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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#LAFD City’s leading source of overtime expenses. #CaFire

In this report, the Los Angeles Fire Department is identified as being the City’s leading source of overtime expenses.  

 LOS ANGELES - On Feb. 25, 2014, the Los Angeles City Controller’s Office released a report detailing the City’s overtime, bonus and healthcare expenses. 

The report correctly notes that sworn LAFD personnel “routinely require extended hours,” and the Department’s “constant staffing” model requires emergency response job vacancies be filled. In other words, if an individual calls in sick or is on scheduled vacation, another qualified Department member must be hired to fill that position. Filling this daily vacancy often requires the Department to pay overtime to an individual to fill the position.  

The constant staffing model ensures that the public receives the consistent, high quality fire and emergency medical services that they expect and deserve on a daily basis. The Department is poised to respond to a wide-variety of emergency situations and is often called upon to staff additional resources in order to provide the required protection to the City and the public. 

On Jan. 27, 2014, for the first time in five years, with the support of the Mayor and the City Council, the Los Angeles Fire Department enrolled a new class of firefighter recruits. This first recruit class represents a positive step in the effort to close the permanent vacancy gap created by ongoing attrition, as approximately 10 Department members retire per month.  

According to the Department’s Member Tracking System, since July 1, 2008, the LAFD has seen 726 sworn members depart its ranks. It is expected that while routine vacancies will continue to occur, the ongoing hiring of new firefighters will help alleviate the need for such significant reliance on overtime staffing

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Los Angeles Fire Department Winter Storm Preparedness Tips #LAFD #CaFire

With the arrival of seasonal rain, the Los Angeles Fire Department is encouraging local residents to take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from injury and their property from storm damage.

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 danger to anyone who gets caught or swept away.

It is against the law to be inside most flood control channels in Los Angeles, regardless of the weather.

We urge you to visit the EDIS website and listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for the latest weather or emergency information.

FLOOD PREVENTION AND STORM PREPAREDNESS TIPS:
  • Ensure that all drains, gutters and downspouts are functioning properly. This is especially important for flat-roofed buildings.
  • Keep ground-level drains and drainage areas (ditches, swales, small channels) free of debris.
  • Move valuable or easily damaged items away from low-lying areas that may be prone to flooding.
  • Identify and collect important documents that you may require in case of evacuation.
  • Contact your insurance agent to assure that your flood and storm coverage is adequate and in effect. Confirm the 24-hour contact, policy and claim numbers for your insurer(s). Place that information in your cell phone and keep a printed copy in the glove box of your car.
  • Review your Family Emergency Plan and prepare an Emergency Supply Kit that includes food, water, medications, flashlight, battery-powered radio, rain gear and first aid supplies.
  • Plan for the needs of pets at home and if you are evacuated.
  • Monitor local news for the status of streets, highways and transit systems.
  • Identify multiple safe routes from your home or workplace to high ground.
  • Check your car's wipers, lights, tire inflation and tread wear to assure safe operation, and keep your vehicle fueled in case power is cutoff to local fueling stations.
  • Be prepared to operate your vehicle safely or use public transit in conditions altered by weather.
  • Establish out-of-state family contacts so that friends and relatives can determine your location and status.
  • If necessary, consult an engineer or licensed contractor to design or build permanent water and debris control systems for your property.
  • Landscape slope areas with plants that are fire retardant and suitable for erosion control.
  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, hand tools and other materials handy for addressing stormwater issues.
WHAT IF YOU NEED SANDBAGS?
In an effort to assist Los Angeles residents with extreme storm needs, the Los Angeles Fire Department and Bureau of Street Services are making ready-to-fill sandbags available at locations citywide. To find your Neighborhood Fire Station or nearest Bureau of Street Services location, call the City's 3-1-1 Ambassadors. They are pleased to direct you to the closest source of sand and sandbags.

TIPS FOR PERSONAL SAFETY DURING A FLOOD:
Avoid the urge to sightsee. Remind all household members not to play or linger near flood control channels and storm drains.

  • Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number-one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area or bypass road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed-out.
  • If you become stranded in your car, stay with your vehicle and move to the hood or roof if water continues to rise.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. A common flood killer is electrocution. Electrical currents can travel through water.
  • Report downed power lines in the City of Los Angeles to the Department of Water and Power (1-800-DIAL-DWP) or emergency officials.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU FALL IN MOVING WATER?Avoid getting into this dangerous situation.
  • Remain calm. Don't waste energy yelling for help after someone has spotted you.
  • Get ready to be rescued.
  • Try to float on your back with your legs straight and your feet pointed downstream.
  • Use your legs to shove yourself away from obstructions.
  • Keep your head up so that you can see where you are going.
  • Watch for obstacles and debris! If a tree or other stationary object is blocking the channel, forcing water over it, try to flip over on your stomach and approach the obstacle head-on, crawling over the top of it.
  • Most victims in swift water die when they get pinned against obstacles or get trapped in submerged debris and vegetation.
WHAT IF YOU SEE SOMEONE FALL INTO MOVING WATER?Do not go into the water after the victim.
  • Do not try to pull the victim out with your hands, rope or similar device. Do not attach anything to yourself and toss it to a victim in the water. The force of the current will pull you in.
  • If possible, throw a floatation device to the victim, such as a boogie board, Styrofoam ice chest, basketball or other unattached object.
  • Immediately call 9-1-1.
  • Tell the 9-1-1 operator that someone fell into the channel and is being swept downstream. Say that "swift water rescue teams" need to respond.
  • Give accurate information about where and when you saw the victim and what the victim was wearing.
  • Though members of your Los Angeles Fire Department are specially trained and equipped to respond to water rescues, not every victim survives. We therefore remind you that when it comes to swift moving water: 'Stay Away and Stay Alive!'
WHAT IF YOU WITNESS STORM DAMAGE? City of Los Angeles residents should call 3-1-1 or (213) 473-3231 to report potholes, downed street trees, inoperative traffic signals, clogged street drains and any storm-related property damage requiring an inspection or action by City of Los Angeles officials.
WHAT IF YOU EXPERIENCE STORM DAMAGE?
If, despite your best efforts, you become a victim of storm or floodwater damage, please visit LAFD.ORG for helpful recovery tips.


Photo Credit: http://www.aquaveo.com

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

OCFA Engineer Greg Hennessey LODD Memorial March 4th, 2014 at 1000 hrs. #CaFire

OCFA Engineer Greg Hennessey
Last Alarm: January 20, 2014
With great sadness, the men and women of the Orange County Fire Authority announce that Fire Apparatus Engineer Greg Hennessey has died while on duty. Fire Chief Keith Richter is requesting that all agencies and dignitaries attending the services register with us (not for the general public), so that we may accomodate you and the apparatus you plan to bring to honor our fallen brother.

Engineer Hennessey's memorial service arrangements are as follows:
The service will be held at Saddleback Church on March 4th, 2014 at 1000 hrs. A reception will be held immediately following the church service on the church grounds.

Saddleback Church
1 Saddleback Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Engineer Hennessey was 49 years of age and a 25 year veteran of the Orange County Fire Authority. He was assigned to Fire Station 45 in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita.

The members of the Orange County Fire Authority are deeply appreciative of the kindness and support of so many at this difficult time.

Uniform Detail: Public Safety Personnel wishing to participate in the uniform detail should arrive at 0830 in dress uniform.
If you have any questions regarding registration or logistics
please contact:


Fire Battalion Chief Kelly Zimmerman at 714-573-6028
email: KellyZimmerman@ocfa.org
or
Fire Captain Steve Concialdi at 714-357-7782
email: SteveConcialdi@ocfa.org

Visiting Honor Guards,
for information please contact:

Firefighter Kyle Cain at 310-291-8060
email: KyleCain@ocfa.org

Visiting Pipes and Drums bands,
for information please contact:

Fire Apparatus Engineer Cory Gallup at 760-525-6643
email: CoryGallup@ocfa.org

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Update: Two Plead Guilty 2011 Beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow Outside of Dodger Stadium #CaEMS #CaLaw

Breaking Update: "Your lack of regret makes me despite you even more," Bryan Stow's sister says in court.

The two men accused in the 2011 brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan outside of Dodger Stadium pleaded guilty to charges in the case Thursday morning.



Marvin Norwood, left, and Louie Sanchez pleaded guilty in court Thursday to charges in connection with the 2011 brutal beating of Bryan Stow outside of Dodger Stadium. (Credit: pool)

Marvin Norwood, 33, and Louie Sanchez, 31, were charged with mayhem, assault and battery in connection with the attack on 45-year-old Bryan Stow, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem, while Norwood pleaded guilty to one count of assault, the DA’s office announced in a news release.

Following the guilty plea, family members of Stow — including his father and two sisters — addressed the court and the defendants.

“What you both did late in the evening at Dodger Stadium was cowardly,” Stow’s father David, who spoke first, said. “The time you serve is insignificant compared to what Bryan must endure.”

Bryan Stow, a father of two, suffered brain damage and permanent disability in the attack.

David Stowe added that his son has a lifetime of pain, therapy and hard work that he would be forced to endure on a daily basis.

His younger sister, Bonnie, spoke next. She got emotional as she talked about having to take care of Bryan.

“My family – my sister and my parents – we shower him, we dress him, we fix his meals, and we make sure he gets his 13 medications throughout the day,” she said. “You get to live your life as you choose. Bryan did not choose this. No sentencing you receive will ever be long enough.”



Bryan Stow and his two children. (Credit: Family photo)

Erin Collins, his other sister, addressed the two men last.

“I feel sad. I feel sad for us, I feel sad for your families. And I hope you understand what you did,” she said, appearing to fight back tears.

“To say you got off easy is an understatement,” Collins added.

Collins also delivered a written statement on behalf of Stow’s ex-wife.

“We live in a completely different world than you, but my children had to learn early on that horrible, mean people exist,” she wrote.

Finally, L.A. Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli, who presided over the case, addressed the two men.

Noting that the case “screams out that comment be made,” he said he felt compelled to speak and delivered harsh criticism to both men.

“You not only ruined the life of Mr. Stow, the obvious victim in this matter, but of his children, his spouse, his family, his friends,” Lomeli said. “From what I know of Mr. Stow, he’s an individual who was very decent. That is shown by the line of work he did, and that was a paramedic. He was only trying to help people.”

“You are the biggest nightmare for individuals that attend public events, such as sporting events or concerts. My son and I have season tickets to college football and my biggest fear, which is probably true for most of the people that appear there … is that we run into people like you,” he added.

At one point Sanchez smiled during the judge’s scolding, which further drew his ire.

“Oh you’re smiling?” the judge said. “It’s funny?”

“It’s not funny,” Sanchez responded.

“It was only a game,” Lomeli said. “You lost perspective, and that’s unfortunate.”

The two initially pleaded not guilty to charges related to the March 31, 2011, beating.

Police said Stow was targeted by Dodgers fans as he walked through the parking lot at the stadium on opening day game because he was wearing a Giants jersey.

Sanchez knocked Stow unconscious during an unprovoked attacked, the DA’s office stated in the release.

According to witnesses, Norwood prevented Stow’s friends from helping him, the DA’s office said.

As part of the plea deal, Lomeli sentenced Norwood to four years in prison and Sanchez to eight years.

A county prosecutor initially said that Norwood would be immediately released because of time served.

However, because both men were charged in 2012 for being felons in possession of a handgun, Norwood will be turned over to federal authorities, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

“In light of Norwood’s expected release from state custody, federal authorities are taking action to take him into custody and bring him to federal court to face the charge,” he said in an emailed statement.

Mrozek added that could happen as early as Friday.

Update Source: http://ktla.com/2014/02/20/bryan-stow-beating-suspects-due-in-court-may-plead-guilty-reports/




In this May 31, 2012 file photo, Marvin Norwood , left, with attorney Victor Escobedo, center, and co-defendant Louie Sanchez appear during a preliminary hearing held in Los Angeles Superior court. The hearing was to determine whether Sanchez and Norwood will stand trial on charges of mayhem and assault in the attack that permanently disabled Bryan Stow with brain damage.

Photo: Irfan Khan, Associated Press

Bryan Stow beating suspects to plead guilty

(02-20) 07:39 PST LOS ANGELES -- Two men are expected to plead guilty Thursday in connection with the March 2011 beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, according to published reports.

Louie Sanchez, 31, and Marvin Norwood, 32, both of San Bernardino County, are expected to enter guilty pleas in Los Angeles County Superior Court, NBC News and the Los Angeles Times reported, citing unidentified sources. The two men have been charged with mayhem, assault and battery in connection with Stow's beating.

Sanchez is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison while Norwood is to receive a four-year sentence, the news outlets reported.

Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, suffered a near-fatal brain injury and is expected to be disabled for the rest of his life.

He had driven with three friends March 31, 2011, to see the Giants play their first game since winning the 2010 World Series. At a preliminary hearing in 2012, Los Angeles County prosecutors portrayed Sanchez as an out-of-control Dodgers fan who surprised Stow after the game with a sucker-punch, causing him to fall back unconscious and slam his head.

Prosecutors spent much of the hearing trying to establish that Stow and his friends had done nothing to provoke the punch that knocked Stow unconscious.

In ordering Sanchez and Norwood to stand trial, a judge cited a secretly taped jail-cell conversation between the two men made in July 2011, four months after the beating. The defendants did not mention Stow by name, but they discussed what they should tell police about an altercation with Giants fans who they said had been denigrating the Dodgers and their fans in the parking lot.

"It's all my fault," Sanchez said, according to a transcript of the tape.

"I'm gonna fry regardless, bro," Norwood responded. "They pretty much got it. They got it, bro."

Norwood added, "I don't get how ... we are the bad guys because something misfortunate happened to, you know, their side."

In addition to the beating, Sanchez and Norwood are charged in federal court with illegal gun possession, the result of a search of Norwood's home when he was arrested July 21, 2011.

Stow's family's wrote on their website on Valentine's Day that he turned 45 two days earlier. "He works so hard physically and cognitively that he is exhausted most days," family members wrote.

They said they shaved his head recently, "and it was shocking to see the damage to his skull. Seeing him stare at the mirror was heartbreaking. Watching him touch the shunt that protrudes on the right side of his skull, the slightly sunken-in left side and all the deep scars, was heartbreaking."

Relatives said they "tried to make light of it and told him that no one else would still be that good looking. Of course he agreed!"

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Bryan-Stow-defendant-It-s-all-my-fault-3620875.php

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Oceanside Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedics Reunion With Baby Born Prematurely

Melissa Wells-Pestana holds Zavier Stephan Morgan Pestana in her arms at Oceanside's fire station 2 after a ceremony honoring firefighters who helped deliver him.
Melissa Wells-Pestana holds Zavier Stephan Morgan Pestana in her arms at Oceanside's fire station 2 after a ceremony honoring firefighters who helped deliver him. — John Gastaldo
Baby owes life to paramedics

OCEANSIDE — A baby boy born prematurely two months ago in the back of an Oceanside Fire Department ambulance wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.

But fortunately for Zavier Pestana, the newborn had two very determined firefighter/paramedics at his side.

They helped save his life. And now he shares their names.

On Monday, Zavier’s parents took him to Fire Station No. 2 for a reunion with most of the crew who handed him off to medical staff at Tri-City Medical Center on Dec. 18.

Zavier’s father, 50-year-old Paul Pestana, called 911 that morning when it became clear his wife was going into labor seven weeks early.

The fire crew loaded up Melissa Wells-Pestana, 37, in the ambulance, but her first-born child would not wait.

The baby was born in front of his parents’ South Tremont Street home. He weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces.

Fire Capt. Glen Morgan cupped the baby in his hand on the gurney and gave him CPR — two fingers, rapid compressions — as the ambulance raced about 4½ miles to the hospital.

Firefighter-paramedic Steven Choi placed a tiny mask over the baby’s face and started pumping air into him.

He was blue when he arrived at the hospital.

As he was pulled him out of the ambulance, firefighter Tony Valentine said he heard the baby make a little squeak and knew he was fighting for his life.

Dr. Hamid Movahhedian, a neo-natal specialist, and his team were waiting in the emergency room, thanks to a hospital protocol known as “Code Caleb,” which handles resuscitations when newborns are in a dire situation.

The baby was “blue and having difficulty breathing,” Movahhedian said.

Morgan credits the hospital’s response. “If that team wasn’t in place, this wouldn’t have had a good outcome,” he said.

Later that day, after the still-unnamed baby was doing better, his maternal aunt headed to the Ditmar Street fire station to find out the names of his rescuers.

The parents honored the fire crew by naming their baby Zavier Stephan Morgan Pestana, with the middles names coming from the two paramedics.

“They are a part of him now,” Zavier’s mother said.

She said Zavier spent about three weeks in the hospital before getting to go home. He’s doing well now, and weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces at his doctor’s visit last week, the mother said.

Zavier slept through most of his visit Monday with Morgan and the others. Choi has taken a job with a fire department in Orange County and was not able to attend.


Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/17/Oceanside-paramedics-help-save-premature-baby/

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Redding Law Enforcement Burns Down Home Fearing Gunpowder And Rifle Primers Updated #CaFire

California Sheriff Deputies Destroy Mobile Home On Fear Of Explosives

UPDATED 3:30 PM: Chaparral Drive evacuation zone to remain at 2,000 feet
When they say 60 pounds, they went in, took a few pictures and went out,” Stotter said, estimating East only had a relatively measly 10 grams of actual explosives in the home.

“I think that’s really exaggerated.... Clearly, if they had really felt there were large amounts...burning the house down would have been a pretty foolhardy choice.”

Sheriff: IED found in explosives-filled Redding residence. Pics of intentional fire

The trailer outside of Redding was loaded with chemicals, gunpowder and firearms cartridges. Officials incinerated the mobile home on Sunday after neighbors evacuated.

Remains of a Redding mobile home after the Shasta County Sheriff's Department burned it down Sunday. 

REDDING, Calif. — Sheriff's deputies in far Northern California on Sunday successfully incinerated a mobile home whose resident had amassed more than 60 pounds of highly volatile explosive material days after evacuating dozens of people living nearby.
The chemicals, gunpowder, primers for firearms cartridges and other materials found in the house in a sparsely populated area of Redding earlier this month made it too unstable for deputies to even walk on the property without risking a blast, Shasta County sheriff's Lt. Dave Kent said.
Sheriff's officials consulted with water and air quality officials before starting the incineration with a remote-ignited flame at midday Sunday, and the fire went off without incident, he said.
"What's left of the residence is still smoldering, so now we are in a cool-off period before officials can render that property safe for other residents to come back," Kent said. "No other homes outside of that property caught fire, so that was very good for us and for the residents."

Authorities had been waiting for the weather to clear before incinerating the home, and Sunday's clear skies provided good conditions. It could be up to 24 hours before authorities can go onto the property to check the area, and once they determine it is safe, evacuees will be let back in, Kent said.

"We're taking every precaution to make sure the property is rendered safe," he said.
The mandatory evacuations(No such thing under California Law) around the residence began Feb. 7 and were expanded on Friday, bringing the total to about 46 homes under evacuation orders, Kent said.
Authorities found the combustible material on Feb. 6 after responding to an explosion at the home that took off a man's hand.
The resident, identified as D. Ray East, 63, lost his left hand above the wrist, broke his right elbow and injured his right eye in the blast, Kent said.
East told investigators he was making fuel for model rockets. He was hospitalized but has since been released and is at a hotel where authorities can contact him, but he has not been arrested, Kent said.

East's attorney, Jeffrey Stotter, told the Record Searchlight of Redding last week that East regrets the inconvenience he has caused his neighbors but doesn't think the materials at his home pose a threat.
The sheriff's office and local officials disagreed. The Shasta County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an emergency declaration, and the sheriff's office expanded the evacuation area to a radius of 2,000 feet from the house.
The Red Cross set up an evacuation center, but officials said most of the displaced residents were staying with friends or family.
Approximately 55 nearby homes were evacuated for several days.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

California Department of Forestry receives FAA award #CaFire

CAL FIRE FAA Award For Air Fleet Maintenance

The California Department of Forestry is more known for shovels and hoses than for flight safety, but is has received an FAA award for the third year in a row for air fleet maintenance.
CAL FIRE award was achieved because all CAL FIRE maintenance technicians have passed a rigorous and specialized aircraft safety training program.

CAL FIRE maintains 23 air tankers, 14 air tactical aircraft, 11 helicopters and numerous other fixed-wing training and administrative aircraft.
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE MONO-EASTERN ALPINE COUNTIES - WESTERN NEVADA SIERRA FRONT

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV  
RED FLAG WARNING FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE POTENTIALLY DAMAGING VERY DRY AIR DOWNSLOPE WINDS ARE LIKELY MONO - EASTERN ALPINE COUNTIES - WESTERN NEVADA SIERRA FRONT
National weather Service Fire Weather Map
URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV 255 PM PST SAT FEB 15 2014 
WHAT: STRONG WINDS AND VERY LOW HUMIDITIES THROUGH THE EVENING
WHY: A STRONG COLD FRONT OVER THE EASTERN PACIFIC MOVES INTO THE AREA LATE TONIGHT. LACK OF RAIN IN WESTERN NEVADA WILL LEAD TO DECREASING FUEL MOISTURE. THIS WILL COMBINE WITH STRONG WINDS AND VERY LOW HUMIDITY TO CREATE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS.
AHEAD OF THIS FRONT STRONG POTENTIALLY DAMAGING.. DOWNSLOPE WINDS ARE LIKELY ALONG THE SIERRA FRONT SOUTH INTO MONO COUNTY. VERY DRY AIR IS IN PLACE AHEAD OF THE FRONT AS WELL. HUMIDITY VALUES IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE TEENS ARE LIKELY INTO THE LATE EVENING HOURS. THE HUMIDITY WILL BEGIN TO RISE LATE THIS EVENING BUT THAT WILL ALSO BE THE TIME OF THE GREATEST WINDS. 
WHERE: MONO-EASTERN ALPINE COUNTIES - WESTERN NEVADA SIERRA FRONT- WHEN: RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST SUNDAY FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY.
* AFFECTED AREA: FIRE ZONE 273 MONO-EASTERN ALPINE COUNTIES AND FIRE ZONE 450 WESTERN NEVADA SIERRA FRONT. 
* WINDS. SOUTH SOUTHWEST 25 TO 45 WITH GUSTS 60 TO 80 MPH. GUSTS IN WIND PRONE AREAS COULD REACH 85 TO 95 MPH. 
* HUMIDITY: 10 TO 20 PERCENT RISING TO 20 TO 30 PERCENT THROUGH THE EVENING. 
* IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY WILL CREATE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR. CONTINUE TO CHECK WEATHER UPDATES.

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RED FLAG WARNING VERY DRY AIR DOWNSLOPE WINDS ARE LIKELY ALONG THE SIERRA FRONT SOUTH INTO MONO COUNTY


URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV 255 PM PST SAT FEB 15 2014 




RED FLAG WARNING FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE POTENTIALLY DAMAGING VERY DRY AIR DOWNSLOPE WINDS ARE LIKELY ALONG THE SIERRA FRONT SOUTH INTO MONO COUNTY
National weather Service Fire Weather Map
WHAT: STRONG WINDS AND VERY LOW HUMIDITIES THROUGH THE EVENING, A STRONG COLD FRONT OVER THE EASTERN PACIFIC MOVES INTO THE AREA LATE TONIGHT. AHEAD OF THIS FRONT, STRONG POTENTIALLY DAMAGING DOWNSLOPE WINDS ARE LIKELY ALONG THE SIERRA FRONT SOUTH INTO MONO COUNTY. VERY DRY AIR IS IN PLACE AHEAD OF THE FRONT AS WELL. HUMIDITY VALUES IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE TEENS ARE LIKELY INTO THE LATE EVENING HOURS. THE HUMIDITY WILL BEGIN TO RISE LATE THIS EVENING BUT THAT WILL ALSO BE THE TIME OF THE GREATEST WINDS. LACK OF RAIN IN WESTERN NEVADA WILL LEAD TO DECREASING FUEL MOISTURE. THIS WILL COMBINE WITH STRONG WINDS AND VERY LOW HUMIDITY TO CREATE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

WHEN: RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST SUNDAY FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY.
WHERE: MONO-EASTERN ALPINE COUNTIES - WESTERN NEVADA SIERRA FRONT 
AFFECTED AREA FIRE ZONE 273 MONO - EASTERN ALPINE COUNTIES AND FIRE ZONE 450 WESTERN NEVADA SIERRA FRONT.
* WINDS: SOUTH SOUTHWEST 25 TO 45 WITH GUSTS 60 TO 80 MPH. GUSTS IN WIND PRONE AREAS COULD REACH 85 TO 95 MPH.
* HUMIDITY: 10 TO 20 PERCENT RISING TO 20 TO 30 PERCENT THROUGH THE EVENING. 
* IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY WILL CREATE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR. CONTINUE TO CHECK WEATHER UPDATES.
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LAFD Hires Mayor Mouthpiece As First Command Level PIO (Political Favors Anyone?) #CaFire

Interim LAFD Fire Chief Appoints Public Information Director

LOS ANGELES—On Thursday, February 13, 2014 Interim Los Angeles Fire Chief James Featherstone announced the hiring of Peter Sanders as the Los Angeles Fire Department’s first Public Information Director, a key executive appointment.

Sanders will work closely with Chief Featherstone, his Chief of Staff Ronnie Villanueva, and the entire command staff on all aspects of public information and communications.

“I am very pleased to be able to bring Peter onto the LAFD team in this new role,” said Chief Featherstone. “His background in public affairs, journalism, and as a paramedic, perfectly positions him to help tackle both the daily and strategic communications needs of the Department.”

Sanders will join the Community Liaison Office. He will work with current Community Liaison Officer, Battalion Chief Stephen Ruda and Captain II Jaime Moore, Public Information Officer and Commander of the Community Services Unit.

The unit also includes the three Public Service Officers who staff the LAFD Emergency Public Information Center around the clock.

Prior to the LAFD, Sanders worked as Deputy Mayor for Communications for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He joined the Mayor’s office from the Los Angeles bureau of The Wall Street Journal, where he spent seven years as a staff reporter


Info On Best Man For The Job: http://lafdpso-b.blogspot.com/
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Friday, February 14, 2014

San Jose Fire Department Firefighter reportedly used the Internet contacted a male child victim #CaFire

San Jose: Firefighter's arrest on drug and sex offenses shocks colleagues, community


By Robert Salonga and Mark Gomez
Mercury News

SAN JOSE -- The arrest of the man who recently became the primary link between residents and the San Jose Fire Department has sent shock waves through both communities after authorities say an undercover operation revealed he was furnishing drugs to and having sex with a teen.
Agents from the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team -- a state-run squad assembled from local police agencies -- went to the fire administration headquarters Thursday and quietly took 53-year-old Mario Enrique Cuestas into custody before searching his office for evidence.
Friday morning, at Cuestas' San Lorenzo home where he lives with his parents, his father, Mario Sr., said police came to his front door Thursday to inform him about the arrest and prospective charges.
"It came as a shock to us," the father said.
He said little else beyond insisting that he did not believe the allegations against his son, who has lived with him and his wife at the well-kept, single-story suburban home for about a year.
News of the arrest gradually made the department rounds late Thursday, leaving many feeling shock, anger and disappointment, Deputy Chief Robert Sapien said.
"The charges and the arrest are shocking to me and to all firefighters right now. Everyone feels horrible about that," said Sapien, who is president of the firefighters' union. "To have that compounded by having a firefighter associated with those crimes is difficult. Clearly the behaviors are not in line with what we're here to do, which is to help people."
Cuestas has been with the fire department about 20 years. He took on highly visible assignments, like organizing Sept. 11, 2001 commemorations, and in 2007 he helped lead an open-air drill at San Jose's Municipal Stadium to help first responders practice in a mock bio-terrorist attack.
According to his Facebook page, Cuestas has been a church singer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, and he sang the national anthem at a multitude of city events over the years.
In a 2007 photo of Mario Cuestas (foreground) he directs the crowd attending an open-air drill at San Jose’s Municipal Stadium, in an exercise to
In a 2007 photo of Mario Cuestas (foreground) he directs the crowd attending an open-air drill at San Jose's Municipal Stadium, in an exercise to help first responders practice in a mock bio-terrorist attack. Cuestas is being charged with sex crimes against minors and supplying drugs to minors. (Len Vaughn-Lahman/Mercury News)
At the time of his arrest, Cuestas was settling into a new role in directing the department's office of public outreach, which made him firefighters' liaison to schools and community and church organizations. Cuestas had been in that new role for two or three months, according to San Jose Fire Capt. Cleo Doss, a department spokesman.
Before that, Cuestas spent time as fire inspection investigator and spent years as a fire engineer and driver.
"As a fire organization, we take this job very seriously," Doss said. "We take pride in what we do. We love what we do. A big part of what we do has to do with trust. For something like this to take place, it really breaks the trust of the community."
Longtime San Jose firefighter Mario Enrique Cuestas was arrested at the station where he worked Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014,  accused of  afternoon and is
Longtime San Jose firefighter Mario Enrique Cuestas was arrested at the station where he worked Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, accused of afternoon and is facing drug and sex crime charges involving minors, according to the California Department of Justice. ( CA Dept. of Justice )
Sapien said the behavior described in the criminal accusations "seems out of character for the person that we know."
"I have confidence in the criminal justice system," Sapien said. "The bottom line is the behaviors we saw described in the charges are completely unacceptable. We never want that kind of behavior related to anyone with the fire department."
Sapien said he does not expect the firefighters' union to provide financial support for Cuestas' criminal defense.
"What we represent is issues arising in natural scope of someone in their job," Sapien said.
Cuestas, who also has a listed residence in San Antonio, Tx., was booked into the Santa Clara County jail and is being held without bail on suspicion of possessing and selling methamphetamine, providing narcotics to minors, child molestation and oral copulation with a minor. He is being held in protective custody and declined a jail interview.
A drug-related tip to the Santa Clara task force -- which is overseen by the California Department of Justice -- sparked a two-month investigation that ended with Cuestas' arrest, DOJ spokeswoman Michelle Gregory said.
She added that Cuestas reportedly used the Internet contacted a victim, who is a high-school age boy living in the Bay Area. Over the course of the investigation, agents conducted an undercover sting that further implicated Cuestas, Gregory said.
After his arrest, agents searched his office at the fire department where they confiscated a computer hard drive. Gregory said they also searched his home. It was not immediately clear how he got hold of the drugs.
Cuestas is on unpaid administrative leave, Doss said.

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_25144194/san-jose-community-fire-department-shock-after-firefighters
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