Friday, May 30, 2014

HWY 67 Closed for Major Traffic Collision

Lakeside, CA -

On Friday May 30, 2014, at approximately 3:15 in the afternoon units were requested to respond to Hwy 67 northbound to reports of a head on collision just south of Winter Gardens Blvd.  Lakeside Engine 1 arrived on scene and found two vehicles with major damage, each of which had trapped victims inside.  Additional resources were immediately requested due to the large workload that would be required to extricate multiple patients from separate vehicles.

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The incident, which was being directed by Lakeside Division Chief 4104, utilized engines from Lakeside, Santee, and El Cajon.  Two rescue units were also assigned, Santee R5 and Lakeside R3 from the Lake Jennings Fire Station.  The two patients were in critical condition meaning they would require separate transporting units so two ALS units were requested as well as Mercy Air 6.  
Crews work to extricate patients from separate vehicles
A large quantity of debris was strewn from the accident site

The accident scene was strewn with the contents of both vehicles, a sign of how much energy was involved in the collision.  Hwy 67 had to be completely closed due to the large volume of debris that resulting from the accident.  The closed freeway provided the ability for the fire and law enforcement crews to work safely while extricating the patients.  The road closure also allowed for a very close landing zone for Mercy Air 6.  It is rare to see a medical helicopter set down on a major interstate in San Diego County in the middle of rush hour traffic.  The helicopter, along with the seriousness of the accident, drew crowds of people to the side of the road to watch the incident.

One patient was extricated quickly and immediately transported by Santee Medic 4 to an area trauma center.  The other patient took longer to extricate so Mercy Air 6 was utilized to provide transport to the trauma center.  Once the patients were extricated and the incident was stabilized the California Highway Patrol took over the scene and began an accident investigation.

Mercy Air 6 set down on the closed portion of HWY 67

Photos / Video and Story by Captain Bernie Molloy

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jet Ski Fire Sends One to Burn Center


On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 2:41 p.m. the Heartland Communications Center received a 911 call about a jet ski on fire in the garage of a residence in the 9300 block of Ashley View Pl. A full structural response was initiated that sent three engine companies, one truck company, an ALS medic unit, and a staff officer to the incident.

On the arrival of Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Fire Station), firefighters observed smoke showing from the attached garage of a residential structure. After securing a water supply from a nearby hydrant, crews advanced an attack line into the garage. It was quickly discovered that the fire was isolated to a jet ski. The fire was quickly controlled with a preconnected handline off of E3.

Fire damage to the jet ski was extensive.
Fire crews then discovered that an occupant had suffered flash burns to his upper body. After assessing the injuries the juvenile was transported to the UCSD Burn Center for further evaluation and treatment. The injuries are considered non-life threatening.

Firefighters overhauled the fire and checked for extension into the structure. No structural damage was discovered.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Wes Barnes, Lakeside Fire Protection District

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Employees Receive their Badges

Lakeside River Park Fire Complex-

At the May 27, 2014, Lakeside Fire District Board meeting two recently hired employees received their badges from Fire Chief Andy Parr. The two employees were recently hired from the Lakeside Reserve Firefighter program to full-time positions as Firefighter-Paramedics.

Chad Murray

Chad spent his youth growing up in the Alpine area of the East County. He graduated from Granite Hills High School and then departed on a number of jobs to prepare him for employment in the fire service. Chad has worked as a reserve firefighter with other agencies, and has worked in the pre-hospital field.

Chad receives his badge from his father.
Chad recently graduated from the 25th Heartland Academy where he teamed up with Shane Daunis as squad team members.

Chad was presented with his badge by his father. Both Mom and Dad were in attendance.

Chad with his father and mother after the presentation.
Welcome to the Lakeside family.

Shane Daunis

Shane is 26 years old and was raised in the community of Santee under the careful guidance from his parents Debbie and Fred. Shane has a younger sister, Elle, which undoubtly kept him on his toes.

Shane receives his badge from his father Fred Daunis who served with the Santee Fire Department.
During his time at West Hills High School he enrolled in ROP Fire Science classes. Mined into that schedule was time for swim team and water polo sports. After high school it was off to Miramar College to continue with fire science classes. Soon he was accepted to Southwestern College's paramedic program.

After certification as a paramedic he worked for AMR. Soon he was accepted into the Lakeside Fire District's reserve program. Shortly after being accepted he was enrolled in the 25th Heartland Academy.

Shane with his mother Debbie, father Fred, fiance Caitlin, and sister Elle.
Upon graduating from the academy he was offered a fulltime employment with the Lakeside Fire District. Employment with Lakeside had been a long held dream as his father (Fred) frequently worked out of the Riverview fire station when Medic One was crossed staffed with one Lakeside, and one Santee, firefighter-paramedic. Shane grew up listening to stories his father would bring home about working with the two agencies.

 Shane is also engaged to longtime high school sweetie Caitlin.

Welcome to the Lakeside family Shane.

New firefighters in Lakeside must complete a rigorous one-year probationary period which is part of a comprehensive 36-month step training program.

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

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Busy Sunday for Lakeside Firefighters

Lakeside, CA - 

A series of vegetation fires kept Lakeside firefighters busy on Sunday, May 25, 2014. The first fire was reported just before 1:00 p.m. in the area of Highway 67 and Lorraine Ct., just south of Scripps Poway Parkway. Heartland Fire Communications dispatched a wildland fire resource response including E1, E2, WT7251, M2, and Div 4106 (Lakeside); Br4 (Santee). Due to the location in State Responsibility Area (SRA), CalFire also dispatched a full wildland resource response including aircraft.

Arriving firefighters discovered a well-established vegetation fire making an uphill run toward a home on Lorraine Ct. Lakeside Engines 1 and 2 were assigned to structure defense while the wildland (type III) engines started  progressive hoselays on the right and left flanks of the fire to begin extinguishment and containment. An S-2 airtanker from the nearby Ramona Air Attack base made several pinpoint retardant drops to hold the fire in check and protect the threatened home. Additionally, County helicopters 10 and 12 arrived and provided water drops to slow the forward spread of the fire. Assigned resources were able to pick this fire up at only a few acres with no structures damaged.

Smoke showing from a distance.

Engines 1 and 2 in structure defense positions.

FFs on Division X mopping up.

As the first fire was being mopped-up, another wildland response was dispatched with numerous callers reporting multiple fires in the vegetation on the west side of Winter Gardens Blvd. between Gardena Rd. and Golden Ridge Rd. With multiple engines approaching the area from both the south and the north, firefighters stopped and took action when they encountered a fire. The largest of these multiple fires was on a  hillside lot with numerous structures nearby. Lakeside Engine 1 (who was returning from the Hwy 67 incident) and Santee Engine 4, attacked the fire from the north flank while Heartland Fire-Rescue Engine 9 started a hoselay on the south flank. Firefighters quickly had a knockdown on the fire and went to work on containment and mop-up.

FFs mop up on Division Zulu.
Lakeside Division 4106 (r) was Incident Commander with assistance from CalFire Battalion 3316.
These fire incidents demonstrate the strong mutual and automatic aid agreements that ensure the provision of seamless emergency response services to our district residents. Lakeside Fire would like to acknowledge our regional partners for their timely assistance: Santee Fire, San Miguel Fire, Barona Fire, Heartland Fire-Rescue, San Diego Fire-Rescue, CalFire, and San Diego Sheriff's Department.

All fires are currently under investigation.

Post and photos by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Firefighters Rescue Man Injured in Flood Channel


Early on the morning on May 23, 2014 Lakeside Engine 1 and Medic 2 were called for reports of a person that had fallen into the flood channel under Hwy 67.

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Engine 1 arrived, and with the assistance of the SDSO, were able to locate the patient. The patient was a male that was injured in the bottom of the flood channel that runs under Hwy 67.  The patient had fallen approximately 20 + feet to the concrete bottom of the flood channel.

The patient fell onto the concrete from the edged of the channel.
To access the patient crews had to place a ladder into the channel and descend it.  Once the patient was accessed it was clear that he would need to be placed in spinal precautions because of his injuries.  The spinal precautions combined with the high vertical walls of the channel meant the patient would have to be hoisted out of the flood channel in a stokes basket on a backboard.   Engine 1 requested that Rescue 3 respond to the scene to bring the necessary equipment to move the patient.

R3 crews work to set up a mechanical lifting system
The lifting system requires a long section of rope and a great deal of specialized hardware

Rescue 3 arrived at the scene and assisted the crews on scene with setting up a ladder-slide and a rope lifting system that would provide a mechanical advantage to pull the patient out of the flood channel.  Once the patient was lifted out of the channel he was transported to the hospital by M2.

Once the patient was up he was moved to a gurney for transport to the medic unit 

This call was an example of one of the technical rescue situations Lakeside firefighters are capable of carrying out.  It is a low-frequency high-risk situation that requires regular training and review to stay proficient with these skills.  This rescue was carried out without any issues and the patient was successfully removed from the channel and transported to the hospital.

R3 and E1 crews put the rescue equipment back onto Rescue 3 after the call

Photos and story by Captain Bernie Molloy

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sterling Fire Threatens area Structures


On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 4:59 p.m. the Heartland Communications Center received a report of a vegetation fire in the area of the 12900 block of Highway 8 Business in the Glenview area. Given the severe weather conditions, a high wildland response was dispatched which sends multiple resources to the fire.

Fire jumps Highway 8 Business and starts it's uphill run towards homes. (Photo By: Ken Kremensky, Barona FD)
On the arrival of Lakeside Division Chief Chuck Tockstein, he found a fire on the south side of the highway making a run towards the north. Within minutes the fire had jumped Highway 8 Business and was making an uphill run towards multiple homes in the Sterling Drive and Jackson Hill Drive areas. An immediate request was placed for a strike team of engines to respond to those areas and take up structural defense positions.

Fire approaches homes off Sterling Drive. (Photo By: Ken Kremensky, Barona FD)
An engine from Heartland Fire & Rescue takes up a position on a structure on Sterling Drive. (Photo By: Todd Welch, Lakeside FD)
Firefighters took up positions to start hose lays to cut off further extension of the fire. But in the midst of the fire attack there was a wind change which now sent the fire towards homes in the 13000 block of Highway 8 Business. Another strike team was requested and took up structural defense positions in a nearby mobile home park.

Lakeside Brush 201 arrives at the Sterling Fire. (Photo By: Nathan Price)

Lakeside crews putting in a hose lay on the eastern flank. (Photo By: Todd Welch, Lakeside FD)
Due to multiple campaign fires in the San Diego County area there was no air assets or hand crews available to assist.

Crews continued to advance hose lays around the fire and at 6:57 p.m. the Incident Commander declared that the forward progress of the fire had been stopped. Although the active burning had stopped, firefighters now faced the task of an extensive overhaul. A number of crews spent the night on the line overhauling hot spots and patrolling the fire area.

A firefighter in the "green" as the fire front approaches. (Photo By: Todd Welch, Lakeside FD)
Overhaul extended well throughout the daylight hours the next day. Crews continued to overhaul hot spots and remove trees that had created a hazard. The Lakeside Logistic Volunteers provided fire support throughout the incident.

This burn pattern is know by firefighters as "Moonscaping." It's when everything in the fire's path is consumed. This is normally seen in August, not May.
During this incident Lakeside Fire received assistance from:

  • Barona Fire
  • Alpine Fire
  • Heartland Fire & Rescue
  • Santee Fire
  • Sycuan Fire
  • Bonita Fire
  • Viejas Fire
  • USFS
  • Lakeside LVG's
  • San Diego Sheriff Department
  • California Highway Patrol
Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire Protection District.
Photos Provided By: Fire Chief Ken Kremensky, Barona Fire Department and Todd Welch, Lakeside Fire Protection District, Nathan Price
Video By: Bill Prorok

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Central Zone Firefighters Engaged at the Bernardo Fire

Central Zone-

Shortly before 11:00 a.m. a vegetation fire broke out in the City of San Diego near Del Norte High School. San Diego Fire resources responded to the wind driven event and found the Santa Ana winds were pushing the fire front faster than crews could react. Soon a call went out for assistance in controlling the fast moving vegetation fire.

At 12:30 a.m. the Heartland Communications Center received a request to send a strike team of brush engines to the fire. Engines from Barona, Sycuan, Santee, Alpine, and Lakeside assembled as Strike Team 6440C. The team would be led by Fire Chief Ken Kremensky and Battalion Chief Todd Feneis.

The fire continued it's westward push towards Rancho Santa Fe and Fairbanks Ranch. With ideal canyon alignment to the northeast winds the fire would make fast runs through the light, and medium, fuels. When it became obvious that the fire would run through the canyons on the east side of Rancho Santa Fe a request was made by fire managers for structural engines.

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 At 2:36 p.m. another request was received to send urgently needed engines to the fire. Five structural type engines from Lakeside, Heartland Fire & Rescue, and Santee were sent to the fire as Strike Team 6441A. Battalion Chief Steve Swaney from Heartland Fire & Rescue would lead the team.

Off-duty personnel quickly filled voids left behind, and staffed reserve apparatus. At this time it is unknown how long crews will be committed to this fire. But given the expected fire weather it's likely they will remain till a high degree of confidence exists that this fire has been brought under control.

At this time the fire exceeds 700 acres and has 5% control.

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

Information: Why are strike teams numbered with a letter?

Strike teams have a numerical identifier that denotes the area where the team originated from. From a management standpoint it's easier to talk to a single chief running five engines than each individual engine. The letter simply identifies the type of engines. Strike teams with an "A" indicate large structural type engines while a "C" indicates smaller brush type engines. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Communications Volunteer Group Announces Amateur Radio Classes and Testing


The Lakeside Fire Protection District, in cooperation with the Communications Volunteer Group, is pleased to announce dates for the Technician Class radio classes and testing. This is an opportunity to obtain your FCC amateur radio license. This license allows amateurs to communicate on a number of frequencies, including those most commonly used during disaster communications.

The classes will be conducted over a series of four evenings followed by testing. These classes will be conducted at the Lakeside River Park Fire Complex on Lakeside Ave. The classes are two hours long and will prepare the student for passage of the Technician Class license.

Although the class is free, students will be required to obtain a copy of the ARRL "Ham Radio Technician License Manual (2nd edition). The text can be purchased locally at Ham Radio Outlet for $29.95. The store is located at 5375 Kearny Villa Road  #113.

To register for the class contact CERT Coordinator Lance Burford at You do not need to be a CERT Team member to attend.

Submitted: Fire Engineer-CERT Coordinator Lance Buford, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lakeside Fire Crews Kept Busy with Multiple Vegetation Fires

Lakeside, CA -

Lakeside fire crews had an unusually busy day on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, when a rash of vegetation fires occurred in the Glenview area of Lakeside.

At 4:46 p.m., firefighters responded to a vegetation fire in the creek bed in the area of Los Coches Rd and Via Diego. The fire burned out a swath of heavy fuel on the west side of Los Coches Rd and skirted behind the homes located on Calle Lucia. Crews were able to quickly control the flames with no damage to nearby structures.

At 8:26 p.m., crews received a call for another vegetation fire on the east side of Los Coches Rd near Via Diego. Firefighters worked their way into the area to discover a new fire area with a nearby spot fire. Fire managers requested additional assistance which brought units from CalFire, Alpine Fire, and Sycuan Fire. Fortunately, crews were able to quickly control the fire without local damage.

Then, at 6:21 a.m., on Thursday morning, crews received a report of another fire in the creek area off of the 13700 block of Highway 8 Business. Due to the damp morning conditions the fire was held to a small spot and was quickly controlled.

An early morning fire smolders in the moist air. Under different conditions this fire could have been much worse.
All the fires are currently under investigation and while no connection has been established between the three fires, local residents are always asked to be vigilant in reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District.
Photo By: Fire Captain Eric Stamm, Lakeside Fire District

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vegetation Fire in the Los Coches Creek

Lakeside, CA -

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at 4:47 p.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District received a 911 report of a vegetation fire in the Los Coches Creek area near Los Coches Road and Via Diego. A wildland response to was sent to the incident which included one brush engine, two structural engines, an ALS medic unit, a water tender, and a chief officer.

While units were still responding to the fire, additional calls were received stating that there was a fire burning in the heavy fuels in the creek bottom. As Engine 2 turned onto Los Coches Road, they could see the smoke rising in the area.

With the arrival of Engine 3 (Lake Jennings Station) they reported a 100'x 100' area on fire. A hose line was extended into the area and the fire was quickly knocked down. Due to the nature of the heavy fuels, firefighters faced an extensive overhaul operation as many hotspots remained. Crews remained on-scene for over an hour to make sure that no ignition sources remained.

A total of 13 Lakeside Fire personnel responded to the fire. The cause is currently under investigation. No structures were threatened by this fire.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District
Video By: Bill Prorok

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Condominium Fire on Mapleview Street Brings Second Alarm

 Lakeside, CA -

On Sunday, May 4, 2014, at 4:07 p. m., the Heartland Communications Center received a 911 call from an occupant that stated there was a wall on fire in their condominium unit in the 12500 block of Mapleview Street.  The first alarm sent four structural engines, one truck company, an ALS medic unit, and a chief officer to the fire.  Enroute units were advised that a number of units were filling with smoke from a possible attic fire.

Medic 2 (River Park Station) arrived on-scene and reported smoke showing from the complex.  Unsure that the occupants had safely exited the unit, firefighters made entry and conducted a search for victims. Engine 1 (Riverview Station) soon arrived and advised the smoke conditions had worsened and fire attack lines were pulled.

Crew members don their breathing apparatus in preparation of entering the structure.
Crews soon discovered that a fire was well established in the common wall between two units and had advanced two stories to the attic space. The labor intensive task of opening up the walls and roof began.  Fire was quickly discovered on the second floor and attic.  The incident commander requested a second alarm to augment crews already engaged in chasing down the hidden fire.

The crew from Santee Truck 4 makes their way to the roof to begin operations.
With the second alarm came an additional four structural engines, one additional truck company, and an additional  chief officer. 

Truck crews were sent to the roof to conduct ventilation and roof removal operations. Fire was located in the attic area and was knocked down by crews before it could spread to other units. Simultaneously crews were searching adjoining units and conducting salvage operations as smoke and water was entering these occupancies.

Crews begin the task of salvage operations. Smoke and water are removed from the affected units.
Crews were eventually successful in extinguishing the fire after extensive interior operations.  Unfortunately, three units had been affected to the point that they could not be occupied. The Red Cross was contacted to assist the families that had been displaced. 

It was determined that the fire started during plumbing repairs that involved the use of a torch. A total of 16 Lakeside personnel responded to the incident assisted by personnel from the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire and Rescue.  Again this demonstrates the seamless working relationship between participants of the automatic aid agreement.

Crews received logistical support from the Lakeside Logistic Volunteers. They provided cold drinks and breathing apparatus support during this operation.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District 
Additional Photography Provided By: LVG Dennis Canfield, Lakeside Fire District

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Early Morning Fire brings Immediate Structure Threat

El Monte Valley-

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 6:51 a.m. the Heartland Communications Center received multiple calls about an explosion and brush fire in the area of El Monte Road and Lake Jennings Park Rd. At the time of the call, the Lakeside area was experiencing the third day of significant Santa Ana wind conditions. An augmented initial response was dispatched that sent two brush engines, three structural engines, a water tender, an ALS medic unit, and two chief officers. Simultaneously, CalFire sent multiple companies to the fire.

Lakeside Fire crews start laying hose on the flank of the fire.
Crews knocking down hotspots in advance of the hose lay.
Responding units could soon see a large loom up of smoke in the area. Soon a wave of 911 emergency calls were received reporting that the structures on Laurel Canyon Road and Vista Laurel Place were being threatened by the fire. An "initial attack" strike team (5 engines and a chief officer) was requested to provide structural defense.

Arriving crews found a well established wind-driven fire that was pushing toward residential structures. Firefighters took up positions on the flank of the fire and on structures in the fire's path. Due to the fierce winds, a number of embers were blown into the housing tract starting a number of small spot fires. Crews assigned to structural defense quickly knocked down those spot fires. There was some minor infrastructure damage to fences in the area; however, there was no direct damage to the exposed structures.

Baptism by Fire: The new Engine 3 takes up a position with Brush 1 on the El Monte Valley side of the fire. 
Crews were able to contain the fire at 4 acres. The Lakeside Fire District was in unified command with CalFire. Assistance was provided to Lakeside from CalFire, Santee Fire, and Alpine Fire.

Photos By: Fire Engineer-Paramedic Rich Smith, Lakeside Fire District
Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

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