Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fire and Politics

So there was a ripping Major Emergency Structure Fire in the Jefferson Park area on Tuesday night (7/24). Cheyane Caldwell, the A/O of Truck 26 fell through the roof while doing truck work on the vacant building. Luckily, he was quickly rescued by fellow firefighters. The roof was cleared and the firefighters then went defensive.

Caldwell was initially transported to Cedars and then moved to the burn unit down in Torrance, according to a fairly comprehensive post on the LAFD Blog by Pat Marek--a new name in the spokesman world of the LAFD. (Might mean that longtime PSO Ron Meyers is retiring as d'Lisa Davies recently replaced longtime fixture Jim Wells on the "C" shift. Of course "B" Shift stalwart and star blogger Brian Humphrey ain't goin nowhere!).

Anyway, there are some really high quality pictures taken on scene of the West Adams Boulevard fire by John Conkle hosted over on the LAFD Flickr site.

So I wasn't that surprised when I checked the LAFD blog this morning to see Humphrey's open letter to the California Parole Board asking that they deny release of one Mario Catanio who set the fire that killed another Apparatus Operator who fell through the roof in during a North Hollywood blaze in 1981.

First time I've seen Humphrey (presumably with the full blessing of Department brass) take such a public stance on an issue such as this. Usually, Public Information-y things like "change the smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks" or "Don't play with fireworks," are the message of the day on the Blog.

My brain's a little fried right now, so I don't know what the greater significance of Humphrey's post today means, if there's greater significance at all. Clearly, the close call experienced by A/O Caldwell two days ago brought the issue to the fore today.


Karl said...

I was kind of surprised at the Parole Board post also...but to me it just shows that LAFD doesnt forget their own.

I have this nagging feeling we are seeing the end of an era at LAFD...with certain quarters of the city trying to get civilian dispatchers installed...and I am sure there will be some type of reforms to deal with the costly practical jokes winning the big judgements (which to me is a jury problem, not a joker problem)

(Kind of like the debate of Battallion Chief drivers years ago)

Nathan said...

I think it was good to hear an opinion issued by Brian Humphrey. It is a blog after all!

On a side note, when will they get around to posting the assigned resources for any given incident? I'm looking for specifics rather than counts of companies and FFs...


Anonymous said...

You are right about Humphrey. He ain't going nowhere, but he should be running the LAFD.