Saturday, March 28, 2015

LODD Memorial Service Today Honors Pinole Fire Captain Who Died Of Brain Cancer #CAFire

LODD Memorial Service Saturday Honors Pinole Fire Captain Who Died Of Brain Cancer



The memorial service is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, followed by a memorial service at Pinole fire station 74, located at 3700 Pinole Valley Road.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the University of California at San Francisco Brain Tumor Research Center through the UCSF Foundation. Donations can be made online or checks can be mailed to UCSF Foundation, P.O. Box 45339 in San Francisco.

PINOLE (BCN) — After more than three decades of service, a Pinole fire captain will be honored Saturday for his dedication to protecting the city and surrounding area and for his advocacy for fire service.
Fire Capt. Rich Voisey died earlier this month after a nearly two-year battle with brain cancer. He is receiving the full line-of-duty death honors, said Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. Vincent Wells.
Wells said that because firefighters experience a higher rate of cancer-related deaths than in other occupations, the state of California recognizes cancer as a work-related injury.
“We treat it just like he died in a fire,” Wells said. Wells got to know Voisey when they were both working as district representatives for the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County Local 1230 union, where Wells is now president.
Voisey, who boasted a bright smile, handlebar mustache and bald head, was best known to those closest to him as a tireless advocate for his fellow firefighters, a man who was outspoken and passionate about firefighter safety.
“He was one of the most caring guys,” said Pinole Fire Department acting Capt. Charles “Chuck” Thompson. “He really stood up for his profession in trying to always make our department better.”
He was completely dedicated to his family – his wife and three children – and his “fire family,” Pinole fire Capt. John Madigan said.
“We spend a great deal of our lives together,” Madigan said. “So you have your family and your fire family and he was passionate about both.”
He was a leader in the department, his coworkers said.
“He wanted to make sure that guys were safe. That was one of his driving forces, to make sure that we finished our shifts and got to go home safe to our families,” Madigan said.
Voisey served on the leadership board of Local 1230, eventually rising to the rank of vice president, Wells said. He was relentless in advocating for the construction of Pinole fire station 74, which was built to serve citizens in Pinole Valley, where there was no fire station.
Although the station was shuttered in 2011 due to budget constraints, Madigan said it is a monument to Voisey’s efforts. It’s fitting that the station will serve as the location for the memorial reception, he said.
“It’s a monument to Rich for the family,” Madigan said. “They were all exposed to his fight for that station to better serve the citizens of Pinole Valley.”
A true family man, when Voisey was diagnosed with brain cancer, Wells said he established a few goals for himself in his remaining days. One was to see his daughter get married and the other was to see his son graduate from college. He was able to do both of those things, Wells said.
“After those two major events, there were a lot of challenges with his health,” Wells said. “Not too long after that, everything started turning for the worst.”
Voisey’s death was hard on the department, Thompson said. “It’s a big loss for everyone here. He was a big part of everyone’s life,” Thompson said. “He was one of our leaders. It’s a big loss when you lose one of your main people.”
Outside of the fire station, Thompson said Voisey was an avid fly fisherman who enjoyed camping and riding motorcycles. He was an unwavering Raiders fan, Madigan said.
Wells said Voisey was the kind of person who would always look out for other people first. True to form, when he died, Voisey made sure his body would be donated to a cancer research center.
“The way his body responded to some of the treatment was unusual, so he donated his body for cancer research with the hope that they could learn something to help someone else,” Wells said. “That’s just the kind of guy he was.”
Voisey is survived by his wife, Nancy, his daughters Sasia and Sarah, his son, Joshua, and granddaughter, Autumn.

Source: http://kron4.com/2015/03/28/memorial-service-saturday-honors-pinole-fire-captain-who-died-of-brain-cancer/
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Teen Girl Convicted for Setting San Diego County 2014 Cocos Fire #CocosFire #CAFire


Teen Convicted for Setting Destructive San Diego County Fire

MAR 25, 2015 SAN DIEGO (AP) — A judge on Tuesday found a 14-year-old girl guilty of arson for igniting a branch in her backyard that caused last year's devastating wildfire in San Diego County.
Judge Howard Shore found the girl was guilty of multiple felony counts of arson and one misdemeanor count of unlawfully allowing a fire to escape one's control, said Steve Walker of the San Diego County District Attorney's office. Her attorney, Ryan McGlinn, did not immediately return a message for comment.
During the two-week trial, prosecutors argued that the girl ignited branches amid a spate of wildfires in the county and laughed about it when she told her sister. An ember traveled nearly a half-mile and ignited the Cocos Fire that destroyed 36 homes, they said.
A hearing to decide her punishment will be scheduled next month. It wasn't immediately known what penalty she might face.
Mitizi McKinney, whose apartment burned in the Cocos Fire, said it was a sad outcome for all.
"Like the judge says, there's no winners in this," McKinney told KNSD-TV, (http://bit.ly/1EO31an ) outside the courtroom. "It's a sad situation. But I feel like justice was definitely served today. The evidence was overwhelming that she started the fire that burned all the homes down."
Restitution for victims is possible, and the parents of the girl could be responsible, though only to a limited dollar amount, according to KSND-TV.
The girl told investigators she "didn't want to kill anybody" — only to "see what would happen" when she set the first of two fires in her backyard, according to an audio tape played in court on Monday
Source: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - http://www.firehouse.com/news/11897271/teen-convicted-for-setting-destructive-san-diego-county-fire
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Pregnant Woman Serious After Crash Involving Code 3 LACFD EMS Squad #CAFire


Pregnant Woman Serious After Crash with Calif. Fire Truck


A pregnant woman is in serious condition after being ejected during a collision with a Los Angeles County fire truck.

The collision happened around 2:08 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, in the intersection of 10th Street West and Newgrove Street. A fire utility truck was westbound on Newgrove Street with lights and sirens activated, and the car that failed to yield was southbound on 10th Street West, sheriff’s officials said. (Photo by LUIS MEZA)
The crash happened around 2 p.m. in Lancaster, according to the Antelope Valley Times. The small, squad-type vehicle was responding to a medical call with its lights and sirens activated.

The driver of the fire truck stopped on the red light and was proceeding through traffic when the crash happened.

“The Toyota Avalon changed lanes from the No. 2 to the No. 3 lane to pass the stopped vehicles and collided into the emergency vehicle in the intersection,” Detective Michael Politano of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station told the newspaper.

The car crashed into a phone pole and the pregnant woman, who was in the back of the car, was ejected.

“According to witnesses, it looked like the car was going rather fast, but the witnesses were all stopped for the emergency vehicle and this other car did not,” Sgt. David Jennings of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station said.

“The law clearly states that when an emergency vehicle approaches, you’re supposed to move over to the right and stop,” Jennings said. “I can’t say what’s going through this person’s mind, whether he just didn’t hear or see the emergency vehicle, but it does tend to be a problem in these busy streets here in the Antelope Valley.”

The driver and passenger of the Toyota, along with the firefighter, were transported to the hospital for their injuries.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Charges Thrown Out For SFFD Firefighter Accused of DUI Injury Accident #CAFire

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST SF FIREFIGHTER WHO HIT MOTORCYCLIST

The San Francisco firefighter accused of being drunk and causing a crash had criminal charges against him dropped.
Charges were thrown out for the San Francisco firefighter accused of being drunk and causing a serious crash. The judge handed down the decision on Friday saying there was a lack of evidence.

However, with video evidence some are asking how could this happen? This is a story the ABC7 News I-Team has been investigating for months.

This is a surprising decision because prosecutors have disturbing video of the crash and ABC7 News was told there was video of the firefighter chugging pitchers water in a nearby restaurant after the crash, in an apparent attempt to sober up.

Video of the crash, that happened on June 23, 2013, shows motorcyclist Jack Frazier has the green light. The fire truck driven by, then-firefighter Michael Quinn, has emergency lights and sirens on, but doesn't slow down to make sure the intersection is clear. The 32-ton ladder truck slams into Frazier, his motorcycle and his body flies into the curb and a hydrant.

ABC7 News spoke to Frazier's attorney by phone. Chuck Koro said, "I'm extremely disappointed and angry."

Koro is an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accident cases. He is currently suing the city of San Francisco and Michael Quinn who has since quit the fire department.

Quinn had been facing felony DUI charges, but there were problems with the evidence. The judge dismissed breathalyzer tests, given by Quinn's fellow firefighters after the crash because their equipment was not properly calibrated. That meant police officers had no probable cause to arrest Quinn and administer a blood test, which itself was not useful in this case because blood wasn't administered until six hours after the crash.

Frazier's attorney quickly questioned why Quinn didn't face different charges. Koro said, "They never charged him with felony hit and run, which to me was a slam dunk."

After this horrific crash, witnesses told the I-Team that the Chieftain Bar and Pub has surveillance video of Quinn being given lots of water inside the business, possibly by fellow firefighters. Koro told ABC7 News Quinn didn't return to talk with San Francisco police for two hours.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office issued a short statement after Friday's dismissal saying, "We completely disagree with the decision and are exploring all appellate options."

Quinn had been out on bail and walked out of court Friday a free man.
Source Article KGO: http://abc7news.com/news/charges-dropped-against-sf-firefighter-who-hit-motorcyclist/567543/
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CA-YNP Soupbowl B Prescribed Fire 111 acres - Yosemite National Park #CAFire #YNP

CA-YNP Soupbowl B Prescribed Burn - Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, Prescribed FireYosemite National park will continue the second phase of a prescribed fire in the Wawona area, near the South Entrance, Thursday, March 19.

 The prescribed fire will include 111 acres of a 533 acre project.  The first 60 acres were burned at the end of February.  During active burning, smoke may be present along the Wawona Road and in the community of Wawona.  

Vehicle One way traffic control will be implemented through the entirety of the burn, which is expected to be complete by Monday, March 23.  Park employees and visitors are urged to drive slowly and with caution as there may be fire equipment and personnel on the roadways.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

LAFD News: Chief Testified At Parole Hearing For Convicted Arsonist Responsible For LAFD LODD #CAFire

CHIEF TERRAZAS TESTIFIES AGAINST PAROLE OF ARSONIST CONVICTED IN BLAZE THAT KILLED LAFD FIREFIGHTER


SACRAMENTO – Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas on Wednesday testified at a parole hearing against the release of a convicted arsonist responsible for the death of LAFD Apparatus Operator Thomas G. Taylor. 

Chief Terrazas was joined by Captain Frank Lima, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) Local 112, and other members of the Department, at the parole hearing of Mario Catanio, who was convicted of starting a fire at a North Hollywood restaurant on January 28, 1981, that claimed the life of Apparatus Operator Thomas. The 34-year-old Thomas was married and had two young children at the time. 

Catanio was sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison in 1983 after he was found guilty of being paid $2,500 to burn down the restaurant in an insurance fraud scheme. Catanio has been eligible for parole since 2004 and the LAFD, its labor partners and local elected officials have consistently fought against his release.

Chief Terrazas on Wednesday presented the Parole Board with a petitioned signed by more than 1,200 active duty LAFD members arguing against Catanio’s release.

“We do not let the passage of time dim the memory of our fallen firefighter or our commitment to ensuring that justice continues to be served in the wake of such a heinous crime,” Chief Terrazas told the Board. “It takes very little effort to start a fire and, Catanio has shown no remorse, so there is nothing that says he is unwilling or incapable of doing it again.” 

Chief Terrazas also stressed to the Board the serious nature of arson and that the LAFD takes every instance of the crime seriously. “The citizens of Los Angeles, and indeed the entire state of California, must understand that deliberately setting even what they think is the smallest of fires can have devastating consequences,” he added. 

Captain Lima, President of UFLAC, told the Parole Board, “Because of Inmate Catanio’s crime, a department lost our brother, a father lost his son, a wife lost her husband, and two young children lost their father forever. Do not allow a convicted arsonist who committed murder to be granted parole. It’s simply not fair to so many people who have lost so much over the years. Keep Mario Catanio in prison.” 

Photo Credit: California Professional Firefighters - Help Keep A Murderous L.A. www.cpf.org


More Information: Catanio set the hellish fire at Cugee's Coffee Shop in North Hollywood on January 28, 1981, after being paid $2,500 by the restaurant's owners. Brother Taylor was one of the firefighters responding to the scene, and died a horrific death falling through the collapsed roof, leaving behind a wife and two sons. Catanio, then a 42-year-old barber in Van Nuys, was arrested eight months later. He was sentenced in 1983 to 25 years to life in prison for murder and federal mail fraud.
Since 2004, Catanio has applied to be released but been denied parole. In 2012, the State Parole Board granted his parole request, but Governor Jerry Brown overturned the parole, citing Catanio's continued risk to society.
"For someone to murder any firefighter because of a crime like arson takes it to a whole new level," said Capt. Frank Lima, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112. "Firefighters always stick together and look out for each other, and if we do that again, this criminal will stay where he belongs -- behind bars."


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Monday, March 9, 2015

CAL FIRE LODD Alma Helitack Base Pilot “Jerry” Bonner. 72, in Santa Clara County


CAL FIRE LODD
We are saddened to report the passing of CAL FIRE H-106 Pilot Jerold “Jerry” Bonner. Jerry, 72, of Helendale, was found deceased inside the barracks on Friday while on duty at our Alma Helitack Base in Santa Clara County. It has been determined that he died of heart related natural causes. 

Jerry served with CAL FIRE as a helicopter pilot for nearly 16 years and was a U.S. Navy veteran. In honor of Pilot Bonner, Governor Brown has ordered Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff. Please join us in sending thoughts and prayers to his family and his crew as they grieve this tragic loss.

CAL FIRE Link: 
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Sunday, March 1, 2015

NASA FIRMS: CALIFORNIA MODIS MAP 4 FIRE DETECTION'S


NASA FIRMS: CALIFORNIA MODIS MAP4 FIRE DETECTION'S


Your Area of Interest (Coordinates) : -132.25, 24.41, -111.4, 43.03

Fires detected over the past 24 hours in your area-of-interest : 4

(NOTE: Cloud cover might obscure active fire detections. The fire points will be listed only when the total number of active fires detected is less than or equal to 50)

generated on 2015-03-01, 10:15:49 UTC
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LAFD Moves to Correct Regulatory Violations #CAFire


[LAFD] Los Angeles Fire Department Moves to Correct Regulatory Violations



LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has been moving aggressively to correct regulatory violations cited by the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) related to the Department’s administration and oversight of the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) since November of 2014.

The LAFD’s CUPA is administered through the Fire Prevention Bureau. The CUPA is responsible for applying statewide standards to facilities within its jurisdiction that treats or generates hazardous waste, operates underground storage tanks, or stores hazardous materials. In a long-term examination of the Department’s CUPA program, Cal EPA found several violations, largely related to incomplete record-keeping and data collection, outdated technology, and a failure to correct seven previous record-keeping violations in the past three years.

Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas has instructed Deputy Chief John Vidovich, the Department’s new Fire Marshal, (who was appointed on September 21, 2014), to conduct an immediate overhaul of the CUPA. After these past mistakes came to Chief Vidovich's attention, he promptly began working with Cal EPA on a detailed plan to correct the violations and will provide the agency with routine progress reports. Since November 2014, the LAFD has been moving to strengthen CUPA leadership, augment staffing, and determine what technology and data management upgrades and oversight are necessary to bring CUPA into full compliance.

“Public Safety is the LAFD’s number one priority and the public must have confidence that the Department is performing to the highest standard in all aspects of our operations,” said Chief Terrazas. “I am disappointed that we lost focus of our CUPA mission, but am confident in the positive steps we are taking to correct these mistakes and in the dedicated men and women in the Fire Prevention Bureau who are tasked with making these improvements.”

“Cal EPA appreciates the LAFD’s recent efforts to work toward correction of the program deficiencies,” said Jim Bohon, Assistant Secretary of Cal EPA.
-- 
Respectfully,


"Serving with Courage, Integrity and Pride"

Public Service Officer
Emergency Public Information (EPI) Center
Los Angeles Fire Department
500 East Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

CA-YNP - Yosemite National Park Prescribed Fire Scheduled


Prescribed Fire Scheduled in Yosemite National ParkBurn Scheduled for Wawona and South Entrance Area 

Yosemite National Park is planning a prescribed fire in the Wawona area, near the South Entrance.  The fire is planned for tomorrow, Thursday, February 26, 2015 and will include 533 acres.  The first segment of the burn will consist of 60 acres.  The completion of the remaining 473 acres will occur throughout the month of March, weather dependent, concluding no later than Monday, March 30, 2015.  

The prescribed fire is scheduled to occur just prior to precipitation in the Yosemite area.  The burn area does not have a history of prescribed fire treatment on record.  However, 200 feet of understory vegetation has previously been thinned to facilitate the use of the road as a fuel break. 

The primary objective of the prescribed fire is to reduce hazardous vegetation (fuel) around the community of Wawona.  The project will also help protect park infrastructure at the South Entrance Station and reduce the threat of wildfires originating along the Wawona Road that could adversely impact the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.  Through this burn, a continuous fuel break will be created between the community of Wawona and the South Entrance, linking multiple previous fires, including prescribed fires and thinning projects. 

Further objectives of the project include ecosystem restoration.  Prescribed fires mimic the frequent, low intensity lightning caused fires that occur naturally in the Yosemite area.  Historically, natural fire burned an average of 16,000 acres annually in Yosemite.  These fires played an integral role in shaping Yosemite’s ecosystem.  In the absence of fire, unnatural levels of forest fuel can accumulate, placing Yosemite’s natural and cultural values at risk.  

During active burning, smoke may be present along the Wawona Road and in the community of Wawona.  Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution District (MCAPCD) to time the project to coincide with favorable weather that will facilitate good air quality, and disperse smoke into the atmosphere away from the community.  Prior to ignition, smoke monitoring equipment will be installed in the community and a burn permit will be issued to the park by MCAPCD. 

Visitors and employees are urged to drive with caution as firefighters, fire equipment, smoke, and debris may be present along the roadway. 
Fire crews from the National Park Service, CAL FIRE, and the U.S. Forest Service are assisting in this prescribed fire.  
For more information about fire management in Yosemite National Park, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm 

Yosemite News Release
February 25, 2015
For Immediate Release 

Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0529
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529
Ashley Mayer 209-372-0824 
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