Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Santa Clara City Fire Dept. Fights Early Morning Fire

Date & Time: 27 September 2011, Sonitrol page at 0422, FASCV on-scene at 0502. 
Agency: Santa Clara City Fire
Type: 3rd alarm.  
Incident Address: 3409 El Camino Real, Santa Clara

Details: Fire in single-story strip mall business under renovation. Three attack lines from E-5 with own hydrant supply. Fire held to unit of origin, minor damage to adjoining businesses on each side.

SNC: E-3, 5, 7, 9; R-2; T-2, 8; H-9; IC-Batt. 1 (Acting B/C Luzero)  
FASCV Responding Unit: Fire Support Unit 1. Released at 0700 hours.
FASCV Responders: Jerry Haag (driver), Ron Green, Dan Wong, George Hoyt and Herman DeKruyff.
-- Report Submitted by Jerry Haag

Monday, September 19, 2011

San Jose Calls for FASCV Assistance at 5-Alarm Blaze

(Remember. Clicking on all photos in the blog will enlarge the image)
It was just a little before 5:00 P.M. on September 19, when the San Jose Fire Department asked for assistance from Fire Associates at a 5-alarm structure fire. A fire had begin in one of the city's old victorians located at 272 E. Washington Street. With summer temperatures hovering in the mid 90s, John Whiteside responded in FSU-3 and Don Gilbert brought FSU-02. They were met on scene by FASCV members George Hoyt, John Whitaker, Ron Gree, Mike Chappell and Dan Wong.

It was a good thing both support units were on scene. The approximately 100 firefighters present were going through an average of a bottle-and-a-half bottles of liquid for every hour they were on scene. FASCV gave out almost every bottle of water and Gatorade that was brought on both vehicles! In addition, every bag of ice that was brought was also used up. On top of all this, the fire began right before the dinner hour, so hungry crews had to be fed. 90 burritos were ordered up by SJFD Communications personnel with John Whitaker and Dan Wong volunteering to go pick up the order.

Despite the very hot temperatures, firefighters made a good stop on the blaze. The structure was fully involved, but neither of the adjacent homes were damaged. Fire was present on every floor of the involved home, built in 1892. Fire Associates provided assistance in a very busy rehab area until released at approximately 9:30 P.M. It should be noted that the temperature had only dropped to 78 degrees at the time of release!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rare Call from San Jose PD Brings Fire Associates Response

Photo By Bruce Dembecki
Date and Time:  September 16, 2011, 20:51
Type:  Police Operation
Size:  Special Call
Jurisdiction:  San Jose Fire Department request for San Jose Police Department
Location:  684 Lenfest, near Mabury and King Rd. (Police Command Post)
Response Unit:  FSU-2
Responding Members:  Bruce Dembecki, Mike Chappell, Ron Green and John Whitaker (with Liz)
At around 9:00 P.M. on Friday September 16, FASCV received a request from San Jose Fire to provide assistance to the San Jose Police Department during an extended operation. The police officers were searching for a serious offender after a shooting and car jacking that occurred earlier in the day. After locating the suspect's car, officers were involved in a pursuit with shots fired a little before 6:00 . The offender escaped on foot into a nearby residential area.

A very thorough search of the area was initiated, with Special Operations Police, K9 units and the Police helicopter all working to locate the suspect, while another large team of officers secured the perimeter. As the evening wore on Police realized that it was going to be a long night and requested FASCV through the Fire Dispatch center. The Fire Department also helped out with the portable restrooms, and they had USAR 34 on standby to assist with the search.

Bruce Dembecki responded with Fire Support Unit 2 and was on scene before 10:00pm, where he was met by FASCV members Ron Green and Mike Chappell. FASCV setup a rehab station next to the Police Command post, and provided Hot and Cold drinks and Cliff Bars to go with the In-N-Out burgers the Police Dept had arranged to feed it's teams. As the night wore on Coffee became increasingly popular, while we sent cases of water out to the field units.

FSU 2 was released around 2:30am, and we left 2 pots of fresh coffee and a supply of Cliff bars for the PD units still searching. While the Friday night search was not successful, the Police Department did get their man a couple of days later.
-- Report Submitted By: Bruce Dembecki

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fire Associates Responds to 3-Alarm Condo Fire

Date:  September 14, 2011
Type:  Structure Fire
Size:  3-Alarm
Jurisdiction: San Jose Fire Department
Location:  2358 Bear Valley Lane, San Jose
Response Unit:  FSU-2
Responding Members: Bruce Dembecki, John Whiteside, George Hoyt, Don Gilbert, Jerry Haag and Walter Huber (Guest)
At 3:30 on Wednesday September 14, FASCV responded to a multi-alarm fire burning through an apartment complex on Bear Valley Lane in San Jose. Arriving firefighters were confronted with active fire through the roof of a 2-story residential structure, and quickly discovered the garage building for the units was also ablaze.

As the fire started to run the building's attic space, Incident Commander B/C 1B Robert Sapien requested a third alarm, which initiated the automatic FASCV response. John Whiteside and Bruce Dembecki responded to Fire Station 6 to pick up Fire Support Unit 2 and headed to the scene. They were met on scene by FASCV members Don Gilbert, George Hoyt and Jerry Haag, along with guest Walter Huber.

On this warm afternoon, firefighters went through large amounts of water, Gatorade and lemonade in a busy Rehab section.

-- Report Submitted By: Bruce Dembecki


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Palo Alto Fire Asks for Fire Associates' Assistance at "Explosion"

A peaceful Tuesday evening was interrupted by the sound of an "explosion" at a Palo Alto apartment complex. Initially responding to the incident in his personal vehicle was FASCV vice president Jerry Haag. He was joined later by Larry Carr in Support Unit 4 who responded to a page for help from Palo Alto Fire.

Jerry has submitted the following report:

Date & Time: 13 September 2011, 1930 hours. Sonitrol page at 1958.
Agency: Palo Alto Fire
Incident Address: 2727 Midtown Court, Palo Alto
Type: 2nd alarm, quickly cancelled, followed by special call for Fire Associates response.
Details: Vigorous chemical reaction of swimming pool chemicals with resulting release of chlorine gas, various early reports included “explosion” and “smoke seen”. All residents of a large apartment complex were evacuated. Jerry Haag initially provided water at Medical for evacuees and treatment personnel, and then firefighters were served by FSU-4. Small number of victims transported to Stanford Hospital with symptoms of choking, vomiting.

PAF: E-1, 4, 5; R-1; T-6; Medic 1, 2, IC-Batt. 6 (Broussard)
3 County EMS ambulances;
Responding Support Unit: Initial voluntary response by Haag in own POV, followed by Larry Carr in FSU-4 after Sonitrol page. Released at 2200 hours.
FASCV Responders: Larry Carr (driver), Jerry Haag, Dan Wong and Ron Green with Barbara Green (guest)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trench Rescue Necessitates an Extended Operation

In the late morning on September 12, Santa Clara County Fire personnel were called to a rescue operation in Saratoga. Located at 12370 Radoyka Drive, a construction worker was trapped in a trench that had been dug next to a home's foundation. Suspecting that the rescue would require an extended operation, FASCV member Bruce Dembeki called fire dispatchers to see if FASCV could be of assistance. The response was, "Yes!"

While Bruce went to get Fire Support Unit 2, Ron Green, George Hoyt, Dan Wong, Don Gilbert and John Whitaker reponded to the scene. Rehab was set up in a shady driveway several doors down from the incident. FASCV provided lemonade, cold beverages, Clif Bars and a place to sit down on a warm, summer afternoon. As the event moved into it's third hour, Ron Green and John Whitaker were tasked with ordering and delivering 50 Togo's sandwiches from a nearby store.

The incident proved to be a very complicated effort. The trench had been dug right next to the house foundation where a worker was looking for the source of a leak in a recently-built basement. While in the trench, the dirt collapsed and he was buried up to his neck. Firefighters quickly called for a City of San Jose Vacon truck that was able to suck up the loose dirt. Conventional digging was just causing more dirt to fall into the narrow trench. The worker was eventually hauled out on a backboard with block and tackle rigging hung from below the basket on Santa Clara County Fire Truck 1.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fire Associates Supports SJFD's 9/11 Memorial

On Sunday morning, September 11, members of Fire Associates provided coffee and beverages to those attending the 9/11 Memorial ceremony at SJFD's Station No. 1. Bruce Dembecki, Ron Green (with Barbara) and John Whitaker (with Liz) all attended the event.

Bruce Dembecki arrived with Fire Support Unit 2 at approximately 10:30 A.M. and set up a coffee service area inside the vacated apparatus bay at Station 1, located at 255 N. Market St. Ron Green assisted Bruce with the set up and helped to make sure a fresh pot of coffee was always available to the 1,000-plus attendees. While John Whitaker was also on hand to help with the set up, his primary activity centered around supporting the San Jose Fire Museum - a co-sponsor of the event. John's volunteer efforts with the Museum lead to his production of the 12-page program for the day's activities.

A highlight of the ceremony was a display of 343 pairs of turnout boots arranged in front of the podium at Station 1. Each pair of boots, signifying public safety personnel who lost their lives 10 years earlier, was tied together with a black ribbon and the name of someone who gave their life. A small, American flag was also placed in each boot.

Hosted by former newscaster Rigo Chacon, the event's speakers included: William McDonald, Fire Chief, SJFD; Christopher Moore, Chief of Police, SJPD; Chuck Reed, Mayor, City of San Jose; Dave Cortese, President, Board of Supervisors, Santa Clara Co.; and Nora Campos, Assemblymember, San Jose. The keynote address was presented by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.