Photo from "Friends of San Jose Firefighters" Facebook Page
Wednesday, July 10, was a hot and muggy day. At 1:10 P.M., FASCV member John Whiteside was arriving at a restaurant, to have lunch, when County Fire dispatched a full-first alarm assignment to a house fire in Los Gatos. The large, single-story residence was located at 16431 Lavender Lane, near Orange Blossom Lane.
John decided to wait and see what developed, since he knew that the Fire Associates' south county area was short of Fire Support Unit drivers. Based on the emergency radio traffic, John could sense the urgency and it wasn't long before a second alarm was dispatched. He called Sonitrol, our answering service, to let them know he was en route to drive FSU-3. He recommended to Sonitrol that they page out the details once County Fire called in with the request for service and the exact location.
John departed San Jose Station 35 with FSU-3 at 1:50 P.M. and arrived at Lavender Staging just after 2:00 P.M. He set up Rehab with the assistance of FASCV members Jerry Haag and Dan Wong. Bruce Dembecki was out of the county, but joined Rehab later in the afternoon.
As the firefight progressed, a large group of firefighters were in Rehab, with their drink supply running low. Immediately, iced drinks were provided, along with benches, another misting fan added to the two already in use, CLIF bars and Fire Associates’ popular lemonade. The 50 pounds of ice on the FSU were quickly depleted and Jerry left to obtain another 50 pounds. The fire eventually escalated to a third alarm with San Jose filling out that response.
John was released at approximately 6:30 P.M., and, after buying $120-worth of drinks (ten cases of water and Gatorade) to restock the almost empty FSU, arrived back at Station 35 at 7:40 P.M., ending a longer-than-normal rehab response.
- Photos by Craig Allyn Rose can be viewed at: Los Gatos House Fire
- A losgatos.patch.com video of Santa Clara County Deputy Fire Chief Steve Prziborowski can be viewed at: News Interview
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Homeowner Escapes Fire
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside