Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 26, 2010 -- Response for Milpitas Fire

On June 26, after a 9:42 P.M. page from Milpitas Fire Department, Bruce Dembecki responded in Fire Support Unit 2 to 455 Greathouse Drive where Milpitas Fire was on the scene of a one-alarm house fire. Bruce was met on scene by FASCV members Jerry Haag, Ron Green and... drum roll please... Dan Wong on his first response as a Fire Associates member.

The fire originated in a garage and extended into the attic. The efforts of Engine 3 on the ground and Truck 1 on the roof put a quick stop to the fire before it could do a lot of damage beyond the garage.

The evening was warm and particularly humid, so cold drinks were the order of the day (night ?) and the grateful Milpitas crews drank much Gatorade and some water, as well as knocking back a carton of Clif Bars.

The fire was handled by Milpitas units only, Engine 1, 2 and 3, along with Truck and USAR 1 and Battalion 19. After restocking the drink supplies of units remaining on scene into the wee hours Support Unit 2 was released a little before midnight and was refueled and back in bed at Station 6 around 12:50 am.

-- Submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Latest Support Unit Update

Back in April of this year, Fire Associates announced in this blog the purchase of our latest support unit. As a refresher, it is a 1997 GMC/Isuzu that once served as a fire/rescue truck. And, although the vehicle is 13 years old, it amazingly only has 4,650 miles on the odometer.

During the last few months, the vehicle has undergone some major modifications at the hands of our Fleet Manager, Don Gilbert. Don has installed a 60-gallon, potable water tank and pump; installed a 5000W Honda generator; repaired interior compartment lighting, and replaced the red lightbar lenses with amber lenses.

However, the latest modification is the most obvious. New FASCV identification lettering and graphics have been applied. It took a lot of elbow grease to remove some of the old, sun-baked lettering to get the vehicle ready for the transformation. Recently, Brian Tran of Tru Color Signs in San Jose, applied the FASCV-specific lettering.

Additionally, the FASCV Board has decided that this rig will go into service in our north county territory -- operating as Support Unit 1 out of Santa Clara City Fire's Station 9. The Ford F-350 now at Station 9 will be moved to San Jose and replace our reserve 1981 Dodge as Support Unit 3. When details of the move are finalized with the San Jose Fire Dept., it will mean that our organization, for the first time, will have three primary response units!

Thank you to all the firefighters who regularly contribute funds to our cause. It is this funding, along with donations from some FASCV members, that has made this purchase possible. Take a look at the following photos and stay tuned for further announcements.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010 -- Special-Call Response for County Fire

It was a peaceful Father's Day for most FASCV members until our pagers broke the calm. At 9:46 A.M., just in the middle of breakfast for some members, Santa Clara County Fire called for our support at a house file in Campbell.

Don Gilbert gave up time with his family to respond in Support Unit 2 to 1180 W. Latimer Ave. He was joined on scene by Bruce Dembecki, Ron Green, Cliff Smith (with wife, Shiela), and John Whitaker (with wife, Liz). As a matter of fact, there was so much support that Cliff made the comment that it looked like an "FASCV Father's Day Picnic"!

The first-arriving units were San Jose rigs coming in on an auto-response. They found the front of the home fully engulfed with flames rolling out of the windows. Santa Clara County crews were next to respond to the single-alarm. The lone occupant was slightly injured with second-degree burns. He was lucky, however, as the IC remarked that he had been awakened by a sounding smoke alarm.

Donuts and drinks were provided to the grateful firefighters and we were all released shortly before 1:00 P.M. It made for an eventful Father's Day with several members commenting that we had a call on Mother's Day this year, so why not Father's Day?

June 18, 2010 -- 2nd-alarm Special Call in San Jose

On Friday evening, June 18, Fire Associates was paged by the San Jose Fire Department. Our help was needed at a 2nd-alarm house fire. Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2 to the incident location at 841 Lewiston Drive, a residential area near the San Jose Capital Auto Mall. Don was joined on scene by Bruce Dembecki and Bruce has submitted the following fire report:

The incident started as a small kitchen grease fire. However when water was added by the resident, the results were spectacular. The resulting fire got into the walls and the attic. Engine 13 arrived and could see only light smoke, but upon investigation, discovered the attic well ablaze and a second alarm was called.

Due to the time of day, Chief Connant (B1) as IC, requested a Fire Associates response so that we could provide dinner service to the appreciative crews on scene. En route, Don was asked by the IC to stop and pick up 70 Burritos from a restaurant near the fire ground. We were released by B13 about 9:30 P.M.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010 -- Multi-alarm Response in Morgan Hill

At 5:03 A.M. on Tuesday, June 15, Fire Associates was paged to a house fire in Morgan Hill. Santa Clara County Fire was on the scene of a multi-alarm fire at 80 Preservation Way. Bruce Dembecki responded in Support Unit 2 and was met on scene by Mike Chappell, Brian Woodson and John Whitaker.

The house was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene. When they were able to enter the home, crews found a deceased victim within the structure. County Fire was assisted in the mutual-aide incident by units from South County Fire, Gilroy Fire, CalFire and San Jose Fire.

Fire Associates set up a rehab area down the street from the involved structure. On a chilly, foggy summer morning, cups of coffee and donuts were in hot demand. Once the sun finally broke through the overcast, an Easy-up shelter was set up to provide some shade to weary firefighters. A lunch of Togo's sandwiches, chips and cold drinks was served under the awning shortly before Fire Associates was released at 12:45 P.M.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 13, 2010 -- 4-Alarm House Fire in San Jose

At approximately 1:30 P.M. on Sunday afternoon June 13, San Jose Fire called for Fire Associates help. An abandoned house at 691 W. San Carlos was on fire just west of downtown. Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2 and was joined by FASCV members John Whitaker, Mike Chappell, Jerry Haag and Bruce Dembecki.

Arriving firefighters found the entire front of the structure on fire and a 2nd alarm was quickly called. Early into the attack, crews were called out of the structure due to a sagging wall. Also, fire was burning under the front steps leading to a porch area. As the afternoon temperature rose to near 90 degrees, third and fourth alarms were called due to the high heat index.

As luck would have it, the fire was burning next to a car wash on the corner of San Carlos and Bird Ave. "Luck" because the establishment's covered customer waiting area was utilized for rehab. In addition, the large area had benches and an overhead misting system. A perfect location for rehab on a hot afternoon. Fire Associates helped keep the ice chests full and the drinks cold until we were released at 4:30 P.M.

June 12, 2010 -- 2nd Alarm House Fire in Milpitas

On a warm and windy Saturday morning, the Milpitas Fire Dept. required Fire Associates'
help at a 2nd-alarm fire on the city's north side. Located at 1252 N. Park Victoria Way, the fire was burning in a single-family home. Jerry Haag brought Support Unit 1 to the incident and was met by FASCV president, John Whitaker. Jerry has submitted the following report:

Date: 12 June 2010
Time: 0915 - Self-dispatch, 0927 - Sonitrol dispatch, 1000 arrival, released at 1100.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: Milpitas City
Location: 1252 N. Park Victoria Way

Details: Small single-family, single-story dwelling. Engine 2, first in, found front room fully involved with fire lapping out the window into porch roof. 5 persons displaced, one bird saved.

Units in Attendance:
MLP: IC (Mihovich); E-1, 2, 3, 4 (virtually every engine in the city); T-1, 4; USAR
Fremont: One engine, one truck, one BC (all released before arrival of FASCV).

Responding Members: Haag (driver), Whitaker

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 3, 2010 - 2-Alarm House Fire in San Jose

Well, the phrase "house fire" is probably inaccurate. This was 2 houses!

On Thursday evening, June 3, as the FASCV membership was gathering for our monthly meeting, San Jose Fire paged us to a fire on the city's east side. John Whiteside had not yet arrived at Santa Clara County Communications Center (site of our meeting), and phoned in that he would be taking Support Unit 2 so that the other members could continue with the meeting. John has issued this report:

June 3, SJFD 2nd alarm, 2984 and 2974 Warrington Ave., cross of S. White Road. John Whiteside responded with FSU #2 instead of attending the June FA meeting, to which he was just about to turn to go up to Comm Hill when the page went out. He was asked to contact Batt 21 via phone and the message was to pick up 38 burritos enroute to the fire. Upon arriving, with no other members on scene, it took a few minutes to setup everything.

Flames from the original fire structure, 2984 Warrington Ave., leaped from the Delta side into the attic of the adjacent structure. Both were severely damaged.
Just before being released from the scene, Mike Chappell, Brian Woodson and John Whitaker arrived from the meeting to assist with cleanup and putting equipment back onto FSU #2.

May 30, 2010 - 3rd-Alarm Call from San Jose Fire

On Sunday evening, May 30, Fire Associates was called by the San Jose Fire Department to a 3rd-alarm fire at Bay Area Self Storage. Located at 6020 Monterey Road, the fire was burning in a storage area at the rear of the compartmentalized building. Don Gilbert and John Whiteside responded to the 8:30 P.M. call in Support Unit 2. John Whiteside has issued this report:

San Jose 3rd alarm, public storage business, 6020 Monterey Road, at Hwy. 85, just north of Bernal Road. Initial dispatch at 1859, we were paged at 2030, released around 0300. After picking up gear, dropping off garbage, getting water cases and CLIF Bars at Sta. 26, then fuel enroute to Sta. 6 and restocking FSU #2, Don dropped me off at home at 0430.

FSU #2 with Don Gilbert, John Whiteside, George Hoyt, Ron Green, Mike Chappell, John Whitaker, Bob Gundrum, Dan Wong (as a guest). We had called multiple food outlets but they were closed or closing. George arranged for meals with Boston Market for 120 people and delivered them at 0030 on May 31. Many of the fire rigs had demobed by that time, so much of the buffet-type food was delivered by George to a charity suggested by a SJFD deputy chief on scene. Cost $640 even with discounts. Those on scene really enjoyed a great fire-side quick buffet meal!!

Used Mutual Aid trucks (Sunnyvale 1 and County 12) plus SJ T-14 in addition to T-29, T-18, T-13, T-303, T-16, only flowing 2 ladder pipes at a time. Also MA Overhead team from Mtn. View, County and CalFire.