Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vehicle Rescue on Highway 67 at Mapleview Street


On Tuesday, June 28,2011, at 11:09 p.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District received reports of a traffic collision on southbound Highway 67, just south of Mapleview Street. A rescue response was sent that included a structural pumper, rescue company, an ALS medic unit, and battalion chief (Lawler).

Lakeside Fire personnel begin the extrication on the vehicle.
On the arrival of Engine 1 (Riverview Station), they reported a single occupant trapped in a vehicle that had sustained a major impact to the rear of the vehicle. The victim was assessed by the paramedic on the engine company and it was determined that his injuries were actually mild given the impact to the small subcompact.

While not visible from the front, this vehicle took a significant impact.
On the arrival of Rescue 3 and Medic 3 (Lake Jennings Station), the extrication and removal of the patient was completed. The patient was transported by Medic 3 to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa for further evaluation of his injuries.

A total of 9 Lakeside Fire personnel responded to the incident. Currently CHP is investigating this accident.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alert Neighbors Save the Day


On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at 10:20 a.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District dispatched an engine company and ALS medic unit to 9500 Harritt Rd to assist the Sheriff Department on a welfare check.

Alert neighbors became concerned when they had not seen their neighbor in a couple of days. A call was placed to the manager who responded to the dwelling. Concern escalated when her car was discovered at the home. Attempts to alert the occupant were to no avail. A 911 call was placed for assistance.

On the arrival of the Sheriff Deputy, access could not be made due to security doors so a call was placed to the fire department for assistance.

Arriving companies elected to make immediate access based on the information. A door was forced open and crews made access. Upon entering the dwelling a female occupant was discovered on the floor of the living room. The patient thinks she fell the prior day and had been on the floor for an entire day.

Crews initiated advanced life support and transported the patient to Sharp Trauma in Kearny Mesa.

Without the actions of her concerned neighbors this could have had a very different outcome. With daytime temperatures reaching into the 80's it would not have taken long for dehydration to set in.

Good job to the residents and staff at Lake Jennings Park Estates....!

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vehicle Vs. Commercial Structure


On Sunday, June 26, 2011, at 10:42 a.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District received a call that a vehicle had impacted the McDonalds restaurant located in the 13500 block of Camino Canada. Initial reports indicated that the vehicle had entered into the "playland" area. A commercial response was sent that included three structural engines, a truck company, a rescue company, and ALS medic unit, and a battalion chief (Laff).

Firefighters evaluate the structure for hazards.
On the arrival of Battalion One, it was observed that an SUV had entered the structure. Engine 8 (El Cajon Fire) conducted an initial assessment of the interior and discovered only the driver required medical evaluation. Engine 1 and Medic 1 (Riverview Station) were assigned to render care and evaluate the stability of the structure.

A building inspector from the County of San Diego was requested to evaluate the structure. CHP is currently conducting the investigation.

A total 9 personnel from Lakeside responded to the incident, assisted by personnel from the Santee, El Cajon, and Barona Fire Agencies.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lakeside's Danny Leetch takes First Place at Demolition Derby

San Diego County Fair-

In 2010, Danny Leetch got the bug to try his luck in the demolition derby arena. The Firefighter Demolition Derby was the perfect venue as the proceeds from this effort would go to burn survivors. With the financial backing of the Lakeside Firefighters Association, Danny would locate and purchase a 1973 Cadillac Coupe Deville. After extensive repairs and modifications the vehicle was ready to participate in the 2010 event. But this was not going to have a happy ending. As the vehicles rolled out to the arena, the vehicle suffered a mechanical break-down that would prevent it's participation.

Danny Leetch with his best supporter....wife Rory.
Undaunted by this event Danny continued to maintain the vehicle for an entire year. After months of final preparation work the only thing Danny needed was funds for the entry fee. One day, Danny had the idea to drag the vehicle up to a local shopping center in Lakeside and see if he could generate some interest.

Danny Leetch accepts the trophy from James Floros (Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer) of the Burn Institute.
Not only did the crowds show up, but they were very supportive of Danny's effort. With almost $900 collected Danny needed some sponsors to assist with additional costs. Paytons Hardware (Lakeside), Black Mountain Bikes (Mira Mesa), and Famulare Jewelers (Carlsbad) stepped up and sponsored Danny for the approaching event.

All Danny needed now was a pit crew to assist him on the day of the event. In stepped Danny's family and a number of off-duty firefighters.

Danny accepts the checkered flag.
Danny mixes it up with the 16 car from San Miguel, and the 225 from Viejas.
Danny puts a nasty hit on the CalFire car.
In a bit of a pile-up.
The first heat was a well-fought battle and having placed second, Danny would now move on to the finals. But a problem existed. The rear of the Cadillac had been damaged so badly that the pit crew was unable to remove a flat rear tire. In addition, the radiator had blown in the first heat and nobody knew how long the giant V8 would hold out.

The radiator on the 2-20 gives out in the first heat.
Crews attempted to bend the metal away from the tire with pry bars....but no luck. Fortunately the pit crew located additional pry bars and an axe that was used to cut away the fender.

With less than a minute to spare, Danny was back in the seat and headed out for the final event.

The Lakeside 2-20 goes after the 34 car from National City.
All the brother and sister firefighter/drivers after the event. Everyone appears to have survived another year.
With a mortally wounded radiator, Danny's strategy was basic.....go out and do as much damage before the engine blew-up. And Danny did just that! Using both the front and back of the vehicle, Danny was making headway. At one point the 2-20 just quit running....but after some TLC the old girl re-fired.

In the end, Danny had taken the trophy for first place. The 2-20 had hung on by a thread. With two gallons of gas left in the tank, a bent rear axle, bent steering, and an engine so hot it had managed to melt away most of the plastic parts, the 2-20 had done its job.

Click here to see the Pomerado News story on the event.

Photos By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire Disrtict
Video Courtesy of: Burn Institute

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Head-On Collision on Wildcat Canyon Rd sends Three to Trauma Center

Wildcat Canyon-

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at 2:13.a.m., the Lakeside Fire District received calls about a traffic collision on Wildcat Canyon Rd. Initially thought to be in the Barona area, a joint response was initiated that included units from Lakeside and Barona Fire. This response included three structural engines, one ALS medic unit, and a battalion chief. Subsequent calls later placed the accident closer to Willow Rd. Based on that location, an ALS medic unit was requested to respond from the Riverview Fire Station.

Severe damage to both vehicles.
On the arrival of Engine 2 (Eucalyptus Hills Station) and Battalion 1 (Tockstein), they discovered a moderate velocity head-on collision with a total of three traumatized occupants. After identifying all of the potential patients a request was made for an additional ALS medic unit. This brought a response from Medic 3 out of the Lake Jennings Station.

The crew from Engine 1 and Medic 1 work on one of the victims.
Crews treated the victims for moderate injuries and packaged them for transport to various locations. Two victims were taken to Mercy Trauma Center (Hillcrest) via Medic 1. An additional patient was transported by Medic 3 to Sharp Trauma (Kearny Mesa).

A total of 11 Lakeside personnel were sent to this incident. CHP is currently investigating the accident. The accident closed Wildcat Canyon Rd for over an hour.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Battalion Chief Ron Laff sent to Wallow Fire

Eastern Arizona-

On June 15, 2011, Lakeside Battalion Chief Ron Laff was sent to the 400,000+ acre Wallow Fire burning on the Arizona - New Mexico border. Chief Laff was sent there as part of a Type 2 IMT (Incident Management Team) from California.

Ron will be in charge of a "division" (geographical segment of the fire) once the team assumes their duties. Typically personnel can be assigned to a fire for 14 days.

6/16: Chief Laff is currently in Springerville, AZ about to join the IMT.

6/18: Chief Laff is currently on the fire running division G and H on day shift.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Firefighter Demolition Derby this Saturday

Del Mar, California -

This Saturday, June 18th at 5:00PM, Danny Leetch will pit his driving skills against other firefighters in the annual Firefighter Demolition Derby at the San Diego County Fair. Danny will represent the Lakeside Firefighters as he attempts to battle it out to victory.

Danny Leetch (driver seat) and the crew from Engine 26 at the Vons
The proceeds from this event go to the Burn Institute to help pay for the support services they provide to burn survivors. This last Saturday Danny took the car to the local Vons (on Camino Canada) and received almost $500 dollars in community donations. This money will be used to assist the Burn Institute in their efforts....

Danny would like to invite out the community of Lakeside to witness this event. With luck....Danny will bring the trophy home to Lakeside...! For more information about these events click this LINK

Good Luck Danny...!

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District
Photo By: Firefighter Todd Welch, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paraglider Crash Brings Multi-Agency Response

Blossom Valley-

On Monday, June 13, 2011 at 5:56 p.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District received a call from a downed paraglider pilot who stated he was below the Blossom Gliderport and believed he was severely injured. A full rescue response was dispatched that included two engine companies, a rescue company, ALS medic unit, and a battalion chief.

Lakeside paramedics initiated advanced life support upon arriving at scene.
As Battalion Chief Ron Laff accessed the area, he could see the collapsed canopy of the victim's glider significantly below the jump-off point at the glider port. A request was made for ASTREA from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to respond and assist ground units in locating the victim. The crew from Rescue 3 and Medic 3 loaded their equipment into a four wheel drive unit and accessed the area.

The patient is hoisted to Copter 12.
A CalFire crew member, and Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams hang onto a "tagline" as the patient is hoisted to the helicopter. The "tagline" keeps the patient from spinning once he enters the rotor-wash from the suspended helicopter.
Once over the mountain, ASTREA was able to direct crews to the victim. On their arrival, the victim had complaints suggestive of spinal injuries and fractures. The patient was also exhibiting signs of shock. Paramedics on the scene initiated advanced life support, which included IV fluids to combat the shock.

The flight crew pulls the victim into the helicopter.
Due to the extremely steep terrain, the decision was made to hoist the patient to a helicopter then rendezvous with a Mercy Air helicopter for transport to a trauma center. Copter 12 was dispatched to the scene and made radio contact with ground units. Once overhead, the air crews had to carefully evaluate the safest method to hoist the patient.

Copter 12 lands at the landing zone to transfer the patient to Mercy Air 5
Mercy Air 5 lifts off for Sharp Memorial Trauma Center
A crew member was lowered to the scene and prepared the patient for the hoist operation. After the victim was safely in Copter 12, it departed the scene to land in a nearby field so the patient could be transferred to Mercy Air 5. The patient was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital for evaluation in the trauma center.

Agencies assisting the Lakeside Fire District include CalFire (air and ground), San Diego Sheriff Department, and Mercy Air. 

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District.
Photos By: Firefighter-Paramedic Josh Raczka, Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams, and Firefighter Todd Welch, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Warmer Weather Brings Out the Snakes

Lakeside: Every year as wintertime temperatures give way to the warmer weather of spring we start to see an increased presence of snakes within the community. As rattlesnakes emerge from hibernation they can initially be pretty aggressive hunters, bringing them in contact with humans as they look for food sources.

Firefighter-Paramedic Brian Moore with a rattlesnake removed from a home in the Muth Valley area.
Fortunately most residents are familiar with our coldblooded intruders and have learned how to deal with these occasional intrusions, thus actual rattlesnake bites in Lakeside are a relatively infrequent event. But don't let this bolster your courage when dealing with venomous snakes. The fact remains that snake bites can cause severe medical complications, right up to death.

What many of our residents might not realize is the Lakeside Fire Protection District is outfitted to deal with snake calls. For many years the bulk of "snake calls" are sent to the fire agencies in San Diego County.

When dealing with a snake on your property it's important to remember:

  • Don't approach, or attempt to touch the snake.
  • Remove family members and animals from the immediate area.
  • Don't agitate the snake. 
  • Call for help.....!

    Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow

    Firefighter-Paramedic Brian Moore is no stranger to rattlesnakes. He was featured in this other story: LINK

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Lakeside Fire Places the New Medic 1 Into Service

    Lakeside Firefighter/paramedics Jamie Hazlewood (l) and Steve Russo with the new Medic 1.
    In 1975, the Lakeside and Santee Fire Districts placed into service the first paramedic ambulance in San Diego County.   Since then the Lakeside Fire District as been providing ALS (advanced life support) care to our community.

    County Service Area 69 (CSA-69)  is a joint emergency services area that Lakeside Fire District shares with the Santee Fire Department. It started with one ambulance but, as our population increased and demand escalated, it required the addition of units. The CSA now has four paramedic ambulances covering the service area.

    Medic 1 is located at the Riverview fire station (FS1) and is the busiest of the four CSA-69 ambulances, averaging around 3000 calls every year. Medic 1 averages about 50,000 miles a year and with a growing call volume the mileage increases each year.  Our ambulances are taken out of front line status and placed into reserve status at 150,000 miles.  On Thursday, June 9, 2011 the new paramedic unit was placed into service.  Firefighter/Paramedics Jamie Hazlewood and Steve Russo put the last of the equipment on the unit today and ran its first call shortly afterwards.

    Story and photo by: Firefighter/Paramedic Matthew Buzzell 

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Defensible Space Kick Off Media Event

    Lakeside, CA -

    On Friday, June 10, 2011, Lakeside Firefighters participated in the kick-off media event which was a briefing held at a local Lakeside home whose property was held-up as a great example of having excellent defensible space.

    Supervisor Dianne Jacob addresses the gathering.

    Fire agencies will be out in their districts this weekend in support of homeowners who are completing their defensible space clearing (which many of us will be doing this weekend).

    Fire agencies countywide will be handing out fliers explaining the requirements of the County Defensible Space Ordinance. Lakeside Fire District is a partner with the San Diego County Fire Authority in support of this worthwhile effort.

    You can download the flier here:

    Submitted By: Fire Chief Andy Parr, Lakeside Fire District

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Retired San Miguel Engineer Bill Cullen Passes

    Bill Cullen in his CDF years.
    San Miguel: On 6/5/2011 recently retired Fire Engineer Bill Cullen passed away at his home in Spring Valley. Bill was only 55 years old at the time of his passing.

    Bill had served the East County for many years as a firefighter. Bill started his career with CDF, eventually moving to the Grossmont-Mount Helix Fire District. With the consolidation with Spring Valley, Bill crossed over to the San Miguel Consolidated Fire District. Bill completed his career there, retiring as a Fire Engineer.

    Our thoughts are with the Cullen Family, and our Brothers and Sisters at the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District.

    Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

    Please join the Cullen and San Miguel Fire Family as we remember the life and times of Retired Engineer Bill Cullen, who was taken from us at an all too early age.

    Parking will be available adjacent to San Miguel Fire Station 21 located at 10105 Vivera Drive (Cross street Mt Helix Drive)
    Shuttle Service to the memorial site will be provided.
    Please arrive by 9 AM.

    A reception at San Miguel Fire Station 15 located at 2850 Via Orange Way (cross of Austin Drive) will immediately follow. Please join us in fellowship and remembrance of a father, a brother, and a friend.

    The Cullen family has asked that donations to the San Miguel Firefighters Foundation be made in lieu of flowers. 

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Vegetation Fire in South San Diego County

    Bee Canyon -

    CalFire is working a vegetation fire in the Bee Canyon area off  Marron Valley Rd. south of SR94. Initial on-scene report was 15-20 acres with potential for an extended incident. The fire is being attacked with engines, water tenders, and both fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft.

    The fire can be seen from this camera link:

    Posted by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Lakeside Firefighters announce winner of Rick Smith Memorial Scholarship

    On June 2, 2011, the Lakeside Firefighters' Association presented the winner of the Rick Smith Memorial Scholarship at El Capitan High School's annual awards ceremony. This is the first year for this scholarship which was created by the Lakeside Firefighters' Association to honor the late R.A. "Rick" Smith who was a longtime community activist. Mr. Smith was involved in many organizations that benefited Lakeside and served for 20 years as a member of the Lakeside Fire Board.

    Carl Chiodo and Lakeside Firefighters' Association President Beto Lawler present Belen Montoya with a check at an award ceremony held at El Capitan High School
    One of the main considerations for awarding this scholarship was service to the Lakeside community. After interviewing the six outstanding students that applied for this scholarship, the Lakeside Firefighters were faced with the difficult task of choosing a winner.

    Belen with members of the Lakeside Firefighters' Association
    This year the scholarship was awarded to El Capitan High School senior Belen Montoya. Along with excelling scholastically, Belen has spent many hours mentoring and tutoring not only her fellow students at El Cap, but also bilingual children at Riverview Elementary School. She has been active in El Cap's "Roots and Shoots" program, the Academic League, served as Vice President of the Spanish Club, and has participated in El Cap's Insight program. Belen even spent over 200 hours of her own time helping the school's Science Department move into their new building last summer! These are just a few of her many contributions and accomplishments not only as an outstanding student, but also as an outstanding member of the Lakeside community. It is with great pleasure that the Lakeside Firefighters' Association presented her with this scholarship to be used towards her college education. They are sure that it will be a great investment, not only for Belen's future but also for the future of Lakeside. 

    Congratulations and good luck Belen.

    Submitted By: Fire Engineer Carl Chiodo, Lakeside Fire District

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Lakeside Firefighters Test Skills above El Capitan Reservoir

    Peutz Valley: Lakeside Firefighters returned to a remote location to practice technical rescue scenarios. In this situation the crews from Rescue 3 (Lake Jennings Station) and Engine 26 (Blossom Valley) were given the task of accessing a 200' deep canyon, locating a victim and returning that victim to the roadway attached to lifelines. While normally these situations are pretty routine, in this situation crews were faced with nine foot high vegetation, and large crops of poison oak.

    Firefighter Todd Welch checks the "self equalizing" anchoring system.
    This rescue operation is commonly know as a "Pick Off". It requires a high degree of coordination between the rescuer in the canyon, and crews above that are responsible for the safe return of both parties. But crews are initially challenged by the lack of large anchoring points (areas we attach ropes to that can withstand the loads placed on them). In this situation crews developed a complex anchoring system that distributes the load to multiple points. The attachment points for this rescue were two mature sumac bushes.

    A firefighter is lowered 200' to a victim below. Can you see the firefighter?
    Another potential problem facing the firefighters is the possibility the victim may become panicked while being raised back up. Crews learn techniques that limits the potential for trouble in these situations. If not handled correctly the rescue can be defeated by the actions of the victim.

    The firefighter and victim (in this case another firefighter) are raised back to the roadway.
    Given the rugged terrain surrounding the community of Lakeside, crews practice these skills on a regular basis to stay proficient.

    Firefighter-Paramedic Jose Corona and Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams are safely returned to the roadway after being drug through sumac and poison oak.

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

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Lakeside Firefighters Make Quick Stop on Small Grass Fire

    Lakeview -

    A small grass fire near Lakeview Road and Los Coches Road brought a quick response from Lakeside Firefighters on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Heartland Communications received numerous 911 calls and an additional report from Barona Fire District Chief Sandoval (4801) who was in the area just before 4:00 p.m. Firefighters from Lakeside's Lake Jennings (fs3), Blossom Valley (fs26), and Eucalyptus Hills (fs2) fire stations quickly surrounded the 1/2 acre blaze with hoselines. While the fire came very close to nearby houses, no structures were damaged.

    The Lakeside Fire District would like to remind homeowners to clear flammable vegetation around their homes and create a defensible space. Check THIS WEBSITE for more information.

    The fire burned very close to several houses.

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