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Los Angeles Firefighters Say: You Count!

Saturday, February 27, 2010 |

Members of your Los Angeles Fire Department are adding their voices to the call for every Angeleno to participate in the 2010 Census.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution requires our Federal government to make an accurate count of all residents. An accurate count helps determine how many firefighters are needed in your neighborhood; where new Fire Stations should be built, and the amount of funding required for essential life safety services.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Millage Peaks explains in this video...

Los Angeles residents are encouraged to learn more by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mar Vista Blaze Injures Family of Three

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 |

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 5:09 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 34 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ron Leydecker, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injuries at 3712 South Meier Street in Mar Vista.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a neighbor assisting a 43 year-old female from a one-story single family home with the front well involved with fire.

With word that others remained trapped, firefighters commenced the successful rescue of an 11 year-old girl and a non-breathing 40 year-old male from the smoke charged 1,044 square-foot residence.

A team of LAFD Paramedics assisted the critically injured man, while their colleagues treated the lesser-injured girl and woman who both suffered from minor burns and smoke exposure. All three were taken by ambulance to Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.

Swiftly extending hand-lines and performing vertical ventilation, firefighters fiercely battled the blaze preventing the spread to near by residences and extinguishing it in just 26 minutes.

A Smoke Alarm was present in the home, but its functional status and role in alerting occupants could not be immediately determined.

Though the building featured legally compliant window security bars equipped with internal release, the woman related challenge in activating them for egress.

The Los Angeles Fire Department along with other Fire-Safety organizations would like to remind citizens that Smoke Alarms are critical for the early detection of a fire in your home and could mean the difference between life and death. There should be a smoke alarm on every level of the home, in hallways near sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms. Change all of your Smoke Alarm batteries when you change your clocks back to Standard Time on November 1, 2010.

While bars on windows do provide security, if they are not working properly they can prevent escape from a deadly fire. These quick release devices should be easy to open and it is imperative they are maintained. Families must plan and practice escape routes while remembering, "Once Out, Stay Out".

The 83-year old home was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

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

Submitted by Brian Humphrey and Erik Scott, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD's Dale Gant: Calling it Quits After 8,000 Hours of Risky Flying

Sunday, February 21, 2010 |

Daily News columnist Dennis McCarthy reports...

The winds hit you first. They slam you side to side in your helicopter and beat your brains out, but you keep going.

A couple of your buddies are riding your tail, following your lead through a dark, smoky canyon at night.

They're counting on you getting them close enough to the flames for an effective water drop - then getting the hell out of there.

If you fail, you're tomorrow's tragic headline.

"You have to trust that guy," veteran Los Angeles City Fire Department pilot Jeff Moir says. "We all trusted Dale. He was that good."

After 35 years of fighting fires in this city, first from the ground then as a helicopter pilot for 28 of those years, Dale Gant retired Friday.

He made one last surveillance flight over mudslide areas to check catch basins before coming home to the operations center at Van Nuys Airport.

"I shut it down, looked at my helicopter, and... (more...)"

Thank you Dale, for 35 years of devoted service to our City and its Fire Department. Tonight, families parented by one of the countless young lives you saved in air ambulance responses will tuck their own children to bed in one of thousands of homes you helped spare from wind driven wildfire. Their lives - and ours, will forever be enhanced by your presence and professionalism. You are by any measure Sir, an angel among us.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Woman Fatally Struck by Metro Blue Line Train

Friday, February 19, 2010 |

On Friday, February 19, 2010 at 4:08 PM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Armando Hogan responded to a Train vs. Pedestrian Fatality at 1700 East Century Boulevard in Watts.

Firefighters and Paramedics arrived to find a 51 year-old female, with major injuries after being struck by a southbound Metro Blue Line light rail train. The woman was reported to have been thrown several feet, before the train finally came to a halt over her body. It was difficult for rescuers to access the woman who paramedics assessed and determined deceased at the scene.

The northbound and southbound rail lines were shut down for several hours until it was declared safe to reopen the tracks for train traffic. All passengers where escorted to a safe location during the incident. There were no other injuries reported at this incident. The circumstances of this fatal train accident will remain under investigation by local law enforcement and transportation authorities.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Celebrating a Legendary Firefighter: LAFD Retiree Arnett Hartsfield

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department welcome you to join them on Friday, February 19, 2010 in saluting Retired Firefighter Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr. who is being feted as Honorary Fire Chief for the day.

The LAFD recognizes and honors the lasting contributions made by the legendary retiree, who along with others successfully lead the fight for racial integration of the LAFD during the mid-1950’s.

We hope you can join us for one or more of these events on Friday, February 19, 2010:

8:30AM - 9:15AM
African American Firefighter Museum
1401 South Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

10:00AM - 10:30AM
City Hall Council Chambers
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA

10:45AM - 11:45AM
Los Angeles Fire Commission
200 North Main Street, Room 1820
Los Angeles, CA

12:15PM - 2:00PM
African American Firefighter Museum (Reception)
1401 South Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

We encourage you to learn more about the inspiring history of African-American Firefighters by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

3-Story Building Under Construction Consumed By Fire

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 |

On Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 4:19 AM, 15 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 Arson Units, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Heavy Equipment Team including 3 Bulldozers, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 119 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief David Yamahata, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 2020 South Main Street in the Washington Boulevard Corridor south of downtown Los Angeles.

Summoned by a passerby, Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find a three-story building comprised of a two-story hotel over commercial units that was "under construction" and well involved with fire.

Varying degrees of construction, including raw lumber, open conduits and routine construction debris, allowed the fire to spread rapidly and gain a stubborn foothold as Firefighters tackled the flames.

Firefighters utilized Rotary saws to cut through metal fences in order to gain access around the yet to be occupied building. A bold defensive operation commenced against a well-entrenched fire using heavy-streams such as Ladder-pipes capable of spraying up to 1,000 gallons per minute.

The fire was confined to the structure of origin and extinguished in just 45 minutes and no injuries were reported.

Loss from the fire is $600,000 (structure only, no contents). The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey & Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Structure Fire Leaves 2 Injured & 1 Dog Deceased

Friday, February 05, 2010 |

On Friday, February 5, 2010 at 3:16 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injury at 4716 East Klamath Place in the South El Sereno area.

As firefighters were en route through pouring rain they received a message stating, "Person reported to be trapped inside." They arrived to find smoke billowing out of the rear of the one-story single family dwelling and were relieved to find all occupants standing out front of the house.

Firefighters aggressively used hand-lines to attack the blaze, conducted a search-and-rescue operation to ensure no one was left behind, and performed strategic vertical ventilation to release thick black smoke and heat.

View Larger Map and Pre-Fire Image

Meanwhile Paramedic Firefighters in front of the house treated two of the occupants. A four year-old male suffered smoke inhalation and a 65 year-old male suffered first degree burns, both were transported to L.A. County USC Medical Center in stable condition.

During firefighters search-and-rescue efforts, they also found one lifeless pet dog within the home. Without vital signs of life, the animal proved to be beyond their assistance and was declared deceased at the scene.

Thirty four firefighters extinguished the flames in the 920 square-foot structure in less than eighteen minutes. Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $130,000 ($85,000 structure & $45,000 contents). It is unknown if the 86 year-old home had smoke alarms and the fire's cause remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Spokesman Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department