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The California Edition PUBLISHING SINCE 1993



MAY/JUNE, 2015



Firefighters were dispatched on March 31, 2015 at 11:50 a.m. to Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville for a vegetation fire. By April 1st, 185 acres burned and 95% of the fire was contained.

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Residential fire in Fresno County Firefighters contained a residential structure fire on the 6000 blk of E Central Ave near Temperance Avenue, northwest of the community of Del Rey on April 2nd. Fresno Fire and Redcrosscv were assisting. Four adults were displaced. The cause is under investigation. The home sustained significant damage.


Saratoga Community Emergency Response Team Academy Drill Saratoga CERT is managed by the City of Saratoga and the Santa Clara County Fire Department. It has a trained cadre of leadership volunteers whose input directs the group. Volunteers lead in the areas of planning, communications, and logistics. In times of disaster, the operations of Saratoga CERT are coordinated from the City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as pre-planned neighborhood divisions assess the damage in their neighborhoods, assist the injured,

JUMP TO FILE #050815126 fight small fires, perform light search and rescue, and fulfill disaster related tasks as needed. Community Emergency Response Teams fill a vital part of the overall response to disasters by ensuring the safety and well being of their homes and families, and by providing the grass roots service needed on the neighborhood level to those affected by

disaster. In major catastrophe’s, first responder agencies are often overwhelmed by the demands placed upon them and CERTs can help fill the response gaps that are inevitable. It is one of the crucial methods of mobilizing residents of the city in support of the overall response, and helps solve problems while reducing the victim population. - CRAIG ALLYN ROSE


Dinuba fire contained

On April 20, 2015, firefighters contained a structure fire that extended into the vegetation near Dinuba and Lac Jac Ave just west of Reedley City. Reedley Fire assisted.

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May/June, 2015

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1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - Vol. 1 No. 3 - California edition is published bi-monthly, 6 times a year for $15 per year by Belsito Communications, Inc., 1 Ardmore St., New Windsor, NY 12553. Periodicals Postage Paid at Newburgh, NY and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to 1st Responder News, 1 Ardmore St., New Windsor, NY 12553. No financial responsibility is assumed by this newspaper to publish a display, classified, or legal ad or for typographical errors except of reprinting that part of the ad which was omitted or in error. Omissions or erA division of: rors must be brought to the attention of the newspaper during the same month of publication.

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Fire Hogs to the rescue On September 15, 2014, the Fire Hogs saddled up on their iron horses and headed to Colorado to represent the Fire Hogs, the LAFD, and LACoFD for the Annual IAFF International Memorial ceremonies. The rendition of this ride goes something like this. On the early morning hours of September 15th, 8 of the 14 Fire Hogs met in Acton. After JUMP TO FILE # 050215100 our trucker’s meal at Crazy Otto’s, it was off to Victorville Harley for our 9:00 a.m. rendezvous with a couple more Fire Hogs. Hitting Victorville at 9:00 felt like the Mojave Desert at 1 p.m., but it was only the beginning of a very hot trip to Mesquite. As you can imagine, by the time this motley crew got to Mesquite, all we were looking for was the pool and a cold drink. They next morning, it was off for a beautiful ride through Zion and onto Colorado. I can tell you that the weather Gods were much more favorable, but as our Road Captain said “this time of year be prepared for anything” and those late birds got Everything!! The bottom line was all 14 riders met up in Colorado in one piece, with lots of stories. Those that left Monday went to Denver to meet up with the IAFF and Wind & Fire Riders. After a meet and greet party that night the next morning was a guided ride through some of the mountains and favorite local watering holes around Denver. 1 ½ days was just not enough time in Denver, but it was off to Colorado Springs to meet up with the rest of our group. Having the best riding in the Nation before us, the group decided to take the back roads into Colorado Springs. About halfway along a 49 mile two lane country road, we come upon an old motorhome stopped in the roadway and a old couple flagging us down. It turned out that an inexperienced rider was trying to keep up with some road rockets and ended up laying his bike down as he came around a corner too fast. This poor sole got tangled up in the opposing guard rail and he and his bike ended up across both lanes of traffic as his riding partners sped off without realizing he was even down. The Fire Hogs sprang into action, ensuring that EMS was activated, blocking traffic, securing the scene, accessing and immobilizing the patient, and providing initial treatment for his compound fracture on one leg and broken ankle on the other with

some road rash thrown in. We made the patient pretty comfortable while we waited for the local volunteer BLS ambulance. It was quite a sight to see the look on the solo EMT’s face when he showed up 20 minutes later and saw us biker-types treating his patient! It didn't take long before he realized who we were and said “Here’s all the equipment, you guys know what your doing, how can I help you?” Now that we had some better tools to work with, we were able to “C Spine” him properly and get him on some oxygen. Another 20 minutess and the professional ALS R/A was onscene where we were greeted by the same looks and concerns as our BLS volunteer minutes earlier. Once again, we assisted with getting the patient to definitive care by loading the patient into the waiting RA, securing the landing zone for the air ambulance, and controlling the traffic. I just want to know if we get EMT CE for this!! Yes even the Captain II and the chief got their hands dirty on this one. After this three hour delay, we were back on the road and into the Springs, where we met up with the rest of the group at a lively met and greet. That evening it was off to the

Fire Hogs to the Rescue

downtown area, where all the streets were blocked off to allow the thousand firefighters from all over to join together. On Saturday morning, we headed out early to met up with some of our widowers and families at the staging location. One of the granddaughters even hopped on one of our bikes to lead the hundreds of motorcycles at the start of the procession into the IAFF Memorial Park. It is one of those events that is hard to put into words and must be experienced first hand. The honor of representing our agencies, but the sight of the flags representing each of the fallen, as they march in coupled with the numerous pipe and drum

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marching bands is a firefighter’s mecca if there ever was. After the somber service we all headed out to the downtown area for more libations and entertainment including those same Pipe and Drum Bands playing together in the center of the streets to the cheers of the crowd. This was followed by a private concert. This ride would not have been complete without paying homage to fallen Fire Hog Danny Cypert as we traveled through AZ. Thanks to UFLAC for their support and to all who enjoyed the ride to and from the memorial. - JACK WISE

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In memory of those who gave all 1st Responder Newspaper honors and remembers emergency responders lost in the line of duty

Mississippi: Brandon Ricks, 40 Rank: Pilot Incident Date: March 30, 2015 Death Date: March 30, 2015 Fire Department: United States Forest Service-National Forests in Mississippi Initial Summary: The pilot and one firefighter died of injuries sustained and one firefighter was seriously injured when their U.S. Forest Service helicopter crashed while monitoring a controlled burn of about 800 acres in the Desoto National Forest. Mississippi: Steve Cobb, 55 Rank: Forest Service Engineering Technician Incident Date: March 30, 2015 Death Date: March 30, 2015 Fire Department: United States Forest Service-National Forests in Mississippi Initial Summary: The pilot and one firefighter died of injuries sustained and one firefighter was seriously injured when their U.S. Forest Service helicopter crashed while monitoring a controlled burn of about 800 acres in the Desoto National Forest.

New Jersey: Barry Van Horn, 63 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: March 25, 2015 Death Date: March 27, 2015 Fire Department: Somerville Fire Department - West End Hose Company #3 Initial Summary: Firefighter Van Horn responded to a fire alarm call at 7:25 a.m. on March 25. After the call, he returned to his office to fill out the fire report of the incident (Firefighter Van Horn was also the municipal fire official). He felt ill and went home. Shortly thereafter, around noon, Firefighter Van Horn suffered a heart attack. He was transported by ambulance to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center where he remained until his death on March 27.

Pennsylvania: John J. Doster, 95 Rank: Fire Police Captain Incident Date: February 25, 2015 Death Date: April 2, 2015 Fire Department: Edgely Fire Company #1, Inc. Initial Summary: Fire Police Captain Doster complained of not feeling well while on the scene of a two-alarm warehouse fire in Hulmeville Borough, Pennsylvania. Doster was direct-

ing traffic on a bitterly cold evening with much of the main street of the borough closed for fire operations. Shortly thereafter, Doster departed for home. Within a few hours, Doster’s condition worsened and he was transported to the hospital for treatment. On April 2, 2015, Fire Police Captain Doster passed away at St. Mary’s Medical Center. South Dakota: Steven Ackerman, 38 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: April 12, 2015 Death Date: April 12, 2015 Fire Department: Valley Springs Fire & Rescue Initial Summary: Firefighter Ackerman died from injuries sustained while working interior fire operations at the scene of a residential structure fire. Ackerman was found in the basement of the home after fire crews were ordered out of the structure due to fire conditions. The 47-year-old homeowner, Mr. David Smith, had been rescued by fire crews and transported to the hospital soon after they arrived on-scene but did not survive his injuries. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities.

California: Raymond Araujo, 37 Rank: Inmate Firefighter Incident Date: April 13, 2015 Death Date: April 13, 2015 Fire Department: CAL FIRE Initial Summary: Inmate Firefighter Araujo suffered a heart attack while engaged in a training exercise on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Banning, California. Araujo succumbed to his injury after being airlifted to a base camp where he was treated by CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department medics. Nebraska: Andrew "Andy" Zalme, 42 Rank: Captain Incident Date: April 16, 2015 Death Date: April 16, 2015 Fire Department: Dakota City Fire Department Initial Summary: On the evening of Thursday, April 16, 2015, Dakota City Fire and Rescue responded to a vehicle fire on Highway 35. As fire crews were preparing to leave the scene, Captain Zalme collapsed. Despite numerous attempts, fellow responders were unable to revive Zalme and he passed away at the scene. A nature and cause of fatal injury has yet to be determined.

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May/June, 2015



May/June, 2015

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Multi-alarm fire damages San José restaurant On Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:27 a.m., the San José Fire Department responded to 222 West Capitol Expressway in South San José for multiple reports of fire in a commercial occupancy. First due Engine Company 18 reported a column of black smoke showing while en route. Upon arrival, the company officer of Engine 18 confirmed heavy smoke showing from the roof of Jimmy’s Restaurant, a one-story stand-alone structure that was open at the time. Firefighters worked quickly to

JUMP TO FILE #050815144 make sure employees and customers had evacuated the business while searching for the location of the blaze from the interior. Second and third-alarms were struck as a precaution due to fire extending from the kitchen hood and duct system into the walls and facade housing air-conditioning equipment. Crews made access to the roof of the building and began to re-

move Spanish tiles to reach the fire. Firefighters were able to prevent flames from extending into the attic limiting damage to the building. There were no injuries reported. The assignment included Battalion 13, Battalion 1, Battalion 2, Med 30, 4A8, 4S6 Engine 18, Engine 12, Engine 13, Engine 26, Engine 24, Engine 31 Truck 13, Truck 35, Truck 9, Truck 16, Squad 26, Squad 18, and Fire Support Unit 2. - CRAIG ALLYN ROSE


Home under renovation goes up in flames On May 5, 2015, Garden Grove and Anaheim Fire & Rescue Fire Departments responded to a reported two story single family dwelling fire at 11781 Loraleen in Garden Grove. The home was in a renovation process with wood frame exposure. Garden Grove Fire was able to contain the fire and avoid the spread of the fire to exposures on both sides of the involved home. No injuries were reported. CRAIG ALLYN ROSE/WWW.EMERGENCYPHOTO.ZENFOLIO.COM

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Multiple water rescues performed on Memorial Day Newport Beach, CA. Newport Beach Fire and Lifeguard personnel performed multiple water rescues on Monday, May 25th. At approximately 12:20 p.m., lifeguards responded to the waters near Tower 18 to assist a group of ten youths. Several members had started to panic as strong currents, fueled by three to four foot waves from the South, had pulled the group into deeper waters. Four tower lifeguards, a patrol truck, a rescue voat, and a supervisor participated in the rescue. Each youth was pulled onto the rescue boat, assessed by lifeguard personnel, and then returned to the shore. One person received additional evaluation from Newport Beach paramedics. A second rescue began at ap-

JUMP TO FILE #052715132 proximately 3:25 p.m., when fire and lifeguard personnel responded to Ladder Rock, to the rear of Brighton Road in Cameo Shores. Two teenagers had become trapped on the rock as the tide came in and friends on the shore had called 911 to ask for assistance. A total of thirteen firefighters and five lifeguards responded to the call. Both victims were rescued from the rock, brought safely onboard a rescue boat, and returned to the shore. Neither teenager suffered any injuries. - JENNIFER MANZELLA

County fire rescues accident victims Just before 6 a.m. on Sunday May 17, 2015, San Bernardino County Fire received numerous reports of a traffic collision with extrication and possible people ejected on State Highway 138 near Hess Rd. County Fire responded with three paramedic engine companies, three paramedic ambulances and two battalion chiefs for a total of 17 County Fire personnel. First arriving units reported a head on traffic collision with two vehicles involved with both sustaining major damage. County Fire paramedics conducted triage and assessment of injured victims and determined

JUMP TO FILE #051815111 there was a total of four critical injuries and one fatality. Patients were triaged and transported off scene based on severity of injury. Crews also secured the vehicles of any hazards and established a safe working area on the roadway while patient care was being performed. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. - JEFFREY ALLEN

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May/June, 2015

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Fire at marijuana dispensary On May 5, 2015 at 3:17 a.m., a second alarm fire broke out at a commercial occupancy used as a marijuana dispensary. Anaheim Fire & Rescue responded and quickly had the fire under control.


Blaze at large commercial building in Anaheim

On May 5th at approximately 1:20 a.m., Anaheim Fire & Rescue units were called to a large commercial building at 1261 S. Simpson Circle in Anaheim. When units arrived on scene to a large commercial building, it was already well involved with fire. The building also had offices and a large garage containing several vehicles, which were on fire. No injuries were reported and Anaheim Fire & Rescue contained the two alarm fire in approximately one hour.

Firefighters battle heavy smoke in commercial structure fire


Smoke from vehicle fire could be seen for miles At approximately 6:00 p.m. on May 2nd, members of the California City Fire Department along with several California City Police Department units responded to a reported vehicle fire on the 9300 block of Peach Avenue. Thick smoke from the fire could be seen from a half a mile out. Upon arrival, the vehicle, half engulfed in flames, was parked on a residential driveway next to another vehicle near a home. The crews on scene rapidly extinguished the flames. No injuries or additional losses of property beyond the initial vehicle, which was a complete loss, occurred. Although arson is not suspected in this case, the actual cause of the vehicle fire is yet to be undetermined.

At 11:41 p.m.on May 14th, fire companies from the San Bernardino County Fire Department were dispatched to a commercial structure fire in the area of Valley Boulevard and Poplar Avenue in Fontana, CA. The first arriving unit to the JUMP TO FILE # 15700 block on Val- 052015108 ley Boulevard reported heavy smoke coming from two closed metal roll up doors of a 50,000 square foot metal butler style commercial structure. The business owner was on scene and unlocked a man door, where firefighters made entry to attack the fire. The fire was located in a two story office area of the large warehouse. A coordinated fire attack and vertical ventilation operation was used to remove the heavy smoke from the building so firefighters could advance hose lines into the area of the fire. Firefighters had the fire under control in less than

thirty minutes. Four engine companies, two truck companies, three paramedic squads, one rescue unit and a battalion chief, totaling 26 firefighters were assigned to the incident. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported. The two

million dollar structure received $100,000 in damage from the fire. The fire was investigated by the San Bernardino County Fire Department Office of the Fire Marshall and the cause was electrical. JON GARBER


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May/June, 2015



May/June, 2015

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Passengers evacuate burning tour bus


Just after 1 p.m. on April 19th, San Bernardino County firefighters responded to reports of a tour bus on fire near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Needles Hwy. The driver of the tour bus was able to safely evacuate the bus of it’s 52 passengers, who were on their way home from Laughlin, Nevada enroute to Ventura, California. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the rear of the tour bus well involved in fire, with heavy smoke traveling throughout the bus. An ambulance responded for one of the occupants of the bus suffering from a respiratory emergency. The ambulance personnel also treated three of the passengers suffering from heat related problems. The remaining passengers were moved to Pair-A-Dice Boat and RV Storage across the street for relief from the heat. Later, San Bernardino County Fire and Sheriff units shuttled the passengers to a local restaurant to await the arrival of a replacement bus from Las Vegas.

JUMP TO FILE #042015112 The driver of the San Luis Obispo based tour bus stated that he heard what sounded like a rear tire exploding and immediately pulled the bus to the side of the road. He also stated that the rear of the bus was on fire immediately upon exiting the bus and promptly started evacuating it. The driver and passengers were also able to remove much of their luggage from the lower compartments of the bus before the arrival of emergency personnel. Other than stated above, there were no injuries to civilians or emergency personnel during the incident. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and the tour bus appears to be a near total loss. The value of the bus before the fire was estimated to be at $250,000. - DEAN DICKOVER

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Popular Anaheim sports bar lost to fire Approximately 80 firefighters from Fullerton, Anaheim, OCFA and Garden Grove Fire Departments fought a four-alarm fire that destroyed a popular sports bar/restaurant at approximately 6:00 a.m. on March 1, 2015. A passerby notified authorities that they saw flames located near the Cal State University Fullerton campus. The dense smoke required closure of the 57 Freeway off-ramp for several hours. No one was injured, but officials say the business is a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation by local officials.

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Fire at Fullerton Golf Course storage facility Fullerton Fire Department responded to a fire at the Fullerton Golf Course (2700 Harbor Blvd). Upon arrival, fire units found a well involved storage facility and office. Flammable liquids and high winds contributed to the spread of the fire.

JUMP TO FILE #051315109 The HazMat unit was also dispatched. No injuries were reported.


Multi-vehicle accident results in death of numerous sheep The California City Fire Department responded to a multivehicle accident on westbound Highway 58, which resulted in the death of 20-25 sheep on May 7th. CCFD was dispatched to assist the Kern County Fire Department with a vehicle accident involving an overturned big rig, just east of South Cal City Blvd. Upon arrival, ME190 found two vehicles with moderate to severe damage. All the patients refused treatment and transport. Crews assisted with removing sheep from the highway. CHP will investigate the incident. This time of year, there are many sheep grazing in and around the city. It is not uncommon to see them on South Cal City Blvd. and Twenty Mule Team Pkwy. On cooler nights, the sheep will lay on the road for warmth.

Rehabilitation: Bridging the gap between illness and wellness FIREFIGHTER FITNESS Lori Ann Hodgkinson

Paid or volunteer, firefighting is a very dangerous business. For some it’s a job, for others a passion and for many, it’s both. Regardless of those variations, risk levels remain high. Despite the highest level of training, physical conditioning and protective gear, it is inevitable that fire service injuries and illnesses will continue to exist. Countless unforeseeable unavoidable incidents and accidents await firefighters/1st responders at every call to duty. Firefighting is truly a hazardous occupation. One thing I have learned over the years is that the majority of fire service personnel do not let the risks deter them, nor do they allow the injuries/illnesses to sideline them from duty any longer than necessary. Whatever initially drove them to enter the fire service is not easily squashed or even cur-

tailed. In fact, many of them come back with even more passion and drive than before. There’s something special about the tried and true that put that gear on, and there always will be. That being said, the one thing that has been difficult for fire service personnel to do is bridge the gap between illness and wellness. Once sidelined, members are often expected to take “time off”. “Time off from Work. Time Off” from exercise. “Time off” from everything. Initially, this makes perfect sense. Healing takes time. Healing takes patience and healing takes rest. The problem facing most is that they are expected to heal completely and then simply return to work. In many instances, there isn’t anything in between to ease them back into that return. In order to do so, it is important to address the needs and abilities of the injured/ill. You must also address any liability issues. For some, this may just be a re-classification for the individual so that they are able to be present within the firehouse for any suitable activities without violating any liability/insurance issues. This certainly is not an area where you want to skirt the rules.

The stakes are of course too high. Check your SOP’s and if they need to be adjusted, go through proper channels to make the adjustments. I have seen many fire companies institute a “lite duty” category where tasks are limited and then increased until a return to “full duty” is possible. Still others place firefighters on medical leave or “out of service” banning them from participating in any activities or duties (even classroom) until they can return to full duty. Perhaps a better alternative is a safe and effective course of action – medically based and monitored - with the intention of gradually and fully preparing the firefighter to enter back into service as strong and as ready as possible. Rehabilitation is an important step in the healing process and should not be overlooked. The result can be a physically/mentally stronger and better prepared individual. That should always be the goal. After all this is a job that requires exactly that. To take it one step further, the same should be true regarding participation in physical fitness programs. Many individuals are not eligible to participate in fire com-

pany sponsored fitness programs when they are ‘out of service’. Please understand, I am not suggesting a reckless call to have firefighters participate in strenuous and/or inappropriate exercise programs without regard for health, wellness or safety. Surely, a firefighter with a broken finger can use the exercise bike even though he cannot operate at the fire scene. A broken foot can absolutely keep you off a fire truck, but it is likely you can still perform a limited workout with your upper body. The key is medical intervention/clearance and individualization. Working together, the physician, physical therapist and other health and fitness professional can gradually and more fully prepare fire service personnel for return to full duty. Smaller, continuous carefully calculated and monitored steps provide a greater foundation than making one giant jump from inactive to fully involved. Ease back into action. Come back strong. Come back ready. Most of all come back. You are a special group. I’ve seen it. I’m amazed by it. I’m grateful for it. I wish you safety always.

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Codes, rules, and initiatives, a safety refresher STAYING SAFE

Chief Henry Campbell

It is almost daily we read, view, or hear of incidents involving injury or death to a firefighter, and often we ask ourselves that basic question “What was he/she thinking or doing?” Sometimes it appears that maybe the firefighter wasn’t thinking, he was just doing his job, carrying out his assignment. There will be times you cannot carry out your assignment/function due to safety concerns, and that is when they should be aborted. With all the emphasis on safety in the fire service, we shouldn’t be asking ourselves “what were they thinking?” Over the past 10-12 years a variety of safety measures and guidelines were presented to the fire service from fire service organizations in the form of codes, rules, and initiatives. They were presented to firefighters to encourage us to be more concerned with our personal safety while reducing fire fighter death and injury. Over the next few article, I will present these safety guidelines once again in an effort to remind firefighters of the importance of staying safe, and taking a few extra seconds to do a personal size up before carrying out their assignments. The results of your size up may cause you to alternate the method you apply, or prevent you from performing the task and save your life. In 2011, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) presented “Rules of Engagement,” which is actually two sets of rules, one for the firefighters, consisting of 11 rules and the other for the incident commander consisting of 14 rules. The ultimate goal of the Rules of Engagement is to make firefighting, the fireground, and the emergency scene safer. The Rules of Engagement are listed below: Rules of Engagement for Firefighter Survival •Size-up your tactical area of operation. •Determine the occupant survival profile. •Do not risk your life for lives or property that cannot be saved. •Extend limited risk to protect savable property. •Extend vigilant and measured risk to protect and rescue savable lives. •Go in together, stay together, come out together •Maintain continuous awareness of your air supply, situation,

location and fire conditions. •Constantly monitor fireground communications for critical radio reports. •You are required to report unsafe practices or conditions that can harm you. Stop, evaluate and cecide. •You are required to abandon your position and retreat before deteriorating conditions can harm you. •Declare a MayDay as soon as you think you are in danger. The incident commanders Rules of Engagement for Firefighter Safety •Rapidly conduct, or obtain, a 360 degree size-up of the incident. •Determine the occupant survival profile. •Conduct an initial risk assessment and implement a safe action plan. •If you do not have the resources to safely support and protect firefighters – seriously consider a defensive strategy. •Do not risk firefighter lives for lives or property that cannot be saved – seriously consider a defensive strategy. •Extend limited risk to protect savable property. •Extend vigilant and measured risk to protect and rescue savable lives. •Act upon reported unsafe practices and conditions that can harm firefighters. Stop, evaluate and decide. •Maintain frequent two-way communications and keep interior crews informed of changing conditions. •Obtain frequent progress reports and revise the action plan. •Ensure accurate accountability of all firefighter location and status. •If, after completing the primary search, little or no progress toward fire control has been achieved- seriously consider a defensive strategy. •Always have a rapid intervention team in place at all working fires •Always have firefighter rehab services in place at all working fires. The rules are not new, nor something we have not heard before, but when listed together they can be looked upon, reviewed, and applied. Do we need Rules of Engagement in the fire service? What do you think? They will provide a simple mental checklist that both firefighters and incident commanders should use to make firefighting determinations relative to individual firefighter safety and the safety of all personnel. To be continued next month. Till then, Stay Safe and God bless!

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San Bernadino fights vegetation fire


Chief Francis was joined by his wife, Kim, who pinned on his badge, son Tyler, and daughters Kylie and Madison at a badge presentation on March 30th at VCFD Headquarters

VCFD announces promotions in command staff Camarillo, CA. The Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) recently promoted Steven Francis and Dustin Gardner to high-level positions within the department. The promotions follow the retirements of long-time Assistant Chief Rod Megli and Division Chief Bryan Vanden Bossche. “I am very pleased to recognize these outstanding firefighters not only for their promotions, but for their service to our community. They have proven themselves through a long and successful career with the department and will serve as key members of my command staff,” said Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen. “With these promotions, the leadership team is in great shape to take Ventura County Fire to new levels of excellence.” Steve Francis started with VCFD in December of 1980 as a reserve firefighter in Simi Valley and was hired full-time in March of 1983. After rising through the ranks of firefighter, engineer, and captain, Francis was promoted in 2008 to a battalion chief working in Ojai prior to becoming the training chief. As the training chief, he oversaw, developed and monitored internal training programs for new recruits with the fire department. After a two year assignment in training, he was reassigned to Battalion 3 in Thousand Oaks where he was responsible for the emergency operations of Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake, and part of Oak Park. Assistant Chief Francis will report directly to Deputy Chief

JUMP TO FILE #041015115 Vaughan Miller and oversee the department’s Support Services Bureau, which is responsible for IT services, telecommunications, supply, and vehicle maintenance units. Ventura County Fire Department’s newest division chief is Dustin Gardner. In his new role, he will manage community and department needs in Camarillo, Moorpark and Somis as well as oversee VCFD’s Special Operations Battalion, including hazardous materials mitigation, urban search and rescue, and specialized firefighting activities. Gardner was hired in 1998 as a firefighter, rose through the ranks as an engineer and captain, promoted in March 2013 to a battalion chief managing Camarillo’s fire stations, and then transferred to headquarters, where he supervised Human Resources. Gardner is working towards a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University and holds an Associate’s degree in Fire Technology. “The quality of these two chiefs is proof that the department’s succession planning is effective,” said Lorenzen. “They provide us with solid leadership and there are more, just as dedicated, coming up through the ranks behind them.” - Ventura County Fire Department

Firefighters were dispatched on March 31, 2015 at 11:50 a.m. to Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville for a vegetation fire. By April 1st, 185 acres burned and 95% of the fire JUMP TO FILE# was contained. SBCoFD re- 040615132 sponded to a vegetation fire at Mojave Narrows Regional Park that quickly spread into the Mojave Riverbed in Victorville. The wind driven fire quickly crossed the dry riverbed bumping the ridgeline and threatening numerous homes on the East side in AppleValley. Firefighters quickly set up structure defense and kept the fire away from homes. Two SBCSD sheriff helicopters arrived on scene shortly after and began water drop operations, slowing the fire spread down significantly and giving firefighters a fighting chance to protect homes. About an hour later, 10-15 mph winds started gusting upward to 25 mph and shifted direction, causing the fire to split and burn in two different directions. A mandatory evacuation was issued for residents along Riverside Dr. between Riverside Way and Nokomis in Apple Valley. Over 50 Sheriff deputies were on scene evacuating homes, closing roads and patrolling and protecting evacuated residences. Overall, 25 homes were evacuated. The American Red Cross activated an evacuation shelter at the Sitting Bull Middle School, located at 19455 Sitting Bull, Apple Valley. By 7 p.m., all evacuation orders were lifted. The Mojave River flows underground in this area and has not burned in several years. The riverbed is thick with heavy fuels and very sandy conditions, making it extremely difficult and dangerous for firefighters. By the end of the day, the fire burned 70 acres, consumed three sheds, a vehicle, and a chicken coup. Firefighters were instrumental in saving dozens of homes and keeping the blaze from damaging homes. At one point, the fire burned through vacant lots and around homes, reaching Riverside Drive. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. San Bernardino County Fire and AVFPD are in unified command. In all over 220 firefighters were on scene battling the blaze. Resources included two Type 1 Strike Teams (structure defense) (one SBCoFD ST, one local Fire Resources ST, including units from Apple Valley FPD), three Type 3 Strike Teams (one SBCoFire ST, one local Fire Resource ST, one CalFire ST), six hand crews (two SBCoFire firefighter hand crews, two SBCoFD inmate hand crews, two CalFire hand crews), two dozers (SBCoFire), and four sheriff helicopters. The fire began when County


Fire Suppression Aides Harley Hobbs and Ryan Spies are part of Crew 6-1.


SBCoFD Captain Dan Rowe and Firefighter/Paramedic Todd Nelson provide #StructureDefense off Riverside Dr. in the town of #AppleValley.

Regional Parks was conducting a fully-permitted burn at Pelican Lake at the Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville when the wind suddenly and unexpectedly shifted, pushing the fire into the Mojave Riverbed. Regional Parks was burning cattails to create more shoreline

for fishing. This is the time of year when cattails are brown and dormant, and it is common practice to conduct this type of clearance. - ERIC SHERWIN

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SBC in the community The crew of Station 24 in Los Alamos Wednesday, May 6th, taught 30 General Services Employees the life-saving skill of “Hands Only CPR”. Engine 24’s crew consisted of Captain John Trejo, Engineer Ryan Thomas, and Firefighter/Paramedic Bryan Burger. They were joined by the department’s EMS Training Captain Josh Cazier in teaching this important skill.

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Jaws used by Redlands It took firefighters fifteen minutes to free the trapped driver from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life on March 19th. The driver sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment. The Redlands Police Department is investigating the cause of the accident.

Helicopter hoist rescue Newport Beach, CA. At approximately 10:10 a.m. on April 14th, the Newport Beach Fire Department was requested to respond to a remote area near Bommer Canyon to assist with a medical call. The woman, who sounded disoriented and confused, had called 911 and asked Laguna Beach officials for assistance. She reported that she had driven into the area the night before and was unable to leave without assistance. The Laguna Beach Fire Department sent three fire engine units, a chief officer, and a marine safety department four-wheel drive vehicle in response to the call. Additional units and a helicopter from the Orange County Fire Authority also responded. In order to evacuate the woman from the remote location, the OCFA helicopter performed a hoist insertion, lowering a rescuer

JUMP TO FILE #041515111 200 feet, performing a pick-off extraction, and hoisting both the rescuer and the victim to safety. The Newport Beach Fire Department deployed an engine, medic unit, and battalion chief to the park near the intersection of Ridge Park Road and East Coastal Peak. There, they established and secured a landing zone for the helicopter. The patient was transferred from the helicopter to the care of NBFD firefighter-paramedics. She did not appear to have any significant injuries. The woman was subsequently transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation. - JENNIFER MANZELLA

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Saratoga condos heavily damaged by three alarm fire On Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 9:49 a.m., units of the Santa Clara County Fire Department responded to reports of an outside fire at the Gatehouse Condominiums at 20810 4th Street in Saratoga. Firefighters arrived on scene and confirmed a working exterior fire rapidly spreading from a second floor balcony closet to the interior of the two-story, four unit occupancy. With fire attack underway,

JUMP TO FILE #050815127 crews quickly discovered the blaze had extended into the attic space of the structure. While firefighters were able to salvage some contents, the structure was heavily damaged leading to the displacement of several residents and over $2 million in damage. One person was injured and the

displaced occupants were being assisted by the Red Cross. Units on the assignment included 2A1, 2A4, Safety, Duty Investigator Battalion 72, Battalion 74, Battalion 83 Engine 71, Engine 72, Engine 73, Engine 77, Engine 78, Engine 79, Engine 80, Engine 81, Engine 82 Hazmat 72, Rescue 73, Rescue 83, Truck 71, Truck 74, and Truck 85. - CRAIG ALLYN ROSE

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Fatal structure fire in Pinon Hills Just after 11:00 p.m. on May 18th, a female occupant of a home in the 1800 block of Neilson Rd in the town of Pinon Hills was awakened by a noise in the home. Upon investigating what caused the noise, the female found that the back of the home was on fire. The occupant immediately woke the other residents and began to assist them out of the home. She was able to remove an elderly female to safety, and then attempted to reenter the home to save an elderly male in a wheelchair, but was quickly overcome by heavy smoke. The San Bernardino County Fire Department responded with four paramedic engines, two paramedic ambulances, two water tenders, and a battalion chief to the incident. The first SBCoFD engine company found the 3000 square foot home well involved. Crews were notified by a SBSO deputy that an elderly male in a wheelchair was still in the home. Crews immediately made an attempt to rescue the

JUMP TO FILE #052015107 victim, but were unable to, due to the large volume of fire in the area where the victim was trapped. It took 25 firefighters just over an hour to contain the fire. The crews were hampered by a lack of fire hydrants in the area, and relied on a water shuttling operation from two SBCoFD water tenders to supply water. During the overhaul stage of the fire, the male victim was found deceased, as well as five dogs that perished. Fire investigators from the SBCoFD and the SBSO Arson and bomb unit are investigating the fire. The fire started on the back porch of the residence, but the specific cause is still to be determined. The home had working smoke detectors that did activate, but only after the female occupant began to wake the others in the home. - STEVEN CASTAGNOLA

Arrest made in arson fire


SBCoFD Dozer 2 at a vegetation fire in Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville on April 1.

Fresno County, CA. CAL FIRE Law Enforcement, with cooperation from the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, arrested 68 year old Michael Wayne Hamilton Sr. Hamilton Sr. is a resident of the community of Squaw Valley in Fresno County. “The hard work that went in to making this arrest is a testament that we do not tolerate arson,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “Residents should always be vigilant in their preparedness and aware of suspicious persons when a fire starts and report that information to law enforcement immediately.” CAL FIRE officers took Hamilton Sr. into custody at the intersection of George Smith Road and Highway 180 without inci-

JUMP TO FILE #041315117 dent, on Monday, May 11, 2015. Hamilton Sr. was booked into Fresno County Jail around 9:20 p.m. on 27 counts of “Arson to Forest Lands”, Penal Code Section 451(c) and 27 counts of “Use of an Incendiary Device”, Penal Code Section 451.1. The 27 fires all occurred in Fresno County and took place during the years of 2012, 2014 and 2015. Twelve of the fires came during a fire setting spree between Monday, May 4, 2015 and Monday, May 11, 2015. One fire allegedly set by Hamilton Sr. burned in excess of 60 acres. - RYAN MICHAELS


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Injured hiker rescued from rugged terrain At approximately 11:37 a.m. on April 27th, firefighters received a report of an injured hiker in the area of Hwy. 189 and Lake Gregory Drive in Crest Forest. While responding to the incident, units were notified that the hiker was actually over the JUMP TO FILE # side of Highway 18 042815102 near the historic and a b a n d o n e d Cliffhanger restaurant. The first units on scene reported an injured female hiker, approximately 20 to 30 feet down steep terrain and in need of immediate assistance. Due to the possibility of a technical rescue requiring specialized personnel and equipment, several units responded including an urban search and rescue unit out of Lake Arrowhead. This proved to be very helpful, as the hiker was able to get the paramedic and technical services she required very quickly. The rugged terrain required that she be carried out, so a stokes basket was utilized to carry and keep her contained to prevent further injury. The rescue was completed

with no further injury to the hiker and no injuries to first responders. The patient was transported to St. Bernardine’s Medical Center and is being treated for her injuries. In total, 12 firefighters responded to the incident. In addition, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department responded and several deputies assisted with the rescue.


San Bernardino County Fire reminds all individuals to let someone know their location while hiking or conducting other outdoor recreational activities. In the event an emergency may happen while doing so, it will be much easier for first responders to locate the incident - TRACEY MARTINEZ


Heavy fire from roof in San Diego

On March 14, 2015 at 2:30 a.m., SDFD crews arrived on scene at 4651 Mission Gorge Pl (Mission Gorge area) to a large one story building with heavy fire from the roof. A second alarm was requested due to the size and potential difficulties of the fire. The blaze started in a restaurant and took nearly 30 minutes to knock down. 60 firefighters were on scene to battle the blaze and one firefighter was injured due to a fall from a ladder. His injuries appear non-life threatening. Dollar loss is estimated over $500,000. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental.

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Machete wielding man starts garage fire On Sunday, March 29, 2015, units of the San José Fire Department were dispatched to 1394 Mocho Court for a fire that started in a one-story home by an armed resident. San José police initially responded to the area after receiving multiple calls for a man wielding a machete and attacking an unoccupied vehicle. The subject then returned to his own home and began to burn items in his closed garage.

JUMP TO FILE #050815143 Firefighters were called to the scene, but were unable to attack the blaze while police attempted to convince the man to surrender. At one point during the standoff, the subject attempted to put out the fire with a garden hose, but was unsuccessful. Eventually, the man surrendered to police allowing fire

crews to approach the home, force entry into the garage and quickly extinguish the contents fire. There were no injuries and the man was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. The assignment included Battalion 1, Battalion 2, Battalion 10, Med 30 Engine 26, Engine 16, Engine 24 Truck 16, Truck 2, and Squad 26. - CRAIG ALLYN ROSE

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Vehicle News

The LAFD will soon place into service this 2015 KME SEVERE SERVICE 1500/500/20.


Fontana's heavy rescue


County firefighters extricate trapped driver Bloomington, CA. At approximately 7 p.m. on April 5th, San Bernardino County Fire received several reports of a traffic collision 911 callers reported a vehicle had struck a tour bus, and that there were persons trapped in the vehicle. Based on the 911 reports, County Fire’s initial response included a specialized heavy rescue unit, two paramedic engine companies, one battalion chief and an AMR ambulance. First arriving units reported a single sedan into the side of

JUMP TO FILE #040815103 the tour bus with major damage. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the sole occupant of the sedan would require extrication using specialized hydraulic rescue tools or the “jaws of life”. The heavy rescue unit was assigned the task of extrication upon their arrival, and the critically injured patient was extricated in approximately ten min-

utes. The extricated patient was transported to Kaiser Hospital Fontana with life-threatening injuries, while four occupants from the bus, who sustained minor injuries, were treated by additional County Fire paramedics and ultimately transported to other area hospitals. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident. - JEFF ALLEN

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Vehicle News


This LAFD engine is a 2015 KME XMFD Severe Service 1500/500/20


Black smoke coming from roof in California City Water Tender 61 of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego is a 2015 Freightliner/KME 500/1800


The Monrovia Fire Department recently placed into a service a new paramedic squad. Just over a year ago, Squad 101 was involved in a not at fault traffic collision. The chassis of Squad 101 was determined to be totaled. Fire Department Administration working with the department’s insurance adjuster found a solution to replace Squad 101. The Monrovia Fire Department purchased a 2015 Dodge Crew Cab Turbo Diesel chassis. The cab and utility medical box were sent to KME, who remounted the utility medical box onto the new Dodge Cab as well as installing new warning lights

At 2:05 p.m. on April 16th, the California City Fire Department was dispatched to a reported commercial structure fire. (Black smoke coming from a roof at the Aspen Mall 8000 block of California City Blvd). Command 190 arrived on scene and reported light smoke showing from the roof and began to evacuate the building. Engine 190 arrived on scene

JUMP TO FILE #050815133 shortly after. Two crew members began to search the interior of the building for fire while another two crew members ladder the roof in search for fire. During the search, crews found a swamp cooler that was actively burning. Crews were able to

extinguish the fire within seconds. After extinguishment, crews did an extensive search for possible fire extension but found none. Currently the fire cause looks to be electrical. No injuries were reported and approximately $350,000 of property was saved. - DAVID ORR


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Multi-company drill Roseville Fire hosted a multi-company drill with South Placer Fire at the Fire Training Center. The scenario was a multi-story hotel on fire and there were multiple injured patients inside.

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CONFIRE, a vital member of county fire team Each year, the second full week in April is dedicated to those who serve as public safety dispatchers and communications personnel. With that in mind, San Bernardino County Fire honors the dedicated call-takers of the Consolidated Fire Agencies of San Bernardino County (CONFIRE) who serve as the first, first responders when county residents dial 911. The week-long event, known as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, was initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office. Over the years, it picked up steam and was eventually recognized by Congress. By 1994, it was officially recognized as an annual event. The joint powers authority known as CONFIRE or “CommCenter,” is the communications and dispatch hub for numerous fire agencies within San Bernardino County, including County Fire. In 2014, CommCenter handled over 146,000 calls, about 80% of which were medical calls, and are expecting to handle even more this

JUMP TO FILE #041315106 year. In 2012, CONFIRE was recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. They are one of only two accredited centers in Southern California and one of 185 worldwide. An important function of emergency medical dispatch is pre-arrival instructions. The CommCenter uses the ProQA Emergency Medical Dispatch System, an internationally recognized triage system, which guides call-takers through a scripted interview to reach a determinant code that is standardized worldwide. This system prioritizes equipment and crews to be dispatched to medical emergencies that precisely meet the caller’s medical needs. The caller is given physician approved first-aid instructions over the phone to provide immediate aid until emergency personnel arrive. These instructions range from keeping the

patient calm to assisting child-birth or performing CPR. CONFIRE Joint Powers Authority is a multi-agency Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Dispatch Center comprised of San Bernardino County Fire, Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands, Rialto, and Rancho Cucamonga fire departments. CONFIRE also provides dispatch services by contract for Apple Valley Fire Protection District, Big Bear Fire Authority, Mt. Baldy Fire, Running Springs, Twenty-Nine Palms, Montclair and Upland Fire Departments, Baker Ambulance, and the San Bernardino County Transportation/Flood Control Department. They also function as the operational area dispatch for the county of San Bernardino, where they are responsible for coordinating mutual aid needs within the county and for processing mutual aid requests to and from the Region VI Office of Emergency Services Operations Center.







Late afternoon structure fire displaces three On April 1, 2015, Monrovia Engine 101, Truck 101, Squad 101, Battalion 10 with assistance from LA County Engine 44, Arcadia Engine’s 105 and 107, Truck 105 and Battalion 105 responded to a reported apartment structure fire in the 200 Block of East Lime Avenue in the City of Monrovia. First arriving units found an exterior laundry room fully engulfed with fire beginning to extend into the attic of an adjacent two story residential structure. Engine 101 arrived on scene and assumed fire attack on the laundry room fire. Battalion Chief Brad

JUMP TO FILE #051615116 Dover assisted by Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan arrived on scene and established command. LA County Engine 44 and Arcadia Engine 107 arrived on scene and took fire attack on the attic fire while Truck 101 assisted by Truck 105 performed top side ventilation. Squad 101 performed primary search as initial reports had the possibility of a small dog still being inside. Engine 105 was assigned to pull ceilings.

The missing pet was eventually found saf, sound, and out of harms way and the Pasadena Animal Control was summoned to take temporary possession of the dog until the owner returned. The fire was knocked down in about one hour with no additional extension. The cause of the fire was determined to be a malfunctioning laundry room appliance the three displaced residents were able to find shelter with assistance from the American Red Cross.


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He said “God Bless You” Chaplain’s Corner Didymus McHugh


County Fire rescues accident victims Just after 2:30 a.m. on May 11th, San Bernardino County Fire received numerous reports of a traffic collision with extrication on the Northbound Interstate 15 North of Cima Rd. County Fire responded with a basic life support engine company, which responded from the town of Baker. Company 53 reported a single vehicle rollover with major damage. This area is very remote and response times can be extended. County Fire’s emergency medical

JUMP TO FILE #051115116 technician’s along with Baker Ambulance paramedics determined there were a total of six occupants in the vehicle, all with critical injuries. Upon further assessment, it was determined there were two persons deceased, an approximate 30 year old male and an approximate 60 year old female.

Baker Ambulance transported four patients to UMC Vegas with non-life threatening injuries including an approximate 30 year old female, 12 year old female, 7 year old male, and a 9 year old female. County fire remained on scene to assist the coroner and CHP for another two hours. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. - JEFF ALLEN

I saw a man starting to walk in the same direction that I was walking. I noticed that he was wearing a ball cap that read "Viet Nam Veteran". I told him "Thank you for serving. If you did not serve we would not have our freedoms." We parted, but later we saw each other and he said to me "God bless you and your family." There are so many people that would never think of thanking a verteran. They have no courtesy or respect for these individuals, who put it all on the line. Do these people understand that most of the military seem to be young people? Talk about dedication. All too often we forget what goes into a great country, like the values that this country was founded on. But it makes my heart feel heavy at what has happened. When the national anthem is played, there are people who remain seated, don't take off their hat, put their right hand over their heart, or just show respect by stop talking. By the way, the last words to the national anthem is not "Play Ball". What has happened to the honor and respect? Is it that parents don't show

respect? Do they know how to teach it? Are schools afraid to teach it? I remember in grammar school, we would say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Is there even an American flag in the classroom? Or is that not politically correct? Do yourself a favor, YouTube the Pledge of Allegiance and watch the commentary by John Wayne. Years ago, I traveled a lot and I witnessed a protest on government property. I spoke to the security guard and asked him if it bothered him, that the people were protesting the military. The gentleman told me that he served in the military in rough areas and rough times, to protect the freedom of those people who were protesting what he did. Did you hear that? He was willing to lay down his life for others to protest against our freedom fighters. To the military: Thank you for your service and being willing to die for your freedoms and ours. To the families of the military: Thank you for supporting this country by supporting your service person. And if they did not come home, our country should definitely say "Thank you and our hearts go out to your family." Happy 4th of July Thank you for the sacrifices, so we can spend another year in freedom. God bless you and your family. God Bless America.

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May/June, 2015


RFD names Firefighter of the Year, welcomes new firefighters Two new Redlands firefighter/paramedics received their badges and the department named its 2014 Firefighter of the Year during a ceremony in the Redlands City Council Chambers last week. After opening remarks by City Manager N. Enrique Martinez, the following personnel were recognized: C a p t a i n Michael Mc- JUMP TO FILE# 050815137 Math was named the Firefighter of the Year as fire department members, city staff, friends and family gathered in the Council Chambers on Thursday evening, April 9. McMath started his emergency services career as an emergency medical technician ambulance driver in 1990. He attained additional experience as a reserve firefighter with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department and as a paid-call Running Springs firefighter before joining the Redlands Fire Department in January 2000. With more than 24 years of emergency services experience, Captain McMath brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to his work. McMath earned an Associates of Science degree in Fire Technology from Rio Hondo College in 1994. In 2011, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix. He also holds a California Fire Officer Certification. “Michael has taken it upon himself to gain the formal education and experience necessary to fill a critical need for information technology within the fire service,” said Redlands Fire Chief Jeff Frazier. “His abilities have been pivotal in a number of new programs that he has been able to participate in and lead the Department into uncharted territory. “Capt. McMath has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide service to the community, our department and surrounding agencies. His work on our Fire Records Management System has allowed us to identify and filter data needed for grants, staff reports and State and Federal reporting systems,” Frazier continued. New Firefighter/Para-

medics Christian Dominguez and Matthew Swenson received their badges during the ceremony. Dominguez’s mother, Lorenza, and Swenson’s wife, Jennifer, pinned the badges to the new employees’ uniforms after which the firefighters took the Oath of Office from City Clerk Sam Irwin. Swenson was a fire explorer with the Redlands Fire Department and graduated from Redlands High School before attending the Redlands Emergency Services Academy. He built the foundation of his career working for the United States Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Dominguez completed his paramedic internship with the Redlands Fire Department and worked for four years as a paramedic with American Medical Response ambulance service. He also served as a reserve Redlands firefighter for a year and a half. The Fire Chief also recognized several department members for their activities with various charitable causes. Capt. Eva Toppo and Firefighter/Paramedic Jeffrey Kuhn were recognized for their efforts with the “Be a Hero” Heart Gallery Campaign, a program designed to find families for children in foster care who have been abused and neglected. Engineer Matt Ley and Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Leverette were recognized for their work coordinating Bowling for Burns and raising more than $17,000 to benefit the Fire & Burn Foundation. Fire Explorer Anthony Alvarado was named Explorer of the Year after completing more than four times the mandatory 102 volunteer hours. Redlands Fire Fighters Local 1345 was recognized for two “Fill the Boot” campaigns, raising $17,736 in 2014 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and $7,700 for the Fire & Burn Foundation. Redlands Firefighters also collected more than 1,000 toys, cash for gift cards and serving approximately 1,000 families in the Redlands area through the Spark of Love promotion during November and December 2014. - REDLANDS FIRE DEPARTMENT

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City Clerk Sam Irwin delivers the Oath of Office to Firefighter/Paramedics Christian Dominguez and Matthew Swenson. REDLANDS FIRE DEPARTMENT



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May/June, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - CA

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The California City Fire Department conducted an Auto Extrication class on April 10th. The State certified Auto Extrication class was instructed by newly promoted Fire Captain Andrew Roach.


Capt. Michael McMath, 2014 Redlands Firefighter of the Year;


On April 17th, Jonathan Mielkus successfully completed one year of service as a Probationary Firefighter and was given full status as a career Firefighter with the California City Fire Department.


SBCoFD Flight Medic Eric Sherwin and SBCSD Corporal Mike Ells assigned to AirRescue 6 during the Riverbottom incident as well as Flight Captain Jack Dejong and SBCSD Pilot Sgt. Al Daniel

Battalion Chief Dover establishing command at an apartment fire in the City of Monrovia


1ST Responder Newspaper - CA

May/June, 2015


County Fire All Risk crews prepare for fire season

San Bernardino County, CA. In preparation for the upcoming 2015 fire season SBCoFD, Fire Camp 6 has staffed two initial attack professional hand crews; Crew 6-1 “Old Cajon” and Crew 6-2 “Las Flores”. These crews recently completed two weeks of “Critical Training”, which is the traditional way hand crews transition from winter staffing to fire season staffing. The “Critical Training” is a fully immersive and physically demanding training program that attempts to simulate every aspect of life as a County Fire hand crew member, from daily camp routines to complex, life threatening wildland firefighting operations. Critical Training begins each day with a morning briefing, which includes a fire weather forecast discussion, a wildland safety message called “Six Minutes for Safety”, and the “plan of the day”. Crews then begin their physical training regimen; a crucial aspect in meeting the physical demands of this strenuous job. Individual crew members are required to complete a physical fitness standard which includes a 1.5 mile run in 10 minutes 30 seconds, 40 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, pull ups based on body weight and an NWCG “Pack Test”. Throughout the two weeks of Critical Training, numerous training topics and certification classes were conducted; wildland fire behavior, fireline construction, structure defense, fire shelter deployment, and wildland fire leadership just to name a few. Each crew member was integrated into the fire camp life style and assigned camp areas of responsibilities and learned how to take ownership of those responsibilities. At the culmination of the Critical Training, both crews embarked on an “extended training day” which is a 36 hour, incident simulation in which both crews combine as a “Crew Strike Team” and must be 100% self-sufficient to simulate


JUMP TO FILE #071513129 initial and extended attack operations. During the simulated incident, the training topics covered incident check in and briefings, receiving division assignments, fireline construction, tree felling, night operations, base camp orientation and coordination, travel procedures and after action reviews. On a daily basis, County Fire’s all risk hand crews have many duties including project work which involves reducing fuels. Through several contracts with County Land Use Services, the crew program is able to reduce available fuels in high hazard areas around the county, which in turn is making the wildland fire environment safer for firefighters and the public. In addition to fuel reduction projects, the crew program maintains a constant state of readiness through daily physical fitness and training. County Fire’s “paid” camp crew program began in 2012 as a Paid-Call Firefighter (PCF) “pickup” crew out of Fire Station 40 in Oak Hills and now has evolved into two, fully staffed initial attack hand crews with dedicated Fire Suppression Aides (FSAs). They now operate out of their own stand-alone fire camp called “Camp 6” located in Devore. Camp 6, Crew 6-1 and 6-2 are quickly becoming a highly reliable and credible part of the County Fire Department. These crews have taken pride in maintaining their physical and mental fitness as well as maintaining a positive attitude. Traditions are being established that will be upheld for many years to come.


City Heights fire destroys home San Diego Fire was alerted to multiple 911 reports of a structure fire in the City Heights area on June 1 at 6:10 p.m. San Diego Fire crews arrived at 4015 50th Street at JUMP TO FILE # a one story resi- 060215109 dence, with heavy smoke and fire showing from the front of the house. Although the blaze was knocked down in about 20 minutes, complete extinguishment was difficult because of hard to reach void spaces in a storage attic above the involved bedroom. It took five fire units and 24 firefighters to completely put out the fire and keep it from spreading to the surrounding homes. Three residents were displaced and Red Cross arrived on scene to assist. The origin of the fire appeared to have started in the front bedroom. The cause is still under investigation and dollar loss is estimated at $275,000. - JOSEPH AMADOR




May/June, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - CA

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Resident becomes victim of fire

On April 30, 2015 at 6:00 p.m., crews arrived at 7156 Viewcrest Drive to find heavy smoke and fire from a one story residence with reports of someone trapped in the house. Firefighters quickly entered the home and located the victim in the rear of the garage. Once outside, the victim was declared deceased. San Diego Fire Department along with Heartland Fire, did a good job in knocking down the blaze within 30 minutes. Arson investigators have yet to determine a cause of the fire. The dollar loss is estimated at $250,000. SDFD would like to pass along our best to the family of the victim.


Santa Clara County Fire Department’s Engine 78 at a recent three alarm fire at the Gatehouse Condominiums

1ST Responder Newspaper - CA

May/June, 2015



May/June, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - CA

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