Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fire Associates Responds for Rehab Support at Redwood Estates

Photo By John Whitaker
This has to stop, sometime!
On Wednesday morning, May 28, Fire Associates responded to yet another fire in the month of May. This time, the response for Rehab support was to rehydrate crews that had been working spot vegetation fires along Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fire Associates was asked to help with the beverage and meal service at Santa Clara County Fire's Redwood Station.
John Whitaker (driving) and John Whiteside (passenger) responded to the scene with Fire Support Unit 2. As was expected, they encountered heavy southbound traffic on Highway 17 as they approached Bear Creek Rd. Traffic was backed up because the mountain highway is only two lanes in that area and fire crews had one lane blocked as they worked the fire. As instructed by the incident IC, John and John stayed on Highway 17 and used their amber lights to try to make their way past traffic -- with little success.
Photo By John Whitaker
FSU-2 arrived at Redwood Station as the County Fire and Cal Fire crews were being debriefed. As this meeting was going on, a meal service area was set up with a serving table, trash bags, and drink coolers. Six family-size Togo's sandwiches had already been delivered by fire personnel. When the meeting broke up, crews were quick to descend on Rehab.
As food was being served, fire emergency radios crackled with the news of a major vegetation fire starting up in Gilroy -- located in the far south region of the FASCV response area. This blaze quickly escalated into a 2-alarm incident with the Gilroy IC calling for mutual aid from Morgan Hill and South County Fire District. A request for Cal Fire engines, handcrews, and air support was also initiated.
John and John were quickly instructed by the Redwood IC to break down the Rehab area at this location and head south to assist FASCV member Bill Roth, who was responding solo in FSU-3 to the new incident. FASCV support at the Gilroy fire is further described in a separate story on this blog.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker