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Monday, July 30, 2012 |

If the answer for you, without any hesitation, is unequivocally "yes" then we have some good news. If, perhaps, you are on the fence and not quite sure...well, then read on.

The good news is, as a result of recent retirees (a note to all retirees: "thank you" for your years of service and dedication!!), City Council has granted the Los Angeles Fire Department approval to get the hiring process rolling. That means, as we head into the Fall, our recruiting efforts will soon be in full-swing.

The last time your LAFD saw a new class of recruits sworn-in, was back in February of 2009. What that means for you, if you are interested, is that it will be competitive. Very competitive. But that element never seems to change. Again, back in 2009, nearly 17,000 potential candidates expressed interest. This go-around, we are expecting at least that number. Why? Because it's been quite a while since we last hired, the fire service has always been very competitive and a very sought-after career and it's no secret, that many have endured a very tough job market and economy for several years now. That often translates into people looking for a "change."

This is not meant to discourage anyone. In fact all are welcome! We do want you to be prepared and we want you to know what to expect. And make no mistake, you will need to be prepared. Mentally and physically.

In addition, there are a few other characteristics that a good, solid candidate should possess. Battalion Chief Steve Hissong, who heads-up the LAFD's Recruit Services Unit, summed it up best: "A good candidate for the fire service would be an individual of high character, morals and values; one that has a sense of wanting to serve others. That doesn't necessarily always have to be the individual that's pursued their fire service degree."

With perhaps only 350 firefighter slots available over the next couple of years, however, anything to give you a competitive advantage, will help.

So, how do you start this process? What are the minimum requirements (age, education, etc.)? All of these questions and more can be answered at a newly launched website, dedicated solely to our recruiting and hiring efforts:

To all potential candidates, we wish you the very best of luck!

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

House Fire Claims Life of Man in Glassell Park

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 |

GLASSELL PARK -  An adult male was found deceased in a fire that destroyed a house on the rear of a hillside lot in Glassell Park. The early morning fire was quickly extinguished by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Just after 1:00 AM, on July 24, 2012, Los Angeles Firefighters were summoned to 3844 Aguilar Street, to find a two-story hillside residence, with a 464 square-foot detached home in the rear, that was fully involved in fire.

Firefighters worked aggressively to extinguish the intense flames consuming the wood frame constructed rear home with shiplap siding. Flames rapidly spread to a carport, shed and damaged a neighboring by residence to the East.

Due to the swift work of 52 firefighters, under the direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill, the blaze was extinguished in just 20 minutes.

Sadly, a 33 year-old male was found without vital signs of life, in the bathtub of the rear structure.

In examining the fire's aftermath, it was not immediately known if there were functional smoke alarms. There were no window bars, security doors, or obvious non-fire factors to impede the victim from exiting the home. The residence was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

A positive identification of the deceased man, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

The cause of the early morning blaze is under active investigation by LAFD's Arson Section and LAPD. While the rear structure appears to be a complete loss, the estimated dollar loss is still being tabulated.

Dispatched Units: E55 RA55 E250 T50 RA850 E42 EM1 BC2 E44 E12 T12 E212 RA56 E201 T1 E220 T20 DC1 SQ21 BC1 AR1 AR36 AR3 AR23 AR39 E3

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Take a Tip from Federal Business Travelers When Choosing a Hotel

Sunday, July 22, 2012 |

Hotel Fire and Life Safety. Click to learn more...If you're like millions of Americans, you'll soon visit a favorite website to secure travel reservations.

Even now, you may be trying to make sure you don't forget something for that special trip: Room with a view? Check! Around-the-clock room service? Check! Heated pool and spa? Check!

You might think you have it covered.

The Los Angeles Fire Department asks you to go just one step further, by always staying in a fire safe hotel or motel.

LAFD wants you to be as safe as the Feds!

The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 mandates that Federal employees on official travel must stay in public accommodations that strictly adhere to life safety requirements specified in the legislation.

Why the law?

Still not convinced?

Investigations in the aftermath of the MGM Grand fire revealed that had the hotel been fully outfitted with automatic sprinklers, the damage from the small electrical fire would have been a puddle of water.

The fire in the Dupont Plaza tragedy moved with such speed that the hotel's casino patrons were dead before the local fire department had even been notified. Testimony following the fire indicated that the blaze would not have posed any threat to life at all, if smoke alarms and a sprinkler system had been in place!

Then again, maybe you already knew that.

What you may not know is how to access the Hotel-Motel National Master List that Federal employees (and Los Angeles Firefighters) use. It's no more difficult than visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Special Effect at Hollywood Nightclub Sends 6 to Hospital

Saturday, July 21, 2012 |

HOLLYWOOD - More than 400 patrons at a Hollywood nightclub were sent scrambling for the exits, and six were taken to the hospital, after a large volume of carbon dioxide used as a theatrical fogging effect filled the venue on Saturday evening.

The initial call at 6:04 PM on July 21, 2012 sought the Los Angeles Fire Department to assist one or more persons having difficulty breathing at the Avalon Hollywood, located at 1735 Vine Street.

Firefighters and Paramedics arrived quickly to find scores of mostly young people who had escaped the auditorium after an unknown vapor suddenly filled the room. With some patrons clearly ill and displaying superficial burns, LAFD responders escalated the incident to a multi-patient hazardous materials investigation, bringing 70 LAFD personnel and allied agencies to the scene.

Vine Street was temporarily closed between Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue as dozens of emergency vehicles, including nine Fire Department ambulances lined the roadway.

The Fire Department swiftly assembled triage and treatment areas and prepared for the possible decontamination of the crowd, as LAFD HazMat experts combed the theater and conferred with club staff.

It was soon determined that a larger than desired amount of cryogenic liquid carbon dioxide intended for a theatrical fog effect, had been suddenly released into the well attended "teen awards show pre-party", causing zero visibility conditions. The frostbite-like burns experienced by some were attributed to contact with some of the freezing liquid that had failed to fully vaporize.

With respiratory ailments appearing to lessen in the fresh air, just 22 attendees expressed a desire for medical evaluation. Sixteen persons, including minors accompanied by their parents, ultimately declined treatment and transportation.

A total of six party-goers, including some minors, were taken to area hospitals by ambulance. They were described as being in good to fair condition. No performers were among the ill or injured.

Once determined that no hazard remained within the venue, the facility was allowed to resume business for the evening, though the original party had been disbanded.
Dispatched Units: RA27 RA827 E27 BC5 E27 E82 E76 RA35 RA61 RA86 EM11 EM13 EM1 T27 E227 E21 E221 T21 SQ21 RA821 RA21 DC3 RA68 EM13 EM1 RA26 BC18 BC11 BC13 JT2
[ photos | video ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Join LAFD at 'L. A. Works Day of Service 2012'

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES - Join in a fun, family-friendly volunteer project, that includes fire trucks, food, music, and educational safety workshops. The L. A. Works, a nonprofit volunteer action organization, will be at the Los Angeles Fire Department's Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center for a major grounds and building transformation, Saturday July 21, 2012, from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM.

Volunteers from this year’s, "L.A. Works Day of Service" are gracious enough to tend to one of LA’s most revered landmarks, the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center in Elysian Park. This  center is often the focal point from which Angelenos honor first responders who have fallen in-the-line-of-duty. The facility, a grand Art Deco building that once housed a Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, is now a main location for fire department training. It is named after Firefighter Frank Hotchkin, who died after falling through a fire-weakened roof while battling a blaze there in 1980.
Los Angeles WTC Memorial
The center also honors our Nation's first responders. Outside the building stands a 23-ton, 22' tall steel column that was originally part of the lobby structure of the World Trade Center. It is believed to be the largest remnant of the 9/11 attacks on the west coast.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is humbled by the volunteers that will be revitalizing, landscaping, painting and renovating the training center. The L.A. Works stated, "With help from the generous support of local corporations, skilled laborers, and dedicated volunteers, we are poised to give back to our city’s first responders like never before." The sworn and civilian members of the Los Angeles Fire Department look forward to working with you and thank you!

For more information about the day and how to get involved, please visit

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LA Fire Chief Cummings Unveils Task Force IDA

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES - Fire Chief Brian Cummings today unveiled the LAFD Task Force on Information and Data Analysis (Task Force IDA), a multi disciplinary task force that is comprised of sworn and civilian LAFD personnel, with specialized technical assistance provided by subject matter experts from the RAND Corporation, University of Southern California, and the Los Angeles Police Department.

LAFD SealAccording to Chief Cummings, “This Task Force provides an excellent opportunity for the LAFD to  refine its process for presenting clear, consistent and easily understood information regarding our response times, as well as establishing measurements and benchmarks for all that we do.”

Chief Cummings has tasked Task Force IDA to analyze and validate critical data, including response time data; develop additional policies, processes and systems to accurately capture, measure, and report key activities of the Fire Department; develop a system that will enable data to be shared with members of the Fire Department in a collaborative method to foster dialogue that will lead to enhanced performance and development of best practices that can be shared throughout the organization; and develop a system to make appropriate LAFD Data and Information available to the public in a transparent manner.

Chief Cummings appointed LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler to Chair Task Force IDA, with Chief Butler reporting directly to him on matters within the jurisdiction of the Task Force. Task Force IDA will work in cooperation and conjunction with Fire Commissioner Alan Skobin, who was designated by the Fire Commission as Liaison and Committee Chair for response time data and development of a system that is inspired by LAPD’s COMPSTAT.

Task Force IDA has already held its first meeting, at which a strategic road map was discussed, and
members divided themselves into two working committees. The committees will address Data Accuracy and Interpretation, as well as Performance Measures. There are currently 11 members on the Task Force, along with technical advisors, 5 of whom hold PhD degrees in various disciplines. Task Force membership and support will expand as necessary.

Commissioner Genethia Hundley-Hayes, President of the Fire Commission, stated that “Creation of this Task Force by Chief Cummings is an important step forward in both rebuilding public trust and using data as an effective management tool. Chief Cummings selected outstanding leaders from within LAFD to participate in this very important project, and the distinguished technical advisors from the RAND Corporation, USC and the LAPD provide an additional layer of expertise and a validation of the Task Force’s work product. Task Force IDA has the full support of the Fire Commission.”

Chief Cummings added, “I am truly excited by the broad scope of experience, knowledge and expertise of the members that make up this Task Force and the technical advisors who are lending their expertise. I am confident that with their understanding and passion for the Project, Chief Butler’s leadership, and the strong support and collaboration of Commissioner Skobin, this group will quickly produce tangible results.”

Chief Cummings also acknowledged the efforts of Jeff Godown, whose work in conducting an examination of response time data served as an important foundation for one prong of the work to be performed by Task Force IDA.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Koreatown Blaze Destroys Vacant Apartment Building

Monday, July 16, 2012 |

KOREATOWN - An intense fire Monday afternoon that destroyed a vacant Koreatown apartment building, damaged four cars and threatened as many as six buildings, was extinguished in just 38 minutes, but not before forcing as many as ten neighbors from their nearby home.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 5:28 PM on July 16, 2012 to the vicinity of Olympic Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue for a possible structure fire. Quickly following visible smoke to the neighborhood, firefighters arrived promptly to do swift battle with extreme flames at a location they initially declared as being on "Serrano Avenue".

The temporarily misstated location was later corrected by responders to 1017 South Berendo Avenue, and confirmed to be a vacant 3,700 square-foot, two-story center hallway apartment building that was undergoing a major renovation.

A one-story "L-shaped" electronics firm immediately to the north, as well as a two-story residence directly to the south were impacted by towering flames, as were to a lesser degree, four other residential buildings in the vicinity. A bold and relentless assault on the flames by 98 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel limited the most serious fire extension to one upstairs room of the neighboring home and surface fire to roof of the electronics firm.

Additionally, four private vehicles sustained significant damage.

Within minutes of the Fire Department's arrival, the fully engulfed upper floor of the 111 year-old wood frame and stucco apartment building began to fail, collapsing upon the first. No residents or firefighters were in harm's way as the flaming remnant of the building crashed to the ground.

Los Angeles Police Officers summoned LAFD Paramedics to a nearby address at the height of the fire to evaluate a man reportedly injured by the blaze, but it was soon determined his minor injuries were not related to the conflagration.

The fire was fully extinguished in just 38 minutes, and no other injuries were reported.

As a result of the fire, as many as ten unrelated adults living separately in the damaged home to the south were directed to seek temporary accommodation - though only one desired placement assistance from the American Red Cross.

Overall loss from the blaze has been estimated at $525,000, while the cause of the fire remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E211 E11 T11 RA811 RA11 E226 E26 T26 E61 SQ21 EM11 BC11 BC1 E10 E13 E6 E229 E29 T29 E261 T61 DC1 EM1 BC18 BC2 T3 E203 RA3 T27 E227 RA827 UR88 BC5 RA27 AR1 AR7

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Model Plane Suspected Cause of 30 Acre Wildfire


SAN FERNANDO VALLEY - More than 100 firefighters responded by ground and air to battle a fast-moving thirty-acre grass fire in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area on Monday afternoon.

The wildfire was reported at 12:18 PM on July 16, 2012, south of 6400 Woodley Avenue, within a 2,000 acre public reserve of undeveloped land in the south San Fernando Valley, that serves as a seasonal flood control basin.

Light but variable winds fanned flames in three-foot tall grass that led to thicker and more volatile vegetation, as the fire quickly grew. Los Angeles Fire Department helicopters performed precise aerial water drops to help contain the forward movement of the fire, as LAFD ground crews deftly flanked the flames.

Wildfire Scorches More than 30 acres in Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...They were soon joined by five Los Angeles County Fire Department handcrews, four of their Supervisors and an LACoFD helicopter to collectively contain the fire in just 47 minutes.

The flames were fully extinguished in less than 90 minutes. A preliminary estimate of twenty acres burned was increased to 30.5 acres following a more detailed assessment once the smoke cleared. No structures were threatened or damaged, and there was no need for evacuation.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters suspect that a radio-controlled model aircraft from the nearby Apollo XI Model Aircraft Flying Field, may have landed unintentionally in the tinder dry grass, sparking the blaze. Los Angeles Police Officers interviewed witnesses at the scene for what remains an active investigation.
Dispatched LAFD Units: E100 BC10 E90 WT88 E88 E88 H0D H1 E83 E81 RA100 E290 T90 E239 E39 T39 E273 T73 E93 DC3 EM15 BC14 H4 H6 E87 E70 E84 BC17 BC729 RT83 E89 E105 BP28
[ photos | photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Injured in Canoga Park Apartment Blaze

Saturday, July 07, 2012 |

Canoga Park Apartment Blaze. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...CANOGA PARK - Intense flames gutted an under-construction, three-story apartment complex in Canoga Park early Saturday morning. Nearby buildings were spared destruction, however three firefighters were injured.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned to 7050 Vassar Avenue, just after midnight on July 7, 2012, to find a 50' x 100' apartment complex, well involved in fire. The building was under various stages of construction, with scaffolding reaching the third floor. Roaring flames on top of the structure stretched over 20' into the sky, threatening nearby buildings.

A bold and well coordinated offensive attack ensued, as firefighters rushed inside with hand-lines, and strategically cut holes on the roof.

Due to the aggressive work of firefighters, the flames were extinguished in just over one hour by nearly 100 Firefighters, all under the command of Battalion Joseph Chief Foley.

Three Firefighters Hospitalized Following Canoga Park BlazeAlthough nearby buildings were spared destruction, approximately seven units were damaged, displacing some residents.

One male firefighter suffered a hand injury and was transported to a local hospital in fair condition, and placed off-duty. Two other male firefighters were evaluated, one for an eye injury, another for illness, however, both remained on-duty.

The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section, and the dollar loss is still being tabulated.

Dispatched Units: E72 E105 T105 E305 RA105 RA84 EM17 BC17 E84 E106 E104 E296 T96 E273 T73 DC3 SQ21 BC15 T93 E293 T87 E287 E93 E60 EM15 BC12 BC14 E88 UR88 RA88 T89 E289 RA889 BC10 AR2 E87 T88 E288 DC3 SQ21 BC9 E105 T93 E293 AR2 BC17 DT3 T39 E239 E90 EM17 E93 E98 E39 E88
[ photos | photos | slideshow ]

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Debuts New Firefighter Recruitment Website

Thursday, July 05, 2012 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department and City of Los Angeles Personnel Department are pleased to announce a new on-line resource to help aspiring Los Angeles Firefighters "Get LAFD Ready!"

With the possibility of a City of Los Angeles examination for the position of Firefighter being held in the Fall of 2012, the Fire and Personnel Departments have jointly unveiled a revamped recruitment and job preparedness website at , as well as a new Twitter account @JoinLAFD

Serving as the official gateway to LAFD Firefighter employment, the new website provides all of the information necessary for men and women interested in making the Los Angeles Fire Department their life's work. Learn more now by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fireworks Injure Several in Southland, Including 3 Los Angeles Children

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES - A series of preventable mishaps with personal-use fireworks sent several Los Angeles residents to the hospital on Independence Day, including at least three children who sustained painful injuries.

Hospitals across the region reported seeing firework related injuries from walk-in patients throughout the day on Wednesday, July 4, 2012; and in at least two separate cases, Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics provided care to firework injured children under the age of five.

At 9:02 PM, LAFD crews rushed to the 500 block of West 111th Street in South Los Angeles, where a 3-year-old boy was one of two persons in a large crowd injured by illegal fireworks. The boy suffered a significant forehead laceration, while an unrelated 38 year-old man sustained a puncture wound to his leg.

At 9:35 PM, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the 2200 block of East 101st Street in Watts, where a 4-year-old girl suffered a sizeable and potentially scarring full-thickness burn to the right side of her neck when as much as 2 percent of her body surface area was impacted by a flaming and outlawed "Roman Candle".

The parents of yet a third Los Angeles area child burned by unlawful fireworks made a frantic 9:27 PM telephone call from their car to 9-1-1 Dispatchers while racing to a local hospital, but did not offer their location, additional details or remain on the line.

The many persons - especially young people, injured by personal-use fireworks in Los Angeles stood in stark contrast to the countless families across the region who safely attended professional displays.

It is important to note that the possession or personal use of any firework has been outlawed in the City of Los Angeles since World War II.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Provides Keys to Safe and Sane Independence Day

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 |

If you listen, the "U.S.A." chants are getting louder. "London Calling" you say? Absolutely. First, however, we celebrate our country's Independence Day! With, white and blue will once again be the order of the day!  Despite its mid-week celebration this year, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, will no doubt bring out the best and in some unfortunate cases, the worst in revelers from coast to coast.

For the safety and security of all, your Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) reminds you once again, that fireworks of all types, even those dubbed "safe and sane", remain illegal in the City of Los Angeles. We encourage everyone to join with firefighters everywhere in support of a safe Independence Day by attending or viewing a public fireworks show sponsored and produced by professionals. For detailed information please visit:

You may choose to spend the mid-week Holiday at home with your family or a small group. But it is Summer and you may have opted to travel by air, road or rail and spend it with the masses elsewhere or perhaps with a huge group that just happens to resemble your family. Wherever you wind up and however you do it, your LAFD would like to offer a few tips on staying safe and perhaps keeping yourself sane. Additionally, we want you to rest easy knowing your LAFD stands always at the ready for anything that may come our way.

These 4th of July Safety Tips are provided with help from our friends at the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and a few of our own, we thought were worthy of mention:

  • Cook, grill or BBQ intelligently. Use clean plates, store food properly and prepare it correctly. Oh yeah, and watch out for over-exposure to the grill..yes, too much to eat!
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure and sun damage...especially if it's your attempt to even-out that burn from the "fluorescent sun" in your office. Wear sunscreen. Apply it generously and often.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions. Find or tune into a news source.
  • Be aware of changing traffic conditions, road closures and other delays.
  • If in or around any body of water, please pool safely and always have someone watching the water.
  • If you take to the mountains for some hiking or biking, don't go alone and please do so during daylight hours. Hydrate and pack a snack. Don't underestimate the terrain. And, if you have one, take a mobile phone with you and make sure it's charged.
  • If you choose to imbibe, don't drink and drive! We all know the sobering statistics. Appoint a designated driver early, use a driver service (there are many), call a cab or just stay sober!
  • Whatever you do and wherever you do it...have fun, but please exercise good judgment and common sense!
LAFD's Air Ops: "Patriotic Hydration"

Enjoy the weekend. Enjoy family and friends. Enjoy foods and libations (in moderation.) And enjoy the freedom and liberty that was made possible by those the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for our independence!

May God Bless the United States of America!

And the crowd chants "U.S.A....U.S.A...U.S.A."

Submitted by, Matt Spence Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department