Thank You Gavin, For the Wave and a Smile

Thursday, November 27, 2008 |

LAFD Truck 87 (1988 Seagrave reserve). Click to learn more...Though Los Angeles Firefighters often need to focus on critical tasks - including arriving safely at more than 2,100 emergency responses each day, we never want you to think we are unknowing or unappreciative of the many kind gestures you offer throughout the year.

While we sadly can't acknowledge every friendly wave, hearty 'thumbs-up' or warm smile, we want you to know we both see and sense them, and that they mean a great deal more than words can say.

Last Friday, young Gavin Hand was safely seated in his mother's car when a fire truck passed by. But it wasn't just any fire truck that caught the 2 year-old's eye and caused him to wave.

It was a 1988 Seagrave tractor-drawn Aerial Ladder Truck, the last of a generation that places the firefighter "tillerman" in the open elements; but to young Gavin, it was far more.

It was the thing that a young boy's dreams are made of. It was the fire truck he would never forget, thanks to a friendly wave from his new friend the fireman.

While we have amazed taxpayers with our ability to maintain these vehicles in daily service for more than 20 years, our truest gratification comes from the trusting smiles of young people like Gavin.

Students Salute LAFD Captain Lane Kemper. Click to view more...For whether secured in a car seat, or amassed on the sidewalk to praise a colleague on his way home, we are deeply honored of the trust in firefighters that you convey to future generations.

Like Gavin's Mom, we hope you'll soon schedule your visit to a Neighborhood Fire Station, so that we can thank you personally for the support and trust so essential to our being.

On this Thanksgiving Day, kindly accept our wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season - and please never hesitate to wave!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Wind Whips Palm Tree Into House, Traps Woman

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 |

On Tuesday, November 26, 2008 at 2:54 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Wes Elder responded to a Trapped Person at 218 N. Soto Street in Boyle Heights.

Firefighters arrived to find a palm tree that had plunged into a single family dwelling, waking one resident and trapping another. The men and women of Los Angeles Fire went to work assessing one 56 year old resident who had sustained minor injuries, due to falling drywall debris. She was immediately treated at the scene and transported to an area hospital, with no complaint of significant injury, for observation only.

Simultaneously, firefighters facilitated access to a 29 year old female, found in her bedroom, who had been trapped by the enormous crown portion of the palm tree. She was conscious and cooperative as rescuers utilized their equipment and training to knockdown a portion of a wall and free her legs from their entrapment. The operation, lead by Heavy Rescue 56 and Urban Search and Rescue 3, proved to be arduous yet, it took firefighters just over an hour to stabilize the woman, treat her on scene and transport her to an area hospital with minor injuries.

Building and Safety was requested by the Incident Commander and damage to the house is being assessed. One firefighter sustained a minor injury to his hand that did not require transport.


Submitted by Melissa Kelley, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD's Promise: You Will Never Walk Alone

Thursday, November 20, 2008 |

© photo by LAPhoto1. Posted via Flickr blogging option. Click to learn more...Our solemn pledge as Los Angeles Firefighters is always followed by this promise:

In good times...

...or bad,

You and your loved ones will never walk alone!




Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

© photo courtesy of LAphoto1 via Flickr

Help Sought in Identifying Cause of Sayre Fire

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An investigative team is asking for the public's assistance to help establish the cause of the Sayre Wildland Fire which started on November 14, 2008. Investigators have spoken to witnesses, but are still seeking additional information that may assist with the ongoing investigation into the fire.

Specifically, the Sayre fire is believed to have started in the foothills last Friday night around 10:30 p.m. near the north east corner of Veterans Memorial Park located at 13000 Sayre Street in Sylmar, California. The fire burned 11,262 acres and destroyed hundreds of residences - and is now 100 percent contained.

"We hope someone who saw or heard something, will call with information to assist in determining the cause of this devastating fire." stated Jody Noiron, Forest Supervisor, Angeles National Forest, "Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles Fire Department 'Tip' line at (213) 485-6095."


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Sayre Fire: Hallowed Ground For Firefighters

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Having been away from Los Angeles this week and mourning the loss of a friend, mentor and legendary firefighter - it was with compounded sadness that I watched our beloved City ablaze.

Though off-duty and unable to respond from afar, my personal cellphone rang through the night with calls from reporters seeking "the story". With the initial Incident Command Post for the Sayre Fire listed as El Cariso Park in Sylmar, I politely guided journalists to the site by instinct, asking them but one favor:

"Please, tell the story behind the name of El Cariso Park"

With the flames too tempting a focus, nary a reporter would ask the question. A question which when answered, would put both meaning and perspective into the Herculean effort of firefighters working to protect Sylmar and neighboring communities from the Sayre Wildland Fire.

El Cariso Hotshots, October 1966. Click to learn more...For 'El Cariso' was not merely chosen as a nice sounding name for the 79-acre park, but rather a distinct honor bestowed upon hallowed ground to honor the memory of twelve firefighters, members of the El Cariso Hotshots. Ten would die on the mountain in the literal heat of battle. Two others are believed to have succumbed following the November 1, 1966 wildfire that scorched the same area of the western San Gabriel Mountains that burned this week.

As the Sayre fire moved west along the foothills this weekend, fanned - or should I say blasted by near-hurricane force Santa Ana Winds, there seemed genuine surprise that a fire could move so quickly - or that there could be a need to "evacuate a hospital" while "fires burned in two counties".

L.A. Times for November 2, 1966. Click to view more...The Los Angeles Times headlines and newspaper photos from 1966, tell a tragic story that will always be worth sharing. Not merely because Angelenos have forgotten, but because the blaze, dubbed 'The Loop Fire', has had monumental impact on wildland fire leadership in Los Angeles, across our nation and around the globe. The lessons taught us by the El Cariso Hotshots are ingrained in every wildland firefighter you meet, and the site of their last stand remains hallowed ground.

The fact that 1700 Los Angeles residents - many of them vulnerable, were safely evacuated during an equally fierce fire this weekend in the shadows of where the Hotshots laid down their lives 42 years earlier, speaks volumes of the lessons learned and the commitment they inspired.

Through improved fireground procedures, event intelligence, radio communications, protective clothing and safety equipment, the El Cariso Hotshots have brought benefit to every wildfire we battle.

In the early 1970's, inspired by the Loop Fire and other blazes, Southern California firefighters enhanced our regional management of emergencies through FIRESCOPE and an Incident Command System now used by emergency responders across the globe.

In the four decades since, the Loop Fire has served as a catalyst for an enhanced framework for handling disaster, and for helping our nation adopt both a National Incident Management System and a manner by which urban areas like Los Angeles can remain prepared.

It is this well-focused system - actively supported by the residents of Los Angeles, that allows LAFD and LAPD responders to work seamlessly with allied agencies in mitigating an epic conflagration like the Sayre fire.

Though the Sayre Fire soon proved too large to be managed from El Cariso Park - and the media moved on to more compelling stories, I wanted to make sure you knew the historical significance of our initial Command Post location, and what happened on that day in November 1966.

When in the Sylmar area, we hope you'll join Los Angeles Firefighters in taking a brief yet respectful moment at the Loop Fire Memorial in El Cariso Park to remember the important lessons shared unblinkingly but at immense cost by twelve gallant men.

To honor those who battled the nearby wildfires of 2008, the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation hosted a public safety appreciation barbecue on January 9, 2009.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

What Do Fire Officials Mean When They Say 'Containment'?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 |

The question, posed by Zach Bahrens of LAist, is not uncommon...

We hear it all the time when talking wildfires. "The Sayre Fire is 64% contained," "the Tea Fire is 100% contained," etc. But what does that mean? How is it measured?

For the answer...

laist.com/2008/11/18/what_do_fire_officials_mean_when_th.php


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Public's Help Needed in Locating Sayre Fire Evacuees

Monday, November 17, 2008 |

Numerous evacuees from the Oakridge Mobile Home Park have yet to check in with any public service agency following the Sayre Wildland Fire.

Though there is high confidence that all Oakridge residents escaped or were safely evacuated, the well being of several residents has yet to be confirmed.

Anyone with information regarding the safety of an Oakridge resident who has yet to be located by authorities, is urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department at 818-838-9827.

A comprehensive address roster for those being sought can be seen on the LAPD website at:

http://lapdonline.org/newsroom/news_view/39957



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

3 Steps to Safe Wildfire Evacuation

Sunday, November 16, 2008 |

When wildfire approaches, will you know what to do?

In a three-part Los Angeles Fire Department series created by the award-winning staff at R|Com Creative, we're pleased to offer insight from veteran firefighters on how you can safely escape the wrath of wildfire.

Part 1 - Wildfire Evacuation



Part 2 - Be Prepared



Part 3 - During the Fire



Those living in areas prone to brush fire are encouraged to adopt wildfire safe living, as well as joining or forming a Fire Safe Council in their area.

The survival of Los Angeles residents and firefighters who serve them may ultimately depend upon your compliance with our Brush Clearance Program and Red Flag Parking Restrictions.

To learn more, visit a Neighborhood Fire Station or: LAFD.ORG


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'Sayre Wildland Fire' Maps and Information

Friday, November 14, 2008 |

Map of area burned in Sayre Fire, Click to learn more...For information on the former 'Sayre Wildland Fire', please visit:

www.inciweb.org/incident/1560


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'Sayre Wildland Fire' Information

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Map of area burned in Sayre Fire, Click to learn more...For information on the former 'Sayre Wildland Fire', please visit:

www.inciweb.org/incident/1560


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Salute 'Air Force Week Los Angeles'

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While the pilots and crews of LAFD Air Operations are an amazing bunch, their ground and air exploits pale by comparison to those of the proud men and women of the United States Air Force.

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department are therefore honored to salute the USAF during Air Force Week Los Angeles, November 14-21, 2008.

Air Force Week Los Angeles. Click to learn more...
The celebration commenced today with amazing flyovers of fighter, bomber, cargo and surveillance aircraft across the Los Angeles skies, in a Proclamation Day event that included the amazing USAF Honor Guard Drill Team.

Festivites will continue this weekend with a free Air Force Expo at the famed Hollywood & Highland Center in the heart of Hollywood, directly accessible via the Metro Red Line.

Additional 'Air Force Week' events will be taking place across Los Angeles through November 21. To learn more, please visit:

www.airforceweeklosangeles.com


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'Earthquake Get Ready Rally' To Rock L.A.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 |

The L.A. Earthquake: Get Ready Rally. Click to learn more...Join firefighters and their families in downtown Los Angeles this Friday evening for The L.A. Earthquake: Get Ready Rally, featuring earthquake preparedness information, presentations by state and city leaders, vendors and live entertainment.

This free, fun and informative rally is the culmination of The Great Southern California ShakeOut, designed to help Southern Californians to get ready for the big earthquakes in our future.

Plan to join us in 'Get Ready' for free — and have fun doing it at one of L.A.'s newest attractions!

Friday, November 14, 2008
4:00 – 9:00 PM
Nokia Theatre @ L.A. Live
777 West Chick Hearn Court
Los Angeles, CA 90015

(Across from Staples Center, at South Figueroa & West 11th Streets)

For complete information, please visit:

www.artcenter.edu/getready


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

11-13-08: The Day That Wasn't... Yet

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Many things happened today in Los Angeles...

It was the first day of Golden Guardian 2008, the nation's largest state sponsored emergency exercise that is keeping Los Angeles Firefighters and other emergency responders on their toes through November 18.

Today was also The Great Southern California ShakeOut, designed to prepare millions living in our region for this...



The one thing that didn't happen today?

You and your family becoming more earthquake aware and prepared.

If you missed the Great Southern California ShakeOut, do not despair. Today is a perfect day for you to 'get a rount tuit'!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Protecting Your Home From Wildfire - Part Four

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 |

Recent brush fires in Southern California have highlighted the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness. In part four of a four part series, FOX-11 Los Angeles helps firefighters dispel common myths about wind-driven fire.

KTTV-TV's Carlos Amezcua reports...



While many hazards in Los Angeles are managed by our annual Brush Clearance Program, the men and women of the LAFD ask you to remain cognizant of fire weather and local Red Flag Parking Restrictions.

Your personal awareness of current wildfire danger, combined with preventive actions and wildfire preparedness are key to our collective success in surviving brush fires.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Protecting Your Home From Wildfire - Part Three

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Recent brush fires in Southern California have highlighted the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness. In part three of a four part series, FOX-11 Los Angeles helps firefighters dispel common myths about wind-driven fire.

KTTV-TV's Carlos Amezcua reports...



While many hazards in Los Angeles are managed by our annual Brush Clearance Program, the men and women of the LAFD ask you to remain cognizant of fire weather and local Red Flag Parking Restrictions.

Your personal awareness of current wildfire danger, combined with preventive actions and wildfire preparedness are key to our collective success in surviving brush fires.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Protecting Your Home From Wildfire - Part Two

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Recent brush fires in Southern California have highlighted the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness. In part two of a four part series, FOX-11 Los Angeles helps firefighters dispel common myths about wind-driven fire.

KTTV-TV's Carlos Amezcua reports...



While many hazards in Los Angeles are managed by our annual Brush Clearance Program, the men and women of the LAFD ask you to remain cognizant of fire weather and local Red Flag Parking Restrictions.

Your personal awareness of current wildfire danger, combined with preventive actions and wildfire preparedness are key to our collective success in surviving brush fires.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Protecting Your Home From Wildfire - Part One

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Recent brush fires in Southern California have highlighted the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness. In part one of a four part series, FOX-11 Los Angeles helps firefighters dispel common myths about wind-driven fire.

KTTV-TV's Carlos Amezcua reports...



While many hazards in Los Angeles are managed by our annual Brush Clearance Program, the men and women of the LAFD ask you to remain cognizant of fire weather and local Red Flag Parking Restrictions.

Your personal awareness of current wildfire danger, combined with preventive actions and wildfire preparedness are key to our collective success in surviving brush fires.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

This is 'Urgent Care Awareness Week'

Monday, November 10, 2008 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department joins the Urgent Care Association of America in recognizing November 10-14, 2008 as "Urgent Care Awareness Week".

Urgent Care Awareness Week 2008. Click to learn more...
While not a replacement for the critical care capabilities of a hospital emergency department, urgent care centers can provide walk-in, extended hour medical care for cuts and lacerations, sprains/strains, colds, fever, flu, insect bites, ear infections, rashes, back aches, vomiting and diarrhea, stomach aches, simple fractures, and many other illnesses that are not life or limb threatening.

We urge you to speak candidly with your personal Physician or health care provider about the role that clinics and urgent care centers can play in keeping you well, and encourage you to become familiar with facilities that are convenient to where you live, work and play.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical situation that demands the immediate presence of an ambulance and Fire Department Paramedics to get you to the hospital emergency room, never hesitate to call 9-1-1.

If instead, your situation is urgent but not an emergency, please consider the advice of your medical doctor and the services of a walk-in urgent care center in your community.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Volatile Cargo Stabilized Following Valley Village Collision

Sunday, November 09, 2008 |

On Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 12:07 PM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 69 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Charles Butler, responded to a Hazardous Materials related Traffic Collision at the intersection of Burbank Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Valley Village.

Los Angeles Firefighters handle a leaking cryogenic container. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...Firefighters responded quickly to discover a collision between a passenger car and a small cargo truck, with the latter vehicle - from a medical supply firm, overturned and leaking product from a single 600 pound capacity cryogenic tank within the vehicles enclosed cargo area.

Querying the driver and seeking shipping papers, firefighters soon confirmed the leaking product, which was causing visible condensation on the body of the cargo truck, to be highly volatile liquid oxygen.

After promptly instituting a 500 foot exclusion zone around the overturned truck and closing the busy thoroughfares, firefighters coordinated the calm and orderly evacuation of a nearby restaurant and commercial nursery, as LAFD Hazmat experts arrived at the scene.

The Los Angeles Fire Department HazMat team swiftly stabilized the leak of liquid oxygen, further determining that an additional 18 ten-pound compressed oxygen cylinders in the cargo truck represented no escalating hazard.

Los Angeles Firefighters upright an overturned cargo truck. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...Following their acute hazard mitigation, which included the abatement of ignition sources and the delicate removal of cargo, firefighters safely uprighted the truck with an LAFD Heavy Rescue Unit at the request of Los Angeles Police officials.

Though exhibiting no obvious injury, the 35 year-old male truck driver, having been struck by unrestrained equipment in the cab of his vehicle, was taken to Sherman Oaks Hospital for further evaluation. The male and female minors who had been in the passenger vehicle were uninjured, and released to their parents at scene.

No other injuries were reported.

At the conclusion of LAFD operations, control of the scene was given to the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Health Hazardous Materials Division, the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and the Los Angeles Police Department, which is investigating the collision.

(photos) (photos)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Paramedics: An Art Guided By Science

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Though the work of Los Angeles Firefighters may seem best gauged by the speed of lights and sirens, there is a great deal of clinical and field research applied in the 83% of our daily responses that involve pre-hospital care.

At the helm of emergency medical services provided by 3,586 uniformed personnel, including 747 Firefighter/Paramedics, is the Los Angeles Fire Department's Medical Director, Dr. Marc Eckstein, MD.

A recent presentation by Dr. Eckstein at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly 2008, highlighted the science behind the care we proudly provide:

Chicago, IL - Significantly more adult patients with cardiac arrest had their heartbeats restored by emergency-medical service (EMS) personnel in Los Angeles after adoption of cardiopulmonary-resuscitation (CPR) guidelines that emphasize treatment at the scene... (read more...)

A former New York City EMS Paramedic, Dr. Eckstein also serves as the Director of Prehospital Care at the LAC/USC Medical Center, and remains active in advocacy and research related to prehospital care and trauma management.

We welcome you to visit a Neighborhood Fire Station to learn more about the team, tools and training that make LAFD pre-hospital care successful.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Does the Miracle of Mark Tomita Live in You?

Saturday, November 08, 2008 |

While great things happen daily at the Los Angeles Fire Department, we'll be the first to admit those bordering on miraculous happen less often.

Firefighter Mark Tomita knows a thing or two about saving lives. But last Sunday, he had the chance to finally meet the person whose life he saved, not as a firefighter... (read more...)

We'd like to thank our Brother Mark Tomita for his selfless and thoughtful act - a miracle that you may be able to emulate tomorrow. To learn more, call (888) 236-4673 or visit:

www.asianmarrow.org


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Is Danger Lurking in Your Clothes Dryer?

Friday, November 07, 2008 |

The issue of fires in clothes dryers is certainly nothing new in Los Angeles, where firefighters respond daily - even hourly, to blazes that erupt in and near even the most modern machines.

These frequently preventable fires erupt in mansions and tenements, and have injured Los Angeles Firefighters, destroyed homes and caused tense moments for residents of nearby communities.

Though the facts may at first seem overwhelming, the danger can often be abated through awareness, maintenance and simple home improvements.

KTVK's Javier Soto reports...



While firefighters cannot endorse a particular 'dryer vent cleaning' company, we do encourage you to spend a few minutes reading the owner's manual for your clothes dryer, and paying heed to warning labels. If you have doubt as to the safety of any home appliance, we suggest you contact a trained expert.

Cleaning, realigning or replacing your clothes dryer vent system can only pay dividends if you make an investment of time and effort today!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Partners With The Allstate Foundation for Disaster Preparedness

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 |

During November 2008, the Los Angeles Fire Department is partnering with the Allstate Foundation to launch a "Disaster Preparedness Public Safety Education Campaign" for residents of Los Angeles.

Allstate Foundation. Click to learn more....Made possible through a generous donation from the Allstate Foundation, the campaign actively reminds more than 4 million residents of America's second-largest city to prepare themselves, their families and friends for any natural or man-made disaster.

Education and preparation are not only key to surviving disaster, but also the recovery from such events. The Allstate Foundation's $98,000 donation enables a partnership with the LAFD to enact a model campaign including:

  • Banners displayed in front of more than 100 Neighborhood Fire Stations throughout the City of Los Angeles.
  • Street banners displayed at 30 high profile locations across the City.
  • Billboards featuring the campaign message throughout the Los Angeles area.
  • Magnetic signs posted on the sides of all LAFD fire apparatus (highly visible moving billboard).
  • Advertisements on the rear of Metro transit buses serving the LAFD's 471 square mile jurisdiction.
  • A public service announcement featuring Richard Karn of “Home Improvement” fame.
  • The purchase of media time for the public service announcement.
  • An appealing checklist brochure on how to prepare for disasters.
  • Glow sticks, mini emergency/first aid kits, mini flashlights as promotional items.
We thank the Allstate Foundation for enabling the men and women of the LAFD to creatively share the important message of disaster preparedness.


Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department