Youths Start Major Emergency Brush Fire in Cahuenga Pass

Friday, March 30, 2007 |

On Friday, March 30, 2007 at 12:55 PM, 71 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 2 Rehab Units, 5 LAFD Helicopters, 2 LACo Helicopters, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 9 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 2 Division Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Deputy Chief , LACo Fire, Burbank Fire, 1 CERT Coordinator, and a variety of support staff including Dozers, Brush Patrols, and Command Post Vehicles, all under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire at 3640 N. Barham Bl. in the Cahuenga Pass.

In route to this fire, Firefighters noticed a relatively small "loom-up" and, recognizing the potential hazards in this area, immediately requested additional Fire Companies and Air Support. Firefighters arrived on scene to find approximately one-quarter of medium/heavy brush burning towards the Oakwood Garden Apartments. Firefighters took up a defensive position by providing immediate structure protection for the Apartment complex, thereby preventing damage to the threatened structure.

Even though winds were fairly light, humidity in the high teens, and temperatures in low 80's, the fire quickly engulfed the surrounding brush. 300 Firefighters on the ground, aided by 7 water dropping helicopters worked in concert for 5 hours to contain this fire and prevent the the spread into adjacent structure.

The fire rapidly consumed vegetation which had not been burned for many years and created heavy, thick smoke which covered the Hollywood freeway and local streets creating extremely hazardous conditions for Firefighters. In all, over 400 Firefighters participated in the fire-fight and the overhaul of this fire, working tirelessly throughout the night to ensure that no flare-ups would occur.

One Chief Officer was injured when a hose line burst and overturned the cart he was riding in. The injured member was transported to St. Joe's Medical Center, treated for a large laceration to his ear, neck and back pain, and was later released. The Chief Officer, due to retire in a few days, required stitches and was placed off duty, culminating 41 years of dedication and service to the LAFD family and the Los Angeles community.

Witnesses reported two youths running from the area just after the fire started. As Firefighters were fighting the fire, two boys, ages 16 years-old and 17 years-old, turned themselves into the Burbank Police Department and admitted starting the fire. The youths were transported to the LAPD Hollywood Station, questioned by Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Investigators, and booked for a felony violation of Penal Code 452C (reckless setting of a fire).

Both boys were visiting relatives and were released to the custody of their parents. The complete circumstances of the fire remain under active investigation. The dollar loss is still being tabulated, however, no structural damage was sustained.


Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Partners with Consumer Product Safety Commission

Thursday, March 29, 2007 |

Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents costs our nation more than $700 billion annually. While the figure is stunning, the full impact of such incidents is often far greater than monetary.

Firefighters routinely witness devastation from consumer product mishaps, and realize that many are indeed preventable.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are therefore pleased to announce an alliance with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that provides visitors to the LAFD blog with up-to-the-minute details on consumer product recalls and advisories.

Using 'blidget' technology from San Francisco, California-based Widgetbox, the Los Angeles Fire Department is now offering the latest CPSC advisories under the heading of 'Safety News' in the right column of the popular LAFD blog:

LAFD News & Information blog visitors can not only view current safety advisories for more than 15,000 types of consumer products, but now have an easy way to share this information via their own blogs and websites.

Why is the Los Angeles Fire Department doing this?

The CPSC recently launched their "Drive to 1 Million" recall initiative, which seeks to sign-up at least 1 million consumers to receive life-saving information electronically through CPSC’s e-mail notification project.

While we think e-mail is great - many of you tell us that RSS feeds and widgets are better. We welcome you to learn more and help spread the word, by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Fire in North Hollywood Law Office

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 |

On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 9:58 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Evan Williams responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 12650 Riverside Drive in the Valley Village area.

First arriving Firefighters immediately encountered 2-story office building complex with one unit on the second floor well involved with flames. An all-out attack on the fire using handlines, Firefighters were able to access the burning structure and begin an aggressive attack on the fire.

It took 40 Firefighters just 19 minutes to knock down the fire and control the incident. The total loss from the fire is estimated at $80,000 ($50,000 structure & $30,000 contents). The cause of the fire was attributed to persons using a roofing torch above the unit of the fire involvement.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Eight Displaced in Los Feliz Structure Fire


On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 7:44 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a Structure Fire at 1837 N. New Hampshire Ave. in the Los Feliz area.

Upon arrival, Firefighters immediately encountered a 2-story duplex apartment building well involved with smoke and fire on the second floor. Using handlines, Firefighters were able to access the burning structure and begin to aggressively attack the fire.

Search and rescue efforts were commenced immediately, evacuating safely from the structure 4 female and 4 male adults. This quick action was a large contributing factor in the occupants successful exit without injury. As a result of the fire, the Red Cross was notified to assist the 8 displaced victims.

Firefighters confined the fire to the structure of origin, fully extinguishing the flames in just 23 minutes.

A significant salvage effort was initiated on the first floor of the structure and the loss from the fire is estimated at $110,000 ( $80,000 structure & $30,000 contents). The cause of the fire was determined to be the heating unit.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Structure Fire at Los Angeles Free Clinic

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 |

On Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 6:04 AM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 3 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Robert Franco responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8405 Beverly Boulevard in the Miracle Mile Area.

Responding swiftly to general reports of the smell of smoke coming from the rear of the large 3-story business complex, Firefighters mounted an aggressive search for the fire. Fire Department personnel quickly discovered heavy fire from the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning equipment room of the Los Angeles Free Clinic.

Firefighters then mounted a swift offensive attack with handlines, tracking the fire which had seeped into the walls and extending into the attic. Firefighters confined the fire to the area of origin, fully extinguishing the flames in just over 1 hour. Using hand-held thermal imaging cameras responders were able to finely focus their efforts on the stubborn flames, which had run the walls.

Following extinguishment, dozens of Firefighters worked for several hours with salvage operations and water removal. Fire loss has been estimated at $500,000. The cause of this blaze remains categorized as under investigation.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Brush Fire in Mission Hills

Saturday, March 24, 2007 |

On Saturday, March 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 Helicopters, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva responded to a Brush Fire at WB 118 FY X West of 5 FY in Mission Hills.

The first arriving Firefighters, responded to a geographically vague dispatch on the WB 118 Freeway between the San Diego and Golden State freeways. Firefighters arrived to discover approximately 1 acre of medium to heavy brush burning.

The greater alarm brush assignment of approximately thirty five Firefighters skillfully anchored the flames, working in concert with their airborne colleagues to limit fire spread. The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department were able to limit the fire spread to the one acre and fully extinguished the flames in 15 minutes. Because of the aggressive attack of Fire Department ground and air attack, firefighters held the flames to within 100 feet of structures. Firefighters remained on scene checking for hot-spots.

There were no structures damaged, no evacuations and no reported injuries to civilians or Fire personnel. The fire cause is under investigation until specified.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Beloved LAFD Search Dog 'Bella' Dies at 14

Sunday, March 18, 2007 |

Deresa Teller and Bella
It is with a heavy heart that we share word that Bella, the 14-year-old Border Collie nicknamed "the wonder dog' - who proudly responded with her LAFD handler Deresa Teller on scores of high profile search and rescue assignments, has died from natural causes in Los Angeles.

Possibly the most renowned search canine in our nation's history, Bella was deployed with Deresa to the Oklahoma City bombing, World Trade Center attacks and countless other official assignments.

Bella remains one of the few canines to have attained formal certification in wilderness search, disaster rescue and cadaver recovery. She was in every sense of the word, a 'wonder dog'.

In our country's darkest hours, Bella shouldered the hopes of a nation. Our profound sense of loss is lessened only in knowing that her grandson Ranger and other descendents are today exhibiting the same prowess that made Bella a preeminent search and rescue canine.

Deresa Teller and Bella
Bella is credited with helping rescuers locate the remains of four victims after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

In early 2001, Bella was diagnosed with a troubling form of cancer in her right foreleg. Once word spread that costly radiation treatments could not be municipally funded - or afforded by heartbroken Teller, a stunning groundswell of community support allowed Bella's necessary treatment, cure and return to readiness.

In August 2001, she helped Ventura County, California authorities locate the body of missing murder victim Megan Barroso in a rugged ravine near Simi Valley.

Bella was medically cleared for her full return to 'disaster response' duty on a bright and cheerful Monday morning, September 10, 2001.

Firefighter/Paramedic Teller could not have known that little more than 24 hours later, she and Bella would be aboard a military cargo jet headed for New York, where they helped find approximately 20 victims of the terrorist attacks.

Less than six months following the cowardly attacks in Manhattan, Bella and Deresa were again deployed with the LAFD-FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (CA-TF1); in this case to maintain a vigilant regional presence during the sixteen-day Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In these and other deployments, as well as countless public outreach events during her long and eventful life, Bella was not merely a member of our LAFD family, but also a well-respected and readily embraced ambassador for our nation's first responders and specialized rescue teams.

Bella formally entered retirement in 2003, at nearly eleven years old. When not herding chickens for enjoyment at home, the playful yet gentle Bella could be found comfortably cuddled with a stuffed toy lamb she had since she was a puppy.

In closing, I am honored to share a photo of Bella and I taken upon her safe return from the Oklahoma City bombing:

Brian Humphrey with Bella
Those who wish to support on-going search canine efforts in Bella's honor are encouraged to contact the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation at: 888-4-K9-HERO.

Farewell sweet Bella, from one of many who will dearly miss you.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Women's Recruitment Expo in Northridge

Saturday, March 17, 2007 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department welcome all, especially women considering an LAFD career to attend the:

LAFD Women's Recruitment Expo
Saturday, March 24, 2007
8:00AM to 3:00PM
California State University Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street (Lot F-10 at Lindley/Lassen)
Northridge, CA 91330

- Information Sessions
- Watch Live Emergency Operations Demos
- Participate in Hands-On Firefighting Techniques
- Work-Out Attire Recommended

LAFD Annual Salary: $48,608 - $73,121

Call (213) 473-9060 to reserve your spot at this event today. Walk-ins are also welcome!

For more information, call (213) 847-LAFD or visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey
Los Angeles Fire Department

Misfired Extinguisher Sends Ten to Hospital

Thursday, March 15, 2007 |

On Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 5:13 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez responded to a Chemical Investigation at 1716 East 7th Street in the Industrial Eastside of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to a report of an inhalation-type medical complaint at the bus terminal. As firefighters approached the Greyhound bus, they discovered multiple patients complaining of difficulty breathing.

The first Task Force utilized multi casualty incident protocol, immediately splitting the twenty five passengers into those with medical complaints and those free from symptoms. Treatment zones were established and each passenger was meticulously assessed for injury.

Of the twenty five passengers, 10 were transported to local hospitals, one of which was a six month old baby boy, all were stable, sustaining only minor inhalation irritation. Five patients were assessed, treated and released without transport.

Upon further investigation, Firefighters learned that the incident was initiated when a passenger accidentally activated a dry chemical fire extinguisher within the confines of the passenger area of the wheeled coach.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

Renowned LAFD Paramedic and Inspector To Retire


LAFD Inspector Dennis BogardTomorrow, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department say farewell to a gentleman and colleague who has played a key role in our City's safety for nearly 40 years.

Those outside of Southern California probably know Inspector Dennis Bogard through his many network television interviews - or articles that have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily News and countless professional journals. Even if you've never set foot in Los Angeles, you've in some way been cared for or protected by his lifetime of mentoring first responders.

For many Los Angeles residents and the Firefighters and Paramedics who protect them, tomorrow will be a day in which we gather to recognize and affirm the professional benchmarks of Dennis Bogard, honoring a man who has done great good whenever he has found a person in need. It is no mere coincedence that is accomplishments read like an historical archive...

1964-1967 Dennis served in the US Navy during the Viet Nam war.

1965 - Part Time ambulance attendant for Millers Ambulance Service while still in the Navy, and was one of the first private ambulances to respond along with Joe Ortiz to the August 11, 1965 Watts riots. They worked without any police escorts transporting patients to the area hospitals.

1966 - Worked for McCormick Ambulance Service for the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, Lawndale and Westchester.

1968 - Los Angeles County, The American Heart Association, Daniel Freeman Hospital and McCormick Ambulance Service implemented the first paramedic pilot program using ambulance drivers from McCormick Ambulance, and cardiac care nurses from Daniel Freeman Hospital. Under the direction of Walter Graff, a training program was put into place and Dennis Bogard along with 12 others assisted the cardiac care nurses with patient care, drove the Step Van that had been converted into a Cardiac Care Unit on wheels. In early 1968 the unit was put into service and Dennis Bogard had the opportunity to drive the first paramedic run in Los Angeles County.

1969 - United Airlines 727 aircraft crashed into Santa Monica Bay shortly after take-off from Los Angeles International Airport because of poor weather conditions. The crew shut down an engine after a fire warning and initiated a turn-back to the airport. The aircraft then crashed, killing 32 passengers and 6 crew members. Dennis and his partner Russell Chidley Jr. responded to the scene and set up the command post for all the responding McCormick Ambulances and other private ambulances. This was the first of many disasters that he was about to experience throughout his career in providing prehospital care.

June 1969 - He completed the first class given by Los Angeles County for Emergency Medical Technician I.

November 1969 - While working under an emergency appointment, Dennis had the opportunity to serve as an ambulance driver for the City of Los Angeles Central Receiving Hospital; this was the beginning of his career with the City of Los Angeles. Central Receiving Hospital ambulances worked out of police stations and responded to police emergency calls.

February 1970 - He was appointed to a full time position as ambulance driver and worked out of the Los Angeles Police Department’s University Station.

July 1970 - All ambulances and their crews were transferred to the Los Angeles City Fire Department. The Chief at that time was Raymond Hill, and Dennis Bogard was assigned to Fire Station 15 under Captains Joseph Lockwood and John Adams. Dennis worked the South Central area most of the early years of his career.

February 1971 - Ambulance driver Dennis Bogard and his partner Earl Donley responded to the San Fernando earthquake disaster, which caused heavy damage to Olive View Hospital.

July 1973 - Bogard was promoted to ambulance attendant.

1973 - He was active with the training of CPR and held an American Heart Association teaching certificate. He assisted the Fire Department and the American Heart Association in training Fire Department members in Basic CPR throughout the city in the beginning years of the CPR program.

November 1974 - He attended Paramedic School at Harbor General Hospital for a second time after having given up his first certification in 1969 to go to work for Central Receiving Hospital.

March 1975 - Bogard was assigned as a paramedic ambulance attendant to Fire Station 55.

Throughout the 1970’s he worked the busiest areas of the city working Rescue Ambulances 15, 22, 61, 35, 55, 14 and 20 in and near the University Village, South Central, Fairfax, Los Feliz, Newton and Silver Lake neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

1977 - Dennis started working part time for National Primary Care Inc. as the Educational Director. The company was made up of emergency room doctors from Queen of Angels Hospital. Queen of Angels was developing a paramedic training program and Dennis was instrumental in the research and development of that program. This was the foundation of his experience and training that was needed to develop training programs for future pre-hospital care medics.

1979 - Bogard had the opportunity to assist the Fire Chief, and the Fire Department at the Chief’s request. Dennis’s company National Primary Care Inc., agreed to do an in-house program to train new ambulance drivers. Dennis wrote the training program for the first Fire Department EMT-A classes for the Fire Department’s Ambulance Driver drill tower. His first class graduated in February 1979. Since his program, hundreds of EMT-1’s have been trained for the Fire Department and today all Fire Department personal are required to hold EMT-1 certifications.

In 1980 - He decided to 'slow down' and transferred to the San Fernando Valley area of the City of Los Angeles. His assignments were Rescue Ambulances 81, 60, 104, 105, 100, and 87 serving the Arleta, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Northridge, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, West Hills, West Van Nuys and Granada Hills neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

February 1980 - Dennis received a call from National Medical Enterprises who was holding the contract to train paramedics for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dennis worked with the Saudi government developing their program. In February 1981 he went to Saudi Arabia to implement their program. He worked with National Medical Enterprises, and Prince Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, whom later became the king. He spent a 45-day tour in the country, traveling from one area to another opening, and dedicating paramedic units throughout the Kingdom. He turned down the opportunity from the King to become their Chief Paramedic, to return to his first love, the Fire Department.

In 1991, Dennis sustained severe neck injuries which made him unable to work on an ambulance. He was assigned to the LAFD Central Staffing Unit in June 1991 following neck surgery.

November 1992 - Dennis left Central Staffing Unit to attend Dispatcher’s training at OCD and found that being underground was not to his liking.

He transferred to the Valley Fire Prevention Bureau’s Brush Clearance Unit in January 1993 on a light duty status.

While working at the Brush Clearance Unit he worked on his first case involving a case of Obsessive Hoarding Disorder with Inspector Mike Theule. After about 6 months of working with persons with the disorder, and seeing that almost all the cases were return visits to the same client, he started to do some research into the behavior of the disorder and as to why so many were return visits.

Dennis found that the practice of using only strong enforcement measures and not attempting to find a fix to the underling modality was almost a guarantee for return visits by Inspectors. Because of his paramedical background, he starting networking with other health care workers to see if by adding mental health components along with enforcement procedures that were already in place, there might be a decrease in the return visits.

After a year Dennis found that he was making less return visits, and had the opportunity to see a significant change. At that time, there was very little research being done regarding "hoarding".

After contacting the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and getting on-the-job training from them, he increased his knowledge base of the disorder.

1994 - Dennis started a media awareness campaign in an attempt to bring the issues into the public view. With public awareness came more and more research into the Hoarding Disorder. The research has singled out the hoarding disorder from being strictly an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as believed in the earlier studies, to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). This is significant as OCPD client’s medication that is sometimes of use with OCD is unresponsive in OCPD clients.

Also in obsessive hoarding disorder the comorbity (the coexistence of two or more related medical conditions) can and most likely make up the multi-characteristics that work against their successful treatment. Thus when it comes to enforcement an Inspector whom has no knowledge of the hoarding behavior will surely fail.

October 1995 - Bogard was promoted to Inspector I, and assigned to the LAFD High-Rise Unit. He continued to handle hoarding issues along with his other duties.

In October 1998 - Dennis was promoted to Inspector II, and City of Los Angeles Fire Marshal Jimmy Hill assigned him to the Legal Liaison Unit so that Inspector Bogard could perform Special Projects involving Nuisance Properties throughout the City of Los Angeles. These properties included the hoarding issues, and problem properties that were beyond the scope of the District Inspector.

By 2006 Inspector Bogard was monitoring more then 1,000 clients with Obsessive Hoarding disorders, and had brought more 20,000 clients into compliance through the use of enforcement, supportive care and a understanding of the disorder.

Dennis has become one of the western United State’s experts in public enforcement and understanding of the Obsessive Hoarding Disorder. He has been a speaker at countless training workshops throughout California, providing awareness to other Fire Departments, Building and Safety Officials and mental health workers. He currently is working to build an interactive network where County Mental Health, Adult Proactive Services, other City, County and State Officials can pool their ideas to help make a change in the lives of Obsessive Hoarding clients throughout the United States.

In November 2006, Inspector Bogard worked with Sera Bell of the Mayor Villaraigosas’ Staff, preparing for the "Day of Service in Watts". He worked tirelessly with staff, Building and Safety, and the 3,000 volunteers in cleaning two properties in the Watts area. He assisted with obtaining the proper Mental Health Care providers to be actively involved with preparing the two elderly individuals, and assisted in helping to providing housing for an 86-year-old man, after the Team and Building and Safety found his dwelling to be beyond repair.

The volunteers removed approximately 1,200 cubic yards of hazardous refuse, rubbish, and overgrown vegetation from the two properties.

Friends, co-workers and many of those touched by Dennis over the years will gather on Friday evening, March 16, 2007 in 'The Starlight Room' at The Castaway Restaurant in Burbank for a fond farewell to a man whose service was above no one, no matter their status or need.

Yes, Dennis Bogard has been - and remains, a genuine inspiration to all who proudly serve you as members of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Thank you Dennis, for your many years of service!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey
Los Angeles Fire Department

Best wishes Bogie, from a then-young Paramedic who was deeply honored to work alongside you, and who smiles to this day from the puzzled looks on peoples faces whenever they paged us by last names over the hospital PA system. -BH-

Brush Fire Ignites Beneath A Los Angeles Landmark

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 |

On Monday, March 12, 2007 at 2:15 PM, 33 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 4 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Mark Saxelby responded to a Brush Fire at Griffith Park in ATWATER VILLAGE southwest of the Observatory in Griffith Park.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a geographically treacherous area of Griffith Park with 3/4 of an acre of medium to heavy brush burning uphill in the direction of the famed Griffith Park Observatory.

Due to the inaccessibility of ground crews, the Fire Department's aerial reconnaissance and command support airship flew into action and was soon joined by a trio of larger water-dropping LAFD helicopters, that commenced a synchronous aerial attack on the flames. Due to the extreme weather conditions and low relative humidity, the Los Angeles Fire Department utilized pre-deployed resources to address the increased brush fire potential.

The first seventy arriving Firefighters skillfully anchored the flames, working in concert with their airborne colleagues to limit fire spread. A structure protection group was also established and stood at the ready should the flames reach the beloved landmark in Griffith Park.
In spite of the presence of numerous spot fires, and largely due to the determined aircraft , the men and women of Los Angeles Fire Department were able to limit the flames to 10 acres and fully extinguish the blaze in just 2 hours 45 minutes. No structures were damaged. No evacuation was ordered at the Observatory as it was closed for business.

A Park Ranger was transported to a nearby hospital with minor heat-related injuries.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Resources Sent to Anaheim Hills Fire

Sunday, March 11, 2007 |

Pursuant of a formal Mutual Aid Request, the Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned two Strike Teams of Firefighters and one Assistant Chief Officer as an agency representative in support of the Orange County Fire Authority in their battle against a wind-driven wildfire near Highway 241 and the 91 Freeway in Anaheim Hills, California southeast of our City.

These forty-six members of the Los Angeles Fire Department have been dispatched to the "Windy Ridge" wildfire in accordance with California's Fire & Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System, administered by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. The system is designed to ensure that additional resources are provided to local jurisdictions whenever their own resources are committed or insufficient for a specific emergency incident.

The City of Los Angeles remains fully protected by the use of additional staff and reserve apparatus to cover foreseeable local needs, and we remind local residents that these resources can be recalled to our City as necessary.

The men and women of the LAFD ask motorists to remain watchful for these and other convoys of emergency apparatus, and to be mindful of the space necessary for them to safely maneuver on local roads and highways.

Pursuant of protocol, all public and media information regarding this incident, including the actions of assigned LAFD personnel, will be provided by the Orange County Fire Authority, which maintains daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey
Los Angeles Fire Department

It Happened Last Night in New York...

Thursday, March 08, 2007 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department strive to remain aware of endeavors and challenges faced by Firefighters nationwide.

It was therefore with a sense of sadness and empathy that we read this morning's headlines:

NEW YORK (AP) - Eight children and an adult died and several others were injured in a house fire that authorities are calling one of New York's deadliest blazes in recent memory.

Witnesses described a ghastly sight of a woman hurling children through broken windows in hopes of saving the kids from Wednesday night's inferno... (more...)

While events such as these produce strong discussion - and emotion among Firefighters, this particular incident is far too important to keep 'inside baseball'.

Along with our sympathies, the best way for us to respect those who died is seeing that such incidents are prevented - and for that, we need your help.

Last night's inferno in the Highbridge section of the Bronx could easily happen tomorrow in your hometown, your neighborhood, your street, your...

We think you get the picture.

The issues of home heating and electrical safety, functional smoke alarms and a well-practiced escape plan for your family are oft-repeated in this LAFD News & Information blog.

...and the problem is not unique to large cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Just last week, we offered the sobering fact that more than 200 Americans died as the result of fire in the first three weeks of February alone.

It happened last night in New York. Don't let it happen to you!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey
Los Angeles Fire Department

LA Paramedics to Celebrate at Special Reunion

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department salute the Los Angeles County Paramedic Training Institute (PTI), which is preparing for its 200th class graduation on March 29th, 2007.

The graduation committee is using this hallmark event to recognize not only the current graduates but all Paramedics that have worked in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Los Angeles County.

The graduation and gala celebration to follow will formally reunite regional EMS providers past and present at Universal Studios Hollywood. Further information and registration for the event is at:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey (PTI Class #97)
Los Angeles Fire Department

2007 L.A. Marathon Brings People Together

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department, in conjunction with other City agencies, volunteers, and event organizers devoted a significant amount of time preplanning the various aspects of the 22nd Annual Los Angeles Marathon. A Unified Command was implemented and strategically positioned at the City's "Piper Tech" facility including, 6 Battalion Command Teams, 14 EMS Supervisors, 25 Fire Apparatus, 14 ALS Rescues, 12 BLS Rescue Ambulances, 6 Bicycle Teams, and 2 “Gator” teams, under the command of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas.

In an effort to provide rapid Paramedic intervention during a medical emergency, the LAFD deployed six Bicycle Paramedic Teams and two “gator” Teams. The “gator” teams consisting of two Paramedics operating a six-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle outfitted with Advanced Life Support tools, a “med bed” anchored to the vehicle providing a platform for patient care, and other crucial equipment. The agile response of both the “gator” and cycle teams, enabled firefighters to bridge the gap between foot patrol and rescue ambulances to provide paramedics the opportunity to navigate crowds, circumvent traffic, and deliver critical care with greater ease.

Throughout the day, along the twenty-six mile route, and at the med-station positioned near the finish line, well over one hundred patients were treated for various medical problems including, musculoskeletal injuries and a variety of heat-related emergencies, amplified by the combination of heat and humidity this year. Of the numerous patients treated, most were assessed, treated onscene and released by the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department as their condition improved. Only 20-25 patients required transport to local hospitals for further medical evaluation. Regretfully, one of the participants did loose their life during this event.

At the intersection of Catalina and Exposition Blvd. Firefighters were called to render aide to a 50 year old male who suffered a cardiac arrest while competing as a cyclist in this years strenuous marathon. Paramedics arrived quickly, rendering the highest level of Advanced Cardiac Life Support and transporting the critical patient within 15 minutes. Sadly, the man was pronounced dead upon delivery to California Hospital.

The firefighters assigned to the Los Angeles Marathon took pride in the opportunity to support the competitive athelete as well as those people visiting our fine city, some for the very first time, to share our vision during this global event as we interact within the diversity of cultures, ready to render aide and emotional support should a crisis develop.

One such crisis was avoided when, at approximately the 22 mile marker, a participant of the wheelchair portion of the race was potentially sidelined when the battery pack feeding his motorized ride rendered him immobile. As a last ditch effort, two boys pushed the 18 year old, with cerebral palsey, toward a nearby Fire Apparatus for a solution.

Engineer Joe Everett of Fire Station 37, having been a past marathon participant, decided to forgo recharging the defunct battery. The determined Engineer, remebering the pride he had felt when he finished a past race, was undeterred by his cumbersome steel-toed boots and uniform; choosing instead to push the boy the 3.2 miles to the marathon’s end. The twosome formed a lasting friendship as they crossed the finish line triumphantly together.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

Wounded Vet Marathoners Inspire LA's Firefighters

Sunday, March 04, 2007 |

On Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 1:00 PM, a group of more than 30 physically handicapped Los Angeles Marathon participants, including amputee and blind military veterans and firefighters from across the nation, will conclude their monumental accomplishment of Marathon XXII with a formal group visit to a Fire Station west of downtown.

The welcoming crew at Los Angeles Fire Station 11, 1819 West 7th Street will include Fire Captain Greg Malais ('mal-ay'), himself an amputee who lost a leg in the line of duty.

Captain Malais and his crew will serve as the proud hosts of these courageous and competitive Americans, who will share detailed stories of their challenges - and accomplishments, which for many include the crowning achievement of the morning's participation in Los Angeles Marathon XXII.

Members of the media are encouraged to obtain 'B' roll and generically chronicle Sunday morning's special races, and later mesh those images with the personal interviews and photo opportunities that will avail themselves at Fire Station 11 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon.

The courage of these soldiers and firefighters is indeed palpable, and the stories of the friendships that have developed between them is one that you'll be proud to share.

Courage comes in many ways, and we're confident your audience will be touched by these brave soldiers and firefighters who have given their personal best on the battlefield - and on the streets of Los Angeles.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire in Sylmar Juvenile Hall Sends 5 to Hospital

Saturday, March 03, 2007 |

On Saturday, March 3, 2007 at 12:50 PM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two EMS Battalion Captains, one Arson Unit and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 41 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief John Nowell responded to a Structure Fire at 16350 Filbert Street in Sylmar.

Firefighters arrived quickly at the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall to discover light smoke showing from a one-story building in the southwest corner of the County of Los Angeles juvenile detention facility.

Maintaining formal liaison with staff, Firefighters mounted a swift assault on the flames in the smoke charged structure, confining the fire within one dormitory room and fully extinguishing the flames in just 27 minutes.

One juvenile ward was removed from the room of fire origin by a staff member prior to the Fire Department's arrival. That youth, in critical yet stable condition, as well as four staff members, who each sustained non-life threatening exposure to smoke, were transported to an area hospital by LAFD ambulance. A fifth staff member declined further treatment or transportation from the scene.

Damage to the non-sprinklered building is estimated at $15,000 ($5,000 structure & $10,000 contents). The fire was determined to have been intentionally set.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Will The Winter Death Toll End With You?

Friday, March 02, 2007 |

In just the first three weeks of February 2007, more than 200 people across our nation were killed in home fires. Many of these fires were preventable. Fires that kill are a sad reality each and every day for our nation's Firefighters - but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is no single safety item more important in your household than a working smoke alarm. Having a functional smoke alarm in your home reduces your chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.

No matter where you live, we encourage you to take note of the smoke alarm requirements in the Los Angeles Fire Code: a properly functioning smoke alarm is required in every sleeping room -and- in the hallway directly adjacent to those rooms. If sleeping rooms are on an upper level, a smoke alarm must also be installed in the center of the ceiling directly above the interior stairway.

In fact, it's best to have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement and family room. To assure optimal protection and avoid false alarms, your smoke alarm must be mounted and maintained properly.

While smoke alarms and home fire extinguishers are vitally important, fire prevention remains the key...

If you smoke, put your cigarettes all the way out and never smoke when you’re drowsy or in bed.

Remember that space heaters need space. Keep objects at least three feet away from the heater in all directions. Never use a heater with damaged wiring or an extension cord that may be improperly suited for the device.

Prepare your escape plan and practice it with every member of your household today. Your survival will depend on it. Remember to crawl low under smoke, and when you get out, stay out!

Following these few simple steps can mean the difference between life and death. To learn more:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Two New Helicopters to Join LAFD Fleet

Thursday, March 01, 2007 |

From AgustaWestland...

Generic File Image from AgustaWestland - not representative of LAFD specifications

"AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has awarded a contract for two AW139 medium-twin helicopters to perform fire-fighting missions in the city-related area.

Generic File Image from AgustaWestland - not representative of LAFD specifications

These are the first AW139 aircraft to be purchased by the LAFD and such selection also marks the beginning of the AW139’s deployment as a fire-fighter worldwide. This new role follows a wide range of parapublic tasks among which are search and rescue, emergency medical service and law enforcement.

"The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to announce the acquisition of two new AW139 helicopters. Through design and development, the LAFD / AgustaWestland partnership has created an aircraft that will meet our Department’s current needs and those well into the future", said Doug Barry, Fire Chief for the City of Los Angeles.

"The AW139 helicopter will provide greater performance through its increased air speed and allow for a greater margin of safety through engine performance. Its easy convertibility for Fire, EMS, or Rescue related incidents, and cutting-edge technology, will bring the Los Angeles Fire Department to the forefront of 'fire service' aircraft design. Ultimately, the greatest benefit will be enhanced emergency services to the City of Los Angeles and it’s citizens. We look forward to the arrival of the first AW139 Airship in 2008" added Barry.

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is a full-spectrum life safety agency protecting the more than 4 million people who live, work and play in America's second largest City.

The LAFD’s choice demonstrates the great reliance upon the AW139’s characteristics to successfully accomplish the mission thanks to its excellent performance and operational availability, state-of-the-art avionics, high safety level and ease of maintenance, proving the best value for money solution.

Generic File Image from AgustaWestland - not representative of LAFD specifications

Orders for more than 210 AW139s have been placed by customers around world for a wide range of roles including search and rescue, law enforcement, medical evacuation, offshore transport and executive VIP/Corporate transport, making it the best selling helicopter in its class."
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The generic images above are courtesy of AgustaWestland. They, as well as corporate video and product brochures, are not meant to portray LAFD specifications.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department