Week in Review 9.23.16

Numbers of the week: 9,522 incidents, 1,000 pushups, 6 big smiles. And this. Story below. Photo by Harry Garvin


A staggering number of our military veterans take their lives. Studies show that as many as 22 vets per day struggling with their mental health commit suicide. Seeking to raise up this conversation, LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas took part in the #22Kill movement. Joining Chief Terrazas were Chief Deputy Fred Mathis and Assistant Chief Graham Everett, along with 42 LAFD cadets, who on the Chief’s command, each performed 22 push-ups.

After the group completed more than 1,000 pushups, the Fire Chief passed the challenge to LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck.

If you know a veteran in crisis, please check www.veteranscrisisline.net

Weekends are usually a time to relax, catch up around the house and get ready for the week. Things are a little different around here. Last weekend, the crew of Fire Station 39 in Van Nuys travelled to the south end of Los Angeles to stay sharp, practicing hose dragging, roof ventilation, ladder rescues and more.

We train like (y)our life depends on it…because it does.

LEFT: A member of Engine 39 begins drags the hose to attach to a nearby hydrant. RIGHT: With the iconic entrance to the Port of Los Angeles providing the backdrop, crew members train on proper roof ventilation.
LEFT: With all the necessary hoses brought out and linked to the hydrant, water is pumped from the hydrant and into the engine before being pumped out at high-pressure into the hoses for firefighters. RIGHT: When training a ladder/basket rescue from a rooftop or window, there’s no better way to train lowering someone in the basket then to have someone actually in it. Four photos by Sergio Franco.

When you think of a fire in a building, you probably wouldn’t think that the building would be a pile of rubble before catching fire…right? Such was not the case late Saturday night as a large pile of construction debris caught fire in the 3000 block of E. Washington Blvd. in East L.A.. Responding crews quickly extinguished the flames and remained on scene for a few hours after knockdown to ensure no future flare ups.

A member of Engine 17 watches the streams of water closely as he helps suppress a debris fire between in East L.A.. Photo by Tod Sudmeier.

Just after midnight Sunday, your LAFD responded to a vehicle collision at the 16500 block of W. Roscoe Blvd. near the Van Nuys Airport. Both drivers were safely extricated and transported to a local hospital.

LEFT and RIGHT: The results of a violent, two-vehicle collision in Van Nuys left one driver trapped, requiring him to be extricated.
One of the two drivers injured in the collision is wheeled to a waiting ambulance by firefighters from Station 90. Three photo by Rick McClure.

Also during the weekend, the LAFD’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) took part in a refresher at the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center to keep up on their current skills and learn new tools and strategies, such as:

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s CERT program pose for a photo prior to the weekend’s training.
  • Managing utilities and putting out small fires;
  • Providing basic medical aid;
  • Searching for and rescuing victims safely;
  • Collecting disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

CERT members, whom are all volunteers, play a vital role in a major disaster. The training these members receive is part of CERT and free of charge to anyone living in the city of Los Angeles over the age of 18.

Want to learn more about what CERT and join? www.cert-la.com

CERT members take part in a series of presentations. Three photos by LAFD Central on Facebook.

As morning turned to afternoon and afternoon to evening, a second vehicle collision occurred in the 3300 block of Barham Blvd. in Hollywood prompting the response of the LAFD Urban Search and Rescue unit, Heavy Rescue 56 and numerous other resources from Fire Station 27. Upon their arrival, crews worked swiftly to disentangle the two vehicles involved in the collision to reach a gravely injured, trapped man.

With numerous LAFD resources on scene, firefighters slowly pull two tangled cars apart to reach a trapped man beneath one of the vehicles.
LEFT: A member of the LAFD’s Heavy Rescue 56 unit signals to crew members operating the trucks. RIGHT: Meanwhile, crew on top of the two vehicles work to reach the trapped man. Three photos by Mike Meadows.


We can’t stress this enough: it’s always important to keep your larger, at-home appliances mechanically tuned so that they aren’t the cause of a serious incident. Should you not, things like this example of a clothes dryer fire in a single-story, Panorama City home, can lead to potential damage and injury to family members.

A dryer fire led to a destructive fire in this Panorama City home. Photo by Juan Guerra,
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 clothes dryer fires were reported last year — leading to an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in damages. Knowing this, here are a few helpful tips from them on how best to keep your dryer in top-condition to prevent fires like the one above from taking place in your home:

A fire alone can be intimidating, but what about a fire with the sound of live ammunition firing off in the background? LAFD crews responding to a single-story, structure fire in the Sunland/Tujunga area at 4:17 p.m. Monday experienced just that. Eleven minutes after the first crews arrived, 26 firefighters had taken care of the flames in the house and backyard shed and were conducting a secondary search for any occupants inside the home after initial reports said it was empty. While walking the premises, empty bullet casings were found scattered across the floor in one section of the house — confirming that the ammunition had indeed gone off during the fire after overheating inside the house.

Later that afternoon, a two-story structure fire in the 200 block of West 47th St. had crews in South L.A. racing to the scene. By the time the first units arrived, the two story home was well involved with fire. Quick action stopped the spread of flames, which had been racing to the back of the home and toward neighbors on each side. No injuries were reported.

While the front may be badly burned, the swift efforts of firefighters saved not only the rear of the structure but neighboring homes as well. Photo by Harry Garvin.
LEFT: After the bulk of flames were extinguished, firefighters tamped down hot spots inside. Photo by Harry Garvin. RIGHT: Smoke rises as the final hot-spots are extinguished inside the structure. Photo by Peter Sanders.

While crews like those shown above responded to incidents across the city throughout the day, members of Fire Station 58 in the Pico-Robertson area were doing equally important work right inside their own station.

Member of Fire Station 58 show students what the inside of the fire truck looks like. Photos by LAFD South on Facebook.

Mobilizing at 5:40 p.m., LAFD Strike Team 1880, comprised of four engines and one battalion chief, departed the Los Angeles basin and traveled north up the coast to Lompoc Monday to assist in the containment of yet another wildfire — this one dubbed the Canyon Fire. Taking on assignments like structure protection, LAFD resources allowed other, more local crews, to be freed for both rest and continue fighting the fire in areas they’re more familiar with. As of this posting, the 12,518 acres burned hillsides though containment now stands at 90%.


When a large plume of smoke began to rise near Costco Van Nuys at 6:23 p.m. Tuesday , it was feared the roof or possibly side of the building was on fire. The LAFD dispatched 36 firefighters to the scene where they found a small, but well-fueled vegetation fire along the backside of the structure that was set to spread. Crews knocked down the flames in 10 minutes, preventing the fire from reaching the structure or any equipment outside. Thankfully, eating Costco samples can continue unabated.


Hospitals are usually spots where we go to fix ourselves. Wednesday, though, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was a place of disaster preparedness. The annual “Disaster Olympix,” according to the hospital is:

[A] hands-on exercise to challenge individuals in critical thinking, teamwork and communication. One goal is to raise awareness of potential disaster-related issues and to ensure that staff is prepared to jump in and utilize every asset to provide safe, timely assistance in the case of a major event.

Knowing their important role in a situation like those being trained for in exercises like these, members of Los Feliz’ Fire Station 35 took their training in the day’s events seriously but were sure to provide a fun, learning atmosphere for the kids who participated in the Olympix.

Members of LAFD Fire Station 35 and employees of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles take part in an exercise evaluating and treating injured kids that would have been removed from the building during an evacuation.
LEFT: Should a young patient have a possible head or spinal injury, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles employees were trained on how to move a patient with these types of injuries. RIGHT: A group of 5th graders practice using a fire department hose. Photos by LAFD West on Facebook.


The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing some great baseball lately and could be said to be on a hot streak. We’re thrilled that our Boys in Blue are on the verge of clinching their fourth consecutive NL West title, but we hope things around the stadium cool down. Called in at 11:45 a.m., a brush fire between Elysian Park Drive and Dodger Stadium’s parking lot necessitated about 100 firefighters, working quickly to limit the spread and extinguish flames. In 1 hour and 4 minutes, crews limited flames to 6.3 acres before it spread to any nearby structures. No injuries were reported.

LEFT: With the fire beginning to come under control, LAFD Volunteer Crew 3 members began working in the hillside to tamp down any hot spots.. RIGHT: The scorched ground as seen from Echo Park on the Dodger Stadium side of Elysian Park Drive. .
LEFT: Crews continue to watch for any remaining hot spots. RIGHT: A detailed map of the area allows crews to pinpoint the area of ignition. Photos by Daniel Curry

The LAFD promptly responded to a call at 3:42 p.m. Thursday of a school bus crash in the South Los Angeles/Arlington Heights area. Eight children and two adults were on board the bus at the time, and as a precaution, the LAFD transported all eight to a local hospital to be evaluated. The two adults were assessed on the scene by paramedics and did not require further evaluation.


#LAFD Friday