Welcome to the Editor's Daily Blog

Southern California Fire Journal.Com

Friday, March 29, 2013

North Korea, Things are Heating UP!

North Korea put its rocket units on standby Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after repeated threats and one day after two American stealth bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula in a military exercise.

A U.S. official warned that the isolated communist state is “not a paper tiger” and its reaction should not be dismissed as “pure bluster.”

According to the North Korea's official KCNA news agency, the country's leader Kim Jong Un “judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation” at a midnight meeting of top generals, Reuters reported.

Editors comments from So Cal Fire Journal:

Not only does the fire service have to be ready for fires, floods and earthquakes, we have to be ready for a military attack on US soil. I hope the Cal Chiefs are really meeting in earnest to protect mass populations for a major attack should it occur. These threats are not idle bluster coming from North Korea and we need to be ready for anything that should come our way.

We are gearing up for a dangerous wildfire season in California and we have no margin for error. Preparedness is every ones responsibility, food, water, shelter, health care, the basic needs for survival. Residents can not rely on local government resources so each person has to be ready. Batteries, drinking water, blankets, food storage, first aid supplies, we have all heard it before, be prepared.

Stay informed, be prepared, act locally in a responsible manner and help those in need.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oso Town Council Meeting, Neenach Volunteers

Neenach CA: Approximately twenty five citizens and two members representing elected officials, from Assemblyman Fox's office and Supervisor Antonovich's office were in attendance. Discussion on blowing dust, dust abatement programs for the solar plants, concerns for respiratory illness do to dust storms.

Brief discussion on trying to get a fire station in Neenach and thank you to LA County fire Department for control burn project at West Valley County Water District property. Concerns about upcoming fire season and drought conditions.

April 20, 2013 free dump day and tire recycling event, LA County sponsored event.

Sheriffs Department kept 22 million dollars for LA Sheriffs Office, 3-1-1 vote, 3 in favor, 1 nay, and one abstained from LA County Supervisors office.

Local concerns about solar companies commitment to the community and there impacts in the Antelope Valley.

Oso Town Council received award from State Assemblyman's Fox's Office for community service.

Possible low cost spay and neuter clinic from Non Profit Association.

Meeting adjourned.

Information for Mountain Press Enterprise.
Richard Skags Surprised at Commendation from Legislature
Volunteer Round- Up, Neenach
Volunteers continued clean up efforts today in Neenach after yesterday's control burn at Holiday Lake. Volunteers used a tractor to improve the walking trail, assisted with trash removal and cleaning up logs and debris not consumed by fire. Hopefully new grasses will start to sprout rapidly in the burn area.
Picnic tables will be placed around the lake now that burning has been completed. A few new trees will be planted around the tables to offer shade. Volunteers meet once a week to pick up trash and help clean up the community doing various community projects. Thanks to every one's hard work the lake is looking great.
Pictured Richard and Nancy Dillon, Bindy Gonzales and Donna Bailey
Information and Photos Jeff Zimmerman
Information for Mountain Enterprise

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Firefighters Perform Control Burn, Holiday Lake, Neenach

Approximately 80 firefighters and members from Los Angeles County Forestry and Fire Warden's office conducted a prescribed burn today to control reeds and excess vegetation around Holiday Lake in Neenach. The control burn was to reduce the fuel loading and to improve the wildlife habitat. The area has been over grown so volunteers have been improving walking paths, creating fire breaks and making brush piles for the Fire Department to burn. Todays burn removed about four acres of weeds and vegetation. The area is a sensitive bird habitat so careful attention was paid not to burn more than was required to meet the objectives established by fire managers. Severe drought conditions made for spectacular pictures as firefighters proceeded aound the lake bringing fire with them. The burn lasted approximately four hours.
Photos copyright Jeff Zimmerman

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Man Trapped Upside Down in Vehicle Accident

Engines 15 and 14 from the Kern County Fire Department along with assistance from Los Angeles County Fire units from Fire Stations 112 and 130 were summoned to extricate a man that was trapped in a vehicle accident at 95th street west and Ave A. Two men were riding in a pick up truck along a dirt road when it flipped over causing major damage to the vehicle and entangling the passenger. The driver was able to exit the vehicle, where as the passenger was trapped upside down and caught partially dangling out the rear window. Firefighters and paramedics worked professionally for 30 minutes to cut the man from the wreckage using jaws of life and rescue saws. The vehicles top had to be removed to gain access to the injured man. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident. It was possible that the men were going to fast for the road conditions and hit a small ditch which caused the vehicle to roll over. It is unknown if the passenger had his seat belt on at the time of the accident since he landed in such a precarious position. Paramedics from Halls Ambulance transported the patient to a local trauma center for further medical care.

Photo Caption: Firefighter Davis from Kern County Fire Station 15 in Rosomand uses the jaws of life to free a trapped passenger at 95 st West and Ave A late Saturday afternoon.

Photo and Information: Jeff Zimmerman
PO Box 725
Lake Hughes CA 93532

This photo has not been put into photo shop. Please use information for your respective publications

Friday, March 15, 2013

Local Hometown Hero Retires After 32 Years of Fighting Fires

In the dining commons of Kern County Fire Station 15 there is a poster that reads, "There is no higher Honor than Human Service". "To work for the common good is the Greatest Deed." That phrase depicts the corporate culture of the men and women who work for the Kern County Fire Department at Fire Station 15 in Rosamond. No catchy slogans, just humble men and women working 48 hour long shifts to serve citizens in the greater Antelope Valley, Mojave, Tehachapi and unincorporated area of Boron in Kern County.

Their respected leader Captain Michael Breazeal is retiring today after serving 26 years with the County Fire Department and 6 years of service with the Los Angeles City Fire Department. On his last shift I had the pleasure to interview he and his crew to discuss the challenges faced by firefighters today and what has changed over the years.

I originally met this crew at a house fire in the 5000 block of Rosamond Blvd last week when I saw Captain Breazeal coming out of a burning home through the front window and firefighter Joey Weitz coming outside for a new air bottle. Thick black smoke had been rolling from the building. A passerby had helped two people to safety in the early morning fire. Crews went right to work performing search and rescue and fire attack and had the fire under control in 30 minutes.

I asked for a follow up interview on the Captain's last day to record some of his thoughts. As I arrived at Fire Station 15 and started the interview, as if on Que the station alerting system rang requesting Engine 15 to respond to a man who had collapsed and was in need of paramedical services. Responding just a few blocks away the crew of Engine 15 was the first to arrive to render medical care. About 30 minutes later Engine 15 returned to quarters and we continued the interview. Captain Breazeal was working with veteran Engineer Nels Jensen and Firefighter Joey Weitz.

As we casually sat around the kitchen table, Captain Breazeal opened up about his career. He recalled one of his most challenging fires was when a portion of ceiling collapsed on he and his partner, Greg Oakes in a structure fire in California City. Both men needed some medical care but each helped each other to reach safety. His most tragic call when he was working on Highway 58 when six people perished in Boron when two vehicles collided with a semi truck carrying large diameter steel pipe. He was working alone since the captain had suddenly gone home ill and we was the first to arrive. With pride he has assisted at 13 child births, been to dozens of major fires and thousands upon thousands of medical emergency calls.

In his early career he was a single function paramedic at the Los Angeles Fire Department in Hollywood. Six years later he found himself working for Kern County as a rookie firefighter. As he rose through the ranks he helped train over 400 recruits at the fire academy in Bakersfield and left his mark on very impressionable minds. He has seen advances in fire apparatus and in the field of para-medicine, which he hopes someday Kern County Fire Department will start a paramedic program similar to its neighbor Los Angeles County.

Captain Breazeal and wife Laurie are going to retire to Utah to enjoy, fishing, kayaking and the great outdoors. His first stop though is to see his son in Texas who will be visiting back from Korea after serving a tour over seas in the Army. He has three daughters Ashley 23 and Shauna 29 and Michelle 30 who are all in the medical field.

This week Engine 15 has been to three suicide calls from gunshot wounds a house fire and a dozen medical calls. Captain Breazeal will miss the station camaraderie and serving the citizens of Rosamond. He is truly a dedicated public servant who will be missed by many. His retirement party is scheduled for Saturday night with numerous people coming to say good by and a fond farewell to the special place we call Antelope Valley.

Photo and Information: Jeff Zimmerman, PO Box 725 Lake Hughes CA 93532, 805-423-3499

Kern County Fire Station 15 phone number is 661-256-2401
House fire 5003 Rosamond Blvd

Publications welcome to use this story, Credit: Jeff Zimmerman