engine holding an axe. Click to learn more...
Fallen Los Angeles Firefighter Jaime L. Foster
Learn more about Jaime and other LAFD members who have paid the ultimate price in their service to the City by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Crews Staff Special Rescue Team at Northern California Wildfires

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 |

Special Team Charged with Quickly Rescuing Wildland Firefighters

by Joe Zwierzchowski
Information Officer, Florida Forest Service
Assigned to July Complex Wildfires in Northern California

The Klamath Mountains are known for two things: rugged terrain and wildfires. Neither are forgiving elements and when combined can create one of the more dangerous working environments available for wildland firefighters.

Given the recent run of wildfires during the past years and the area’s long relationship with fires throughout history, the Klamath National Forest is a fitting place to pilot and hone a new technique for firefighter search and rescue. Started on the Klamath in 2012, a Rapid Extraction Module (REM) has been brought together as part of the July Complex wildfires.

Firefighters Train for Rescue in Rugged Terrain of Klamath National Forest. Photo has Creative Commons license for your use. Click to learn more...The seven-man REM team is made up of five members from Durango (Co.) Fire and Rescue and two members from the Los Angeles Fire Department. "This team is capable of anything the forest needs us to do," said LAFD Capt. Tom Henzgen. "The program is in its infancy but I can certainly see the tremendous value of something like this."

Henzgen and his training partner, Frank Aguirre, also from LAFD, ran the Durango crew through its paces near Etna Summit to practice the skills they might need to employ in a worst-case scenario. The team consists of two Technical Specialists who are also Emergency Medical Technicians and trained in low angle rescue techniques, as well a five-person engine crew. One of the Technical Specialists is the module leader.

Firefighters Train for Rescue in Rugged Terrain of Klamath National Forest. Photo has Creative Commons license for your use. Click to learn more...Along a small slope near the summit, the team cross trained on all positions so each member could become familiar with all possible responsibilities. Durango members swapped roles between main line, belay, edge protection, communications, etc.

The team members (Dan Dosch, Kyles Eckes, John Max Henry, Allen Ottman and Pete Stockwell) come from southwest Colorado and are familiar with the ropes and techniques used on the REM but as all firefighters know, there are learning opportunities on every assignment.

"It’s a beneficial addition to wildland firefighters, especially in terrain like this," Rockwell said. "It’s an added tool and safety feature that completes this total package." Team safety is paramount – rescuers cannot help the patient if they become patients themselves.

Firefighters Train for Rescue in Rugged Terrain of Klamath National Forest. Photo has Creative Commons license for your use. Click to learn more...Henzgen of the LAFD, a trained paramedic, said the team's purpose is to be able to traverse the rugged terrain like the Klamath Mountains in case of an injury, locate and reach the patient using a rope system and pull the victim to a safe location in order to speed up the extraction process.

"The 'Golden Hour' is the key," Henzgen said, referring to the critical time from when an emergency call is received to when the patient is properly treated. "We need to get the patient out of this canyon, out of this forest and to a hospital within one hour."

Firefighters Train for Rescue in Rugged Terrain of Klamath National Forest. Photo has Creative Commons license for your use. Click to learn more...Another factor specific to the Klamath and other forests in the region is unique weather. Inversions – low lying layers of temperature variances often found in the Klamath as well as Rogue-Siskiyou National Forests – often prevent the use of helicopters for an air extraction.

"The inversion is the difference around here," said Matt Lipson, Medical Unit Leader for California Interagency Incident Management Team One. "The progression of medical response over the past 10 years in the woods and in the urban interface areas has been incredible. This is part of that and our firefighters are out there risking their lives; they deserve the best we can provide them."

While speed is the key to the program – and survival – should a firefighter, hunter or hiker ever need the REM, LAFD's Henzgen and Aguirre maintained a mantra while running their team through drills: Speed is Consistent with Safety.

"It’s an awesome program because of the area (the Klamath) and the mobile capacity of taking care of our own," Aguirre said, adding "We can be incredibly effective in places others cannot."

Safety, of course, is top priority on all fire suppression efforts and Incident Commander Jerry McGowan summed that sentiment up well during a recent morning briefing. "We have a plan for communications, operations …" McGowan said. "Safety is not a plan. Safety is a belief." That belief and commitment to safety is demonstrated by the inception, presence and practices of the REM.

"I’m surprised this hasn’t been implemented sooner - and I’m excited to be part of it," Durango’s Eckes said. "To know there is somebody on the incident that is trained and setup for this is a great improvement to the way we (firefighters) work."

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Cigarette Smoking Causes Structure Fire Leading to Mans Death

Monday, August 11, 2014 |

SOUTH PARK - Los Angeles Firefighters battled a blaze in a small duplex, that gravely injured a man on August 11, 2014.

 © Image by OnScene.TV
Just before 1:30 AM, the Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned to 237 W. 50th Street to find an approximately 500 square-foot duplex on fire. Firefighters performed a quick and aggressive attack on the flames with hose-lines while colleagues performed vertical ventilation on the roof with chainsaws to remove hot smoke and gasses.

During an initial rapid search inside, a man was located in the hallway. Firefighters extricated the pulseless and non-breathing man, rendered immediate CPR and Advanced Life Support medical aid on scene. He was transported to a local hospital in grave condition. Due to the outstanding efforts of Firefighter/Paramedics along with seasoned hospital staff, the patients pulses were regained, however he remains in grave condition. No one else was injured.

A total of 40 Firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Kristin Crowley, fully extinguished the flames in 20 minutes, confining them to the unit of origin.

Two hardwired smoke alarms were located inside the residence, however they were non-functional. The home was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers and there were no obvious factors to impede the man's escape.

As LAFD Investigators combed through smoldering debris, firefighters canvassed the neighborhood as part of LAFD's Smoke Alarm Field Education (SAFE) Program, and distributed 30 free smoke alarms and fire safety information. Over a half dozen non-functional smoke alarms were located in the neighborhood. The LAFD thanks First Alert for graciously donating smoke alarms.

Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $100,000 ($75,000 structure & $25,000 contents). An estimated $264,000 in property damage was saved by firefighters.

LAFD Senior Arson Investigator David Liske stated the cause of the early morning blaze was from a "smoker/cigarette fire".
Did you know? Every year, almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. You can make a difference!

Dispatched Units: E46 RA246 RA846 E233 E33 T33 E21 T21 E221 SQ21 EM11 BC13 BC11 E15 RA46 RA33 AR2 AR11 AR21
UPDATE: The 60 year-old gravely injured man, sadly was pronounced dead at a local hospital August 12, 2014. This marks the seventeenth Structure Fire related fatality in LAFD's jurisdiction this year, which is a high number of fatalities in a short amount of time. Many if not all of these deaths likely could have been averted had there been functional smoke alarms present.

Last year there were a total of 20 Structure Fire related deaths.


Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Smokey Bear's 70th Birthday Celebration at the LAFD Museum in Hollywood

Saturday, August 09, 2014 |

HOLLYWOOD - The Los Angeles Fire Department and LAFD Historical Society, welcome you to join firefighters and their families for a special day of fun and safety awareness, as we celebrate Smokey Bear's 70th Birthday at the LAFD Museum in Hollywood.

Museum docents, including off-duty and retired firefighters will warmly welcome you to this hidden Los Angeles treasure (admission is free), where you'll see a special display of Smokey Bear memorabilia, hear stories about the legendary spokes-bear and be treated to an up close look at the fire service past and present, all inside a carefully preserved former firehouse.

At 1:00 PM, Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge will join museum staff and visitors to celebrate Smokey's birthday and serve a special birthday cake to those in attendance. The museum is open from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM each Saturday and admission is free!

Smokey Bear 70th Birthday Celebration
Saturday, August 9, 2014
1:00 PM
LAFD Museum in Hollywood
1355 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ralph M. Terrazas Confirmed as New Los Angeles Fire Chief

Friday, August 08, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES – Ralph M. Terrazas was confirmed today by the Los Angeles City Council as the new Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). Terrazas, the 18th Fire Chief of the LAFD since its founding in 1886, was selected to lead the Department by Mayor Eric Garcetti after his office conducted a nationwide search for a new LAFD leader.

LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas is sworn into office by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

“I am honored and humbled to begin leading the 3,200 men and women of the LAFD as their Fire Chief, said Terrazas. “It’s an exciting and challenging time to be taking the helm and together we will re-double our efforts to transform the LAFD into a metric-driven, technologically sophisticated, community-focused organization that reflects the communities we serve.”

Fire Commission President Delia Ibarra welcomed him to the new role and said, “The Commissioners and I congratulate Chief Terrazas on his confirmation as Fire Chief and we look forward to working in partnership with him as we continue to foster dynamic and positive changes to the LAFD.”

Terrazas is a 31-year Department veteran who most recently served as an Assistant Chief overseeing the South Division. As a Division Commander, Terrazas was responsible for leading, managing, and training the approximately 500 members on duty at 54 fire stations throughout seven battalion commands. The South Division command covers half of the City and includes the complex institutions of the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport.

Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Hosts Community Fun Day & Car Show in Watts

Thursday, August 07, 2014 |

WATTS - The men and women of your Los Angeles Fire Department cordially invite you and your family to join them in Watts for the:

Watts Community Fun Day and Car Show event flyer

Watts Community Fun Day and Car Show
Saturday, August 9, 2014
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Fire Station 65
1801 East Century Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90002

Event Admission is Free!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department