Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lakeside Fire Station 1 is Moving

Lakeside, CA -

After many months of hard work, the Lakeside Fire District has selected a site for the planned relocation of Fire Station 1 (Riverview Ave.). The new site will be at 8035 Winter Gardens Blvd., in the southern section of the fire district near Royal Rd. This planned move is the second phase of a fire station realignment project that began in 2010, with the relocation of the Eucalyptus Hills Fire Station (fs2) to a newly constructed headquarters station at Lakeside Avenue and Channel Rd. (River Park Fire Station).

This new location for Fire Station 1 will improve existing fire station spacing and provide much-improved response coverage for the Winter Gardens Blvd. corridor and the Pepper Drive area of the fire district.

The current plan is to place a temporary facility on the new site with an anticipated beginning of service on or before April 1, 2016. For more details on this important move, please visit the district website HERE.

Lakeside Fire Station Locations - December 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Lakeside and Santee Firefighter Paramedics - 40 years of Service

Lakeside, CA. -

Just over 40-years ago, eight firefighters from two small fire district's in "East County" began serving as the first paramedics in San Diego County. In July of 1975, the first paramedic advanced life support ambulance in San Diego County began serving the citizens of Santee, Lakeside, and Bostonia from Santee Fire District Station 1 on Cottonwood Avenue (now station 4). The assigned crew consisted of one Santee and one Lakeside firefighter-paramedic.

Back in early 1970s, paramedic service was still a new concept in California. Authorized by the state's 1970 Wedsworth-Townsend Act, paramedic services were being provided by only a few agencies statewide, primarily large fire departments in the greater Los Angeles area. In January of 1972, the capabilities of the (firefighter) paramedic truly entered the public consciousness with the popular television program Emergency!. Up until then, both Lakeside and Santee fire districts were providing transport ambulance service at a basic life support level. In 1974, the fire chiefs of the neighboring districts decided it was time to provide a (much) higher level of emergency medical service.

A public information campaign was launched with Santee Fire Captain Jack Stephenson assigned the daunting task of convincing local citizens of the need for the new life-saving service. Captain Stephenson made over 70 presentations to local community groups over the next months. During that period, federal grant funding was secured to help pay for the training costs. In addition to Capt. Stephenson, seven other firefighters were chosen to attend the rigorous advanced training course. In February of 1975, the eight firefighters started their training at newly-established UCSD EMS Training Office (EMSTO). This would become known as Paramedic Class 1.

Following a parallel course, a group of emergency room nurses at Grossmont Hospital started specialized training to become the first "paramedic" nurses in the county. Known as Mobile Intensive Care Nurses (MICN), these dedicated professionals would staff the first paramedic base station, providing medical direction to field paramedics via the EMS radio. Completing the prehospital care team were the first base hospital physicians at Grossmont hospital, ultimately providing 24-hour, real-time oversight of the paramedics operating in the field.

On March 4, 1975, voters in Lakeside, Santee, and Bostonia approved a special tax levy to create the CSA-69 Heartland Paramedic District with a 79% "yes" margin. This established a stable funding source for the new paramedic program.

With the voters approving the new paramedic district, the eight firefighters finished up their training. While the didactic (classroom) and clinical (hospital) instruction took place locally, the mandated field internship portion of the course had to be completed with certified paramedics. Since there were no paramedics in San Diego County, Class 1 trainees headed to Long Beach Fire Department to complete their field internships.

In July, 1975, after months of rigorous training, UCSD EMSTO Paramedic Class 1 graduated. That month, the first Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics (MICP) in San Diego County began serving the citizens of East County.

Lakeside and Santee firefighter-paramedics have been providing advance life support services ever since. The paramedic district currently provides service from four paramedic transport ambulances, two in Lakeside (M2, M3) and two in Santee (M4, M5). Both agencies also have robust paramedic engine programs quickly delivering a firefighter-paramedic to every call for service on board fire engines and truck companies prior to ambulance arrival. Additionally, the dual-role capability of the firefighter-paramedic provides increased daily firefighter staffing for both the City of Santee Fire Department and the Lakeside Fire Protection District.

EMSTO Class 1 Firefighter Trainees. (courtesy Life News)

Grossmont Hospital's First MICNs.

Post by: Captain-Paramedic Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Death in the Lakeside Fire Family

Lakeside, CA. -

It is with great sorrow that the Lakeside Fire Protection District announces the passing of Firefighter/Paramedic Corey Palmore, who died while off-duty this past weekend.

Corey served with the district since 2010, starting as a Reserve Firefighter before being hired full-time in January of 2013. Prior to joining our ranks he worked for several years as a Paramedic with American Medical Response in San Diego.

On behalf of the entire Lakeside Fire family, we express our deepest condolences to Corey’s family, friends, and coworkers.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 16, at 11:00 a.m., at Sonrise Community Church, 8805 N. Magnolia Avenue, Santee, CA 92071.

For more information, visit the Lakeside Fire Fighters' Association website HERE.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Time to Change Those Smoke Alarm Batteries (or Maybe Not)

Lakeside, CA -

Working smoke alarms save lives. In fact,the risk of dying in a residential fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. That is why it is recommended that smoke alarm batteries are replaced regularly. As a reminder, the "Change Your Clocks, Change your Battery®" campaign is presented in the spring and fall when the time change occurs. However, due to new life safety regulations in California, newly installed smoke alarms are required to have a non-replaceable, 10-year battery. So, if your smoke alarms have a replaceable battery, then put in a fresh one; if not, test your alarm to make sure it is working. Remember, a "chirping" sound from a smoke alarm is an indicator that a new battery is needed. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that all smoke alarms be replaced if they are 10-years old (or older). Upon replacing old smoke alarms, a battery change will no longer be required.

Smoke alarms should be on every level of your home, outside of every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In a typical single-family residence, this would require 4-6 alarms.

 Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lakeside Community Members Learn 2-Minute CPR

Lakeside, CA - 

An enthusiastic group of community members dedicated some time to learn 2-minute CPR on Sunday, October 11, 2015. Around 20 members of the Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church watched a presentation by Lakeside Firefighter-Paramedic Brian Moore on the newest techniques for citizen bystander CPR. Dubbed "2-minute CPR," because that is literally how long it takes to learn, it is a form of "Hands Only CPR" that is now the recommended method to be used by laypersons according to the American Heart Association. Church members listened to a short lecture presentation and then (for those that wanted to) were given an opportunity to try CPR on our ResusciAnne® CPR manikins.

After the CPR instruction, members were given a brief overview of the operation of the public-access Automated External Defibrillators (AED) that the church has recently put in service at their facility.

Lakeside Firefighters make these kind of presentations throughout the community on a regular basis. If you have a local group that you feel would benefit from this or another safety-related topic, contact our administrative office at 619-390-2350.

FF-PM Brian Moore teaches 2-minuteCPR.

FF-PM Brian Moore giving tips on CPR technique.

 Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Lakeside Fire Fighters Host Dinner at the Firehouse

Lakeside, CA - 

The A-Division crew at Lakeside's Lake Jennings Fire Station (fs3) recently prepared dinner for a large group of guests. The "Dinner at the Firehouse" was auctioned to the highest bidder at this year's Lakeside River Park Conservancy Blue Moon Dinner. The meal is provided thanks to the Lakeside Fire Fighters' Association and hosted in conjunction with the Lakeside Fire District.

The firefighters hosting the event were Captain Eric Stamm, Engineer Lance Buford, and Firefighter-Paramedics Mark Poynter and Chad Murray. This is but one of many charitable causes that Lakeside Fire Fighters participate in every year to support our community.

Enjoying Lance's meatloaf at fs3.
Our guests on the "A-Deck" at fs3.
Post and photos by: Captain Eric Stamm, Lakeside Fire District

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lakeside Fire's 2015 Open House

Lakeside, CA -

Despite record-breaking heat, many Lakeside families attended our fire department open house on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Hosted by the Lakeside Fire Fighters' Association in conjunction with the Lakeside Fire District, this year's event was a great success.

In addition to apparatus displays, station tours, and fire safety information, we had informational displays from the Burn Institute, Sharp Grossmont Hospital Stroke Unit, Lakeside CERT, SDG&E, I Love a Clean San Diego, and the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club. Also attending were San Diego County HazMat, California Highway Patrol, and San Diego Sheriff's Department K9 unit.

A very special display this year was the antique CSFA Steamer Engine hosted by Dave and Barbara Hubert and their Dalmatian Dottie.

Lakeside Fire Fighters would like to acknowledge the support of the Lakeside Logistics Volunteer Group (LVG) for their help in coordinating, planning, setup, and cleanup. Also, a special thank you to Sondra Buzzell (wife of Lakeside Captain Matt Buzzell) for her amazing face-painting skills!

The fire department open house is an annual event. We hope to see all of you next year.

On the CSFA steamer with Dottie the Dalmatian.
Rescue 3 crew after the extrication demonstration.
Sheriff K9 demonstration with "suspect" FF-PM Shaba.
Post and photos by: FF-PM Marc Poynter, Lakeside Fire District

Monday, October 5, 2015

Senior Fire Safety & Smoke Alarm Program

Lakeside, CA -

The Lakeside Fire District, in partnership with the San Diego Burn Institute, offers FREE lifesaving smoke alarms for qualified seniors. To qualify for the Burn Institute’s Senior Smoke Alarm Program, seniors must be 62 years or older and own their own home. Representatives from Lakeside Fire will test existing smoke alarms, change batteries, or install new smoke alarm(s). It is recommended that a smoke alarm be installed in every bedroom, hallway, and on every level of a home.

Please call Lakeside Fire Administration at (619) 390-2350 from 7am to 4pm, Monday through Thursday, for more information on this free program and to schedule an appointment. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lakeside Fire Open House this Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lakeside, CA

The Lakeside Fire Department will be hosting a fun event for the kids and raising money for The San Diego Burn Institute. There will be a bouncy castle, a LIVE demonstration, music, food and more... 

This event is open to the public, so bring the family, and spend the day with us.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lakeside Firefighters Handle Drive-up Motorhome fire

El Cajon, CA

The Medic 3 crew was just finishing up their morning routine at Lakeside's Lake Jennings Fire Station (fs3) when a citizen drove up to the front of the station in his 27-foot class-C motorhome — that was on fire! The driver noticed smoke coming from the back of his motorhome while he was on eastbound I-8 approaching the Lake Jennings Park Rd. exit. Aware of the location of the nearest fire station, he immediately headed there.

The Medic 3 firefighters notified dispatch of the still alarm and proceeded to don their turnout gear. With the Engine 3 crew out of quarters, Firefighter-Paramedic Jamie Hazlewood prepared to put the reserve fire engine in service. Just as the call was dispatched, Engine 3 pulled up to the now well-involved motorhome directly in front of the fire station. Firefighters quickly pulled attack lines and established a water supply at a nearby hydrant. The fire was extinguished in around 10 minutes.

FF-PMs Jamie Hazlewood and Andrew Shaba finish up extinguishment.
FF-PM Steve Russo pulled an additional attack line.
Engineer-Paramedic Richard Smith at the pump panel.

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

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lakeside Firefighters Perform Home Pool Safety Inspection

Lakeside, CA - 

Firefighters from Lakeside's River Park Fire Station (fs2) helped a local resident with a pool safety inspection on Friday, August 28, 2015. The district's pool safety program is a resource to help residents with creating a safe environment in and around backyard pools and to decrease the incidence of drowning-related calls within the fire district.

According to district pool safety program coordinator, Firefighter-Paramedic Brian Moore, pool safety is as easy as A,B,C,D:

A - Adult Supervision should always be present when kids are in or near the pool. During parties or
      gatherings, a designated "Water Watcher" should always be present;

B - Barriers such as fencing and self latching, child-proof gates should be in place;

C - CPR trained persons should be present and a cell phone or landline should be immediately
      accessible for emergencies;

D - Devices to help someone in trouble should be available like life rings or hooks. Use of approved
      flotation devices;

Additional safety information includes:

- Removing and storing all pool toys after use;
- Providing steps or ladders at each end of the pool;
- Keeping the water level at least 3 inches below the pool deck to provide a hand hold;
- Store pool chemicals away from the pool area;
- Keep chairs and ladders away from the pool area fencing;
- Provide for an unobstructed view of the pool from windows.

Lakeside Firefighters welcome the opportunity to provide this important service to our residents. If you would like a home pool safety inspection, contact us at 619-390-2350.

For more information on pool safety, visit the district website here:

Firefighter-Paramedic Brian Moore checks the water level. Note the toy in the pool.
An example of an approved flotation device for a child.

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Strike Team 6440C Demobilized

Lakeside CA -

Members of Strike Team 6440C

After 14 days on the fire line at the Route Complex and the Mad River Complex, firefighters from Lakeside, Barona, El Cajon, Alpine and Sycuan have been demobilized and heading home. Good job gentlemen and have a safe trip back!

Post by M. Brown, LVG
Photo provided by Captain M. Buzzell, Lakeside Fire

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Update on Strike Team 6440C

Lakeside, CA -

L-R: Captain M. Buzzell, Engineer R. Smith and FF/PM P. Sellers

Strike Team 6440C has been busy with the Lassic Fire in the Mad River Complex. The Mad River Complex includes the Lassic, Pickett and Gobbler fires and includes 36,055 acres, and is currently 54% contained. The Lassic fire, as of August 25, 2015, has burned 16,791 acres, and is 7 % contained. On the west side of the fire perimeter, wind has pushed the fire hard but air resources mitigated the fire's advancement. Crews will continue to provide structure protection in the Rutledge area where residents have been evacuated.  The plan for the Lassic fire is to patrol and mop-up areas along the northern and northeastern edge and continue efforts to apply direct control tactics on the western edge of fire. Direct control tactics is a method of suppression in which the fire perimeter or burning edge is treated by wetting, cooling, smothering, or chemically quenching the fire, or by mechanically separating the fire from unburned fuel.  Additionally, control lines will be added as needed on southern and eastern divisions of fire.  Fire crews and support personnel have come from all over the country and as far away as North Carolina, Mississippi and New York to aid in suppression and management of these fires. 

Strike Team 6440C
The Strike Team has a tentative demobilization date of Thursday, August 27, 2015.

Post by M. Brown, LVG
Photos by Captain M. Buzzell, Lakeside Fire

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lakeside Fire Sends out Relief Crew to Strike Team 6440C

Lakeside, CA -

Late last week, personnel from Brush 1 (Station 1), part of the Strike Team 6440C, were relieved by Captain M. Buzzell (Station 1), Engineer R. Smith (Station 3), and Firefighter/Paramedic Patrick Sellers (Station 3).  The first crew spent two weeks on the fire line at the Willow, Rocky and the Route Complex fires.

The Route Complex is at 31,487 acres and 33% contained.  The Mad River Complex was added to the Route Complex on Tuesday, August 17 and is 24,836 acres and 65% contained. A Type 1 incident management team from the Northern Rockies will be assuming command of the Mad River Complex. Officials have announced an estimated containment date of Monday, August 31st.

Strike Team begins two hour drive from base camp to the fire

Brush 1 (Lakeside Fire) and Brush 8 (Heartland Fire/El Cajon)

The Strike Team on nightly patrol

Wind carried embers quickly ignite dry tree tops

Post by M. Brown, LVG
Photos by Captain M. Buzzell, Lakeside Fire

OES Strike Team Demobilized

Lakeside, CA -

Pictured above L-R: Engineer D. Leetch, Captain C. Palmore, FF/PM S. Daunis and FF T. Welch.

The OES Strike Team has been in Northern California, River Complex, since August 4th. This morning they were notified they were being demobilized after 15 days of firefighting. Lakeside's firefighters will be returning to the area and resuming their duties within the next couple of days. 

Post by M. Brown, LVG
Photo supplied by Engineer D. Leetch, Lakeside Fire

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lakeside Fire Protection District Open Recruitment for Administrative Analyst Position

Lakeside, CA -

For position description and application packet, click here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Update on OES Strike Team

Lakeside, CA -

OES Strike Team continues to aid in the fire attack at the River Complex. The River Complex is managing a total of three fires that have merged in the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests. Acreage is currently 39,445 and containment at 18%.  High temperatures and low humidity will continue today with smoke hampering air operations until the inversion layer lifts. Crews are continually constructing contingency lines to protect the communities of Denny, Bell Ranch, Hoboken, Trinity Village, Hawkins Bar, Dailey, the Highway 299 corridor, and to protect life, property resources, and cultural values of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.


Crews receive briefing from the 
Strike Team Leader

Engineer Leetch keeps an eye out
 for tumbling debris

From July 29 -31, 2015, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest received 440 lightning strikes that resulted in over 60 fires.

Firefighters head up a fire road illuminated by the Engine

Due to current fire conditions in Northern California, fire closures and/or restrictions on public lands are expected for the 2015 hunting season. If you plan to hunt U.S Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands this year, it is important that you monitor the individual forest and/or resource area websites for updates on potential closures. Click on the following link for more information California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Post by M. Brown, LVG
Photos by Engineer D. Leetch, Lakeside Fire

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Alerts Sleeping Family

Lakeside, CA - 

A family was awakened by their home's Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm early on the morning of August 16, 2015. Firefighters from Lakeside's River Park Fire Station were summoned at 2:35 a.m. to investigate the hazard. Arriving to find the home's occupants outside, the crew from Engine 2 used their carbon monoxide detector to confirm that the residence did contain significant levels of the deadly gas. Upon investigation, the source was confirmed to be a charcoal barbecue that had been stored in the garage after earlier use. The barbecue was moved outside and a ventilation fan was used supply the home with fresh air. Several subsequent walk-throughs of the home confirmed that no levels of CO remained.

Carbon Monoxide presents a particularly insidious danger to occupants. It is colorless and odorless which makes it virtually undetectable to humans. Its physical properties allow it to mix well with air inside your home allowing it to persist in nearly all the spaces inside. CO is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels from sources like gas-burning appliances, charcoal grills, or automobile exhaust. According to the CDC, an average of 430 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from unintentional CO poisoning.

This incident is an important reminder of the need for functioning CO (and smoke) alarms in residential dwellings. The CO alarms in this home (which were located on every level and outside each sleeping area) alerted these sleeping residents to the presence of a potentially deadly condition.

When using charcoal barbecue grills, ensure the coals are properly extinguished (wet and cold) and disposed of in an approved container prior to storing the grill. Additionally, have gas furnaces serviced prior to (fall and winter) use.

This bbq grill was producing a lot of CO!

 Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Lakeside, CA -

Strike Team 6440C has been reassigned for the second time to the Route Complex which consists of the Buck Fire, Johnson Fire, Kerlin Fire, and Chance Fire. The Complex resides in Humboldt and Trinity Counties. The fires started July 30th from lightning strikes.

Crews continue to build fire containment lines or use existing road systems for a future burnout operation. Burnout is setting fire inside a control line to widen it or consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.

16,798 acres have been affected and a loss of two outbuildings. There are no mandatory evacuations but Highway 36 is under a hard closure (no one allowed to travel, including residents.) The fire is currently 15% contained. 

Strike Team 6440C was initially mobilized in the late evening of July 29th. This is what firefighters train for on a daily basis, and we appreciate their steadfast dedication in ensuring our safety and protection of our property.

Post by M. Brown, LVG

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Strike Team 6440C Update

Lakeside, CA -

Strike Team arrives at Rocky Fire after a
five hour drive from the Willow Fire

Strike Team 6440C has arrived at the Rocky Fire near Clear Lake in northern California.  The crews have been assigned line construction on the fire line. So far, 39 residences and 52 outbuildings have been destroyed. The temperatures have been hot and relative humidity is low, which increases fire activity in the area.

Rocky Fire, August 3, 2015
Photo by Matthew Henderson

As of 6 pm, August 5th, a total of 69,600 acres have been burned with 30% containment. Mandatory evacuations are still in effect and the cause is under investigation.

Post by M. Brown, LVG
Strike Team photo by Capt, I. Lowe


As of today's date, the fire attack has held the acreage at 69,600 and is now 45% contained. Structure loss increased to 43 residences and 53 outbuildings.

Captain Lowe of Brush 1, Station 1, taking time
 out for a refreshment

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lakeside Personnel Head to River Complex in Northern California

Lakeside, CA -

Lakeside OES 305 was mobilized early this morning as part of an OES strike team headed to the River Complex near the communities of Dailey Ranch, Hoboken and Denny in Northern California. The River Complex is managing a total of five (5) fires due to the fires merging together from the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National forests. 7,059 acres have been involved and mandatory evacuations are in effect. The initial fire was started by lightning on July 30th.  

OES 305

OES (Office of Emergency Services) 305, out of Station 26, Blossom Valley, is being manned by Captain C. Palmore, Engineer D. Leetch, Firefighter T. Welch, and Firefighter/Paramedic S. Duanis.

While Lakeside Fire Protection District is assisting in firefighting activities in the northern part of the State, community services (medical/fire protection) will not be impacted.

Post by M. Brown, LVG


Strike Team OES

The River Complex fire is at 12,524 acres with containment at 8%. Line construction will be the main objective in the next few days. 

Crews heading up steep terrain

Photos by Engineer D. Leetch and Captain C. Palmore

Strike Team 6440C Reassigned to Rocky Fire

Lakeside, CA -

On Monday, August 3, 2015, Strike Team 6440C, Lakeside Fire's Brush 1 and 4107 (Capt Hisaw), was demobilized from the Willow Fire and reassigned to the Rocky Fire. The Rocky Fire has charred over 60,000 acres, destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings. The fire started July 29th and is 12% contained. The area has no fire history and very heavy fuels. Mandatory evacuations are in place for over 5,530 homes. Fire official's are calling this fire unprecedented.

CAL FIRE is managing the wildfire and up-to-date information can be found here.

Post by M. Brown, LVG

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Strike Team Mobilized for Willow Fire

Lakeside, CA -

Around 0100 last night Strike Team 6440C,  with Heartland resources including Lakeside Brush 1, was mobilized to aid in the fire attack on the Willow Fire (Sierra National Forest) located near Bass Lake and northeast of North Fork, California. The fire started July 25th and has affected 3,383 acres and is currently 30% contained. A total of 1,545 personnel are on the fire lines. Weather forecast today is for dry thunderstorms and possible monsoonal moisture Friday and Saturday. Personnel from Station 1 and assigned to Brush Rig 1 are Captain Ian Lowe, Engineer Shawn McKenna and Firefighter/Paramedic Brandon Battaglia. Captain John Hisaw is also assigned as a Strike Team trainee.

Post by M. Brown, LVG

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lakeside Fire Joins Attack on Cutca Wildfire

Lakeside, CA -

In the early morning of July 25, 2015, Water Tender 7251, out of Station 2, was called up to be a part of a multi-agency attack on the wildfire in the Cleveland National Forest. The Cutca fire began at 4:00 pm on Friday, July 24. The fire is located in a steep and inaccessible terrain east of Cutca Valley and south of Long Canyon, two (2) miles north of the Palomar Observatory. No structures have been threatened.  This area has no history of fire activity. The fire is currently 50% contained and crews are mopping up.

Water Tender 7251 was released last night as the fire started to wind down.

Monday, July 27, 2015

How is your defensible space?

Lakeside, CA -

While we enjoyed the recent rains, the impact of a four year drought is still with us. Historically, our fire season is in the months of September, October and November. Maintaining defensible space is a year long effort during this potential dangerous drought. Now is the time to take a look around your property to ensure you have protected your home. Removing dry leaves from the yard, roof and gutters helps to decrease the chance of flying embers igniting your home. There are many other tips found in the above flyer. Remember, if there is a fire, firefighters can safely access the perimeter of your home and defend the property. Make sure you have a wildfire evacuation plan that includes a family communication plan. Additional tips on developing a plan can be found at Ready For Wildfire Website.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Strike Team Dispatched to North Fire

Lakeside, CA -

BR-1 along with crews from Heartland Fire and Barona Fire have been sent to the North Fire (off 1-15) where the fire has burned 3,500 acres and is currently 5% contained.  Good luck to all personnel involved and stay safe!

For information on the fire, click here.

Update 7/19/15:

North Fire is now 60% contained and evacuations have been lifted. Strike Team is being demobilized and heading home.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fourth of July Reminder

Lakeside, Calif. -

The Lakeside Fire Protection District would like to remind everyone that all consumer fireworks are illegal in San Diego County. 

In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. Our extremely dry conditions mean that even one small spark can start a brush fire, destroying homes, and, most importantly, lives.

To see a list of where to go in San Diego to watch commercial fireworks, click here.

Remember to have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Women's Club of Lakeside Welcomes Search Dog

Lakeside, Calif.-

The Women's Club of Lakeside held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2015, and invited Engineer Rich Smith from Station 3 to give an overview of Lakeside Fire Protection District's search dog program.  The Women's Club has chosen the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF) for a fundraising event in September.  Bella, a purebred Labrador retriever, is a member of Lakeside Fire and a part of the NDSDF.  Her handler, Engineer Smith, gave an excellent presentation of the program and the path of becoming a handler.

Engineer Rich Smith

The NDSDF was formed after the bombing in Oklahoma City. A need was identified by the founder, also a K9 handler, to have more canine search teams, not only for violent attacks but also for natural disasters. The first training facility was at Sundowners Kennels in Gilroy, CA.  How are the dogs chosen?  Each week throughout the country, teams go to nearby animal shelters and test which dogs might have the propensity for focused attention, obedience to commands and a "high drive."  Generally, these dogs are from the retriever family, whether pure bred or mixed breed.  Most of the time the dogs are days from being euthanized.  After being rescued from the animal shelter, the dog is vet checked, hips x-rayed, and sometimes sent to a "surrogate" family to learn basic obedience for a short period, until they can be delivered to the newly constructed, multi-million dollar National Training Center (NTC) in Ojai, CA to start the formal NDSDF program, which takes approximately 8-12 months. To fully train a dog the cost is approximately $100,000. When the dog completes the training, handlers are invited to the NTC to be matched to a dog by the trainers. The dog then continues to train with their handler and the goal is to become FEMA certified within the following year.  Every three (3) years, the search team has to be recertified.  In San Diego, attached to USAR California Task Force 8, there are only five (5) FEMA certified dogs, and are assigned to fire departments in San Diego County.   Each month, the handlers meet in various locations to practice honing the dog's skills by finding people in simulated natural disasters.  While Bella is not a family pet, she receives much attention (and love) by fellow firefighters at Station 3.

Bella and Engineer Smith will be demonstrating search skills during our Open House at Station 3 in October. 

Engineer Smith, Bella, and Barbara Whitlock of the 
Women's Club of Lakeside

For more information on the Women's Club of Lakeside fundraising event, click here.

Story and Photos by M. Brown, Lakeside LVG