Saturday, July 31, 2010

Battalion Chief Brent Larkin Retires

On Friday, July 30th, Battalion Chief Brent Larkin will bid farewell to the Lakeside Fire Protection District after 29 years of dedicated work. Brent will celebrate his final shift with friends and family where it all began way back in 1981.


Brent with his family (left to right) daughter Samantha, Brent, wife Nancy, and daughter Roxanne
Fire Chief Andy Parr congratulates Brent on his last shift.
Brent's career in the fire service actually began in 1978 while working as an EMT for Hartson's Ambulance Service. In 1979, Brent was selected to attend paramedic school in anticipation of Hartson's opening a new station in the Lemon Grove area. In 1980, Brent graduated with EMSTO Class #12 and began serving in the role as a MIC-Paramedic.

Firefighter-Paramedic Larkin changes out is air tank on a fire in Flinn Springs (circa. 1985)
In December of 1981, the Lakeside Fire District offered Brent a job as a Firefighter-Paramedic. Brent would work on one of two ambulances that served the entire Lakeside-Santee area. Needless to say these were very busy units.

In 2000, Brent would promote to the rank of Captain which allowed him to work in all the areas throughout Lakeside. Although removed from ambulance duties, he continued to maintain his paramedic license.

In 2008, Brent would promote to the rank of Battalion Chief. With his extensive EMS experience, he would be tasked to oversee the pre-hospital program. As the ranking officer on the EMS Committee, Brent instituted a number of changes in the EMS delivery system.

"I will miss the comradeship with the crews and all the professionals I've had the opportunity to work with in Heartland", states Brent.

Brent looks forward to spending more time with wife Nancy, and daughters Roxanne and Samantha, and doing some travelling.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Suspicious Fires in the Los Coches Area

Update: On 7/30/10 an arrest was made in this case.

Glenview: On Thursday, July 29th at 10:37 PM, two structural engines, a brush engine, an ALS medic unit, and a battalion chief were dispatched to the area of Los Coches Rd and Interstate 8 for a vegetation fire. Engine 8 (El Cajon-Madison) arrived and found a large spot burning between the eastbound lanes and the off-ramp to Los Coches Rd.

A CalFire firefighter looks of the origin-cause of the fire. 
Crews were able to quickly knock down the fire and cut a line around it. Additional investigators were called into the area as there has been a rash of suspicious fires in the area. Many of the reporting parties indicated the fires may have been started by an aerial flare.

If you have information, or have witnessed suspicious activity in the area please call Lakeside Fire Prevention at (619)-390-2350.

Lakeside crews were assisted by El Cajon Fire, CalFire, CHP and SDSO

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District 

Coordinated Attack Holds Fire to Three Acres in Moreno Valley

Moreno Valley: On Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 5:45 PM, the Heartland Communications Center received multiple reports of a vegetation fire in the area of San Vicente Ave and Topo Lane. The initial response included 3 structural engine companies, 2 brush companies, 2 chief officers, and an ALS medic unit. In addition, a full response was sent by CalFire including air assets from the Ramona and Gillespie Field Air Bases.
Crews put in a hose-lay on the northern boundary of the fire. 
On the arrival of Battalion One (Battalion Chief Laff), about one acre had been consumed and the fire was running towards the hills that line the eastern border of Moreno Valley. On the arrival of Engine 1, Medic 1 (Riverview Station), and Brush 2 (Eucalyptus Hills Station), a hose-lay was established to keep the fire out of heavier fuels to the north of the fire. Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Station) and E4 with Brush 4 (Santee-Cottonwood Station) established a hose lay to control the eastward advance of the fire. The hose-lays were soon backed up by CalFire and USFS ground crews.
Capt Brad Peterson (Santee Fire) working the crew on Division Alpha
The fire had advanced to the base of the steep hills. Fortunately the fixed wing aircraft had arrived and an airdrop was made that essentially stopped the forward progress of the fire. Copters 538 (Ramona) and Copter 10 (Gillespie) made additional drops to make certain the fire's progress had stopped.

Lakeside Firefighter Bryan Peters chasing down the head of the fire on Division Alpha

Fire Engineer Steve Schleif keeps an eye open for approaching aircraft. Crews have a healthy respect for safety when working around air assets.
The cause of this fire is under investigation. Agencies on-scene include Lakeside, Santee, and CalFire, and USFS.

Copter 538 "slinging" water into the fire.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lakeside's 6th CERT Academy Graduates

The final day of training for the 6th Lakeside CERT Academy was a disaster. Literally. On Saturday July 24th, students participated in a disaster drill which simulated the aftermath of a major earthquake event. Team members used the skills that they learned in the 20 hour CERT course which they attended over four Saturdays in June and July. New knowledge in disaster preparedness, small fire suppression, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue and team organization was put to the test during the two hour ordeal.

The group worked as a well organized team to turn a chaotic scenario into a scene of prioritized order. Twelve students of varied ages and backgrounds graduated following the final drill to become Lakeside's newest CERT members. Each volunteer was presented with a certificate, official I.D. badge and congratulations by Fire Chief Andy Parr after their successful course completion.

Congratulations Lakeside CERT Academy 6

Volunteer CERT members throughout the country play a vital role in disaster preparedness and response to act as the first line of rescue after a major disaster when local first responders are overwhelmed and until additional resources arrive. If you would like to learn how you can benefit from this valuable training, please visit the Lakeside Fire Protection District website HERE and fill out the CERT interest form or contact Ashleigh Copenhaver at 619-390-2350, extension 303 to register. New classes are now forming and scheduled to begin in September. You can learn more about the national CERT program HERE.

Submitted by: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire Captain

Occupant Injured After Collision with a Deer

El Monte Valley: On Sunday, July 25th at 10:31 PM, the Lakeside Fire District dispatched an engine company, rescue company, and ALS ambulance to a reported "vehicle vs.deer" on El Monte Rd, east of Lake Jennings Park Rd.

On arrival crew discovered a compact vehicle with significant frontal damage. The passenger in the vehicle was complaining of neck and head pain as a result of the impact. Crews stabilized the victim and Medic 3 (Lake Jennings Station) transported to Grossmont Hospital.

Other drivers reported seeing multiple deer in the area at the time of the accident.

State Farm Insurance has some data on these types of incidents on their website.

Submitted: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Multiple Agencies Assist With A Spring Valley Brush Fire

View Lakeside Incidents and Story Map in a larger map

Dictionary Hill- Lakeside Brush 26 along with units from Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa, Viejas, Barona, CalFire and Lemon Grove responded to assisted the San Miguel Fire Protection District with a vegetation fire which burned a hillside skirting apartment complexes and single family homes. The fire was reported just after 3:00pm today and spread quickly in dry brush on the steep terrain. Quick response by local resources held the blaze in check with help from water drops by San Diego City and County fire helicopters. Homes were initially threatened and evacuations were called for but ultimately no structures were damaged.

After the flames were doused, crews worked in the rocky soil to cut a control line around the nine acre fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but San Miguel fire officials are calling it suspicious in nature.

Submitted by: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire Captain

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wakeboarder Injured at El Capitan Reservoir

El Monte Valley - Lakeside Firefighters and San Diego City Lake Rangers teamed-up to rescue a wakeboarder who suffered traumatic injuries at the El Capitan Reservoir east of Lakeside on Saturday, July 24, 2010. The Lake Rangers accessed the injured person at the far north end of the lake providing treatment and packaging and delivering him to the boat dock where care was transferred to the crews from Lakeside's Lake Jennings fire station (E3 & M3). Due to the nature of the injuries and the relatively long transport distance, an aeromedical helicopter (Mercy Air 6) was requested to respond from Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Lakeside Battalion 1 (Tockstein) secured the landing zone at El Monte County Park. Lakeside Firefighter/Paramedics transferred care to the Mercy Air 6 flight crew and the patient was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa.

Mercy Air 6 lands at El Monte Park.

Lakeside Firefighters have provided service to the San Diego City lakes at San Vincente and El Capitan reservoirs for many years. We have fostered a close working relationship with the San Diego City Lake Rangers in order to provide service to county residents who enjoy recreation at the lakes.

Mercy Air 6 lifts-off with El Cajon mountain in the background.

Mercy Air 6 enroute Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Story and photos by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Make Quick Work of Residential Structure Fire

At 1950 hours on Wednesday, July 21, 2010,  the personnel at Lakeside's Riverview fire station (fs1) were outside cleaning things up for the day when they noticed dark smoke coming up over nearby buildings.  Just then the dispatch came out for a residential structure fire in the 12600 block of Julian Ave in Lakeside.  On arrival, engine 1 observed heavy smoke and fire visible from the back of the single-story duplex. Firefighters quickly established a water supply and set up for fire attack. Crews discovered that the back porch was completely involved with fire and that it had started to spread into the house.  Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire limiting the fire spread to the rear of the dwelling. Lakeside Fire District investigators determined the cause to be a cigarette that had fallen in the cushions of some patio furniture. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.

View Lakeside Incidents and Story Map in a larger map

Units on scene of this incident were engine 1, engine 2, engine 3, battalion 1 chief 4101, 4103, and prevention 412 from Lakeside.  Other units that assisted were engine 4, truck 4, medic 5 from Santee, engine 19 from San Miguel, and engine 3392  from Cal Fire.

Posted By: Firefighter/Paramedic Matthew Buzzell, Lakeside Fire District

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Participate in Opening Ceremonies for BULLS ONLY RODEO

This weekend was the annual Bulls Only Rodeo at the Lakeside Rodeo Arena.  Engine 1 from the Riverview fire station was asked to help kick it off by allowing 11 year old Maggen sing the national anthem on top of the fire engine.  Joining her was retired Gunnery Sargent Nick Popaditch from the United States Marine Corp. GySgt Popaditch had combat tour in Operation Desert Storm, and two combat tours in Iraq as a Tank Commander.  He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat “V”, the Combat Action Ribbon, and many other medals for his honorable and patriotic service.  He was the commander of the tank that toppled the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad.   It was an honor for the community to have him there that night and to be able to show their support for his service and achievements.  
The rodeo lasted for 2 days and fun was had by all who came to show their support to the riders and the sport.  The Lakeside Fire Department didn't have to transport anyone to the hospital so we think it was a successful event.

Story By: Firefighter/Paramedic Matthew Buzzell, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By: Firefighter/Paramedic Daniel Leetch, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Rescue Injured ParaGlider Pilot

Blossom Valley - Lakeside Fire crews were dispatched to assist an injured paraglider pilot in the Blossom Valley area of the fire district on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The assigned resources included one unit from the Blossom Valley fire station (Engine 26s) and two units from the Lake Jennings fire station (Rescue 3 & Medic 3) under the command of Lakeside Battalion Chief Brent Larkin (B1).

Crews used a four-wheel drive pickup to make access to the injured pilot who was on the hillside overlooking the El Monte valley. Due to the nature of his injuries and the inaccessible location, Quail IC (B1) opted for a helicopter evacuation of the patient.

Firefighters assess and package injured pilot on the hillside.

County Copter 10
(CalFire and SDSO) was requested from Gillespie Field to assist with the medical evac. Lakeside firefighter/paramedics performed a full assessment and packaged the patient for his brief helicopter ride. The Copter 10 crew performed a hoist rescue and delivered the patient to Lakeside Medic 3 at the landing zone at Blossom Valley Elementary School. The patient was ground transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Lakeside Fire Chief Andy Parr (4101) assisted at the landing zone.

Paramedic intern James MacMaster attends injured pilot while
Engineer/Paramedic Rich Smith supervises (note paraglider in background).

This type of call is a reminder of how valuable the County Helicopter program is to local fire agencies. Many thanks to the crew of Copter 10 for their assistance.

Copter 10 approaching the scene

Story by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos and video by: Firefighter/Paramedic Bernie Molly

Lakeside Firefighters Shut-off Geyser

Winter Gardens - Firefighters from Lakeside's Riverview fire station (fs1) responded to a reported vehicle accident on Sunday, July 18, 2010. On arrival, Captain Wes Barnes (Engine 1) reported a minor single-vehicle accident and a 30 to 40 foot column of water from a knocked-off fire hydrant. After confirming there were no injuries to the vehicle occupants, firefighters concentrated their efforts on shutting-off the 4000 gallon-per-minute flow from the damaged hydrant. Engine 1's crew located the gate well and, within minutes, were able to close the underground valve with their hydrant shut-off key.

Assisting agencies included Lakeside Water District and CHP.

Captain Wes Barnes diverts water as Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Moore shuts-off the underground valve

Story and photos submitted by: Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Moore,
Lakeside Fire District

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Rescue Vehicle Accident Victims

Major front-end damage required extended extrication.

Blossom Valley: Heartland Fire Dispatch was advised of a vehicle accident on Interstate 8 just east of Lake Jennings Park road at 2:12 pm today. It was reported that a vehicle traveling eastbound on the freeway had crossed the center divide then passed through all westbound lanes sideswiping one vehicle and coming to rest on a frontage road. Barona Chief 4801 (Sandoval) happened upon the crash and directed responding units to the vehicle on Blossom Valley Road. Lakeside Battalion 1 (Laff) arrived on scene to find one heavily damaged vehicle with with two trapped occupants.

Crews work to free the trapped passenger
With the patient extricated Lakeside medics and the Mercy Air flight crew work to stabilize the patient.

B1 established Blossom Incident Command. Rescue 3, Medic 3 and Engine 26s arrived seconds later to begin emergency operations. The vehicle sustained major front-end damage concentrated on the right side resulting in the female passenger being heavily trapped. Due to the need for extended extrication efforts, B1 requested additional resources including air ambulance, Medic 1, Engine 1 and Cal Fire Engine 3382.

Patient stabilization prior to air transport

Twisted metal was removed from around the patient piece-by-piece and she was freed from the wreckage 18 minutes later. The requested airship, Mercy Air 6, arrived on-scene simultaneously to take over care of the passenger who suffered major trauma and was airlifted to Sharp Memorial hospital in critical condition. The driver, reported to be the passenger's daughter, was freed from the wreckage within minutes. She also sustained traumatic injuries and was ground transported to Sharp Memorial by Lakeside Medic 1. Luckily the occupants of the sideswiped vehicle on the freeway escaped injury.

Additional pictures can bee seen at EASTCOUNTYNEWS.NET

Submitted by: Captain Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire District
Photos by: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Suspicious Fire on Interstate 8

Glenview: On Thursday, July 15th at 8:45 PM, the Lakeside Fire District sent three structural engines, one brush engine, an ALS medic unit, and a battalion chief to a reported vegetation fire on Interstate 8 in the area of the Los Coches off-ramp.

On the arrival of Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Station) they discovered a fire on the eastbound off ramp at Los Coches Rd. With the assistance of Engine 19 (San Miguel Fire, Bostonia) the fire was held to about a quarter acre.

The Fire District received reports that the fire was caused by a pyrotechnic device that may have originated in the general area. Crews are also investigating a report that the device may have originated from a vehicle on the freeway. If you have any information about this fire please contact Lakeside Fire Investigators at 619-390-2350.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District 

Vehicle Damages Commercial Structure

Glenview: On Thursday, July 15th at 3:33 PM, the Lakeside Fire District responded an engine to a shopping center in the 13300 blk of Highway 8 Business to investigate a vehicle that impacted the structure.

On the arrival of Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Station) they discovered a pick-up truck that had impacted the building with enough force to drive a post back into the main structure. Fortunately neither the driver, or occupants, were injured in the incident.

Fire personnel requested a building inspector from the County of San Diego. The accident is currently under investigation by the CHP.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Lakeside Fire Responds to Vegetation Fire near Lake Jennings

Lake Jennings Area: On Thursday, July 15th at 3:00 PM, the Lakeside Fire District responded three structural engines, three brush engines, and two chief officers to a reported vegetation fire on the north end of Choisser Ln, near the base of the Lake Jennings Dam.

Fire Chief Andy Parr arrived within minutes and discovered a vegetation fire in a drainage area near the structures. Battalion Chief Brent Larkin arrived and took command of the fire. Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Station) arrived and knocked down the fire. Due to the suspicious nature of the fire a investigator was called to the scene.

Firefighters standby while investigators work the scene.
 Units from Santee Fire and CalFire were dispatched to the incident but were not needed.The fire is currently under investigation.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Lakeside Fire Provides Support at Crime Scene

Foster: On June 29th the Lakeside Fire District sent a “vehicle rescue” response to Highway 67 at the top of Slaughterhouse Grade. Soon the scene would transition from an accident to a potential crime scene. But a unique aspect of this crime scene was the rough surrounding terrain.

Captain Jerry Daoust and Engineer Steve Schleif staffing the rope system used to lower personnel into the scene.
With a need for access and lighting the crew from Rescue 3 (Lake Jennings Station) supplied operational support, along with Engine 2 (Eucalyptus Hills Station), long into the night.

Crews setup rope systems to assist in lowering crime scene investigators into the area. The grade was such that traditional foot access would have been hazardous. Later fire crews used these systems to assist with the removal of the victims.

Typical terrain at the scene.
Fire crews routinely work with our law enforcement partners in providing support operations so that they can conduct their investigations.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

US&R Canine Training in Lakeside

Lakeside, CA - Canine Search Specialists with the San Diego Urban Search and Rescue, California Task Force 8 spent a few hours in Lakeside on Sunday, July 11, 2010. These highly-trained dog handlers and their canine companions practiced searching for "victims" in the concrete rubble pile at the Lakeside Land Company on Riverford Rd.

The dog handlers bury a "victim" under the rubble (note the pallet).

These specialized search teams may be deployed to many different types of emergencies and disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and terrorist events.

Fletch (center-right) quickly locates the victim in a sea of rubble.
Handler Brent Brainard can be seen at the far left.

Lakeside Engineer/Paramedic Richard Smith and his US&R search dog Bella.

Bella locates the trapped victim.

A special thanks to Lakeside Land Company for the use of their facility for this invaluable training opportunity.

Story and photos by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lakeside Station 3 Units at Heartland Fire Training Facility

El Cajon - The C-division crew from Lakeside's Lake Jennings fire station (fs3) attended their regularly scheduled drill at Thomas H. Owen Heartland Fire Training Facility (TOTF) on Friday evening, July 9, 2010.

Engine 3 on the "grinder" at TOTF.

These so-called "color group" drills give fire crews a chance to practice many different aspects of firefighting often times with crews from other Central (formerly Heartland) zone departments.

Engineer/Paramedic Richard Smith goes over a pump calculation with Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Russo

During their drill, the station 3 crews practiced basic hoselays including laying supply lines from hydrants and stretching and flowing different preconnected attack lines. Members also got in some time practicing pumper operations utilizing Engine 3, a 1500 gallon per minute, Class A pumper.

Engine 3 crew stretching and flowing attack lines

These types of drills help ensure that firefighters are able to competently and safely perform their jobs when the public calls.

Santee Truck 4 crew positioning their 40-foot extension ladder

Story by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos by: Paramedic Intern James MacMaster

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Tackle Residential Structure Fire

Riverview: On July 8, 2010, at 1627 hours, Engine 1 from Lakeside's Riverview fire station was toned-out for a smoke check in the 9200 block of Emerald Grove Ave in Lakeside.  Initial reports to Heartland dispatch were that the homeowners were out of town and smoke was coming from the chimney.  On arrival, Engine1 found dark brown smoke showing from the chimney and light smoke coming from the attic vents.  The incident was immediately upgraded to a full 1st alarm structure assignment.  After pulling 400 feet of 4-inch supply line up hill to the nearest fire hydrant and forcing entry, units found the home charged with dark smoke down to the floor with zero visibility.  Ventilation was quickly initiated, assisting interior crews in locating the fire that was burning in the back bedroom.   The fire was quickly extinguished and no one was injured. 

Units on-scene of this incident included Battalion 1, Engine 1, Engine 2, Rescue 3, and Medic 1 from Lakeside.  Also Truck 4 from Santee, Engine 19 from San Miguel, and Engine 3385 from Cal Fire assisted efforts.

Story and photos submitted by: Firefighter/Paramedic Matthew Buzzell, Lakeside Fire District

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crews Extricate Trapped Victim in Lakeside

Lakeview - Crews from the Riverview Fire Station 1 and Lake Jennings Fire Station 3 were called to Lakeview Granada Drive in Lakeside for reports of a vehicle accident with a trapped victim.  When units arrived on scene they found a Toyota truck which had rolled and ended up resting on the driver's side.  Lakeside Battalion 1, Chief Larkin, took command of the incident and assigned Rescue 3 as the Rescue Group with Engine 1 assisting them with patient extrication. M1 was assigned Medical Group and provided patient care and transport once the patient was extricated.

The patient was fortunate to have fairly mild injuries but was trapped in his vehicle.  In a situation like this firefighters and rescue personnel must first stabilize the vehicle before they are able to begin extrication.

As pictured above, firefighters use Rescue 42 struts to stabilize the vehicle.  By utilizing these struts the vehicle is secure for firefighters to work around.  Once the vehicle is stabilized, a Firefighter/Paramedic will enter the cab of the vehicle with the trapped patient to begin delivering medical care.  If the vehicle is not stabilized there is the risk that it could move or fall onto rescuers on scene and further injure the occupant.

Firefighters place struts to stabilize the vehicle.

A view of the rescue in progress.  Note the "jaws of life" on the ground.

A gurney is moved into place to move the patient to the Ambulance
The windshield is removed to provide access to the patient.
In order to complete the extrication and remove the patient from the vehicle, the front windshield was cut out of the vehicle.  The objective on any vehicle extrication is to remove the car around the patient so we can extricate the patient without adding to the injuries they have sustained during the extrication.  This goal was met in this circumstance by removing the front windshield which provided sufficient room to remove the patient.  The patient was transported by M1 to a local hospital for further treatment.

Submitted by:  Firefighter / Paramedic Bernie Molloy

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lakeside Firefighters Assist Precarious Pickup

Winter Gardens - Lakeside Firefighters assisted a motorist who got his pickup truck in a precarious position on Saturday, July 3, 2010. Crews from the Riverview (fs1) and Lake Jennings (fs3) fire stations responded to assist. Firefighters secured the vehicle with the winch on Rescue 3 before removing the driver from the pickup. Fire units attending this incident included E1, R3, M1, and B1. California Highway Patrol and a private tow company also assisted.

Lakeside Fire Captain John Hisaw confers with CHP Officers.

Vehicle is secured by winch prior to driver removal.

A precarious angle by any measurement!

Story and photos submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District