Thursday, August 23, 2007

WeHo Fire...

Don't have any good pics to share on this one, but that probably means I'm not looking hard enough (There is an embedded video on KABC's site. I noticed the smoke from the Micky's gay bar fire about right as the call was going out over LACoFD's Blue 8. Classic clusterfuck on the County's part, but only because of the horrible geographic island that West Hollywood sits on.

The two WeHo stations were quickly committed and LAFD E41 made a fast appearance on scene, along with BHFD E1, E3, T4 and Batt. 1. LACoFD moved units in from Inglewood and Baldwin Hills and East LA, I believe. I craned my neck out of my office window just in time to see an LACoFD engine (171's?) moving Code 3 up San Vicente Boulevard. It gave me the first glimpse of the County's new fluorescent yellow chevrons on the back of the Engine. Ugh.

They got the fire knocked down in a reasonable amount of time, but the highlight of the radio traffic was hearing BHFD's Assistant Chief and the on-duty Batt. 1 BC bitching at each other about the city's resources being used at the WeHo fire. So, eager Batt. 1 rightly committed his three BHFD resources (including the city's only Aerial truck) to mutual aid on this ripping commercial structure. The AC got on the radio and asked when the BH resources were going to be available and was super pissed when the BC told him they were all working the fire, leaving only two engines (E2 and E5) and both BHFD RA's (RA1 and RA2) available for the whole city.

Folks, 1.) this is more fire than BHFD has seen all year so the lucky on-duty crews at Engines 1 and 3 and Truck 4 were totally psyched to be catching some fire after spending most of their days picking old people up from various positions on the floor. 2.) That's what "mutual aid" means--it doesn't mean send your shiny, expensive and almost brand-new fire engines to the scene of a commercial structure with limited County resources available and have them sit at staging. 3.) The city of BH was not going to burn down and if it did, LAFD can throw at least two task forces and three engines that basically border the city at any big fire that came down the wire (especially since BHFD screams for LAFD task forces on big fires anyway).

There was also a big brusher going on out in Hacienda Heights at the same time, so the LACoFD radio traffic was a bit confusing and hectic.

Good times.

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