Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lakeside Firefighters Battle Motorhome Fire

Lakeside, CA - 

Early on the morning of February 9, 2016, Heartland Communications (HCFA) dispatchers received a 911 call reporting a large motorhome on fire in the 11500 block of Oak Creek Drive in the Eucalyptus Hills area of Lakeside. HCFA alerted Lakeside fire stations 1 and 2 at 5:27 a.m. for a large vehicle fire response. Lakeside Division 4105 (Molloy) and E2 arrived in just over seven minutes reporting a large class A motorhome in a residential driveway well-involved with fire. Division 4105 assumed Oak Creek IC and assigned E2 to attack the fire. E1 arrived and assisted with establishing a water supply and pulled an additional hoseline to help extinguish the fire. During extinguishment, the electrical service to the home burned through and dropped in the street. The fire was confined to the motorhome.

As was the case with this incident, fires in motorhomes progress very rapidly and generate a tremendous amount of heat due to the types of materials used in their construction. The quick fire department response to this incident helped ensure that this dangerous fire did not extend to the nearby house.

Resources attending this incident included E1, E2, Div.4105, Chief 4101. Assisting agencies included S.D. Sheriff, CHP, and SDG&E. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The view from the Incident Command Post.

E1 arrives to assist.
Getting water on the fire.
Engineer-Paramedic Jamie Hazlewood managing his pump panel.
FF-PMs Bing Tom and Chase Mashburn overhaul the fire.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos by: Division Chief Bernie Molloy and Engineer Shawn McKenna, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, February 8, 2016

Lakeside Fire Assists Alpine at Fatality Traffic Collision

Alpine, CA - 

Lakeside Firefighters responded to assist Alpine Fire with a freeway traffic collision with a trapped driver on westbound I-8 in Alpine on Monday, February 8, 2016. B-division crews from Lakeside's Blossom Valley (fs26) and Lake Jennings (fs3) stations were alerted to respond at 5:21 a.m.

Sadly, the incident became a body recovery as it was confirmed early-on that the trapped driver had sustained fatal injuries. The subsequent extrication was described as "very complicated" by Lakeside Fire Captain Ian Lowe, who responded with Lakeside Rescue 3. It took firefighters around 40-minutes to complete the operation.

This incident exemplifies the close working relationship that east county firefighters rely on virtually every day. Other responding resources included Chief 4701 (Paskle), E17 (Alpine), and Medic 7296.

The van sustained major damage.

E17 and R3 spot to protect the scene.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos by: Firefighter-Paramedic Colby Ross, Alpine Fire District

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lakeside Firefighters Assist with Mountain Rescue

Mount Laguna, CA - 

Firefighters from Lakeside's Lake Jennings Fire Station (fs3) were dispatched to assist in the rescue of a horse and rider that plunged 200 feet down a cliff off Sunrise Highway on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. Lakeside Rescue 3 was part of a multi-agency team that accessed the injured rider using a technical rescue rope system. Other agencies attending the incident included CalFire, U.S. Forest Service, S.D. Sheriff, Park Rangers, and San Diego Fire-Rescue.

Lakeside Rescue 3.

Post by: Captain Ian Lowe, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, January 28, 2016

C-Division Aerial Operations Training at TOTF

Lakeside, CA - 

Lakeside Firefighters train every shift. At least twice every month, our engine companies and medic units attend what is referred to as "color group" training at the Thomas H. Owen Heartland Fire Training Facility (TOTF) in El Cajon. This training facility, which opened December 1, 1973, was one of the first of its kind in the nation, formed as a Joint Powers Authority between three east county fire districts (Lakeside, Santee, Spring Valley) and two cities (La Mesa, El Cajon). TOTF provides training for hundreds of firefighters every year from all over San Diego County.

The C-Division crew from Lakeside's River Park Fire Station (fs2) attended their regularly scheduled drill time at TOTF ("the tower") this morning. E202s and M2 personnel worked on hose evolutions for fire attack, pumper operations, and a specialized drill utilizing the aerial ladder on the pumper (E202s).

Engine 202s is a specialized apparatus which is rated as a Type I fire engine capable of pumping 1500 gallons per minute for fire control. Additionally, the engine has a 65-foot Telesqurt, telescoping aerial boom with a ladder. This apparatus provides aerial rescue capability and an elevated nozzle capable of discharging up to 1000 gallons per minute for fire control.

Lakeside Probationary FF-PM Kyle McKee climbs the aerial.

Lakeside Engine 202s, 65-foot TeleSqurt.
Post By: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By: FF-PM Brian Moore, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lakeside Firefighters Stayed Busy in 2015

Lakeside, CA - 

The close of 2015 saw another busy year for firefighters in Lakeside. Our four paramedic engine companies and two paramedic transport ambulances attended a total of 8553 separate incidents generating over 13,000 unit responses (each incident often has more than one unit assigned.) These incidents represent an average of more than 23 responses each 24-hour period. For the year, calls within the Lakeside Fire District proper totaled 6016; the other responses represent automatic (and mutual) aid responses to assist our partner agencies, primarily in the Central Zone. Annual run totals by Lakeside stations and units are as follows:

Station 1 (Riverview):   1714
  • Engine 1:   1684
  • Brush 1:     30 

Station 2 (River Park): 5652
  • Engine 2:       2035
  • Engine 202s:  88
  • Medic 2:        3486
  • WT7251:        43

Station 3 (Lake Jennings): 4910
  • Engine 3:   1659
  • Rescue 3:   289
  • Medic 3:     2962

Station 26 (Blossom Valley):  805
  • Engine 26:   792
  • OES305:     13     

The Lakeside Fire District is an "all-risk" agency providing service for many different kinds of incidents, both emergency and non-emergency. In 2015, Lakeside firefighters responded to the following calls for service:

Medical Aid - 4930
(Heart attack, stroke, bleeding, falls, seizures, etc.)

Traffic Collisions - 384
(Vehicle collisions, auto vs. pedestrian, motorcycle accident)

Public Service - 303
(Lift assist, snake removal, child locked in auto, etc.)

Ringing Alarms - 97
(Fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms)

Structure Fires - 60
Single family, multi family, commercial buildings)

Vehicle Fires - 52

Vegetation Fires - 31
 (Wildland, brush, grass)

Odor Check/Gas Emergencies - 27
(gas line break, gas leaks)

Rescue - 19
(Vehicle extrication, rope rescue, physical rescue)

Hazardous Materials - 4 

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lakeside Firefighters Extinguish Structure Fire

El Monte Valley -

Just after 2:00 p.m. on Monday, January 4, 2016, Heartland Fire Communications received numerous reports of a fire on the northeast end of the El Monte Valley in Lakeside. Because of the remote nature of area, the initial report was for a vegetation fire. While enroute the incident, Lakeside Division 4105 (Molloy) was updated with additional information suggesting a probable structure fire. Chief Molloy added additional units to the response and arrived on scene reporting a large outbuilding well-involved with fire extending to the surrounding vegetation. Lakeside Engine 3 (Lake Jennings) arrived and quickly stretched a handline to attack the fire. Engines 2 (River Park) and 26 (Blossom Valley) also arrived and assisted.

In this area of the fire district there is no municipal water system (and therefore, no fire hydrants). In order to ensure an adequate water supply for firefighting operations, the district water tender (WT7251) is automatically dispatched as part of any fire response in this area. The total amount of water delivered to the scene with the initial response to this fire exceeded 3000 gallons.

The fire was quickly knocked down and extension was limited to a small area of vegetation. Additional responding resources included: E4, Br4 (Santee); Division 4103, Chief 4101, M3 (Lakeside). Also assisting were several San Diego Sheriff Deputies. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Smoke was visible from a distance.

Lakeside Fire Captain Chris Downing directs the fire attack.

Probationary Firefighter-Paramedic Ernie Flint on the nozzle.
Lakeside Captain Wes Barnes helps with overhaul.
Lakeside Fire Engineers Lance Buford (r) and Jamie Hazlewood put together the water supply plan.

Post and Photos By: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lakeside Fire Station 1 is Moving

Lakeside, CA -

After many months of hard work, the Lakeside Fire District has selected a site for the planned relocation of Fire Station 1 (Riverview Ave.). The new site will be at 8035 Winter Gardens Blvd., in the southern section of the fire district near Royal Rd. This planned move is the second phase of a fire station realignment project that began in 2010, with the relocation of the Eucalyptus Hills Fire Station (fs2) to a newly constructed headquarters station at Lakeside Avenue and Channel Rd. (River Park Fire Station).

This new location for Fire Station 1 will improve existing fire station spacing and provide much-improved response coverage for the Winter Gardens Blvd. corridor and the Pepper Drive area of the fire district.

The current plan is to place a temporary facility on the new site with an anticipated beginning of service on or before April 1, 2016. For more details on this important move, please visit the district website HERE.

Lakeside Fire Station Locations - December 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Lakeside and Santee Firefighter Paramedics - 40 years of Service

Lakeside, CA. -

Just over 40-years ago, eight firefighters from two small fire district's in "East County" began serving as the first paramedics in San Diego County. In July of 1975, the first paramedic advanced life support ambulance in San Diego County began serving the citizens of Santee, Lakeside, and Bostonia from Santee Fire District Station 1 on Cottonwood Avenue (now station 4). The assigned crew consisted of one Santee and one Lakeside firefighter-paramedic.

Back in early 1970s, paramedic service was still a new concept in California. Authorized by the state's 1970 Wedsworth-Townsend Act, paramedic services were being provided by only a few agencies statewide, primarily large fire departments in the greater Los Angeles area. In January of 1972, the capabilities of the (firefighter) paramedic truly entered the public consciousness with the popular television program Emergency!. Up until then, both Lakeside and Santee fire districts were providing transport ambulance service at a basic life support level. In 1974, the fire chiefs of the neighboring districts decided it was time to provide a (much) higher level of emergency medical service.

A public information campaign was launched with Santee Fire Captain Jack Stephenson assigned the daunting task of convincing local citizens of the need for the new life-saving service. Captain Stephenson made over 70 presentations to local community groups over the next months. During that period, federal grant funding was secured to help pay for the training costs. In addition to Capt. Stephenson, seven other firefighters were chosen to attend the rigorous advanced training course. In February of 1975, the eight firefighters started their training at newly-established UCSD EMS Training Office (EMSTO). This would become known as Paramedic Class 1.

Following a parallel course, a group of emergency room nurses at Grossmont Hospital started specialized training to become the first "paramedic" nurses in the county. Known as Mobile Intensive Care Nurses (MICN), these dedicated professionals would staff the first paramedic base station, providing medical direction to field paramedics via the EMS radio. Completing the prehospital care team were the first base hospital physicians at Grossmont hospital, ultimately providing 24-hour, real-time oversight of the paramedics operating in the field.

On March 4, 1975, voters in Lakeside, Santee, and Bostonia approved a special tax levy to create the CSA-69 Heartland Paramedic District with a 79% "yes" margin. This established a stable funding source for the new paramedic program.

With the voters approving the new paramedic district, the eight firefighters finished up their training. While the didactic (classroom) and clinical (hospital) instruction took place locally, the mandated field internship portion of the course had to be completed with certified paramedics. Since there were no paramedics in San Diego County, Class 1 trainees headed to Long Beach Fire Department to complete their field internships.

In July, 1975, after months of rigorous training, UCSD EMSTO Paramedic Class 1 graduated. That month, the first Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics (MICP) in San Diego County began serving the citizens of East County.

Lakeside and Santee firefighter-paramedics have been providing advance life support services ever since. The paramedic district currently provides service from four paramedic transport ambulances, two in Lakeside (M2, M3) and two in Santee (M4, M5). Both agencies also have robust paramedic engine programs quickly delivering a firefighter-paramedic to every call for service on board fire engines and truck companies prior to ambulance arrival. Additionally, the dual-role capability of the firefighter-paramedic provides increased daily firefighter staffing for both the City of Santee Fire Department and the Lakeside Fire Protection District.

EMSTO Class 1 Firefighter Trainees. (courtesy Life News)

Grossmont Hospital's First MICNs.

Post by: Captain-Paramedic Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District