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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber nozzelvfd's Avatar
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    Default Radiation causes alarm on fire engine

    A radiation detection monitor mounted on a Rancho Santa Fe fire truck sounded an alarm Tuesday when the Valley Center man walked by it. Police eventually stopped his car as he drove through Escondido, only to discover that the alarm had been triggered by the man's medical implant.

    Police and firefighters are being provided with the sensitive cell phone-sized radiation monitors through federal Homeland Security grants, as a way to equip local agencies with tools to make the public safer from terrorism attacks, particularly "dirty bombs" or small radiation weapons.

    As for the false alarm on Tuesday, "There's bound to be other incidents," said Tom Amabile, a senior emergency services coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.

    Tuesday's incident was triggered when two men looking for diesel fuel for their Mercedes-Benz walked past a fire truck in Rancho Santa Fe, and the radiation monitor alerted. It was the first time the firefighters had ever heard the alarm, said Rancho Santa Fe Fire Chief Erwin Willis.

    The pager went off again when the two men returned to the car. The fire crew drove past the Mercedes to recheck the monitor, and it alerted a third time.

    The fire crew notified their dispatcher. They also relayed a description of the car, its license plate number and that it was traveling on Del Dios Highway toward Escondido.

    "We were watching," said Escondido Police spokesman David Mankin. "An officer saw them coming into town."

    Police pulled the car over about 4 p.m. on Grand Avenue and closed the downtown thoroughfare between Ash and Rose streets. The FBI and a county hazardous materials team were notified.

    Rancho Santa Fe firefighters used their monitor to check out the car and the two men, who were ordered out of the Mercedes.

    One of them said "he just had a radiological implant," which was verified by a phone call to the man's doctor, Mankin said.

    "It was a very interesting call," Mankin said. "It was very good for training."
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    WOW.... and yes a great training excercise.... This time.

    I think I understand the rational behind equipping FD with radiation detectors... well sort of anyway. However, if the detector is as sensative as this incident seems to prove, I can foresee a problem.

    As with any automatic alarm, if it sounds off too often and is determined to be a false alarm, eventually the mind (and body) become desensitized to hearing and thus, ignore it. This is human nature, and eventually an "alert posture" will always become less vigilant as time goes - that is just the way of things.

    I only hope that those depts that are so equipped never have to use it for the "Real Thing".
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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  3. #3
    Forum Member Maverick9110E's Avatar
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    come on thats an easy one, the guy had a uranium rod in his pocket

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Is that a Uranium Rod in your pocket or are you just really happy to see me?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Ladder8's Avatar
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    Somethimg like that happened in Seattle last year...


    K-9 Team Detects High Radiation on Ferry (Bremerton, WA, Sun) “The first day of new ferry security measures [on 1 July] went smoothly until an unusual finding led officials to hold a Bainbridge Island ferry for a half-hour at the dock with all passengers and vehicles aboard,” according to the Sun. “A Coast Guard K-9 officer using a bomb-sniffing dog to screen vehicles at Seattle’s Colman Dock detected an ‘excessively high’ radiation reading, which caused the concern … The radiation reading was triggered by a car waiting to board the 5:30 p.m. ferry to Bainbridge, but occupants of the vehicle had a simple explanation[:] a passenger in the car recently underwent radiation therapy for cancer.”
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  6. #6
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Escondido's not too far from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and is also near both the Camp Pendleton USMC base and San Diego, which is a major Navy/USMC city (two air stations, carrier base, home port for the Third Fleet, SEAL training center, etc.). This might explain why they have these detectors.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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