For the Record 7/14

LVFR Receives EMS Award

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue (LVFR) has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Bronze Award that recognizes its commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Mission: Lifeline’s new EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients. The award recognizes everyone from the 9-1-1 dispatchers to the crews that arrive on the scene, make the recognition, start advance life-saving procedures and deliver the patient to a medical facility for follow-up treatment in a timely manner.  It is truly a team effort.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for three months (one quarter), and treated at least four STEMI patients for the year.

“We commend Las Vegas Fire & Rescue for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

“It is challenging enough to get patients to the cath lab within 90 minutes of arrival at a hospital, but LVFR was graded on our ability to get the patient to the cath lab within 90 minutes from the first call to 9-1-1 for help,” said Deputy Fire Chief Dr. David Slattery, Medical Director for LVFR. “This recognition reflects our department’s continued pursuit for delivering excellence for emergency cardiac care for the citizens and visitors in the City of Las Vegas.”

Las Vegas Fire Chief Willie McDonald added, “Las Vegas Fire & Rescue is committed to making our emergency medical response the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients. We are pleased to be recognized for our department’s dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”



San Gabriel Fire

San Gabriel, CA, May 15, 2014 – San Gabriel firefighters were called to a reported fire at the corner of San Gabriel Boulevard and Live Oak Street around 7:15 p.m. They found a fire in a large dumpster that had extended into a phone store that was part of a three-store complex that included a large bookstore on the other end. Firefighters mounted an offensive attack inside and on the roof of the phone store and found heavy fire throughout and in the attic. A second alarm was ordered as firefighters were driven out of the store and defensive operations commenced. Division Chief Bryan Frieders reported that the building was burning so hot, it wasn't worth risking lives. For over an hour firefighters battled the fire as it spread to the second store. Eventually, both buildings collapsed. "Fortunately, no firefighters were on the roof when it collapsed," said Frieders.

A third alarm was requested when command noticed that the fire had communicated to the bookstore. Firefighters from Alhambra, Arcadia, Glendale, Los Angeles County, Monterey Park, Pasadena and San Marino assisted the San Gabriel FD as they continued pouring water on the collapsed structures while setting up to combat the fire in the larger building, which by this time had fire in the attic with heavy smoke, under pressure, blowing out of the attic vents.

Firefighters set up aerial devices and 2-1/2- inch lines as it was inevitable the bookstore store was going to "light up." Fire blew through the roof and the inside lit up moments later. Water flowed for another hour until the fire darkened down and a knockdown was called after a 3-1/2- hour firefight.

Division Chief Derrick Doehler reported that two firefighters suffered moderate injuries. Both were treated at a local hospital and then released. The fire caused an estimated total of $2 million in damages.

–Mike Meadows


Trip and Slide

Firehouse® Magazine News Editor Jay K. Bradish and his wife, Delora, were on vacation in Arizona when the Slide Fire broke out. Here are a report and photos they posted from the scene:

On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, a small wildfire known as the Slide Fire originated in the Oak Creek Canyon area of the Coconino National Forest, five miles north of Sedona, AZ, at approximately 4:45 p.m. According to officials, the fire was approximately five acres upon their arrival. Within 15 minutes, the fire had grown to 20 acres and exploded to 450 acres in a few hours. More than 100 structures, including private homes, vacation resort cabins and commercial businesses, in Oak Creek Canyon were evacuated. Initial resources on the fire included Sedona Fire District, two Hotshots crews, one light helicopter, one heavy helicopter, one air attack aircraft, four engines and three water tenders with 120 personnel working the fire. A Type I Incident Management Team took command of the fire on May 21, as the fire grew to 2,000 acres, threatening Kachina Village on the outskirts of Flagstaff.

At the height of the fire, more than 1,200 personnel fought the fire. This included local and mutual aid fire departments, more than 20 Hotshots crews, 10 initial attack crews, 40 engines, four helicopters, three air tankers, numerous water tenders, two bulldozers and a fuels crew. By June 3, the fire was 92% contained.

No structures were lost in the fire, which burned more than 21,000 acres, approximately 33 square miles and cost over $10 million to extinguish. Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which is believed to be human caused. This was the largest fire in the history of the Coconino National Forest.


Line-of-Duty Deaths

Five U.S. firefighters recently died in the line of duty. Four career firefighters and one volunteer firefighter died in five separate health-related incidents.

CAPTAIN DAVID W. MILLETT, 62, of the Norway, MN, Fire Department died on May 10. Several hours after returning home from a residential structure fire, Millett became ill and died from apparent cardiac arrest.

FIRE CREW SUPERVISOR TED F. DRAKE, 62, of the Wyoming State Forestry Division in Newcastle, WY, died on May 17. Drake was participating in a fitness test for Red Card certification when he suffered an apparent heart attack.

FIRE APPARATUS OPERATOR ROBERT FOGEL III, 58, of the Baltimore County, MD, Fire Department died on May 25. While participating in a training exercise at the Baltimore County Fire Rescue Academy, Fogel suffered cardiac arrest. Immediate care was initiated by fellow firefighters and he was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he died. Fogel was a 27-year veteran of the fire service.

DEPUTY CHIEF DAVID FIORI, 59, of the New Britain, CT, Fire Department died on May 26. The day before, Fiori became ill while on duty. Fellow firefighters initiated immediate care and he was transported to the Hospital of Central Connecticut, where he died. Fiori was a 36-year veteran of the fire service.

BATTALION CHIEF JOHN McDONALD, 54, of the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Naval District Washington Fire and Emergency Services Central Battalion in Washington, DC, died on May 30. MacDonald died while on duty. MacDonald was a 40-year veteran of the fire service.

Jay K. Bradish