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Overturned Semi Creates HazMat Incident on 405 Freeway

Thursday, April 30, 2009 |

© Photo by Juan Guerra. Click to view more...On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 11:25 PM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Foam Tender 100, HazMat Tender 75, CHP, LAPD, L.A. County Health HazMat, Cal Trans and DOT, under a Unified Command, responded to a HAZ MAT incident at the southbound San Diego FY x Ventura FY in Sherman Oaks.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...Firefighters responded to reports of a traffic collision involving a semi on the 405 Freeway. As Firefighters arrived onscene, they found a tractor trailer on it's side, with a load of approximately 8600 gallons of butane, in an uncompromised container. A HazMat assignment with additional companies was requested. A Unified Command was established with LAFD, CHP, LAPD, Caltrans and L.A. County Health HazMat. As the HazMat Teams checked the container's integrity, the Unified Command developed a plan to offload the contents safely. Several Engines were utilized to relay a 4 inch supply line from Sepulveda Boulevard, located below the freeway. An aerial ladder truck was used to relay water from the rear of F.S. 88, across a storm drain, to the freeway above. A contingency plan was formulated for evacuations if needed. Butane when compressed is in liquid form, but when released, is highly flammable.



© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...At 0415, the tractor and container was righted, towed away without incident and its contents offloaded at Balboa Park, under the supervision of the HazMat teams. 104 Firefighters and specialty companies assisted in controlling the incident. The driver was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. The driver stated he was avoiding an abandoned vehicle in lanes and flipped the trailer.

(video) (photos)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Workers Extricated From Collapsed Trench in Sylmar

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 |

© Photo by Rick McClure. Click to view more...On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 6:40 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Emergency Lighting, DOT, Street Maintenance and a Cal OSHA Inspector, under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West, responded to a TRENCH RESCUE at 15839 W. Larkspur St. in the Sylmar area.

© Photo by Rick McClure. Click to view more...Firefighters responded to a reported trench collapse and rescue. Firefighters arrived on scene and found a 40 foot long trench, 4 foot wide by 8 foot deep, with 2 workers trapped. One worker was trapped with debris and dirt to his thighs, while the second worker was trapped almost to the chest. An additional USAR company was added to the assignment. One major concern of the IC, was a 12 foot long section of concrete curbing needing stabilization, to not cause additional injury to the patient.

© Photo by Rick McClure. Click to view more...18 minutes into the incident, one worker self extricated with the aid of a shovel provided by Task Force 98 in coordination with the stabilization of the trench walls. The male worker, approximately 63, was assessed with no complaint of injury and transported to an area hospital. With the use of hand tools and a vacuum truck, the debris was removed slowly by the USAR Firefighters. Two hours, 15 minutes into the incident, the second worker was finally extricated from the trench. He was assessed, treated and prepped for transport to an area hospital.


It took 81 Firefighters and Specialty companies 4 hours and 20 minutes to complete the incident. The workers were working on the sewer line at the curbline, in front of the single family dwelling.

(video) (video) (photos)


Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles to Remember Murdered Firefighter

Thursday, April 23, 2009 |

Fallen LAFD Firefighter Brian Phillips. Click to learn more...The Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcomes you to join firefighters, their families and caring members of our community this Saturday at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Hollywood, as they remember and honor Firefighter Brian E. Phillips on the 30th anniversary of his murder by arson.

Saturday, April 25, 2009
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
LAFD Museum & Fallen Firefighter Memorial
1355 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028


We are pleased to offer an interactive map with driving directions to this dignified and ritual-filled ceremony, which honors not only our Brother Brian, his widow and orphaned stepdaughter, but all 257 Los Angeles Firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to our City.

Following Saturday's ceremony, there will be an opportunity to tour Southern California's most compelling Fire Museum, which stands adjacent to the Memorial. We hope that you and your family will join us.

(event photos)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

5 Critically Injured in Westwood Traffic Collision

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On Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 11:23 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 41 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Greenup, as well as one CERT Coordinator, responded to a Traffic Collision with Entrapment at 2827 South Westwood Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

Firefighters responded to reports of a multi vehicle traffic accident. Upon arrival, Firefighters found 2 vehicles which had collided, resulting in the injury of 5 patients. Early reports indicated that possibly as many as three were trapped inside the vehicle. As Firefighters cordoned off a safe work area, other Firefighters initiated patient triage, treatment and prepared them for transport. Firefighters found 1 female, 60's, in very critical condition after being ejected from her vehicle. 1 male, 60's, was extricated from a vehicle in grave condition and was later declared deceased at the hospital. The remaining 3 critical patients were a male 18 months, a male, approximately 25 and a female, approximately 35. All patients were transported to area hospitals.

During the triaging of the incident, Firefighters found 3 small dogs who were also victims of the traffic incident. All 3 were transported to a local animal shelter for initial treatment, where one later died. The cause of the incident will be determined by the local investigating police agency.

(video)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies for Diana Igawa, acting PSO
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Damages Three Occupancies in Panorama City Strip Mall Complex

Sunday, April 19, 2009 |

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...On Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 10:31 PM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, DOT, DWP, L.A. County Health and a Building and Safety Inspector, under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 9044 N. Woodman Av. in the Panorama City area.

First arriving Firefighters on scene found heavy smoke coming from the rear of a 1 story, 100 foot by 100 foot commercial building. Further investigation indicated the fire was in the occupancy located in the center of the small, strip mall type complex. As Firefighters vigorously deployed handlines to gain control of the fire, the multiple heat holes cut by the ventilation team spewed fire, indicating the fire had truly progressed into the attic. The IC was prompted to request additional companies to gain control of the fire. A consideration was made to go defensive with master streams, but the deployment of additional 2-1/2 inch hoselines by Firefighters from the added incoming companies, thwarted the progress of the fire by blasting out the drop ceiling and reaching the seat of the attic fire. Members were alerted that a large portion of the roof was unstable and at 2302 hours the majority of the roof collapsed.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...It took 68 Firefighters 37 minutes to achieve a knockdown on the fire. There was one minor injury to a Firefighter who was transported to an area hospital. The cause is currently still under investigation. The estimated dollar loss is $600,000 [$200,000 structure, $400,000 contents]. The occupancies effected were: the AlRight Pawn Shop (point of origin), Pupusas Restaurant and the Iglesia Misionera.

(photos)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Damages Doors to Mid-Wilshire Church

Friday, April 17, 2009 |

On Friday, April 17, 2009 at 12:04 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, 5 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a Structure Fire at 435 S. Occidental Bl in Mid-Town.

Fire Department resources arrived to a small one story church in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles to find a small fire on east doors outside of the establishment. Fire crews made quick work in putting out the fire in less five minutes confining the flames to only the outside of the structure. There was no damage to the interior of the building and no injuries reported to civilians or Firefighters.

The House of Worship Task Force was called to the scene and concluded that the fire was deliberately set and will continuing the investigation. The estimated loss of this fire is at $10,000 structure only.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Discover Body in Burning Motorhome

Thursday, April 16, 2009 |

On Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 1:18 AM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 5 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team - a total of 27 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, responded to a Civilian Fatality Fire at 6050 South Gramercy Place near the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles.

Firefighters responded quickly to reports of smoke in an industrial neighborhood, to find a large motorhome parked on the street well involved with fire.

Charred Motorhome. Mandatory Credit: LAFD Photo by Harry Garvin. Click to view more...Tackling the flames in less than ten minutes, and preventing the fire from spreading to nearby businesses, LAFD personnel soon discovered the lifeless remains of one person inside the charred vehicle.

A positive identification of the deceased person, including their age and gender as well as the cause, time and manner of their death, will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the blaze is still being tabulated. The cause of this early morning fire remains under active investigation.

(photo) (video)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Found Dead at Scene of Brentwood Fire

Monday, April 13, 2009 |

On Monday, April 13, 2009 at 3:38 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 6 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 38 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Randy Beaty, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Fatality at 12026 Benmore Terrace in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from the upper "street level" floor of a 2-story terraced hillside home.

LAFD Firefighters Assist Investigation. Mandatory Credit: LAFD Photo by Harry GarvinAided by precise vertical ventilation, firefighters made an aggressive interior attack on the blaze, confining the fire to the upper floor and extinguishing the flames in just 28 minutes.

During a methodical search of the 3,234 square-foot residence, firefighters discovered the body of an elderly male. Beyond medical help, he was declared deceased at the scene.

No other injuries were reported.

The presence of smoke alarm(s), their functional status and role at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. There were no window security bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede egress. The 56-year old home was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

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

Monetary loss from the fire has been estimated at $1,750,000 ($1,500,000 structure & $250,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze remains the focus of a joint Police and Fire Department investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Toddler Killed at Los Angeles Car Wash

Saturday, April 11, 2009 |

On Saturday, April 11,2009 at 1308 PM, 1 Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance and 1 EMS Battalion Captain responded to a Fatal Injury at 505 South Vermont Avenue in Mid-Town Los Angeles.

Paramedics arrived quickly to find an 18 month old male with severe injuries to his body after being run over by a large Sport Utility Vehicle at a full service car wash.


View Larger Map


The small child was playing unattended when he was crushed by one of the tires of the vehicle. He was quickly treated on scene by firefighter/paramedics and was rushed to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, where he was Pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Circumstances surrounding the incident are being further investigated by the LAPD. Counseling was provided to all parties involved at the scene.

The tragic death of this young boy servers as a reminder of how important it is to keep a strict watch over our little ones especially any place where vehicles are present.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Extinguished Quickly in City Asphalt Plant

Friday, April 10, 2009 |

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...On Friday, April 10, 2009 at 2:35 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Dan Mc Carty, responded to a reported Structure Fire at 7245 N. Laurel Canyon Bl. in the North Hollywood area.

Firefighters responded to reports of a structure fire at a known address approximately a block from the Fire Station. As Firefighters pulled out of the station, they saw a huge plume of thick, black smoke. On arrival, Firefighters were directed to a 200 gallon tank, with approximately 40 gallons of fuel, which had ignited. The intense fire was impinging on two, 8,000 gallon containers of asphalt contents, prompting Firefighters to expeditiously deploy handlines as cooling measures for the larger containers, preventing their potential ignition. An immediate request for additional companies, a Foam Tender and a Hazardous Material Squad was made by the IC.

With copious amounts of water, Firefighters were able to gain control of the blaze. The intense heat from the blaze did partially compromise one of the 8,000 gallon containers. Because of the abundance of water needed for the fire, hydrocarbon tainted runoff was diked to prevent flow into the storm drain system.

64 Firefighters were needed to knock down the fire in 17 minutes. No injuries were reported to civilians or Firefighters. The cause is undetermined and the dollar loss is estimated at $500,000 to machinery and wiring. The asphalt plant is one of two plants in the City of Los Angeles, a part of the Department of Public Works.

(photos)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Storage Near Wall Heater Sparks Woodland Hills Blaze

Monday, April 06, 2009 |

On Monday, April 6, 2009 at 8:20 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 41 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronald Jackson, responded to a Structure Fire at 6300 Jumilla Avenue in Woodland Hills.

Firefighters arrived quickly and witnessed smoke and fire coming from two rooms of a 2,000 square-foot ranch style single family dwelling.


It took crews 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

There were two occupants in the home at the time of the fire; however both made it out safely prior to the arrival of the Fire Department. 1 occupant sustained minor injury to his knee , the other with no visible injury, neither needed transport.

Two dogs were also caught in the blaze, one escaping with its life and one perishing in the flames.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $24,000 ($20,000 structure & $4,000 contents). Firefighters noted excessive storage in the home and determined the blaze was caused by the ignition of ordinary combustibles placed near an electric wall heater.


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Dies In South L.A. When Carport Collapses

Saturday, April 04, 2009 |

On Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 9:41 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 3 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, a total of 57 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Craig Yoder responded to a Collapsed Structure at 1549 East 51st Street in South Los Angeles.

Neighborhood Firefighters arrived quickly to meet a group extricating a man trapped beneath a 20' x 30' carport that had collapsed during a remodeling project.


View Larger (you can also click, grab & zoom the pre-incident image above)

According to witnesses, the work group - which included one or more members of the homeowner's family, had been in the midst of replacing or repairing the footings of a heavy timber peak-roofed carport at the rear of the property, when the temporarily supported structure suddenly collapsed.

As a witness summoned aid, the team of remodelers commenced rescue of their friend with lightning speed, using a jack to hoist the 600 square-foot structure enough to nearly free the trapped man on firefighter's arrival.

Despite the instant effort of witnesses and swift arrival of Los Angeles Firefighters, the 38 year-old victim proved beyond medical help and was declared dead at the scene.

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

Issues regarding the presence, need or worksite use of safety equipment and approved procedures were initially placed within the purview of Cal/OSHA officials, and later the City of Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Gas Station + Friend + Match = Near Disaster

Wednesday, April 01, 2009 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department has long emphasized the importance of safety at automotive fueling stations, an issue highlighted in a popular LAFD video of a gasoline pump fire accidently caused by static electricity.

Some blazes at gas stations however, are the result of foolish and potentially deadly behavior.

This week in Arizona, surveillance video captured the result of a passenger playing with fire while a car was being refueled:


Igniting both a vehicle and it's driver, what was likely intended as a prank leaves a 'friend' with painful and debilitating burns - in an event that didn't need to happen.

The LAFD joins the National Fire Protection Association and Petroleum Equipment Institute in reminding you...

Be Safe at the Service Station!



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Huffing Their Way Home From School

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On Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 3:53 PM, 1 Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and LAUSD Police, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Vidovich, responded to a reported overdose at 1839 S. Walton Av. in the Mid-City area.

Firefighters responded to reports of several students overdosing from an unknown substance. As Firefighters arrived on scene, they found School Police with 5 teen aged females, ranging in age from 14 to 16 years. Some of the girls were symptomatic.

The ladies had been observed by the School Police "huffing" an unknown substance. Huffing, is the abuse of inhalants by middle school children, which has increased by 44 percent over the last few years, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Huffing brings on a euphoric effect and risks include brain damage and death. Recently, several teens have died after inhaling difluoroethane, a chemical found in a popular computer cleaning spray known as "Dust-Off."

The primary inhalant abusers are the 12 to 17 age group, followed by 18 to 25 year olds. Inhalants are one of the few substances younger children abuse more than older children. Sudden death from fatal cardiac arrhythmias is now being reported in teen aged abusers. Death from huffing can occur with first time users. Chronic abuse can result in serious, sometimes irreversible, damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain.

Inhalants produce effects similar to alcohol intoxication. Symptoms include:

* drowsiness and
* lightheadedness

Continued use causes:

* dizziness
* hallucinations or delusions
* belligerence and
* impaired judgment

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, would like to remind parents and adults that we cannot divert our attention from this critical family health issue. Help us in educating others regarding this potential teen epidemic.

Additional information can be found at the following websites:

Abuse of Inhalants
Signs and Symptoms of Inhalant Abuse
Inhalant Use
What Parents Should Know

(video)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Stress Awareness

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April 2009 is Stress Awareness Month, sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies and misconceptions about stress prevalent in our society.

What is stress?

Stress is a fact of nature. With the overabundance of stress in our lives, stress is thought to be a negative, but biologically, stress can be a neutral, negative or positive experience. Is stress a non-specific response of the body to a demand placed on it? Or, are we having problems or conflicts--emotional, physical, financial, etc., that are painful or troubling.

Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When stressed, the body responds as if it were in danger, making hormones that speed up the heart, make you breathe faster and provides a burst of energy, in other words the “fight-or-flight” stress response.

Stress can be an external or internal factor. External factors include: the environment, your job, relationships, situations at home, challenges, difficulties and daily situations you are confronted with.

Internal factors include: the body's ability to respond to or deal with external stress factors. Internal factors include: nutritional, health and fitness levels, emotional well-being and the amount of sleep you get.

Research indicates that stress plays a role in many cardiovascular disorders. It also contributes to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiac risk factors (e.g. smoking, overweight, etc.).

Are you showing the signs of stress?
Excess stress can manifest into emotional, behavioral, and even physical symptoms. Common physical symptoms are:

• sleep disturbances
• muscle tension
• headache
• gastrointestinal disturbances
• fatigue
• nervousness
• anxiety
• changes in eating habits
• loss of energy
• mood changes

Common symptoms of stress which effect the body:

• Rapid heartbeat
• Headache
• Stiff neck, tightness in shoulders
• Back pain
• Rapid breathing
• Sweating
• Nausea or diarrhea

Over time, stress can affect your immune system. Constant stress makes you more prone to get sick more often. With chronic illnesses such as AIDS, added stress makes symptoms worse. Stress is also linked to high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeats, blood clots and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). It's also linked to coronary artery disease, heart attack and heart failure.

The top stressors for Americans: money (81%), the economy (80%), work (67%), and health problems affecting the family (67%), according to surveys by the American Psychological Association (APA).

You can learn to manage and control stress by:

• Finding out what is causing the stress in your life.
• Reducing the amount of stress in your life.
• Learning healthy ways to relieve stress and it's harmful effects.

Oh, So Totally RelaxedSimple stress relaxation techniques:

• Meditation
• Deep breathing exercises
• Self message
• Take a personal time out
• Music


For more information, the following helpful websites:
Interactive stress measurement tool

The effects of stress on the body

Stress and Cardiovascular Disease

What exactly is Stress?

Stress and the Economy

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

World's Largest Firefighting Helicopter Debuts Today in Los Angeles

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The Los Angeles Fire Department has secured an exclusive contract to own and operate the nation's first 'Heli-Station', a helicopter fortress that will bring the full capabilities of a fire station above the scene of any emergency.

Built on the proven 'Hotelicopter' platform seen below and in these images, an LAFD prototype debuts today, April 1, 2009 in the skies of Los Angeles.



Learn more about this *amazing* helicopter at:

www.hotelicopter.com



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department