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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Carmageddon Updates and the #LAFD Motorcycle Response Team

 Most Recent Update 405 Closure: 4-16-11 1100hrs - NO TRAFFIC PROBLEMS REPORTED - The Unified Command Center would like to say  "Great job Los Angeles." 
 "Thank you for staying out of the closure area. The project is on schedule thanks to the public’s cooperation."
 But they ask that the public not get complacent.
"There’s a long weekend ahead of us. It is of critical importance that commuters continue to avoid the area. This is a great weekend to get on your bike, take a walk and shop locally."
  • Freeway was successfully closed without incident
  • Traffic control is in all places
  • Protective dirt cover is completed
  • Nearly done slotting top deck on center span
  • Very close to demo of girders using high rise hoe rams from below
  • Work continues on schedule
Mulholland Bridge destruction
Credit:  @Kevin Takumi on Twitpic
 405 Closure: July 15, 2011 through July 18, 2011, the North and Southbound I-405 Freeway and the Mulholland Drive overpass in both directions, will be closed for up to 53 continuous hours. This, due to the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge overpass. The closure may cause widespread and heavy traffic congestion through the Sepulveda Pass and outlying neighborhoods. Consequently, these conditions may impact the response of emergency vehicles into those areas and could have the potential to cause delays in providing medical assistance to residents and passersby.
When: As a reminder, on-ramp and off-ramp closures are scheduled to begin as early as 7pm on Friday, July 15, 2011. Freeway lane closures will begin, one-by-one, starting at 10pm, in order to achieve a "full closure" by midnight, July 16, 2011. The "full-closure" will remain in effect until Monday, July 18, 2011, until approximately 5am, when I-405 is scheduled to re-open. All ramps and connectors are scheduled to be re-opened by 6am.

LAFD Motorcycle Response Team
Credit: LAFD flickr account link
LAFD Motorcycle Response Team
Our continuous efforts to maintain high standards of service and lower response times, challenge us to be both innovative and consistent. To that end, the LAFD has developed a unique response team for these locations, that will make its debut this weekend. Motorcycle Response Teams ("Motor Teams") will be deployed at two different locations (Fire Stations 99 & 109) to enhance our service to these affected areas.

Riding Kawasaki KLX 650 motorcycles (kindly on-loan for the weekend from our friends at Kawasaki Motor Corp.), our Firefighter/EMTs will have the ability to more easily move through traffic enroute to an emergency incident. A two-member team (one team = two motorcycles, each with one Firefighter/EMT) will be strategically placed on both the East and West sides of the I-405 freeway. These teams will also patrol their assigned areas, providing up-to-the-minute intelligence on access and egress issues, as well as continuous monitoring of alternate response routes.

Each Motor Team will be equipped with a cache of Basic Life Support (BLS) equipment, to include an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), oxygen, other essential medical equipment and supplies to handle most medical incidents, until additional assistance arrives. As these motorcycles will be patrolling a largely "brush area," they will also be equipped with "saddle bags" to allow for the stowing of a fire shelter and some brush firefighting personal protective equipment. Each "rider" will also have a GPS unit attached to the motorcycle, a radio and Departmental maps.

Upon an emergency or medical incident, the Motor Team will take appropriate action in managing the incident and rendering basic medical care, as necessary. The Teams offer our response, safe and quick maneuverability, flexibility and the opportunity to render continuous care until a patient is transferred to another LAFD resource for transport. These motorcycles are not equipped with lights or sirens and therefore, will respond with caution. The Motor Teams will be deployed during daylight hours only, from 6:00am - 9:00pm on both Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

It should be noted, this is a "pilot program" only and may or may not be continued, based largely on the success of the program over this weekend. Future use of the "Motor Teams" may include deployment at large scale incidents up to and including earthquakes, brush fires and in times of high hazard, extreme weather conditions.

LAFD I-405 Freeway Closure - Update

By now, most Los Angeles residents (and even some of our visitors) are aware that the Los Angeles County Metro Agency is currently working on a significant project involving the I-405 Freeway. A HOV lane is being added on the northbound I-405 Freeway from the I-10 to the US 101. To accomplish this, the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of the Mulholland Drive Bridge, will require a full freeway closure of both the I-405 Freeway and the Mulholland Drive overpass in both directions for up to 53 continuous hours. This weekend, July 15 through July 18, it is anticipated that traffic may be backed-up as far as 68 miles to the south and 23 miles to the north.

What is Los Angeles Fire Department is doing:

A Unified Command (incorporating LAFD, CHP, LADOT & LAPD) has been developed to manage all "issues" associated with this freeway closure. The Los Angeles Fire Department is responsible for Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services within, what Unified Command is referring to, as an "Operational Area." This will effectively capture all of the impacted areas up and down the I-405 Freeway.

The LAFD has developed a "response plan" to address the potential for increased response times that may result from the I-405 Freeway closure. The LAFD will strategically pre-deploy and also staff, additional resources consisting of trucks, engines and other Fire apparatus to handle all emergencies throughout the Sepulveda pass area. An additional 200 Firefighters will be deployed as follows:
Mulholland Bridge destruction on Twitpic
Mountain Gate - 1 Engine, 2 Rescue Ambulance, Brush Patrol.
Bel Air Crest - 1 Engine, 2 Rescue Ambulance, Brush Patrol.
Fire Station 99 - 1 Truck Company, 3 Engine Companies, 2 Rescue Ambulance, 1 Brush Patrol,
1 Motorcycle Recon Team, 1 Water Tender and 1 Battalion Chief.
Fire Station 109 - 1 Truck Company, 3 Engine Companies, 2 Rescue Ambulance, 1 Brush Patrol, 1 Motorcycle Recon Team, 1 Water Tender and 1 Battalion Chief.
Fire Station 59 -  3 Engine Companies and 1 Battalion Chief.
Fire Station 19 - 1 additional Engine Company.
Fire Station 69 - 1 additional Engine Company.
Fire Station 71 - 1 additional Engine Company.
Air Operations - 1 additional Air Ambulance (helicopter).
As always, the LAFD will work in conjunction with with Los Angeles County DHS to ensure the best possible patient care and will closely monitor any transportation issues, as well as hospital availability.

More Information:

Click here for detour maps, closure boundaries, and time lapse photography of the demolition.
Click here for real time traffic conditions on the regional alternate freeways.
Click here for updated messages via twitter.

To follow the construction progress, visit
For the latest traffic information visit

Remember Metro’s Red/Purple subway lines, Metro Orange line are offering free service to riders. In addition, twenty-six metro bus lines on the west side are offering free rides to get around the closure area.

Compiled from information released by:
Erik Scott & Matthew Spence, Spokesmen
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department
200 N. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 485-5162
Emergency Public Information (EPI) Center

Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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