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April 19, 2019
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Fire Watch
No injuries reported after big rig explosion at Port of Los Angeles
The port of Los Angeles was shaken by an explosion that sparked a fire and destroyed a big rig and several vehicles in the blast . The incident occurred in San Pedro near Vincent Thomas Bridge at about 10 a.m. Authorities said no one was injured. One person was evaluated by paramedics. According to the fire department, there was a fire following the explosion that involved one big rig with an enclosed trailer that was knocked down. The explosion was so powerful, it shattered windows at an apartment complex roughly two football fields away, fire officials said.
Woman Says She Accidentally Started Fire That Scorched Multi-Unit Residence in South L.A.
A woman said she may have started a fire that burned a multi-unit residence in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles Wednesday morning. The house fire was reported about 12:30 a.m. near the intersection of 83rd Street and McKinley Avenue. Video from the scene showed a first-floor unit fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Blaze in Backyard of West Adams Home
Firefighters needed just 15 minutes Friday morning to extinguish a blaze in the backyard of a home in the West Adams area of Los Angeles. Crews responded at 1:40 a.m. to the home at 3415 S. Field Ave. and found a fire in the back of the property threatening several nearby structures, including a garage that became partially involved, according to Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. A total of 32 firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames and a knockdown was declared at 1:55 a.m., Prange said.

Photo by Brandon Buckley
Cat And Dog Believed Dead In Chatsworth Fire
A cat and a dog are believed to have perished Sunday when a mobile home in Chatsworth caught fire. Firefighters believe the blaze may have been ignited by a candle. Firefighters were called to 21001 W. Plummer St. at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, and they had the fire out within 31 minutes of their arrival, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. after tackling the blaze, they searched the scene for the two pets believed to have died in the fire. A woman had just lit a candle and stepped out a room, when she and her male companion heard the candle topple, according to the fire department. Within moments that room was ablaze.

Garage Fire Spreads To Valley Glen Home
Flames that started in the garage of a Valley Glen home spread into multiple rooms of the house Monday before firefighters put them out, authorities said. The fire was reported at 4:34 a.m. at 13803 West Califa St., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said. It took 28 firefighters 21 minutes to put out the flames, she said.

First Responder News
10 Freeway Crash in Boyle Heights Leaves 1 Dead, 2 in Critical Condition
A crash on the 10 Freeway in the Boyle Heights area left one dead and two in critical condition Friday night, authorities said. The incident happened on the westbound lanes near the transition to the southbound 5 Freeway around 11:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Video from the scene shows firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers assessing a Honda Civic that had crashed head-on into a tree on the side of the 10 Freeway. One person was pronounced dead at the scene and two others were extricated and transported to the hospital , the Fire Department said.

Thousands Pack South LA Streets To Honor Nipsey Hussle
Thousands who were unable to attend the memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle lined the route of the procession across South Los Angeles, some tossing flowers onto the hearse carrying Hussle’s body as it was driven past, and others moving into the street to touch the slow-moving vehicle. A large crowd assembled outside The Marathon store – which Hussle founded in 2017 and the location of the Grammy-nominated artist’s fatal shooting – with many people waiting since early in the morning for the procession to pass by… The Los Angeles Fire Department reported that crews treated 15 people along the route, with five of them being taken to hospitals , according to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Nicholas Prange.

2 Killed, 3 Injured In Sun Valley Crash; Driver Flees Scene
At least two people were killed and three taken to the hospital in a violent two-vehicle collision in Sun Valley Friday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The accident occurred at San Fernando Road and Lankershim Boulevard. Police said that one of the drivers fled the scene on foot and was last seen running along the railroad tracks. The two vehicles involved in the crash were a Dodge Charger with four people in it and a Toyota Corolla with two people in it.

State News
Daniel A. Terry Legislative Conference Highlights Firefighter Priorities
More than 1,000 Firefighters from across the State of California descended on the Capitol to meet with state officials and advocate for key legislative priorities that impact Firefighters and public safety. The Daniel A. Terry Legislative Conference was hosted by the California Professional Firefighters where Firefighters met with State Senators and Assembly Members on several bills:

·        Firefighter Behavioral Health : SB 542 creates a rebuttable post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) presumption in the state’s workers’ compensation system whereas AB 1116 sets statewide standards for firefighter peer support and crisis referral programs.
·        Community Paramedicine : AB 1544 enacts a statewide pilot program that authorizes local emergency services agencies to provide for community paramedicine or triage to alternate destinations, such as sobering centers and mental health facilities better equipped to handle those incidents and remove excessive strain from of emergency rooms. 
·        Firefighter Out-Of-State Injuries : AB 932 adds firefighters to the list of groups who would be covered under workers’ compensation if they are injured after selflessly placing themselves in harm’s way in the protection or preservation of life or property, regardless of whether the injury occurs within or out of the state.
·        Education and Employment Re-Entry Program : AB 1668 provides a career pathway for those formerly incarcerated that may qualify through their time working on inmate hand crews in a conservation camp program, providing employment, a living wage, and educational opportunities through the California Conversation Corps.
·        CALPERS Disallowed Compensation : SB 266 protects earned retirement benefits that have already been promised and paid-for in cases where a benefit has subsequently been disallowed by CalPERS and the individual has already retired, while setting parameters for resolving future disputes over an active or retired employee’s collectively bargained CalPERS pensionable compensation.
·        EMS Dispatch Services : SB 438 prohibits a public agency from outsourcing its local emergency dispatch services to a private, for-profit entity pursuant to a joint powers or cooperative agreement when studies have shown that privatization has increased costs to citizens and reduced services.
·        Local Government Financing : ACA 1 is a proposed constitutional amendment that gives voters the option to decide whether a lower vote threshold - from a 2/3 majority to 55% - is appropriate for approving bonded indebtedness and special taxes dedicated to public infrastructure, affordable housing, and local public safety expenditures.

California cops, firefighters with PTSD seek workers’ comp coverage for mental health trauma
Recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, Sacramento firefighter Joshua Katz isn’t ready to give up on what he calls a ‘dream job.’ He still loves his “fire family,” exciting workdays and having a job that lets him help others. He’d rather take time off to treat his post-traumatic stress with financial support from workers’ compensation than allow his injury to cause an early end to his career. “If I came to work so consumed with my anxiety or depressed and was so consumed and can’t do the bare minimum, I shouldn’t be there,” Katz, 34, said. “Because the public trusts us to provide a service for them without question. Without fail, I need to be able to do that.” After consecutive record-breaking fire seasons and a deluge of mass shootings, California firefighters and police organizations are pushing for a new law that would help first responders by giving them opportunities to receive compensation for psychological injuries they sustain over their careers.
California’s emergency alert system has been a disaster. A statewide fix is planned
In Mendocino County, emergency staffers waited for a supervisor to show up before they warned residents of a growing fire siege in 2017. In Santa Barbara County, officials hesitated to issue blanket evacuation orders before mudslides ripped through Montecito in 2018 because they worried they might trigger a panic. And in Butte County in November, whole neighborhoods in Paradise were never told to evacuate as the Camp fire swept toward town. In each case, local emergency preparedness agencies failed to adequately warn communities that death was approaching . Experts say the failures point to an approach to emergency management — administered by individual counties — that has proved outdated in an era of massive, fast-moving wildfires and other extreme weather events.
Wet winter could mean blazing summer for fire season
Last year, California experienced some of its most destructive and deadliest wildfires in history . The Camp Fire, which swept through Paradise last November, incinerated 153,336 acres, destroyed more than 18,000 structures and killed 85 people. The wildfire sparked several months after the containment of two summer wildfires in Central Valley national parks. The Ferguson Fire, the second wildfire near Yosemite National Park in just as many years, filled the park and surrounding communities with smoke and rained ash for days. In total, the fire destroyed 96,901 acres in just over a month and caused the park to close historic attractions — a rare occurrence, according to park officials. Days after the start of the Ferguson Fire, Sequoia National Park was hit with a fire of its own.

Newsom asks California lawmakers to lead the way in deciding who pays wildfire costs
Gov. Gavin Newsom urged lawmakers on Friday to rethink existing rules on how California utilities pay for wildfires sparked by their equipment , but stopped short of embracing any specific solution to the political impasse over the amount of help the companies need to remain solvent. “Everybody has to participate,” he said of who must pay the costs of fire response and recovery. “All of us have to row in the same direction.”

Above & Beyond
2019 MDA Fill the Boot Campaign: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!
The Los Angeles Fire Department is supporting UFLAC in the 14th annual MDA Fill the Boot Campaign to benefit Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Los Angeles. For more than 60 years, MDA and the IAFF have been working together to help conquer Muscular Dystrophy and other related life-threatening diseases in kids and adults. This year LAFD and UFLAC hope to collect $125,000 to help local kids and adults living with muscle debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger. New medications have recently been approved that will now help kids with MD to walk. With your help, one day we will be able to conquer muscle disease all together. Click HERE to find a location near you.

Dauntless LAFD Crew Lauded For Saving Life Of Pacific Palisades Man
January 21, 2019 was a routine Monday for Will Beall. The fit and trim 47-year-old screenwriter, who had served ten years as an LAPD Officer, was fast at work on the second floor of his Pacific Palisades office building, when he began experiencing severe chest pain - and called 911. LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic Dispatcher Christopher Sandoval answered his call, and within 48 seconds had six responders on their way while he provided Beall with essential pre-arrival medical instructions.

Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters
Captain II
Harold N. Burkhart (Ret.)
Deceased: 4/10/2019
Appointed: 11/1/1956
Retired: 12/2/1986
Jamie W. Remy (Ret.)
Deceased: 4/4/2019
Appointed: 7/25/1970
Assignment: FS 48-C
Retired: 1/16/1992
Firefighter III
Robert L. Neal (Ret.)
Deceased: 4/3/2019
Appointed: 5/12/1962
Assignment: FS 69-C
Retired: 7/2/1999
Richard E. Handlan (Ret.)
Deceased: 3/31/2019
Appointed: 6/27/1959
Assignment: FS 37-A
Retired: 4/3/1983
Ramey R. Stroud (Ret.)
Deceased: 3/30/2019
Appointed: 8/23/1969
Assignment: FS 30-C
Retired: 6/29/1980
James R. Chastain (Ret.)
Deceased: 3/30/2019
Appointed: 11/24/1962
Assignment: Harbor Industrial Unit
Retired: 6/28/1992
Firefighter II
Leonard L. Edwards (Ret.)
Deceased: 3/27/2019
Assignment: FS 79-A
Retired: 4/17/1982
II James J. Francesconi (Ret.)
Deceased: 3/19/2019
Appointed: 12/18/1951
Assignment: Fire Safety Education Unit
Retired: 6/28/1980
Captain I
Rafael A. Lopez (Ret.)
Deceased: 3/17/2019
Appointed: 7/2/1956
Assignment: FS 1-A
Retired: 7/6/1997
About UFLAC:  Since 1918, UFLAC has been the labor organization of the proud men and women that serve as firefighters and emergency medical responders protecting the City of Los Angeles. The members of the Los Angeles Fire Department rely on UFLAC to focus on the wellbeing and safety of those that protect the lives of others. For more information, visit .