Thursday, May 14, 2009

Urban Paramedic

Blogs didn't exist during my glory days in EMS. If they had, I'm sure I wouldn't have had the patience to write one as well as a longtime medic in Boston who writes other people's emergencies: random thoughts of an urban paramedic.

The medic, who identifies himself on the blog by his initials TS, writes clear, thoughtful and relatively jargon-free posts about his life as a paramedic. It's a consistently good read and reminds me of my years on the job.

These days, I'm too jaded and cynical to approach things as rationally and even-handed as he does. Thus, I salute him and direct you to his blog.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You're LIVE on local news...*

...after you've just arrested a suspect who foot-bailed from his car after a lengthy high-speed pursuit. There are news choppers overhead with their cameras trained on the scene in the backyard as the suspect is proned out. You have just kicked the suspect (in the head) after he's gone down on his own accord. Then he's cuffed.

Do you:

1.) Act professionally, search the suspect for weapons and contraband and then pick him up and walk him to the patrol car; at the same time keeping all of your adrenaline fueled emotions in check?

2.) Do you complete the above-mentioned, but before that, give a high-five to the K-9 officer standing the suspect's feet holding back the dog?

3.) Do you do ALL of what I mention in 1. and 2. but also backslap one of your fellow arresting officers and then proceed to fist-bump another cop who comes up to the scene after the suspect is cuffed?

If you answered #3 then guess what? You're as a big of a FUCKING IDIOT as the El Monte patrol officer who did all of those things on live TV this afternoon. The video is here, as well. It took the media all of about two hours to pick up this angle. One would think that even the dumbest rookie cop in Southern California would know--after so many years of high profile cases of cops doing stupid shit on camera--that this kind of behavior should be avoided.

And, please, spare me the "adrenaline" argument. As true as it may be--cops get amped up during high speed pursuits, etc., etc.--it doesn't tend to pan out against city officials who end up shelling out millions of dollars to asshole criminals and their families just to avoid juries who order them to do the same.

*UPDATE* Unsurprisingly, Johnny Kicks-A-Lot has been re-assigned to desk duty while the El Monte PD and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department run their investigations regarding his behavior.

Jesusita Fire Photos

They're scattered all over the Internets, but this slideshow from the San Jose Mercury News is probably the best I've seen.

photo: Mike Meadows/AP

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gangsters, Party, Rocks, Bottles

This weekend's full moon brought out the typical complement of crazies and things were jumping all over town. The best call I heard (I think it was Friday night) dropped around midnight and came out as a Help Call from the LASD. Apparently, some deputies were trying to break up a gangbanger fiesta down in Lynwood and they began "taking rocks and bottles." They put out the help call and I assume the LAPD came to the rescue, though I didn't bother to drill down to find out.

Also, the ghetto bird clattered loudly over my house on the same night as they busted some dude for beating on his lady about half a block away. The next day his blacked-out Suburban was parked just where they said it would be.

Tweaking My Mission

Made a small change to the masthead, as I've been commenting beyond the niche of scannerland and into public safety writ large over the past few months. Otherwise, it's business as usual here at C6C.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Engine 23 will handle...

With Santa Barbara up in flames and brushers breaking out in Santa Clarita and Yucaipa, everyone's on high alert. So it was unsurprising to hear the brusher call drop for a burn out in ritzy Pacific Palisades and LAFD sent out a full Channel 9 assignment. Enroute, old Engine 23 said they saw some smoke that was more likely a structure than a brusher. A minute later, Engine 23 said they could handle the call. OCD put out the broadcast:

"Units responding to 17420 Camino de Yatasto, Engine 23 will handle.....sandblasting at a mansion."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Santa Barbara Redux

It's only May but things are hot again up in Santa Barbara County. Winds are blowin' again and small brusher that lit off this afternoon has already eaten about 450 acres by 2130 hours. So far, no homes have been lost but up to 2,000 are threatened. The fire started about a mile west of last Fall's nasty Tea fire. A bunch of strike teams have been mobilized and this one has the capability to get ugly, again.

Big Hazmats

Been a rash of fairly dramatic hazmats in recent days. First up was big rig crash on the 405 Freeway in Sherman Oaks that shut the freeway down for many hours and merited a balls-out Hazmat response from the LAFD. The reason: the overturned semi was carrying 8,600 gallons of butane--enough to make the news at 11 if the truck blew up. Good pics over at the LAFD flickr. Then, a few nights later just a few miles south LAFD pushed the big button again when there were abnormally high readings of hydrocarbons coming out of a manhole on Sepulveda Boulevard near Moraga Drive. Sepulveda was shut down for a few hours while the threat was investigated and found to be a big fat nothing--as many Hazmat's are.

Saw a few more cross the wire out in LA County, Pasadena and down in the OC courtesy of
photo: Pullman (WA) FD

Cinco de Drunko

Driving home from a quick dinner and saw two BHPD motor units on traffic stops and didn't know why the motor units were working after dark. Fired up the scanner a little while ago and heard a bunch of BH motor and T-units doing tons of traffic stops...chewed on it for a few minutes and then realized it's Cinco de Drunko. Other than Halloween, New Year's Eve and July 4, there are no better nights to pull traffic enforcement looking for deuces.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A whole slew...

...of new posts coming shortly. For now, content yourself with this ridiculously painful and obvious story courtesy of not one, but two, L.A. Times reporters. They found, lo and behold, that pretty coeds from Santa Barbara who get run down in front of USC in the middle of the night--and have one of the suspects actually get out of the car to throw a victim off the hood--get a shitload of publicity. That publicity leads to an outsized number of LAPD resources being thrown at the case resulting in a quick resolution. However, when some poor Guatemalan immigrant gets rundown on the Eastside on the same day he doesn't get the same star treatment; thus, his case will go unsolved forever. The end.