Category Archives: Featured Fire News & Firefighter Stories

14th Annual Craig Alder Charity Golf Tournament

Dear Friends,

It is that time of year again and the families of the Craig Alder Family are once again hoping that you will join us for a wonderful and much needed cause that will take us into our 14th year. The Craig Alder Charity Golf Tournament will take place this year on Monday, September 13th 2010 (9:00) Once again, we will be having the tournament at the beautiful Temecula Creek Golf Course and we really hope that you will join us for some great golfing and fun but more importantly to once again support Craig, Buffy , Jake and Wyatt.  

The Temecula Creek Inn has offered a fantastic rate ($109.00) on their rooms for Sunday September 12th and Monday the 13th.  If you are interested in staying at TCI, just call and reserve under the Craig Alder Charity Golf Tournament at 800-962-7335. If you are going to spend the night at TCI you will need to book your room prior to August 13, 2010 in order to guarantee the room and rate. Additionally, those that are interested in staying at the Pechanga Resort can call the sales department at 951-770-2451 and reserve under the Craig Alder Charity Golf Tournament. They offer rooms from $99.00 to $129.00

On Sunday, September 12th, there will be an informal round of golf being played in the late morning followed by a hospitality get together with appetizers and beverages as an opportunity for family and friends to visit with each other. All player and sponsor information is included on the flyer. However, if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact Mike Alder at (951) 972-7878.

 For those that have played and or supported this tournament before, thank you again for your continued support throughout the years. For those that are new to this charity golf tournament we are really looking forward to meeting you and thank you for supporting such a great cause for a wonderful and inspirational family.


Mike Alder

The golf entry form is attached below

14th_Annual CA Golf_Flyer


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.


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 downloading a 13th Annual Craig Alder Tournament Flyer or by contacting Mike Alder at (951) 972-7878 or (951) 308-1342

Thank You in advance for your support,

Craig Alder Foundation, Inc
Tax ID # 731713897

Mike Alder

Inside the Command Post – Episode #18 – SBFD A look Inside the Command Post. SBFD Company and Chief Officers arriving on scene and their Size-Up process. This video clip shows the “Dynamic Risk Assessment” (DRA) process that should be applied to all fires. The need to follow a systematic process to determine the mode and continually evaluate the fire conditions is absolutely paramount.



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

PIO Eric Esquivel, Battalion Chief
San Bernardino Fire Department

Retired Redlands Fire Captain and Wife Killed in Traffic Accident

Redlands Fire Capt. Darrell Feuerhahn and his wife Debbie were killed Friday night in a traffic accident on Highway 62.

Below is a statement released this morning by Redlands Fire Chief Jeff Frazier:

It is with great sadness that I must regretfully inform you of the untimely passing of Retired Redlands Fire Captain Darrell Feuerhahn and his wife Debbie. They were involved in a traffic accident at Highway 62 and Mile Marker 87, shortly before noon October 10, 2008. Captain Feuerhahn was 52 years old and his wife Debbie was 54.

Captain Feuerhahn proudly served the Redlands Fire Department for 26 years, and had most recently retired on September 7, 2008. He was a founding instructor in the multi-agency truck company academy and accomplished instructor in the fields of confined space, trench, and elecator rescue. In addition to his fire service contributions, he was a third degree black belt and a martial arts instructor.

He and his wife were residents of Yucaipa. They are survived by their son Darrell Jr., daughter Stephanie, his brothers Robert, Karl, and Eric; and four year old twin granddaughters, Harley and Kiera. Darrell Jr. is a firefighter for the San Bernardino County Fire Department and is assigned to Fire Station 2.

Information on memorial services will follow as soon as it becomes available.

On behalf of the entire Redlands Fire Department and the City of Redlands, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to all of Captain Feuerhahn and Debbie’s family and friends.

Jeff L. Frazier

Fire Chief

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – The Sun – San Bernardino

Remembering 9-11-01

So… what did you do last Thursday? Display your flag (hopefully the stars and stripes) at your home? Watch endless hours of documentary features of the tragic events of that day? Observe a moment or two of silence during the day in respect of those lost? Attend a memorial service? Talk about the events to friends and family? Spend quality time with loved ones? Excellent! Once again, you’ve set the example for others to follow. Me? I hung out with 500 friends and waved at all the people watching us. Yeah… it was another one of them motorcycle things.

We gathered at Station 231 and were surprised to see a much bigger participation from our local group than last year. Wives, girlfriends, friends of friends and two individuals that felt strongly enough to ride that one rented a bike (at about $110 a day) and one borrowed a bike from a captain that had to work. Both agreed at the end of the day that it was worth the effort. We cruised down to Elsinore and picked up two more riders from that area and then headed out on the Ortega Highway to Ladera Ranch for a lunch time BBQ. We were a total of 20 bikes including a crotch rocket with a rider that refused to use both wheels on the ground. Ah, youth….

After an outstanding lunch we made our way to Cook’s Corner in El Toro to meet up with several hundred other riders from around the Southland. I noticed a couple of bikes from Oregon and Nevada. Channels 2 and 7 news vans were there as well as a couple ofl older fire engines as escort. To explain further – Gary Biggerstaff is an Engineer from Long Beach FD and he started this little event about 4 or 5 years ago to commemorate the date and give back something for his extended FD family to simply “… remember and never forget”. It has grown exponentially ever since. This is my 3rd time participating and it just gets better every year. From Cook’s Corner the procession makes it’s way to PCH and follows the coast to Joe’s Crab Shack in Long Beach for a short break. The entire route is dotted here and there with on-duty fire engines and ladder trucks from the local agencies – some with crews dressed in Class A uniforms standing at attention and saluting. Police and Lifeguard units are waving as well. Citizens on the street and in their cars are waving and honking their horns. Business owners come out of their shops to see what the noise is all about and wave enthusiastically. Flags are held high and people seem to really get into the spirit, it seems, even more every year.

After a short break at Joe’s, we re-assemble and cruise for another 15 minutes to Gary’s house in Belmont Shore – a small street filled with bungalow style houses. TV helicopters are filming, news reporters are taking pictures and crowds are getting bigger as we drive down Bennett Ave. The bikes park along a 3 block section of the street and crowd around in front of Gary’s house that is marked with 343 small white crosses with the names and company assignments of the fallen brothers from FDNY. There are numerous antique pumpers in the driveways and parked on the street. Gary has a microphone set up on his front stoop and the guests are treated to patriotic songs, the Pledge of Allegiance, poems, thoughtful words from FDNY firefighters and the Mayor of Long Beach, and a final few words from Gary thanking everyone who participated and ending with a “see ya next year”.

If you haven’t been a part of this flag-waving, patriotic, lump-in-your-throat sort of Americana then you are truly missing out on an opportunity to connect with 9-11-01 on a visceral level. The mood and the emotions are a part of the very fabric of why we are Americans. The ability to ride a motorcycle on such a beautiful afternoon and to be part of something wholly larger than that infamous day while sharing it with your brothers and sisters is something that should be mandatory at least once in your life. September 11th, 2009 – you are hereby requested to attend a motorcycle ride (or come along in your car – all are welcome) with us to Gary’s house in Long Beach. He invited us. We shouldn’t let him down. Tell ya what – I’ll remind you next year. No worries.


Bill Beaumont

San Bernardino City Fire Department

Wind & Fire MC, #73

Update – 25 dead in Los Angeles train wreck

A commuter train believed to have been carrying up to 222 people during the afternoon rush collided with a freight train Friday, killing eighteen people, injuring 135 and trapping an unknown number of others in a mangled passenger car imploded by its own engine.

Firefighters extinguished a blaze under part of the wreckage and were working hours after the 4:32 p.m. collision to free people from the destroyed commuter car, which was left toppled on its side with the train’s engine shoved back inside it. Two other cars in the Metrolink train remained upright.

The Union Pacific freight train’s engine was also turned onto its side, with the rest of the train splayed out like an accordion behind it.

The crash “made a terrible sound, like a bomb, a huge noise,” said Julio Pedraza, 35, who lives and works at a nearby horse boarding facility. He said he saw passengers emerging from the wreckage, and he and others helped the injured, one with skin peeling off of his forehead.

“They were yelling for help and crying,” Pedraza said in Spanish.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said four people were confirmed dead and 30 to 40 people were injured.

Firefighters treated the injured at three triage areas near the wreck, and helicopters flew in and out of a nearby landing area on medical evacuation flights.

Rescuers worked atop the wreckage and through breaches in the passenger car to reach victims. Dazed and injured passengers sat on the ground and milled about on both sides of the tracks.

Surgeons were sent to the scene.

Dr. Stephanie Hall, chief medical officer at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said three people in critical condition — two females and a male — were being treated at the hospital.

“They are massive injuries,” she said.

One of the largest medical facilities in the area, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, was told to prepare for the arrival of injured passengers, said hospital spokeswoman Christina Zicklin.

“We are expecting some people. I don’t know the number yet,” she said.

A male passenger told KNBC-TV he boarded the Metrolink train in suburban Burbank and was talking with a fellow passenger when the crash occurred.

“Within an instant I was in my friend’s lap. It was so quick. It was devastating,” he said. The man was visibly injured, but able to walk with the aid of firefighters. The man said he was involved in a devastating 2005 Metrolink crash in Glendale and was talking about it with the other passenger when Friday’s crash occurred.

The trains collided in the Chatsworth area of the San Fernando Valley.

Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said the train left Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and was headed northwest to Moorpark in Ventura County.

“We don’t know if we hit another train or another train hit us,” Tyrrell said.

She said the Metrolink train was being pulled by its locomotive rather than being pushed. The push mode is controversial due to claims that it makes trains more vulnerable in accidents.

The condition of the freight crew was not immediately known.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Zoe Richmond said a freight train usually has a two-person crew.  The freight train involved in this incident had four people on board.

She also said it is common in California for freight and commuter trains to share the same track.

“You see it a lot in California where commuter trains share tracks with freight trains,” Richmond said, adding she couldn’t speculate about the cause of the crash.

The crash happened in an area where the tracks form a “U” shape, about 2,500 feet wide. At the top of the bend is a 500-foot long tunnel that runs beneath Stoney Point Park, popular with climbers for its large boulders.

The toppled passenger car was part of a Bombardier BiLevel coach, commonly used for regional railways from Seattle’s commuter rail Sounder to New Jersey Transit. Each double-decker car is about 16 feet high and 10 feet wide and can seat up to 160 passengers, depending on its configuration.

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – Associated Press

5 suspicious blazes quelled in Hollywood Hills over weekend

On Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 2:08 PM, 39 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 Helicopters,a Dozer Company, Water Tender 88, 5 Brush Patrols, L.A. Co. Fire Camp Crews w/ Helicopter and Battalion Chief, Fire Departments from Glendale, Burbank, Santa Monica, Culver City and Beverly Hills, responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire at 184 Griffith Park x Travel Town in the Hollywood area.

Park Rangers spotted a 3 to 5 acre brush fire, burning uphill and requested Firefighting companies to be dispatched. Firefighters arriving on scene found medium to heavy brush burning and requested water dropping helicopters and hand crews to assist. An intense fire fight ensued by ground and air resources. At 1440, aerial recon indicated a 2nd fire was burning on the opposite side, just over the ridge from the initial fire. The fire was promptly divided into Branch’s 1 & 2. At 1445, aerial recon indicated a 3rd fire was burning 1-1/2 miles east of Travel Town. By 1547, 2 additional fires were sighted bringing the total number of fires to 5. Companies from Area A were requested to assist in the major emergency brush fire.

Approximately 300 Firefighters from several agencies fought the intense blaze which consumed approximately 30 to 50 acres with 60 to 75% containment at 1755. Travel Town was the only area of the park evacuated. A structure protection group was staged at the Zoo for precautionary measures. The cause of the fire is undetermined until the completion of the fire investigation. 1 Firefighter sustained injuries and was transported to an area hospital.

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – LAFD blogspot

Travis Air Force Base “dodged a bullet”

Fire officials at Travis Air Force Base are trying to determine what ignited a nearby grass fire that spread to the military installation, burning 230 unoccupied housing units Saturday.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries in the 3 p.m., eight-alarm blaze that was controlled early Sunday and prompted a base commander to call it “the biggest fire the base has ever seen.”

A Travis spokesman, Senior Airman Shawn Emery, said the destroyed homes were among 500 housing units scheduled for demolition to make way for modern residences on the base.

“The homes have been unoccupied for about two and a half years,” Emery said. “A private owner was going to take control of the properties, demolish the old buildings and build new housing.”

He said the fire did not threaten occupied homes at another portion of the base, which houses about 1,100 personnel, he said.

“We dodged a bullet,” he said.

Fire from the adjacent field hopped a fence, burning the first vacant home on the other side, Emery said.

Winds estimated at 30 to 40 mph played a major role in whipping the blaze from one house to another, he said. The fire covered about 12 acres, he said.

The senior airman said nearly 220 firefighters from 11 departments finally controlled the blaze at 3 a.m. Sunday.

The two injured firefighters were treated by medical personnel and released, according to a news release from the military base.

Destroyed were 190 single-unit homes and 40 duplexes, Travis officials said.

In addition, 167 undamaged, vacant homes were left without gas, and 78 had electrical power knocked out.

Emery said Travis firefighters were assisted by firefighters from the fire departments or fire protection districts of Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun City, Dixon, Cordelia, Benicia, Montezuma, Napa, Yolo and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

He credited the constant training by the agencies in interdepartmental cooperation in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks for keeping the fire from doing more damage.

“We exercise continuously to prepare for things like this,” Emery said. “It’s vital that we work with our partners.”

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – The Sacramento Bee

Riverfront eight alarm fire in Philly

Developer J. Brian O’Neill dreamed of bringing people back to the banks of the Schuylkill in Conshohocken. And yesterday, they came by the thousands – to watch in horror as his vision went up in flames.

This morning, fire trucks were still on the scene as embers from the buildings smoldered. Firefighters napped on the sidwalks littered with debris and water bottles.

Six riverfront buildings that O’Neill developed, including the Riverwalk at Millennium, were ravaged by an eight-alarm blaze: Three were destroyed, three damaged.

More than 300 firefighters from all corners of Montgomery County battled the spectacular fire, which raged for about six hours before crews got the upper hand about 10:30 p.m. Even so, firefighters were to remain overnight to douse hot spots.

From emergency workers to newly homeless residents, few could grasp how swiftly the flames turned a redevelopment showpiece with a clubhouse and courtyard into a smoldering disaster zone. At least 125 apartment units, housing 375 people, were destroyed.

The blaze began in a five-story building under construction at 203 Washington St. called the Stables at Millennium and spread quickly across what one official called a “lumberyard.”

The description was apt. The building was in the framing stage, which involves putting together the bones of the structure out of kiln-dried two-by-fours, plywood and lumber, materials that can burn very quickly.

Montgomery County Sheriff John Durante, who is also a longtime volunteer firefighter, said he had arrived on the scene soon after the fire was reported. “I’ve never seen a fire this intense burn so fast,” he said last night.

He figured that the blaze began in the end of the building closest to the river and spread to the front – about 100 yards – in 15 minutes.

At the height of the fire, flames encompassed the entire structure and were as tall as the building itself. They radiated so much heat that the roofs of adjacent buildings caught.

The cause of the fire – which began about 4:30 p.m. – was unknown.

“Jobs like this just beat everyone up,” said Leo Costello, an assistant fire chief in Conshohocken who was catching his breath late last night. He had been on the scene since about 5.

Riverfront fires are among the most challenging because of the difficulty in routing enough water into the area, fire officials said.

Embers and flames jumped from the Stables to adjacent apartment buildings in the Riverwalk complex, said Tom Sullivan, Montgomery County public safety director. The attics of those buildings caught fire, which “enabled the fire to get around the fire walls,” he said.

One firefighter who suffered from smoke inhalation and a young woman who collapsed were taken to Chestnut Hill Hospital.

Because the buildings border the river and railroad track, “access is challenged,” Sullivan said. “They’re working through it, and have been cutting down fencing.”

Sullivan said the borough had a limited water supply, which it was trying to overcome with supplies from other fire companies and lots of hose. “They’re making very good progress,” he said.

He noted that the fire was in what used to be an industrial area with limited firefighting infrastructure.

Ten fire companies responded.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, who could see the smoke from his home in Roxborough, said this type of riverfront fire was particularly difficult to tackle.

In Philadelphia, water mains dead-end at the river, and hydrants at waterfront locations tend to have lower water pressure, he said.

“It’s a very challenging firefighting moment,” Ayers said. “They’re up against the size of the fire . . . and getting water resources together to get in front of the fire.” The Philadelphia Fire Department was not called to the scene.

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – The Philadelphia Inquirer