Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fire Service Day

Ooooooh weeeee! Has it really been that long since I last posted here? Shit. That's pathetic.

No time like the annual Fire Service Day here in SoCal to resume posting then, no? On this day last year I was wandering around downtown Santa Barbara, enjoying that city fire department's fine display of apparatus--including an airport crash truck. One year later and lots of life changes; so I decided to hit up a local 7-Eleven and buy a few quarts of "cream" for the boys (and girl) at my local FS 58. They were most appreciative as I spent about an hour getting my fix of LAFD Task Forces up close. Of course, I was hoping a call would drop so I could hear the computerized dispatch system up close, but no such luck. The "rider's curse" was in full effect.

Still, it was nice to hang out at a station fora little while surrounded by all that red metal. After that, headed over to Beverly Hills FD HQ, where there were about 600 little kids scattered all over the station and in front on Rexford Drive. Took a quick spin through the station (spent a lot more time there last year) and saw them giving rides to kiddies on BH's sick USAR rig.

Hope to be back on here more often than I've been this year. But, I've said that a few times before, too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Must Be...

...the end of the month. BHPD was out in force today on traffic citation detail. They were even checking maximum operating weights on random commercial vehicles they spotted throughout the city. Heard lots of cites being dished out and one dude got popped this morning for misdemeanor dope possession. Fill those coffer$ boys.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Monte Carlo Miracle

My man DK v.1 mentioned this and so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on last Friday's fire at the Monte Carlo in Vegas. When a friend emailed me with the news and told me to turn on CNN, the first images that reached mine eyes were two large, black loom-ups hundreds of yards apart at the top of the building.

These columns of smoke were being fed by columns of bright orange fire, not a grey wisp of smoke in sight. Grey smoke = water on the fire. So, I immediately thought back to the MGM Grand and other disasters of the 1970s and 80s. Since the fire was clearly and quickly only burning the facade and rooms at the top of the hotel, I actually thought egress and evacuation wouldn't be a problem. It was mid-morning, off-peak in Vegas, so I didn't forsee hundreds of trapped folks like big Vegas fires of yore.

I did, however, expect the hotel-casino to burn intensely for many hours and the property to be seriously damaged. Therefore, I was duly impressed by the performance of the Clark County Fire Department that morning. They got lots of resources to the scene and up 32 flights of stairs to the roof extremely expeditiously.

When they had the fire darkened down in the better part of 45 minutes, I was even more surprised. Clearly, Las Vegas' stunningly rapid growth--and the concurrent growth of its county fire department--allowed for more fire suppression resources to be available than in years past.

When I was in paramedic school many years ago we lost a classmate after the second week to the literal siren's call of the CCFD. I assume, if he made it out of his probie year that he is at least an engineer there by now, if not a captain.

Anyway, good on the CCFD.

p.s. Their Web site is pretty slick, including an open incident CAD (cough, cough).

More Rain?

Hard to believe with the crystal clear blue skies above that another Pacific storm is heading our way. This one is allegedly coming from the southwest and pulling up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

Surprisingly, though it's been a few years since we've had rains like this, the L.A. basin has remained mostly intact. The mountains have been hammered with snow and Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have gotten big rains, but no dramatic rescues from the Sepulveda Basin yet by the LAFD.

Maybe tonight's the night all the burn areas and Griffith Park finally give way. Let's hope not (also let's hope my house doesn't float far the new drains work beautifully!).

Another Reason... love Los Angeles County. Just a few months ago, firefighters from LACoFD were battling major brush fires in a variety of locales. Yesterday, the County's Urban Search & Rescue rig (pictured above) was up in Wrightwood, deep in the snow searching for Southern California avalanche victims.

It's an only in L.A. public safety moment.

photo: Irfan Khan/LA Times

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Year, Same Blog

Back in business after losing my momentum over the holidays. But it's been a busy month or so in SoCal Scannerland...fires, rains, mudslides, lots of good PD action; the whole shebang, as it were.

A few odds and ends:

--I have two good friends with the initials D.K. One's a frequent commenter on C6C and makes his current home in Hawaii. The D.K. and I go back about 10 years to our days in paramedic school. Saw him tonight for the first time in a few years and it was great to catch up. He gave me a good refresher on where some of the more "interesting" characters from my time up in NorCal ended up. Let me just say there weren't many surprises.

--This is a few months old, but was cruising by the semi-annual Beverly Hills art fair and saw a few BHPD officers cruising the park on Segways. Yikes.

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