Category Archives: Blog

Departments Remember 9/11

Image_Sept11Anniv_280-1In L.A. County, remembering 9/11 victims
September 11, 2009 | 7:55 am
Memorials to honor the victims of 9/11 are scheduled today in Los Angeles County, although officials said some ceremonies have been postponed due to firefighters battling the Station fire. A small ceremony began at 7 a.m. at the Los Angeles Fire Department Fallen Firefighter Memorial at 1327 N. Cole Ave. Hosted by the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society, it will last until about 8:30 a.m., said LAFD Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva. Monterey Park will host its annual Patriot Day Ceremony at 9 a.m. in front of City Hall at 320 W. Newmark Ave. It will include speeches, patriotic music and a bell-ringing ceremony.07wtc2.l The brother of the pilot of United Flight 93 is scheduled to speak at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center at 1700 Stadium Way. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Ed Reyes and new LAFD Chief Millage Peaks are also scheduled to say a few words. Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch will read a short statement followed by the ringing of an alarm that will go out to all of its stations at 10 a.m., said dispatch supervisor Art Marrujo. Pepperdine University in Malibu will again display nearly 3,000 American flags – one for each of the victims – on the lawn of Alumni Park. The flags are scheduled to stay up for a week, said Lt. Paul Magdaleno of campus security.9-11-photo-2-smaller

Las Vegas firefighters toll bells to mark Sept. 11

9-11-011LAS VEGAS—Las Vegas firefighters are joining others across the country in remembering those who died eight years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Members of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue were gathering at each fire station in the city as dispatchers prepared to toll the bells over the department’s communications channel. Officials say the bells are in tribute to the 343 New York firefighters who died responding to the attacks. A flag that once flew over the World Trade Center in New York will be at half-staff at one Las Vegas fire station that also displays a piece of steel from the buildings. Fire officials also plan a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Clark County Government Center.explosion09-11-01

LAFD Firefighters continue to campaign against service cuts

LargeLAFDSealThe Los Angeles firefighters’ union renewed its campaign Thursday against the rotating brownouts at city fire stations, delivering hundreds of postcards demanding the restoration of full service. “This is not the time to be cutting fire service,” said Pat McOsker, head of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, during a rally at City Hall. “September and October is the brushfire season in Los Angeles. We just came off the Station Fire, which was the 10th worst in California history, and we didn’t even have any winds.” Continue reading LAFD Firefighters continue to campaign against service cuts

Oakland fire union agrees to contract in face of budget crisis

IAFF 55 logo1OAKLAND — The union representing Oakland firefighters voted 335-64 in favor of a new contract that will freeze wages and increase the hours firefighters work as the city faces an ongoing financial crisis, the union’s president said this week. The city relied heavily on concessions from city workers to try to balance its budget this year, and the firefighters became the second major city union this week to agree to a new contract. Chuck Garcia, president of Local 55 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents Oakland firefighters, said the union agreed to the deal to save jobs and protect services. “I think it’s important that the citizens know that Local 55 took a leadership position to save the city $6.4 million so the city could have a balanced budget,” he said.
Under the terms of the contract, firefighters will work 56 hours a week rather than 52 with no additional pay, will have cost-of-living adjustments frozen through June 2011, will continue paying 13 percent of their retirement pensions, and possibly will have a less expensive health plan. The contract will run through June 2012.8 Engine Continue reading Oakland fire union agrees to contract in face of budget crisis

San Diego area Fire chiefs sign county contract, ’under duress’

In an about-face, the chiefs of all of the volunteer backcountry fire departments have signed a new contract with the San Diego County Fire Authority that will require all volunteer firemen to pass a physical exam to be able to continue to serve in the field. At a meeting June 16 in Ramona, the chiefs of six such departments had agreed “to stand shoulder to shoulder and not sign the contracts” for fear of losing experienced volunteers who might not pass a stringent exam. (The six included the San Pasqual Volunteer Fire Department, which is responsible for the outlying areas northwest of Ramona, including Highland Hills in Ramona.)
“We were all forced into signing the contracts and we did it under duress,” San Pasqual Chief Gilbert Turrentine said. He explained that they were originally told that they had until the end of the month to sign, but that Julian Chief Kevin Dubler was notified by county authorities on Thursday, June 25, that the contracts “had to be in Friday morning by 8 or the county would come in and take us over. So we had an emergency meeting in Julian Thursday night and decided that we had no choice but to sign.” Dubler, chief of the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, delivered the signed contracts from the holdout Zone 8 agencies to the county administration center the next morning, but they were accompanied by a letter, which said, in part: “We want to state, for the record, that we are signing this contract under duress. We have signed … as demanded by the new deadline. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE UNILATERALLY AGREE WITH OR ACCEPT THE CONTRACT IN ITS ENTIRETY. There still exists a limited number of problems with this contract that need to be negotiated with the county. In signing these contracts, we await the meetings to renegotiate, in good faith, as promised by Ralph Steinhoff.” Steinhoff is one of two fire service coordinators for the county. Continue reading San Diego area Fire chiefs sign county contract, ’under duress’

Fire in Oxnard senior apartment complex forces 30 to leave

Oxnard EngineThirty people were evacuated from a city-owned senior apartment complex in Oxnard early Friday morning following a fire in one of the units, authorities said. When they responded at 12:41 a.m. to a fire sprinkler alarm in the six-story complex at 401 South C St., Oxnard firefighters found a fourth-floor apartment filled with smoke, said Battalion Chief Chris Donabedian of the Oxnard Fire Department. Firefighters found a man inside the apartment and helped him down the apartment building’s stairs and out of the building, Donabedian said. The man appeared to have inhaled some smoke from the fire. He was evaluated by paramedics and released. No other injuries were reported.Fire sprinklers extinguished the flames in the man’s room, which burned his bed and some bedding, Donabedian said. Continue reading Fire in Oxnard senior apartment complex forces 30 to leave

SAN BERNARDINO CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT MOURNS THE LOSS OF FIRE CAPTAIN

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It is with great sadness that the San Bernardino Fire Department announces the passing of Fire Captain Creighton (Creig) Nece. Creig was a 19 year veteran of the fire department and died during the morning hours on 3/2/09 while in the hospital recovering from back injuries sustained in an off-road vehicle accident last week.

Creig leaves behind his wife and two adult children. He was so very well respected within the fire service community, but more importantly he was loved and respected as a great man with tremendous integrity and character by all who knew him

Memorial services for Captain Nece are as follows:

  • A “Viewing Ceremony” will be held at Bobbitt Memorial Chapel on March 9th, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. – located at 1299 E. Highland Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92404
  • Memorial Services will be held at “The Packing House” on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 11:00 AM – located at 27165 San Bernardino, Ave Redlands, CA. 92404. Immediately following there will be a procession to Monticeto Memorial Park, located at 24145 Barton Rd. Loma Linda, CA. 92354

Please continue to check back for further updates and you can also find the updated information at www.sbcityfire.blogspot.com

PIO Eric Esquivel, Battalion Chief
San Bernardino Fire Department
909.693.6493
esquivel_er@sbcity.org

Two Dead, One Critically Burned in Crenshaw Blaze

On Friday, January 16, 2009 at 1:03 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 5 Arson Units, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 64 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ralph Ramirez, responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at Continue reading Two Dead, One Critically Burned in Crenshaw Blaze

Eastern Kentucky Firefighters Accused of Arson

Two current and one former Eastern Kentucky firefighters are accused of allegedly creating more work for firefighters by setting blazes in Pike and Knox counties.

Christopher C. Little, 30, of Pike County, James Adam Yeager, 20, of Knox County and Walter D. Brown, 23, also of Knox, were arrested and charged with arson after they allegedly started fires in their home counties this week, the Kentucky Division of Forestry said Friday.

The fires could have benefited Little and Yeager financially by creating more work for them. The two were employed part-time by the state and paid on an hourly basis.

Both have been dismissed.

Brown was an emergency firefighter last year before his dismissal, according to a Kentucky State Police press release.

“We don’t know the reasons why people start arson fires,” said Leah MacSwords, spokeswoman for the Division of Forestry. “I have a hard time believing people start fires so they have to do the backbreaking work to put out the fire. That can’t be the only motivation.”

MacSwords said the state Division of Forestry, which employs about 400 firefighters a year, hires and trains part-timers primarily for the fire seasons: Feb. 15 through April 30 and Oct. 1 through Dec. 15, MacSwords said.

Little, who had worked for the state since October, was arrested early Friday after the Division of Forestry received several calls from residents in Hellier in Pike County who allegedly saw him setting the blaze, MacSwords said. Forestry officials immediately notified the Kentucky State Police post in Pikeville.

“We were able to get there and take care of it quickly,” she said.

This week’s arrests aren’t the first time firefighters have been charged with setting fires in Kentucky.

In August 2005, six volunteer firefighters in Lincoln County were charged with torching a historic, unused school building and two unoccupied houses. The county fire chief said the six may have been seeking a thrill or creating something to do.

Later that year, two seasonal firefighters with the state Division of Forestry were charged with setting wildfires in Bell County.

And in 2006 in Laurel County, police charged four men — one a volunteer firefighter and three former firefighters — with setting a series of blazes over two years that burned hay bales and structures.

There have been similar cases elsewhere. Officials in Pennsylvania are pushing for psychological screening for prospective firefighters as a way to identify those who might start fires.

Little was being held Friday in the Pike County jail. His bond had not yet been set and details about his arraignment were not available.

Yeager, who has worked for the state since February, was arrested late Thursday after forestry officials received a tip that a person was starting fires in Coldstone. It was later found that it was an emergency firefighter.

Yeager is charged with willfully setting fire to land he does not own, a Class D felony that carries a possible one- to five-year prison sentence. It is not clear how many acres were burned.

The arraignment for Yeager is set for Monday in Knox District Court.

Brown was arrested after a tipster reported seeing someone suspicious after a fire started in the Valentine Branch area of Knox County.

In Kentucky this year, 1,394 wildland fires have been reported by the state Division of Forestry, more than 60 percent of them attributed to arson. But it’s rare for firefighters to be accused of setting them, MacSwords said.

“We’ve never denied there’s a possibility that the … people who work for us have set fires,” MacSwords said. “But, I don’t want the actions of these … individuals to reflect on the dedication of all the other hundreds of firefighters that are out there. They are risking their lives …and breathing a lot of smoke to protect the people of Kentucky.”

West Coast 911 Firefighter News Source – Lexington News