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LAFD Tackles Flames in Toppled Tanker

Sunday, August 31, 2008 |

On Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 8:02 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 42 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Dennis Waters, responded to a Traffic Collision with Fire and Hazardous Materials on the southbound Golden State (I-5) Freeway transition to the eastbound Pomona (SR-60) Freeway in Boyle Heights.

According to witnesses, a semi-tractor pulling a large single propane tanker overturned on a transition road in the east Los Angeles interchange, before the tractor portion erupted in flames.

Despite the toppling and rotating of the truck and trailer across lanes filled with heavy holiday traffic, no other vehicles were involved.


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The male truck driver and his female passenger were aided in escaping before the fire consumed the cab of their vehicle, threatening the 8,500 gallon payload of liquified petroleum gas which remained within the vehicle's trailer.

Firefighters arrived soon thereafter, extinguishing the flames in less than ten minutes. Their skilfull effort prevented the fire from involving the volatile cargo.

The driver and his passenger suffered only minor injuries and no thermal burns. They were taken by LAFD Ambulance to the nearby Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in fair condition.

No other injuries were reported.

Working cooperatively with the California Highway Patrol and State Department of Transportation, as well as a pair of heavy-duty tow trucks for more than an hour, the LAFD Heavy Rescue unit supervised the safe righting of the filled trailer, which could not be moved or off-loaded until it was on its wheels.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation by California Highway Patrol officials.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

FEMA Deploys Los Angeles Firefighters to 'Gustav'

Saturday, August 30, 2008 |

LAFD - FEMA California Task Force 1. Click to learn more...Pursuant of a formal request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, the Los Angeles Fire Department has deployed 28 members of the LAFD staffed FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team, California Task Force 1 (CA-TF 1) to Houston, Texas as part of FEMA's mobilization to the Gulf States in preparation for Hurricane Gustav.

These specially trained, certified and equipped members of the Los Angeles Fire Department will be traveling 1500+ miles by ground to the Houston area, where they are expected to arrive within 36 hours.



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

Pursuant of protocol, official public and media information regarding these LAFD USAR personnel *during deployment* will be provided by or through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and their designated representatives.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Two Dead, Firefighter Injured in L.A. Koreatown Blaze

Saturday, August 16, 2008 |

On Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 2:38 AM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 5 Arson Units, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 118 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford, responded to a Greater Alarm Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 422 South Western Avenue in the Koreatown/Wilshire Center area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy fire in the first and second floors of a two story commercial structure, with flames spreading to the attic.

Forcing entry into the multiple businesses of the well secured building, firefighters commenced a fierce and well-coordinated attack on the blaze, while their colleagues commenced a systematic search of the non-residential premises.

As the flames were extinguished in a first-floor skin care business that had been fully involved with fire, firefighters discovered the charred remains of two persons.

During the ongoing firefight, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns to his hands. In fair condition, he was transported to the Emergency Room at Sherman Oaks Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The fire was extinguished in just 38 minutes, and skilfully confined to just two businesses on the first floor, one-and-a-half firms on the second floor, and a portion of the attic.

No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated.

A positive identification of the deceased - to include their age and gender, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of their deaths will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation by Police and Fire Department officials.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Market Fumigation Sends 6 Firefighters to Hospital

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 |

On Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 9:15 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 57 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Roxanne Bercik, responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 8708 West Pico Boulevard in the Pico-Robertson district.

Firefighters, summoned by an alarm service to investigate a fire alarm activation within 'Glatt Mart', arrived quickly to find no external evidence of fire at the kosher food market, which had closed for the business day.


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Forcing entry into the large store to complete their investigation, first-arriving firefighters soon noted and became ill from the presence of Pyrocide® 100, a commercial aerosol pesticide fumigant, that was being used for pest control at the location without firefighter's prior knowledge.

Quickly determining there was no fire, the six Los Angeles Firefighters moved outside as a team and then upwind to isolate themselves, commence decontamination and acquire medical care for their common respiratory irritation, as LAFD Hazardous Materials experts and others descended upon the scene.

The six ill firefighters, one of whom also experienced chest discomfort, were quickly triaged, treated and transported to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in fair condition. All six men were released from the hospital within two hours.

Working closely with the commercial pest control firm that had placed the insecticide in the market, LAFD Hazardous Materials Teams were able to identify no escalating hazard, no fire and no civilian injuries.

Pursuant of protocol, a formal investigation and determination of when and how Glatt Mart may resume business will remain in the purview of the Health Hazardous Materials Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Note: This location was the scene of a December 2004 Greater Alarm blaze that heavily damaged the building and caused injury to one Los Angeles Firefighter.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Pace Quickens to the Peak of Wildfire Season

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 |

Joining Los Angeles Fire Department air and ground crews, Daily News reporter Jason Kandel chronicles firefighters preparing for what may be an epic wildfire season.

Kandel interviews Battalion Chief John Duca, a three-decade LAFD veteran in command of a 47 square-mile district in the southwest San Fernando Valley surrounded with volatile vegetation.

We encourage you to watch the video before reading Jason's story - which includes several wildfire preparedness tips, and then join us in the discussion at the Daily News message board.



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Today is 8-1-1 Day in Los Angeles

Monday, August 11, 2008 |

Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig! Click to learn more...August 11th (8/11) is 8-1-1 Day, the time each year that Los Angeles Firefighters remind you about 8-1-1, the toll-free nationwide phone number for notifying utilities before you dig!

Local residents, businesses and professional excavators should call 8-1-1 whenever they plan on digging. Whether a simple lawn sprinkler project - or serious outdoor renovation, a free call to 8-1-1 can help you know what's below.

Drop That Shovel and Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig!

Important utilities, such as electricity, natural gas, water, telephone, cable and internet service that your family depends upon are buried underground. Striking a single line can result in harm to yourself or someone else, costly fines or inconvenient outages.

To avoid an accident, make the toll-free call to 8-1-1 before any digging project.


Your local 8-1-1 center will collect your information and notify utility companies of your intent to dig. A professional locator will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of all underground utility lines for free.

Call 8-1-1 before every dig. For more information, visit:

www.call811.com


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Honor LAFD Fallen

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From the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society...

Hollywood – On Sunday, August 17, 2008, the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society (LAFDHS) invites you to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the LAFDHS memorial plaza and Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The ceremony will commence at 11:00 AM, and will be followed with a community open house for both the plaza and the LAFD museum.

LAFD Memorial Ribbon Cutting and Open House. Click to learn more...
Activities will consist of fire truck rides for both kids and families, music, and organized tours of the museum, plus videos and several "living history" presentations. Refreshments will be provided.

Special guests will include LAFD Battalion Chief John Drake (B5-A), Council Member Tom LaBonge, Council Member Eric Garcetti, and Honorary Fire Chief Tricia Le Belle, plus both active and retired Los Angeles Firefighters, among others.

The Fallen Firefighter Memorial is dedicated to the 254 Los Angeles City Firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty; it is the first memorial of its type in the city’s history.


The LAFDHS seeks to promote fire safety education through various community outreach programs. "Old Fire Station 27" in Hollywood - once the largest Fire Station west of the Mississippi - serves as the LAFD Museum, featuring a Fire Service Research Library and a learning center; it houses some of the most unique fire apparatus in North America, along with hundreds of firefighting artifacts and other fire service memorabilia. The Fallen Firefighter Memorial lies just outside the museum.

Festivities will take place from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at 1355 North Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. For more information, call (323)464-2727 or visit:

www.lafdmuseum.org



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Grand Opening of New Fire Station 43 in Palms

Sunday, August 10, 2008 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome you to join civic and community leaders, including Fire Chief Douglas Barry, at the public dedication and grand opening of the LAFD's newest Neighborhood Fire Station.

Saturday, August 16, 2008
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
New Fire Station 43
3690 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034

We are pleased to offer an interactive map with driving directions to this new facility, which is now in service protecting the Palms neighborhood and nearby westside communities.

Following Saturday's dedication ceremony, there will be food and entertainment as well as a chance to tour Southern California's newest Fire Station. All members of the community are welcomed to this family-themed public event.

A Brief History of Fire Station 43...

Housing an Engine Company and Paramedic Rescue Ambulance, and protecting a 4.3 square-mile district centered in Palms, new Fire Station 43 replaces a cramped and inefficient facility on National Boulevard that opened in 1942.

LAFD Station 43 from 1942-2007.

Former Fire Station 43 was designed prior to World War II, and built at the height of the battle to house no more than four male firefighters and two limited-role (now antique) fire apparatus to serve a residential neighborhood.

Constructed for $35,000 on a 100' x 103' lot, the sixty-six year old former facility was deemed deficient in meeting modern seismic safety, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, Building Code, ADA and separate gender accommodation issues.

In fact, when built, the first crew assigned to the former station (some of whom joined the LAFD in 1922) boasted of working in one of the few Fire Stations heated by the modern marvel of "air forced across hot water pipes from a 200 gallon storage tank".

Station 43 crew in 1942 just after the former facility opened. Click this image for more information...

LAFD operational and societal advances over nearly seven decades made that 4,885 square-foot station and only slightly larger parcel of land inadequate for providing timely and effective response to a community that now includes sizeable commercial and industrial properties as well as large multi-story apartments and filming industries.

A New Fire Station for Palms...

The new energy-efficient 15,250 square foot Fire Station 43 is built on a one acre site, and is designed to address modern response needs while bringing efficiency to LAFD's workforce - and therefore convenience and enhanced service to a vibrant neighborhood we've long been proud to be a part of.


View Larger Map (you can also click, grab and zoom the map above!)

Los Angeles Firefighters know that neighborhood safety demands community interaction. The ability of Fire Station 43 to now host community functions and training events in the new station's community room will allow Neighborhood Firefighters an even closer and more productive relationship with those they proudly serve.

The energy efficient 6-bay facility also features an important "drive through" feature that prevents the need to block traffic on busy Motor Avenue when rehousing Fire Department vehicles.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 43 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized through Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed on-line Monthly Progress Report.

We look forward to seeing you in Palms on Saturday, August 16, 2008. Please don't forget your camera!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

An LAFD Career: The Power To Make A Difference

Thursday, August 07, 2008 |

If you've always harnessed the passion for an unconventional and rewarding career with unparalleled opportunity, we hope you'll consider the Los Angeles Fire Department as your life's work with...

The Power To Make A Difference:


To learn more about your career as a Los Angeles Firefighter, call (213)485-8032 or visit:

joinLAFD.org



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mid-City L.A. Businesses Erupt in Flames

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 |

On Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 12:43 PM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 Rehab Air Tender, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 101 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, as well as 2 CERT Coordinators, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 5076 West Pico Boulevard in Mid-City Los Angeles.



Los Angeles Firefighters arrived swiftly to discover thick smoke banked to street level and all but obliterating a block-long row of one story commercial structures, as well as the adjacent roadway.

Firefighters quickly took to the roof of the 40' x 50' burning structure to perform vertical ventilation with chainsaws, as their colleagues extended handlines to battle intense flames within the pair of conjoined home furnishing businesses.

With horizontal fire spread curtailed, firefighters confined the fire to the firms, extinguishing the flames in just 35 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Described by the landlord as separate businesses, loss to the establishments operating under the common banners of "Creative Designs Furniture" and "Artistic Carpentry", is estimated at $170,000 ($75,000 & $30,000 structures and $50,000 & $15,000 contents).

Though fire origin has been localized to a spray booth being used in lacquer application, the specific cause of the fire remains undetermined.

(video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Guide Safe Jet Evacuation at LAX

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 |

On Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 9:27 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 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 Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott responded to an Aircraft Emergency on Runway 7L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower at LAX requested Fire Department presence on the south airfield for an emergency landing by American Airlines Flight 31, which had departed the airport 50 minutes earlier, destined for Honolulu.

The crew aboard the Boeing 757 aircraft reported an "odor and smoke or haze" in the passenger cabin before their priority return to the airport from the west.

As the plane came to a stop on Runway 7L, the pilot issued an order for the 188 passengers to evacuate via the aircraft's inflatable slides.


With the assistance of LAFD personnel, passengers exited the aircraft in a calm and orderly manner, and along with the 6 crew members, were guided to awaiting airfield buses for a short trip to a nearby aircraft hangar prepared to receive them.

Los Angeles Firefighters, including those assigned to special aircraft rescue and firefighting units, used their expertise and thermal imaging cameras to systematically search the cabin, flight deck and cargo hold.

They discovered no smoke or evidence of fire.

Eight persons, including one child, were medically evaluated for very minor injuries - likely sustained during the evacuation of the aircraft. All declined treatment and transportation.

The FAA will serve as the lead agency investigating the incident. The National Transportation Safety Board will not be taking an active role in the investigation.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Griffith Park Wildfire Scorches Three Acres

Monday, August 04, 2008 |

On Monday, August 4, 2008 at 2:27 PM, 20 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Brush Patrols, 1 Arson Unit, 3 LAFD Helicopters, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 133 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, joined by 2 Engine Companies and 2 Water Tenders from the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, 3 Companies of Burbank Firefighters, 2 Companies of Glendale Firefighters, 4 Camp Crews and 1 Helicopter from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the direction of LAFD Assistant Chief Richard Warford, responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire in the remote north central area of Griffith Park.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover an acre of brush burning in rugged terrain, with flames spreading quickly to heavier and more volatile vegetation.

As the fire was swiftly anchored, a trio of fire department helicopters stopped the advance of the flames with rapid salvos of water and firefighting foam, allowing ground crews to strategically flank the burning brush.

Thanks to the presence of an additional firefighter-staffed LAFD helicopter providing aerial reconnaissance and command support, a small spot fire more than an half-mile distant was noted, and extinguished by ground and air crews, before it could consume a large expanse of tinder-dry grass and brush.

The well-coordinated ground and air assault, that combined the efforts of more than 150 firefighters from five agencies, confined the fire to less than three acres of vegetation before being extinguished in just 82 minutes.

There were no injuries, structural damage or evacuations.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Friend, Father of 'Police Call' Dies

Sunday, August 03, 2008 |

Police Call. Click for article at Wired Magazine...For supporters of public safety agencies - as well as radio hobbyists and railfans across North America, the mention of 'Gene Hughes' and 'Police Call' is likely to bring a smile.

Any customer of RadioShack® in the past quarter-century can attest that a well-worn Police Call next to the cash register was as much a fixture as the store's red-and-white corporate logo.

To veteran journalists chasing breaking news, a photocopied page from the veritable 'scanner bible' was one sure way they could follow the action.

...and for countless residents of Los Angeles - including those in uniform, Gene's remarkable book was never far from hand - or their scanner radio, as a trusted source of listening information for more than forty years.

Gene 'Hughes' Costin's amazing story however, goes far deeper than the millions of radio guides he published.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1939, Gene marveled at the "strange voices, women broadcasting addresses and numeric codes" at the far end of the AM radio dial - voices that proved to be Los Angeles Police Department dispatchers deploying our city's finest.

And so was born a hobby that spurred a business, that inspired countless young men and women to pursue a public safety career, and far more citizens to appreciate the daily challenges of those who are sworn to serve them.

His peerless respect for justice led Gene to volunteer for the LAPD, where his thrice-weekly front desk duty at the Wilshire Community Police Station and development of crime prevention materials and seminars led him to being named California Crime Prevention Volunteer of The Year.

While Gene may have retired from Police Call in 2005, he continued to spend countless hours in our office, always inspiring us to greateness.

Most of all, Gene was a special friend.

Gene 'Hughes' Costin 1927-2008. Click to learn more at Wired Magazine....

Gene Hugh Costin
1927-2008

His family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to "Tower Cancer Research Foundation" or a charity of your choice.

Memorial services will remain private at Gene's request.

We will miss you Gene, please rest in peace.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

101 Freeway Collision Sends 8 to Hospital

Saturday, August 02, 2008 |

On Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 10:38 PM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 EMS Battalion Captains and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 31 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Christopher Kawai, responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision on the southbound Hollywood (101) Freeway near Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Firefighters deftly navigated through traffic at a near standstill to discover at least two vehicles involved in a collision, in which one had overturned.

A swift and efficient medical assessment of eight patients yielded one in critical condition and seven others, including two children, with lesser injuries.

Following prompt yet compassionate on-scene care, the injured were transported to Cedars-Sinai, Hollywood Presbyterian and Los Angeles County-USC Medical Centers.

The collision is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Will a Rabbit Save Your Life?

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As you will note in this video, the Finn's of Melbourne owe their lives to a pet rabbit...



...and while this furry savior performed admirably, a smoke alarm can be purchased and maintained for far less.

The LAFD: We don't tell you how to live your life, just how to survive it! ™


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department