OC Firefighters News | October 2018 | View as Webpage
October 4, 2018
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.

Follow Us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
OCFA Task Force Five Assists with Hurricane Florence Rescue Efforts in North Carolina

"When you train for something like this - it breaks our heart when we see it happening and we're not there. Every one of these guys want to be there so a 61-hour drive was well worth it."
- Craig Covey, OCFA Battalion Chief

CHINQUAPIN, NC - Amidst the devastation left behind by then-Hurricane Florence, a moment of relief happened in Duplin County, North Carolina. A volunteer firefighter rescued a dog from a flooded home in the small community of Chinquapin. The dog, named Duke, was reunited with his owner a short time later. "They couldn't find the cat so I'm not sure where he's at, but I'm thankful they went in and saved (Duke)," the owner said.

Chinquapin is only accessible by boat despite the water level dropping several feet. Horses were left stranded, and people who live in the area just wait for the water to go away. Areas such as this have kept a swift water rescue team, who came from Orange County to help, busy in the coastal plains.

"When you train for something like this - it breaks our heart when we see it happening and we're not there. Every one of these guys want to be there so a 61-hour drive was well worth it," said Craig Covey, an Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief.

The team is made up of Orange County Fire Authority, Anaheim and Orange firefighters. "From the get-go as soon as we got here we had awesome hospitality from everyone around here. We were able to really use our training and effect a couple of rescues," Dickens Tai said.

Those rescuers came just after the eye of Florence passed through their position. In one case, saving an elderly man who was holding onto a tree to stop from being swept away by floodwaters. "He looked pretty frail and pale. I think if we had waited a little bit longer he might not have made it," Tai said.

The firefighters also saved animals, such as Duke, and rescued a rabbit from rushing waters. It was released into a safer area. The entire rescue was captured on video and has gone viral. The team is just glad to provide a hand during the chaos.
Firefighter/Paramedic Mary Blaul’s Name Added
to the IAFF National Memorial Wall
On September 15th, a number of OC Firefighters along with the OCFA Pipes and Drums Band and Honor Guard, attended the 32nd Annual International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Service in Colorado Springs where one of our own – Firefighter/Paramedic Mary Blaul was added to the memorial wall.

Firefighter/Paramedic Blaul began her career with the OCFA in 1985 and worked continuously for 27 years serving the people of Orange County. Tragically, after her retirement in 2012, she was diagnosed with occupational cancer and ultimately lost her life on August 31, 2017. Her death, like so many of our brothers and sisters in the fire service, was due to the repeated exposure to cancerous and hazardous materials.
The sacrifices that Mary made will never be forgotten and her Local 3631 family will always be here to support the Blaul Family. Mary’s husband, retired OCFA Deputy Chief Ron Blaul, received the commemorative IAFF Memorial Flag on behalf of the family.

Tragically, 271 additional names were added to this year’s IAFF Memorial Service as Firefighters from throughout America and Canada were forever immortalized with their names inscribed on this beautiful memorial wall. To view the memorial service, click here.

Additionally, just last weekend Firefighter/Paramedic Mary Blaul’s name was also inscribed on the California Firefighters Memorial Wall in Sacramento. The ceremony, now in its 16 th year, pays tribute to more than 1,300 Firefighters who have died in the line of duty since California became a state in 1850. To view this ceremony, click here .
Congratulations E50 B Shift
Chief Brian Fennessy and OC Professional Firefighters Association President Baryic Hunter treated the crew from E50 B shift in San Clemente to dinner for raising the most funds in last month’s “Fill the Boot” fundraiser. E50 B Shift raised about $3,000 to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

For more than 60 years, Firefighters across the nation have been “Filling the Boot” on behalf of the MDA. Funds raised help to fund research for new treatments, support MDA care centers and send more than 3,800 kids to a life-changing week at MDA Summer Camp.
Orange County Firefighters Endorse Harley Rouda for Congress
The Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (OCPFA) joined the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Huntington Beach Firefighters Association and the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association in endorsing Harley Rouda for the 48th Congressional District seat in Orange County. Todd Baldridge, OCPFA Political Affairs Director, spoke at the press event in support of Harley Rouda’s candidacy saying OC Firefighters support candidates who will stand with us for the issues that matter most to our Firefighters and our wellbeing. Vote November 6th!
Two Suffer Minor Injuries in Aliso Viejo Apartment Fire
ALISO VIEJO - Two people suffered minor injuries from a fire at an apartment complex Monday in Aliso Viejo. Firefighters were dispatched at about 9:30 a.m. to the 24000 of Hollyoak on a report that two balconies were on fire, the Orange County Fire Authority reported.
Photo by the OCFA
Three Dogs Found Dead in House Fire in San Clemente
SAN CLEMENTE - Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) responded to a home fire on the 600 block of Calle Juarez about 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, and found three dogs that had died in the inferno. OCFA Capt. Tony Bommartio said no people were injured in the fire.
Photo by the OCFA
Firefighters Douse Blaze at Former Farmers Market Building in San Juan Capistrano
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - Firefighters on Wednesday night, Sept. 19, fought a blaze inside a two-story building formerly used as a farmers market in San Juan Capistrano, a fire official said. The blaze was reported about 8:50 p.m. at a building at 32382 Del Obispo Street, according to Orange County Fire Authority Captain Tony Bommarito. He said it started inside the walls of the building before spreading to the structure’s roof.
Investigation underway after body found inside burned car in Westminster
WESTMINSTER - Police are investigating the discovery of a body inside a burned out car in Westminster overnight Wednesday. The gruesome scene was discovered after Orange County Fire Authority crews extinguished the car fire shortly before 3 a.m. in the 6400 block of Industry Way, behind the Westminster Mall.
Firefighters Battle 60-Acre Brush Fire North Of Azusa
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST - One firefighter suffered a minor injury and campers and visitors using the popular swimming holes in San Gabriel Canyon were evacuated Sunday, as a brush fire broke out in East Fork above Azusa.
Flight Instructor and Student Suffer Minor Injuries in Helicopter’s Crash Landing at John Wayne Airport
SANTA ANA - A flight instructor and student suffered minor injuries when their helicopter crash landed at John Wayne Airport in Orange County Monday afternoon, officials said. The chopper could be seen tipped over on its side in a photo of the incident tweeted by O.C. Fire Authority. Fire officials responded to the crash site just after 3:30 p.m.
Driver in fiery Santa Ana crash disappears and then is found at a hospital
SANTA ANA - A car crashed and burst into flames early Wednesday, Sept. 19, with the driver disappearing and later being found at a hospital, authorities said. When firefighters arrived to the 12:20 a.m. call, in the 2060 block of South Ritchey Street, they found the white sedan fully engulfed in flames, said Capt. Erik Miranda of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Chemical spill at Cal State Fullerton prompts brief evacuation
FULLERTON - Concerns about a possible chlorine gas leak led to a brief evacuation of about 50 people at the campus of Cal State Fullerton Saturday, prompting a hazmat team to be called in before the area was cleared.
Two Elderly Women Killed In Box Truck Crash, 1 Injured
IRVINE - Two senior women were killed in a crash between a car and box truck Thursday morning in Irvine, and a third senior woman suffered unknown injuries in the crash, Orange County Fire Authority reported. Both OCFA and Irvine police were on the scene at Oak Canyon, which was reported closed between Sand Canyon and Post until further notice.
Two-car collision in Irvine leaves wife dead; husband and child injured
IRVINE - One family member in a vehicle that rolled onto its side was fatally injured and two others were hurt in a two-car collision in Irvine on Sunday, Sept. 23. Rescuers had to extract one person from one of two wrecked vehicles that collided near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Jamboree Road sometime before 5:15 p.m., said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Paul Holaday. The vehicle that rolled was a Mercedes-Benz SUV, he said.
Man Entangled, Killed In Industrial Accident
SANTA ANA - A workplace accident in Santa Ana turned deadly Thursday morning, after a young employee of Aardvark Clay and Supplies became entangled in equipment. Employees called for help at approximately 11:15 a.m. and Orange County Fire Authority Technical Rescue teams responded to the business, however they discovered the 18-year-old had already perished upon their arrival.
Assailant Sought in Santa Ana Acid Attack
SANTA ANA - An employee of a Santa Ana store sustained second-degree burns to his face, chest, an arm and a leg after a suspect threw acid at him in the store’s parking lot Tuesday night. Firefighters found the man standing next to a car in the 700 block of East Fourth Street after the 9 p.m. Sept. 25 emergency call and rinsed him off, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said.
Collision Closes Lanes Near Saddleback College
MISSION VIEJO - Officers responded to the scene of a dramatic collision at Marguerite and College Center on Monday. All of the occupants were reported "safely out of the vehicles" following an incident that left an SUV overturned, Orange County Sheriff's Department said. Orange County Fire Authority was on the scene and it was unknown as of this report as to the extent or if there were any injuries that required hospital transport.
VIDEO: OC firefighters help dog down cliff in Dana Point
DANA POINT - Orange County firefighters took on a daring dog rescue to save a German shepherd stuck on a cliff in Dana Point. The Orange County Fire Authority was brought in at about 9 a.m. Friday to help the pup make it down.
Marine veterans are walking 215 miles along California coast to raise awareness for homeless vets and abandoned dogs
Two Marine Corps veterans and a female body builder were well into a 215-mile hike — from Ventura to San Diego — to create awareness for the plight of homeless veterans, when they considered giving up after four days of carrying 50-pound backpacks and a large American flag.
Rescued Kittens Turn 1! OCFA Firefighter Adopted Both Cats
ORANGE COUNTY - Firefighters will be the first ones to tell you that they are in the "bad day business," but the last to let you know they feel sad when calls don't end well. But they do. Many look to our firefighters as having "superhuman" powers because of what they see on the job and because they are the ones running into a burning building when everyone else is running out.
9/11 victims, emergency responders honored with words, bells and silence in Orange County Fire Authority ceremony
After the notes of “Amazing Grace” from a lone bagpiper faded away and uniformed firefighters had filed back to their duties Tuesday morning, retired Marine Alexander Madrigal stood for several emotional moments next a memorial statue. The bronze sculpture honoring past, present and future firefighters sits in the center of a courtyard at the Orange County Fire Authority’s Irvine headquarters, where a remembrance ceremony was held Tuesday for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as well as the police, firefighters and soldiers who served in their wake at home and abroad.
Orange County Fire Authority firefighter honors 9/11 victims with memorial on his Fullerton lawn
An Orange County Fire Authority firefighter created a massive memorial to honor the victims of Sept. 11. Joann Anderson looked at a flag bearing her mother's name, Barbara Keating.

2017 Orange County Firefighters Year In Review
We are proud to present the inaugural Orange County Firefighters Year in Review photo book! In 2017, our Firefighters responded to more than 141,000 emergencies throughout the 23 cities and unincorporated communities of Orange County - an average of 505 emergency calls per day. Click HERE to view the book.

OC Firefighters - IAFF Local 3631 | 1900 East Warner Ave Ste G | Santa Ana | CA | 92705

For more information about Blackman & Associates, visit  www.jimmyblackman.com

Copyright © 2017 OC Firefighters, all rights reserved.