At 9:10 AM a man called 9-1-1 stating he saw two people in the LA River holding on to a tree. Firefighters arrived to the 1500 block of San Fernando Road in Cypress Park where they found two adult males, 48 & 49 years old, along with two pit bull dogs stranded. They were holding onto a fallen tree in waist deep cold water that was moving approximately 15 mph. The men appeared to be homeless and live in the area of the rescue site.
Two LAFD helicopters responded, one with hoist capabilities and another for observation, however due to power-lines over the rescue site a hoist operation proved too dangerous. A specialized team of technical swift water rescue firefighters then entered the river, rapidly set up a technical rescue operation with rope systems, and provided the victims life vests and helmets. Multiple other rescue sites were strategically prepared in the event the victims floated downstream. In an effort to assist in the rescue, the victims held tight to their large aggressive dogs while firefighters saved them. The men and dogs were then placed into an inflatable rescue boat and safely brought ashore at approximately 10:15 AM. Once extracted to safety, both patients were medically evaluated by Firefighter Paramedics that were standing by. The men declined transport to the hospital. Dispatched Units: E44 E17 E14 RA14 T21 E25 E202 T2 DC1 SW44 HR56 SW86 EM1 BC1 E10 E3 BC731 UR88 H2 H4 UR88 BC2 RA1 RA56 E201 T1 RH114 E203 T3.
INDUSTRIAL EASTSIDE - Then at 1:03 PM the LAFD performed another rescue at the LA River. An adult male entered the LA River near 6th Street, for unknown reasons, and dangerously floated downstream until he was able to latch on to the slippery east concrete wall near the Olympic Street bridge. Exhausted, and barely able to move, he waited. Skilled firefighters rushed in, used rope systems and lowered themselves down the steep wall and carried him to safety. He was rapidly treated and transported to a local hospital. Dispatched Units: E17 E14 E9 T9 RA9 T21 E25 DC1 SW44 HR56 SW86 EM1 BC1 E10 E3 SC1 H2 H4 BC11 RH114 E202 T2 E4 E203 T3.
RESEDA - Finally at 2:13 PM local police notified the LAFD of a male in the LA River near Wilbur Avenue. After floating downstream, the 45 year-old man was able to grasp hold of metal rungs on the vertical walls and climb out. He was evaluated by Firefighter Paramedics and transported to a local hospital. Dispatched Units: E88 T88 E288 SW88 DC3 RA88 T73 E273 E100 E239 E39 T39 E109 H0C H0E SW86 HR56 EM10 BC10 E102 UR88 E293 T93 H4 H5 E83 BC14 BC731 SC1
Thanks to all the skilled firefighters involved and due to their continual training, these incidents had a successful outcomes.
The LAFD wishes to remind citizens that when rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, flood control channels, rivers, and arroyos can quickly fill with fast-moving water, creating a potentially life-threatening situation to anyone who gets caught or swept away. Please stay away from these dangerous areas.