Saturday, April 30, 2011

Community Chipping Day in Eucalyptus Hills

Eucalyptus Hills:  Residents of Lakeside and Eucalyptus Hills were able to dispose of dead and dying vegetation through a free "Chipping Day" hosted by the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County.
Crews from the Urban Corps of San Diego County worked hard to unload brush and vegetation and run them through the chipping machines
The event, funded by the San Diego Regional Disaster Fund, allowed citizens to improve their defensible space and reduce their fire threat by chipping brush and vegetation into mulch. The mulch was then made available for use as water-conserving ground cover. This marks the third time the event has been held in Lakeside and was staffed by volunteers from the Eucalyptus Hills Fire Safe Council.  It is importnat to note that today's event logged 67 truck loads of vegetation - a record for any Resource Conservation District chipping day.  Well done Lakeside residents!
Lakeside Firefighters from the Eucalyptus Hills Fire Station (fs2) assist with directing traffic at the free Community Chipping Day.
On-site chipping service is also available for residents to assist in fuel reduction. This program is currently funded through the end of July. For more information, contact the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County at 619-749-4232 or go to

The Lakeside Fire Protection District would like to remind residents that the single best thing they can do to protect their homes from wildfire is to create a 100 foot defensible space area. Spring is a great time to clear excess vegetation and create defensible space, before the weather gets too hot and dry.

Story and Photos submitted by Captain Jim Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lakeside Firefighters Train with Mercy Air 6

Blossom Valley, CA - 

The flight crew from Mercy Air 6 made a short trip from their base at Gillespie Field in El Cajon to the Little League ballfields in Blossom Valley to provide some in-service training for Lakeside firefighters. The pilot, flight nurse, and flight physician gave an orientation to their new aircraft (a Eurocopter EC-135 P2), and reviewed operational guidelines when utilizing an aeromedical transport resource. In Lakeside, firefighters utilize Mercy Air several times every year, usually for remote calls or other circumstances where rapid transport is a priority. Other agencies attending this training included CalFire and Viejas Fire.

Firefighters meet the crew from Mercy Air 6.

The flight nurse reviews patient-loading procedures.

Mercy Air 6 heads back to Gillespie Field.

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lakeside Fire Presents Two Dealerships with Certificates of Appreciation

East County-

Recently the Lakeside Fire Protection District held a comprehensive training event dealing with the complexities of today's new vehicle technology (original story). Essential to this training opportunity was the ability to look over these vehicles and to actually see the new safety features.

Firefighter-Paramedic Eric Stamm presents Kyle Nyswonger and Chris Levin, of DCH Honda of Lemon Grove, with certificates issued by Fire Chief Andy Parr
The Lakeside Fire District approached DCH Honda of Lemon Grove and Toyota of El Cajon to see if it was possible to borrow two hybrid vehicles for this training opportunity. Both dealerships enthusiastically responded to the request and provided vehicles for the training.

Firefighter-Paramedic Eric Stamm presents certificates to Michelle Candelaria, and Allison Fritz, of Toyota of El Cajon
On Tuesday, April 26, 2011, the Lakeside Fire District presented Certificates of Appreciation to both of these fine businesses. By providing these vehicles for training, area firefighters are now better prepared to deal with vehicles and the new technology. We would like to thank the staff at DCH Honda of Lemon Grove and Toyota of El Cajon for their generosity.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lakeside Firefighters Rescue Injured Horseback Rider

El Monte Valley -

Firefighters from Lakeside's Lake Jennings fire station (fs3) were dispatched to a fall from a horse on Saturday, April 23, 2011. As is often the case with these types of responses, the injured rider was in a relatively inaccessible area. The crews from Engine and Medic 3 had to hike to the scene with the necessary medical equipment;  Battalion 1 (Kirkpatrick) eventually made access to the area in his four-wheel drive vehicle. Firefighter/paramedics provided advanced life support care for the injured rider and the patient was transported via the Battalion 1 vehicle to rendezvous with the paramedic ambulance near El Monte road. The rider was transported to a local hospital for further treatment. Lakeside fire chief Andy Parr also assisted on this incident

View Lakeside Incidents and Story Map in a larger map

The diverse geography of our service area frequently presents Lakeside Firefighters with interesting and challenging calls like this one.

The incident scene was quite a way from the roadway.

Firefighter-paramedic Bing Tom (crouching) directs the care of the patient.

Photos and story by:  Captain Scott Culkin and Acting Battalion Chief Jim Kirkpatrick, Lakeside Fire District

Motorcycle Accident Brings Full Rescue Response

Johnstown, CA -

Firefighters from Lakeside and other surrounding agencies responded to a motorcycle versus automobile at Highway 8 Business and East Lakeview Road on Friday, April 22, 2011. The crew from Rescue 3 (Lake Jennings fire station) arrived on-scene quickly and initiated advanced life support care for the badly-injured motorcycle rider. Firefighter/paramedics from Santee's Carlton Oaks fire station (fs5) transported the rider to Sharp Memorial Hospital trauma center in San Diego. El Cajon Engine 8 (Madison Ave.) also assisted on the call. The driver of the automobile was uninjured. CHP are investigating the accident.

The motorcycle shows major damage from the collision.

Submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Captain Victor Gonzalez Retires After 29 Years

Lakeside, CA

After nearly 29 years of service with the Lakeside Fire Protection District, Captain Victor Gonzalez has retired.

Hired in December of 1982, Victor has performed admirably in several positions within the agency including Firefighter/Paramedic, Engineer, Captain, and Deputy Fire Marshal.

The Department would like to thank Captain Gonzalez for his years of service and wish him well as he begins his retirement and moves to his new home in Pennsylvania.
On his last morning of duty, Captain Victor Gonzalez received a plaque from the Lakeside Firefighters' Association commemorating his years of service to the fire district.

Photo and story by: Acting Battalion Chief Jim Kirkpatrick, Lakeside Fire District

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lakeside Firefighters Train on New Technology Vehicles

Lakeside Station 3:  

Exotic Metals; Enhanced Safety Systems; Alternate Fuels; New Extrication Methods. These are just a few of the topics Lakeside Firefighters reviewed at a recent Field Care Audit coordinated by Firefighter-Paramedic Eric Stamm.

Steve Carpenter discusses new airbag systems in today's vehicles. Firefighters need to learn the potential hazards of these systems in rescue situations.
Increasingly, firefighters face new technology in vehicles that require new techniques and equipment. The most significant change in the modern vehicle is the introduction of high-strength steel. This steel provides a safety cage around the occupant while decreasing overall vehicle weight. 

Firefighters look over the advanced technology in the Honda Civic Hybrid
Firefighters look at the new technology in the 2011 Toyota Prius.
 In many cases, the strength of this steel exceeds the cutting power of modern rescue tools. Thus firefighters need to exploit other weaknesses and find “work around” methods. There was a day when rescue tools with a cutting force of 30,000 pounds could quickly disassemble most vehicles. However, some of the new metals in cars today require a cutting force of 200,000+ pounds, and in some situations even that isn’t enough.

Hybrid vehicles contain new technology steel that ultimately makes them lighter.
Locating the HV battery packs on today's hybrids is essential for safe operations. Crews look over the battery location on the Prius.
 Another technology in a constant state of change is airbag systems. Not only have there been great advancements in construction and placement of these safety devices, but the computer systems that control their deployment have become smarter. And while these systems have saved thousands of lives, these systems can pose a hazard to rescuers should additional bags deploy during rescue operations.

With the price of gasoline spiking in 2008 (and recently), the interest in hybrid and electric vehicles has exploded. It is vital that firefighters know how to work around these vehicles during rescue operations. The introduction of high voltage electrical into the rescue matrix simply means crews need to understand the systems.

Lakeside Fire would like to thank Steve Carpenter of FS3 (distributor of rescue tools) for conducting the class. We would also like to thank DCH Honda of Lemon Grove, and Toyota of El Cajon, for providing the hybrid vehicles.

Crews from Lakeside Fire, CalFire (Flinn Springs Station), and San Diego Federal Fire attended the training.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Eucalyptus Hills Trash Truck Rollover

Eucalyptus Hills:  PT time was cut short by a knock on the door at St. 2 at 11:15 on 4/18/11.  A trash truck driver was unable to negotiate a sharp turn on Valle Vista, and rolled the truck onto its side. The crash was less than 40 yards from Lakeside Station 2

Luckily, no one was hurt in the crash. However, the fuel tanks on the truck leaked more than 25 gallons of diesel fuel onto the street. Crews on scene were able to contain the spill but due to the amount of fuel, a Haz-Mat response was requested. 

San Diego City and County Haz-Mat personnel responded to assist in the time consuming cleanup.  Lakeside Fire Protection District does not have it's own Hazmat unit so we utilize the county and city resources under a mutual aid agreement.  It is mutual and automatic aid agreements such as these that have made San Diego County fire departments able to be efficient and prevent duplication of highly specialized resources such as Hazmat Units.

Story and photos submitted by:  Firefighter/Paramedic Danny Leetch

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Early Morning Semi Fire

Lakeside:  Lakeside firefighters were dispatched early on the morning of April 17, 2010, to a large vehicle fire which was reported by vehicles passing the fire on Hwy 67.

View Lakeside Incidents and Story Map in a larger map

While enroute, firefighters were able to see from a heavy column of black smoke coming from the area of the Signs Trucking yard.  Lakeside Engine 1 (Riverview fire station) was the first to arrive finding a well- involved Semi Truck with heavy smoke and fire coming from the engine compartment of the vehicle.

Firefighter Sean McKenna "mops up" after the fire has been contained

Firefighters initiated a rapid attack and were able to prevent the fire from burning into the fuel tanks and the rear of the vehicle.  Quickly following Engine 1 was Lakeside Engine 2 (Eucalyptus Hills fire station) who aided in the fire attack.  Battalion 1 (Kirkpatrick) arrived on scene at approximately the same time and assumed command of the incident.  Water Tender 3 from the Lake Jennings station was also dispatched but cancelled once it was determine the fire was going to be able to be extinguished with the 1000 gallons of water carried on Engines 1 and 2.

The truck was the first in a line of several other vehicles

The Semi was the first in a line of seven parked trucks. One of the main tactical objectives in fire suppression is preventing the spread of fire to uninvolved exposures (in this case, the other semis).  The rapid response and quick work of the responding firefighters prevented this from becoming a much larger incident.  No injuries occurred as a result of the fire and the cause is currently under investigation.

Photos by:  Captain John Hisaw, Lakeside Fire District
Story by: Engineer Bernie Molloy, Lakeside Fire District

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lakeside Firefighters Train on High-Tech Driving Simulator

Johnstown -

Lakeside Fire crews have been using a high-tech driving simulator to log some required driver training. The simulator which was purchased with a regional training grant is on loan from San Diego Fire-Rescue. Firefighters from Lakeside and other surrounding agencies have been rotating through the simulator which is being housed at the Lake Jennings fire station (fs3). The simulator allows drivers to be challenged  in various response scenarios and apparatus configurations.

The driving simulator is housed in this large trailer

Engineer Steve Schleif is behind the wheel as Firefighter Shawn McKenna runs the simulator.

Submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Vehicle Accident Sends Four to Trauma Center

Winter Gardens: On Friday, April 15, 2011, at 11:11 p.m., the Lakeside Fire District received a report of a traffic accident in the intersection of Winter Gardens Blvd and Wintercrest Drive. Initial reports indicated that one of the occupants might be unconscious. Initially, one structural engine, a rescue company, and ALS medic unit were dispatched to the incident.

Fire crews begin working on access to the back seat patient. In this picture the car appears undamaged. In actuality, the trunk of the vehicle had been pushed towards the rear seats.
On the arrival of Engine 1 and Medic 1 (Riverview Station), firefighters located two vehicles with significant damage. The crew initiated triage and identified a total of four patients, all meeting trauma center criteria. A request was made for an additional ALS medic unit and a BLS ambulance. This brought a response from Medic 4 (Santee Fire-Cottonwood Station), and Care Ambulance.

With the removal of the roof complete the patients were removed and transported to the trauma center.
It was soon discovered that two patients would require extrication due to major structural damage to the vehicle. On the arrival of Rescue 3 (Lake Jennings Station), the decision was made to remove the roof to provide sufficient access for the removal of two patients in the back seat of the vehicle.

After the extrication process was completed, both patients were removed from the vehicle. All four patients were transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital (Trauma Center) for evaluation.

A total of nine Lakeside personnel responded to the incident assisted by two personnel from the Santee Fire Department and two from Care Ambulance Service.

CHP is currently investigating the accident.

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

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lakeside Firefighters Battle House Fire

Lakeside, CA-

Firefighters from Lakeside's Eucalyptus Hills (fs2), Riverview (fs1), and Lake Jennings (fs3) fire stations responded to a reported house fire in the 10300 block of Vista Camino on Sunday, April 10, 2011, at 8:43 p.m. Engine 2 was first on-scene reporting heavy black smoke from the back of a single-story residence. Firefighters secured a water supply from a nearby hydrant and stretched hoselines to the interior of the residence. Due to the quick response and aggressive fire attack, damage was limited  to a single room with no extension to the rest of the home.

Lakeside firefighters were assisted on this incident by our automatic-aid partners from Santee and El Cajon fire departments. Units attending this incident included E1, E2, M3, B1 (Lakeside); E4, E204 (Santee); and T6 (El Cajon). No firefighter or civilian injuries occurred at this fire.

Submitted by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lakeside Firefighters Get Ready for Upcoming Engineer Test

El Cajon,  CA -

Firefighters from Lakeside's Lake Jennings fire station (fs3) spent a few hours at the Heartland Training Facility in El Cajon on Sunday, April 10, 2011, preparing candidates for the upcoming Engineer test. The Engineer position on the fire department is the member responsible for driving and operating all of the firefighting apparatus. This includes performing hydraulic calculations to determine proper flow from hoselines and nozzles, operating the fire pump, and operating aerial ladder devices.

Engineer candidate preparation typically involves much bookwork related to apparatus and pumping operations and district knowledge including comprehensive map tests. It is also important for Engineer candidates to practice operating district apparatus and the dozens of possible hose evolutions that may possibly be used in firefighting operations.

Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Buzzell pumps multiple hoselines as
Engineer/Paramedic Chris Downing watches closely.

Lakeside Firefighter/EMT Shawn McKenna aims Engine 3's deck gun.

Lakeside Reserve Firefighter Matt Brown flows the 2-1/2" nozzle.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lakeside Fire Station 2 Progress Update.

Lakeside:  4/4/2011
The contractor who is building the new fire station is moving along quickly with their work.  This Monday (4/4/11) they poured the first of three large slabs.  The slab poured today will be for the fire station "living area" of the building.  170 yards of concrete were needed to complete this pour (that's 17 cement trucks!).  
Because this is an "essential services building" each of the concrete trucks gives a special inspector a sample of the "mud" in the truck for analysis to assure hardness and consistency.  Every part of the building process has to be built to a much higher standard of construction than a regular home or business.  
Stay tuned, the hope is that next Monday...they'll be pouring again, this time the south side of the station.  The District appreciates the Community's support of our service.

Story and pictures submitted by Chief Parr