Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Late night structure fire on Olde Hwy 80

Just after midnight on July 30, 2014, crews from the Lakeside, El Cajon, and Santee Fire Departments where dispatched to a reported structure fire on Olde Hwy 80 near Pecan Park.  Heavy smoke could be seen from the top of Lake Jennings Park Road.  Engine 3 from the Lake Jennings fire station was the first engine on scene and reported heavy smoke and fire coming from a detached garage.  The fire was quickly knocked down by first arriving units and there was no spread into the vegetation.  Crews were committed a short time to overhaul the building and check for fire extension through the walls.  The cause of the fire is being looked into.

Units that responded to this where Lakeside engine 2, engine 3, engine 26, Medic 3, chief 4104, and chief 4101.  We also had assistance from El Cajon engine 8 and Santee truck 4. 

Multiple Vegetation Fires in Barona

Barona Indian Reservation, CA -

Shortly before noon on Tuesday July 29, 2014, multiple vegetation fires were reported along Wildcat Canyon Road near the Barona Resort.  Barona Chief 4801 was the first on scene to size up the situation and determined there were more than 10 spot fires along the roadside from Founders Way up to Feather Stone Canyon Road.  With homes nearby and dry conditions, this immediately prompted a multi-agency response from Lakeside, Santee, El Cajon, San Pasqual, Cal Fire, and the US Forest Service.  Several of the small fires grew together to form larger fires but quick action from the chiefs on scene to organize the situation and the responding crews to contain the fires kept them from getting out of hand.

The Wildcat Incident was estimated to be 10-20 acres all together.  No homes were damaged and no injuries were reported..  The cause of the fires are under investigation.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guide Dogs in Training Visit Lakeside Station 2

Station 2 had a unique tour the other day: puppies!  Guide Dogs of America asked to have a tour of the station so the dogs could get used to the sound of the fire engines running, sirens sounding, and also being in the back of an ambulance.  

The dogs were able to smell the firefighting gear and hear firefighters breath air out of the breathing apparatus.  Guide Dogs of America train dogs for the blind and the dogs that visited were currently in training.  It was an educational experience for us all.

Story and Photos submitted by: Captain Eric Stamm

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lakeside Firefighters Assist at 26th Heartland Academy

El Cajon, CA -

The crew from Lakeside Engine 1 spent part of their shift helping train recruits at the Heartland Fire Academy on July 25, 2014. The fire recruits of the 26th Heartland Fire Academy are only in their second week of training but are already working hard on learning the basics of firefighting. The focus of this day of training was basic hose lays and nozzle techniques.

The 22-week accredited State Firefighter I  academy is held at the Tom Owen Training Facility in El Cajon. The cadre of academy instructors are veteran firefighters from Central Zone fire agencies including Heartland Fire-Rescue, Alpine, Lakeside, Santee, and Viejas. The instructors are assisted by on-duty crews from various Central Zone agencies.

Recruits check their gear before the day's drill.
Stretching hoselines and flowing water are basic firefighting skills.

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Household Chemical Mixture Requires Haz Mat Response

Lakeside, CA -

A strong chemical odor in a residence prompted a 911 call in the Riverview area of Lakeside in the early morning hours of July 24, 2014. Firefighters from Lakeside fire station 1 (Riverview Ave.) were alerted at 0415 hours for the incident in the 9300 block of Westhill Road.

With the residents evacuated from the home, the crew from Engine 1 performed a search for the source of the strong odor. Due to the unknown nature, firefighters utilized self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to avoid exposure during the operation. Firefighters quickly located what appeared to be an accidental mixture of cleaning products that was producing the odor. The products were moved to a safe location outside the home and a ventilation fan was used to clear the residence of residual odor.

The incident commander (Div.4105 - Kirkpatrick) requested a response from the regional Hazardous Materials team to assist with identification and disposal of the unknown product.  Haz Mat 1 (HM1) from San Diego Fire-Rescue station 44 responded; additionally, Haz Mat 8 from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health also responded. These highly-trained Haz Mat specialists and technicians are an available countywide resource to help local agencies mitigate these specialized types of incidents.

The Haz Mat experts were able to generally identify the properties of the material present and render it safe for disposal.

SDFD HM-1 arrives on scene.

The experts work to identify the material.

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lakeside CERT and CVG Radio Map El Monte Valley

Lakeside CERT and CVG members brief prior to taking to the field
On Sunday, July 13, volunteers spent their afternoon serving the citizens of Lakeside in a rather unusual way…grabbing HAM radios and driving throughout El Monte Valley. The effort was to “map” the valley for amateur radio communications in the event of a significant emergency.

Radio communication is often affected by terrain. Knowing where radio “dead spots” are located, as well as areas of strong communication, can make all the difference in a disaster. Having these locations mapped in advance can save valuable time and assist in saving lives.

Radio signal strength is measured in different areas of El Monte Valley
To aid in this effort, members of the Lakeside Fire District’s Communication Volunteer Group (CVG) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) took to the streets and airwaves in a field exercise. Organized by CVG member Gordon Shackelford, these volunteers drove their personal vehicles to pre-designated spots in the valley and checked out their ability to communicate directly with the “Annex” fire facility located next to the fire station on Lakeside Avenue.

Volunteers were sent to several test locations in the valley
After a couple hours of testing and data collection, the volunteers concluded their efforts and debriefed. The data will be analyzed and eventually displayed on a map in the “Radio Shack” of the Annex. In the event of a major emergency the information on the map will direct CERT and CVG members to areas of good communication to speed response and recovery.

Volunteers check in for signal strength testing
While these volunteers come from two different groups, their objectives are the same - to assist their community in the event of a disaster. CERT personnel are taught disaster response skills such as light rescue and first aid. CVG personnel are tasked with establishing communications on amateur radio bands through a radio network (or “net”) and organize communication between CERT teams in the field. Both programs are vital parts of the District’s disaster response plan and we can’t thank these volunteers enough for their hard work and continued efforts. 

Test results were carefully recorded
For more information on both programs, please go to the District’s website www. Information on the monthly “Emergency Net”, can be obtained by emailing

Story and photos by: Lakeside Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Consumer Fireworks are Illegal in San Diego County

Lakeside, CA -

There is really only one thing that San Diego County residents need to know when it comes to consumer fireworks: They are illegal.

Every year in the U.S., fireworks are responsible for thousands of injuries, tens of thousands of fires, and millions of dollars in property damage.

There are many public fireworks shows in the county for all to enjoy safely this Independence Day. A listing of fireworks shows can be found HERE.

We hope you all have a "safe and sane" holiday this 4th of July.

Consumer Fireworks are Illegal in San Diego County.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District