CGM: 'Baby Safe LA' Interview at LAFD Station 20

Friday, June 30, 2006 |

Recently, we posted about our interest in 'collaborative' blogging, where 'Citizen Generated Media (CGM)' would be profiled and publicized at the LAFD News & Information blog.

Click to learn more about BabySafeLA...Similarly, we've been trying to get word out regarding California's 'Safely Surrendered Baby Law', which allows a person to give up an unwanted newborn (less than three-days old) without fear of arrest or prosecution at a designated site, including any Neighborhood Fire Station in Los Angeles.

In an effort that proved synergistic, Tony Pierce of LAist recently conducted an interview with LAFD Captain Mike Castillo of Fire Station 20 in Echo Park.

Coarsely yet accurately entitled "Don't Throw Your Baby in The Garbage", the amateur video has proven popular, and clearly underscores our interest in working collaboratively with local photographers and bloggers to publicly share content of public interest.

LA Fire Captain Explains Safe Baby Drop-Off


Our thanks to Mr. Pierce for creating and distributing the video, and for his sentiment regarding our blog. Our fraternal appreciation is also offered to Captain Castillo for agreeing to the spontaneous interview.

To learn more about California's 'Safely Surrendered Baby Law', please call 877-BABY SAFE (877-222-9723), or visit:

www.babysafela.org


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Man Dies in Ambulance Following Assault on Firefighter

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 |

Los Angeles: A man died as he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, after assaulting a firefighter attempting to provide him emergency medical treatment. details and comments at the LAPD blog...

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Two Die in Auto Fire

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 |

On Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 6:21 AM, one Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Arson Unit, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Captain I Oscar Scott responded to an Auto Fire at the SB 405 FY X Howard Hughes Py in Westchester.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters using handlines quickly confined the fire to the vehicle, extinguishing the blaze in less than two minutes. During fire attack, Firefighters discovered the remains of two individuals within the car.

Witnesses describe the vehicle striking an overpass embankment at high speed just before bursting in flames. The cause of the collision is under investigation.


Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Mother and Daughter Perish in Fire

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On Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 7:26 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, four Arson Units, three EMS Battalion Captains, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Craig Yoder responded to a Structure Fire with two civilian fatalities at 1317 S. 2nd Ave. in West Adams/Harvard Heights.

Firefighters arrived in less than five minutes to find an approximate 600 square foot, single story bungalow with heavy smoke and fire showing. Firefighters mounted an aggressive interior fire attack as fellow firefighters conducted simultaneous search and rescue operations to locate any individuals which may still be trapped inside the structure.

During the initial search of the structure, firefighters did locate a thirty-four year old female, and her four year old daughter who both perished inside the structure. The fire was knocked down in seventeen minutes and confined to the structure of origin. Incident Commanders did request the CRT (Crisis Response Team) to respond to the location, to assist the family in dealing with this tragedy. Fire loss is still being tabulated, while the cause remains under active investigation.

(video)

Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Structure Fire with Civilian Fatality

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On Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 5:57 AM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, three Arson Units, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Kwame Cooper responded to a Structure Fire with a civilian fatality at 112211 S. Parmelee Ave. in Watts.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover smoke showing from a one story residential unit . Firefighters using handlines confined the fire to the structure and extinguished the fire within thirteen minutes. During firefighting operations, the remains of an approximate fifty-four year old female were found in a bed in the sleeping area. Both the cause of death and origin of the fire are under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Possible Drug Lab Catches Fire

Monday, June 26, 2006 |

On Monday, June 26, 2006 at 1:00 AM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Rehab Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Tony Varela responded to a structure Fire at 10817 N. Independence Avenue in Chatsworth.

Image courtesy of LAFirePhotos.com

As Firefighters arrived on scene they were immediately confronted with a two story, single family residence with fire showing from the front of the structure. Firefighters immediately began an interior fire attack, coordinated with simultaneous vertical ventilation by firefighters on the roof.

Additional firefighters conducted a search of the occupancy for any trapped victims, and determined that no one was trapped inside the structure. The fire was confined to the structure of origin and was extinguished in approximately thirty-five minutes.

Further investigation revealed the evidence of a possible large scale drug lab in operation at the time of blaze. For the safety of the neighboring community, the Los Angeles Police Department's Bomb Squad were requested to evaluate the scene for the possibility of incendiary devices.

Image courtesy of LAFirePhotos.com

There were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation and the dollar loss is still being tabulated.

(images)

Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Greater Alarm Commercial Structure Fire

Sunday, June 25, 2006 |

On Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 5:12 AM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Evan Williams responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 6813 North Troost Ave. in North Hollywood.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from a multi story 50' x 150' commercial structure. As Firefighters gained access and began to attack the fire, firefighters on the roof simultaneously conducted ventilation operations.

The aggressive and well-coordinated efforts of seventy-five Los Angeles Firefighters confined the fire to the structure of origin and brought the flames under control in less than 36 minutes. Fire loss is still being tabulated, while the cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Grand Opening of LAFD Station 5 in Westchester

Friday, June 23, 2006 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome you to join civic and community leaders, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Councilman Bill Rosendahl and Fire Chief William Bamattre at the public dedication and grand opening of the LAFD's newest Fire Station:

Saturday, June 24, 2006
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
New Fire Station 5
8900 Emerson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045


We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions to this new facility, which is now in service and protecting Westchester, Loyola Village, Playa Del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey and the nearby Los Angeles International Airport.

Following Saturday's brief dedication ceremony, there will be free food and entertainment as well as a chance to tour Southern California's newest Fire Station.

All members of the community are warmly welcomed to this family-themed public event.

Please let us share a brief history of former Fire Station 5...

Former LAFD Station 5 (1950-2006)

Built more than 56 years ago at a cost of $109,000 ($107,700 for the structure and a mere $1,300 for the land), Old Fire Station 5 on Manchester Boulevard opened on August 2, 1950 to serve a City just beginning to realize the limits of its westward expansion to the nearby Pacific Coast.

Over the years, Old Fire Station 5's physical space as well as electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems proved unable to support a modern and diverse workforce. Those working inside the nearly six-decade-old building experienced a daily struggle to effectively respond to the growing needs of the many now living, working and traveling in the Station's airport-adjacent district.

Because the property beneath Old Fire Station 5 was too small to support a new Regional Fire Station, Proposition F of November 2000 has provided the community with a new 15,250 square-foot Regional Fire Station, 6,000 square-foot apparatus storage building and a 2,500 square-foot multipurpose room on a two-acre lot.

Groundbreaking for New Fire Station 5 took place on May 13, 2004. Built at a total cost of $9.3 million and almost 2-1/2 times the size of the facility it replaces, the new station opened for service on April 13, 2006, just 23 months after groundbreaking.

Built to exacting safety, seismic and efficiency standards, New Fire Station 5 will be formally dedicated this Saturday.

New LAFD Station 5 (2006). Picture by John Gregory LAFirephotos.com

New Fire Station 5 is presently staffed around the clock with 15 personnel. The staffed units include a Task Force, Paramedic Ambulance, Battalion Command Team and an EMS Battalion Captain. These resources at New Fire Station 5 have a combined average of nearly 21 emergency responses every day.

An LAFD Urban Search and Rescue Company is part of New Fire Station 5's future contingent, and will bring the total daily staffing to 17.

As Los Angeles Firefighters, we know that neighborhood safety demands community interaction. The ability of Fire Station 5 personnel to host community functions and training events in the station's new community room will allow Neighborhood Firefighters an even closer and more productive relationship with those they proudly serve.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 5 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed Monthly Progress Report which can be accessed on-line via:

www.lafd.org/propf.htm


The men and women of the LAFD look forward to seeing you on Saturday, June 24 in Westchester!

(images of station move) (images of grand opening) (more images of grand opening)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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LAFD Salutes Idaho Responders for Helping Superhero

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 |

We often hear from Los Angeles residents about the special "little things" that the men and women of our Department do to help their neighbors in need.

Clearly, going the extra mile to make the "magic" happen is not in the rule books, nor is it limited to members of our agency. It is therefore a great pleasure to share a special story from our friends at The Idaho Statesman, and offer a respectful tip o' the LAFD helmet to Boise area Police, Fire and EMS workers as well as hundreds of the residents they serve...

Boise Child Captures a Villain

Make-A-Wish Foundation helps 6-year-old girl with inoperable brain cancer be a superhero for a day

Aubrey Matthews likes to swim, ride bikes and eat enchiladas. But the 6-year-old's real passion is being a superhero.

The imagination of the Cole Elementary first-grader came to life Friday when the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho, Windermere Real Estate and others orchestrated Aubrey's wish to be a superhero for a day.

Aubrey, aka "Star," has optic glioma, a brain tumor behind her eyes. But it didn't stop her as she foiled crimes and chased her arch-nemesis, Black (named for the character on Neighborhood Watch signs), through the city of Boise, followed by a cavalcade of police cars.

With a determined look on her face, Aubrey used her super powers of X-ray vision, super strength, fast speed and blowing power to rescue a hostage from Black's grip and tie the villain to the replica Liberty Bell in front of the Statehouse at about noon.

Hundreds of fans cheered her on.

"I'd like to thank you for your extreme bravery in capturing Black," Mayor David Bieter said on the Statehouse steps after Black's arrest.

"You have shown extraordinary crime-fighting skills," Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson said before presenting her with a custom-made police uniform, badge and all.

Bieter proclaimed June 16 Make-A-Wish Day and Star Day, and swore her in as an honorary Boise police officer. Aubrey also received a medal and pin from the city.

Making A Wish Come True

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho has been working on Aubrey's wish to be a superhero for a day since January.

"We have four categories of wishes, and 'I Wish to Be' is the most rare," Executive Director Marcia Karakas said.

This is the first time in at least 10 years that a "Be" wish has been received in the Idaho office, which serves the state's lower 35 counties.

Unlike wishes to "Go," "Meet" or "Have," the "Be" wish allows the community to be more involved in making the wish come true.

Wish partner Windermere Real Estate had 100 percent participation from its 150 employees at two Boise offices.

Aubrey's wish blossomed to include the Idaho Historical Museum, Boise State University, Saint Alphonsus Life Flight, Fairly Reliable Bob's, Gowen Field Fire and Rescue, Zoo Boise, the mayor's office, and the city's police, fire and parks departments.

Aubrey received a phone call from the original Batman, Adam West, and local artist Kelly Knopp is creating a comic book for Aubrey.

Area 02, a local production company, filmed the events of Aubrey's wish, and there will be a red-carpet premiere of the film at the Egyptian Theatre in the fall.

"It's crazy! It's cool! You guys are so hooked up!" Aubrey's mother, Elisa Matthews, told Make-A-Wish and Windermere staff.

About two dozen Boise police officers also participated in the wish. Most volunteered on their day off.

"Everybody is very gung-ho to make this her best day," Officer Shelli Sonnenberg said. "She's fighting this tumor, and she is a hero in her own right. It's a pleasure serving her."

"I'm overwhelmed with all the time that people have put into this," Aubrey's father, Dave Matthews, said. "The whole day is centered around her, and it's just awesome. This is truly a dream come true for her."

When the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho asked Aubrey what her wish would be, she knew right away.

"She truly loves superheroes," Elisa Matthews said.

"She cares about others, and she's always been this way," Dave Matthews said. Aubrey made up other superheroes to help her fight crimes in scripted scenes on her special day. She equipped Lion Lady, Frog Lady, Dog Man, House Lifter, Sky Girl, Martian Manhunter and Tree Girl with their own superpowers.

A script assisted heroes and police as the drama played out, but Aubrey always knew what to say because she loves to play superhero with friends.

Aubrey also provided the design inspiration for each of their costumes, including her own costume in her favorite color, blue.

"I think she's brought out the child in all of us," said Jessie Gillingham, volunteer coordinator for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho.

A Hero in Her Own Right

Aubrey was just 6 months old when she was diagnosed with Optic Glioma, after her parents noticed she had a nystagmus, or jittery eye.

The tumor is inoperable because of its location in the center of her brain and the way it grew into her optic nerve and against her hypothalmus, Dave Matthews said.

"Ever since she was diagnosed, I try to enjoy every day with her," Elisa Matthews said. "Life is just precious, and you can't blow it away. You have to take it for what it is, no matter what it is."

Follow-up MRI scans showed evidence of the tumor growing, so Aubrey began 15 months of chemotherapy when she was 15 months old.

The tumor stabilized for three and a half years, but last July it started to grow again, Elisa Matthews said.

A second round of chemotherapy began in August and was completed in January. The tumor "is shrinking some — we're happy," Dave Matthews said. Doctors "had expected her to be a lot more ill than she was," Elisa Matthews said. Aubrey has not lost her hair and has maintained her white blood cell count.

It could be the super powers.



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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87 Years Ago Today - Lieutenant Roman Ritters

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LAFD Hose Company No 1 circa 1914.To many, it may look humorous, the 1914 Moreland Combination Hose Wagon seen at left. Viewing the men aboard, a contemporary might at first laugh, imagining them to be the Fire Service equivalent of the Keystone Cops.

Nothing however, could be further from the truth.

In the early days of the Los Angeles Fire Department, and just a few years prior to the retirement of our beloved Blackie and Cotton, the eastside of our great City was protected by the men of LAFD Hose Company Number 1, who were a prideful bunch.

While understandably proud of their early conversion to motorized apparatus from fire horses, they were even more proud to be led into battle by Lieutenant Roman W. Ritters.

Lieutenant Roman W. Ritters, LAFDRising briskly through the ranks in less than twelve years to become an LAFD Officer, Lieutenant Ritters bravely led his crew to battle many conflagrations, including a massive Mt. Washington grass fire on June 9, 1919 that would ultimately cost him his life.

On a day the Los Angeles Times later referred to as "the hottest day of the year", and one that saw our Department battling fifty-two alarms, a then record for one day in Los Angeles, Hose Company Number 1 was joined by every firefighting apparatus in the City for over three hours in battling flames near Pasadena Avenue and Marmion Way.

It was near that location that Lt. Ritters sustained serious burns about the head, face and body while attempting to save several homes in the fire's path.

Taken to a downtown Receiving Hospital staffed by Physicians who gained expertise in treating municipal maladies during World War I, Lieutenant Ritters succumbed to his painful injuries eleven grueling days later, on June 20, 1919.

Much has changed in Los Angeles in the past 87 years. One thing that hasn't is the commitment of the Firefighters who stand ready to serve you.

On this anniversary of Lt. Ritters' passing, we hope you will work in earnest to minimize wildfire danger in your community, while surveying your home and neighborhood for life safety concerns.

Los Angeles residents who have a non-emergency concern or question about fire safety are encouraged to contact their Neighborhood Fire Station via 3-1-1.

To learn more about the fascinating history of the Los Angeles Fire Department, please plan your visit to the LAFD Museum in Hollywood.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Interested in Joining the LAFD?

Saturday, June 17, 2006 |

One of the most common inquiries we receive is from young men and women interested in making the Los Angeles Fire Department their life's work.

If you are of unquestionable integrity and intense spirit, we encourage you to consider a career as a Los Angeles Firefighter.

Complete information is available on-line at: www.lafd.org/join

Our Department provides free preparatory assistance, including mock oral interviews. To schedule your participation in these and other offerings, or if you simply have a question, please contact the LAFD Recruitment Unit at (213) 485-8032.

So what are you waiting for?

On-line applications are being accepted now. Call or click today!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Major Emergency Commercial Fire Destroys Building

Thursday, June 15, 2006 |

On Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at 10:06 PM, thirty three Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, three EMS Battalion Captains, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 336 S. Avenue 16 in the Chinatown/ Civic Center area.

First units arriving on scene reported a one story commercial building with smoke showing. Firefighters were able to begin an initial fire attack using handlines while additional companies conducted ventilation operations on the roof. Faced with deteriorating conditions, Firefighters were ordered to withdraw and take up defensive positions on the exterior of the building.

Over 200 Firefighters worked for 4 hours to gain control of the stubborn blaze. Firefighters used a combination of Class A foam and heavy stream appliances to knockdown the bulk of the fire and then re-entered the structure with handlines for final extinguishment. No civilian or Firefighter injuries were reported.

Fire loss is still being tabulated, while the cause of the fire remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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L.A. Firefighters Rescue Protesters From Homemade Fastening Devices

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 |

On Tuesday, June 12, 2006 at 10:54 PM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, ten LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Rehab Unit, four EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, and Companies from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Donald Austin responded to a Protest at 34th Street and Central Ave. in the South Los Angeles/Newton area.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified in the late evening on June 13th, 2006 that an eviction order, requiring the removal of protesters occupying a ten acre property in the South Los Angeles area, would be enforced early the next morning. Law Enforcement authorities had received information that protesters would be using various devices to secure themselves to the property to prevent their removal.

At three AM the next morning, a Unified Command Post, comprised of LAFD, LAPD, L.A. County Fire, and L.A. County Sheriff's personnel was established at the location. Fire Department resources were deployed in a supportive role to assist Law Enforcement officers.

At approximately seven AM, LAFD Firefighters began using a variety of extrication equipment to meticulously cut locks, chains, barrels with cement, and other devices, in an effort to assist authorities with the removal of the protesters.

Unfortunately, some of the protesters had placed themselves in a very precarious and dangerous situation, which required Firefighters assistance to prevent injury during their removal.

In addition, four protesters had secured themselves within the branches of a walnut tree on the property. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Truck 3 with a platform type lift assisted with the removal of the tree bound protesters. After the successful removal of all protesters from the property, additional protesters continued to protest on adjacent streets.

A contingent of almost 100 Los Angeles Firefighters and Paramedics remained committed to the incident for over 12 hours. Even though protesters had used techniques to secure themselves to the property, such as encasing parts of their body in concrete, which could have caused great bodily harm, only two protesters required transportation to local hospitals for minor complaints.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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LAFD Supports LAPD With a Barricaded Suspect

Monday, June 12, 2006 |

On Monday, June 12, 2006 at 9:42 AM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and Deputy Chief Mario Rueda all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Drake responded to a Barricaded Suspect at 661 S. Shatto Pl. in Pico Heights/Koreatown.

Over sixty Firefighters and Paramedics provided support for the Los Angeles Police Department during a 5 hour barricaded suspect incident. A Unified Command post was established to manage the various aspects of this situation. The Los Angeles Police Department was notified that a woman, appearing to be in her mid-thirties, had taken a female hostage and had barricaded herself in a first floor apartment unit of a four story apartment complex.

As Police negotiators attempted to gain the release of the hostage and the surrender of the suspect, the Fire Department prepared for a possible conflagration by implementing various aspects of the ICS(Incident Command System). A "Structure Protection Group" and a "Medical Group" were established during the preparation phase of the incident.

Various Fire and Medical resources were assigned to each group and deployed to staging areas that would provide the most optimal response for that particular groups function.

Ultimately, Police negotiators were able to gain the release of the uninjured hostage. The incident concluded with the successful surrender of the suspect. There were no injuries during this incident. Requests for further information should be directed to the Los Angeles Police Department.


Submitted By Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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The Passing of a Fire Service Legend: Don Anthony

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It is with great sadness that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department announce the passing of retired LAFD Deputy Chief Donald F. Anthony.

Anthony joined the Los Angeles Fire Department on November 1, 1956 and following a stellar career that spanned more than four decades, retired on July 6, 1997 as Chief Deputy of Operations.

Chief Anthony, a hugely popular and widely respected Fire Service leader, served the citizens of Los Angeles with distinction in key roles that changed not only the provision of emergency services in Los Angeles, but across the globe.

Chief Anthony's Memorial Service:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
11:00 AM
Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills (Hall of Liberty)
6300 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068


(driving directions)

Members of the public, fire service and public safety agencies are cordially invited to attend the memorial service.

Firefighters and Fire Department Officers wishing to attend the memorial service as part of the Uniform Detail are asked to report to the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills at 10:00AM, and be guided by Battalion Chief Joe Castro, the Uniform Detail Coordinator.

Fire apparatus participation will be at the discretion of each Fire Department and limited to one apparatus per agency. Fire Departments bringing apparatus are requested to stage their vehicles in formation at the memorial site and report to Battalion Chief Michael Bowman, the Apparatus Staging Officer.

A reception for active and retired members of the Fire Service will immediately follow at:

Los Angeles Fire Department
Fire Station 88
5101 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

A Map with Directions to the Fire Service Reception will be available on-site from the Apparatus Staging Officer.

In lieu of flowers, the family has kindly requested that a donation be made in honor of Donald F. Anthony to the:

Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association
Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen's Fund
2900 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Those desiring further information may contact the Office of the Community Liaison Officer, Battalion Chief Lou Roupoli at (213) 978-3810.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Bratton: Heroic Measures Saved LAPD Officer's Life

Tuesday, June 06, 2006 |

We were deeply humbled by the public praise of Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, who earlier today wrote at the LAPD Blog:

"I would like to recognize six officers and two Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics who kept Officer Kristina Ripatti alive last Saturday night after she was shot by an armed robber" continued...


The news of Officer Ripatti's survival has been warmly welcomed by the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, particularly those assigned to our 3rd Battalion, who have had the honor of working alongside this remarkable Officer for much of her ten year career.

We wish to echo Police Chief Bratton's praise for all of the Officers, Firefighter/EMT's and Firefighter/Paramedics who responded so effectively that night, and for all who have kept a vigil and remained prayerful for Officer Ripatti's recovery.

Your comments can be offered at the LAPD blog...


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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No More 'Brian from LAFD says...'

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The recent retirement of Jim Wells is not the only change taking place in the Los Angeles Fire Department's Community Service Unit.

Along with Jim's much felt absence, the familiar newsroom chant of "Brian from LAFD says..." will also become a thing of the past.

There is no need however, for television assignment desk staff to high-five one another just yet...

Beginning next week, a request to the LAFD's Media and Public Relations Desk to speak with "Brian" will likely be met with a single question: Which Brian do you want?

That's right. Now there are two.

Please welcome Firefighter Brian Ballton as the newest member of LAFD's external relations staff. Filling the vacancy left by Jim Wells, Ballton will become the Public Service Officer on LAFD's 'C Platoon'.

Working a series of alternating 24-hour shifts in the same rat hole office as Firefighters Ron Myers and Brian Humphrey, Ballton brings nearly twenty years of LAFD experience to the fold.

So please join us in welcoming Brian Ballton, and adding his name to your spell-check and Chyron as a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Firefighters Battle Blaze at Sony Pictures Studios

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On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 at 6:07 AM, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Rehab Unit, one EMS Battalion Captain, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team and Deputy Chief Mario Rueda under the direction of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas responded to a Structure Fire at 10202 West Washington Boulevard in Culver City.

Los Angeles Firefighters extinguish stubborn blaze. Click to view gallery. Photo by Rick McClure LAFD.


The Culver City Fire Department requested Los Angeles Fire Department assistance to battle a fire on Stage 27 at the Sony Pictures Studios.

A Unified Command was promptly established and Fire Suppression resources from both agencies utilized a combination of "Class A" firefighting foam, wet water and multiple handlines to extinguish the flames.

There were no injuries reported to Los Angeles Fire Department personnel.

Both the cause of the blaze and dollar loss will be determined by Culver City Fire Department officials.

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Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Boeing 767 Engine Fire Causes Major Damage At LAX

Friday, June 02, 2006 |

On Friday, June 2, 2006 at 12:34 PM, sixteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Rehab Unit, two Hazardous Materials Teams, two EMS Battalion Captains, one Command Post unit, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, and a variety of additional support staff under the direction of Assistant Chief Donald Austin responded to a Aircraft Fire at 7100 World Way at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport Crash Companies arrived on scene within a minute of dispatch to find an American Airlines Boeing 767 with a fire in the number 1 engine. The plane, parked near hangar number two, was not in service at the time of the fire and was undergoing routine maintenance and engine checks. Firefighters immediately applied firefighting foam and were able to control the fire within sixteen minutes.

Click for image gallery...


At the time of the fire, the aircraft engines were running while the plane was parked at a blast wall adjacent to the American Airlines hangar. During the engine run up, a failure of the number one engine caused a brief fire and scattered debris throughout the area.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters were confronted with a significant fuel leak from the damaged engine. Foam was used to cover the fuel on the ground to prevent ignition and reduce the possibility of a larger conflagration.

Firefighters and airport personnel worked in concert to offload remaining fuel, limit the fuel from reaching storm drains, and render the situation harmless. Using dikes, vacuum trucks, and de-fuelers, the 10,000 gallons of fuel were successfully offloaded and contained.

Airport personnel inspecting the adjacent runway and Taxiways discovered debris related to this aircraft. At the request of the National Transportation Safety Board, Runway 25R and Taxiways B and C were closed for several hours until the investigation and collection of the debris could be accomplished. Fortunately, Air Traffic Controllers were able to make the necessary adjustments and prevent disruptions to local air traffic.

Over 100 Firefighters participated in the seven hour event, suppressing the fire, managing the Hazardous Materials spill, mitigating the exposure, and providing support during this incident. The plane sustained significant damage to the left wing, fuselage, and tail section.

Damage estimates, as well as the cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding the engine failure, is currently under investigation. There were no injuries reported

(slideshow) (images)


Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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LAX Fuel Tank Fire Had Potential For Disaster

Thursday, June 01, 2006 |

On Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 8:20 AM, Thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and Deputy Chief Mario Rueda under the direction of Battalion Chief Millage Peaks responded to a Tank Fire at World Way West and Pershing Drive at Los Angeles International Airport.

LAX Fuel Tank Fire. Click to enlarge. Photo by Rick McClure LAFD


Initial resources arriving on scene reported heavy smoke coming from the top of a one-million gallon capacity fuel storage tank, at the Los Angeles Airport fuel tank farm. Although the storage tank is normally used to store large quantities of Jet "A" fuel, at the time of the fire the tank was described to be "clean" (containing less than 1000 gallons).

LAX Fuel Tank Fire. Click to enlarge. Photo by Rick McClure LAFD


Fire suppression resources utilized "AFFF" firefighting foam to gain control of the fire within the tank. Simultaneously, Firefighters provided cooling measures on the exterior of the tank using multiple handlines and stationary high volume monitors. Preliminary reports indicate that a welding operation underway when the fire started may have been a contributing factor. In all, eighty-four Firefighters assisted in extinguishing this fire in just over thirty minutes. There were no reported injuries as a result of this incident, and the cause is under investigation.

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Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Stolen LAFD Ambulance in Pursuit

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On Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 3:38 PM, one Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Helicopter, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and one Division Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a Stolen Ambulance at 14850 Roscoe Boulevard in Panorama City.

Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance 75 transported a patient to Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City. After removing the patient from the ambulance, the Paramedics entered the Emergency Department to transfer medical care of the patient to hospital staff. During the transfer of care, the Paramedics were alerted that their ambulance, recently parked in the Ambulance Parking area, was in the process of being stolen.

The Paramedics exited the Emergency Department in time to see the ambulance being driven away. They notified the LAFD Dispatchers who immediately broadcast an alert over the dispatch frequencies regarding the theft. As the ambulance sped along the Northbound San Diego Freeway, an LAFD Engine Company spotted the wayward ambulance.

Stolen ambulance on Los Angeles freeway.


The Engine Captain notified dispatchers and Battalion 12 of the stolen ambulance location. Battalion 12, recognizing the hazards to the public and Department Members when following the errant ambulance, immediately requested that an LAFD helicopter, returning from another incident, attempt to locate and trail the ambulance. All ground LAFD ground resources were directed to discontinue contact with the suspect.

Fortunately, the LAFD Helicopter was able to locate the ambulance and direct CHP and LAPD resources to intercept the stolen vehicle. The ambulance continued along the Northbound San Diego Freeway at a high rate of speed narrowly missing several vehicles. After transitioning to the Golden State Freeway and exiting at McBean Parkway in Valencia, the suspect became cornered in a condominium complex and surrendered to police.

Ambulance theft suspect in CHP custody. Click to enlarge. Photo by Joshua Harville.


According to police, the suspect, a 22 year-old male, was released from custody hours earlier for leading police on another pursuit during the prior weekend. Initial reports are showing that the Ambulance was locked with the keys in the ignition. The ambulance was recovered with no damage and no injuries were sustained during this incident.

CHP investigates stolen ambulance. Click to enlarge. Photo by Joshua Harville.


The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation by Fire Department and Law Enforcement authorities.

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Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


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