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Man Gravely Injured in North Hollywood Blaze

Saturday, January 30, 2010 |

On Friday, January 29, 2010 at 11:51 PM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 33 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Gary Clark, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injury at 6548 Fulcher Avenue in North Hollywood.

Sent to investigate a vague report of smoke, a perseverant LAFD Engine Company scoured a neighborhood more than a quarter mile from the reporting location, to find well-entrenched fire within a one-story single family home. The four member LAFD crew summoned additional resources and immediately began attacking the blaze.


View Larger Pre-Fire Image (you can also click, grab & zoom the image above)

Forcing the front door of the smoke charged residence open with effort, firefighters discovered a motionless adult male behind the door, and swiftly moved him to fresh air. Finding no pulse on the breathless man, firefighters immediately provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation before transferring his care to an arriving LAFD Paramedic team.

During ambulance transport, a pair of veteran LAFD Paramedics were able to restore a pulse to the man, who remained in very critical condition with ventilatory assistance needed upon arrival at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

It took firefighters just ten minutes to extinguish the blaze, but not before it caused $150,000 ($75,000 structure & $75,000 contents) loss to the 1,592 square foot residence.

Though the conventional front door of the home was unlawfully equipped with a double-cylinder (key on both sides) deadbolt lock, the status of the hardware did not appear to limit the man's egress according to Investigators. There were no security doors, window bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede the man from exiting the home.

The presence and functional status of legally required smoke alarms could not be immediately determined. The 55 year-old home was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

The cause the blaze remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Paramedics on Bicycles in Los Angeles?

Friday, January 29, 2010 |

Always a welcome sight for attendees at special events in Los Angeles, the LAFD Bike Medic Program has been proudly serving our City since 2004.

Barbara Brooks files this FDNN-TV video report...


Comprised of 175 specially trained Firefighter/Paramedics available for deployment on an as-needed basis, the LAFD Bike Medic Program is one of the largest in North America.

From lengthy parades and crowded festivals to all night raves and emotion charged sporting events, LAFD Bike Medic Teams see a multitude of assignments where their special abilities and training makes a difference.

Whether deployed along the 26.2 miles of the L.A. Marathon, or helping the thousands of global travelers negotiating LAX during a busy holiday weekend, LAFD Bike Medic Teams perform Advanced Life Support where and when it is needed.

The next time you're at large event in Los Angeles, keep an eye out for an LAFD Bike Medic Team; and then enjoy your day - knowing that prompt professional emergency care from people you trust, is just a short pedal away.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Search Dogs: Ready For Anything!

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From our friends at MySafe:LA...

Meet Bo! She is a wonderful, eager, two-year old yellow labrador retriever. Her handler, Margaret Stewart is a firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department - and a director for MySafe:LA!

Margaret has a lot of wonderful stories to share about Bo, search dogs in general, and the Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) Task Force they are assigned to.

Search Dogs: Ready For Anything! from David & Cameron Barrett


Learn more about staying safe in Los Angeles at:

mysafela.org



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Salutes L.A. County Fire Department's USAR Team

Thursday, January 28, 2010 |

The clocks stand still in Port-au-Prince, 4:53 PM; the time on January 12, 2010 when things forever changed in Haiti - and soon thereafter for millions the world over, most of whom watched in quiet disbelief as images of the nation's catastrophic earthquake became evident.

While most of us in Southern California stood with slackened jaws and heavy hearts, a team of 72 highly trained and deeply dedicated friends and neighbors began to quickly assemble in Pacoima, California for a mission they had long trained for yet hoped would never come.

For more than two decades, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has helped organize and support a system of regional Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces available for mobilization by State and Federal government on an as-needed basis.

Comprised of specially trained and equipped local firefighters and other certified responders, this nationwide network of 28 FEMA USAR Task Forces includes eight in the Golden State, two of which are maintain here in Los Angeles County.

Though FEMA USAR Task Forces are equally trained, equipped and certified, only two of our nation's teams are pre-designated for service beyond our borders through the United States Agency for International Development.

One of those teams ready for international deployment on January 12 was FEMA California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), comprised of brave and dedicated men and women from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

For those unaware, the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) are similar sounding but separate organizations.

With military speed and precision, the 72 member Los Angeles County Fire Department contingent of fire fighters and paramedics, rescue specialists, emergency room physicians, structural engineers, heavy equipment operators, canine search dogs and handlers, hazardous materials technicians, communications and logistics personnel were assembled and on their way as emissaries of the American people.

Laboring selflessly around the clock for 14 days against an everpresent backdrop of despair, destruction - and aftershocks, the members of CA-TF2 performed to the highest standards and in the finest tradition of the fire service, giving hope and often life to the people of Haiti.

Among CA-TF2's many successes was this videotaped rescue of a badly trapped woman...



We offer a respectful tip o' the LAFD helmet to the members of CA-TF2, their families and all who offered aid, including two LAFD personnel summoned to serve Incident Support Team functions in Haiti.

As Los Angeles Firefighters, but more so as Americans, we are humbled by your service, compassion and valor. Most of all, we loudly echo the words of Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman:

Job Well Done. Welcome Home!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Heroically Rescues Canine from LA River

Friday, January 22, 2010 |

On Friday, January 22, 2010 at 11:19 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 2 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 2 Swift Water Rescue Teams under the direction of Assistant Chief Tim Manning responded to a River Rescue at 385 Los Angeles River in the Industrial Eastside area.

When 9-1-1 callers reported a dog in distress within the Los Angeles River and the possibility of someone jumping into the waters to rescue it, sixty LAFD firefighters from across a broad expanse sprang quickly into action on the ground and in the air. Firefighter/Dispatchers queried callers to determine that this 3 year-old German shepherd mix was trapped in frigid fast-moving water and the LAFD wanted the rescue to take place from trained professionals rather than well intentioned individuals that can all-too-easily become victims.


 

Due to recent severe weather, local flood control channels remain swelled with storm-water, causing the Los Angeles Fire Department to remain in a "River Rescue" preparedness status. Members were strategically pre-deployed to a helipad at Piper Tech, where historically many rescues have taken place, providing a short distance to the LA River. At 1119 hours they were dispatched along with ground swift water rescuers to join the Vernon Fire Department in this recovery.

Due to the fast moving water and the steep embankment, the dog was unable to climb out. Once the canine moved from the side of channel to the center, swift water rescue teams were at a disadvantage to reach him, thus the decision was made by Commanders to deploy firefighters from a helicopter in a hoist operation.

Firefighter Joe St Georges was lowered into the rapids and quickly made his way to the dog and despite being continually bit, held on to the frightened pooch as they were lifted to safety.

The helicopter flew a short distance to a nearby bridge, where it landed to transfer the German Shepherd, now nicknamed Vernon, to the care of ground-based LAFD firefighters that offered comfort and provided medical evaluation.

Vernon is being quarantined for observation (routine after a bite) at S.E.A.A.C.A. Animal Shelter and Firefighter St Georges received a bite wound to his hand and various punctures on his arms. Joe was treated and released at USC medical center.
© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...

The LAFD wishes to remind citizens that when rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, flood control channels, rivers, and arroyos can quickly fill with fast-moving water, creating a potentially life-threatening danger to anyone who gets caught or swept away. Please keep all animals under supervision and remember it is against the law to be inside a flood control channel in Los Angeles, regardless of the weather.

Thanks to all the firefighters involved and due to their bravery and continual training, this incident had a successful outcome.

After an abundance of requests across the nation to provide cards of thanks and donations, the following address is provided: 200 N Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. LAFD Administration, Attn.: Dog Rescue.

Submitted by Spokesman Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Take on LA Derby Dolls in Broomball Charity Challenge

Sunday, January 10, 2010 |

We hope you will join Los Angeles Firefighters and friends of the LAFD this Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 9:00AM in downtown Los Angeles, for a free and fun family event...

Photo by Eric Richardson used under Creative Commons 2.0 License. Click to learn more...LOS ANGELES -- Testosterone verses estrogen, bring it on... No guarantee of a sweeping victory for either team in the Los Angeles Fire Department verses L.A. Derby Dolls Broomball Challenge game Thursday, January 14 at Downtown on Ice at Pershing Square.

Members of the LAFD face off against Southern California’s premiere women’s banked track roller derby league at 9:00AM in a seriously fun game that promises to be a thrill to watch, despite the ruling of no "checking, blocking or hitting." Armed with only athletic shoes, helmets, brooms and a winning game plan, the action promises to be a spirited showcase of thrills and spills between the sexes.

Attendance is FREE but donations are appreciated to benefit the LAFD Widows, Orphan and Disabled Firemen’s Fund.

The team members from Fire Station #9 downtown and other outlying stations have been hard at work developing their game.

"We stay in shape with our jobs and training is a part of our lifestyle, so we’re confident that we will be able to run them up and down the ice for the full hour," says Fire Captain Justin Bactat who also captains the team.

But, according to L.A. Derby Doll Tae Kwon Ho, "The LA Firefighters are true heroes so it’s a real shame that we’ll have to kick their butts!"

The Broomball Challenge is a community outreach program from the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks that hosts the annual winter holiday rink at Pershing Square in the heart of the city at 532 South Olive Street.

The 12th Annual Downtown on Ice outdoor skating rink debuted November 19, 2009 and will remain open everyday through Martin Luther King Day, January 18, 2010. The last day features a free afternoon concert performance by Urban Dread.

As the largest outdoor holiday skating rink in Los Angeles with the lowest admission price, a session is just $6 and skate rentals $2.

Underground discount parking is available with validation. For more info and a detailed session schedule go to laparks.org/pershingsquare or call 213/ 847-4970.

For more info on The Derby Dolls, who have their next bout January 23, 2010 when the Sirens take on the Varsity Brawlers, visit: www.derbydolls.com/la
Press Release courtesy LAParks.org ~ Photo courtesy Eric Richardson under license


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The men and women of the LAFD hope you can join us for this free event. Pershing Square is easily accessed via convenient subterranean parking as well as direct service from the Metro Red and Purple Line Subways and DASH shuttles.

We look forward to seeing you this Thursday morning at 9:00AM for the Broomball Challenge in Pershing Square!

Here's video of the event....


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD: We'll Be There When You Need Us

Friday, January 01, 2010 |

With the arrival of 2010 comes an opportunity for each of us at the Los Angeles Fire Department to affirm our commitment to you; a pledge to remain loyal, trusted and capable public servants, willing to do whatever it takes to keep you safe.

We're proud to say our commitment is not new...



For 124 years, your LAFD: "Serving with Courage, Integrity and Pride"

To learn more about the Los Angeles Fire Department and enhancing your life safety in the coming year, visit a Neighborhood Fire Station or...



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department