Your Extension Cord: a Tool or a Weapon?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 |

Electrical CordAn extension cord. It can be a handy, temporary way to place electrical equipment wherever you'd like it. But when used improperly, extension cords can cause fire, injury - even death.

This month, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department join the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in asking you to be alert to the hazards of inappropriate extension cord use.

Is there really a danger?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year, about 4,000 injuries associated with electric extension cords are treated in hospital emergency rooms.

About half of the injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains from people tripping.

Thirteen percent of the injuries involve children under five years of age; electrical burns to the mouth accounted for half the injuries to young children.

CPSC also estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others.

The most frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading, damage, and/or misuse of extension cords.

To reduce the likelihood of electrocution or fire:

  • Use extension cords only when necessary and only on a temporary basis.

  • Do not run extension cords under rugs, near water or where they may become a tripping, electrocution or fire hazard.

  • Do not staple extension cords in place or suspend them with nails.

  • In locations where furniture or beds may be pushed against an extension cord where the cord joins the plug, use a special "angle extension cord" specifically designed for use in these instances.

  • When using outdoor tools and appliances, use only extension cords labeled for outdoor use.

  • Use polarized extension cords with polarized appliances.

  • Insert plugs fully so that no part of the prongs are exposed when the extension cord is in use.

  • Replace cracked or worn extension cords with new heavy duty #16 gauge cords that have the listing of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, safety closures, and other safety features.

The LAFD reminds you: use extension cords safely - your life may depend on it! For a free extension cord checklist, visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ammonia Leak at Nestle Hot Pockets Processing Plant

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 |

On Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 10:06 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, DOT, L.A. County Health and an LAPD Haz Mat unit all under the direction of Assistant Chief Timothy Manning responded to a HAZ MAT incident at 9601 N. Canoga Av. in the Chatsworth area.

Los Angeles Firefighters, responding to a reported Hazardous Materials incident at the Nestle's Hot Pockets processing plant, found the 240 facility employees self evacuating. Fire personnel assumed control of the evacuation in preparation of any medical assistance that may be needed. One 36 year old male was transported to an area hospital complaining of abdominal pain and nausea.

The scene Facility Engineer advised Fire Department personnel that the internal Emergency Service team was assessing the situation. The leak, in the 60,000 gallon ammonia refrigerant system, was isolated and all valves were closed in anticipation of administering a patching system. Utilizing atmospheric monitoring devices, the levels were recorded between 200 and 500 parts-per-million (ppm). Canoga Avenue was shut down in both directions for safety. The Incident Commander opted to shelter surrounding occupants in place, rather than issuing evacuation orders as winds were not a factor at 2 mph. The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department assisted in the ventilation of the building, reducing the toxic concentration to acceptable levels in order for the employees to rehouse. Business operations were shut down for the remainder of the day to facilitate the repair.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Swiftly Tackle Tujunga Brush Fire

Sunday, May 27, 2007 |

On Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 3:30 PM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 LAFD Brush Patrol, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 88 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, responded to a Greater Alarm Brush Fire near 10021 Amanita Avenue in Tujunga.

Because the site was in a Mutual Threat Zone, the aforementioned LAFD responders were joined in Automatic Aid by the Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena Fire Departments, as well as Angeles National Forest Firefighters and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, with all personnel operating under Unified Command.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived first in a period of High Fire Danger to find as much as one acre of medium-to-heavy brush ablaze, being fanned by light winds and threatening several homes.

The first arriving Firefighters quickly anchored the flames of the terrain-driven blaze and were joined by their ground-based colleagues in flanking the fire. Fire Department helicopters soon thereafter commenced a synchronous barrage of water and foam drops to stem the head of the fire before any structures were damaged.

This swift and well-practiced multi-agency effort of more than 100 Firefighters on the ground and in the air limited the fire to two acres.

The blaze was extinguished in less than 48 minutes, and an overhaul of the rolling terrain was subsequently accomplished by four Los Angeles County Fire Department handcrews promptly and proactively dispatched to the scene.

There were no injuries or formal evacuations.

The cause of this fire remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Destroys Dozens of Cars and Vacant Building in Atwater Village


Fire destroys vacant building and dozens of cars in Atwater Village. © Photo by Mike MeadowsOn Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 2:21 PM, 23 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 147 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at a new car storage yard near 4602 Brazil Street in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles.

The aforementioned LAFD personnel were joined in Automatic Aid by 5 Engine Companies, 1 Truck Company and a Battalion Chief from the neighboring Glendale Fire Department, and 1 Battalion Chief from the nearby Burbank Fire Department. All responders operated under the Unified Command of LAFD Assistant Chief Terrance Manning and Glendale Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Doyle.

Fire destroys vacant building and dozens of cars in Atwater Village. © Photo by Mike MeadowsFirst to arrive Los Angeles Firefighters quickly navigated the remote portion of an industrial district to discover a vacant and aging one-story 50' x 100' commercial structure fully involved, with flames extending to vegetation, rubbish and densely stored new vehicles nearby.

In a well-coordinated defensive operation, master hose streams were swiftly focused on the decrepit wooden structure, as flames fanned by 10 mile-per-hour winds took hold of unkempt and highly flammable vegetation, including palm trees as much as a quarter-mile away.

The wind-driven embers drove fire north and east to the Los Angeles River, as teams of Firefighters worked multiple handlines on the distant flames, paying close heed to a busy adjacent railroad and high-voltage electrical lines above portions of the fire.

Simultaneously, their colleagues sought to prevent rapid fire spread among dozens of closely parked vehicles stored bumper-to-bumper near the burning building.

Fire destroys vacant building and dozens of cars in Atwater Village. © Photo by Mike MeadowsWeakened by the blaze, the ramshackle structure collapsed as a total loss. Despite the efforts of Firefighters, a total of 53 new passenger vehicles, including several sedans destined for livery service, were damaged or destroyed by fire.

During the intense battle against the flames, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained a sizeable laceration to his left hand. He was transported in good condition to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was treated and released to remain off-duty.

No other injuries were reported.

Firefighter/Heavy Equipment Operators from the LAFD Tractor Company assisted with the prolonged overhaul of smoldering debris.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. Though witnesses place fire origin in close proximity to the vacant structure, the specific cause of the blaze remains categorized as "under investigation".

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Major Emergency Structure Fire on Chatsworth Strip Mall


On Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 2:32 AM, 16 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Group, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, Emergency Air, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 21000 W. Devonshire St. in the Chatsworth/Northridge area.

Firefighters responding from their nearby fire station, arrived on scene of a 75' x 75' two story strip mall, the Devonshire Center Complex, with one unit on the second floor well involved. With a major concern for the other occupancies in the strip mall, firefighters began an aggressive and well coordinated defensive attack with handlines, vertical ventilation and salvage to the occupancies located on the lower level.

During firefighting operations, fire traveled through the mansard and attic spaces, weakening a portion of the roof and contributed to a partial roof failure and a part of the mansard collapsed. Firefighter safety was a major concern with the weakened roof which supported 4 large air conditioning units.

With firefighters deployed to the occupancies on each side of the fire unit, the fire was held to the unit of origin and the adjoining occupancies experienced some smoke and water damage. The occupancy located directly underneath the fire occupancy experienced water damage.

It took 80 men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department approximately 45 minutes to confirm a knockdown. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. The preliminary dollar loss is estimated at $250,000. There were no reported injuries.

This was the last shift for Assistant Chief James. What a way to go out, with a Major Emergency Structure fire. Enjoy your retirement.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Selected Areas of Griffith Park Open for the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Saturday, May 26, 2007 |

Mayor Villariagosa and Councilman Tom Labonge, announced today in a press conference, the re-opening of several sections of Griffith Park in time for the holiday weekend. There is also a plan in the works to aggressively restore the historic park to renewed beauty with the help of a $50 million makeover. Griffith Park suffered a significant loss to its lush vegetation in the May 8, 2007 brush fire that consumed 800 acres. The restoration project, a three-year plan, includes stabilizing slopes, repairing facilities, replanting native California vegetation, repairing the flood control system, trails, and roads.

Sections planned to reopen Saturday, May 26, 2007, Memorial Day weekend:

• Bicycle rentals
• the Merry-go-round
• the Mineral Wells and the Park Center Picnic Areas
• Shane's Inspiration
• the Trails Cafe
• the Upper Fern Dell Area
• the Oak Canyon, lower Skyline and Rattlesnake Trails, and
• Amir's Garden

Smoking, barbecues, portable stoves and all open flames remain banned in all areas of the park, including picnic areas.


Daily News)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Chicken + Duct Tape = Reggie

Thursday, May 24, 2007 |

On Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 3:27 PM, 2 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, Park Rangers, Animal Regulation, Rec and Parks, Fish and Game and Councilwoman Janice Hahn, all responded to an Animal Assist at 25820 S. Vermont Av. in the Harbor City area.

Apparently, an Alligator had been seen sunbathing in a cordoned off area of the Ken Mallory Regional Park over the last three weeks. The "gator" had no intentions of leaving this "well catered" area, today, dining on a whole chicken. Joggers found the "gator" sunning after the exquisite meal, and put in a call to the office of Janice Hahn. Councilwoman Hahn just happened to be meeting with representatives from the Zoo, Animal Regulation and Rec and Parks, discussing the possible capture of "Reggie" the following week! Meeting adjourned! A 911 call was made for the "experts."

All was a buzz at the OCD Dispatch Center after receiving the 911 call to "assist Animal Regulation in the capture of an alligator." Once on scene, Fire Department resources observed two Park Rangers trying to subdue a very large alligator. Calling for the use of technical equipment, a roll of duct tape, the animals snout and tail were secured, much to his disapproval. With much hissing, most likely upset for leaving the other half of that chicken, the "gator" was packaged up utilizing the durable plastic SKED stretcher, part of the SKED rescue system for confined space or technical rescues. Fire personnel facilitated the transport of the alligator to the Animal Regulation vehicle, which then transported him to the L.A. Zoo. Having reached Rock Star status, "Reggie" arrived at the L.A. Zoo, complete with cheering section and entourage.

Who needs "alligator wranglers" and so called "gator experts" to capture "Reggie" when you have the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department and also save a couple bucks! September 2005 was the last incident of an alligator captured in the flood control channel in the same area by Machado Lake.

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Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Rescue Pair Trapped in NoHo Trench

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 |

LAFD crews rescue trapped worker. © Photo by Mike MeadowsOn Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 3:07 PM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, the LAFD Tractor Company, Medical Director and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 89 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West, responded to a Trench Rescue at 11000 Oxnard Street in North Hollywood.

Firefighters arrived quickly at the southwest corner of Oxnard Street and Vineland Avenue to find and assist Los Angeles Police Officers in their successful rope rescue of the first of two men trapped at a barren 100' x 250' commercial construction site.

The men had apparently been working in conjunction with a backhoe to create a 6' wide x 20' long x 15' deep excavation in soft and sandy soil to accommodate structural steel support.

It was not immediately evident how, when or why the trapped pair had entered the trench, or why the soil gave way.

Police Officers preceded Firefighters when they were erroneously summoned to investigate a disturbance involving "men with shovels" at the construction site, only to discover a half-dozen or more adult males franticly working to save their co-workers.

The 22 year-old worker first pulled free with the worksite rope had been only lightly trapped - and though clearly shaken, had no obvious injuries. He was transported by LAFD ambulance in good condition to the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

As specialized LAFD resources amassed from across the City, Neighborhood Firefighters established voice and soon thereafter physical contact with a 40 year-old male, who was initially trapped to his shoulders.

The man was conscious but agitated, trapped more than a dozen feet below ground level in a nearly upright position, as Firefighters quickly went to work.

The nearby major street was closed to all vehicle traffic and additional LAFD crews staged at a distance as a perimeter was secured to minimize vibration and soil movement.

LAFD crews rescue trapped worker. © Photo by Mike MeadowsWith trench edge protection and speed shoring of dimensional lumber and plywood quickly applied, Firefighters began initial confined space operations, working at first with the men's co-workers to remove soil with shovels from the western perimeter, and then in a strategic fashion, used hand tools to remove the first of hundreds of pounds of loose, sandy soil from near the victim's upper body.

A rescue harness and firefighter helmet were placed on the man, and an oxygen mask applied, as confined-space trained Firefighter/Paramedics established an intravenous line. A full complement of LAFD Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) personnel were soon on scene to allow for scheduled rotation of staff and equipment.

Firefighters skillfully used a high-velocity pneumatic hand held 'Air Knife' tool attached to a soil vacuum to move small volumes of dirt away in a surgical fashion, and later hastened those efforts with a mobile vacuum truck supplied by the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

The man was freed, and gently hoisted to ground level by an LAFD aerial ladder a little more than 90 minutes after his ordeal began.

In fair condition with no obvious injuries, he was transported by LAFD ambulance to the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

No other injuries were reported.

Questions regarding the presence, need or injured men's use of safety equipment and approved worksite procedures remain within the purview of Cal-OSHA officials.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media Staff Say Farewell To Mentor and Friend


During our daily search across the blogosphere (via RSS Feeds), we were saddened to read an entry by Rachel Uranga at the popular 'It's a Crime' blog:

"For about two and a half years, Lt. Paul Vernon has been the media's go-to man at Parker Center. His last day as an official LAPD spokesman is Friday. He is being transferred... (more...)"

During his tenure at Parker Center, Lieutenant Vernon has been both a friend and mentor to his Fire Department media relations colleagues. Thanks Paul, for being a standard bearer in our profession, and best wishes in your new assignment.

Your comments can be offered here...

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Blaze Erupts at Catholic High School in Los Angeles


On Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 2:35 PM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 2 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, a total of 96 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief John Vidovich, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1901 Venice Boulevard in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles.

Alerted via an automatic fire alarm, Firefighters arrived quickly to discover smoke showing from the top floor of the U-shaped three-story Ruppert Hall administration building at Loyola High School.

Though occupants had self-evacuated in response to the audible fire alarm and staff direction at the Catholic Jesuit preparatory school, Firefighters launched systematic search and salvage efforts on all floors in the northwest wing of the structure, as their colleagues extended handlines to do battle with well-entrenched fire in a third floor office that was not directly protected by fire sprinklers.

The flames, held in check by the fire sprinklers in an adjacent hallway, were skilfully confined to the room of origin by Firefighters, who fully extinguished the blaze in just 17 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Swift and well-coordinated salvage efforts in a second floor library as well as a hallway and two rooms on the third floor, limited fire and collateral damage to only $145,000 ($125,000 structure & $20,000 contents).

The cause of the fire is categorized as accidental, and attributed to a candle toppled by a Priest.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Catastrophic Incident Averted Off-Loading Liquid Oxygen


On Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 12:07 AM, 20 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, DOT and LAPD all under the direction of Battalion Chief Jack Wise responded to a Fire at 16237 W . Ventura Bl. in the Encino Hills area.

Responding to an early morning 911 call of a reported structure fire at Encino Hospital, Fire Department resources arrived on scene to find a tanker truck which had been in the process of off-loading liquid oxygen, with fire in the transfer equipment area. The quick action of the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department in extinguishing the fire in 15 minutes, averted compromising the integrity of the tanker which would have caused a catastrophic incident. The tanker was loaded with approximately 560,000 cubic feet of the liquified gas.

With a quick knockdown on the fire, the incident was quickly downgraded. With information provided by the driver, the valves to the tanker pump area were shut down. Further investigation of the incident utilizing Squad 70, found that the tanker was still leaking due to damaged hoses. A need to have the remainder of the gas off-loaded was considered.

The manufacturer was contacted and requested assistance in stabilizing the tanker leak, loading the rig onto a flatbed and transporting to Woodley Park. Once all electrical ignition sources were shut down and the tanker deemed safe, agency cooperation commenced.

No injuries were reported, and no evacuation was called. Ventura Boulevard will be shut down during Fire Department operations.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Bus vs Auto in Leimert Park Leaves 14 injured, 2 listed Critical

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 |

On Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 11:38 PM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, DOT, DWP, Building & Safety Inspector, LAPD and the Sheriff's all under the direction of Battalion Chief Craig Yoder responded to a Multi-Casualty TA at 4024 S. Arlington Av. in the Leimert Park Area.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a late night incident and arrived on the scene of a multi-patient traffic accident involving a bus and a small sedan. A quick and thorough assessment using the START system of triage, found 14 patients, 2 were listed in critical condition. The Medical Alert Center was alerted of the multi-patient transport possibility.

The two critical female patients in the small sedan, (1) pregnant passenger approximately 30 years old and the driver approximately 20 years old, were "T-boned" by the bus causing severe passenger space intrusion and totaling the vehicle. Both women had utilized seat belts and the vehicle's air bags were deployed, possibly saving their lives.

The remaining patients were onboard the bus, sustaining minor injuries and transported to several area hospitals.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police and the L.A. County Sheriff's office.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

One Dead, One Injured in Pacoima Car-Train Collision

Monday, May 21, 2007 |

LAPD Detectives Survey the Crash Scene. © Photo by Michael CorralOn Monday, May 21, 2007 at 12:08 PM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 40 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva responded to a Train vs. Vehicle Collision near 9800 San Fernando Road in Pacoima.

The Lancaster-bound Metrolink commuter train was unable to stop before striking a silver station wagon, which was inexplicably fouling the track at the time of the collision.

An adult male occupant of the station wagon, apparently attempting to exit the vehicle, was ejected or struck by that car following the impact. He sustained traumatic injuries incompatible with life, and was declared deceased at the scene.

A 24 year-old female occupant of the station wagon was briefly trapped in the wreckage before being rescued by Firefighters, who used hydraulic prying tools to free her. She was transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in serious but stable condition.

The train remained on the tracks, and no other injuries were reported.

The cause of this incident remains under investigation by Los Angeles Police Officers and Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputies, who provide contract policing services to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.

A positive identification of the decedent, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'Benefit For Our Bravest' Street Fair in Sherman Oaks

Friday, May 18, 2007 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department welcome you to join them in Sherman Oaks on Saturday, May 19, 2007 from Noon to 6:00 PM for the 7th annual Benefit For Our Bravest Street Fair.

Benefit For Our Bravest. Click for more information...

- Food Prepared by Firefighters - and the Valley Inn
- Fire Truck Rides, Games and Music for the Entire Family
- USO Style Concert
- Singers, Dancers, Entertainers
- Silent and Live Auctions
- Bake Sale
- Arts and Crafts
- Kid's Zone
- Fire, Rescue and Emergency Apparatus on Display

Admission to 'Benefit For Our Bravest' is FREE!

...this year, Benefit For Our Bravest will not only support Neighborhood Firefighters in the San Fernando Valley, but also their heroes: the men and women of our Armed Forces!

All proceeds from this charitable Street Fair directly benefit the Adopt-A-Fire Station program in LAFD Division 3, which serves the San Fernando Valley, as well as Operation Gratitude, which ships patriotic care packages to those in uniform serving in hostile regions overseas.

So please join us this Saturday afternoon on Sherman Oaks Avenue at Ventura Boulevard (just west of the 405 Freeway) in Sherman Oaks.

Self-Parking for only $1.00 is available at the 'Sherman Oaks Galleria'. Bring your ticket to event for validation!

We salute the community-minded companies and organizations, including our friends at the Valley Inn Restaurant who actively support this annual event. To learn more about the fun we will have on Saturday, please visit:

We'll see you Saturday afternoon! Don't forget your camera!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

California Fire Fighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee Recruitment Expo 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 |

The May 12, 2007 Recruitment Fair, sponsored by the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFF-JAC) at the City of Orange CPAT testing site, was a huge success. This unique endeavor provided 20 Southern California Fire Departments the opportunity to set up recruitment booths and provide much needed information to potential candidates seeking employment. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has been involved with the Women's Commission since its inception.

Over 200 attendees were able to view a DVD of “A Day in the Life of a Firefighter” provided the CFF-JAC media center, have a hands-on orientation of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), have questions answered by front line Firefighters and lunch was provided by the Orange CPAT staff. The first 100 candidates received free CPAT T-shirts.

The LAFD and the Commission, invite all candidates in the Northern California area to attend the Recruitment Fair at the Dublin CPAT site:

Saturday, May 19, 2007
10 AM - 4 PM
Northern California CPAT Center
6723 Sierra Court, Suite G.
Dublin, CA 94568

For those with questions regarding the LAFD participation at the above event, please contact the LAFD Recruitment Unit at 213-485-8032 or email the or phone at (916) 648-1717.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Roof Work Spurs North Hollywood Office Evacuation

Monday, May 14, 2007 |

6400 Coldwater Canyon Blvd. © Photo by Michael CorralOn Monday, May 14, 2007 at 2:05 PM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 10 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Task Force, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 73 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Acting Assistant Chief Jeffrey Marcus responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 6400 Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood.

Responding to reports of one or more persons ill in a six-story office building, Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly at the northeast corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Victory Boulevard to discover dozens of occupants leaving the structure unaided in a calm and orderly fashion.

Firefighters promptly took control of occupant egress, guiding evacuees toward a parking lot to the north and preparing to isolate symptomatic persons.

Systematically queried by Firefighters, none of the evacuees displayed priority symptoms. The few with mild respiratory irritation or nausea described their symptoms lessened upon fresh air exposure.

As Police and City Department of Transportation officials arrived to control bystanders and traffic, the building perimeter was more thoroughly assessed. It was during this assessment that a low-profile roofing operation was discovered atop the mid-rise office building.

Firefighters surmised that a work crew had been using a solvent-based sealer atop the building in preparation for roof repair, when the fumes from that product were drawn into a ventilation portal, filling the building with an acrid odor.

6400 Coldwater Canyon Blvd. © Photo by Michael CorralWith triage and medical assessment of many of the more than 150 building occupants underway, Fire Department assets, including an LAFD Hazardous Materials Task Force assembled within a perimeter, as preparations were made for decontamination and medical treatment.

Working in close consultation with the building engineer and roofing contractor, Firefighters secured the lobby and key building systems, including the stairwells and ventilation system of the modern sealed office building.

With support personnel readily staged to assist them, a highly-trained LAFD Hazardous Materials team surveyed all six floors of the building with sophisticated sensing devices, ultimately determining the odor to be from the roofing solvent.

6400 Coldwater Canyon Blvd. © Photo by Mike MeadowsAs the Haz-Mat team continued its effort, LAFD Paramedics assessed 22 adult office workers for sundry complaints, including nausea, headaches and general malaise. Of the 22, eleven - 10 in 'good' condition and 1 'fair', were transported by ambulance to area hospitals for further medical evaluation.

There were no Firefighter injuries.

Following source determination, Firefighters denied occupant reentry, sending workers home, as they labored with building officials for nearly three hours to fully ventilate fumes from the building.

Site control was soon thereafter transferred to the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Health Hazardous Materials Division and building management, who anticipated full occupant access the following day.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAX Disaster Drill Scheduled For Tuesday


On Tuesday, May 15, 2007, the Los Angeles Fire Department will be joined by more than twenty allied agencies at 'AirEx 2007', a simulated aircraft disaster at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

AirEx 2007 is a Federally mandated functional training exercise simulating a large-scale airport emergency.

During Tuesday's drill, public safety agencies may broadcast realistic sounding messages on their radio systems that simulate emergency conditions. We wish to emphasize that this event is routine scheduled training to support interagency incident management.

In the event of a real emergency at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, an official bulletin will be issued. The following news release is from our friends at Los Angeles World Airports...

Los Angeles International Airport to Test Emergency Response With Full-Scale Simulated Aircraft Disaster

Over 700 Participants Make LAX Air Exercise One of the Largest Drills Among U.S. Airports

WHAT: LAX Air Exercise (AirEx) 2007 is a full-scale, simulated
aircraft disaster drill designed to test Los Angeles
International Airport's (LAX) Emergency Response Plan.
This unrehearsed exercise is required by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) to be conducted at least
once every three years to evaluate the operational
capability of LAX's emergency management system in a
real-time, stress-filled environment in which personnel,
equipment and material are mobilized and deployed. With
more than 700 participants -- including 200 volunteers
playing mock "victims" and "family members" -- this year's
LAX air exercise is one of the largest full-scale drills
among all U.S. airports.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2007
1. Pre-exercise news conference at 11:30 a.m.
2. Full-scale air exercise from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

WHO: Pre-drill news conference speakers:
1. LAX Airport Manager Jens Rivera
2. Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Donald Austin
(Chief Austin will also provide real-time
explanation of response efforts)

More than 700 participants representing over 20
organizations, including Los Angeles Fire Department, Los
Angeles World Airports (LAX Airport Operations, LAX Airport
Police, Construction & Maintenance, Public Relations, Risk
Management, Emergency Preparedness), Los Angeles and El
Segundo Police Departments, Federal Aviation
Administration, National Transportation Safety Board,
Transportation Security Administration, American Red Cross,
United Airlines and LAN Airlines, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Los
Angeles County Emergency Preparedness and Mental Health
Departments, American Red Cross, local-area hospital
emergency rooms and medical units, ambulance services
and other mutual aid organizations, and other Southern
California airports.

WHERE: LAX Imperial Terminal/Flight Path Learning Center 6661 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles (Thomas Bros., Pg. 702, F-6)

Media will be in a viewing area on the Imperial Terminal aircraft ramp between 150-300 feet from the various AirEx activities.

MEDIA PARKING: Broadcast-equipped TV and radio vehicles ONLY may park adjacent to the viewing area in the LAX Imperial Terminal parking lot. ALL other media may park at 10700 Pershing Drive located on the west side of the airport between Imperial Highway and World Way West. LAX shuttle buses will transport on a regular basis between the parking lot and Imperial Terminal.

SCENARIO: A Boeing 747 aircraft on approach to LAX experiences failed hydraulic systems, resulting in the right main gear unable to extend for landing. The pilot declares an emergency and FAA air traffic control activates emergency procedures. Upon landing, the aircraft loses control and veers off the runway. The gear collapses and the aircraft breaks, causing catastrophic structural damage as well as an explosion. Besides many fatalities, there is widespread panic and injuries among survivors.

1. Simulated audio of FAA Air Traffic Control Tower alert
2. Pyrotechnic display to simulate crash and fire
3. Static Boeing 747 aircraft and simulated "debris field" of aircraft parts
4. Emergency responders rush to scene
5. 200 "victims" in make-up and others acting as "family members"
6. Medical triage on scene, "fatalities"
7. Injured dispatched by ambulances and helicopters
8. Airline, American Red Cross and mental health counselors executing family assistance plans and centers
9. Public information officers executing media relations and public information center

MEDIA POOLS: Ground coverage: LAX Public Relations has arranged the following media pool that will be escorted INTO the incident site during the exercise to shoot close-ups of activities at the Incident Command Post, patient triage, medical evacuation by ambulance and helicopter, airline family assistance, Joint Information Center, and other situations that may occur during the unrehearsed drill.

1. Still photography - Daily Breeze at 310-540-5511
2. Film - KABC-TV, Jay Eckstein at 818-863-7676
3. Radio - KFWB-AM, Michael Shappee at 213-305-6935

Aerial coverage: Due to fire department helicopters
simulating the medevac of victims by air and to avoid
congestion in the air, the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower
at LAX has requested media conducting aerial coverage of
the AirExercise to form a media pool.



LAX Public Relations
(310) 646-5260 or 24-hour PR Duty Officer at (310) 523-8994

L.A. Fire Department Capt. Antoine McKnight (213) 359-9415
# # #

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Unified Command Quickly Handles Major Emergency Brush Fire

Sunday, May 13, 2007 |

On Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 2:42 PM, 31 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 4 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 4 L.A. County Hand Crews and 2 Battalion Chief Officers, a Department of Forestry full brush assignment and Park Rangers all under the direction of Assistant Chief Donald Austin, responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire at 12100 W. Osborne St. in Lake View Terrace area.

The initial call into the OCD Dispatch Center was for a small grass fire in the Hanson Dam area. The first arriving resources on scene found approximately 3 - 4 acres of dense heavy brush, estimated to be at least 40 feet high, in a deep ravine fully ablaze. Evaluating the dangerous conditions presented by the 2 foot deep accumulation of duff, dead unburned vegetation, and the steepness and inaccessibility of the terrain, an aggressive aerial attack was immediately initiated to gain control of the slow moving fire.

A Unified Command was established consisting of Park Rangers, the Department of Forestry, the Los Angeles City and County Fire Departments. Osborne Street was shut down to civilian traffic and the Aquatic Center was evacuated of approximately 50 people, to enable Fire apparatus easy access to set up in the affected area.

It took 132 Firefighters, 10 Forestry and 8 L.A. County hand crews, 2 hours to call a knockdown on the 80 acre Major Emergency Brush Fire. Fire crews will standby throughout the night to assure there are no flares ups. The cause is undetermined until a complete and thorough investigation has been completed. No homes, structures or property were threatened.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mother's Day Auto vs Ped Incident Results in 2 Fatalities


On Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 7:09 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 EMS Battalion Captains and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team all under the direction of Battalion Chief Kwame Cooper responded to an Auto vs. Pedestrian at 999 W. Century Bl. in the South Los Angeles area.

Responding to a frantic 911 call forwarded through the OCD Dispatch Center, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived on the scene of a multi patient car accident, car into a bus bench. One female, 20 - 30 years old, was initially the only fatality at the scene of this incident. A quick and thorough assessment of the remaining victims, found one elderly female partially underneath the vehicle, pinned into the wrought iron fence of the auto repair business located directly behind the bus bench. The elderly patient was extricated and assessed with severe leg trauma. The two female victims were selling Mother's Day gift baskets at the time of the incident.

Also dispatched to the incident was a Los Angeles County Engine and a private ambulance, who transported the next critically injured male patient to an area trauma hospital. The extent of his injuries are unknown at this time. A family member, a 20 year old male suffered severe head trauma with agonal respirations, finally succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving at the local trauma hospital.

The two remaining males, 19 and 21 were transported with minor injuries. Century Boulevard was shut down until the completion of the Police Department investigation and the body removal by the Coroner's office.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Erupts in Sun Valley Women's Shoe Business


11684 Pendleton Street. © Photo by Chester BrownOn Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 2:07 AM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 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, a total of 98 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief John Nowell responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 11684 Pendleton Street in Sun Valley.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a neighborhood blanketed to street level by thick smoke, and subsequently discoverted intense fire showing from a 60' x 150' one-story industrial building.

In close coordination with rapid forcible entry through a rolling steel door and roof operations performed by their colleagues, Firefighters systematically extended handlines deep within the burning building to confine flames within the structure of origin.

They extinguished the fire in just 37 minutes, and there were no civilian injuries.

During the aggressive and well-coordinated fire attack, a pair of Firefighters sustained non-life threatening injuries. One sustained a torsional injury to his right knee, while the other suffered a minor second-degree burn to his left hand. The men were treated at scene before being transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital, where they were to expcted to be treated and released to remain off-duty.

Loss to "Head Over Heels", a manufacturer of women's shoes, is still being tabulated.

The cause of this fire is under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Northridge Couple Survive Crash Due To Seat Belts

Saturday, May 12, 2007 |

On Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 8:09 PM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 53 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief John Nowell responded to a Traffic Collision adjacent to the Westbound 210 Freeway at La Tuna Canyon Road in Tujunga.

Witnesses reported seeing a silver sedan leave the westbound lanes of the Foothill Freeway at speed, and plummet more than 100 feet down a steep brush covered ravine.

Though the car spun and slid wildly during its rapid downhill trek, it did not overturn. Despite the obvious severity of the event, the 86 year-old driver and her 89 year-old husband survived with non-life threatening injuries.

The veteran team of LAFD Paramedics who cared for the couple were quick to cite their proper use of seatbelts as a key factor in their survival.

The woman sustained an injured left clavicle, while her husband had an apparent lower leg fracture and scalp abrasion. The pair were gingerly removed from the wreckage of their vehicle, placed in litter baskets equipped with special all-terrain wheels and hoisted up the hillside via capstan and rope system.

The Northridge couple, described as in fair condition, were taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills by LAFD ambulance.

California Highway Patrol Officers will be investigating the collision.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Battle to Save Office Burns Firefighters in Woodland Hills


On Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 4:21 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 75 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief James Gaffney responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire with Firefighter Injury at 23035 Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover smoke showing from a 40' x 90' one-story commercial building, a former four-car garage that had been converted into an office.

As fire blossomed from the building, which housed a heavy volume of business records and computer equipment, Firefighters mounted a bold bilateral attack on the flames, which threatened a two-story office building to the east undergoing renovation - making it especially vulnerable to flame.

Los Angeles Police Officers arrived promptly to control traffic and bystanders as Firefighters deftly tackled the flames on two fronts.

With efforts clearly hastened by the vertical ventilation of their rooftop colleagues, Firefighters confined the fire to the structure of origin, preventing damage to the adjacent international wine shipping firm.

The fire was extinguished in just 24 minutes and there were no civilian injuries.

During their tenacious but separate assault on the flames, a pair of Los Angeles Firefighters sustained painful and potentially debilitating second-degree burns to the backs of their hands. Following their on-scene care, the men were transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital, where they were treated and later released to remain off-duty.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $250,000 ($100,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause of this late afternoon blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighter Injured Battling San Fernando Valley Wildfire


On Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 2:09 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 Brush Patrols, 2 LAFD Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, a total of 59 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief John Nowell responded to a Brush Fire near 11127 Orcas Avenue in Lake View Terrace.

Firefighters arrived quickly to multiple reports of smoke near Orcas Park, northeast of Hansen Dam, to discover a remote and stubborn wildfire burning in volatile brush and timber on the rugged and seasonally dry Tujunga Wash riverbottom.

Firefighters made their way through several hundred yards of thick brush and trees to flank the flames, which were effectively doused with repeated salvos of water and firefighting foam from a pair of Los Angeles Fire Department helicopters.

The fire was confined to less than one-quarter acre of vegetation and fully extinguished with handlines in just 41 minutes. No structures were threatened or damaged by flames, and there were no civilian injuries.

During the laborious overhaul and cold-trailing of the fire with power and hand tools, a 39 year-old Firefighter clad in wildland firefighter protective gear was struck in the head by a 6" diameter tree limb that fell more six feet to strike his helmeted head, neck and back.

Driven forcefully to the ground, and clearly dazed, he was immediately attended to by colleagues, who immobilized his spine, placed him in a litter basket and assisted in his transport to the Trauma Center at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where he was subsequently treated and released to remain off-duty.

The blaze was caused by transient's carelessness with a cooking fire.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD 'Griffith Park' Fire Update - May 11, 2007 12:00 PM

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 |

The preliminary information below regards an event in progress, and was considered accurate when posted. Changed Information will be in RED

In the greater Los Angeles area, official information provided by or on behalf of the Los Angeles Fire Department is often carried on the following news radio stations:

AM 640 - KFI
AM 980 - KFWB

AM 1070 - KNX

We encourage Los Angeles residents to find and 'save' these stations on their battery-powered portable and vehicle radios.

TIME OF ALARM: 1:20 PM, Tuesday, May 8, 2007


INCIDENT NAME: Griffith Park Fire

DISPATCH LOCATION: Intersection of Vermont Avenue and Hillhurst Avenue

VEGETATION TYPE: Medium to Heavy Grass and Brush

TERRAIN: Steep/Rugged/Rolling Hills

WEATHER: 80-85 degrees, 3-6 mph winds, 30-35% low elevation humidity 16-24% high elevations.

CONDITIONS ON ARRIVAL: 7 Acres, moderate wind/topography driven

CURRENT SIZE: 817 + Acres (estimate) at 95% Containment

CURRENT CONDITION: 84 degress, 2-4 mph swirling winds, 10% humidity
95% contained. 100% containment expected tonight


STRUCTURES DAMAGED: 1 Home Damaged, $30,000, Wood Shake Roof.


CIVILIAN INJURIES: 1 - Moderate Burns

HEALTH ADVISORIES: No formal advisories have been issued. Limiting or avoiding exposure to smoke is always recommended.


EVACUATION SHELTER: All persons released.


Evacuation Zone Map and Real-Time On-Line Resources.



CAUSE OF FIRE: Under active investigation. Investigation is ongoing. No suspects in custody. The person of interest is cooperative with investigators and has provided useful information. He remains in the hospital for treatment and has been cited for smoking in a brush area. **At this time cause has NOT been determined**


COMMAND: Los Angeles Fire Department, Griffith Park I.C.

The Greek Theatre, 2700 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Greek Theatre, 2700 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

21 Fire Companies
7 Command Teams
2 Rescue Ambulances


1 LAFD helicopter Mapping and surveying ONLY


120+ LAFD Firefighters, 10 LAPD officers and 20 Public Safety Officers.


1 Firefighter (heat exhaustion) transported to hospital and released.

MEDIA STAGING: Greek Theatre Parking Lot: North End of Parking Lot.

ON-SITE MEDIA CONTACT: Captain Antoine McKnight, LAFD Public Information Officer


Animal services at Evacuation Center (Marshall High School)

This fire had a six (6) mile perimeter. Due to the heroic and tenacious efforts of firefighters there are no active flames to report at this time. Firefighters will remain vigilant through out the night patrolling the perimeters of the fire checking for HOT SPOTS and FLARES Ups.


As a reminder to all residents please maintain a 200 ft brush clearance from homes & structures, have a family evacuation plan with both primary and secondary escape routes, obey all no parking signs on Red Flag Days, limit use of campfires and be careful when handling combustible materials. Together we can accomplish our mutual goal of protecting ourselves and our loved ones from wildfires.


TUESDAY, May 8th, at 1:20 PM, a brush fire broke out near the Roosevelt Golf Course in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles. Arriving companies reported a 7-acre wind/topography driven fire in the steep and rugged hills of the park. The fire moved quickly through medium to heavy dry grass and brush. The fire quickly moving southeast and threatened over 300 homes in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. Quick and aggressive structure protection by firefighters saved homes. Current numbers are that 817 acres have been burned, 1 structure received damage to its roof, 120 FF’s remain on scene, we are calling this fire 95% contained, 1 FF suffered heat related illness was transported to a local ER and was treated and released and one suffered a twisted knee. The Governor, Mayor, Fire Chief and other local Government official toured the sight and held a press conference.




    Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

2 Firefighters Injured By Projectile Hydrant Valve

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 |

On Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 6:56 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, two Arson Units, three EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Battalion Chief Fred J. Mathis responded to a RS at 3849 S. Gibraltar Av. in Culver City.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department responded quickly to discover a two-story garden style apartment building with heavy smoke pouring out of one unit. Firefighters enlisted their training and diligence to knock the fire down in just 16 minutes and were able to confine the fire to the unit of initial involvement.

During initial firefighting operations, 2 firefighters were injured when the large diameter 4-way hydrant valve, utilized to gain access to a water supply for firefighting operations, broke loose from its hydrant connection. The main body of the 35 lb. fitting was launched into the air striking a young male firefighter in the chest, rendering him initially unconscious. He was immediately treated, and transported to an area hospital with injuries including a broken left arm and right clavicle, along with minor abrasions to his face. He is listed in serious but stable condition.

Another firefighter sustained minor injuries to his left wrist and ankle and was additionally transported. Cause of the fire is listed as intentional and Arson units took the suspect into custody following their investigation.

Damage estimated at $100,000 ($75,000 Structure and $25,000 content).

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

Veteran LAFD Captain Dies In Arizona Accident

Monday, May 07, 2007 |

From the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC)...

Death of Captain Danny Cypert, UFLAC Secretary

LAFD Captain and UFLAC Secretary Danny Cypert
4/2/42 - 4/27/07

It is with overwhelming sadness that the paramedics and firefighters of the Los Angeles Fire Department mourn the loss of UFLAC Executive Board Secretary, Captain Danny Cypert.

Brother Cypert died in an accident on Friday, April 27, 2007 while riding his Harley with friends in Arizona. A dear friend of Danny’s put it best on Friday evening when he said, "The Fire Department and his Harley were his life. I never met a more gracious, humble, sincere, and pleasant human being."

A dedicated member of the LAFD for nearly 38 years, Danny celebrated his 65th birthday on April 2nd. An experienced motorcycle rider of many years, Danny left us doing that which he loved.




DATE: MAY 10, 2007



TIME: 10:00 A.M.




8:00 A.M.





(805) 338-4688 OR (805) 527-0028




ACCOUNT # 1994400S2


(213) 485-6205.

# # #

Additional information is available at:

Danny's Nephew has also posted a note on his family blog.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Large Pine Tree Damages Sherman Oaks Home

Saturday, May 05, 2007 |

At 1214 p.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department Dispatch Center received a 911 call indicating a large tree had fallen on a home. An Engine was promptly dispatched to investigate the incident. Upon arrival, Fire resources found a very large pine tree, estimated to be 20 feet in diameter, had fallen across Sutton Street and coming to rest on a two story home located approximately 100 to 150 feet away on the opposite side of the street. Two adults and a 2 year old girl were at the opposite end of the home when the tree collapsed.

The 2 story single family dwelling sustained significant damage, outwardly bowing the perimeter walls of the upstairs master bedroom and the downstairs garage, causing the Building and Safety Department to "yellow tag" the structure as unsafe. As the large pine was falling, a 4 inch gas line was lifted 4 feet out of the ground by the root system and the branches ripped down power lines servicing the area.

Access to Sutton Street was shut down by DOT at Greenleaf Street and Cedros Avenue. A consolidated effort between Street Maintenance, DOT, the Gas Company and DWP will address service concerns to the affected area. There has not been a dollar loss estimated at this time and there were no reported injuries. The large pine was estimated to be over 200 years old.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Schwarzenegger asks Californians To Be Aware


California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued the following proclamation for Wildfire Awareness Week in the State of California...

"Wildfire season is fast approaching, and it is imperative that we do all we can to be prepared. Each year, California experiences thousands of fires that destroy homes and businesses and often burn hundreds of thousands of acres of precious timber and grasslands. These fires release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which negatively affects our environment and quality-of-life. And all too often, these fires kill our residents and the heroic firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect us from danger.

Ninety percent of California's wildfires are caused by people, either by accident or intentionally, meaning that most are preventable. This is a call to action for all of us. We have the responsibility of doing everything we can to prevent wildfires in our state.

I urge all Californians to recognize the high risk of wildfires and to take every necessary precaution to protect themselves, their property and our environment - not just during Wildfire Awareness Week, but every week. Our state's firefighters are working hard to do everything they can, but they also need the help of all residents. If we do our part, we can minimize the impact of future tragedies and save lives.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 6-12, 2007 as 'Wildfire Awareness Week' in California.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have here unto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 30th day of April 2007."
# # #

Those living in the City of Los Angeles are encouraged to visit and bookmark:

Those outside of Los Angeles can find important wildfire safety information at:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

This Week: Focus on Occupational Safety & Health


May 6-12, 2007 is North American Occupational Safety & Health Week. The goal of NAOSH Week is to focus attention on preventing injury and illness in the workplace.

What Can You Do?

  • Post an article in a business or community newsletter, website or blog.

  • Insert safety reminders in your correspondence, memorandums and e-mail messages.

  • Review and update workplace bulletin boards and other displays of required safety messages.

  • Encourage inspection and replacement of ineffective safety practices, apparel and devices.

  • Launch a recognition program for suggestions that enhance health and safety.

  • Conduct training sessions for employees.

  • Set up specific safety demonstrations, focused on safe work habits.

To learn more about NAOSH Week 2007, please visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Commission President Issues 'State of The Department' Address

Friday, May 04, 2007 |

From City of Los Angeles Fire Commission President Dalila Sotelo...


"On Saturday evening, I had the pleasure of having dinner with the firefighters at Station 49 in San Pedro. It was a special evening not only because it marked the 90th firehouse visit by a Commissioner in the last year but also because it gave me the opportunity to witness firsthand how deeply firefighters are impacted by the egregious actions of their fellow members even if the incident happened across the City over 20 miles away.

Many members of the Department self-identify as members of a larger family and as such when one member does something that is not worthy of the uniform they wear, all members are impacted. It is this sense of honor and respect for their title as firefighters that will enable the Department to implement successfully the betterments that the Board of Fire Commissioners has recommended.

Last year, Mayor Villaraigosa directed the Board to lead the process of reform based on a principle of Zero Tolerance for any act of discrimination, harassment or hazing. Since May of 2006 when the Board adopted the Audit Action Plan, we have dedicated ourselves to designing the implementation steps necessary to enhance the work environment for every member of the Department.

The Board organized an unprecedented process by which any and all can participate and provide input through public hearings, committee meetings, firehouse visits and active and meaningful participation by all stakeholders including UFLAC, the Chief Officer’s Association, Los Bomberos, the Stentorians and the Sirens.

As of today, I am proud to announce that many of the recommendations in the four areas of the Action Plan have been addressed:

Leadership and Communication

On the leadership front, the promotional standards at all levels are being reviewed and enhanced. In partnership with the Personnel Department, we are raising the importance of leadership skills which will be reflected in changes to promotional exams. While communication continues to be an opportunity for improvement, it has now been expanded Department-wide.

Human Relations

The human relations training currently in place sets out a clear course which provides the tools and outlines the expectation that each member treat one another with dignity, respect and professionalism.

Complaint and Disciplinary Process

I’m proud to say that the Disciplinary Guidelines, the Professional Standards Division and the Complaint and Disciplinary Tracking System are in various phases of implementation. An investigation unit is to be part of the Professional Standards Division but in the meantime new procedures for investigating discrimination and harassment have already been employed thanks to the leadership of Chief Barry.

Recruitment and Retention Efforts

Lastly, diversifying the Department at all levels is another priority currently being addressed. Aggressive recruitment of qualified women and people of color continues to be the Board’s method of ensuring that the Department represents the community it serves. In fact, the great success of the recruitment events in February at the African American Firefighters Museum and in March at Cal State Northridge drew over 300 women and men interested in a career in the fire service. This exemplifies the Department’s newfound commitment. A compelling video produced by Captain Tamara Chick and the women of the LAFD for the March event and is available so that the media can help spread the word.

As you can see, the Board of Fire Commissioners takes its oversight responsibilities seriously and as its President, I guarantee that we will not be deterred from our work. Over the last several months, our collaborative partnership with Chief Barry and his executive staff has strengthened our resolve and our belief that the goals we have set are achievable. Unlike any other time, the Department is primed, ready and able to work in collaboration with its partners to make history.

On behalf of the Board of Fire Commissioners I want to salute the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department who daily demonstrate an unmatched level of service to the citizens of this City.

On any given day there are approximately 1,100 men and women working for the Department….and it is every day that a father in cardiac arrest is transported to the hospital or a person is pulled out of car after a major traffic accident or a dispatcher helps guide a women out of a burning house while fire crews arrive on scene.

We meet the men and women of the Fire Department in our most desperate of moments and they provide the protection and the solace that we seek. They are everyday heroes and heroines that do not ask for praise but today I would like to say thank you to all of them.

The professionalism and commitment that we on the Board have witnessed firsthand are the characteristics that will enable you to do the job we are asking you to do….the job is simple….each and every day treat one another with the dignity and respect deserved by that uniform you wear. You are everyday heroes and heroines that do not ask for praise but today I would like to say thank you for all that you do."
# # #

Media Contact and Any Comments:
Board of Fire Commissioners

Los Angeles Fire Chief Issues '100-Day Report'


From the Office of the Fire Chief...

April 24, 2007

Fire Chief Douglas L. Barry’s Statement

"A little more than 100 days ago, I proudly accepted the position of Fire Chief for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

I accepted the position because I know that this Department is strengthened by its diversity and can operate to its fullest potential in a work environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Repeatedly, the LAFD has been unjustly characterized as an organization fraught with widespread insensitivity amongst its members.

The reality is that the overwhelming majority of our members are extremely hard working and dedicated individuals who faithfully and professionally serve the communities of Los Angeles, as well as treat each other appropriately and with a sense of family.

Recent publicized cases have highlighted incidents where our human relations efforts can be improved. And we are working aggressively to do just that.

However, these cases are representative of the actions of a small percentage of our members and should not be used to overshadow or minimize the outstanding efforts of the rest of the Department members.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is nationally recognized and highly regarded as a fire service organization and I am proud of the men and women of this Department who work so tirelessly to ensure public safety

Measurement of LAFD During First 100 Days of Administration

Last year, the City Controller and Personnel Department provided comprehensive recommendations for improvements in several areas of the Department.

We view our addressing of the issues identified in the recommendations as an opportunity to strengthen our workforce and improve the level of leadership within the organization.

With that in mind, the Department in collaboration with the Fire Commission and employee organizations has been working very diligently towards developing a strategy to ensure the most efficient implementation of these recommendations

As part of the initial steps of reform, I have been personally visiting every fire station and other work locations to outline to the members of the Department my expectations of behavior and to foster a partnership with them in addressing our organizational challenges

Coinciding with these discussions, I have been concentrating on conducting face-to-face meetings with the Department’s officers, both Captains and Chiefs to reinforce the leadership roles and responsibilities each of us must assume.

Additionally, a review of the Department’s policies and procedures in regards to human relations, work environment and discipline has been conducted to identify areas needing to be strengthened.

As we continue to move forward with reforms, a new vision statement has been developed. One that speaks to our responsibilities to the public and to each other.

Additionally, we have established guiding principles that include that include teamwork and ethical behavior to further define our organizational approach.

In many meeting with members of the Department, I have sensed a renewed optimism and desire to work together towards the betterment of the Department in all areas of our responsibilities.

Goals and Vision for LAFD Future

With the vision statement as our guide, new ideas and initiatives are being implemented, they include: continuing the implementation of the Audit Action Plan by providing enhanced human relations and leadership training, as well as restructuring and improving our disciplinary system.

These efforts will result in a work environment, which reflects a higher level of productivity and professionalism and will clearly define expectations and outcomes.

New Initiatives for Organizational Growth

In regards to other areas of the Department, we are creating innovative means of strengthening our fire prevention bureau and its role in public safety

And we are continuing to improve our emergency response capabilities, as well as focusing on much needed attention and resources towards our aging infrastructure.

In looking towards out future, we will developing a five-year strategic plan that will provide clear direction of our future efforts towards providing more responsive emergency medical capabilities and disaster planning while continuing to focus on our work environment

Community Focus for Improving Public Safety

However, despite all of our plans and reforms, we recognize our continued success as an organization relies upon our partnership with the communities of Los Angeles

We share and strive with the community the common goal of a safe and healthy Los Angels

To that end, we will continue to reach out to the community with our various community outreach programs such as our; Community Emergency Response Team Program, youth involvement programs, and we will soon be implementing a Fire Fatality Reduction Program to lessen the occurrence of accidental fatal fires.


With the continued community support and the commitment demonstrated by the Mayor, City Council and Fire Commission, The LAFD can realize the collective goal of bringing about the necessary reforms that we need and desire, both now and into the future."
# # #

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