Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back in Business...

So I've been out of town for the last four weekends in a row (and many weekdays, too) to places near and far. Didn't see too much in the way of public safety action on my travels except a pretty serious looking bunch of dudes who are "volunteer" firefighters in the fine city of Kyoto, Japan; some crazy Japanese ambulances rolling Code 3 through the streets of Tokyo; and a whole bunch of Massachusetts State Troopers doing their radar thing along the Mass. Pike this last weekend. Luckily, my turquoise Toyota Corolla didn't actually go fast enough to be a threat.

A few items on my mind:

1. It is fucking hot outside. Like mid-summer, shrivel up and die hot. Not only is it wreaking havoc on my backyard plants, but it's causing the scanner to jump and bump like it's mid-August. Last night saw a cavalcade of the usual mid-summer bullshit with drunks, fights, robberies and a few little brushers and stucture fires thrown in for good measure.

2. I missed two incidents of some note on the fire side: A big tarpot lit-off at a City facility in North Hollywood on April 10. Though it put on a good show with lots of smoke and fire, the location was literally right around the corner from FS60, so folks were on scene fast and things got knocked down. The second was this big-time fire at a 10,000 sq.-foot mansion out in unincorporated Chatsworth the other night. LA City, County and Ventura County units rolled into. The fire was blasting through the roof when units arrived (some good photos on LAFD's flickr, and probably elsewhere on the Internets). One FF suffered a broken ankle and another was txspt'd with general malaise. I guess the homeowners have a big winery operation and the house was a total loss. With the various water pressure problems et al., the firefight resembled one of those big multi-agency vollie responses out in the boonies somewhere, where it takes nine fire agencies 12 hours to put down a house fire. Other news outlets are reporting today that the initial alarm call was delayed because the home's security system hadn't been re-programmed to dial the "1-818" 10-digit sequence of numbers that went into effect last week.

3. A bunch of random fatal fires within LA, including a luxury Motor Home in South LA and an old man in a house in the classy Brentwood neighborhood of the city.

4. The LAFD has filled the vacant PSO position down in OCD on the "A" shift with a firefighter named Devin Gales. I didn't catch an official announcement of his appointment on the LAFD blog, but I may have missed it. Mr. Gales replaces Ron Myers who promoted to Captain I and is now working at Station 90 out in sweltering Van Nuys.

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