Things That Change: LAFD E-Mail Addresses

Sunday, April 29, 2007 |

Along with some changes to our direct contact phone numbers that took place last year, the Los Angeles Fire Department is in the final steps of changing to a new e-mail domain.

Our new e-mail format will be:

Why might this concern you?

With the prevalence of spam filters and e-mail rules, we want to prevent those who communicate regularly with our Department or receive our e-mail newsletter from experiencing bounced or missing messages.

Though LAFD members will continue to receive messages sent to their old e-mail address for the forseeable future, we encourage you to update your LAFD contacts to the new format (send them a message if you aren't sure) and be certain to add the domain '' to your "whitelist" of permitted senders.

Again, the old format: giving way to a new format:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

L.A. Foreca$t: Brown Book, Blue Book, Red Book

Thursday, April 26, 2007 |

The most eagerly anticipated municipal documents in the City of Los Angeles recently made their annual debut.

We are of course, speaking of the Mayor's proposed annual budget for Fiscal Year 2007-08, which is manifested in sibling texts known informally as the "Brown Book", "Blue Book", and "Red Book".

These publications, combined with supporting information for the Budget and Finance Committee, are essential in helping the public and elected officials understand the overall budget, which is summarized in one 94-page document.

The arrival of the Mayor's proposed budget is but one step in a time-honored process that involves members of the community, elected City Councilmembers, appointed Board Members and Commissioners and the General Managers of City Departments and Bureaus, such as the Fire Chief of Los Angeles.

While encouraging you to become familiar with and participate in the overall City Budget process, we want to make sure those with an interest in our agency can easily find budget information for the Los Angeles Fire Department

As such, we are pleased to highlight...

Within the 643-page Blue Book of Department Programs, the proposed budget elements for the LAFD begin on 'document page' 195 (pdf file page 213).

In the 255-page Brown Book of Positions and Salaries including Recommended Changes in Personnel, the proposed elements for the LAFD commence on both 'document page' 35 (pdf file page 53) and 'document page' 178 (pdf file page 202).

In the 159-page Red Book of Supplemental Schedules, proposed elements for the LAFD can be found beginning on 'document pages' 2, 28, 56, 80, 127, 131, 138 and 157. (pdf file pages 11, 37, 67, 91, 140, 146, 155, 157).

And because many of you asked...

The proposed budget apportions $24.25 million in MICLA financing for the Fire Department's Fleet Replacement Program.

Replacement vehicles identified for the LAFD in Fiscal Year 2007-08 are: 36 Rescue Ambulances, 16 Triple Combination Pumpers, 4 Tractor-drawn Aerial Ladder Trucks, 1 Brush Patrol, 1 Electric Cart, 1 Overhead Crane w/Hoist, 1 Bulldozer, 1 Water Tender, 1 Ten-Wheel Dump Truck, 1 Low-Side End Dump Truck, 1 Stakebed Dump Truck, 1 Trailerable Generator, 17 Alternative-Fuel Non-Emergency Sedans, 22 Emergency Sedans, 14 Emergency Suburbans, 12 Pickup Trucks, 1 Stake-bed Dump Truck, 2 Utility Service Trucks, 6 Passenger Vans and 6 Cargo Vans.

Each of the documents mentioned above are worthy of your attention. After viewing them, we hope you will join us in saluting the many City Employees who worked diligently this past year in preparing a roadmap for our municipal future.

We remind you that the documents above reflect a proposed budget, and that several key steps remain before an approved City of Los Angeles budget is adopted by elected officials in June 2007.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Chief Evan Williams to Retire

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 |

LAFD Battalion Chief Evan WilliamsPlease join the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department in saying farewell on Thursday, April 26, 2007 to Battalion Chief Evan Williams, as he works his final shift as the 'B' Platoon Commander of LAFD Battalion 14 in the Southeast San Fernando Valley.

Regular readers of the LAFD News & Information blog will recall him as the Incident Commander of many noteworthy incidents.

Appointed to the Department in November 1973, Chief Williams concludes 34 years of dedicated service to the City of Los Angeles. His outstanding leadership skills, wealth of firefighting experience and incident management knowledge - along with his dynamic personal management ability will be missed.

Chief Williams was the driving force that created the Battalion 14 Blog, and is globally respected by his peers, who routinely call upon him for professional advice on urban interface brush fire strategy and the Incident Command System.

We encourage our blog visitors, especially those who live and work in the 33 square miles of Battalion 14, to extend their well wishes via e-mail, and we invite all to join us in honoring Battalion Chief Williams at his Retirement Dinner, on Monday, June 4, 2007 in Granada Hills, California.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Six Year-Old Girl Critically Burned Playing With Lighter

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 |

On Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 5:15 PM, 1 Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, and 1 Arson Unit, under the direction of Captain I Anthony Baldassano responded to a Burn Injury at 1000 Block of So. Centre St. in Ports O' Call.

Firefighters and Paramedics arrived at a single-family residence to find a severely burned 6 year-old female, conscious and alert, however, in excruciating pain. The child had suffered severe second and third degree burns to her back, chest, and arms and was in critical condition. She was immediately assessed, provided Advanced Life Support treatment and transported Code-3 to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in critical condition.

The child had apparently found a small lighter and had been playing with it in a remote location of the house, accidentally igniting her clothes on fire. She immediately began screaming and ran out of the rear door of the home, screaming in the back yard.

A 17 year-old neighbor ran out of his house, seeing the burning girl, he grabbed a towel and ran towards the little girl. The burning girl ran back into her home , followed by the young man, who was able to chase her down, tackle her and wrap her in the towel, and extinguish the flames.

If it were not for the quick actions of the 17 year-old "Hero", the young life would have been lost and the home may have been destroyed.

Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Investigators in conjunction with LAPD Investigators conducted a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the events of the child's injuries. The incident was determined to be "accidental" with no indications of neglect on the part of family members or others.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

April 24 Statement by Fire Chief Douglas Barry


From the Office of the Fire Chief...

Fire Chief’s Press Release

April 24, 2007

"Recently, I was made aware of an alleged work environment issue occurring in one of our fire stations located in West Los Angeles.

I have initiated an investigation that involves an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist and a Chief Officer as the initial investigators. We are utilizing internal and external resources to assist in expediting the investigation. These incidents are a top priority for my administration and I will personally be visiting both fire stations to clearly reiterate my zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination and harassment.

As Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department, I want to clearly reiterate that any form of hazing or discrimination will not be tolerated within the Department.

The men and women of the Fire Department are committed to public safety and sworn to protect the citizens of Los Angeles. We understand that it is of paramount importance that our standards of behavior remain consistent with public expectations. We value the continued support of the public and will work aggressively to maintain public trust."
# # #

Media Contact:
Battalion Chief Kwame Cooper
Community Liaison Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mayor, Councilmember Join Community Honoring Region's Firefighters

Monday, April 23, 2007 |

While our dear friend Joz beat us in publicly sharing the announcement, we wanted to make sure you were aware of a community event planned for Tuesday evening, April 24, 2007 in the Hollywood Hills.

We are pleased to draw your attention to the very last line of the document below from The Office of Councilmember Tom LaBonge.

Yes, you are cordially invited!



Los Angeles (April 23, 2007) -- Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa will join Councilmember Tom LaBonge to lead a thank you ceremony honoring the 71 LAFD companies and additional firefighters from throughout Southern California who responded to the March 30 Hollywood Hills fire that burned 150 acres of dry brush.

No one was injured and no property was destroyed.

The blaze, which was ignited by two teenagers playing with matches next to the Oakwood Toluca Hills apartment complex on Barham Boulevard, spread across the brush area but was put out before it spread to the Hollywood side of the range or impacted any residences, the Hollywood Sign or the City of Los Angeles communications compound atop Mt. Lee.

It took five hours for scores of firefighters, assisted by three LAFD and two L.A. County fire helicopters, to put out the fire.

"We are so appreciative of the work of these firefighters who performed amazingly in dangerous, hilly terrain to contain this fast-moving fire. We owe them our gratitude and thanks", said Councilmember LaBonge, who represents the area.

WHAT: Thank You Ceremony Honoring LAFD Firefighters & other firefighters

WHEN: 5:00 PM, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WHERE: Lake Hollywood Park, adjacent to 3206 Canyon Lake Drive (Thomas Guide Page 563-F7)

WHO: Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, LAFD Interim Chief Douglas Barry, L.A. County Fire Chief Scott Smith, Don Briggs, Warner Bros. Fire Department, Firefighters, Residents

**NOTE: Refreshments provided by Pink's Hot Dogs!!
# # #

UPDATE: Detailed event coverage, including photos can now be found at

We're also pleased to direct you to an event photo gallery created by our good friend David Markland.

Thanks Joz and David - and all who attended the event!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Porter Ranch Salutes LAFD Captain for 50 Years of Service

Saturday, April 21, 2007 |

Captain Charles CasperIt was a brisk 53 degrees in the pre-dawn hours of April 1, 1957 when Charles W. Casper's car slipped quietly along the darkened streets of Los Angeles.

Careful to avoid the early morning Yellow Car gliding along the 3'6" parallel steel ribbons of the Los Angeles Railway, Charlie - as his friends called him, could only wonder what lie ahead for him, and for Los Angeles.

It would be a full two weeks before the Brooklyn Dodgers won their season opener in Philadephia, and a month further still before the team would decide to make their home in Chavez Ravine, which loomed beyond the LAFD Drill Tower in Lincoln Heights, where Charlie quietly gathered with the newest firemen in Los Angeles.

Collectively, they could only wonder... before the Drill Master barked - and they snapped into formation - a half century ago.

On Sunday, April 22, 2007, representatives of Councilmember Greig Smith and Interim Fire Chief Douglas Barry were joined by civic leaders, neighborhood Firefighters and the Porter Ranch community in saluting the career of Captain Charles Casper, who recently retired after 50 continuous years of service to the citizens of Los Angeles.

The event not only honored a legendary Firefighter, but allowed the men and women of LAFD's 15th Battalion to meet those they proudly serve.

Please join us in thanking these local businesses for their generous support that made Sunday's event possible:

Thanks to all who joined us! We'll be posting more soon about the event (including photos) and offering a more detailed overview of the remarkable career of Captain Casper.

A Retirement Dinner for Captain Casper will be held:

Friday, May 4, 2007
Knollwood Country Club
12024 Balboa Blvd.
Granada Hills, CA
Social Hour: 6:00 PM – Dinner: 7:00 PM
Menu: Tri-tip & Chicken Marsala - Buffet
Price: $50.00 includes, tax, tip, & gift
Reservations: (818)368-3568

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Pico-Union District

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 |

On Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 12:55 PM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Vidovich responded to a Structure Fire at 1866 W. 11th St. in the Pico - Union area.

Fire Department resources responded quickly to a reported structure fire in an apartment complex. First arriving units saw 1 apartment on the second floor with heavy smoke and fire showing. Additional recon of the fire building indicated the exposed 2 story apartment building to the east was also showing fire and smoke. The incident was quickly upgraded to a greater alarm structure fire.

With 75 fire personnel on-scene, utilizing swift roof ventilation and skillful use of handlines, the fire was knocked down in 21 minutes. As a result of fire and water damage, three apartments were condemned to habitation. The Red Cross was notified to assist in providing temporary placement assistance to the 5 adults and 1 child that were displaced.

Two patients from an adjoining apartment, a 68 year old male and 59 year old female, were treated and transported to area hospitals for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported to civilians or firefighters.

The total estimated dollar loss for both structures resulting from the fire is $100,000: the fire building $83,000 ($75,000 structure & $8,000 contents), the exposure $17,000 ($15,000 structure & $2,000 contents). The cause was determined to be electrical. Following extinguishment, Firefighters worked for several hours with salvage operations and water removal.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Tujunga Kitchen Fire Leaves Families Homeless

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 |

On Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 7:08 PM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 48 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 10165 Pinewood Street in Tujunga.

Firefighters arrived quickly at a three story apartment building (two occupied floors over parking) to discover light smoke showing from one unit on the second floor.

Though the stove fire they discovered was soon extinguished, the flames had extended into a ventilation duct and the walls of the wood-frame and stucco 14-unit building, creating a stubborn blaze in remote recesses of the 10,224 square-foot structure.

Swift rooftop ventilation and the skillful use of handlines soon channeled the flames vertically, allowing Firefighters to severely limit fire spread. The fire was controlled in just 51 minutes, with damage confined inside the apartment of origin, an adjacent unit and two units with their common attic directly above.

There were no injuries.

As a result of fire damage and the need to secure utilities, as many as a dozen persons were referred to the American Red Cross for temporary placement assistance.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $350,000 ($250,000 structure & $100,000 contents). The cause of this early evening blaze is attributed to cooking and characterized as accidental.

(local message board with photos)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Claims Life in South Los Angeles


On Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 2:19 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 36 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Acting Battalion Chief Craig Mittry, responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 10924 South Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke and fire showing from the upper floor of a ten-unit two-story garden style apartment building. As their colleagues made their way to the roof to perform essential vertical ventilation, Firefighters forced entry through a security screen door to find heavy fire in the apartment's one bedroom.

During search efforts that took place during a tenacious attack on the fire, Firefighters discovered a 72 year-old male in the burning bedroom. Without vital signs of life and having sustained severe burn injury, he was declared deceased at the scene.

The flames were briskly confined within the unit of fire origin in the northeast corner of the building, and extinguished in less than ten minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

Hardwired smoke alarms within the apartment had been tested within the past month by building management, and the devices were deemed functional at the time of the blaze. The building was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

While there were no obvious physical factors to have impaired the man's egress, poor housekeeping was believed to have led to rapid fire spread.

Monetary loss from the fire was limited to $18,000 ($10,000 structure & $8,000 contents).

A positive identity of the deceased man, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

Though the man's smoking habit remains a concern of Investigators, the specific cause of the blaze is under investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighters Congratulate Chicago Olympic Bid

Saturday, April 14, 2007 |

With official word earlier today from the United States Olympic Committee that Chicago, Illinois will be the applicant city for the 2016 Olympic Games, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department extend their heartiest congratulations to the Windy City, wishing them well in the final competition for hosting the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.

While there is much speculation as to which nation will ultimately be announced as host, there is no doubt in our minds that the Chicago Fire Department is superbly capable of supporting the many needs of Olympians and Olympic guests in their fine City.

Again Chicago, congratulations and best wishes!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Behind the Scenes at 9-1-1: Through Nedra's Eyes


At a recent gathering, we were pleased to meet others who share our enthusiasm for Nedra Kline Weinreich's popular Spare Change blog.

As an authority on social marketing and a local resident, Nedra is a both a mentor and friend to members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who share her unbridled enthusiasm for keeping our communities healthy and safe.

It was therefore a profound honor to host Ms. Weinreich for a recent tour of LAFD's 9-1-1 Dispatch Center... and in keeping with the spirit of this week, we are pleased to share a glimpse behind the scenes of 9-1-1 through Nedra's eyes.

Nedra Kline Weinreich visits LAFD Dispatch. Click to learn more...

"There are some things I take for granted. One of those is that if, God forbid, I should ever have to call 911, there will be someone on the other end to help. I never thought much beyond that, other than that somehow my information would be conveyed and an ambulance or fire truck would magically appear at my doorstep. Thanks to the very kind invitation of Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department, last week I got to see firsthand what actually happens at the LAFD dispatch center..." (more...)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Saluting our Dispatchers

Friday, April 13, 2007 |

Saluting those who answer the call. Click to learn more...On most days, they're the last people you want to talk to. However, when things go wrong - even terribly wrong, their mere presence on the phone can drop your pulse rate by 50 beats while assuring help is on the way.

We are of course, speaking of 'Public Safety Telecommunicators', or in normal citizen speak: the folks who answer your 9-1-1 call and coordinate the timely response of law enforcement, fire fighting and emergency medical service personnel.

April 8-14, 2007 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

While their effort assisting 9-1-1 callers is largely known, you may not be familiar with other aspects of their work. An essential task - or should we call it multi-task, is accounting for many emergency responders at any given moment.


In the City of Los Angeles, the duty of answering calls and coordinating those responding to Fire Department emergencies falls upon a small cadre of specially trained Firefighters who staff the LAFD Operations Control Dispatch Section (OCD).

As veteran rescuers trained in the actual control of emergencies, their "virtual presence" is an asset not only to 9-1-1 callers, but also to their fellow Firefighters - who respond to emergencies within our City an average of 1,996 times each day.


Thursday's wildfire in Beverly Hills was by no means a monumental incident, yet it and other wind-driven events placed a significant burden upon the four individual Firefighter/Dispatchers at OCD who alone controlled two very busy hours of radio traffic in protecting the more than 4 million residents of Los Angeles while dispatching - and controlling on average, one new incident every 15 seconds.

Hearing is Believing...

To give you some idea of their task, we have created a series of unedited multi-channel recordings of LAFD Control and Tactical radio frequencies that were being actively controlled and monitored by these four Firefighters during yesterday's fire.

We think these authentic, overlapping in real-time recordings speak loudly of the devotion and capabilities of the LAFD Firefighter/Dispatchers assigned to OCD. Please have a listen, we think you'll agree:

The First 30 Minutes
The First 30 Minutes - Click To Play

The Next 20 Minutes
The Next 20 Minutes - Click To Play

The Next 50 Minutes
The Next 50 Minutes - Click To Play

Please join us then in saluting the men and women of OCD and all who 'Answer The Call'. To learn more about National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, please visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The LAFD: Proud To Get People 'Venting'


Ask any Firefighter you know, and you'll hear the same thing: personal and household safety is a challenging issue for us to discuss. Whether speaking with friends, family - or those we proudly serve, precious little will empty a room quicker than us raising the topic of safety.

Therefore how happy we are to see that our LAFD News & Information blog, as well as its legacy companion LAFD E-News, have people 'venting' - or at least talking about it...;act=ST;f=28;t=26648

And since many of you have asked...

We welcome you to share our posts with your friends and family, and to use them as a source for news articles and newsletters in your workplace, school or community. When and where it seems appropriate, a link to our blog or a simple attribution to your friends at the 'Los Angeles Fire Department' or 'LAFD' is certainly appreciated!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Brush Fire Damages Three Homes in Beverly Hills


On Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 1:00 PM, 29 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 5 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 9 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 2 Dozers, 5 Brush Patrols, 1 Command Post Vehicle, a variety of support staff including 11 LAFD CERT Team Members, and Fire Companies from L.A. County, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Beverly Hills all under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire near Beverly Dr. and Hillcrest Dr. in the City of Beverly Hills near the City of Los Angeles border.

Predicted high wind conditions prompted LAFD officials to pre-deploy additional Firefighters and apparatus to various areas of the City. These resources are then used to augment the initial assignment dispatched to reported fires, thereby giving the Incident Commander a greater Firefighting force immediately upon arriving on scene.

At 1:00 PM, a Beverly Hills Fire Company notified the LAFD Dispatch Center that they were on scene of a two-acre brush fire that was burning into the City of Los Angeles. A full brush assignment, including 3 water dropping helicopters, was immediately dispatched to the incident. Upon arrival of LAFD Firefighters, the Incident Command System was implemented and Firefighters were assigned to provide structure protection to homes threatened by the fire and begin attacking the fire in an effort to prevent it's spread into adjacent homes.

High winds, in excess of 50 Miles Per Hour, drove the fire through the dry brush with lightning speed. Firefighters from L. A. County, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Culver City, pelted with wind driven embers, stood side-by-side with Los Angles Firefighters providing a human shield protecting the residents and their belongings from a potential disaster.

The wind driven embers spreading throughout the community, ignited the roofs of 3 large homes causing extensive damage to two of them and moderate damage to one. None of the burned homes were threatened directly by the fire, however, all three homes were clad with wood shake roofs allowing the embers to embed and ignite the homes, causing extensive damage.

All three homes were located within the city of Beverly Hills.

In all, over 200 Firefighters worked for more than 4 hours protecting the community in an effort to gain control and extinguish the fire. The fire was limited to approximately 15 acres. Firefighters remained in place throughout the night overhauling the homes, extinguishing hot spots, and patrolling the area for flare-ups.

As this conflagration was unfolding, LAFD Firefighter Dispatchers were also faced with managing a significant increase in wind related calls, including at least six other structure and brush fires. Additional LAFD dispatch consoles were activated by off-watch personnel thereby doubling the dispatch center staff.

For 3 hours, LAFD dispatchers answered 9-1-1 calls for help, managing hundreds of resources committed to emergency incidents, all while dispatching Fire Department units to an average of one emergency incident every 15 seconds.

The Command Staff at the Operations Control Dispatch Center monitor all Radio traffic for incidents in progress. Due to the intense the call load, and multitude of large scale incidents, monitoring all radio traffic became a daunting task. Fortunately, due to the training and field experience of the Firefighter/Paramedic Dispatchers and Command Staff, all calls for help were appropriately triaged and resources allocated to effectively manage these incidents.

The cause of the fire was determined to be wires downed in the wind which ignited the brush. The dollar loss is still being tabulated and will be assessed by the Beverly Hills Fire Department. No injuries were reported during this incident. Over two-hundred residents were evacuated for their safety and to allow Firefighters the opportunity to safely conduct firefighting operations.


Dispatch and Tac Channels - First 30 Minutes, The Next 20 minutes, The Next 50 Minutes
(All incidents in progress.)

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD: Our Future Can Be Seen in Oroville

Sunday, April 08, 2007 |

We applaud the effort of young men and women who aspire to join our vocation, as well as those of off-duty Los Angeles Firefighters such as Captain Eric Verwey, who devote countless hours each year to making dreams come true...

Feet to the fire
Next generation of firefighters train in Oroville

by Chelsey Shoop
Paradise Post

When firefighters rush into a burning building the flames get so hot human flesh can boil, air is so thick a person can choke and the pressure to save someone's life can be overwhelming. The California Fire Explorer Academy exists to train firefighters to ignore the heat, breathe air from a tank and stay cool under pressure.

Butte County Fire Department/Cal-Fire hosted the 33rd annual academy this year and trained men and women from ages 16 to 20 to become firefighters. Instead of camping out with friends, honing their "Halo" video game skills or watching movies, the cadets spent their spring vacation at the camp.

Their days began at 5 a.m. with a workout, then on to breakfast and a day of training. Around 10 p.m. cadets returned to their home, a cot in the gymnasium of Oroville High School... (more...)

If you know someone interested in the LAFD Fire Explorer program or becoming a Firefighter, please encourage them to visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

America's Heroes 'Whistle Stop Tour' Comes to L.A.

Friday, April 06, 2007 |

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Click to learn more...On behalf of all fallen Firefighters, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has launched a 20 city Whistle-Stop Tour that will visit Los Angeles this week, and you are invited!

The Whistle-Stop Tour highlights the "Courage to Stay Safe – So Everyone Goes Home" program. The tour's objective is to raise public awareness of Firefighter safety, as well as to educate Firefighters on the 16 Firefighter Life-Safety Initiatives that are the building blocks of the program.

The Foundation's goal is to reduce the number of Firefighter line of duty deaths by 50% within 5 years. The tour started in San Francisco this past Thursday and will conclude on Saturday, May 12th in Boston.

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department are deeply honored to host the tour this Monday, April 9, 2007 at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum, home to the Los Angeles Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

A very special honor for the men and women of the LAFD will be public comments offered by Helen Reiner Worthen, the mother of Eric Reiner, a Los Angeles Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic who died in the line of duty in March 1998.

All members of the community are warmly welcomed to join Firefighters and their families at the morning event:

Monday, April 9, 2007
10:00 AM to Noon
Los Angeles Fire Department Museum
1355 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028 USA

Following the morning public event, there will be an afternoon training symposium exclusively for Firefighters.

For additional information regarding the Whistle-Stop Tour:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Educators Plan a Productive 'Spring Break'


Click to learn more about School Emergency PreparednessWith many schools on 'Spring Break', you might think that teachers in your community are merely enjoying a holiday.

While a brief respite from the classroom is not only welcome but necessary, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are pleased to learn that many educators are using this week to focus on school emergency preparedness.

Along with preparing their own homes and families with such tools as the popular LAFD Emergency Preparedness booklet, teachers and school administrators are making good use of workplace preparedness resources from the U.S. Department of Education.

If you are an educator, administrator - or a concerned parent, please be certain that those teaching in your community are aware of:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Hazmat Investigation Follows South Los Angeles Fire

Sunday, April 01, 2007 |

On Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 10:16 PM, 17 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Emergency Breathing Air Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 116 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 6510 Stanford Avenue in South Los Angeles.

Firefighters responded quickly to a vague report of smoke to discover heavy fire burning between two commercial structures in an industrial neighborhood.

With a large volume of flames already entering a remote and difficult to access one-story metal clad structure on Firefighters arrival, fire was through the composition wood roof of the 50' x 300' building as they extended handlines to do well-coordinated battle.

The miscellaneous rubbish and flammable storage within 'Acme Felt Works' offered an intense fire load as Firefighters skillfully used a combination of 1.75" and 2.5" hoselines to quench the flames, limiting the bulk of fire damage to the south end of the building.

Though flames threatened an exposed commercial building to the north, Firefighters made their way inside the one-story building to successfully protect the structure and the large quantity of baled goods within from catching fire.

The flames were extinguished in just 52 minutes, and there were no injuries.

During fire attack, the uncharacteristic presence of hazardous materials was noted at the site, and location subsequently came under the joint scientific scrutiny of LAFD and LAPD HazMat experts, mandating the response of Los Angeles County Fire Department Health Hazardous Materials Division personnel.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $500,000 ($400,000 structure & $100,000 contents). The cause of the blaze remains under active joint investigation by Fire and Police Department officials.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Traffic Collision Imperils Convalescent Home Patients


On Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 9:44 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 11 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 EMS Battalion Captains and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 57 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a Medical Facility Assistance Call at 7660 Wyngate Street in Tujunga.

Firefighters had responded more than an hour earlier to a non-injury traffic collision in the immediate neighborhood, at which a utility pole was struck by a passing vehicle, causing a localized power outage.

As City Department of Water and Power (LADWP) personnel attended to the electrical wires downed in the earlier incident, Firefighters were summoned to the nearby Wyngate Manor, a skilled nursing facility, which had been operating on emergency power due to the outage.

Hospital staff, who described 23 ventilator dependent patients on the premises, reported the on-site primary generator to be non-functional, and their backup generator ineffective at fully supporting the nearly two dozen patients in full-time need of respiratory assistance.

Neighborhood Firefighters quickly established liaison with hospital staff and following their brisk evaluation of needs, summoned additional LAFD personnel to the scene.

With regional hospital coordination underway, LADWP personnel arrived and immediately began working with hospital staff to restore primary generator operation. Their efforts proved successful, and at 10:16 PM full backup power - sufficient to support all patient ventilators was returned to the facility.

It should be noted that while the prompt LAFD response was both prudent and necessary, the individual patient ventilators were determined to have as much as four hours of independent reserve battery power each.

With power restored, another thorough assessment of patient needs was undertaken. With no patient found to be in acute distress, all Fire Department resources were released without need for hospital transport.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the collision that led to the power outage. LADWP crews continued to work diligently to restore electrical power to the neighborhood as Firefighters departed the scene.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Stepping Forward: The Next Fire Chief of Los Angeles


Do you have what it takes to be the Fire Chief of the City of Los Angeles? If you or someone you know is interested in competing for this most challenging position, we welcome you to click here or contact Waters-Oldani Executive Consulting.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

New Concerns about Dihydrogen Monoxide in Los Angeles


Click to learn more about DHMOAmbient levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide in Los Angeles is causing concern today among Los Angeles Firefighters, who want to make sure that residents are aware of their concerns.

Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the unstable radical Hydroxide, the components of which are found in a number of compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.

Why haven't you heard about Dihydrogen Monoxide before?

Historically, the dangers of DHMO have been considered minor and manageable. While the more significant dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide are currently addressed by a number of agencies including FDA, FEMA and CDC, public awareness of Dihydrogen Monoxide is lower than many of us think it should be.

The LAFD News & Information blog staff encourage you to learn more today by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department