Saturday evening, June 30, BFC Kevin Sloan was honored by the Firefighters he commanded as the 1st Battalion Fire Chief, Platoon 4.
Kevin was presented with a plaque represented by the 1st Battalion units, all of us certainly wish him the very best in his new assignment. Thank you Chief for the great job done while serving in the 1st Battalion.
ORDER CAME AS FIREFIGHTERS SCRAMBLED TO HANDLE MAJOR STORM WORKLOAD.
Engine 30 is one of the busiest companies in the nation and the Nation’s Capital. Saturday was likely the busiest day of 2012 as the city and the region coped with the aftermath of the deadly storm late Friday night that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and created a lot of extra work for those in public safety. The DC Fire & EMS Department reported on its Twitter feed that it handled more than 1500 emergency calls in a 24 hour period on Saturday.
Andrea Noble at The Washington Times reports some of that extra work on Saturday wasn’t created by the storm, but was man-made. According to Noble, it was an order to put the crew from Engine 30 out of service for an hour and sent them to the 300 block of 55th Street, NE to fill a swimming pool. (We know how reporters like to use the suffix “gate” in naming government scandals in honor of the ultimate one 40-years-ago that brought down a president. Shouldn’t this one also be called “watergate”?)
Here are some excerpts from Noble’s article:
“It’s a highly unusual request even on a normal day,” said D.C. Firefighters Association President Ed Smith, who confirmed the pool-filling.
Lon Walls, a fire department spokesman, did not respond to requests for comment left at his office, on his cellphone or an emailed request asking about Saturday’s incident in particular and the department’s policy on filling swimming pools in general.
Mr. Smith also confirmed the engine was placed out of service while it completed the task – an action that requires authorization and would likely indicate the crew did not embark on the assignment on its own.
“For the company to go out of service requires a high level of approval,” he said.
On June 29th, 2012, as a severe thunderstorm slammed into the DC Metro
area, DCFD units were dispatched to a Box Alarm at 117 New York Avenue, NW
for a report of a fire on the second floor of a 3 story row home.
At 23:36 hours a Working Fire Dispatch was sounded. Actions taken by responding firefighters resulted in the incident being placed under control at 00:09 hours.
4869 Glenbrook Road N.W.
June 29, 2012, Story & Video by Vito Maggiolo
The quiet of a Spring Valley neighborhood dawn was shattered on Friday, June 29th, when a large home was found engulfed in flames.
Units were dispatched to 4869 Glenbrook Road shortly before 5:30AM, and arrived to find a very large, 2 1/2 story detached home with flames raging through the second floor, attic and through the roof.
A second alarm was requested almost immediately, and the fire was so well advanced that an interior attack was not feasible.
Firefighters worked to establish a sufficient water supply for a master stream assault, and the blaze was eventually fought from the outside with three ladder pipes, Tower 3, and large handlines.
The interior of the house was completely consumed and collapsed internally, leaving nothing but a shell.
There were no injuries. The occupants were reported to be away from home.
Sgt. Chris Holmes 2012 Cafritz Award Winner
Christopher Yancey Holmes
District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department
Christopher Yancey Holmes has successfully created and implemented the agency’s first Urban Search and Rescue Canine Unit.
During his 11 years as a member of the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department (DCFEMS), Chris became aware of a gap in the department’s capability to locate victims within collapsed buildings, during water rescues, and in trench collapse incidents. He also realized that the department lacked the ability to find missing children and senior citizens in open and wilderness areas.
Given that there were only 218 certified FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) search canines in the entire country and that financial resources were not available, Chris secured a loan from the District of Columbia Federal Credit Union to purchase an untrained K-9 named “Cazo” and another loan from the DC Fire Department Credit Union to pay for the FEMA Canine Search Specialist Course. After many months of training, Chris was successful—on his first attempt—in getting K-9 Cazo certified as a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Canine.
While Chris has become one of only 20 canine handlers in the entire United States to respond to such international disasters as the earthquake in Haiti, he says the greatest success of the Urban Search and Rescue Canine Unit is its educational presence and effect in the community. Chris and Cazo visit more than 50 schools and senior citizen homes every year, teaching personal safety.
“Using Cazo has allowed us to connect with children and seniors in ways that traditional fire safety methods haven’t,” says Chris.
Firefighting BBQ team wins Safeway battle
Retired Sergeant Mike Skahill
This year, the Firefighting BBQ Team, led by retired D.C. firefighter Mike Skahill, took home the trophy, besting 38 others, including Jack’s Old South, which placed fourth led by Georgian celebrity pitmaster and three-time world champion Myron Mixon. Skahill also beat out a two-time Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue winner from Texas named Johnny Trigg, whose team, Smokin’ Triggers, came in third. (Trigg, who had never competed at the Safeway battle before, took first place in the categories of pork and brisket, the latter fitting for the Texan, given the meat’s iconic stature in the Lone Star State.)
471 Orange Street S.E.
June 16, 2012: Story and Photos by Vito Maggiolo
A single engine response to a reported outside fire vs. a heavily involved apartment building was the formula for some great rescues by Engine 25 in the dawn hours of Saturday, June 16th.
The sun was just rising over the nation's capital when Engine 25 rolled out the door around 5 AM on a single local for trash at 471 Orange Street Southeast. Turning into the block, they were astounded to find a two story apartment building with heavy fire and occupants hanging from the windows. Quickly calling for assistance, the four person crew swung into action, throwing the two ground ladders on the engine and rescuing 5 people from the blazing building as other units were just leaving quarters.
There was heavy fire on the first floor and stairwell to the second floor, with flames extending to the attic. Next to arrive on the scene was the third battalion, and, due to the dire situation, the battalion aide rushed to assist with the rescues and getting a line in service. in the process, he suffered burns that required medical attention.
The blaze eventually required a second alarm before being brought under control. A second firefighter also suffered burns and was transported to the hospital. The valiant efforts of Engine 25 led to all occupants safely escaping the fire.
Congratulations Technician George Belle T-14 -1 Retires After 28 Years Of Faithful Service
June 16, 2012
443 15th Street N.E.
Below Photos By Elliot J Goodman
June 15, 2012: Story and Photos by Elliot J Goodman
Early Friday evening, DC Firefighters were dispatched to 443 15th Street N.E. for the report of a house on fire.
Upon arrival, first due Engine 10 and Truck 13 encountered very heavy fire showing from the second floor and extending well into the roof line. An aggressive interior attack was made and this fire brought under control in about 15 minutes.
One person was transported to the hospital priority 1.
14th & P St's N.W.
Story by Vito Maggiolo, Incident Occured on 6/7/12
A blaze in the bustling Logan circle area brought a box and working fire dispatch to the scene on Thursday evening, June 7th.
First arriving units found fire showing from the top floor of a three story commercial building at 14th and P Streets NW around 8:30 PM.
An interior attack made quick work of this fire. There were no reported injuries.
1502 28th Street N.W.
June 14, 2012: Story and Photos by Tom Aurnhammer
DC fire special operations personnel, assisted by other units, worked to shore and secure a home hit by a vehicle Thursday evening, June 14th.
The incident took place in the Georgetown area at 1503 28th Street NW. The vehicle ran into the lower level of a row dwelling. Although there were no injuries, the building suffered structural damage.
Dispatched to assist the motor vehicle accident assignment initially assigned, the special ops battalion chief saw the need for additional resources and requested the cave-in task force.
Firefighters spent over two hours making the structure safe.
1301 Juniper Street N.W.
June 10, 2012: Story and Photos by Vito Maggiolo
A blistering hot DC afternoon got even hotter when a wooden deck erupted in flames in upper Northwest on Sunday, June 9th.
The blaze was reported around 3:30 PM at 1301 Juniper Street NW. When firefighters arrived, the deck on side B of the 2.5 story detached home was well involved, with flames beginning to push inside the first and second floors, and leaping towards the attic.
Despite the severe exposure threat to the home, the box and working fire dispatch assignment was able to contain the fire with only minor extension.
The Rehab Unit was also requested due to the heat of the day.
Mass Heat Exhaustion On The Mall
June 9, 2012: Story and Photos by Elliot J Goodman
As temperatures at the Washington Monument reached almost 100 degrees, approximately 250,000 Girl Scouts were celebrating their 100th anniversary with numerous ceremonies on the mall. The large crowd mixed with the high temperatures brought DCFD to the rescue.
There were numerous cases of heat stroke, Engines 16 & 9, Truck 9 along with Tower 3 brought the right prescription for their problem, plenty of cool water from their Ladder Pipes and Wagon Pipes, it was the perfect remedy for the hot day.
Also special called was the Southern Mass Casualty Team and Bus, E33 & T8, and the departments bicycle EMS team as well. The Girl Scouts were overwhelmed with the great DCFD help and thanks was the word for the day from the scouts.
6101 Blair Road N.E.
June 9, 2012: Story by Vito Maggiolo
A fully involved parked motor home posed a severe threat to adjacent structures on Saturday afternoon, June 9th.
Heavy smoke was already visible as box alarm units responded to Blair Road and North Capital Street around 3 PM.
A working fire dispatch was sounded as firefighters attacked the blazing vehicle and began checking adjacent buildings for fire extension.
There was minor extension to one structure, and the fire was quickly brought under control.
One civilian was transported from the scene with smoke inhalation.
The Elliot J Goodman Collection
Pictured above: Fireboat Headquarters, April 1976 featured the "Firefighter" and of course as you can tell their quarters has gone through some remodeling and changes.
Pictured below: The 1978 Ford Rescue Squad 1 a real workhorse as seen in the original red and white colors, it eventually was re- painted in the white and red stripe with the stars and bars.
Overturned Crane At Union Station
June 7, 2012: Story and Photos by Vito Maggiolo
Firefighters responding to a report of a large fuel spill at Union Station encountered much more on Thursday, June 7th.
What they found was that the fuel spill was the result of an overturned crane at a construction site in front of the landmark train station. Fortunately, nobody was injured in the accident, but teams from both the hazmat unit and rescue squad 1 remained at the scene to deal with the spill and efforts to upright the device.
209 61st Street N.E.
Below Photos By Elliot J Goodman
June 6, 2012: Story By Elliot J Goodman
Firefighters battled a Two-Alarm apartment fire in Engine 30's first due. Firefighters were dispatched for the report of a building fire in the 200 Block of 61st Street N.E., upon arrival they had heavy smoke and fire showing from one apartment.
Firefighters made an aggressive attack and knocked down the fire quickly, a second alarm was ordered as precaution. There were no injuries, Truck 7 did administer oxygen and some water for a cat that had been in the building and was pretty smoked up.
Smokey the Cat was turned over to animal control personnel who transported it to their facility for further treatment.
DCFD Gets New Oshkosh Foam Unit
June 5, 2012: Story and Photos by Elliot J Goodman
One of the many duties involving the DCFD is protecting the President of the United States. Recently the new Oshkosh Custom Foam Unit was put in service, marking an important milestone, our first brand new custom foam unit.
In the past the DCFD has always received second hand foam units from various military installations. The 2011 Oshkosh carries 210 gallons of foam and 1500 gallons of water. This unit is part of the Foam Unit Task Force, E13, Foam1 and TAU 1, they respond to all incidents from bus fires to gas tankers and anything else that would require their specialized equipment and expertise to suppress that type of fire.
1100 Maine Avenue S.W.
June 5, 2012: Story and Photos by Vito Maggiolo
A collapse and hazmat assignment was called to the DC waterfront after a barge split apart on Tuesday, June 5th.
The DC fireboats initially responded to reports of sheen on the water at 1100 Maine Ave SW, where the floating fish wharf is located. They found a vessel used for steaming crabs had torn open and collapsed, dumping a 500 gallon diesel tank into the Washington channel. The fireboat officer immediately called for additional resources.
It was determined that the barge was unoccupied and posed no life hazard, so firefighters from the hazmat unit and the boats set up booms to keep the diesel spill from spreading.