'Firefighters' Silence Speaks in Black and White

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 |

Through the Los Angeles Fire Department Photo Pool at Flickr and the LAFD YouTube Channel, we are honored to share still and moving images of your neighborhood firefighters at work.

Today, we're pleased to highlight a unique video that offers stark contrast to the explosive color and stirring audio to which we all have grown accustomed.

Please join us in the captivating silence of a black and white production by videographer A.L. Howard, entitled "Firefighters":

We encourage you to share your still and video images of the Los Angeles Fire Department in action by simply naming or tagging your Flickr images or YouTube video with 'LAFD'.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Chief Douglas Barry's Holiday Message to Los Angeles Firefighters

Sunday, December 21, 2008 |

Los Angeles Fire Chief Douglas Barry delivers his 2008 holiday message via video to the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department...

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Damages Porn Business


On Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 2:19 AM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Miller responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8037 Remmet Ave in West Hills/Chatsworth Lake/Canoga Park.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a large single-story commercial building with heavy fire and smoke showing. Firefighters used forcible entry tools to gain access to the interior of the structure. A well coordinated interior fire attack combined with ventilation efforts on the roof allowed firefighters to quickly gain the upper hand on the fire.

The fire was controlled in just twenty-three minutes and was confined to approximately one-quarter of the structure. The building, apparently being used as a pornography studio, suffered smoke and water damage estimated at $250,000 ($200,000 structure and $50,000 contents). There were no injuries reported and the cause of the early morning fire is under investigation.

Submitted byRon Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Mourn the Passing of Captain John E. Lawrence

Friday, December 19, 2008 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department welcome you to join firefighters and friends of the LAFD on Saturday, December 20, 2008 in celebrating the life of Captain John E. Lawrence, who passed away unexpectedly while off duty.

As seen in the video above, Captain II John E. Lawrence was an active member of our Department on the cusp of retirement. A 34-year LAFD veteran, he was widely respected in the community as well as within the ranks of the Fire Service. He will be greatly missed.

We welcome all to join us...

Memorial Service:

Saturday,December 20, 2008
10:00 AM
LAFD Air Operations/Fire Station 114
16617 Arminta Street
Van Nuys, California 91406

Interment: Immediately following the Memorial Service

Oakwood Memorial Park
22601 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, California 91311

Reception To Follow:

Los Angeles Fire Department
Fire Station 28
11641 Corbin Avenue
Porter Ranch, California 91326

In Lieu of Flowers, Donations are Kindly Requested:

Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association
Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund
815 Colorado Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90041

Your on-line condolences are welcome via the comment link below. They will be printed and shared with his family.

Submitted on behalf of:
Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva
Community Liaison Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles City Budget. What's Important To You?

Thursday, December 18, 2008 |

Los Angeles City is facing major financial challenges over the next few years that will affect many facets of each of our lives. Mayor Villaraigosa and other City leaders are asking for your input on the performance and necessity of the services provided by the City and to help them place priorities on the levels to maintain.

Mayor Villaraigosa and City Leaders are conducting an online survey, and all stakeholders are encouraged to take this survey to convey your concerns regarding the priorities City leaders should establish when developing the City's budget.

From Mayor Villaraigosa...

"Fellow Angelenos:

The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles is given the responsibility by the City Charter to develop a budget plan that must be presented for City Council consideration by April 20th of each year...

Given these daunting challenges, it is important to hear from community members about their budget priorities and their thoughts regarding the City’s revenues and expenditures. I urge you to participate by completing the budget survey. Your participation will help ensure that budget priorities encompass the most pressing needs of our City."

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles City Leaders encourage every stakeholder to take a few minutes out of their day to take this very important survey and voice your concerns to help your elected leaders make these difficult decisions.

Take Survey

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Woman Dies In Christmas Season Fire

Monday, December 15, 2008 |

On Monday, December 15, 2008 at 5:04 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Leonard Thompson responded to a Structure Fire at 470 W 42nd St in the Exposition Park/Coliseum Area.

Firefighters arrived to find a two-story duplex with smoke showing from the second floor and fire in the attic. During the initial attack on the fire, Firefighters discovered a 63 year-old female inside the home. The patient was immediately provided with advanced life support intervention and transported to California Medical Center. The patient was declared deceased at the hospital.

The fire was confined to 1 unit and extinguished in just 36 minutes, with 59 Firefighters. The cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding the fatality are under investigation. The dollar loss has yet to be determined.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Free Man From Industrial Paint Mixer

Monday, December 08, 2008 |

On Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:04 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 36 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Charles Butler, responded to an Industrial Machinery Entrapment at 7234 Atoll Avenue in North Hollywood.

Firefighters responded quickly to Circle Paint, a manufacturer of paint and coatings, to find a worker with his arm badly trapped in an industrial mixer.

With an LAFD Urban Search and Rescue Team and Heavy Rescue Unit en route, first-arriving firefighters promptly established Incident Command and scene safety for the rescue.

Physically supporting the conscious and alert 43 year-old man, firefighters made him as comfortable as possible, while machinery was stabilized and confirmed to be unpowered. Soon thereafter, and while medically addressing issues of pain management, firefighters manually unwound the machine to disentangle his arm.

In fair condition with multiple open fractures to his left arm, the man was transported by LAFD ambulance to the trauma center at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

No other injuries were reported.

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

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Unique Dual Use Heliport Unveiled in Los Angeles

Sunday, December 07, 2008 |

Robert F. Maguire Heliport in Downtown Los Angeles to serve both hospital and corporate needs

The first state-of-the-art heliport designed to serve both trauma air transport needs and corporate clients in Downtown Los Angeles was unveiled on December 4, 2008 at the formal dedication of the Robert F. Maguire Heliport.

We are pleased to share video of the event, featuring one of the LAFD's two new AW139 Helicopters and the attendance of Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, including Deputy Fire Chief Mario Rueda.

Located atop the Maguire Investments owned Grand Avenue Garage at 240 Venice Boulevard, the heliport will for the first time enable medical helicopters - including Los Angeles Fire Department Air Ambulances, to access the Leavey Trauma Center at California Hospital Medical Center.

In addition, the heliport will fill a void for corporations doing business in Downtown Los Angeles, with Maguire Aviation helicopters providing service to its corporate clients.

The development of the heliport was spearheaded by real estate developer and aviation entrepreneur Robert F. Maguire III. The 15-story garage was originally a requirement in the building of Library Tower, now the US Bank Tower, the West’s tallest building.

(photos) (video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'Death Map' a Grim Reminder to Drive Safely


Click to visit SafeRoadMaps.orgSome have called it 'The Death Map', while others see it as a sobering reminder of the need for greater safety on our nation's streets and highways.

An innovative tool that displays data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System on Google Maps, Safe Road Maps is a visual representation of roadway fatalities across the U.S.A.

More than mere statistics, Safe Road Maps allows you to enter an address to obtain a satellite and street level view of roads with the highest number of traffic fatalities. Users can narrow their search to determine the age of the driver, whether speeding or drinking was a factor, and if the driver was wearing a seat belt.

The men and women of your Los Angeles Fire Department hope that Safe Road Maps will cause you to engage in frank discussion with every driver in your household. To learn more, visit:


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Stress Has an Enemy: Tina Fukuchi

Saturday, December 06, 2008 |

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing the LAFD News & Information blog is an opportunity to experience the work of other bloggers.

Tina Fukuchi is a daily visitor to our office by way of Public Spark, a blog that inspires us to understand and creatively address the needs of those who reach out to the Los Angeles Fire Department for help.

Whether guiding us with issues of caregiver support - or understanding the problems facing Britney Spears, Tina sheds intuitive light on difficult issues.

A former Emergency Medical Technician and friend of the LAFD, Tina holds both a Master's Degree and one of the most interesting jobs in health care: Social Work Entrepreneur.

In light of the increased stress we have noted among our friends and members of the media this holiday season, we asked Tina to share...

Tina Fukuchi of PublicSpark.com'6 Tips For Battling Stress'
by Tina Fukuchi, MSW

Stress can come from all arenas of our lives. It may be personal stress, financial stress, or a combination of different factors. College students may feel anxious about their academic workload and personal obligations. Emergency personnel may feel compassion fatigue or burnout from their daily jobs of helping people. News media workers can feel the burden of meeting a deadline and constantly traveling. New moms can face the difficulties of balancing their daily work life with a new baby.

Although we cannot prevent all stressful events from happening, we can take steps to change our perception and how we deal with stress. Here are 6 tips that have helped me as well as others cope with every day stressors.


This is a proven stress buster. Exercise is a great way to help regain your energy. Some simple things I do on a daily basis include walking in the morning for about 15 minutes, practice singing (which uses leg muscles so it's actually good exercise), and practicing my golf swing.

-Maintain balance in your life:

Work life balance is key to reducing stress. It is important to have a strong support system and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Finding something new to start like a hobby can also be beneficial in keeping your energy level up. Golf, singing, and painting are some of the hobbies that have helped me keep a balance.

-Having plants around:

I grew up around parents who loved to plant vegetables and flowers around the house. Recently, I have been attracted to the beauty of orchids, as my dad is an avid orchid grower, and I have been taking care of Cattleyas. There is something to be said about nurturing and growing a plant.

-Taking a nap:

Getting the right amount of sleep for you is always important. Some people feel 6 hours of sleep is sufficient, while others need 8 hours. I know when I don’t get on average 6 hours of sleep, I have difficulty concentrating. Really feeling like you can get a deep sleep is important as REM (repetitive eye movement) sleep allows for dreaming. Sometimes, just taking a brief nap (20 min-50 min) can help rejuvenate your body, as well as sustain energy levels. This has been particularly effective for me on the "all-nighter" days.

-Relaxation exercises:

When we are stressed, we tend to breathe faster, our hearts pumping blood much faster, allowing us to feel anxious. The following are some exercises I use:
  • Breathing Exercises
    • Find a comfortable position and close your eyes
    • Place your hand on your abdomen
    • Inhale slowly through your nose and feel your lungs fill up (feel abdomen rising, not the chest)
    • Hold that deep breath for three to five seconds
    • Slowly let the breath out
    • Rest for a few seconds
    • Repeat ten times
  • Progressive muscle relaxation exercise
    • Start with deep breaths (from breathing exercise)
    • Start from one body part such as your eyes (shut your eyes tight and hold, then relax)
    • Hold up to 10 seconds and then release
    • Move from one area to another (I usually then move to my face, jaw (open mouth wide and hold, then relax), neck, shoulders (raise them up toward your ears, hold, then relax), arms, chest (take a deep breath, hold, then relax), abdomen, pelvis, thighs, legs).

I usually like to close my eyes and take deep breaths to relax. I feel my whole body relaxing and then I try to clear my mind of any voices. This is hard to do because your mind will naturally try to focus on things like the birds chirping outside or what your plans are for the weekend. I am continuing to train to let the thoughts go and allow the mind to go empty. The few seconds that I have achieved complete silence is rewarding and rejuvenating. This is an invaluable technique that I use not only for relaxation, but to free my mind, without the clutters and thoughts of everyday life.

Tina gives us a great opportunity to highlight the important contribution of social workers in the health care industry. As a veritable concierge of health and human services, these professionals have proven to be an indispensible resource to LAFD responders and those they proudly serve.

To learn more about Tina, catch her feed or visit:


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Battles Major Emergency Fire At Automotive Supplier

Friday, December 05, 2008 |

On Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 4:33 AM, 29 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 963 E. 11th Street in the Fashion District.

© Photo by Harry Garvin. Click to view more...Firefighters arrived on scene to find a large, single-story commercial building with heavy smoke billowing from the structure. An immediate and well coordinated offensive attack was made by firefighters inside the building and on the roof. Thirty minutes into the fire fight, all firefighters were ordered out of the building and a progression to a defensive strategy ensued.

© Photo by Harry Garvin. Click to view more...Using large hose lines, aerial ladder pipes, and copious amounts of water from the exterior of the building, firefighters were able to prevent the spread of the fire into adjacent businesses and gain control of the fire. After gaining control of the fire, Firefighters resumed an offensive, interior attack on the fire, declaring a knockdown in just one hour and forty-five minutes.

There were no injuries reported. "Yoni Distributors", a distributor of automotive audio equipment, suffered major damage to both the structure and contents of the business. The cause of the fire is under investigation and the estimated dollar loss is still being tabulated.

(photos) (video)

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Odor Causes Overnight HazMat Scare at L.A. Mission College

Thursday, December 04, 2008 |

On Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 2:59 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 52 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief David Frelinger, responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 13356 Eldridge Avenue in Sylmar.

Firefighters arrived quickly on the campus of Los Angeles Mission College to reports of a sulfur-like smell in the vicinity of a 2nd floor Chemistry Lab at the southeast corner of the three-story Instructional Center.

Quickly securing a perimeter and upwind command post and staging locations, firefighters conferred with the on-site Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies who serve as campus law enforcement officers.

An overnight construction worker had first noted the smell - and possible haze in the vicinity, before notifying Sheriff's Deputies who in turn summoned LAFD responders, including an LAFD Hazardous Materials Task Force.

With fire control personnel in place, an LAFD Hazmat team entered the Chemistry Lab to perform an environmental assessment. Using sophisticated handheld sensing equipment, they methodically examined the lab to find no evidence of an acute or escalating hazard.

The male construction worker who alerted authorities exhibited no illness, and no injuries were reported.

At the conclusion of LAFD operations, control of the scene was returned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Health Hazardous Materials Division, and campus officials.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department