Major Storm Keeps San Jose Firefighters Busy

A massive Pacific storm slammed into Northern California on Jan. 4, with winds peaking at over 100 miles in some locations and rain amounts in excess of 10 inches within a 24 hour period.

Firefighters from all over the city of San Jose responded to one structure fire, downed power lines, fallen trees, auto accidents, and numerous water related rescues.

The usually calm waters of the Guadalupe River rose rapidly during the storm trapping several people on small islands along a three mile stretch of the river. Several units of the Department responded to the Taylor Street Bridge to recover a homeless man that had become trapped.

Led by Battalion Chief Juan Diaz and USAR 13 Captain Michael Woodruff, it was determined that the rescue would require a firefighter to rappel some 50 feet below the bridge, secure the victim, with the two being hoisted back up to the bridge.

Firefighters were able to conduct a successful vertical rescue and retrieve the victim and his bicycle before responding to at least three other water related rescues. After conducting a medical examination the man was determined to be none the worse for his harrowing experience.