All posts by Palzee

INSIDE THE COMMAND POST – EPISODE 2

A look at the first arriving company and chief officers as they arrive on scene, give their size-up, perfrom a dynamic risk assessment of the situation, start developing an IAP and building the IC system. This video shows a working commercial fire as well as three apartment fires, one of which is vacant and abandoned.

Hope you enjoyed the video and please fell free to give us your thoughts and comments below.

Announcing the 13th Annual Craig Alder Charity Golf Tournament

Announcing the 13th Annual Craig Alder Charity Golf Tournament! Craig Alder, the son of retired LAFD (Los Angeles City) Fire Captain Rich Alder and brother of SBFD (San Bernardino City) Battalion Chief Mike Alder, was an SBFD firefighter whose career was cut short when he suffered serious brain injuries after being struck by a car while crossing the street in his home town of Temecula. Family and friends have put together this annual golf tournament for Craig and his family, wife Buffy and two sons Jake and Wyatt, to help ease the financial burden of living expenses plus his continuing care and rehabilitation. Last year’s tournament was a huge success and we sincerely appreciate the support of the LAFD, SBFD and many other fire departments, friends and families.

 Craig Alder - 1995

This year’s tournament will be held Monday, September 14, 2009 at the Temecula Creek Inn Golf Club in Temecula, Calif. The tournament will be a four person scramble format with a 9:00 AM shotgun start. Men and ladies are welcome and you may enter as a foursome or as individuals. The entry fee is $125.00, which includes golf, cart, banquet lunch and T-shirt.

Hole sponsors and tee sponsors are also needed. Entry blanks will be sent to past participants and you may get further information by contacting Mike Alder at (951) 972-7878 or by clicking on the attached documents below.

Thank You in advance for your support,

Michael Alder

13th Annual CA Golf Cover

13th_Annual CA Golf_Flyer[1]


 Mike & Craig Alder 1995

SBFD APPARATUS COMMITTEE BACK AT PIERCE

The SBFD “Apparatus Committee” was recently back in Appleton, Wisconsin at the Pierce Factory working with Sales Rep Kevin Newell. Currently, the San Bernardino City Fire Department is in the process of purchasing seven fire engines and two aerial ladder trucks from Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.. The SBFD is purchasing seven PUC’s with the Arrow XT chassis and two tractor drawn aerial ladder trucks, also with the Arrow XT

The SBFD and it’s current fleet, which is almost entirely Pierce is looking to replace seven of the twelve front line engines that were last purchased in 1999. The SBFD is a very busy fire department and four of the seven engines, currently have over a 100,000 miles on them. Battalion Chief Mike Alder and Denis Moon head up the committee, which consists of two Captains (Kevin Bathgate & Dan Harker), two Engineers (Jim Davis & Pat Burton), and one Fire Mechanic (Tony Zamora). Mike and Denis have been involved in the apparatus specification process for the SBFD since 1990 and have learned a lot over the years and have seen quite a few technological changes. The SBFD apparatus committee is really looking forward to taking delivery of the seven engines and two trucks. For the first time, they have been able to build an engine that will have the type of compartmentation that they need for their firefighting and ALS demands as well as a 178″ wheel base that they need for maneuverability”.

SBFD Apparatus Committee SBFD Apparatus Committee Pierce Sales Rep SBFD Apparatus Committee SBFD Apparatus Committee

Some of the other issues that they were dealing with had to do with firefighting efficiency and safety. As popular as the SCBA seats are in the fire service they had observed problems with seat belt use while responding to fires. The committee along with the fire department staff felt that it is very difficult to wear the seat belt and the bottle at the same time. They removed the bottles and placed them in a compartment and attempted to give their personnel more leg room and comfort. At the same time it, they will eliminate the problem of the Captain trying to get his/her bottle on quickly and catch up with two other firefighters that are more than ready to get inside the building.

Another big change was the elimination of pre-connected attack lines and replaced with a manifold system that allows for very simple hose deployment and a more systematic and efficient charging of the attack lines. The PUC also has pump and roll capability.

The two tractor drawn aerial ladders have a medium duty 250 lb tip load Pierce aerial ladder and they eliminated the use of a pre-plumbed waterway. The apparatus committee felt that the vast majority of their aerial ladder use was to access the roof of a building for ventilation and the pre-plumbed waterway made it more difficult to quickly ladder buildings, always having to be aware of the pinnable waterway location. In the rare event that the SBFD has to resort to a “Ladder-Pipe” operation, the deployment of the 3″ hose may be a little slower but at that point what is the big hurry?

The SBFD should be taking delivery of four engines and one truck at the end of May and the delivery of the other three engines and the other truck at the end of June. If you have any questions regarding the apparatus specs and the thought process behind the decisions that were made for the development of the PUC and the Tractor Drawn Aerials please feel free to contact Battalion Chief’s Mike Alder or Denis Moon at 909-384-5279 or you can also contact the Pierce Sales Rep Kevin Newell (South Coast Fire Equipment) at 909-673-9900.

Taking A Look Back At The DEADLY Sunset Hotel Fire

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California Hotel Fire Leaves Four Dead And 18 Injured 29 Dec 2002 SAN BERNARDINO, CA: Four people were killed and 18 others were injured as fire spread through the top floor of a small residential hotel early morning Saturday. Firefighters managed to pull dozens out of the blaze to safety. When firefighters reached the Sunset Hotel just before 01:00PST, several people were hanging from the upper floor windows. Firefighters used ladders to reach more than 30 people, including a 2-month-old infant, but others were trapped inside, and much of the third floor was fully involved in flames.
These were the headlines from one of the deadliest hotel fires in recent years. Five years later, the hotel has undergone a complete transformation, including a name change and the installation of residential sprinklers. However, for members of the San Bernardino City Fire Department who were involved at that fire we will never forget the tragic events that occurred in that building on 12/29/02. Ironically, it did not occur just once, but twice. A little more than a year later another major fire occurred in the building that resulted in a single civilian fatality and extensive damage to the building.
Having been involved in two very significant and deadly hotel fires in a short period is rare. However, from a firefighting standpoint, it can’t be over emphasized the importance of strategic and tactical pre-planning. The entire San Bernardino City Fire Department had a thorough knowledge of the building and a tactical readiness that was without a doubt, a big help with the successful outcome of the second fire.
Taking a look back after five years is very interesting. This was one of those fires that you think about your whole career. What will happen? What will I do if I am in charge of a situation like that? Can I prepare enough for a fire situation like that? What I have learned is that it is not near as important to know the answers to those questions as it is to share the lessons learned with those in the fire service that come behind us.
The San Bernardino City Fire Department is rapidly becoming a very young fire department. we have nearly 1/3 of the fire department that has less than 5 years on the job. The vast majority of those people were not involved with either one of those two tragic hotel fires. It is crucial that we share the lessons learned. What we did right and what we could do better next time, because it is not a matter of if. Rather, it is matter of when.
As I looked back after 5 years and was sharing some of those lessons with our younger people I found a letter that I had written to the entire fire department and specifically, to those that were directly involved with the fire. Below, is the letter that I wrote to the men and women of the San Bernardino City Fire Department:

When I first got into the fire service, I remember being told by a very wise firefighter that there would only be a few fires in my career that I would have the opportunity to display all of the tools that it takes to literally save someone or better yet, save several lives. He said that although those opportunities are very rare it is of the utmost importance to spend your career training as though your very next fire is going to be that one that you will remember for the rest of your life and the one that you don’t want to have any regrets about how yourself, your company or your entire fire department handled that opportunity. On December 29th at 00:55 hrs the SBFD got that opportunity. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you, to all of the men and women who displayed the utmost in professionalism during the fire fighting operation and more specifically the physical rescues of men, women and children who most certainly were going to die if those necessary tools were not displayed correctly. I have never been more proud to be a member of the San Bernardino City Fire Department, than during that firefighting operation. Without a doubt, I was witness to the most impressive display of rescue and firefighting skills that I have ever seen in my 20 years. Some would say, that is crazy considering that four civilians lost their lives. I would say that those lost lives are extremely unfortunate and even more unfortunate considering how hard and desperate you all tried to keep that from happening. However, anyone who was on that fire also understands that many others are alive today because of individual efforts that went far beyond what most in the fire service have ever had the opportunity to display. Those individual efforts were unbelievable and believe me, I was in probably the best position to see most all of it. Those individual efforts were combined to make the best team effort I have ever seen in my career. Shortly after the fire was extinguished and the chaos started to diminish, I had an opportunity to reflect on some of the things that occurred on the fire ground. I have often wondered how good our fire department really is. We have talent and personality that is immeasurable, but I have always believed that the real test of how good our fire department is on the fire ground, would come when we had the opportunity to handle a situation like the one that we were confronted with at the Sunset Hotel. I have no doubts about that now. Some would say that we were all just doing our job and that is the way it should be. I would say they are right. However, what I saw on that night went far beyond just doing the job. I saw firefighters, engineers and captains who made rescues that go beyond just doing the job. I saw captains that displayed the type of leadership that make those rescues happen in a professional and timely manner. As for me. Well, after preaching the truck company stuff for so many years to so many people who probably thought I was a bit eccentric and maybe a bit overboard on some of the philosophies I can now smile when I think back on the things that I saw and how professionally it was accomplished. Of the 47 “A” shift personnel on duty the day of the Sunset fire, 27 of them were from the “B” and/or “C” shift. We always joke about being three fire departments, but the reality is that looking at the shift diversity of the personnel that were on that fire shows that we are truly becoming one fire department and the efforts of all who were on that fire are truly representative of the entire SBFD. Thank you for your efforts and your professionalism. You should be very proud of yourselves and each other. Keep up the good work and remember, those types of fires and situations don’t come often but in a 25 to 30 year career, especially in this City, they will come. Be Ready!