Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 8, 2008 -- Third-alarm Response for San Jose

The pagers went off at 2:02 A.M. on Saturday morning and John Whiteside and John Whitaker answered the call. This time it was for a 3rd-alarm fire that destroyed Building 25 on the former site of IBM Corp. in the south-eastern portion of the city. For those in the know, you'll recognize the address of 5600 Cottle Road as the birthplace of a precursor of the magnetic hard drive. This achievement was one of the factors that ultimately lead to the "Silicon Valley" economic boom years.

The fireground covered a massive area and negotiating the maze of hoses proved to be a daunting task. But, once set up near the IC, Support Unit 2 proved to be a very popular site as we distributed 7 dozen donuts and a large amount of coffee and lemonade. It was a mild night, but the firefighters were
wet, tired and hungry. FASCV was released at approximately 10:30 A.M.

Recently, developers, the City of San Jose and preservationists have been at odds as to the historic importance of the 69,000 square-foot building. But, after this fire completely gutted the structure, there's no denying that the building's future has been greatly compromised. Click on the accompanying
photo above for a video of firefighter efforts.

To read more about the fire and developers plans for the site, go to:

John Whitaker's photos can be viewed at: SJS - IBM Fire

SJFD Demonstrations Live Up to Advanced Billing

Everyone went away happy after the FASCV March Monthly Meeting! That's because of the excellent demonstrations put on by the crew of Station No. 1 and Battalion Chief Kevin Conant.

Through a special arrangement, one of San Jose Fire's two new aerial ladder trucks was available for viewing and a exhibition of it's 103-foot ladder. With FASCV members looking on, as well as members of the Station 1 crew, one of the eager "truckies" donned protective gear and climbed to the tip of the fully-extended ladder. Once at the tip, he demonstrated the benefits of the truck's built-in ladder-to-ground communication system. Engineers explained to the group that these 60-foot-long, articulated vehicles are actually much more maneuverable through tight city streets and narrow residential areas than any truck now operated by SJFD.

Next on the agenda was a tour of the S.J. Fire's new Communication Van. Chief Conant proudly led FASCV members into the former bookmobile where he explained its capabilities. Featured within the unit are two banks of radios (one for dispatchers and the other for command staff), access to a wide variety of external video sources (including a mast-mounted camera and down links from airborne video sources), a big screen TV for viewing the fire scene, and computer printers for printing out photos and reports. Creature features include air conditioning, bright lighting, and a massive amount of custom-built cabinetry that is entirely faced with "whiteboard" material for on-the-spot record-keeping.

After the tours, it was obvious to all who attended that San Jose firefighters will soon have two first-rate pieces of equipment at their disposal.

John Whitaker's photos of the event can be viewed at: FASCV March Meeting

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dinner Planned Before March Monthly Meeting

Prior to our 7:30 P.M. meeting at SJFD Station No. 1, Ed Del Prete suggests that we meet for dinner at the Sonoma Chicken Coop restaurant at 5:30 P.M. The restaurant location is 31 N. Market in San Jose -- just down the street from Station No. 1. These locations are within a 2-block walking distance of each other. Check out the map at: Walking Map

See you there!

John Whitaker