1. #1
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    Default Homeowner builds personal firefighting rig

    I hope this hasn't been posted already. Check out the story with photos here-

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...cal&id=3700858

    On the right side of that page is a link you can click to see the video of this story. Shows him and his wife operating the rig. Looks pretty nice.
    Comments?

    Steve,
    Formerly of City of St Gabriel FD/East Iberville VFD

    -------------------------------------

    Homeowner Builds Personal Firefighting Rig
    LA HABRA HEIGHTS - One local man has taken some unusual steps to increase his home's odds of surviving a firestorm. He has set up his own personal firehouse - sort of.
    George Edwards spoke with ABC7 Eyewitness News about his personal fire rig. He said, "The moment I hooked it up, it was incredible. I felt like I do have a class 7 fire rig."
    George Edwards has been a video photographer here in Los Angeles for the better part of 2 years, during that time he has found himself in the middle of everything including forest fires. So when he and his wife bought property in La Habra Heights a few years ago they were determined to make sure their investment did not go up in smoke.
    They decide to take firefighting into their own hands. They took a tractor and added a water tank, installed a high-pressure pump and purchased surplus fire hoses and then got the nozzles they needed.
    Edwards said, "The moment I hooked it up, it was incredible. I felt like I do have a class 7 fire rig."
    Both George and his wife Julie know how to use the rig, and they have fire drills, proving they know how to fight a fire with ingenuity.
    "My wife is surprised by this and nobody is more surprised than me," said Edwards.
    The Edwards are not advocates that homeowners go it alone, but considering that they live miles away from the nearest fire station they believe their blue rig will get the job done until the red engines arrive.
    "I really think this type of system will really fight off a fire long enough for us to get help. So we see it as a first aid kid kit for fire. And sense I live in an area with no volunteer fire department. I will volunteer to protect my own property," Edwards told ABC7 Eyewitness News.

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    Interesting ...........but whats that MAYBE 300 gals of water ? wont do mcu h but may do some ...........or they will die trying.
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    I was looking at the tank too but then in the video he's shown uncaping what appears to be a water pipe near the gate in his driveway. I figured he's hooking up an input to keep the tank full while he pumps from it.
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

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    If he uses that tractor to clear the bushes away before a fire is even thought of, then he can set on the porch and drink iced tea when a fire does come. I am dismayed by all the technology I see set up for homeowner defense, when what really needs to happen is the homeowner needs to get out in the wintertime and take dominion over the weeds. It won't get you a spot in the paper but it will save your house and you won't have to be in the face of an oncoming fire to do it.

    Birken

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    I agree with you BV.

    A properly prepared and FireSmart home should not need any additional defense during a wildfire.

    If you insist on keeping the dense vegetation, using poor construction materials, and/or selecting poor lot placement, you should not expect to fight the fire with a single 30gpm booster line and potentially limited water supply. Furthermore, you are really taking a gamble with both your home and your safety.

    Even if that little standpipe of his has good pressure now, wait until the local department hooks up thier 1250 pumper down the street and sucks the residual down to garden hose flow.

    It's a neat little unit to be sure, but not where I would put my resources first. A properly built and prepared home should need nothing, or perhaps only a small roof sprinkler kit to provide complete protection from the firebrands and embers.'

    By misleading homeowners in the urban interface with the belief that you can save your home with a garden tractor, you may be doing the entire community a disservice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
    If he uses that tractor to clear the bushes away before a fire is even thought of, then he can set on the porch and drink iced tea when a fire does come. I am dismayed by all the technology I see set up for homeowner defense, when what really needs to happen is the homeowner needs to get out in the wintertime and take dominion over the weeds. It won't get you a spot in the paper but it will save your house and you won't have to be in the face of an oncoming fire to do it.

    Birken
    Excellent start, another big thing is to add a line of gravel as a decorative firebreak, that's getting big by me. About two feet...looks nice, and is uber functional.
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    He has plenty of water and a powerful enough pump on that thing, but he would be better off just having a small portable pump next to his pool and a heap of lengths of 25mm hose. You dont attack a bushfire head on, you wait for it to pass then put out all the small remaining fires. You only need about 400L at the most if you know what you are doing. Homes dont go up during the passing of the firefront (unless they are stupidly built with no firebreak at all), they burn down 10-30 minutes afterwards.

    But again, the best bet is to have a nice big firebreak and plenty of ice-tea
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    Talking Jeesh..........

    C'mon Guys, You know as well as I do that pulling out the FIREWISE COMMUNITIES Guidebook and and taking steps to make his home more Fire resistant, rather than building this tractor, would not have landed him in the news. I mean, where are the priorities? What do you want in life, safety or notoriety?

    On another note, This is a small village in southern California. I had a member of a Volunteer Fire Department from there as a member of a class at the National Fire Academy about 1998. The remark in the News report about "Miles from the Fire Dept." has me wondering..... Anyone from the LA County area on here?
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    What amazes me is that they still do not clear things like chapparal brush from around their homes and put wood shake roofs on their homes in some areas of California.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    It's the wrong color.


    Ain't tractors supposed to be light green?
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    The article says he bought "surplus fire hoses" but I saw what looked to be brand new 1" booster line & Angus Hi-Combat hose with the Scotchlite reflective stripe sewn in...pretty good for "surplus"...guess being a cameraman pays pretty good if he can afford top notch equipment like that.

    Just my 2 cents...Stay Safe...

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    Kudos to the man IMO.

    He stated its just to slow it down till the people in the red trucks can show up.

    Watch the video.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    What amazes me is that they still do not clear things like chapparal brush from around their homes and put wood shake roofs on their homes in some areas of California.
    Wood shake roofs have been against state law for many years now but there are still a few here and there, however they are all at their end of life. There is also a contentious state law regarding 100' minimum clearance but as you can imagine the tree huggers and other no-goods are up in arms about this and lazy people don't do it either, and it is very difficult to enforce.

    Get this, in a letter to the editor in the local paper regarding the new clearance law, some broad complained that by clearing the bushes, an oncoming fire would have an easier path to run up to the house, and if the bushes were there they would slow the fire down.

    When I worked in Central Oregon, there the state department of foresty flat does not protect structures of any kind. Most people there simply build their house in a town and leave the woods to the bears and squirrels. Imagine that!

    Birken

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    Nice job! And I commend him for saying its "just till the FD arrives". Ive always said, If I ever lived out in BFE, I'd buy an old pumper or brush rig to protect my property. Of course, I would also install sprinklers in the house.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellblock
    And sense I live in an area with no volunteer fire department. I will volunteer to protect my own property," Edwards told ABC7 Eyewitness News.
    I hate seeing stupid typos like this in "professional" news articles.
    Pathetic.

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    Default I agree 100%

    Quote Originally Posted by Firetacoma1
    I hate seeing stupid typos like this in "professional" news articles.
    Pathetic.
    MY PET PEEVE!!!!!! Books, online articles, websites, newspapers ... I see these errors EVERYWHERE! Just makes me shake my head in disbelief!

    Even in the book I'm reading right now, "Shark Mutiny" I've seen a few errors like that ... even a word with THREE F's!!!! No way that ***** should get by proof-readers and editors and spell checks



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    I can see this guy attempting to put out his kitchen when it catches fire (hopefully it doesnt) and then getting hurt.

    On the other hand he may produce more of these units and sell them so he can be the next billionare!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    On another note, This is a small village in southern California. I had a member of a Volunteer Fire Department from there as a member of a class at the National Fire Academy about 1998. The remark in the News report about "Miles from the Fire Dept." has me wondering..... Anyone from the LA County area on here?
    La Habra Heights is a fairly hilly community...it sits in a small mountain range right on the LA County/Orange County border. According to the city website, it covers 6.2 square miles with a population of 5,712, and 42 miles of road. Most of the roads are fairly twisty and go back into the hills quite a ways. There's only really 3 or 4 "main" roads...two are main thoroughfairs that pass through the community from one side of the range to the other and the other two are the bigger arteries off of that...my sister's boyfriend and his family actually lives at the top of one of those.

    The VFD has actually become a combination department...I forget their exact set-up, but I think they have a paid officer and/or engineer per shift (who are mostly paid guys from other departments who work an extra couple shifts a month for LHH) with the rest being volunteers. Unlike many VFDs, they don't really draw on the local community (anymore) for members...there's a few, but most of the vollies are younger guys and gals trying to get some experience before getting hired somewhere, so they come in and live at the station to pull a few shifts per month.

    Last I'd heard, they had one active station with a couple more (mostly just sheds) used to store reserve rigs. Given the layout of the community, I can see a house being several miles from the primary station...may not be several miles "as the crow flies", but definitely could by driving distance.

    The department does also staff an OES engine (they're frequently in the same strike team as our OES engine). Not sure how they determine the staffing for that, but during fire season, there's a good chance that some of their guys will be out on a major fire.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary
    MY PET PEEVE!!!!!! Books, online articles, websites, newspapers ... I see these errors EVERYWHERE! Just makes me shake my head in disbelief!

    Even in the book I'm reading right now, "Shark Mutiny" I've seen a few errors like that ... even a word with THREE F's!!!! No way that ***** should get by proof-readers and editors and spell checks



    *OK RANT OFF NOW* hehehe
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    Well it is a quote, so maybe he said 'sense' instead of 'since'
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    Out in California,isn't it against the law to remove native vegetation on grounds that you're despoiling the environment?
    For years they went without clearing out dead trees and plants so now when the Santana winds(Santa Ana was the guy that wasted the Alamo) and burshfires come,they have so much fuel that they can do little more than contain it and hope that too many homes aren't burned out.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    What amazes me is that they still do not clear things like chapparal brush from around their homes and put wood shake roofs on their homes in some areas of California.

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    No, for the most part home owners can remove vegetation on their property without any problem, although I do know people who live in places with home owner associations that sometimes do restrict this. I had some one come into the station one day because he was confused (actually twice confused because he thought we were CDF), he had been instructed to clear the vegetation around his house which he started to do, then one of the officers from the homeowners association came around and started threatening to fine him for violating the associations rules. Poor guy was trying to do right, all I could do was send him off to the CDF headquarters, never did find out how it was resolved.

    BTW the winds are Santa Ana's like the Freeway, I don't know how a bunch of stuff in LA got named after a Mexican General famous for the Alamo but it did.

    Santana is a musician

    Actually I've heard the LA area winds called santanas by others as well, oh well a Foehn wind by any other name, we still know what your talking about


    It's too bad the media won't spend that kind of time on a home owner with a practical solution like good clearances, proper landscaping and maybe something affordable like a water tank and sprinkler system. Its great the guy is trying to do something but unless he has done more than buy a wannabe fire engine it will probably just encourage them to stay much longer than they should. Would be a good idea to take the basic wildland firefighting class too if he is planning to stay and fight a fire, what the heck is a class 7 fire engine anyway, engines are typed not classed and a Type 7 is nothing like the thing he built, in California a Type 7 isn't even recognized.

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    Thumbs up Me, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firetacoma1
    I hate seeing stupid typos like this in "professional" news articles. Pathetic.
    While I agree, you will see more spelling errors on television/radio Web sites than you will for print media. Many times, TV stations simply copy their teleprompter text to the Web site for publication. Some stations are more worried that teleprompter words are spelled as they sound than as they are correctly spelled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis
    While I agree, you will see more spelling errors on television/radio Web sites than you will for print media. Many times, TV stations simply copy their teleprompter text to the Web site for publication. Some stations are more worried that teleprompter words are spelled as they sound than as they are correctly spelled.
    I definatly agree with you there. The local news channel website I frequent is REALLY bad, but then again, so is my local "newspaper." Disgusting.

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    NonSurfingFF- I think you hit the nail on the head several times.

    I was wondering about the other options as well- Remove the vegetation around the home. AND a roof sprinkler system. (one or two heads might do the job)

    And yeah...the Santa Anas are really the "San Tanas". Not sure of the exact spelling.

    Lastly- I think this guy just wasted his time and money. He could have taken some better steps to protect his property. And does he have the proper PPE to go with the tractor? Probably not.

    As for the LHH FD. They are a good agency with nice equipment. They are small, but do a good job. I have heard lots of good things from my friends who have worked there.

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