OC Firefighters Monthly Newsletter...
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October 4, 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,

By now you have all heard about the mass shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas at the end of a 3-day concert. The latest numbers include 59 confirmed fatalities and more than 500 injuries - many of them still in critical condition. This shooting has now been determined to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Several of our OCFA Firefighters attended the concert and were there during the shooting. Thankfully, I am pleased to inform you that none of our Firefighters were injured during this event. In fact, our Firefighters did what we are all trained to do - both on and off duty - render aid to those that were injured. 

Our prayers go out to all of the families that were impacted by this catastrophic mass shooting, including many other first responders from throughout the country and dozens of our fellow Firefighters who remain in the hospital today. May God Bless all of the victims and provide them and their families with courage and strength in these extremely difficult times.

Baryic Hunter

Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
Local Firefighter Made the Ultimate Sacrifice Protecting Orange County 
Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Firefighter Ron Castro was added to thousands of others etched on granite walls honoring those who have died in the Line of Duty at the International Association of Fire Fighter (IAFF) Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 16, 2017. 
Firefighter Ron Castro joined the professional fire service with a commitment to put his life on the line to keep Orange County safe. Now his name has been added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado, honoring those who have died in the line of duty.
Firefighter Ron Castro succumbed to job-related cancer on November 30, 2016. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Ron Castro served for four decades as a Firefighter. 

The Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial honors more than 7,500 IAFF members who have died in the line of duty since 1918. The names include those who died on the job, as well as the alarming number who succumbed to chronic illnesses linked to the fire service such as heart disease and cancer.
Etched on granite walls forming concentric circles, the names tell a bigger story, a century of sacrifice and service, a fire service that has given so much but become stronger and made communities safer.

LA Times
Photos Courtesy of IAFF and OCFA

OC Firefighters Receive Hero's Welcome Returning from Houston’s Hurricane Harvey 
Photos Courtesy of Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG
IRVINE - After a two-week deployment to the greater Houston area, where hundreds were rescued after Tropical Storm Harvey, California Task Force 5 rolled back into town Thursday, September 7, with 100 family members and others greeting them with signs, balloons and hugs.
California Task Force 5’s caravan included two semi-trailers and several light trucks that held equipment. In Texas, the firefighters pitched tents, and set out cots, toilets and showers at a high school football stadium. Using two aluminum flat-bottom boats and a pair of rubber inflatables, which the task force towed along, it plucked people from flooded homes, a freeway overpass among other places, getting them out of harm’s way.
Possible chemical leak reported at UCI natural sciences building

IRVINE - About 15 people were evacuated from the natural sciences building at University of California, Irvine Sunday, September 3, after officials received a report of a possible chemical leak.

UCI Police Department and the Orange County Fire Authority’s hazardous materials team responded and cleared the building. They found a small puddle of unknown liquid in a chemistry lab on the second floor. The OCFA hazmat team tested a sample of the liquid and determined it not harmful.
OC Register
Fires Along 605 Freeway Causes Alarm Near Seal Beach
SEAL BEACH - A possible arson was reported on Wednesday, September 6, in the Seal Beach area according to several reports on Twitter. The fires were reported as set along the 605 freeway near the 405, possibly started from a flare at approximately 4 p.m.

Orange County Fire Authority, Long Beach Fire and Garden Grove Fire Department all assisted with extinguishing the vegetation fire.
Los Alamitos Patch
Update: OC Firefighters Foster Adorable Kittens Rescued From Car Engine

LOS ALAMITOS - It started at a Westminster car wash. Kitten cries underneath a car hood were heard by a worker at the Brookhurst Car Wash who approached OCFA firefighters. The crew was able to quickly get underneath the Audi and free the two kittens.

The firefighters took the kittens back to the fire station to make sure their patients were properly cared for and that their immediate needs and follow-up care were not left to chance.

The kittens are staying in Trabuco Canyon and have been named Hazard and Brookhurst. They are being fostered by one of the Firefighters and his girlfriend.
Los Alamitos Patch
OCFA sends 7 firefighters to Florida as Irma approaches

IRVINE — The Orange County Fire Authority has sent seven firefighters to Florida as Hurricane Irma barrels toward the Sunshine State.

Those dispatched include an OCFA K-9 search specialist assigned to California Task Force 8, a federal urban search and rescue team based in San Diego. An OCFA structural specialist attached to Washington State Task Force 1 and five incident support team members are also in Florida.
OC Register

Special Needs Student at Santa Ana High School Is Asked to Homecoming Dance With Help From Fire Department

SANTA ANA - A 17-year-old Santa Ana High School student invited the Orange County Fire Authority to make a special proposal to a fellow student on Tuesday, September 12.
Stella Macias, 17, asked Jesus Elias, who has an intellectual disability, to the homecoming dance, and the 14-year-old boy accepted. While firefighters held up signs that read “Will you be my fireman,” and “Homecoming is going to be a hot night,” the two students embraced.

Stella, who is a senior, wanted to include Jesus in the upcoming dance. Since he loves firefighters Stella called up the Orange County Fire Authority to help out with the proposal. Jesus got to dress up as a firefighter and board a truck that came to the school.

Fire damages 4 units in Santa Ana commercial building

SANTA ANA - A two-alarm fire damaged four units of a commercial building in Santa Ana early Monday, September 18.
It took 50 firefighters to put out the 2 a.m. blaze in the 1500 block of East McFadden Avenue, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The fire was put out in about 40 minutes and caused smoke and fire damage to four units but no injuries were reported.
News of SoCal

RV engulfed in flames is same one used in standoff with Santa Ana police

SANTA ANA - The RV where a woman barricaded herself for hours from police Tuesday, September 14 was damaged in a fire Thursday, authorities said.
The vehicle was parked on Dyer Road and Pullman Avenue, in the same place it was parked when a woman threw the contents out and armed herself with a knife Tuesday. Santa Ana police tried for hours to coax her out of the vehicle but eventually decided to stand down to avoid a violent confrontation.

On Thursday morning at about 8:30 a.m. firefighters found the vehicle fully engulfed in flames. They were able to quickly put out the fire. Nearby there were downed electrical wires but it has not yet been determined if they played a factor in starting the blaze. It was unclear if anyone was inside the RV at the time of the fire but no injuries were reported.
OC Register
Canyon Fire on Orange-Riverside County Line Fully Contained

Firefighters are nearing the end of their battle against the Canyon Fire, which was 95 percent contained after having blackened just over 2,660 acres on the Orange-Riverside county line between Anaheim and Corona. The blaze has damaged six structures and at its height threatened about 1,900 homes.

A total of 925 firefighters and other personnel were deployed to continue mop-up work. About 1,500 residents from 500 homes near the Riverside (91) Freeway were initially affected by the fire on the Orange-Riverside county border. The fire broke out about 1 p.m. Monday, September 25, alongside the eastbound Riverside Freeway, just west of Green River Road in west Corona, and initially spread at a "moderate" rate to Coal Canyon Road off the freeway.

The fire began spreading at a "rapid rate" around 3 p.m. Monday, fanned by Santa Ana winds blowing at 20 to 25 mph. By Monday night, it had charred about 2,000 acres and had damaged a single-family home and a big rig.

OC Register 
New York Times 
Review Journal 

Vehicles collide, smash into dad, 2 kids, walking in Santa Ana; drivers never stop
SANTA ANA - One of two vehicles involved in a collision Thursday, September 21, in Santa Ana jumped a curb and struck a father and his two children before both drivers fled the scene. The crash was reported about 7:20 p.m. at the intersection of Raitt and First streets.
The father suffered a broken leg. One of the children, a 2-year-old who was in a stroller, suffered a bump on the head, and the other, a 10-year-old, sustained minor scrapes. All three were taken to a hospital. The vehicle that struck the victims was described only as a black Jeep. The other was a white pickup truck, both were driven from the scene.

Produce truck crash blocks 5 Freeway lanes in San Clemente
SAN CLEMENTE - Two northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway in San Clemente could remain closed through the morning of September 18 while workers clean up from an overturned big rig loaded with produce. Lanes No. 3 and 4 of the freeway were shut down just south of the Avenida Pico on-ramp while Caltrans workers repaired 60 to 80 feet of damaged guard rail and cleaned up a diesel spill, including about 20 gallons down a storm drain, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Orange County Fire Authority firefighters used an “absorbent” to pick up as much of the spilled diesel as possible from the roadway. The driver was not injured.The Orange County Health and Public Works departments and the U.S. Coast Guard were contacted in the aftermath of the spill.
OC Register

Emergency Landing At John Wayne Airport

NEWPORT BEACH - John Wayne Airport received notification that a plane nearby was experiencing a "rough running engine" on Sunday, September 24.
An Orange County Fire Authority spokesperson stated that an emergency response was made at approximately 12:45 p.m. as firefighters were sent to John Wayne Airport for what was thought to be a commercial plane made an emergency landing due to engine trouble. 
Emergency responders were contacted at that time. OCFA crash teams were on site however the plane landed without incident.
Newport Beach Patch

2 hurt in early morning crash on 5 freeway in San Juan Capistrano

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - Two people were trapped inside a pickup truck that crashed into the rear of a big rig today on the 5 freeway in San Juan Capistrano. It occurred at 3:47 a.m. on northbound I-5 at Junipero Serra Road. 

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to free the two people from the pickup truck, and they were taken to a hospital by 4:30 a.m. The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado was traveling north on the highway, just north of Juniperro Serra Road, when it slammed into the rear of the rig in the slow lane about 3:45 a.m. The pickup got wedged under the truck’s trailer, which was dragging it along. 
OC Register

Flames Ravage RV, Home In Trabuco Canyon

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA - Smoke and flames filled a Trabuco Canyon neighborhood Friday morning. The fire began in a shed and spread to the Recreational Vehicle before damaging two homes. The estimated damaged was $170,000, including two structures sustaining exterior damage, damage to two vehicles, fence, RV and an outside equipment shed where the fire began. 

Thirty OCFA and U.S. Forest Service personnel responded to the scene, including two engines. Neighbors were without power and trapped by emergency vehicles, and officials closed the roads for residents trying to enter or leave the neighborhood until after 8 a.m.  A surge protector malfunction was the cause, according to OCFA investigators. A family of three, two adults and a child, were uninjured and their cats were safe as well.

Rancho Santa Margarita 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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