LAFD Responds To 'Guiberson' Wildfire Near Fillmore

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 |

Pursuant of a formal Mutual Aid Request, the Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned one Strike Team of firefighters and one contract Helitanker to assist the Ventura County Fire Department and allied agencies in their battle against a brush fire near Fillmore, California, 20 miles northwest of our City.


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These 24 personnel from the Los Angeles Fire Department have been dispatched to the Guiberson Fire in accordance with California's Fire & Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System. Administered by the California Emergency Management Agency, the system is designed to ensure additional resources to local jurisdictions whenever their resources are committed or insufficient for a specific emergency incident.

The City of Los Angeles remains protected by the use of additional staff and reserve apparatus to cover foreseeable local needs.

The men and women of the LAFD ask motorists to remain watchful for these and other convoys of emergency apparatus, 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 this wildfire, including the actions of assigned LAFD personnel, will be provided by the Ventura County Fire Department, which maintains daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

13 comments:

Jennifer said...

1 strike team. Man i hope when the hollywood hills burns ventura decides to send more that 1 strike team. How pathetic that the so called Best Fire Department on the west coast cant help out their county neighbors

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to you, Jennifer, the LAFD has been stretched extremely thin in the month battling the Station Fire, which though nearly out, is still not 100% contained. I agree in with the spirit in assisting neighboring counties, and I'm sure that when the fire is completely contained a full month after it began burning, the department may be able to spare additional units.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Jennifer, I am saddened that you harbor much less express such sentiment. Though your comment borders on being impolite, I chose to publish it for no other reason than to affirm that:

A) The foremost responsibility of any Fire Department is to first protect the populace of its own jurisdiction; and most importantly...

B) In accordance with California's Fire & Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System, we seek to fulfill whatever is requested of us.

The operative expression [*very strongly emphasized*] being "whatever is requested of us".

No Fire Department in California forces its way into the sovereign territory of a neighboring jurisdiction without being requested.

Let there be no mistake that Ventura County Fire Chief Bob Roper, a great friend of the LAFD and Los Angeles Firefighters, would not hesitate to ask for or accept whatever he desired and needed from our agency and the many others in our State's Mutual Aid System.

Similarly, let us not overlook the operational challenges brought forth upon Fire Departments throughout the Golden State by factors far beyond the control of any single agency.

While we harbor no doubt whatsoever that our highly capable colleagues from Ventura County would all-but-strip-the-cupboards-bare when needed to save life and property in Los Angeles (as they did in September 1970 during the epic "Ring of Fire"), your sentiment is at best presumptive.

If our LAFD response to this formal and highly specific mutual aid request was in any way inadequate, we are confident that we will hear from Chief Roper and his staff.

Until such time, we ask you to join us keeping the safety of residents and firefighters as an overarching concern.

Jennifer, if you'd like to follow up on your concern with LAFD Administration (or Chief Roper), kindly let me know. I would be pleased to see that any and all of your concerns are addressed forthwith.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer.....wow, how sad someone can post such an ill thought out comment.

As Brian pointed out, the mutual aid system is in place. I am sure all Ventura asked for was dispatched.

The LAFD provides mainly type I engines to these large fires. When in fact a lot of the offensive firefighting is being done by hand crews/Hot Shots and the like. Many of whom are inmates from different state and county jails/prisons.

The Type I engines are mainly used to support the crews and/or structure protection. Any and all people that post on the site should read up a little before hand. So you don't look sooooooo ummmmm ignorant.

Then agian Brian just educated you.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 11:38 and 6:51, thanks for joining the conversation. In order to continue this thread in the spirit of politeness (the only demand we make of of commenters) we ask anyone who may wish to add their thoughts to address the issue and offer *their* opinion rather than (directly or obliquely) speaking to the contributions of another commenter.

Regardless of what notions our visitors may have, we strongly encourage them to follow the links in this article to better understand California's Mutual Aid System - a system that remains the global standard for emergency services collaboration in times of duress.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

P.S. To All: Thanks for speaking your heart, but keeping things polite!

old guy said...

Right on Jennifer,

LAFD used to be the best, now your just like everyone else. With your schedule, your not streched out, your Browned Out, you can't help anyone. Hope those politicians downtown wake up soon. Before something tragic happens in L.A.

Anonymous said...

Brian correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Ventura requested one strike team and our heavy lift helicopter which we sent. Is that correct? Perhaps you can explain to readers that we cannot just show up to another agencies fire, and that the LAFD usually can fulfill any mutual aid request, as we did so at the Station Fire (3 Strike Teams and Helicopters)

Thanks for the great work.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 3:25,

You are welcome and correct.

If I didn't make it apparent to readers in first reply (#3 in the series above, point "B"), the LAFD sent what was requested of us to the Guiberson Fire.

That fire is under the capable control of Ventura County Fire officials, who are now being supported by CAL FIRE Incident Command Team 10.

While not central to the post, some might find this of interest...

After I penned the initial message for our blog, the Regional Coordinating Center requested a Strike Team be assembled from three neighboring Fire Departments.

When the LAFD discovered the trio of Fire Departments were only able to muster 4 of the required 5 Fire Engines to constitute a response-capable Strike Team, the LAFD unblinkingly assigned Engine Company 10 to join the resources from the smaller agencies, who would have otherwise been unable to respond to the fire.

I would kindly ask the casual reader to reread my earlier reply and the links offered, to gain not only a greater understanding of California's Master Mutual Aid system, but also sense that every Fire Department in our State is facing unique and unprecedented challenge.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Ok people, I know we all have our agendas. Lets keep our comments based in facts. Although the LAFD is running with less these days. In this paticular case, it didn't effect the LAFD's ability to help out our neighbors to the North. It could have a grave effect if a large wind driven fire hit the hollywood hills. Or several fires hit at once. In such a case, the lack of avalible engines to protect life and property will be felt.

Like most cuts in public safety, it isn't front page news untill the disaster hits. Then the hand ringing will start. Even with the cuts, LAFD is staffing more firefighters than most southland fire departments do.

If you have not raised the case with your local Counsel Person or Mayor, then you are also part of the problem. Encourge your people to support pulic safety.

If you are protected by engines staffed with less than four firefighters,if your police cars are staffed with less than two, if your paramedic crew is less than two CERTIFIED PARAMEDICS (not EMT's) you are taking a chance. These are the FACTS. If you are ok with the risk, that is fine. But don't complain when your neigbor hood burns or the one police officer waits for back-up before they can come save you and the one paramedic shows up can't do airway and meds at the same time to save your parent's life.

It isn't the fire engine, ambulance, and police car that saves lives, It is how it is staffed that makes the difference.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 8:16, thank you for your polite and thought-provoking post.

As you clearly mention, public safety response capabilities should never be taken for granted (in any community), and are worthy of regular analysis and public discourse.

While such discussion is to be encouraged in the proper forum, we offer the gentle reminder that this thread pertains to LAFD responding to the 'Guiberson Fire' and we can't get too far afield (in this particular comment thread) in related though important societal issues.

Again, thanks for your comments.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank LAFD for their assistance with the fire in Ventura county. While living in the same area that is now threatened by this current fire, I had to evacuate twice due to prior fires. I know how fast they can move through the area. All help there is deeply appreciated. I now live and work in LA county and see daily how hard these folks work. Thanks for all you guys and gals do.

An ER RN.

Penny said...

I normally do not post on these sites but just felt like I needed to take a minute to thank our fire department. There are a lot of negative comments and that is truley distressing.

I for one believe the LAFD is doing and will continue to do all they can to protect us and prevent fires. I live in Corral Canyon in Malibu and am grateful to them EVERY SINGLE DAY. If it wasn't for these amazing men and women my house would not be standing.

While I hope they extend help to any neighborhood in need I Know they will protect us first. There is a red flag warning right now in my home area. I have personally seen the LAFD up on my mountain just doing patrols and checking things out. I am forever thankful for all they do to protect me, my home, my animals, and my neighbors.

The great thing about the LAFD is that even the people who voice nothing but negativity they will put their life on the line to save. So I guess all I really want to say here is THANK YOU LAFD FOR KEEPING US SAFE!!!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Penny, thanks for taking the time to read and participate in this forum. Your kind comments about firefighters is indeed heartfelt, and for that we all thank you.

While California's fire service blurs political boundaries, and the LAFD has been to Malibu many times in recent years, it is important for us to note that the 'first-due' firefighters bravely protecting your hometown are members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD).

The LAFD (our agency, protecting the City of Los Angeles) and LACoFD are similar sounding but separate agencies that work closely around the clock every day of the year.

Whether you are closest to a LACoFD Hometown Fire Station in the County of Los Angeles or a contract city like Malibu, or visiting close to one of the many Neighborhood Fire Stations in the City of Los Angeles, we hope you will stop by soon to say hello!


Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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