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June 17, 2022
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Feature
Photo by Harry Garvin
Crews knockdown Greater Alarm house fire in Koreatown
Crews were engaged with a Greater Alarm fire at a reportedly vacant home in the Koreatown neighborhood Friday morning. The blaze was first reported at around 10:40 a.m., prompting a large response from Los Angeles Fire Department crews to the scene on S. Fedora Street. 110 ground units were on hand to battle the fire which was dubbed the "Fedora Fire," as they transitioned to a defensive firefighting approach due to heavy fire on both floors of the residence. After nearly 20 minutes of defensive tactics, crews were once again able to resume an offensive approach as they looked to contain the flames before they could spread to surrounding buildings. LAFD reported knockdown of the flames just before 11:40 a.m., taking a total of 52 minutes for crews to contain.

Crews put out fire in occupied commercial building in Downtown LA
Crews put out fire at a building in downtown Los Angeles Sunday in just under an hour, while some residents were still inside, according to officials. Over 100 Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded to the scene at 722-1/2 S. San Pedro St. around 5:19 p.m. Sunday. The building, a two-story building, has residences above one floor of commercial storefronts. One firefighter suffered a minor injury and no occupants were injured. Firefighters cut holes in the roof of the building for ventilation while crews firefighting and search and rescue crews entered the building. The fire was knocked down in just 53 minutes.

9 pedestrians hit by pickup truck in Westlake
An investigation is underway after a pickup truck hopped a curb and struck several pedestrians in Westlake Saturday morning. It happened around 9:10 a.m. on the 600 block of South Alvarado Street, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The driver of Ford F-150 told Los Angeles police that he was driving on Wilshire Boulevard when he saw what he believed was a man pointing a gun at him. The man said he swerved to avoid the supposed gunman and lost control of his vehicle, which jumped a curb onto a sidewalk and hit multiple street vendors and pedestrians. In total, nine people were struck by the careening vehicle, including two 8-year-old children, police said. Six of the people hit were hospitalized, including one adult with serious injuries, but all are expected to survive. Three others declined transportation to the hospital, LAFD officials said.

Suspect Arrested in Hours-Long San Fernando Valley Search After CHP Traffic Stop Shooting
A suspect in the shooting of a California Highway Patrol office was taken into custody Tuesday morning with help from a police bloodhound about 12 hours after the confrontation in Studio City. The search for the 33-year-old man wanted in the shooting led authorities to an apartment complex in the west San Fernando Valley. The man was taken into custody by Los Angeles police Tuesday morning about a mile from the location after a LAPD K-9 unit's bloodhound tracked him down. The CHP identified Pejhmaun Iraq Khosroabadi as the man sought in the shooting.

UFLAC Presents the 2021 LAFD Year In Review
UFLAC is proud to present the 2021 Los Angeles Fire Department Year in Review. UFLAC’s mission is to lead the way to protect and advocate for the health, safety, working conditions, wages and benefits of our members and their families. This publication tells the story of our dedicated First Responders who continued to protect lives and property in Los Angeles while risking their own safety during another extraordinary year. In 2021, our Firefighters and Paramedics responded to more than 475,000 emergency calls for service throughout Los Angeles - an average of 1,300 calls per day. As an all-risk fire and rescue agency serving more than four million people, the LAFD is one of the busiest and most understaffed big city fire departments in the entire country. UFLAC is honored to help showcase the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the men and women of the LAFD. Click HERE to view the publication.

Fire Watch
Sylmar Brush Fire Burns 2 Acres
At 1:50 PM Los Angeles city fire Department responded to reports of a brushfire near the intersections of Fenton Ave and Kagel Canyon St. A witness of the fire states that it may have started from fireworks. Los Angeles firefighters used ground and air resources to stop the fire that was burning along side the 210 freeway and homes. The fire is currently 2 acres and forward progression has been stopped. Firefighters are in the mop up mode.

Firefighters Douse Outside Fire That Spread to Vacant Van Nuys Home
Firefighters in Van Nuys Saturday knocked down an outside fire that spread to a vacant home and threatened others, authorities said. The 28 firefighters dispatched at 8:25 a.m. to 14242 W. Victory Blvd. had the blaze out within 13 minutes of their arrival, said Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "Firefighter-paramedics are providing medical assessment and care to one female patient on scene," Prange said.

First Responder News
3 dead, 4 hospitalized after shooting at warehouse party in Boyle Heights
Police were investigating a shooting during a party at a warehouse in Boyle Heights Sunday that left at least three people dead and four others in a hospital. Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at 12:27 a.m. to the 3300 block of East 14th Street, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported, adding that two people were declared dead at the scene. Police received a call at 12:29 a.m. from someone reporting that a friend had been shot at the location, the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Division reported. "We don't have a number of attendees at the location," police said. "It looks like it was some sort of party or event going on." Arriving officers located three shooting victims and later a fourth at the scene, police said, later confirming that three people were dead.

One killed, two injured in crash on 118 Freeway in Granada Hills
A three-car crash on the 118 Freeway in Granada Hills left one person dead and two others injured Tuesday evening. The collision was reported at around 6:10 p.m. on the eastbound lanes of the 118 Freeway near Woodley Avenue. When authorities arrived to the scene, they found one person dead and two others injured. The deceased victim was identified as 33-year-old Sylmar resident Anthony Diaz. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were said to be in fair condition.

Hazmat team called to Sheraton Universal Hotel
A hazardous materials investigation was underway at a Universal City hotel after the police and fire departments were called to a ninth floor hotel room to investigate an unresponsive person. First responders arrived at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, located at 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, and discovered a handwritten note warning others not to enter the room due to potentially hazardous material, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said. Those nearby on the ninth floor were asked to shelter in place while an LAFD hazmat team assisted in safely gaining access to the room. A male patient with unspecified symptoms was found and transported to a nearby hospital, said Humphrey. No one else was affected by the substance.

Pedestrian killed on 5 Fwy in Arleta
A person is dead after they were apparently struck by a car on the 5 Freeway in Arleta Friday night. The incident was reported just before 10 p.m., when the Los Angeles Fire Department learned a person was “deceased in traffic lanes after reportedly being struck by one or more vehicles” just north of Sheldon Street. The California Highway Patrol responded and began investigating, which led to all lanes of the 5 Freeway being closed.

Woman crashes stolen ambulance from Sherman Oaks Hospital after leading authorities on chase
A woman was arrested after allegedly stealing an ambulance, leading police on a chase and causing a multi-car crash. Los Angeles Fire Department officials said it happened just after 2 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Chase Street and Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City. They said a woman stole the ambulance from Sherman Oaks Hospital, leading police on a chase before crashing into a pickup truck and SUV. Four women, including the woman behind the wheel of the ambulance, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Firefighters rescue injured woman hiking from Griffith Park
Firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a female hiker who suffered an unspecified "lower extremity" injury at Griffith Park. The call came in at 6:45 a.m. Sunday, according to Nicholas Prange, a spokesperson with the LAFD. The woman was lifted onto a helicopter and then flown to a hospital, Prange added.

State News
California Fire Map & Tracker
An interactive map of wildfires burning across the Bay Area and California.

Overworked California firefighters struggle with PTSD, suicide, fatigue, intensifying wildfires
The morning sun warms California’s high desert, launching a clear spring day. Behind high walls at The Nurturing Nest, across from a burbling mineral pool, a small group of men and women roll up yoga mats and arrange themselves in a semi-circle. Their week at this tranquil retreat is ending and a counselor seeks final thoughts from each of them. “Why are you here?” the counselor asks a young woman sitting alone on a small sofa, hugging a pillow to her chest. She stares into the middle distance and lets out a deep breath. “Death. So many deaths,” she said. The men and women at the retreat are steeped in death: All but one work for Cal Fire, dispatched to the desert as a last resort, seeking release from the neverending pain and fatigue brought on by their jobs. Defensive and defiant at the beginning of the week, the California firefighters and a dispatcher break down their emotional walls by the end of it, laughing, weeping and recounting once-secret stories about death, terror and fire. They recall horrific sights of friends trapped by flames and reveal their urges to take their own lives. For firefighters battling California wildfires, these emotional injuries are a workplace hazard. Longer and more intense fire seasons have taken a visible toll on the state, leaving a tableau of charred forests and flattened towns. But they’ve also fueled a silent mental health crisis, including an alarming rise in post-traumatic stress disorder among the ranks of Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting service.

In Remembrance
Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters
Firefighter II
Charles B. Osborne
Deceased: 6/2/2022
Appointed: 2/3/1958
Assignment: FS 49
Retired: 3/11/1979

Captain
Richard B. Testa
Deceased: 5/22/2022
Appointed: 6/21/1954
Assignment: FS 80
Retired: 2/7/1980

Engineer
Edwin B. Smith
Deceased: 5/21/2022
Appointed: 12/19/1955
Assignment: FS 27
Retired: 1/2/1981

Engineer
Darrell E. Witt
Deceased: 5/11/2022
Appointed: 1/6/1973
Assignment: FS 103
Retired: 1/17/1998

Engineer
Robert H. Roots
Deceased: 5/5/2022
Appointed: 7/2/1956
Assignment: FS 75
Retired: 8/10/1981

Engineer
Richard R. Sorensen
Deceased: 5/4/2022
Appointed: 9/23/1957
Assignment: FS 10
Retired: 1/24/1988

Deputy Chief
Anthony E. Giordano
Deceased: 5/3/2022
Appointed: 12/14/1948
Assignment: Operations
Retired: 6/30/1977

Firefighter III
Ronald I. Mihld
Deceased: 5/1/2022
Appointed: 12/4/1971
Assignment: FS 12
Retired: 7/16/2000

Captain I
Norman Pate
Deceased: 5/1/2022
Appointed: 1/4/1976
Assignment: FS 96
Retired: 2/26/2001

Engineer
Robert S. Armstrong
Deceased: 4/27/2022
Appointed: 2/10/1968
Assignment: FS 108
Retired: 6/11/2005

Firefighter II
Robert V. Claytor
Deceased: 4/25/2022
Appointed: 2/1/1955
Assignment: FS 79
Retired: 3/31/1982

Fire Inspector
Francis A. Stevenson
Deceased: 4/23/2022
Appointed: 5/12/1962
Assignment: Research Unit
Retired: 10/15/1980

UFLAC’s 2021 LAFD Year In Review
UFLAC is proud to present the 2021 Los Angeles Fire Department Year in Review. UFLAC’s mission is to lead the way to protect and advocate for the health, safety, working conditions, wages and benefits of our members and their families. This publication tells the story of our dedicated First Responders who continued to protect lives and property in Los Angeles while risking their own safety during another extraordinary year.
In 2021, our Firefighters and Paramedics responded to more than 475,000 emergency calls for service throughout Los Angeles - an average of 1,300 calls per day. As an all-risk fire and rescue agency serving more than four million people, the LAFD is one of the busiest and most understaffed big city fire departments in the entire country. UFLAC is honored to help showcase the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the men and women of the LAFD. Click HERE to view the publication.
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 www.uflac.org.