Friday, April 30, 2010

Lakeside Fire Board Appoints Andy Parr as Fire Chief

On April 27th 2010, the Lakeside Fire District Board of Directors by a unanimous vote, selected long-time district employee Andy Parr to be Lakeside’s next Fire Chief. Chief Parr, a 31-year fire service veteran, was hired by Lakeside in July 1979. In 1980, he successfully completed Paramedic training, was subsequently promoted to Captain in 1987, Division Chief in 2000, and Deputy Chief in 2008.

Chief Parr started his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter and was hired in 1977 as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. During his time with the USFS he was assigned to an engine company, and one of the few EMT's on the West side of the Ranger District. He also had an opportunity to fill-in as a  part-time foreman/module leader with the El Cariso Hot Shots. During his long tenure at Lakeside, Chief Parr has served in many capacities including EMS Coordinator, Training Chief, and Chief of Operations. Parr is also a member of the California FIRESCOPE EMS Section as well as the San Diego County Fire Chiefs' Association.

Chief Parr is a lifetime East County resident. He and his wife Janet are the parents of two sons and a daughter and live in Fletcher Hills. Chief Parr stated that he “is honored to lead the men and women of the Lakeside Fire Protection District.”

Lakeside's New Fire Chief, Andy Parr

Story and Photos Submitted by: Battalion Chief Chuck Tockstein

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

District Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony

Riverpark Station Site: On April 27th the Lakeside Fire Protection District held a ground breaking ceremony on the site of the future Riverpark Fire Station, located at the intersection of Channel Road and Lakeside Ave. Present was the Governing District Board and Interim Fire Chief Andy Parr. Also present was a crowd of local residents, contractors, and District employees.

A crowd of residents and District employees gather for the ground breaking ceremony.

Held against a background of heavy equipment, this ceremony marks a point in the project that will begin with excavation to form the site where the new station will sit. Residents should start seeing significant progress in the area.

The Riverpark Station will house the administrative headquarters of the District. Also stationed at this location will be a structural and brush pumper, along with a fully staffed ALS ambulance.

A moment of silence is held in remembrance of Cedar Fire victims. 

District Board members hold the ground breaking event. Pictured left to right are Board members Peter Liebig, Ken Coyle, Rick Smith, Nick Johnson, and Jim Bingham.

Interim Fire Chief Andy Parr makes his opening comments.
Director Rick Smith delivering his comments during the ceremony.
Beto Lawler, President of the Lakeside Firefighters Association, delivers additional comments.
You can click on the "Riverpark Fire Station" page for additional updates, or go to

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, April 26, 2010

Daisies Visit Fire Station 3

Daisy Troop 6449 visited the C-division crew at Lakeside's Lake Jennings/Johnstown fire station (fs3) on Monday evening. Engineer/Paramedic Chris Downing and Firefighter/EMT Shawn McKenna showed the girls the fire engine and rescue unit and gave a great tour of the crews quarters and offices. Lakeside Firefighters give many station tours to different groups every year.

The Daisies check-out the front suspension on Rescue 3.

Story and photos submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin

Baskin Robbins Event to Benefit National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

On Wednesday, April 28th, from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Baskin-Robbins will hold it's annual 31 Cent Scoop  Night to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. This foundation provides an array of support networks to assist the families of fallen firefighters across the nation. Baskin Robbins has been a long time supporter of this Foundation.


To locate the nearest Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Store nearest to you click here. The Baskin Robbins Store nearest to Lakeside is located at:

328 North 2nd Street
El Cajon, CA

Lakeside Firefighters Participate in Western Days Parade

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters proudly participated in the 45th Western Days Parade on Saturday. Both on-duty and off-duty members were on hand to greet the crowd on the parade route. The Lakeside Fire Department has a long history of participating in this annual community event.

Lakeside Firefighters greet the crowd during the parade.

Engine 26s, Reserve Medic 3, and Division 4104 make their way down Maine Ave.

Submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin
Photos by: Captain Rick Dalldorf

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lakeside Fire Responds to Possible Explosive Device

Winter Gardens: Lakeside E1 (Riverview Station) and Battalion 1 responded to a residence on Hillvale Lane, in Lakeside, on Saturday evening for a possible explosive device. Engine 1 arrived on scene along with SDSO deputies to find a military shell which appeared to be about two and a half feet long and possibly "live". The shell was found by an 11 year old boy who was digging in his yard just feet from his house. The boy and his family were evacuated from their home along with a neighboring family from their home. 

The military ordinance after it had been removed by SDSO Bomb-Arson. Yes, that's big..! 
The SDSO Bomb Arson unit responded and removed the shell from the scene. The exact size of the shell was still undetermined at the time of removal but possibly might be a 75mm or 3 in. round according to the responding Bomb Arson deputy. The residents had no idea how the shell got there or how long it may have been buried in their yard.

Story and Photo Submitted By: Engineer Carl Chiodo, Lakeside Fire District

Lakeside Participates in the County Wildland Preparedness Drill

Viejas: Lakeside units Brush 2 and Battalion 1 participated in the County Wildland Preparedness Drill today on the Viejas Reservation. Fire units from throughout the county took part in what has became an annual event as crews get ready for the approaching fire season.

Lakeside Battalion Chief Ron Laff demonstrates getting into a practice fire shelter. Wildland crews are required to carry shelters on all wildland fires, and must demonstrate proficiency once a year.
Rotating through several skill stations, crews reviewed such subjects as communications, fire line construction, emergency shelter deployments, and structure protection.

Chief Laff briefs the crew members of Task Force 6440T on the days events.
Organized and presented by the Training Officers Section of the San Diego Fire Chiefs' Association, the drills allow crews from different agencies to work together in real-time, simulated wildland situations - an invaluable experience for both new recruits and experienced veterans alike.

Heartland Task Force 6440T at Viejas

Firefighters demonstrate the difficulty of getting 
into a fire shelter in high wind conditions

The Drill continues on April 27th through to the 29th, and Lakeside will be there.

Story Submitted By: Captain James Kirkpatrick, Lakeside Fire District
Photos Submitted By: Firefighter-Paramedic Eric Stamm, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lakeside's New Medic-3 Featured in Catalog Photo Shoot

Long Beach, CA:  When General Motors representatives heard about the new ambulance added to Lakeside's fleet they felt that it would be a great match for one of their projects. GM was looking for an ambulance that had recently been completed and ready for service to be included in the latest edition of their GMC Light Duty Chassis Catalog.

 New Medic-3 at Long Beach Harbor

The new Medic-3 was invited to be one of the stars in the photo shoot to be held at Long Beach Harbor. Lakeside Engineer/Paramedic Chris Downing chauffeured our "star" to location yesterday for the shoot, all expenses paid by General Motors. While being photographed, there were many compliments about how beautiful our ambulance was and that they were very happy to have her there.
Look for Lakeside Medic-3 in catalogs everywhere soon.

Submitted by: Captain Chuck Palmore
Photo by: Chris Downing

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vehicle Fire on Interstate 8

Glenview: At 16:14 hours on April 19th, Lakeside Engine 3 and El Cajon Engine 8 were dispatched to a vehicle fire on east bound I-8 close to Los Coches Rd. Engine 3 reported a pick up truck with a well involved engine compartment fire on the right shoulder 1/4 mile west of Los Coches Rd.

Engine 8 arrives on scene

 Engine 3 was unable to access the fire from the west bound lanes and was forced to continue to the Greenfield exit to turn around. Meanwhile, Engine 8 was approaching on the east bound side in heavy traffic back up.

Attack line advanced

Engine 8 arrived on scene first with Engine 3 close behind and made quick work of extinguishing the flames before the fire was able to spread into the brush on the roadside. The driver and her passenger reported that the temperature gauge suddenly rose above hot and the truck lost power forcing them to pull to shoulder. The vehicle started to smoke and caught fire soon after stopping.  The girls escaped injury but the pick up was a total loss.

Fire extinguished

Submitted by: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire Captain
Photos by: Steve Russo, Lakeside Firefighter/Paramedic

Final Test Days For The Heartland Fire Academy

The last full week of  Heartland's 20th Fire Academy is under way with final manipulative testing in the many skills learned by the students throughout the 15 week training course. Each recruit is given specific tasks to perform in which he must put together many steps in order to complete the evolution according to exact standards. Lakeside Engine 3 and crew were on hand today to assist with the testing process along with engines from El Cajon, La Mesa and San Miguel. Today's test evolutions included fire hose advancement and ground ladder manipulation.

Lakeside Fire Captain Beto Lawler administers a hose evolution test

A written final examination was given to the recruits last week. Other skills to be evaluated this week will be the knowledge and use of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus(SCBA), ropes and knots, search and rescue, and more hose evolutions. The much anticipated graduation day is next Monday, April 27th.

Submitted by: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire Captain

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Support "Run for the Arts"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters participated in the Lakeside PTA Council "Run for the Arts" on Saturday.  Attending the event were on-duty crews from the Riverview fire station (fs1) along with several off-duty members. Lakeside Firefighters are privileged to attend many community events throughout the year.

Lakeside Firefighters present donation to Lakeside School Board member
(and retired Lakeside Firefighter) Kevin Howe

Information and photos submitted by: Firefighter/Paramedic Josh Raczka

Commercial Fire on Woodside

At 2:04 am Engine 1 was dispatched to Little Caesars at 12405 Woodside Ave for alarms ringing. On arrival to the small strip mall, Engine 1 found the business charged with smoke and immediately upgraded the incident to a commercial fire response. Added to the call was E2, E4, T4, M1, Battalion 1. Once entry was made to the business, crews found a small smoldering fire in a linen basket that had been extinguished by the sprinkler system. E1, T4, M1, and Battalion 1 remained on scene to remove water and check for extension. Damages appeared to be minimal. 4103 and Prevention 412 arrived to investigate the cause which is still being investigated.

Submitted By: Matthew Buzzell
Photo By: Firefighter/Paramedic Matthew Buzzell

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Brownie Troop Visits Lakeside Fire Station 3

The C-division crew at the Lake Jennings/Johnstown fire station (fs3) had the privilege of giving a station tour to the girls and parents of  Brownie troop 6079 on Saturday. The girls had some great questions about our apparatus and operations. The highlight of the tour was an introduction to our U.S.A.R. Search Dog, Bella and her handler, Engineer/Paramedic Richard Smith.

Members of Brownie Troop 6079 with Bella, the U.S.A.R. Search Dog.

FF/PM Justin Loffredo gives the Brownies a tour of Medic 3

Information submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin
Photos by: Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Russo

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Riverpark Fire Station Update (April 15th, 2010)

Interim Fire Chief Parr has posted a new update on the progress of the Riverpark Fire Station. You can either click on the Riverpark Fire Station page above or click on this link:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lakeside Units Join Memorial Service Procession for EMT Bahena

Lakeside Engine 26s and Medic 3 were among the hundreds of emergency service units and personnel taking part in today's memorial procession and service to honor fallen San Diego Medical Services EMT Esteban Bahena. Agencies from throughout San Diego County including ambulance, fire, law enforcement and all forms of emergency medical services took part to honor our EMS family member who was killed in the line of duty on April 1st.

 Emergency Units gather at Qualcomm stadium

The Procession began at Qualcomm stadium with BLS 22, the ambulance that Bahena worked on, in the lead with his father in the front seat. The route traveled over the same freeways that Esteban covered in his year and a half as an EMT with San Diego Medical Services. All emergency vehicles displayed full "Code 3" warning lights throughout the route which took them past the stretch of State Highway 163 where the tragic accident occurred. While passing that fateful spot near Washington street, sirens were sounded along with three blasts of the air horns in honor of Esteban.

The procession continued on to Point Loma and concluded at The Rock Church where the memorial service was held. The service was well attended by our extended EMS family and at the request of Esteban's family, it was a celebration of his life with many fond memories shared by his close friends and family. Ambulance unit BLS 22 was officially and forever retired from service at the end of the service. Ironically, Esteban's ambulance was used to transport him on its last trip to the hospital.

Memorial Service at "The Rock Church"

The San Diego Medical Services family has been overwhelmed by the community’s outreach and response to the loss of EMT Esteban Bahena.
They have set up a memorial fund in his honor if anyone wants to make a donation. Checks can be mailed or dropped off at:
San Diego Fire Fighters Credit Union
4926 La Cuenta Dr. San Diego, CA 92124
Acct #: 1214D.

Submitted: Captain Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire District 

Lakeside Firefighters Boot Drive for the Burn Institute

Lakeside: On April 21st, 2010 the Lakeside Firefighters will be holding a boot drive to benefit the San Diego Burn Institute. Firefighters will be located at the corners of Winter Gardens Blvd and Woodside Ave, and  Highway 8 Business and Los Coches Rd. The drive will run from 6:30 AM to 10:00 AM, and again at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

Proceeds go directly to the Burn Institute in support of their many programs here locally.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire Protection District

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Commercial Fire in Flinn Springs

Flinn Springs: On Wednesday, April 7th,2010 at 7:09 PM, the Heartland Communications Center started to receive multiple reports of a commercial building on fire in the 14300 blk of Olde Highway 80. Four engine companies, a truck company, an ALS ambulance, and a Battalion Chief were dispatched to the incident. On the arrival of Engine Company 3 and Medic 3 (Lake Jennings Station) they had moderate smoke conditions coming from multiple openings. The crew forced entry through a exterior door and discovered active fire in the warehouse portion of the business.

flinn 2
Lakeside Engine 3 starts an interior attack as Santee Truck 4 arrives to execute vertical ventilation.

flinn 1
Santee Truck 4 on the roof while other crews report to assist on the interior.
On the arrival of Engine Company 26s (Blossom Valley Station) they assisted crews with stretching additional attack lines. With the arrival of Engine Company 8 (El Cajon Fire) they assumed the RIC (Rapid Intervention Crew) function and started immediate work on pulling back-up lines and facilitating ventilation. Battalion 1 (Laff) arrived and assumed command of the fire.

As the attack crew made it's way into the building they discovered a large work truck that had ignited in the middle of the building. After a knockdown of the fire crews were dealing with near "zero" visibility so Truck 4 (Santee Fire Department) laddered the roof and initiated vertical ventilation. 

The fire is currently under investigation. Preliminary loss was placed at about $30,000. Factors in the limited loss was a sprinkler system that held the fire in check with a single head activation. Without that sprinkler system it's likely this fire could have been a total loss of the business.

Thirteen Lakeside Fire personnel responded to the fire, assisted by three personnel from the Santee, and three personnel from the El Cajon Fire Department.

Submitted: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By: Interim Fire Chief Andy Parr and Battalion Chief Ron Laff.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Earthquake Shakes San Diego County

March 6th Update: The overnight hours saw some light seismic activity roll through the Lakeside area, but none severe enough to place the agency on "earthquake status." To date there has been no reported "quake" damage in the Lakeside area.

March 5th Update:  A 4:17 AM, Heartland Communications Center placed all Lakeside Fire Stations back on earthquake mode for another tremor that was felt in the San Diego area. At this time there has been no reports of damage in the Lakeside area. 

Some components of local US&R teams have been sent to the area to evaluate the situation and provide technical expertise. 

Magnitude 7.2 - local magnitude (ML)
Time Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 3:40:39 PM (PDT)
Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 22:40:39 (UTC)
Distance from Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico - 26 km (16 miles) SSW (211 degrees)
San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, Mexico - 61 km (38 miles) SW (227 degrees)
San Luis, AZ - 64 km (40 miles) SW (225 degrees)
Gadsden, AZ - 68 km (42 miles) SW (220 degrees)
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico - 173 km (108 miles) ESE (106 degrees)

You can download a residential safety guide, provided by FEMA, at our Google Group location. Just click here

FEMA Guidelines: What to Do During an Earthquake

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.

If outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a moving vehicle

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lakeside Family Saddened by Death of EMT in San Diego

Lakeside Fire: Early this morning the information that an emergency worker had been struck and injured in San Diego started to trickle into the Lakeside fire stations. As more information became available it was apparent that we had lost one of our dedicated first-responders.

Estaban Behena was a 24 year old EMT employed by San Diego Medical Services. Today, while operating one of the many ambulances in the city they happened upon an accident on State Highway 163 near Balboa Park. While setting out flares he was struck by a vehicle that was involved in a chain-reaction accident. Crews feverishly worked to spare his life but at 8:32 AM, at Scripps Mercy Hospital, Estaban passed away.

Estaban Behena
The Lakeside Fire family is sadden by this event, and our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters at San Diego Medical Services, the San Diego Fire Department, and the Behena family.

Services Announced for Esteban Bahena

When:  April 9th, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Where: The Rock Church
              2277 Rosecrans St
              San Diego, CA 92106

Update: Fund Established in Name of Fallen EMT

The San Diego Medical Services family has been overwhelmed by the community’s outreach and response to the loss of EMT Esteban Bahena. We have set up a memorial fund in his honor if anyone wants to make a donation. Checks can be mailed or dropped off at:

Esteban Bahena Memorial Fund
San Diego Fire Fighters Credit Union
4926 La Cuenta Dr., San Diego, CA 92124
Acct. #: 1214D

Submitted: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Couple Alerted to Early Morning Fire

Lakeside: On Thursday, April 1st at 4:05 AM, the Heartland Communications Center dispatched four engine companies, a truck company, one ALS ambulance, and a Battalion Chief to the 13500 block of Julian Ave for a report of a "residence filling with smoke". On the arrival of Engine 1 (Riverview Station) they discovered smoke conditions in a rear bedroom area. After further investigation it was discovered that a mattress was pushed up against a wall heater and had ignited the surrounding common combustibles.


With the assistance of Engine 2 (Eucalyptus Hills) the fire was extinguished, and smoke removed from the dwelling, with minimal damage to the home. Fifteen Lakeside firefighters responded to the call assisted by three Santee FD personnel. Operations were coordinated by Battalion Chief Ron Laff.

Engineer Carl Chiodo  finishes extinguishing a mattress once removed from the home. 
The occupants were alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke, not by a functioning smoke detector. Given the time of day, and the potential of this fire, this couple is extremely fortunate. The NFPA recommends a functioning smoke detector in each sleeping area, and in the common hallway. This would be a great opportunity to check the location of your smoke detector, and if you didn't replace the battery recently, please invest the time to replace all of them.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District