OC Firefighters Monthly Newsletter...
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April 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.


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OC Firefighters Welcome Chief Brian Fennessy as New Chief of OCFA
This month, the JPA Board confirmed Brian Fennessy as our new OCFA Fire Chief.
Fennessy began his 40-year Firefighting career in 1978 working for the U.S. Forest Service, where he was a Hotshot Crew Member. He joined the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department in 1990 and served as their Chief for three years. As Chief of SDFD, Fennessy spearheaded the development of the city’s helicopter program, which includes firefighting and rescue helicopters with night-flying capabilities.
With his appointment, we firmly believe this Department will regain continuity and consistency. We are looking forward to building a strong working relationship with Chief Fennessy. A partnership that will be founded on clear goals, open communication, and a commitment to work with our rank and file members on the frontlines to improve Firefighter safety and the safety of the 23 cities and unincorporated communities we serve. 
We would like to thank Chief Patrick McIntosh for serving as OCFA Interim Fire Chief for the past several months. During his time as Chief, our County faced the toughest fire season in recent memory with both Canyon Fires impacting multiple communities throughout Orange County. We are grateful for the steadiness and stability that he provided to our organization throughout this time of transition.  
As we welcome Chief Fennessy into the OCFA, we look forward to a collaborative approach to solving these issues and finding new ways to better serve our Orange County residents.
With a strong partnership and cooperative effort, we can and will be successful.

OC Firefighters Re-Affiliate with California Professional Firefighters 
After 11 years, OC Firefighters Local 3631 is proud to announce our re-affiliation with the California Professional Firefighters (CPF). Our President Baryic Hunter and Secretary John Cloughen were in Sacramento to officially re-affiliate.

CPF benefits include a long-term disability insurance plan for Firefighters, financial services for members, CPF’s Personal Exposure Reporting (PER) for recording exposure to cancer-causing toxins, and direct member support. As part of CPF, we will continue to improve the lives and livelihoods of our members as we stand in solidarity with 30,000 of our fellow Firefighters throughout California.
Second alarm fire damages auto repair shop

MISSION VIEJO - A second-alarm fire damaged an automotive repair shop on March 6 in Mission Viejo.

The fire broke out at 4 a.m. at a shop on the 25700 block of Obrero Drive. One person was inside the building when the fire broke out but was able to get out safely.  It took 45 firefighters about 45 minutes to knock down the blaze.
OC Register

Second Alarm Fire in Laguna Niguel

LAGUNA NIGUEL – On March 3, a second alarm structure fire, erupted. Units from OCFA and Laguna Beach Fire were on-scene battling the fire in a fourplex dwelling unit on the 30000 block of Via Reata. No reported injuries.
OCFA Twitter
Structure Fire in Coto de Caza

COTO DE CAZA – On March 8, OCFA responded to a structure fire on Charleston Lane. There was extensive damage to garage and to the attic extension. 24 Firefighters responded to the scene.

OCFA Twitter

Detached Garage Fire

SANTA ANA – On March 6, OCFA responded to a detached garage fire which spread to the home on Posey Street in Santa Ana. The Fire was knocked down in 10 minutes by 30 Firefighters from by OCFA and Garden Grove Fire Departments.
OnScene TV

Man dies in fiery crash in Tustin

TUSTIN - A driver died on Saturday, March 10 in a fiery crash on the center median of a Tustin roadway.


Firefighters at about 5:10 a.m. responded to reports of a Ford Mustang striking a tree on Jamboree Road, just north of Patriot Way. The force of the crash severed the vehicle in half and left the engine compartment aflame.
OC Register

Mid-afternoon fire at Cypress mobile home park

CYPRESS - The Orange County Fire Authority responded to a call at a mobile home park on Lincoln Avenue about 3 p.m. on March 15 and found a mobile home ablaze. Two responding officers from the Cypress Police Department rushed a man in his 50s away from the fire, but he was already critically burned.

The fire had a risk of spreading to adjacent mobile homes, but was contained because of the efforts of 34 OCFA firefighters. The fire took about 20 minutes to extinguish.
OC Register
OC Breeze

Gas leak causes evacuation of employees at San Juan Capistrano laboratory

San Juan CAPISTRANO – An ammonia leak at a San Juan Capistrano lab resulted in more than 100 employees being evacuated on March 16.
 The lab, a two-story commercial building along Ortega Highway, was evacuated at about 9:53 a.m. OCFA deployed 50 Firefighters including a haz-mat team to the site. OCFA’s hazmat team secured the building, and employees were safely back to work by the end of the day.
OC Register
San Juan Capistrano Patch 
Woman Dies After Falling From 200-Foot Waterfall in Cleveland National Forest

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST - A woman died after apparently falling 200 feet from a waterfall in the Cleveland National Forest Saturday, March 17.  OCFA responded to the incident near the Blue Jay Campground off Ortega Highway sometime after 1 p.m. after a hiker called to report that his hiking partner had fallen off a rockery area.


Chemical spill closes down MacArthur Boulevard and Fitch in Irvine

IRVINE - A traffic collision at MacArthur Boulevard and Fitch in Irvine on March 22 closed down the intersection for at least two hours while hazardous material teams investigated chemicals that were spilled during the crash.

The Orange County Fire Authority and the Costa Mesa Fire Department both had hazmat teams on scene after a pickup truck collided with a sedan at 2 p.m. The truck was carrying multiple chemical containers, which bounced out and went on to the road.
OC Register

RV Fire in Laguna Hills

LAGUNA HILLS – On March 23, OCFA put out an RV fire on the 23300 block of Moulton Parkway. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the structure.

OC Firefighters Facebook
Dog Rescued with Jaws of Life

MISSION VIEJO – On March 23, OCFA rescued a dog that got trapped between two containers while chasing a rabbit. Firefighters used the “jaws of life” to make enough room for the dog to get out unharmed.
OC Firefighters Facebook
Technical Rescue at Dana Point Harbor

DANA POINT HARBOR – On March 24, OCFA Engine, Heavy Rescue Unit, & Technical Rescue truck on scene rescuing a male stuck up a 30 ft. sail boat mast after rigging broke.
OC Firefighters Facebook 

Woman rescued in Rancho Santa Margarita after her car rolls into ravine, gets stuck in tree

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA - Orange County Fire Authority personnel needed a helicopter to rescue a woman in Rancho Santa Margarita after her car tumbled some 300 feet into a ravine, where it got stuck in a tree. The 69-year-old woman, whose identity was not released, went off the road while driving on Bell Canyon Road near Grey Rock on Tuesday, March 28. Her car rolled over about 20 times as it fell into the ravine, and ended up resting upside down in a tree.
OCFA personnel responding to the scene had to be lowered in to the ravine by helicopter, and safely cut the woman out of the car while it was still stuck bottom-up in the tree. The woman then was airlifted to a local hospital.
OC Register

Mission Viejo High School building damaged after fires erupts

MISSION VIEJO - Arson investigators responded to Mission Viejo High School on March 29 after two suspicious fires broke out on the campus.

Just after 9 p.m., Orange County Fire Authority personnel responded to an initial report of a structure fire at a school in the 25000 block of Chrisanta Drive. Firefighters arrived to discover that fires in two small trash cans were put out with extinguishers by people at the scene.

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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