OC Firefighters News | March 2021 | View as Webpage
March 3, 2021
In an effort to keep you up to date on the latest local, statewide, and federal fire issues, OC Firefighters send out monthly news clippings. This newsletter will help inform you about very important fire-related matters.

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Firefighter burned in Silverado Fire released from hospital
An Orange County Fire Authority firefighter who was severely burned in the Silverado Fire back in October was released from the hospital Wednesday. Dylan Van Iwaarden was placed in a medically-induced coma, spent 114 days in the burn unit and underwent 17 surgeries after he suffered burns to over 65% of his body.
1 killed in Aliso Viejo apartment fire
One person was killed Saturday morning in an apartment fire in Aliso Viejo. Firefighters responded at 1:30 a.m. to the 23000 block of Windsong, near Aliso Creek Road, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Crews extinguished the flames in 24 minutes and kept the fire from spreading to nearby units, the OCFA said. One person was found dead inside the unit.
Transient arrested on suspicion of arson after 5 fires set along 261 Toll Road in Irvine
Police have arrested a homeless man suspected of setting multiple fires to bushes along the 261 Toll Road in Irvine on Wednesday night. At least two of the five fires were less than a block from homes. Firefighters with the Orange County Fire Authority first responded to reports of burning brush along the toll road near the 5 Freeway at about 6:22 p.m., Irvine Police said. They quickly extinguished the fire, which was initially deemed accidental.
Video courtesy of IPD
Seven Boats Burned, Two Destroyed in Dana Point Harbor Fire
According to several witnesses on the scene who spoke to Dana Point Times, an explosion occurred in the west basin of the harbor, damaging some of the neighboring docked vessels. Orange County Fire Authority officials also confirmed reports of an explosion, and Sgt. Dennis Breckner of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the incident occurred on the B Dock at Slip 44.
Photo Courtesy of OCSD
Second-Alarm Fire Damages Santa Ana Building
More than 50 Orange County Fire Authority firefighters put out a second-alarm blaze in the middle of an industrial strip center in Santa Ana this morning. The fire was reported about 2:40 a.m. in the 2000 block of Yale Avenue, according to OCFA Capt. Sean Doran.
Video courtesy of OCFA
1 dead, 2 seriously injured when Corvette collides with SUV in Garden Grove
A 22-year-old man was killed Monday night, Feb. 15, when the Chevrolet Corvette he was a passenger in apparently veered into oncoming traffic and collided with an SUV in Garden Grove, police said. Firefighters removed two people trapped inside the Corvette, said Capt. Jose Perez of the Orange County Fire Authority. Those two and the SUV’s driver were taken to a hospital.
Photo courtesy of OnScene.TV
Local 3631 Supporting One of Their Own
OC Professional Firefighters came out to support one of their own who, Mike Tooley, who is beginning his fight with occupational cancer. Science and research indicate that Firefighters are diagnosed at a higher rate than the general population.
Rep. Steel tours Orange County COVID vaccine site
Rep. Steel met with the site’s volunteers, which include Orange County Fire Services personnel, local government employees and health care professionals. “The County of Orange, in conjunction with the local fire agencies, have been providing much needed COVID-19 vaccines to our residents since January,” said Mike Petro, Division Chief, Orange County Fire Authority & Unified Commander of Operation Independence. “It’s our goal to have five POD sites across Orange County to best serve residents throughout the various phases of the vaccination administration.”
Firefighters search rubble of the Mayan Hotel
A team of three personnel and two human-remains detection canines from the Orange County Fire Authority's Urban Search & Rescue team arrived in El Centro to assist in the search for human remains at the Mayan Hotel, Wednesday, February 17. The vacant hotel was heavily damaged on the night of February 13; during the incident, firefighters aggressively pushed against deteriorating fire conditions and attempted an interior search and fire attack but were driven back by the dangerous environment in the structure's interior.
Reducing Exposures is not just about Cancer 
Submitted By Jeff Hughes, OC Firefighters Local 3631 Wellness Agent
As you know, January was officially recognized as National Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month. Studies have shown that fire ground exposures can lead to occupational illnesses and diseases like cancer, but they can also affect us in many other harmful ways.
Scientific research articles have noted that Firefighter exposures can cause serious health issues for you and your family. A research project in Kitsap, Washington studied the increased prevalence of Firefighters having children with special needs. Other articles have focused in on female Firefighters and the impact of their exposures on their fertility and their ability to have normal pregnancies. A recent report published in Australia on February 1, 2021, studied Firefighter semen and found that 42% of the samples were outside of normal parameters. These are all indications that additional information and research is needed to learn how exposures affect our bodies and how best to mitigate these issues.
Fireground exposures damage our DNA and damaged DNA affects our cell’s ability to function normally. There is a research project that is about to be proposed to FEMA that will check if damaged DNA can be passed on to an unborn child and how it can affect male reproductive outcomes. A large fire department within California is very interested in this project as they have a number of members within their Live Fire Training Cadre whose children have developed cancers and other medical issues.
Firefighter occupational exposures have many health implications for our members and our families. What can be done?
  • Decon after every exposure to the products of combustion (vehicle fire, structure fires, vegetation fires)
  • Stay on air when exiting and throughout decon
  • Use soap to scrub your gear
  • Doff your gear away from rehab and use personal wipes
  • Exchange contaminated equipment (like hood and gloves) on scene
  • Bag your gear and don’t transport it in the passenger compartment
  • Connect the exhaust extractor every time you enter the station (diesel exhaust is a huge hazard inside the app rooms)
  • Send your PPE in for cleaning after each exposure
For your own safety and that of your loved ones, put the above recommendations into practice and do your part to minimize your exposure to harmful contaminants.

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