Friday, July 27, 2012

California Legislature And The State Board of Forestry To Implement SRA Fee

A notice to Lakeside Fire District Residents who also live in State Responsibility (SRA) Fire Areas

In early 2011, The California Legislature adopted legislation that required the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (BOF) to develop and implement a program to assess a fire prevention fee on homeowners within State Responsibility Areas (SRA).  In November 2011, the BOF voted to adopt regulations to implement the fee mandated by the Legislature. The annual fee of $150 for the first structure and $25 for each additional structure will go to help fund prevention activities on SRA lands. A $35 credit will be given to those who live on SRA lands but pay for fire protection from a second agency. There have been and are ongoing attempts to overturn it; however, the fee is currently scheduled to start being assessed in San Diego County beginning in August, 2012.

The SRA bill, which will be separate from your property tax bill, will be invoiced by the California Board of Equalization to be used for fire prevention services and programs provided by the state. According to Cal Fire’s website, this may include “brush clearance defensible space inspections, fire breaks, and public education programs." A portion of the fee may also be used to fund the extraordinary efforts taken by CAL FIRE to prevent the expansion of wildland fires during emergency situations. 

  The decision to assess the SRA fee was not an immediate one. In 2004, SB 1049 was enacted and imposed an annual fee to be collected on the county level to fund fire prevention activities on all parcels of land located within SRAs. However, before any money was collected, the fee was repealed by SB 1112. The fee was then revisited during the 2007-2008 budget process at the suggestion of the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) as a means of recovering costs for services provided to private beneficiaries and the BOF voted in favor of the fee during their November 2011 meeting.

CAL FIRE has developed a web site with information about the SRA fee. The site includes a number of helpful links as well as the phone number to the SRA Fee Implementation Center. The web site can be accessed at Also, the BOF has a tool on their website to help residents determine whether or not their home is on SRA lands. The tool can found at

The Lakeside Fire Protection District is in opposition to the implementation of this fee and no monies derived by it currently come to the fire district.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lakeside Places New Apparatus In Service

Riverpark Fire Station-

On July 18, 2012, the Lakeside Fire Protection District placed its latest apparatus acquisition in-service at the new Riverpark Fire Station. The 2012 Smeal fire apparatus is the first of four engine companies to be purchased over the next three years. These apparatus will replace current vehicles that will be placed into reserve status, allowing the district to have reliable "back-up" apparatus that can be staffed during periods of high fire activity.

The design of the apparatus has roots in Riverside County where this design has been very successful working in terrain much like that here in Lakeside. The new engine has extremely good ground clearance with a very tight turning radius. These attributes come in handy when navigating some of the narrow roadways found around the community.

The new Engine Company 2
The purchase comes after an intensive search by the department Apparatus Committee. The committee consists of employees from all levels and job functions within the agency. It is their job to make recommendations to staff for future vehicle purchases. This group was able to travel to Temecula where a sister rig has been in-service for a while. Crews were able to drive and talk to employees about the performance of the engine company.

Smeal Fire Apparatus are built in Snyder, Nebraska. They are becoming increasingly popular with agencies with a wildland interface area (such as Lakeside)

This new apparatus will be stationed at the Riverpark Fire Station on Lakeside Ave.   

Story Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire Protection District

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Airplane Makes Emergency Landing on Highway 67

Lakeside, CA -

On the morning of July 21, 2012, drivers on State Highway 67 received quite a surprise as they watched an airplane land in the northbound lanes just south of the Riverford Road exit.

The Riverford Rd. off ramp acting as a landing strip
Lakeside units responded to assist the Santee Fire Department, but fortunately the pilot was not injured and no damage was sustained to either the aircraft or vehicles on the road.

Initial reports indicate the experimental aircraft may have experienced a loss of power after taking off from Gillespie Field.

The CHP moved the airplane to the off ramp and arranged to have it removed from the highway. The incident was referred to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Story and Photo by: Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation

Grant Group to Visit Lakeside Fire Board Meeting on July 24th 2012

Representatives from the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Grant Group will be giving a presentation at the Lakeside Fire Board’s July 24th meeting.  Representatives from the Group will describe the program, the eligibility requirements, the application process, and answering questions about the program.  This would be a great opportunity for the public to hear in person about the program and how to apply for a grant.

The meeting starts at 5:30 PM at the Fire District’s new building at 12216 Lakeside Avenue (at the corner of Channel Road and Lakeside Avenue).  Please use the facility’s upper parking lot, or park in the Annex parking lot across the driveway from the station.

The presentation is on the agenda for the Fire Board meeting but representatives will stay after the presentation to answer questions as necessary.

If you cannot attend this important meeting there is more information on the web at:

For more meeting information please contact the Lakeside Fire Protection District Office at 619.390.2350 or at

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vehicle Rescue on Melrose Lane

Royal Road Area-

On Saturday, July 14, 2012, at 9:21 p.m., the Lakeside Fire District received a call of a head-on collision in the 8200 block of Melrose Lane. Initially a structural engine, rescue company, and an ALS medic unit were dispatched to the incident. With firefighters enroute, the Heartland Communications Center relayed that the San Diego Sheriff was on-scene with a trapped victim and additional patients that had been ejected from the vehicle. Based on that information, an additional ALS medic unit was dispatched along with the Lakeside duty chief (Tockstein).

Due to the amount of damage, the entire side of the vehicle was removed by rescuers.
On the arrival of Engine Company 19 (San Miguel Fire, Bostonia station), firefighters discovered a critical patient trapped in the vehicle. Additionally, three other victims were located complaining of various injuries. A request was made for a basic life support ambulance due to the number of patients. The crew initiated care for a trauma victim with a severe head injury.

View Incident Map 2012 in a larger map 

With the arrival of Rescue Company 3 (Lake Jennings Fire Station), the decision was made that the entire side of the vehicle needed to be removed to properly remove the trapped occupant. The crew utilized hydraulic rescue tools to conduct what is called a "Side Blitz" on the vehicle. During this operation, both of the doors and a supporting pillar are removed.  With the operation complete, the occupant was secured to a backboard and loaded into Medic 2 (Riverpark fire station) for transport to Sharp Memorial Trauma Center.

The additional victims were transported via M3 (Lake Jennings fire station) and American Medical Response (BLS).

A total of eight Lakeside personnel responded to the incident assisted by three personnel from the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District.

CHP is investigating the incident.

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brush Fire Burns along Interstate 8


On Thursday, July 12, 2012, at 5:02 p.m., the Lakeside Fire District received multiple calls about a fire on the westbound side of Interstate 8 just east of the Los Coches Rd off-ramp. Callers reported that the fire was burning towards structures on Calle de Buena Fe. Initially dispatched were two brush type engines, two structural engines, an incident commander (Tockstein), and an ALS medic unit. Once the reports of "structures threatened" was received, an additional two structural engines were dispatched, two additional brush engines, and an additional staff officer.

View Incident Map 2012 in a larger map 

Arriving units found a fire burning on the north side of the interstate on the easement. About a half-acre of grass and medium brush had been consumed. Engines were sent to the interstate to attack the fire, while additional engines were sent to Calle de Buena Fe to perform structural protection.

Crews were able to stop the forward progress of the fire. There were no reports of structural damage. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Lakeside received assistance from CalFire, Alpine Fire, Santee Fire, Viejas Fire, and the San Miguel Fire District.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire Protection District San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

Lakeside Firefighters Award Local Student

Lakeside, CA -

El Capitan High School Salutorian, Aaron McCarthy, received this year's Lakeside Firefighters' Association Scholarship. Aaron had outstanding success as a student (4.8 GPA), and has been a tireless participant in a number of local programs. Aaron has participated in programs with the local rodeo, beach clean-up, tutoring at his school, and working with local county parks.

Aaron McCarthy with members of the Lakeside Firefighters Association
It is with pride that the Lakeside Firefighters Local 4488 present Aaron with a $1,500 check to help him on his way. Aaron currently plans to attend The University of San Diego.

Nathan Fox Promotes to Engineer

Lakeside, CA-

On July 3, 2012, Firefighter Nathan Fox was promoted to the position of fire engineer. This promotion will put Nathan in the driver seat of district apparatus. Nathan's new duties will include driving and maintaining fire apparatus, operating fire pumps, repairs, and fire suppression activities.

Nathan's wife Deanna proudly pins his new engineer badge onto his uniform.
Nathan's path into the fire service began at Mt San Antonio College (in Walnut, CA) where he studied in the fire science degree program. During this time he was also employed by the Anaheim, and La Habra Heights Fire Departments, as a reserve and paid-call firefighter.

Nathan and wife Deanna.
Nathan was hired on at Sycuan Fire Department in 1999 as part of the Golden Eagle Hotshot Handcrew. In 2000, he moved from the handcrew to the engine company where he assumed firefighter duties. Nathan found his way to Lakeside as part of the Lakeside-Viejas contract for fire services in 2002.

The process to promote to fire engineer includes a comprehensive written and manipulative exam that validates their ability to operate under numerous emergency situations. 

Currently, Nathan is assigned to Station #3 (Lake Jennings Fire Station) on A-Division.

Congratulations Nate...!

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By: Melissa Buford

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Eucalyptus Hills Fire Safe Council Holds Annual Chipping Day

Eucalyptus Hills: On Saturday July 7, 2012 the Eucalyptus Hills Fire Safe Council in cooperation with firefighters from Lakeside Fire Station 2 and the Lakeside LVG held their anual chipping day.  This event has been held every year since 2010 and provides an opportunity for residents in the Lakeside area to bring their tree trimmings to one centralized location and get them chipped into mulch.  This year, like the past two, proved to be a great success.  
The mulch pile grew much larger as the day carried on
Many residents took advantage of the opportunity to dispose of large amounts of vegetation without needing to get a burn permit or having it hauled off.  After the chipping takes place the residents have the option of taking home this mulch or leaving it for others.  
The overall goal of this event is to help residents achieve the goal of providing good defensible space around their residences.  The Lakeside Fire Protection district is happy to see the dedication the Eucalyptus Hills Fire Safe Council is putting into making sure their community is as safe as possible in the event of a wildfire.  A great flyer for what residents should do to meet the legal requirements for defensible space can be downloaded here.
This won for the biggest load of the day!
For more information on how to prepare your home for wildfires please go to Ready for or  Ready San

Photos and Story by Captain Bernie Molloy

Monday, July 2, 2012

Neighbor Saves Home from Fire

Rios Canyon-

When the owner of a home in Rios Canyon pulled away from his residence little did he know a fire was brewing in the kitchen area. As neighbors came out to enjoy the evening they suddenly noticed smoke coming from the residence. While some ran into their homes to call 911, one of the neighbors notified Pedro Hernandez that his neighbors house was on fire.

The Lakeside Fire Protection District received a call about the fire at 5:05 PM. Five structural engines, a truck company, ALS medic unit, and two duty chiefs were sent to the fire in the 14200 block of Rios Canyon Rd.
Firefighter Nathan Fox checks the ceiling space for fire extension.
As engines were racing to the fire, Pedro Hernandez had arrived at his neighbors home. He could see a rapidly spreading fire in the kitchen area, so without hesitation he located a fire hose cabinet and pulled the charged hose line towards the burning structure. Opening a rear door Mr. Hernandez was able to extinguish fire. Fearing the fire could re-ignite he quickly located the electrical, and gas service, and secured them.

Arriving companies found the home charged with heavy smoke. Fans were used to clear the structure of smoke, and the crew checked for extension of the fire into the walls and ceiling.

Without a doubt, had Mr. Hernandez not responded to the home this would have been a total loss fire.

Units from Heartland Fire-Rescue, San Miguel Fire District, Barona Fire District also responded to the call. 

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Good Planning Helps Locate Downed Rider

El Monte Valley-

On Sunday, July 1st, 2012 at 10:31 AM, the Lakeside Fire District received a call about a rider that had fallen from a horse in the San Diego River bottom. A rescue company and an ALS ambulance was sent to the incident, but based on location a request was made for the duty chief to respond in his four wheel drive vehicle.

Paramedics treat the victim for traumatic injuries.
Fortunately for the patient good planning resulted in locating the victim quickly and initiating medical care. In this situation the rider was not alone which resulted in a quick call to 911 after the incident. Also the second rider was able to meet the first responders on El Monte Rd and direct them to the patient. All too often riders, and hikers, are out alone and are unable to assist with their rescue, thus crews have to spend time in just locating the victim. Also, never rely totally on a cell phone. There are areas in this valley where cell phones are rendered useless due to coverage issues. Also, in the event that your medical situation compromises your ability to use a phone, it too can result in delays.

In this situation the victim was quickly located by crews and treated for possible fractures. The victim was transported to a local ER via M3.

View Incident Map 2012 in a larger map 

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District