Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT MEMBERS TO ATTEND BOSTON FIREFIGHTER FUNERALS
LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2014) – The Los Angeles Fire Department joins the nation and the Boston Fire Department in mourning the loss of two of their bravest in a nine-alarm fire on March 26, 2014. The LAFD will be represented at the upcoming funerals and memorial services by two of our own members, who will travel to Boston on Monday.
Through a collaborative effort between the LAFD, the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, and Virgin America Inc., two LAFD members from our own Fire Station 33 in South Los Angeles will attend the funerals of Boston Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward Walsh.
“We mourn the tragic loss of these two dedicated firefighters and we are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters in public safety in honoring their lives and sacrifice,” said LAFD Interim Chief James Featherstone. “The two LAFD members in Boston will carry with them the support and condolences from all 3,300 men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who know well the risks and challenges of our chosen profession.”
Related Info Links:Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD)
CAL FIRE plans to hire more crews due to dry conditions
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- CAL FIRE has now announced plans to hire more crews ahead of what they believe could be a very active wildfire season. The firefighters will be hired in the Bay Area, the Sacramento foothills and right here in Central California.
Firefighters from all around the state traveled to the Valley last year to battle the massive Rim Fire, which tore through 400 square miles. But crews believe this year could be worse because the severe drought dripping California right now is drying up vegetation, everywhere.
"With these very dry conditions, fire is able to spread much quicker than normal, especially this time of year," said CAL FIRE's Ryan Michaels.
In the past three months alone, Cal Fire went to more than 800 wildfires. But in an average year, they typically combat 300 or fewer fires. In April, 25 season firefighters will join local stations to deal with the sharp increase in calls.
"As we progress into the summer we will go into our peak levels, so we will add on more people then. This is our typical staffing arrangement, it's just much earlier in the season than anticipated" said Michaels.
Crews say the recent rain showers helped soak the parched soil and generate some green grass. But we need many more longer downpours to create a safer terrain.
"What we are concerned with is the brush and vegetation, the timber that are very, very dry. This little rain unfortunately isn't making much of an impact to that," added Michaels.
Firefighters want everyone in the Valley to clear brush and weeds on their property at least 100 feet around their homes. They say creating that defensible space is crucial to keeping your home safe.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
A Saturday morning fire destroyed a historic lodge near the border of Colusa and Lake counties.
60 guests were at the resort at the time of the fire
|The main lodge at Wilbur Hot Springs Historic Lodge, Mineral Baths and Nature Sanctuary near Williams, Calif., was destroyed by a fire that began on the morning of Saturday, March 29, 2014. Meg Solagui/Wilbur Hot Springs resort photo.|
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – The main lodge building of the Wilbur Hot Springs Historic Lodge, Mineral Baths and Nature Sanctuary burned in structure fire, according to Northshore Fire Deputy Chief Pat Brown.
Brown and Northshore firefighters, along with resources from several other agencies were on scene for several hours, with the Lake County crew just returning at around 3 p.m.
Brown said Northshore Fire was dispatched at approximately 10:40 a.m. to the lodge, located at 3375 Wilbur Springs Road near Williams.
The recent rain had made the road difficult to travel for the responding fire equipment, Brown said.
The resort is not located within a fire district, but resources from several surrounding districts responded with a lot of equipment and personnel, Brown reported.
Williams Fire sent three engines and a water tender, Maxwell Fire had two engines and a water tender, with the Maxwell chief acting as incident commander. Brown said he and one Northshore Fire engine also responded, and there were two engines and a water tender from the Capay Valley.
Brown said the fire appeared to have started in the kitchen, traveling up to the second floor and across the roof, then back down into the first floor of the building, which he to be about 6,000 square feet in size.
Northshore firefighters worked on the first floor to help salvage what they could, including the lodge's oak tables and chairs, Brown said. “We saved all that.”
Some 60 guests were at the resort at the time of the fire, with Brown saying that at one point he was struggling to make sure everyone was accounted for and safe.
He said that in the end all guests were safe, with the owner suffering some burned hair and another person having smoke inhalation. Medics from Enloe Medical Center in Chico also were on scene but no one was transported.
For Brown, seeing the building destroyed was difficult, as he and other firefighters had fought to save it during the August 2012 Walker Fire, which crossed from Lake into Colusa county.
The resort's outbuildings were not affected by the Saturday fire, Brown said.
He said that because the resort is located in a “no man's zone” between districts, so far no fire investigator has been assigned, and it's his understanding that the building may not have been insured.
According to the resort's Web site, http://www.wilburhotsprings.com , the resort was established in 1865.
The main lodge destroyed by the Saturday fire had been built in 1915, with additional building and improvements taking place in the years since. The property today includes an 1,800-acre nature preserve, according to the site.Source: http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36081:breaking-historic-wilbur-hot-springs-main-lodge-destroyed-by-fire&catid=1:latest&Itemid=197
FFPM Paul Cooke
Fire Station 92, "B" Platoon, Battalion 17
Fire Station 92, "B" Platoon, Battalion 17
Fire Fighter Paul Cooke, Fire Station 92, "B" Platoon, Battalion 17, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the age of 37. Brother Cooke was a dedicated and respected member who faithfully and honorably served the Citizens of Los Angeles County and his Department.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 31, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at:
If you are unable to attend, please show your support by viewing the Memorial atreallifechurch.org and clicking the live feed button.
Interment service will be private.
Brother Cooke leaves behind his wife Belinda and two daughters. Please keep his family in your thoughts as they work through these difficult times.
A memorial fund has been established for Belinda and her two young daughters through F&A Credit Union.
The Cooke Family Memorial fund
|F&A Federal Credit Union|
2625 Corporate Place
Monterey Park, CA 91754
|US mail||Send to above address using account# 642251/S1|
|Online||Acct.# 642251 - S1 - COO|
If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Local 1014.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Alder Camp escapee may be wearing CalFire uniform
Who: Corey Joseph Janic, 26, is a minimum-security inmate serving a five-year sentence from Benito County for first-degree burglary and unlawful taking of a vehicle, according to a statement from the California Correctional Center.
He was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds with brown eyes and a shaved head.
When: Janic was last seen running from Alder Camp at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Why: After discovering the burglary of a CalFire uniform at Alder Camp, officials suspect that Janic could be wearing the uniform, according to Del Norte sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven.
“There’s a likelihood that he could be responsible for the burglary and passing himself off as a CalFire employee,” Steven said.
Anyone with information about Janic’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the California Correctional Center watch commander at 530-252-3013.
Edited Source: http://www.triplicate.com/News/Breaking-News/Alder-Camp-escapee-may-be-wearing-CalFire-unifor
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Interim Fire Chief James G. Featherstone has issued the following statement regarding immediate changes to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s firefighter hiring process:
"Mayor Garcetti charged me with, and I am committed to, enacting meaningful and structural reform within the Los Angeles Fire Department. Accordingly, I have been working with the Mayor's Office to review the recruitment and training process, and our work revealed the existence of at least two interview and resume preparation workshops organized by a member of the LAFD. These workshops were advertised via LAFD email and were intended to be limited to members of the LAFD Cadet Program and family of LAFD members.
While these actions may have been conceived in good faith, the result was a recruiting and hiring process that was less than fair and impartial.
Our Professional Standards Division has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the workshops, and we will have no further comment on personnel issues during the course of the investigation.
The current hiring eligibility list will be allowed to expire and the LAFD will not begin any additional recruit training classes using this list.
This is not a decision that was undertaken lightly. However, I believe it is in the best interest of the LAFD that we recruit, hire and train eligible candidates through a transparent and fair process.
While we will continue to have an urgent need to fill our existing vacant positions, it is vital that we update and improve our hiring and recruiting process to give Angelenos the fire department they expect and deserve.
I am confident that the 3,300 sworn men and women firefighters of the LAFD will continue serving our City with the excellence and dedication that they display every day.
We have engaged the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, to conduct an expedient and multi-phase review of the LAFD hiring process in order to recommend ways to improve our hiring policies and practices.
The recommendations will be aimed at providing an equal opportunity of being hired to all qualified applicants for the position of firefighter and RAND will suggest methods that can be implemented to improve the demographic diversity of future LAFD recruits.
The first phase will last approximately three months, during which time RAND will review our current hiring practices. RAND’s findings will inform the City about the fairness and effectiveness of the current process. If necessary, RAND will provide alternative courses of action to manage the pool of applicants who seek firefighter positions, as well as provide recommendations to update and revise the current process, including the written test and oral interview portion of the examination process.
The second phase will take approximately one year and will involve continuous improvements in the new process, including recruiting methods and the selection of new firefighters.
The RAND Corp. has extensive experience in public safety and military recruiting and personnel retention issues. In 2009, RAND published the results of its project to assist the Los Angeles Police Department with its hiring process."
A link to that report can be found at: www.rand.org/pubs/
LODD: Briceland Chief Tim Olsen
It is with deepest regret that the Briceland Volunteer Fire Department announces the passing of Briceland Fire Chief Tim Olsen on Thursday, March 20 of a massive heart attack while on his way to a meeting with CAL FIRE.
Despite valiant efforts from members of the Briceland Fire District and City Ambulance to revive him, Tim did not survive
Saturday, March 22, 2014
RIVERSIDE: Fire operations move goes forward
An air tanker makes a drop of fire retardant in the Cleveland National Forest during The Falls Fire near Lake Elsinore, August, 06, 2013.
FRANK BELLINO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Cal Fire, the state’s largest firefighting agency, is closer to relocating its Southern California operations center to former March Air Force Base land now that a state Senate budget subcommittee voted to spend $4 million on the move.
The allocation comes from the $1.4 billion Gov. Jerry Brown budgeted for fire services in the next fiscal year.
The center is home base for fire officials who coordinate the mobilization of resources for wildfires and other incidents from Monterey south to the Mexican border.
Workers are responsible for obtaining reinforcements and equipment -- including air tankers and fire engines -- when wildfires threaten to overwhelm Southern California’s federal, state and local fire crews.
The center is managed cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire.
The new facility would be south of Cactus Avenue and east of Interstate 215 in Moreno Valley. It would not be on the actual March Air Reserve Base, but on land that once was part of the Air Force base.
Still, the move would be good news for March, which this week learned that it could lose about 150 personnel if the Department of Defense’s proposed military budget is passed by Congress. The Combat Camera operation, which consists of about 125 reservists assigned to document anything involving the Air Force, would be cut under the proposal.
Having the fire service near the base could bode well as the Pentagon looks at another round of base closures, said Jamil Dada, chairman of the redevelopment oversight committee for the March Joint Powers Authority.
“The more assets we accumulate at March and around March, the better,” he said. “Cal Fire will play a big part in what the base does.”
He said having more amenities in the region will make it harder to close the base.
“It helps to BRAC-proof the base,” he added in reference to the Base Realignment and Closure committee.
Although the move won’t create new jobs, it will bring more people to shop at local businesses and eat at restaurants.
“It’s a big boost for the community, as well,” Dada said.
State Sen. Richard Roth, who represents the area, was not involved in the project. Nonetheless, he is happy to see it move forward.
“The senator is very happy to see the possibility of an investment at March Air Reserve Base,” said Chuck Daldorf, Roth's chief of staff. “It’s an appropriate place by geography and operationally it makes a lot of sense.”
The current fire operations base, nicknamed “South Ops,” is located in a 58-year-old facility at 2524 Mulberry St. in Riverside, near the convergence of Interstate 215 with the 60 and 91 highways.
It will cost about $50 million to relocate and build the new facility, said Dale Hutchinson, Southern California region chief for Cal Fire. Most of the money is coming from bond sales, he said.
“The project is moving forward,” Hutchinson said. “This $4 million is to deal with an update of the plan and additional onsite work.”
That will include drainage work and permitting, he said.
With more space than the current location, the new center would not only house operations, but dispatch, technical services, engineering and repair, and vehicle maintenance, Hutchinson said. There also will be a large area for a training facility and staging during large fires.
Hutchinson said in the past, portable buildings have had to be moved in to give them enough space during large incidents.
“Now we’re going to be able to have enough office space,” he said.
Hutchinson hopes that ground can be broken in 2015 and the facility completed in 18 months to two years.
South Ops employs about 40 people from Cal Fire, Office of Emergency Services, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The number of employees varies based on the season, Hutchinson said.
Equipment such as trucks and planes are not generally stored at the facility.
A move to March has been contemplated since at least 2000. Plans accelerated when the Riverside interchange was completed in 2007, surrounding the current four-acre facility with freeways.
“It really has encroached on us in a way that we have to move out,” Hutchinson said.
The U.S. Forest Service has held land near the base since 2002, when it accepted title to 40 acres just southeast of Cactus Avenue and Frederick Street. Cal Fire purchased 12.4 acres from the Forest Service in October 2012 to be used for the operations center.
Auto Club Speedway First Responder Appreciation Night
WHO: California Fire Foundation
WHAT: NASCAR Auto Club 400
WHERE: Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA
WHEN: March 23, 2014
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