Thursday, February 24, 2011

Subject Crushed to Death on Wood Pile

Lakeside: On Thursday, February 24, 2010, at 8:10 p.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District received a report of a male patient "not breathing" in the 10300 block of Channel Road. Engine 1 and Medic 1 (Riverview Station) were dispatched to the incident. Enroute they were updated by the calling party that a large wood form had fallen on the patient and he was currently trapped. The call was upgraded to a rescue incident that brought Rescue 3 and Battalion 1 (Laff) from the Lake Jennings Station.

Fire crews await the arrival of the Medical Examiner so the body recovery phase can begin.
Arriving crews were directed to a remote location in a construction yard where they located the victim under a large form used for freeway construction projects. Unfortunately it was determined that the victim was deceased.

An overview of the scene.
Crews withdrew from the area until Sheriff deputies (SDSO) and the Medical Examiner could complete their investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, crews set-up a heavy lifting system using pneumatic airbags. The body was recovered and turned over to the Medical Examiner.

The death is currently under investigation by SDSO and the Medical Examiner. A total of 9 Lakeside Fire personnel responded to the incident.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Extrication Traffic Collision on Wildcat Canyon Rd.

Wildcat Canyon -

On the evening of February 16, 2011,  units from the Lakeside and Barona Fire Districts were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision on Wildcat Canyon Road just south of Muth Valley Road.  When Battalion 1 arrived on scene and assumed command, he reported two vehicles with moderate to severe damage blocking both the north and southbound lanes of Wildcat Canyon Road with several injured occupants.

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The collision was between the front of one vehicle and the passenger side of the other vehicle in what is commonly referred to a a T-Bone collision.  All occupants were still in the vehicles, one of which required extrication to be removed.
The accident scene lit-up by Rescue 3

In total, there were three occupants in the two vehicles.  All occupants sustained injuries and were transported by firefighter-paramedics to area trauma centers.  The extrication was carried out quickly and efficiently by the crews from Rescue 3, Engine 2 and Engine 27 while Engine 1, Medic 1, and Medic 27 worked to provide patient care during the incident.  This incident is an example of cooperation between two bordering agencies that respond to several calls per year together.  Through mutual training, crews from both agencies know what roles they will fill on scene and are familiar with the equipment that will be used from both agencies. The Lakeside and Barona Fire Departments have a long history of a close working relationship on many different types of incidents.

This vehicle sustained a side impact and required the "Jaws of Life" to extricate the patient

The door was removed to aid in extricating the patient

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Story by:  Engineer Bernie Molloy, Lakeside Fire District

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lakeside Crews Assist CalFire at Corte Madera Burn

Pine Valley: For years, CalFire has embarked on an aggressive "fuel reduction" program in the area south of Pine Valley. Placed well within the boundaries of an area that has not seen significant fire activity in years, the hope is to reduce combustible vegetation to acceptable levels.
Lakeside and CalFire crews review the IAP for that day's burn.
Fire is set to the dead slash piles. Eventually the fire is carried into the other fuels.
The planning and preparation for these burns can take a long time. After the burn has been approved, CalFire handcrews cut control lines and piled dead growth into slash piles that are initially ignited to produce enough heat to carry the fire into the standing fuels.
Firefighter-Paramedic Steve Russo monitors the progress of the fire in their division.
A "dust devil" in the smoke column dwarfs the firefighters in the area.
 These controlled burns give Lakeside fire crews an opportunity to work with their counterparts at CalFire and the USFS prior to the start of fire season. This year, Brush 2 (Eucalyptus Hills Station) was sent to assist.

Crews work off a common IAP (Incident Action Plan) which is present on all major fires. The IAP spells out all the activities of fire crews for a given period of time. Very little is left to "guess work" when working off of one of these plans.
Lakeside and CalFire crews stand-by as handcrews ignite fuels in the area.
Sign of a successful burn. Fire carries into the area to be burned consuming the fuels. While this looks like it's out of control, this fire behavior is anticipated.
Lakeside firefighters have had a long-standing relationship with both CalFire and USFS and our residents will often see these agencies in Lakeside helping mitigate emergencies in our community.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow
Photos By: Firefighter-Paramedic Steve Russo

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Station #3 Welcomes Tiger Cub Troop #342

Once again the crew at station #3 was privileged to have Tiger Cub Troop #342, from Lakeside, come for a tour of station #3 (Lake Jennings). The troop had the opportunity to see the gear carried on the apparatus at the station, plus they toured the station and learned about life around the fire house.
Captain Mark Grow helps one of the group with a fire hose.
One of the Scouts demonstrates "Stop-Drop and Roll".
Firefighter-Paramedic Jose Corona and Eric Stamm show the group hydraulic cutters used in vehicle rescue.

The firefighters from station #3 and the Tiger Cubs of Troop #342
The troop also had the chance to review "Stop-Drop and Roll", and see the gear firefighters wear during emergency operations. To complete the tour the troop had the opportunity to get behind a fire hose and operate the nozzle. Once again they had some really great questions. Thanks for dropping by....

Photos By Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams

Station #3 Welcomes Daisy Troop 6671

The crew at station #3 (Lake Jennings Station) had the privilege of giving the girls from Daisy Troop 6671 the grand tour of the station. The enthusiastic group got to discuss all the duties of being a firefighter, and got to see all the specialized apparatus.
The girls are shown the specialized paramedic equipment carried on Rescue 3.
Firefighter-Paramedic Jose Corona shows the girls the interior of Medic 3.
The girls had some great questions about emergencies and life around the fire station. They were especially impressed when they found out the station captain knew who Justin Bieber was. It was great to have the troop by for a visit..... Thanks girls!
The parents, and girls, of Daisy Troop 6671 with the crew at station #3
Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vehicle vs. Dumpster on Olde Highway 80

Flinn Springs: On Thursday, February 10th 2010 at 3:27 AM, the Lakeside Fire Protection District received a call of a vehicle accident on Olde Highway 80 near Chimney Rock Lane. An engine company, a rescue company, and an ALS ambulance were dispatched to the incident.
Fire Engineer-Paramedic Rich Smith surveys the damage to the vehicle.
Responding companies from the Lake Jennings station were initially confused when they came across a dumpster that had been impacted at a high rate of speed. The contents had been strewn across the roadway. Crews continued east on Olde Highway 80 an soon discovered a vehicle with moderate damage about 300 yards from the original impact area.
A welcome sight to firefighters. Both the driver side, and passenger side, airbags deployed leaving behind this signature fracture in the windshield.
Crews assessed a single occupant that had no medical complaints. Undoubtedly the fact that there was a airbag deployment contributed to the lack of injuries.

CHP responded to the incident and took the driver into custody. Crews returned to the impact area and assisted the homeowner with removing trash from the roadway.

A total of 8 Lakeside Fire personnel responded to this incident.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Two Vehicles Collide in Santee

Modern vehicle safety design minimizes injuries
Lakeside Engine-1 and Medic-1 assisted Santee with a motor vehicle accident which occurred today just after 1:00 pm. The Lakeside units were dispatched along with Santee Rescue-5 to the intersection of Hartley Road and North Woodside Avenue. Engine-1 and Medic-1 arrived on scene to find two vehicles with significant front end damage and air bag deployments. The single occupants of both cars were standing on the roadside requiring no extrication and Rescue-5 was canceled. Of the two drivers, one was uninjured and the other suffered injuries requiring treatment and transportation to Sharp Memorial trauma center by Medic-1. The safety systems in both of the vehicles performed as they were designed to minimize injury. Front and side airbags deployed as well as impact absorbing crumple zones. Also known as a crush zone, crumple zones are areas of a vehicle that are designed to deform and crumple in a collision. This absorbs some of the energy of the impact, preventing it from being transmitted to the occupants. The safety systems worked together to prevent this collision from being a fatal accident.

Submitted By: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire Captain

Monday, February 7, 2011

Digging Causes Natural Gas Leak

Lakeside Firefighters were called to a residence in a mobile home park to help with a natural gas line break that was the result of digging for landscaping.  There was not a fire caused by the gas leak, but the gas line was not able to be quickly clamped-off. As a result, several residents in the adjoining occupancies were evacuated to the clubhouse.

A schematic was used to find the shut off valves for the gas lines.

Shutting off the line proved to be challenging. Firefighters had to access park utility schematics to find the shut-off valves which had to be dug up. After several tries, the poly (plastic) gas pipe was finally clamped-off using a portable hydraulic spreader from El Cajon Engine 8 (Madison Ave. station).

Portable spreaders did a great job stopping the leak
After approximately 30 minutes, the line break was contained and residents were able to return to their homes.  This incident should act as a reminder that when digging in any residential areas you must first find out where underground utilities as located.   One of the services offered in San Diego county is the Dig Alert program.  For more information see their website at: .

Crews digging for a shut off valve

Units responding to this incident on the first alarm came from the Lakeside, El Cajon and San Miguel fire departments.  This incident was in an area close to where these three fire districts border one another.  The number of agencies represented on this response demonstrates the effectiveness of the automatic aid dispatching system which dispatches the closest available units to every call.

Story and photos by:  Engineer/Paramedic Bernie Molloy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lakeside CERT Training Starts Feb. 12th

There is still room available in the next Lakeside CERT academy which is scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 12th.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact Lakeside and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

CERT members work together to rescue a victim during a drill

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

The 7th Lakeside CERT Academy

For more information and to register, please visit the CERT page on the Lakeside Fire District website at

Submitted By: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside CERT Coordinator 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Traffic Collision on Los Coches Rd at Ha Hana Rd

Lakeside - A two vehicle collision brought a response from Lakeside Fire units on the evening of February 3, 2011.  Crews from Lakeside's Riverview (fs1) and Lake Jennings (fs3) fire stations responded to the call.  All of the occupants involved in the accident were out of the vehicles with only some minor injuries.  No Vehicle extrication was needed.

Both vehicles sustained damage to the front ends.
It is not uncommon to see wheels completely sheered off vehicles
 involved in accidents

Lakeside firefighter/paramedics transported the driver to an area hospital. CHP is investigating the accident.

Lakeside units that responded to this call were B1, R3, E1, and M1. 

View Lakeside Incidents and Story Map in a larger map

Photo and story by: Engineer Bernie Molloy, Lakeside Fire District

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Multi-Agency Confined Space Rescue Drill

Multiple agencies cooperating in the simulation

 A multi company, multi agency drill was held today in Alpine to prepare for possible confined space rescue operations involving construction crews working on the SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink. The event was hosted by SDG&E and the Alpine Fire Protection District. The two year construction project is well under way and will involve the underground routing of high voltage power lines along Alpine Blvd. The underground section of the Powerlink will span 6.2 miles from Alpine’s eastern boundary to its western border. The drill simulated the rescue of a worker injured in a fall located at the bottom of an electrical junction vault fifteen feet below the road surface. A rescue operation of this type is complicated by many possible hazards including; energized electrical equipment, tight access and egress, potentially dangerous air quality, hampered communication, working below grade and road traffic to name just a few. 

A specially trained Santee firefighter prepares to enter the underground vault.

To safely mitigate these hazards required the involvement of  two battalion chiefs, seven engine companies, one rescue unit, one confined space rescue trailer, one ambulance, technical assistance from SDG&E and PAR Electrical Contractors and traffic control personnel. A total of forty people were kept busy in various roles to complete the successful rescue of just one injured worker. Personnel and equipment were utilized from the cooperating fire agencies of Alpine, Lakeside, Santee, Viejas, Sycuan and San Diego Rural. Technical information and assistance was provided by experts from SDG&E and PAR Electrical Contractors which proved to be invaluable for the safety of the rescue crews. 

The injured worker (mannequin) hoisted from the vault
The simulated injury to the worker took place in an underground electrical vault measuring approximately 10’ wide by 12’ tall by 30’ long which will be used as one of many junction points for the 230 kV power lines that will run in conduit under Alpine Blvd. A total of forty junction vaults will eventually be set in place to complete the underground section running through Alpine. Today’s drill will be repeated two more times this month to give additional crews the opportunity to be exposed to this specialized rescue scenario that has the potential to play out in reality over the course of this project.  Important lessons learned today include the importance of cooperation between on scene construction experts and responding agencies as well as the continuing cooperation and training between the multiple fire agencies that will likely be called to this potential emergency.

Submitted by: Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire Captain

Rescue 3 Crews Practice Structural Collapse Skills

The Scenario: There has been an explosion at a local industrial building. The force of the blast has compromised some of the bearing walls leaving the structure severely weakened. To further complicate matters there is possibly a victim in the affected room.

Fire Engineers Chris Downing and Steve Schleif construct a shore that will be moved into the structure. Shoring is very specific, right down to the nailing pattern.
While incidents like this are pretty infrequent, when they do occur it requires an aggressive plan to quickly make the structure safe and remove the victims. This requires crews to practice emergency shoring skills needed to deal with these incidents.
The crew places a "Double T" emergency shore capable of supporting about 8,000 pounds. Firefighter-Paramedic Jose Corona, Eric Stamm, and Fire Engineer Chris Downing set the first shore.
Entry by crews into an unstable structure invites the possibility of further structural collapse, and the possibility that rescue crews could become additional victims. By shoring as we make access into the building lessens the possibility of a secondary event. But shoring requires some pretty specific parameters, thus it is necessary to constantly review these skills.

In the past crews have been called upon to shore buildings damaged by vehicles, fallen trees, and other emergency type situations.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District