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May 31, 2005

Firefighters Use Wrong Car for Training!

German firefighters mistake teens first car for their jaws of life training.

Mistakes happen!

Read it here

May 29, 2005

You Know You Love Your Wife When......

.......she comes to the car and says "I dropped the camera in the river" and you find you can just laugh it off. ggrrrrrr

I took the family to Yosemite Valley yesterday. Yosemite is breathtaking on an average day but the run-off from the melting snowpack has turned the Valley into one GIANT amazing waterfall. There is water falling from every ledge. I saw waterfalls yesterday that I never knew existed and I have been visiting the valley my entire life.
My wife took charge of the Fuji digital and I manned the camcorder. She had captured some amazing images of Bridalveil Fall and some exceptional images of El Capitan. We stopped at the Swinging Bridge and my 12 year old and her got out to explore the bridge. The Merced River flowing beneath the bridge was up to the bridge deck which means the river was at least 10 feet over normal levels.

My wife simply dropped the camera and while attempting a quick grab she bumped it further and it found a crack in the rail and slipped into the swollen Merced. She made a move towards the rail and a gentleman standing next to her said "It's not worth it" as though he assumed she was about to go into the water after it, (he doesn't know her).

It could have been worse, no one fell in and we had a great day.

If you are in California and have children please take them to Yosemite. If you manage to get into the park before 10 am you will avoid the traffic often talked about when the press mentions Yosemite.

How is this related to firefighting and why blog it? It doesn't but this is a blog after all.

Fire Deaths in London 1996 to 2000

Report (pdf)


May 25, 2005

Firefighters Training for the Coming Season

Please visit my new site Wildfire Report. I will blog the California wildfire season as well as can be done with a laptop.

May 21, 2005

Heating up, Gearing up!

Wildfire danger worries local firefighters

By Erin Musgrave/(Hollister Freelance)

"Hollister - With about 130 percent more rain than average in San Benito County this winter causing wildland grasses to flourish, more fuel for possible fires has local firefighters preparing for the worst and hoping for the best as fire season quickly approaches.

Two situations can increase fire hazards during the summer months - no rain that creates drier than normal grasses, or significant rainfall that results in taller and thicker grasses, according to Chief Curt Itson of the California Department of Forestry.

However, neither situation foretells whether the season will be good or bad, he said.

“We prepare for the worst fire season in history every year and hopefully that doesn’t happen,” Itson said. “This is where fire happens in the United States and we’re prepared.”

CDF and San Benito County firefighters began wildland fire training this week, but Itson said there’s no set date for the opening of fire season. Usually, fire activity starts to pick up around June or July and gets into full swing in August and September, he said......"
Hollister Freelance

*My opinion; it's game on right now. I believe the Chief wants to fully staff the stations early this year. Administrative constraints prevent early manning but he knows this year is going to be especially dangerous. San Benito County topography is particularly inhospitable to firefighters. They have a challenging season ahead.

May 20, 2005

Fire Season is here in California

The State has not called it yet but I think conditions are such now that wildlands are now vulnerable. My independent (limited) field study tells me crews should be geared up and stations fully manned ASAP.
I will throw out a plea for the Governor to allocate additional funds to add one seasonal firefighter to each engine for the duration of the fire season. Fuel loads are higher than I have ever seen. Firefighters will see fire activity never witnessed before in the State.
I will follow the active fires here on the blog posting relevant and interesting information and photos when able.
Stay tuned!
C.D.F. Home

May 18, 2005

W.V. Girl Killed, Firefighters Bravely Fight off Pit Bull

"Pit Bull Kills Toddler in West Virginia
By Associated Press
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A pit bull that bit a neighbor last week fatally mauled a young girl before being subdued by firefighters using a fire extinguisher, officials said.

Two-year-old Arianna Fleeman was pronounced dead at a hospital following the attack Tuesday at the dog owner's home, police said.

"The girl, her mother and at least two other people were apparently hanging out on the house's porch," Sgt. Dan Underwood said. "The homeowner apparently told them all to stay out of the house where the dog was."

It was not known what provoked the dog. The attack occurred inside the house, Mayor David Felinton said Wednesday.

Huntington firefighter Jason Price said the dog was wild-eyed and the hair on the back of its neck was raised, and that it rammed the door like a bull.

"Hollywood couldn't have made this dog look more evil," he said.

The girl's mother, Brittany Fleeman, tried to fend off the dog and was hospitalized with injuries to her hands, a relative said.

Eric Mason, who lives on the same street as the pit bull's owner, said the dog bit him last week.

The pit bull's owner, who was not identified, had posted several "beware of dog" signs and was keeping the dog inside the house because it had previously bitten another person, said Debbie Young, office manager for Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Control.

"A lot of people are under the impression that once they put those warning signs, they are in the clear. ... They are responsible for that animal," Young said.

No charges have been filed, authorities said Wednesday.

Young said animal control officials will ask a judge to order that the dog be destroyed. The animal was in isolation at an animal shelter." To story

*Should there even be a debate about putting this dog down? I was attacked by a pit bull while on duty and there was no judge needed to consult on that mutts fate!

May 16, 2005

Bravest Tom Westman is a now millionaire.

"FDNY Firefighter Tom Westman the victor in Survivor: Palau picked up his winnings, a check for $1 million, on CBS' The Early Show Monday.

Westman, 41, a father of three who lives on Long Island, is a second-generation New York City fireman...." CBS website

I admire Tom and the way he played the game. Our family watches the show together and have since the series began. Tom is a ray of light for the good in life as he managed to win the competition without compromising his integrity, something never done on Survivor. Tom epitomized what people admire about persons in the fire service. Stand up guys and women make up the service. Tom Westman gave all fire personnel something to be proud of.
Congratulations Tom. My family is proud of you and your efforts. I am especially proud because my kids got to see a man of integrity, a firefighter get the prize!

May 15, 2005

Women Firefighters in Latin America

I found this article on Desastres.org. Women in the fire service in Central and South America is not often pondered. Please read this article by Alex Quintanilla.

"Reading about women in the fire service not writing for "Desastres.org", I would like to comment about women I had the privilege to have worked with in my travels in Latin America. One of them whose name I can’t recall but I know my friends in Guatemala know who she is. It all started on my second trip to Guatemala to train the Bomberos Voluntarios de Guatemala along with Bomberos Municipales and Airport Firefighters. She acted as my driver......" More--->

Category tags:

May 12, 2005

Kansas Woman Begins Speaking After 2 Years

By Associated Press
"ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A woman who couldn't talk or feed herself after suffering head trauma in a traffic accident has spoken her first words in more than two years.

Tracy Gaskill, 30, began speaking and swallowing about three weeks ago, family members and medical personnel said. She had suffered internal injuries and head trauma when her pickup truck rolled over on a highway in September 2002......"
  • cont. L.A Times

  • *Michael Shiavo, satan has a spot reserved for you for your dereliction of duty in caring for poor Terri.

    May 09, 2005

    FDNY Rescue 3 Firefighter Joseph Dibernardo

    Bravest hero firefighter Joseph DiBernardo will be promoted to lieutenant - says he is determined to walk into the ceremony.
    Daily News link to story

    May 05, 2005

    Firefighter Donald Herbert


    Congratulations, God bless you!

    Story of the year!!