Firefighting Fee Criticized As New Tax – Riverside County/S.D.

firestorm-2.jpg As far as some conservatives and taxpayer watchdogs in San Diego and Riverside counties are concerned, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger crossed the line Thursday when he proposed a 1.25 percent fee on home and business owners’ insurance premiums to fund firefighting efforts. “They can play the semantics game all they want,” said Scott Barnett, a former Del Mar councilman and president of TaxpayersAdvocate.org. “But the governor should stop playing games. He is clearly reneging on his pledge not to raise taxes.” Continue reading Firefighting Fee Criticized As New Tax – Riverside County/S.D.

Charleston Firefighter Line of Duty Death – update

Charleston Fire The owners of a Charleston furniture store that burned down and killed nine firefighters agreed to pay $13,110 in fines but they admitted no wrongdoing, state regulators announced Friday. The Sofa Super Store was initially fined $32,775 for three violations in the June 18 blaze, the nation’s greatest loss of firefighters since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Continue reading Charleston Firefighter Line of Duty Death – update

Be Pro-Active With Security Bars – San Bernardino House Fire

station1.jpg On January 9, 2008, at approx. 0400 Hours, seven units from the San Bernardino City Fire Department responded to the 1400 block of North Sepulveda the structure was a single story single family dwelling with fire blowing out of the front three windows, which alerted the neighbors of the near by residents. City fire crews immediately conducted a search of the involved structure, with no one being found in the house. This could have been a very different story due to illegal security bars found on all windows and doors that would have prevented anyone from being able to escape. Information on this fire was provided by PIO Capt. Kevin Whitaker who was onscene of the fire with in minutes of it’s dispatch.

I believe we got lucky on this one. We have all seen in years past how illegal security bars can cost people’s life’s when they become trapped behind the
flames and have no other means of egress but through there bedroom windows. This should be something that we all should keep an eye out for as we respond to EMS calls to peoples homes. This is also why performing a 360 around every fire is a good practice. Getting someone from the truck company to perform forcible entry asap on these fires with security bars is critical.

Charge hard but be safe!!! Scuba out! – San Bernardino

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Late Night House Fire – Vegas

lvfr-r4e4.jpg Last night Close to midnight we were dispatched to N. Bruce St. (Bruce/Fremont)for a structure fire. Our dispatch informed us that they had receiving several reports that a house was fully involved with fire. When we arrived on scene, heavy flames were showing from a one story wood frame/stucco house.
We went to work quickly to bring the fire under control and make sure it did not extend to nearby buildings. The fire gutted the interior of the house and did some damage to the outside of the house also. All of the contents of the house were either destroyed or damaged by the fire.

A man lived alone in the house. He told our fire investigators that he was using a candle in the home because his electricity was off. The candle was next to the bed and caught it on fire. He tried to put the fire out, but it grew out of control. The man has several dogs staying in the house and told us that he tried to get them all to leave, but one dog did not make it out and died on scene (too far gone to do one of those heart warming o2 administration shots).

It was ruled accidental of course, but what a tuff lesson on candle safety.

As we roll out on all these different medical aids, I often like to point out things to people if I see them doing anything dangerous. I’ve seen several people warming their houses or apartments this winter with their oven burners on. Bad news. I hope you other guys out there are doing the same.

Stay safe. “Live” from Las Vegas – Caz

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4 Firefighters Injured In NoHo Building Fire

lafdnoho1708.jpg Firefighters from the LAFD were sent to the 5300 block of North Lankershim Boulevard about 7:15 a.m. found flames burning between floors and in the attic area.

About 8 a.m., firefighters determined that it was too dangerous to battle the flames from inside the building and went into a “defensive mode” outside the structure, Myers said, but they re-entered the building around 8:30 am. Four firefighters from the LAFD suffered minor smoke inhalation and were transported for hospital treatment, as was another person, who suffered minor smoke inhalation and burns. (source:knbc.com) See News VIDEO

Swiftwater Rescue in Chino

swiftwaterrescue.jpg Be sure that your swiftwater euipment and tennis shoes are on the rigs! The rain increases the chances of getting involved with a swiftwater rescue because of people underestimating the power of water flow. One occured yesterday in Chino. Racing floodwaters on Saturday swept a pickup into the Mill Creek wash in Chino, killing the female driver trapped inside while a male passenger escaped and clung to a tree until he was rescued.

It all was get caught on video by Casper news…….

Continue reading Swiftwater Rescue in Chino

Midtown Madness

firestorm-2.jpg I worked a trade at Station 4 on the 4th of January. Needless to say, we got hammered. I thought Station 10 was busy…Let’s see, we did rookie testing from 9:30am to 6pm. During that time, the rest of the city had 2 structure fires. Imagine that.

Oh yeah, safety tip of the day, don’t refuel your pocket motorcycle in your living room and then place the open gas can in the kitchen where the fumes could ignite from the oven pilot light.

Got back to the Station where we quickly inhaled some pizza before the storm hit, and I’m not talking about the rain, even though that contributed to some of the madness. Let’s see, we assisted Engine 1 on a double shooting then as soon as we cleared that call, went to a stabbing 2 blocks away. It was pretty much non-stop after that. We ended up with about 10 calls from about 7pm to 5am. Gotta love the ‘Midwtown Madness’.

Stay tuned for a recap of some of last years best rescue calls.

Cheese from Berdoo

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue – Recap for 2007

I know that it is already 5 days into the New Year, but I wanted to represent the LVFD for a year end recap. We had a ton of crazy calls, and I’ve intentionally forgotten about more 911 drama than I can remember. Having a new baby this year and being assigned at one of the busiest stations in the country hasn’t helped the bags under my eyes, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I feel so fortunate to have two great families. You gotta be one screwed up dude not to love this job. Just in case you ever want to check, you can see up to the minute calls we are responding to at the “Alarm Office”.

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I’d have to say it was a great year for our department. We continue to expand with both stations and staffing. By the way, in case you haven’t heard, we’re starting of the year with a new Fire Chief. Greg Gammon has been named to succeed retired chief David Washington. Gammon is a 23-year veteran of the department, and he’s the Las Vegas representative on the state’s homeland security commission. I hear that the final word is going to be given on January 9. I can’t believe that we’re doing another recruitment for Las Vegas firefighters this month. I’m starting to feel like an old guy. Operationally, things are going well, and I’d like to consider ourselves pretty progressive in our fire-ground operations and training. This is a never ending learning experience for all of us in the fire service world……..So to all my brethren out there……. Work hard, train hard and have a great 2008! Enjoy these pics from a few 2007 incidents here in “sin city”. LVFD logo

The “Caz” – Las Vegas Fire and Rescue

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!

Christmas Day Wind Mayhem!

Drama Drama and more Drama. The pictures say it all. 70+ mph winds throughout San Bernardino today. Things were going crazy all day for us here at Rescue/USAR 230. Actually, it was a normal Christmas day around here. It’s always crazy around this place over the holidays. Many City disasters have occurred on Christmas, from floods to major fires, you name it. These pictures show a couple of large trees that fell either across main roads or on top of houses during our ‘wind event’.
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That’s all for now from ‘The South End of Berdoo’

Cheese out