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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Public Employees Right To Free Speech Upheld In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement in response to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

"Today's ruling protects the right of public employees working in our schools, universities, hospitals, and police agencies in California and across the nation to negotiate fair wages and benefits, without restricting any individual employee's freedom of speech. While this decision is a victory, we must keep fighting to protect the ability of working families to make a living wage and pursue the American dream."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Vallejo Mare Island: Two Alarm Warehouse Fire Now Under Control

A two-alarm fire was brought under control Early Easter Sunday morning

VALLEJO (CBS SF) — A two-alarm fire was brought under control Sunday morning at a building on North Mare Island.

Fire officials said at 5:18 a.m. the fires burning at a warehouse located at J street and Azuar Drive were under control and crews remained on scene.

Vallejo Firefighters posted on Twitter at 4:20 a.m. the fire was on the second floor of the structure.

Fire officials said the fire investigator was being called to the scene to investigate.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bakersfield Fire Department To Receive Girder from the World Trade Center for Memorial

Bakersfield Fire Department to get steel girder from WTC for 9/11 memorial

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — In preparation for the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the Bakersfield Fire Department said a 22-foot long structural steel girder from the World Trade Center has been reserved for use in its local memorial.

Next Sept. 11, the girder and memorial will be on display between Fire Station No. 15 and the Bakersfield Police Department substation at 1315 Buena Vista Road.

The fire department said that while there were many applications for artifacts from the WTC for use in memorials, the Bakersfield request was supported from within the New York Fire Department and was approved based on the memorial's proximity to fire and police service facilities.

Nonprofits such as Bakersfield Professional Firefighters 264, Bakersfield Firefighters' Relief Association and Bakersfield Firefighters Historical Society will fund the project at no cost to taxpayers. Donations are welcomed, and can be made here.


Source: http://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/bfd-secures-steel-girder-from-ground-zero-for-use-in-911-memorial

CAL FIRE TCU News: Tuolumne-Calaveras Crews Clearing Fuels In Fire Breaks

CAL FIRE crews creating fuel breaks in Tuolumne-Calaveras to reduce the spread of wildfires.These fire breaks provide a fire barrier and help slow a fire's spread, also allowing fire crews to safely access the area in the event of a wildfire. Learn more about this project and others happening in the coming months:

Fire crews work on Big Hill fuel break


By Lacey Peterson / The Union Democrat
“It’s preventive maintenance. You can either change the oil in your car, or you have total engine failure. All this work prepares us for fire season.”
— Jeff Sanders, division chief at Baseline Conservation Camp
Fire breaks are an important tool used in stemming the spread of wildfire, especially during drought years.
Crews have been working the past two months to maintain an important fire break that runs along the top of Big Hill bordering Cedar Ridge. It’s part of a system of fire breaks that runs from Columbia to Mount Elizabeth, and it played a crucial role in preventing the spread of the Oak Fire late last summer.
A fire break is a swath of land, usually along ridge tops, that is 200 feet wide and often miles long, where dead and downed trees, as well as all litter-like branches, pine needles and other highly flammable materials, are removed. A break is intended to slow a fire’s spread.
The fire break on Big Hill has been a project of the Highway 108 Fire Safe Council, which works as the liaison between private landowners and fire crews to get access and grant funding for work to be done, said Adam Frese, the Unit 4 forester for the Cal Fire’s Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit.
There are several fire safe councils in the Mother Lode made up of volunteers who work to get fire safety projects funded, approved and completed with the cooperation of private landowners and government agencies.
The years-long drought coupled with bark beetle infestations have caused a large number of trees in the fire break area on Big Hill to die.
Drought-stressed trees don’t produce adequate sap to repel the bugs, which eat the cambium layer between the tree and the bark, explained Frese and Jeff Sanders, division chief at Baseline Conservation Camp.
Ponderosa pines, incense cedar, live oaks and black oaks on Big Hill have all been affected. The Ponderosa pines were most heavily affected by beetles, Frese said.
“We haven’t seen this amount of dead trees to deal with before” in a fire break, Frese said.
Baseline crews are doing the work on Big Hill and were out last week cutting down dead trees, clearing land and manning burn piles. The fire break is about 250 acres total.
Money from the state’s annual fire-prevention tax is funding the maintenance, Frese said.
The Big Hill fire break is one of several projects fire crews and fire safe councils have on the spring clean-up schedule. It was chosen because of the high number of dead and downed trees, Sanders said.
“We want to go into this fire season with good fire breaks and good conditions,” Frese said.
Another goal in a fire break is to remove “ladder” fuels so fire will stay on the ground. The lower limbs of trees are removed to about 8 feet high, and trees are spaced out.
Forests are pretty overcrowded compared to historic times when either nature or American Indians burned forests more often.
Historically, forests had about 40 trees per acre, whereas crowded forests have about 400 trees per acre. A more open canopy allows more sunlight to penetrate the trees and the area, which is more natural and healthy for the forest Frese explained.
Last week, the top of Big Hill near Old Oak Ranch Road and Northridge Road was quiet, save for the whir of chainsaws and distant dogs barking. Smoke rose from several small burn piles.
Trees that were felled were saved, de-limbed and stacked neatly so property owners could sell them to a lumber mill or to be used as biomass or fire wood.
“We want to get it cleaned up so it’s cleaner and fire safe for homeowners up here,” Sanders said.
During the Oak Fire, the existing fire break played a critical role in stopping the fire, and was used by emergency personnel to evacuate about 400 people from the area, including those at Old Oak Ranch and Sierra Outdoor School. The Sierra Outdoor School had previously secured funding to gravel a road that allowed school buses to get out. That was done in 2011 or 2012, Sanders said.
“When you need a fuel break, you need to think ahead five or six years,” Sanders said.
There have been about 28 to 30 people working on the Big Hill break since Feb. 3, Sanders said.
Another fire crew is working along Tuolumne Road in cooperation with the Tuolumne County Road Department and PG&E.
There are eight tree mortality projects scheduled through June 30 in Tuolumne County, Frese said. Those include firebreaks near Cattle Drive Trail between Italian Bar and Yankee Hill roads; Mount Havilah behind Tuolumne; Tuolumne Road chipping projects; North Bald Mountain between Covington Mine and the Hatler Mill; Sierra Outdoor School behind Cedar Ridge to Pack Trail; Highway 120 corridor; and the Rim Fire contingency line from Apple Colony Road in Tuolumne to Long Barn.
Making good fuel breaks gives firefighters a foothold in communities to get crews in safely, Sanders said.
“It benefits the whole community. Cal Fire is taking an aggressive approach to tree mortality,” he said.
Because of the fire break on Big Hill, crews were able to “catch it right there,” Sanders said.
While no two fires are alike, an example of not having fire breaks and a fire spreading can been seen with the Butte Fire.
During the Rim Fire, the fire break from Tuolumne to Long Barn was successful in helping crews to keep the fire from spreading even further.
Sanders pointed to the cleared-out fire break on Northridge Road.
“I would feel safe backing a crew up in here,” he said.
He pointed to an area on the other side, filled with forest litter and dead trees and said, “I wouldn’t put them in that.”
Fire breaks allow aviation crews to see crews on the ground through the canopy and where hose lines have been placed. You can safely drop retardant without worrying it’s going to knock the top of a dead tree onto a firefighter, Sanders said. “It adds safety from all levels.”
Fire breaks are the same principle as having 100 feet of defensible space around homes.
It gives firefighters a safe anchor point to get in and move around, and they protect the homeowner, the home and the neighbors.
“It’s preventive maintenance. You can either change the oil in your car, or you have total engine failure,” Sanders said. “All this work prepares us for fire season.”
Traditionally, fire season is from May to November, but with the drought, it’s been year round, Frese said.
Editor — The name of Adam Frese has been updated to reflect a corrected spelling.
Photo: CAL FIRE Website
SOURCE: http://www.uniondemocrat.com/localnews/4148493-151/fire-crews-work-on-big-hill-fuel-break#

CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Announces Change in Unit Chief #CAFire

CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Announces Change in Unit Chief


Felton – CAL FIRE’s San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit Chief, Scott Jalbert, is transferring as Unit Chief to the San Luis Obispo Unit. Chief Jalbert has worked through the ranks with CAL FIRE over the past 28 years serving the past three years as the Unit Chief for San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit and Fire Chief for Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, Pajaro Fire Protection District and Coastside Fire Protection District.

Chief Jalbert will begin his new job in San Luis Obispo on April 1. Deputy Chief, Ian Larkin, has been appointed as the interim Unit Chief until a permanent appointment is made. Chief Larkin has served as the Deputy Chief for the CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit for the past three years. Chief Larkin has the background and experience to lead the Unit and continue the excellent relationships with our cooperators.

CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
CAL FIRE San Mateo - Santa Cruz Unit
Public Infomation Office
Media Phone: (831) 335-6717
Twitter @CALFIRECZU
CONTACT: Angela Bernheisel, (831) 212-7805 RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2016
Proudly Serving:
Coastside Fire Protection District
San Mateo County Fire Department
Santa Cruz County Fire Department
Pajaro Valley Fire Protection District
Photo: Courtesy of  Santa Cruz County Fire Department

EMS News: City of South Lake Tahoe Terminates Ambulance Service Contract #CAEMS

City of South Lake Tahoe Terminates Ambulance Service Contract; El Dorado County Officials Request Immediate Meeting




Date:
March 24, 2016


 Placerville, CA —El Dorado County was made aware of a March 15, 2016 action taken by the City of South Lake Tahoe City Council to unilaterally terminate its contract with the California Tahoe Emergency Services Operations Authority (Cal Tahoe) to provide prehospital advanced life support ambulance services in the South Lake Tahoe region. The City’s action is slated to take effect April 15, 2016. Cal Tahoe, a joint powers authority comprised of the City of South Lake Tahoe (City) and Lake Valley Fire Protection District (Fire District), has a contract with the County to provide ambulance service in the South Lake Tahoe area and parts of northwestern Alpine County. Cal Tahoe JPA subcontracts with its member agencies, the Fire District and City for ambulance service.

El Dorado County officials have initiated discussion with the Cal Tahoe JPA to jointly consider the consequences of this action. The County is expressly concerned about the threat to public health and safety of residents and visitors to the South Lake Tahoe region should the City of South Lake Tahoe terminate its ambulance service contract, with the Cal Tahoe JPA, without making adequate provisions to ensure that its action will not put ambulance service in the South Lake Tahoe region at risk.

Due to the nature of the action by the City of South Lake Tahoe and its repercussions to public health and safety, El Dorado County will be submitting a letter to the City requesting an immediate meeting.

The following is a brief history of ambulance services in the South Lake Tahoe region. In 2001, El Dorado County released a competitive bid process to identify an ambulance services contractor. As a result of this process, Cal Tahoe JPA was awarded the contract. Cal Tahoe JPA subcontracted with its member agencies, City, Fire District and North Tahoe Fire Protection District, to provide ambulance services. Subsequently in 2011, another competitive bid process was conducted for ambulance services. Cal Tahoe was again the successful bidder. Cal Tahoe subcontracted with the City and Fire District to provide ambulance services in the City and the unincorporated areas of El Dorado County in the Lake Tahoe Basin, effective September 1, 2011. In 2015, the Cal Tahoe JPA requested and was granted a performance based contract extension through 2019.

Image Credit: California Tahoe Emergency Operations Authority

Thursday, March 24, 2016

CNF - Prescribed burns continued today on Palomar Mountain

Prescribed burns continued today on Cleveland National Forest


CA-SCU- Remembering CAL FIRE Firefighter Kirstin Snook #CAFirefighters

CAL FIRE Firefighter Kirstin Snook

Remembering CAL FIRE Firefighter Kirstin Snook

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of CAL FIRE Firefighter Kirstin Snook. Kirstin, 25, of the Summit area, passed away from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident while off duty. 

Kirstin had been with CAL FIRE for 1 year working in the Santa Clara Unit as a Fire Fighter 1 as well as a Volunteer Firefighter with the Santa Cruz County Fire Department, Company 36. Kirstin’s lifelong dream was to become a career firefighter and she was working towards that goal. 

Her presence will be deeply missed. Please join us in sending thoughts to her family and her crew as they grieve this tragic loss. Funds donated will assist the family and continue Kirstin’s memory.

DONATE NOW » Charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union

https://www.firefamilyfoundation.org/news-events/news/articletype/articleview/articleid/378/remembering-cal-fire-firefighter-kirstin-snook

Troopers say alcohol and/or drugs are not suspected factor in this collision.
If you have any information that can help authorities, call CHP Truckee at 530-582-7570.
California Highway Patrol says a 25-year-old woman has died after being involved in an accident on State Route 89 south near Goose Meadows last Friday. 
Troopers say just after 6:30 p.m., Kristin Snook of Los Gatos was speeding north SR 89 south, while 51-year-old Tony Gurule of Reno was heading south, when for some unknown reason she lost control of her 2006 Toyota and crossed over into median. And that’s when troopers say Gurule collided head-on with Snook’s vehicle. 
As a result of the impact, authorities say Snook’s Toyota went back into the north lane where drivers of three other vehicles hit Snook’s car.

Snook was flown by Care Flight to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno where she later died. Both Gurule and another driver were transported by North Tahoe Fire to Tahoe Forest Hospital for treatment. The other two drivers were not hurt. 

Tsunami Preparedness Week - Sunday, March 27 – Saturday, April 2 2016

Tsunami Preparedness Week

Man versus Tsunami
 Tsunami Preparedness Week will be recognized on Sunday, March 27 – Saturday, April 2 to coincide with the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami, which occurred on March 27, 1964.
The 1964 earthquake in Alaska registered a 9.2 magnitude. It caused more than $2.3 billion in property loss. Due to the severity of a tsunami, everyone should know how to prepare for an earthquake, and resulting tsunami especially if you live, work, or play on the coast.
Many of the actions to prepare for a tsunami are the same as preparing for other hazards such as developing a family communication plan and creating a disaster supply kit.  
The National Weather Service also provides recommendations to help protect you and your loved ones in case a tsunami ever strikes your community:
  • Find out from your local emergency management office if there are evacuation routes identified for your community;
  • Plan to evacuate to high ground or inland, away from the coast and outside of the tsunami zone;
  • Map out evacuation routes to your safe place from your home, workplace, or other places you visit frequently;
  • Practice walking your evacuation routes, including at night and in bad weather; and
  • Find out about your children’s school evacuation plans.
Check out the National Weather Service website to learn more about tsunamis and how to protect your family. 

tsu·na·mi
(t)so͞oˈnämē/
noun
  1. a long high sea wave caused by an earthquake, submarine landslide, or other disturbance.
    • an arrival or occurrence of something in overwhelming quantities or amounts.
      "a tsunami of data pours into the CNBC newsroom every minute of every trading day"

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

CAL FIRE NEWS: Surge of CAL FIRE Firefighters Hired to Prevent Wildfires Residents Urged to Prepare for Wildfires Now


Surge of CAL FIRE Firefighters Hired to Prevent Wildfires
Residents Urged to Prepare for Wildfires Now

MVU FUEL REDUCTION PROJECT

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/calfire/sets/72157666122688975/
 With spring now taking hold in California, CAL FIRE is already staffing up for fire season, while focusing the efforts of its crews on preventing large and damaging wildfires. Recent rains have been a welcome sight to drought-parched California, but CAL FIRE firefighters are not letting their guard down, instead they are training for another potential busy fire season and working hard to prevent wildfires.

Across the State, CAL FIRE has already hired a surge of over 400 additional seasonal firefighters, whose focus includes fire prevention, fuel reduction and defensible space programs.

“While the winter rain has helped decrease the fire risk in some areas, it has not been enough to end the drought,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. “The rain is welcome, but it will not revive the millions of trees that have already died due to drought and bark beetle. Our firefighters are taking advantage of the weather and ensuring that we are doing everything we can to prevent the types of wildfires we experienced last year.”




While the additional firefighters are available to respond to wildfires, like the 240 fires that have already occurred since January 1, these firefighters will focus their efforts of fire prevention. The projects the crews are working on range from removing dead trees, creating and maintaining fire breaks, removing dense brush, performing prescribed burning, and assisting homeowners with education on Defensible Space.

While firefighters are busy performing fire prevention projects, it’s critical that residents do their part to prepare for wildfires by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space around their homes and property. This includes removing weeds and other dead or dying vegetation, limbing up tree branches, and cleaning off leaves and debris from roofs and gutters. For more information on how to create Defensible Space and prepare for fire season, visit
ReadyForWildfire.org


Fire Prevention Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/calfire/sets/72157666122688975/
PSA (Video): https://youtu.be/YuyuMgXkhU8?list=PLBB35A41FE6D9733F
Public Service Announcement (Audio): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B63s5etyr7jYRUlBekdXWUpaT1E/view?usp=sharing
CONTACT: Daniel Berlant Information Officer (916) 651-FIRE (3473) @CALFIRE_PIO

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Super Tanker AT-944 Wheels Down At McClellan Airfield Today #CAFire

Global Supertaker Services 747 AT-944 Wheels Down At McClellan Airfield Today

Air tanker 944 Just rolled into McClellan.
now at Cal Fire Hangar.
Photo credit: Melvin Clouser
The 747 SuperTanker arrived at McClellan Air Field in Sacramento today from Marana, Arizona after a gorgeous new paint job. Bob Soelberg, Senior VP and Program Manager of Global Supertaker, said the retardant delivery system still needs a few tweaks before it can actually drop water or retardant, but they hope to have it ready to fight fire later this year.

The Air Tanker will be on static display for attendees the Aerial Firefighting conference until Wednesday, March 23. [more below]


McClellan Jet Services know McClellan Airfield houses a fire retardant reload base that gets activated when there is a great enough need and a CAL FIRE and USFS firefighting aircraft base
Welcome

The wildfire season in North America has been a challenging one for all concerned. According to the National Interagency Fire Centre, 6,224,545 acres had been burned by a total of 37,894 fires by 8th August, the second highest in the last decade with the fire season still at National Preparedness Level 4, the second highest level.
It is against this backdrop that the 13th Aerial Firefighting International conference has been officially announced by Tangent Link and will take place during March 2016, returning to its recent US home of Sacramento in California.
Tangent Link has a long-standing commitment to the international aerial firefighting community in the way it has continually brought together governing bodies, institutions and associations, as well as operators and those who are tasked with overcoming wildfires.
Over the two days of conference in March 2016, delegates will hear from several invited US Senators and international aerial firefighting specialists.
The session programme will include presentations on the following issues: civil and military firefighting operations, both nationally and globally; an examination of the latest developments in night vision techniques and the increasing use of unmanned systems; together with an examine of future technologies.
At the conference dinner, The Walt Darran International Aerial Firefighting Award will be presented to recognise the contribution of an individual or organisation who have been judged by a panel of experts to have made a significant contribution to aerial firefighting.
There will be external live demonstrations of aircraft and fire fighting equipment, together with static displays.

Jurors Consider Case Of Man Who Stabbed Two San Diego Firefighters And Claimed Self-Defense #CAFire

Jurors Deliberating in Calif. Firefighters' Stabbing Case

DANA LITTLEFIELD ON MAR 22, 2016
SOURCE: MCCLATCHY

Suspect in attack on two San Diego firefighters
March 21--SAN DIEGO -- As jurors consider the case of a man who stabbed two San Diego firefighters during an altercation at a trolley station last year, they might be inclined to wonder: Who is Ryan Allen Jones?

Is he, as a prosecutor argued Monday, a violent man who committed a brazen attack on firefighters and trolley security officers who were doing their jobs?

Or was he, as argued by the defense, a Good Samaritan who felt compelled to defend himself to save his own life?

Jones, 35, faces charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, stemming from the June 24 incident that injured the two firefighters. He also faces battery charges linked to two Metropolitan Transit System officers who were involved in the scuffle.

Jones has a 2008 conviction for battery on a peace officer, causing injury.

According to the evidence presented in the San Diego Superior Court trial -- including surveillance and body-worn camera video -- the stabbing occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at the trolley station at Park Boulevard and Market Street. The situation began when trolley officers contacted a man who appeared to be highly intoxicated.

Jones testified last week that he saw the officers interacting with the man, and he decided to assist. Video shows the defendant helping the man take a seat on a concrete bench and kneeling in front of him.

Jones said he was trying to calm the man down.

Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott told the jury in his closing argument that transit security officers asked Jones repeatedly to back off, but he did not comply. At one point, the prosecutor said, even the intoxicated man seemed to get annoyed.

When firefighters arrived, Jones continued to interfere, the prosecutor said. One of them, Capt. Steven Michaels, shoved the defendant, causing him to fall. The altercation continued when Jones stood up again and approached a transit officer standing nearby. The officer threw Jones over a railing.

"He's angry, no doubt about it," Schott told the jury, adding that the defendant kept fighting and was hit with pepper spray when he approached one of the transit officers again.

Jones pulled out a folding knife and said, "What's up now, mother----?" He then swung the blade at two firefighters, hitting Ben Vernon, a firefighter/paramedic, and Alex Wallbrett, who rushed to his partner's aid.

Vernon, then 37, was stabbed twice and received medical treatment for a broken rib and collapsed lung. He was out of work for four months. Wallbrett suffered three stab wounds, one of which was close to his spine.

"That's not somebody scared," the prosecutor said of Jones' comment when he pulled out the knife. "That's somebody trying to kill."

Jones testified that he made the comment because he feared for his life. Already blind in his right eye from a childhood injury, he said he was rendered completely blind temporarily when he was sprayed in the face with pepper spray.

He said he was surrounded and didn't know what would happen next.

"I'm not going to be a statistic," he recalled thinking. "I'm not going to die today."

His lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Thomas Bahr, argued to the jury that what happened the day of the stabbings was not "some brazen act of violence," but a necessary act of self-defense.
The two firefighters attacked and stabbing while responding to a medical call
Bahr said it was the fire captain who instigated the event, a man who had been involved in two domestic violence incidents. The defense attorney said the captain had trouble controlling his temper, and in this case he let it "explode on Mr. Jones."

The jurors started their deliberations Monday afternoon.

dana.littlefield@sduniontribune.com
Copyright 2016 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Jury Awards Fired Vallejo Firefighter $2.3M - $400,000 for Emotional Distress, Rest For Past And Future Wage Loss

Jury Awards Fired Calif. Firefighter $2.3M

IRMA WIDJOJO ON MAR 22, 2016
SOURCE: MCCLATCHY


March 22--A jury awarded a former Vallejo firefighter more than $2.3 million Friday at the end of a nine-week long trial in a case against the city.


Todd Milan, 47, sued the city alleging retaliation in 2013 after his employment was terminated in 2012.


The jury took about two days to deliberate before awarding Milan $2,357,089, $400,000 of which for emotional distress, while the rest is for past and future wage lost, said his lawyer Leslie Levy.


"We were ecstatic (with the verdict)," Levy said. "It vindicated him. The jury found that he had been retaliated against."


The Oakland-based lawyer said Milan's dismissal stemmed from a mobile home fire in 2011 that killed a paraplegic resident and injured the firefighter.


Milan was ready to enter the burning structure at the Olympia of Vallejo mobile home park to rescue the man, when he looked back to see his captain getting ready to go in with him.


"All (the captain) had to do was put on his helmet and gloves," Levy said.


Vallejo firefighters are supposed to enter into a burning structure in pairs, she added.


Milan then went ahead to go into the home after hearing screaming from inside expecting his captain to be seconds behind him.


However, while inside the blazing home, Milan did not see his captain. He then tried to pull the resident out of the bed but had to leave the structure because of a flashover, Levy said.


"He could have died if he didn't leave," she said.


The resident, Jimmy Brown II, 39, was eventually rescued from the house, but later succumbed to his injuries.


Due to the fire, Milan sustained third-degree burns on his hands, second-degree burns to his face and first- and second-degree burns to his back. He was out of duty for about six months.


Following the fire, Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident.


Milan was told by his supervisors, including the fire chief at that time, that his story should "match everybody else's," Levy said.


Due to Milan's report, the fire department received a notice of violation by OSHA for the captain not having his gloves at the time for the fire, and for the failure to adhere to the buddy system by Milan and the captain, Levy said.


Milan, who was still an apprentice, was later dismissed after not passing his 30th month examination.


Like all new hires, Milan, who was hired in 2009, had to go through a three-year apprenticeship at the beginning of his career at the Vallejo Fire department.


Levy contends that the chief was using the examination as an excuse to retaliate against Milan for his OSHA reports.


Since then, Milan has been teaching paramedic classes to doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians.


"He wants to go back to the fire service, but he hasn't been hired because of his termination record," Levy said.


Milan was a Silicon Valley salesman when he decided to go into public service in his 30s, and was hired by the Vallejo Fire Department at 41 years old.


The city has 60 days to appeal the case.


"We are very disappointed in the result, and are currently considering our options," said City Attorney Claudia Quintana in an email.


According to the city council meeting agenda, the case is set to be discussed during the closed session Tuesday.


"(Milan) loves the fire service," Levy said. "It saddened him to see the lack of integrity of a few people in the fire department, but he still holds the fire service as a whole in high regard."



Contact Irma Widjojo at 707-553-6835.


Copyright 2016 - Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Final Phase in the Development of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

The National Strategy: The Final Phase in the Development of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy is a strategic push to work collaboratively among all stakeholders and across all landscapes, using best science, to make meaningful progress towards the three goals:
  1. Resilient Landscapes
  2. Fire Adapted Communities
  3. Safe and Effective Wildfire Response
Vision: To safely and effectively extinguish fire when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a nation, to live with wildland fire.
Cover of The National Strategy: The Final Phase in the Development of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
The National Strategy: The Final Phase in the Development of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (PDF, 3.8 MB) represents the culmination of the three-phased Cohesive Strategy effort initiated in 2009. The National Strategy establishes a national vision for wildland fire management, defines three national goals, describes the wildland fire challenges, identifies opportunities to reduce wildfire risks, and establishes national priorities focused on achieving the national goals.
The National Strategy explores four broad challenges:
  1. Managing vegetation and fuels;
  2. Protecting homes, communities, and other values at risk;
  3. Managing human-caused ignitions; and
  4. Effectively and efficiently responding to wildfire.
The Secretaries of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture transmitted the following signed letter to the United States Senate and House of Representatives submitting this document.
The National Action Plan (PDF, 516 KB) is a companion to the National Strategy and supports its implementation. Backed by science, the National Action Plan provides a framework for implementation actions and tasks necessary at various scales.

More Information


Community Volunteer: Orange County Fire Authority Hiring Reserve Firefighters #CAFire


The Orange County Fire Authority’s Reserve Program is a community-based program. This program gives members of the community the opportunity to augment full-time career Firefighters with the delivery of emergency fire and rescue services and public relations and education to the community.

Reserve Firefighters volunteer their time to the community solely based on civic and humanitarian reasons. Reserve Firefighters receive a nominal stipend and limited benefits for their voluntary participation in this program. The Reserve Firefighter Program is managed through the Community Volunteer Services Office. 
• Must be at least 18 years of age at time of application submittal
• Must possess a valid California Driver License
• Must live within 10 minutes of a Reserve Fire Station or within 45 minutes of a Reserve Fire Crew Station (Fire Station 18 or 41)
• Must be able to obtain an Emergency Medical Technician License within 18 months of Academy graduation
• Must be able to pass a background check
• Must be of good health and pass OCFA’s physical requirements

Twitter links

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****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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