OC Firefighters Monthly Newsletter...
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September 7, 2017

In an effort to keep you up to date on the latest local, statewide, and federal fire issues, OC Firefighters will be sending out monthly news clippings. This newsletter will help inform you about very important fire-related matters.


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Dear Friends,

On behalf of the 1,000 members of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, I'm proud to send our monthly newsletter for September.

It has been a busy time in the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) for the members of Local 3631. Two weeks ago, the OCFA JPA Board voted to accept Chief Jeff Bowman’s resignation and begin the process of hiring a new Fire Chief to lead our Department. The majority of our members supported Chief Bowman and the positive leadership that he brought to the OCFA, so we were disappointed to see him offer up his resignation under questionable circumstances. However, Chief Bowman's resignation is now behind us and we must move forward in a positive manner.

Most of us remember the days of ineffective leadership in the OCFA prior to 2014 when Chief Bowman was appointed. Now that we are in another leadership transition, it is essential that the OCFA finds a new Fire Chief that will have clear goals, open communication, and work in a collaborative manner with our rank and file Firefighters.  
While Local 3631 does not have an official role in the hiring process for the new Chief, we will stay engaged, remain vigilant, and will continue to make the needs of our members heard as the process unfolds. We will fight to ensure that that the new leadership maintains open lines of communication and build upon our past successes to provide the best service for our communities. 

This month our Spotlight article highlights the work of California Task Force 5 which has been assisting with the search and rescue effort in Houston and the surrounding communities that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Task Force 5, which consists of 45 members from the OCFA Urban Search and Rescue Team, Anaheim and Orange Fire Departments, worked around the clock to save lives and provide relief for the good people of Texas. We are incredibly proud of their work and we are prepared to welcome them home with open arms in the coming days.

Here in Southern California, massive fires continue to devastate local communities from Los Angeles to San Diego and our OCFA crews have been regularly dispatched to assist with Mutual Aid efforts. Our Firefighters are always ready to aid those in need, both here in Orange County and beyond, because when we need help in our backyard, we know that we can count on other Firefighters from outside of our County to provide mutual aid assistance for our residents when large scale emergencies erupt.
As we approach the end of summer, the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association will continue to advocate each and every day for the resources and leadership that our Department desperately needs to serve our communities and support our Firefighters. 

Baryic Hunter

Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
OC Firefighters Assist in Houston’s Hurricane Harvey Rescue Effort
Photos Courtesy of OCFA 

HOUSTON, TX - The 45-member California Task Force 5 was one of the first six national Urban Search and Rescue teams to be employed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Since the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, August 26, Task Force 5 has been conducting water rescues near Tully Stadium on the outskirts of Houston. Crews used two aluminum flat-bottom boats and two rubber inflatables, which were brought in from Orange County.
The Task Force, composed of 45 firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority and Anaheim and Orange Fire Departments, is trained for search and rescue in a disaster environment. This team has the ability to perform wide area searches, render medical care, perform rescues in static or swift water, and assess hazardous materials situations. The team spent 14-days in Texas assisting with rescues. As of this week, CA Task Force 5 has made over 1,000 rescues. 

OC Register
Orange County Breeze 
Fox 11
As Temperatures Rise Firefighters Extinguish Multiple Vehicle Fires 

ORANGE COUNTY - OC Firefighters responded to multiple car fire calls across Orange County as temperatures reached triple digits this month. 

OC Firefighters Instagram 

3-acre Irvine Brush Fire Contained in 40 Minutes
IRVINE - A brush fire near Magazine Road and Irvine Boulevard burned about three acres of grass Monday, July 31 before being contained by firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority.
The blaze started at about 3 p.m. and spread through the area’s light grass, burning along a three- to four-foot fuel bed. At one point, the flames were within a mile of nearby homes. About 40 firefighters responded, swiftly containing the fire with no reported injuries.
OC Register

Oven Fire Spreads into Kitchen at Cypress Home
CYPRESS - An oven fire at a home spread into the kitchen on Thursday night, but was quickly put out by firefighters. Firefighters were dispatched at about 7:40 p.m. Thursday, August 3, to the 10000 block of St. Elizabeth Circle for a fire in a kitchen.
The fire was put out in less than 10 minutes and no injuries were reported. There were 22 firefighters on scene, and damage to the kitchen and home were unknown.
OC Register

9-Year-Old Boy Being Treated at OC Burn Center After Stepping in Fire Ring at SC Beach
SAN CLEMENTE - A 9-year-old boy is being treated at Orange County Global Medical Center’s burn center in Santa Ana after he accidentally stepped into a cement fire ring that contained smoldering embers on Friday, August 4 near T-Street Beach.
The boy and his family were at the beach around 6:30 p.m. when the boy was playing and started jumping on and off the edges of the fire ring. At one point, the boy stepped into the fire ring and received second- and third-degree burns to his right leg and foot.
San Clemente Times
Fire Backs Up Traffic on Interstate 5 Near Camp Pendleton

INTERSTATE 5 - Camp Pendleton and Orange County firefighters are battling a small fire on the north side of the base near San Clemente Tuesday, August 8.

The Orange County Fire Authority reports the flames at half an acre at 12:30 p.m. on the east side of the freeway just south of Cristianitos Rd. Traffic backed up on Interstate 5 due to the fire and two crashes. The CHP issued a Sig-Alert during the fire, which shutdown the far right lane.

Car Hits Pedestrian in Dreadful Seal Beach Collision, Victim in ‘Full’ Cardiac Arrest
SEAL BEACH - A woman was hit by a car in Seal Beach on Friday, August 11, and rushed to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The pedestrian, who appeared to be middle-aged, was struck at Pacific Coast Highway and 12th Street about 11 a.m. Paramedics reported she was in “full arrest” as they rushed her to a hospital.

Firefighters Extinguish Blaze at Texas de Brazil Restaurant in Irvine

IRVINE — It took 36 firefighters about an hour to extinguish a fire at a Brazilian restaurant in The Market Place early Friday.

The blaze was reported about 3:20 a.m. on Friday, August 11, at Texas de Brazil on Jamboree Road and Bryan Avenue. Firefighters saw heavy smoke and fire coming the from the building.

The Orange County Fire Authority said the fire was under control about 4:30 a.m., and the cause was still under investigation. No injuries were reported.
OC Register

OCFA Firefighters Prove “No Call is Too Small” After Rescuing Two Orphaned Kittens from Car Engine 

WESTMINSTER - The humane rescue of two three-week old orphaned, un-weaned gray kittens Wednesday, August 16, by Orange County Fire Authority firefighter paramedics from under a sealed engine compartment of a freshly-washed Audi sedan at the Brookhurst Car Wash is proof that firefighters save all lives. After a 40-minute ordeal, the kittens were rescued without harm. OCFA firefighters will adopt the two kittens.

Mission Viejo Patch

2 Men Become Ill in Los Alamitos from Smell of Wounded Skunk

LOS ALAMITOS - The smell of a wounded skunk that had found its way into a trash bin sent the trash-hauler and another man to a hospital on Thursday, August 17, it was discovered after a hazardous-materials team sifted through debris to find the origin of the odor.

The incident began before 8 a.m. when a trash-truck driver emptied a large trash bin at SemiDice, a die-processing company at 10961 Bloomfield St. The driver and a man who works at a nearby business, both in their 40s, were overcome by the odor, becoming nauseated and also vomiting. Both were transported to Los Alamitos Medical Center; they were seen and released.

A Fire Authority hazardous-materials team dumped the debris from the trash truck into a parking lot and sifted through it. After 90 minutes, the haz-mat team discovered the injured skunk. The skunk was turned over to OC Animal Care.
OC Register

Disneyland Hotel Guests Shelter In Place During Chlorine Leak
DISNEYLAND - Guests of the Disneyland Hotel Frontier Tower sheltered in place on Friday morning, when a chlorine leak near the pool sent one person to the hospital according to officials. 
A leak was reported to officials at approximately 8 a.m. on Friday morning, August 18. Hazardous Materials teams from Orange County Fire Authority assisted Anaheim and Garden Grove Fire Department in answering the call, and numerous emergency vehicles responded to the scene as reported by guests of the hotel. A severed chlorine line to the pool was the source of the leak.
Lake Forest Patch
Knocked Down Candle Determined as Cause of Santa Ana Church Fire
SANTA ANA - Investigators are calling a quickly extinguished fire at Saint Anne Catholic Church on Sunday morning, August 20, a reckless act.
Firefighters were dispatched to the church at 1415 S. Sycamore St. at 7:47 a.m. and knocked down the blaze within 10 minutes.
OC Register

San Clemente Couple, Dogs Escape House Fire After Explosion

SAN CLEMENTE - A couple managed to escape after a fire ripped through their San Clemente home following some sort of explosion early morning on Thursday, August 24.

The explosion, which was believed to have started in the garage, was first reported around 3 a.m. The blast was so powerful, it sent debris across the roadway. When firefighters arrived at the home, located at 110 Avenida Dolores, the single-family residence was well involved in flames.

The couple was asleep at the time of the explosion. They were not able to get out through the front door due to smoke and flames. They managed to escape through the back door.

FOX 11

Tesla Crashes Into Lake Forest Home, Igniting Fire

LAKE FOREST – A motorist escaped with non-life threatening injuries when his all-electric Tesla left the roadway in Lake Forest and crashed into a home, igniting a garage fire that left the residence red-tagged.

Firefighters dispatched at 6:17 p.m. Friday, August 25, to the 21200 block of Countryside Drive had the fire under control in about an hour. The motorist in the Tesla, a man in his mid-30s, was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
OC Register

1 Killed, 1 Critically Injured in Stanton Head-On Crash involving Street Sweeper

STANTON - One person is dead and another is in critical condition after a head-on crash involving a street sweeper in Stanton early Friday, September 1.

The street sweeper and a small car crashed head-on near Cerritos and Knott avenues at about 2:30 a.m. The driver of the smaller vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the street sweeper was transported to UCI Medical Center as a critical trauma patient, Mattern said.

3-Year-Old Girl taken to Hospital After Near Drowning in Aliso Viejo

ALISO VIEJO - A three-year-old girl was taken to a hospital Saturday after falling into a jacuzzi at an Aliso Viejo home. On Saturday August 26, Firefighters responded to reports of a child underwater at a residence on Alisal Court shortly after 12:45 p.m.

Someone at the home, which was hosting a birthday party, had spotted the girl at the bottom of a jacuzzi and pulled her from the water. A physician at the home performed CPR on the girl. By the time a fire crew and ambulance arrived, the girl was breathing and appeared to be alert.
OC Register

54-acre Canyon Fire off Ortega Highway is Fully Contained

ORTEGA HIGHWAY - A 54-acre fire that briefly closed off Highway 74 near Lake Elsinore has been fully contained. The fire was reported about 2:50 p.m. Sunday near South Main Divide and was fought by the U.S. Forest Service with the help of the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority, officials said. The fire spread over about 54 acres before its forward spread was stopped shortly before 6 p.m. that evening.

Though structures were threatened when the fire first broke out, no structures burned. The fire temporarily closed down a portion of Highway 74, also known as the Ortega Highway, when it broke.
Press Enterprise

Residence in Santa Ana Erupts in Flames

SANTA ANA - At 3:54 AM Sunday morning, September 2, the Orange County Fire Authority responded to reports of a structure fire in the 1000 block of North Freeman Street in Santa Ana. Crews arriving on scene found a one-story residential structure well involved with fire and began efforts to attack the blaze. The fire was knocked down within approximately 20 minutes. No injuries were immediately reported. The Orange County Fire Authority’s Fire Investigators will be handling the investigation.
On Scene TV

Brush Fire Shuts Southbound 73 Freeway near Toll Plaza

NEWPORT BEACH - A brush fire broke out Saturday near the toll plaza of the southbound San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor (73) in Newport Beach around 3:30 p.m. About 80 firefighters were on the scene from the OCFA, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. The California Highway Patrol shut down all lanes of the southbound toll road at Newport Coast Drive.

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported.  At 5 p.m. the fire was reported under control, after having burned over 30 acres.
MyNews LA
Newport Patch

ABOUT OC Firefighters LOCAL  3631
Since 1995, OC Firefighters Local 3631 has been the labor organization of the proud men and women that serve as Firefighters and Emergency Medical Responders protecting Orange County. The members of the Orange County Fire Authority rely on Local 3631 to focus on the wellbeing and safety of those that protect the lives of others. For more information, visit
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OC Firefighters - IAFF Local 3631
1900 East Warner Ave Ste G 
Santa Ana, CA 92705 
 (949) 486-3631 

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