Friday, December 26, 2014

Lakeside Fire Promotes Two

Lakeside, CA -

The Lakeside Fire District recently promoted two veteran employees. In a brief ceremony at the December 9, 2014, fire board meeting, Fire Chief Andy Parr presented new badges to Chris Downing and Jon Jordan.

Downing, a 15-year district veteran was promoted from the position of Engineer to Captain. Captain Downing is involved in many aspects of district operation including Reserve Firefighter shift coordinator, small engine repair and service, Personal Protective Equipment, and training. Chris is assigned to Fire Station 3 on A-division.

Firefighter-Paramedic Jordan, a 10-year employee, will assume the position of Engineer at Engine 1 on C-Division.  Jon also keeps very busy as a member of both the Apparatus and EMS committees. He also has served as a shift training medic and helped with the new tablet-based engine company fire inspection program.

Fire department promotions are based on a highly competitive testing process and are the result of hard work and preparation.

We wish both of these firefighters all the best as they assume their new responsibilities.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Lakeside and El Cajon Fire Fighters Team-Up for Christmas

Lakeside, CA -

 Each year the Lakeside and El Cajon Fire Fighter Associations adopt a family for Christmas. Firefighters contact organizations in their respective areas and with the assistance of the San Diego Burn Institute identify a family in need.  This year Lakeside and El Cajon teamed-up to support a family that was recommended to us from the Burn Institute who lives in Lakeside.  Both Associations collected monetary donations from their member firefighters and administrative staffs and went shopping to fill out the families Christmas lists.  Both Departments were able to pull together and make the family's Christmas special.

Lakeside Firefighter/Paramedic Jose Corona is responsible for making the contacts for the Lakeside Fire Fighters' Association and interviewing the families.  This year he was contacted by Steve Cameron from El Cajon Fire Fighters and the two decided to join together to help this family who had a daughter who is a burn survivor.  The family was beyond grateful and once again this worthwhile program was a success.

Photos by: Engineer Matt Buzzell and Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Cameron

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lakeside Fire Captain Mark Grow Retires

Lakeside, CA. -

After more than three decades of service, veteran Lakeside Fire Captain Mark Grow has retired. Hired in 1981, Mark served as one of a handful of firefighter-paramedics staffing the district advanced life support ambulance in the, then, relatively new paramedic service. Widely acknowledged as one of the best paramedics in our county, Mark was a mentor to several generations of Lakeside paramedics and was instrumental in solidifying our district's continuing reputation as a premier paramedic service provider in the region.

Encouraged by his mother, Mark took an early interest in the fire service, joining the Redondo Beach Fire Explorers program around 1972. After moving to unincorporated El Cajon (Lakeside Fire District) in 1974, He promptly joined the Santee Fire Department Explorer program. Upon graduating high school, Mark was hired under a federal program (CETA) by the Bostonia Fire Protection District where he served until 1978 when his position was eliminated. He continued to serve as a volunteer firefighter at both the Bostonia and Crest fire districts and worked as an EMT for Hartson's ambulance in San Diego. Hartson's selected Mark to attend paramedic training in 1979. Upon graduation from paramedic training, He worked in the Lemon Grove - Spring Valley area. With considerable fire and paramedic experience under his belt, Lakeside Fire offered Mark a position in 1981.

During his tenure, Mark was known for many accomplishments. Perhaps his most lasting legacy will be in the area of firefighter training. Using his considerable computer and graphics skills, Mark developed Lakeside's comprehensive, three-year firefighter step training program from the ground up. This excellent material serves as the foundation for our training program to this day.

One of Mark's most valuable (and visible) contributions is this Information Blog. Early on, Mark recognized the value of Social Media in informing our citizens of the activities of their fire district. The social media platform that he developed included our Information Blog, Facebook page, and coordinated Twitter feed. Because of Mark's hard work and frequent (daily) attention, Lakeside's social media effort has become a model program for the fire service nationwide.

Mark plans to stay busy in retirement and looks forward to spending time with his wife Sherry and children Kyle and Paige.

On behalf of the Lakeside Fire family, we wish Mark all the best for a long and happy retirement.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, December 22, 2014

Special Heroes (San Diego Down Syndrome. Org) 2nd Annual Christmas Event

 Lakeside, CA -

San Diego Down Syndrome hosted their second annual Christmas event at Funbelievable in Lakeside Saturday, December 20, 2014. evening.  This is one of the fundraisers the organization does and last year this event was sold out as it was again this year.  Families where able to bring there kids to have a fun evening hanging out with Lakeside Firefighters, SDSO, visit a petting zoo, play inside on the play structure, and most importantly they all got to see Santa.  Engine 2 from the River Park Fire Station was fortunate to be able to be a part of the event this year.  The kids had a great time climbing in the fire engine, handling the equipment, and be able to talk to firefighters.  Engine 2 had to leave early to go on a call but it sounded like the event was a success.

A junior firefighter.

FF-PM Danny Leetch helps with some nozzle training.

Photos by: Rob Riingen Photography 
Post By: Engineer Matt Buzzell

Lakeside Rescue Vehicle Accident

Lakeside, CA -

Late on the evening of December 20, 2014, Lakeside firefighters were dispatched to a vehicle accident with entrapment on Lake Jennings Park Rd near Jack Oak Rd.  Rescue 3 from the nearby Lake Jennings Fire Station was the first unit on scene reporting a full-size pickup on its side with one person trapped. Additional fire units arrived and personnel assisted with vehicle stabilization and patient extrication. The Rescue 3 crew performed a roof flap evolution utilizing hydraulic cutting and spreading tools. Once extricated, Santee Medic 4 transported the patient to a local hospital. The CHP is investigating the accident.

Units at scene were Rescue 3, Engine 2, and Division Chief 4106 (Lakeside) and Medic 4 (Santee). Also assisting were San Diego Sheriff and CHP.

Pictures submitted by: Captain John Hisaw
Story By: Engineer Matt Buzzell

Stabilization struts and roof flap were utilized.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Plumbing Repairs Starts Structure Fire in Johnstown

Lakeside, CA -

On December 11, 2014, at 2:40 p.m., the Heartland Communications Center received an emergency phone call from a resident in the 8500 block of Cordial Rd. The caller stated that a wall was on fire in the home after some plumbing repairs had been undertaken. The initial response sent four structural engines, one truck company, an ALS medic unit, and two chief officers to the afternoon fire.

With the arrival of Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Fire Station), firefighters discovered a home quickly filling with smoke. They determined that the fire had moved up the wall and was now burning in the attic. Crews started the tedious job of quickly removing dry wall to get to the underlying fire. Crews also accessed the attic area to cutoff the progression of the fire.

The fire was brought under control in 17 minutes and did extensive damage to two rooms. Fortunately, the occupants had vacated the structure without injury.

A total of 10 Lakeside firefighters responded to the incident assisted by units from Heartland Fire & Rescue, Alpine Fire Protection District, and the Santee Fire Department. The Lakeside Logistics Volunteer Group responded to the incident and provided essential support to the crews.

Mark Grow, Social Media Coordinator, Lakeside Fire Protection District

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vegetation Fire in Rios Canyon Brings Multi-Agency Response

Rios Canyon-

On Monday, November 10, 2014, at 2:03 p.m., the Heartland Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting a vegetation fire burning in the canyon in the 14300 block of Rios Canyon Road. The Central Zone sent one brush pumper, two structural pumpers, a water tender, ALS medic unit, and a chief officer to the incident. Simultaneously, CalFire started a response that included engines, hand crews, and aircraft.

Lakeside Fire crews take action to stop the spread towards dwellings.
On the arrival of Lakeside Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Fire Station), firefighters located a fire burning in light flashy fuels, intermixed with downed tree limbs. The fire was making an uphill run towards an adjoining mobile home park. Engine 3's crew initiated a hose evolution that would cut-off the spread towards occupied dwellings. Additional engines from CalFire and Alpine Fire Protection District took up positions to contain the fire to an area a little over an acre.

Lakeside, CalFire, and Alpine crews mop-up hot spots.
A CalFire hand crew cut a containment line around the fire perimeter.
Both the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft were cancelled as crews made good progress on the fire.

No structural damage was reported. CalFire is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Passing of Retired Lakeside Fire Engineer Michael Stovall

The Lakeside Fire family has recently lost a member of their extended family. Retired Fire Engineer Michael Stovall has passed at the age of 71 from a sudden illness.

Mike served a long and fulfilling career with the Lakeside Fire Protection District. In his time with the District Mike saw enormous growth during his tenure with the agency. From a small two station agency, Mike saw the addition of two more stations, the introduction of paramedics, and the hiring of a number of employees that still carry-on with skills that were passed on by Mike.

Mike retired from the Lakeside Fire District in 2000. Mike was also a long time Lakeside resident.

Mike leaves behind his wife Patsy, and many other members of his family.

KSON's John and Tammy Kick-Off Food Drive in Lakeside


KSON's hit morning crew picked Lakeside as the starting point of their annual Food Drive. John and Tammy came to the Lakeside Cafe to collect canned good for hungry families in the region. Partnered with the San Diego Food Bank they are on a mission to see that families have food on their tables this holiday season.

The Lakeside Firefighters are proud to be associated with this grass roots effort. This year the crew from Lakeside Engine One paid a visit to the event and make their contribution of a barrel full of items.

This event will carry on throughout the month of November at locations throughout San Diego. If you would like to drop-in and make a contribution please visit their website. Just click on the KSON sign below and it will take you to that site.

Lakeside Fire Fighters with John and Tammy (and crew) from KSON

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lakeside Comes Through for Rady Children's Hospital

Lakeside, CA-

Once the again the community of Lakeside opened their hearts and their wallets, and gave generously to the 2014 Kid's News Day held on October 21, 2014. Firefighters and the Logistical Volunteer Group members staffed four locations in the Lakeside, Glenview, and Blossom Valley areas. Most of the locations quickly sold out of their allotment of papers.

The funds generated by the sales goes directly to assist families with sick and injured children at Rady-Children's Hospital. In addition the Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary uses some of the funds for wellness and injury prevention programs.

The Lakeside Fire Fighters would like to thank the community of Lakeside for their continued support of this program. This year's effort generated $3846.90.

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fire Sprinklers Stop Residential Fire in Lakeside

Lakeside, CA - 

An accidental fire in an occupied residence was controlled by a residential fire sprinkler in Lakeside on Monday, October 20, 2014. The fire, which started in pump equipment below a large aquarium, was held in check when one nearby sprinkler head, sensing the heat from the flames, began discharging water. Lakeside Engine 3 (Lake Jennings fire station) arrived and reported light smoke from the residence. Firefighters stretched a hoseline and extinguished the remaining hotspots.

This incident is an excellent example of the value of residential fire sprinklers. This fire was quickly stopped in its incipient phase and was not allowed to grow uncontrollably and threaten the lives of the residents of this home. As the banner on our district web site states: "Residential Fire Sprinklers Save Lives."

Facts About Home Fire Sprinklers

  • Home fire sprinklers can control and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
  • Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. In 84% of home fires where the sprinklers operate, just one sprinkler operates.
  • If you have a fire in your home, the risk of dying is cut by about one-third when smoke alarms are present (or about half if the smoke alarms are working), while automatic fire sprinkler systems cut the risk of dying by about 80%.
  • In a home with sprinklers, the average property loss per fire is cut by about 70%
    (compared to fires where sprinklers are not present.) 

The fire was spreading rapidly up the wall.

This (one) fire sprinkler head kept this fire from spreading.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos by: Captain Wes Barnes, Lakeside Fire District

Lakeside CERT Rises to New Heights

Lakeside, CA -

The Lakeside Fire District’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) continues to improve with each passing month. With nearly 80 active members, this invaluable program adds greatly to the disaster response capabilities of the community. Citizens trained as CERT volunteers learn and practice skills to help their families and neighborhoods to not only be better prepared for emergencies, but also how to organize a response to local and widespread disasters.

Lakeside Fire Captain Chuck Palmore briefs CERT members before the exercise.

The team recently conducted refresher training and an exercise at the fire district’s River Park Fire Station and administrative complex on Lakeside Avenue. Rescue, medical triage, and emergency communications were practiced with assistance from the district’s other active community service groups, the Logistics Volunteer (LVG) and Communications Volunteer (CVG) Groups.

CERT members practice rescue skills.

Lakeside Fire Captain Chuck Palmore and Engineer-Paramedic Lance Buford organized a full day of activities which kept the teams busy. Multiple scenarios were presented to challenge the CERT members’ skills and abilities which emphasized teamwork and helped all the participants become better prepared for the “real thing.”

Citizen responders are faced with multiple "victims" requiring triage.

The next CERT academy is anticipated to occur next spring. For more information on the program or to submit your interest in attending the next academy, please visit the district’s web site at

Engineer-Paramedic Lance Buford conducts an "After-Action Review" to discuss lessons learned.
Post by: Lakeside Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick
Photos by: Lakeside LVG