The 2014 SCMA Christmas Party

On the evening of December 10th we held our annual Christmas party. We had a pretty decent turn out and everyone I spoke with had an excellent time.

This year we had some great raffle prizes. Some of the great prizes donated for the raffle included a digital scanner, two 2 meter/440 transceivers, a Yaesu FT-60 and the new Wouxun 220/440 handheld.

If you’d like to see some of the photos taken during the meeting, you can visit the 2014 SCMA Christmas party photo gallery. If you’d like to submit your photos please feel free to email them to me at

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Whistler Offering a Scanner Trade-In Program

Whistler is currently offering a scanner trade in program. All you have to do is send them your old scanner (in any condition) and they will allow you to purchase a new Whistler scanner at a discounted price. You must also complete this order form.

Source: Glen Rothstein, KK6OTP LA-145

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Massive L.A. Fire Destroys Partially Built Apartment Complex

Over 250 LAFD personnel battled a massive fire at a partially built apartment complex in Downtown Los Angeles early Monday morning. Flames and smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles. The blaze also caused officials to partially close the 101 and 110 freeways.

909 West Temple Street – Click to Enlarge

“This is a historic fire, what we as firefighters would call ‘a career fire,'” said David Ortiz, public information officer at the Los Angeles Fire Department. “It’s huge. I really can’t remember a building fire this big and I have been with the department for 13 years.”

LAFD officials said it was too early to tell what caused the fire but said the seven-story building looked certain to be a complete loss. At the time of the fire, the complex stood half-finished with exposed wooden framework. The fire was so intense that radiant heat from the blaze caused fire to break out in two office buildings across the street, Ortiz said. Those were quickly extinguished and there were no reports of injuries, he added.

Photo Source: RMG News and LAPD Air Support 

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Only in L.A. — Reality TV Star Apprehends Fleeing Suspect

A suspect wanted for allegedly stealing a BMW sedan led police on a chase in Van Nuys, bailed out on foot and attempted to get away on a skateboard before he was blocked by a good Samaritan in a pickup truck as officers arrived.

The suspect exited the 405 Freeway at Victory Boulevard at about 3:40 p.m. and drove on surface streets in Van Nuys at high speeds, reaching up to 90 mph at times.

On eastbound Sherman Way, the suspect crashed into the back of another vehicle in stopped traffic. The suspect then jumped out of the BMW and ran into oncoming traffic with a longboard skateboard in his arms.

He ran northbound on Valjean Avenue, jumped on his skateboard and rode the sidewalk for less than half a block before running into traffic again. A pickup-truck driver blocked him in traffic, then accelerated and turned right on Cantlay Street and blocked the suspect at a gate. The suspect was immediately arrested without incident.

“I seen the guy running with a skateboard in his hand, and he’s running from the cops, they’re like right on him, there’s about six or seven cops, and he got on his skateboard and he started moving, and it was just instinct just to block the guy off, slow him down a little bit,” the pickup truck driver, Lou Pizarro, told Eyewitness News. “That’s all I could do.

No officers were injured. The suspect was not immediately identified.

Source: ABC 7

Editor’s Note: Mr. Pizarro (the pickup truck driver) is the star of Operation Repo, a “reality” TV series. Thanks to Glen Rothstein, KK6OTP, LA-145 for broadcasting this out on our club repeater. -Tim

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LAFD Battles Suspicious Commercial Structure Fire

Los Angeles firefighters battled a non-injury commercial building fire in downtown LA’s garment district on November 29, 2014.

Just after 2:30 AM, LAFD respond to 1409 Santee Street to find a row of one-story
commercial buildings and smoke in the area. Firefighters conducted an investigation and found one unit with heavy fire inside which began to burn through the roof. Firefighters
forced entry into the unit with rotary saws and mounted an aggressive interior attack with hose-lines.

Simultaneously, firefighters from truck companies laddered the burning structure and cut holes on the roof with chain-saws to release the hot gasses and smoke. Meanwhile the Department of Transportation was requested to assist with traffic control due to a civilian vehicle running over a supply hose-line causing it to rupture.

The hard work of 80 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief David Perez, extinguished the flames in 50 minutes. The bulk of the fire was kept to one unit, and the adjacent two units suffered smoke damage. No one was injured. The LAFD Arson section utilized their K9, took samples, and determined the fire cause to be suspicious, however it remains under active investigation. The estimated dollar loss is being tabulated.

Dispatched Units: AR1 BC1 BC11 BC13 BC5 DC1 E10 E14 E15 E17 E203 E21 E210 E211 E215 E227 E27 E3 E9 EA1 EM1 EM11 RA10 RA27 RA810 RA827 SQ21 T10 T11 T15 T27 T3 T9 UR27 UR88.

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LAFD Reorganizes to Increase Accountability

LAFD Chief TerrazasFire Chief Ralph Terrazas expects to roll out by the new year his creation of four bureaus modeled after the Los Angeles Police Department, one of the key reforms called for to improve accountability in the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The Fire Commission was briefed Tuesday November 18 on the plan. Terrazas expects the new bureau system to take effect in January and will be overseen by four deputy chiefs who, in effect, will become the fire chiefs for those bureaus.

“The objective of our landmark reorganization is for each bureau commander and their staff to ‘own’ all issues within their geographical area, in order to establish a more effective business model than was possible with our traditional platoon duty system,” Terrazas wrote in a memo on his plans.

The bureaus to be created include Central (at Fire Station 3 near the Civic Center), South (at the San Pedro City Hall complex), Valley (at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks) and West (at Fire Station 82 in Hollywood), will bring the Department more in line with the established organizational model now in use by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Each bureau will be overseen by a deputy chief, who will be responsible for all operations in that region.

Terrazas said he hopes to see the deputy chiefs and their assistants have greater communication with the public and elected officials and also establish a bench of future leaders.

“The reorganization will result in a dramatic improvement in the department’s responsiveness to our members, the public, the business community and our elected officials,” Terrazas said. “This improvement is long overdue and critical to our efforts to maintain our position as a highly regarded fire service leader.”

The bureaus will generally follow the boundaries used by the LAPD in its system, with some changes due to geographical features and existing boundaries covered by stations.

The proposal was first recommended in a report by PA Consulting earlier this year as a package of reforms on how to make the LAFD more responsive and accountable.

Among its other recommendations were giving the chief a five-year contract and revamping its disciplinary system. It also recommended hiring civilian experts for certain programs, such as information technology and communications, rather than being staffed by firefighters.

Creation of the bureaus will assist Terrazas as the department begins to implement the FireStat system that analyzes response times.

In its initial rollout, FireStat meetings needed to be held with each of the 102 stations to go over the material.

Once the bureaus are created, the deputy chief for that area will report on the issues and be questioned about steps being taken to make improvements.

The consultants were brought in after a series of problems regarding response times within the Fire Department as well as complaints over hiring and disciplinary procedures. A separate report was commissioned from RAND Corp. to look at hiring and complaints of favoritism and nepotism.

Last month, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Terrazas released the initial reports gathered under the long-awaited FireStat program that measures response times from individual stations and the city as a whole — numbers that the mayor said “stunk.”

Source: Los Angeles Daily News


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Summit with a View — Of Towers

Santiago PeakFrom the Orange County Register published on November 16, 2014.

Article By Aaron Orlowski
Photo By Jeff Gritchen

As the sun’s last rays settle on Saddleback Mountain, the wind picks up and rattles metal signs warning against getting too close to buildings because of high radio frequency levels.

For most visitors, getting to the top requires hiking at least 16 miles round trip and gaining more than 4,000 feet of elevation. Their expectation is to check out 360-degree views. But when it comes to mountain tops in a world of cellphones, television signals and satellite reception, much-coveted high and clear exposure means clear signals – and revenue.

But it’s money that bypasses both Orange County and the financially challanged local U.S. Forest Service and goes straight to the U.S. Treasury.

When communications companies and government agencies started constructing radio towers and other communications facilities on the peak more than a half-century ago, the money wasn’t a big deal.

But today, these towers bring the U.S. government tens of thousands of dollars per year.


On a recent day, I rode with Register photographer Jeff Gritchen toward Santiago Peak, the tallest spot in Orange County at 5,689 feet, as he navigated his Honda Pilot up 11 miles of narrow, rocky, winding dirt road from Corona. Continue reading

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Commercial Structure Fire – Venice

UPDATE: SCMA member Alex Thompson with was kind enough to provide her photos and videos for our members to view

Los Angeles firefighters relentlessly battled an extremely hot and stubborn Major Emergency blaze at a large Venice storage facility that injured five firefighters.

Just after 7:30 PM on October 25, 2014, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a Structure Fire at Extra Space Storage located at 658 Venice Blvd. They found a two-story 100′ x 100′ storage facility with smoke in the second floor.

Several interior storage units were well involved in fire and flames rapidly spread as the intense heat and black smoke banked down. Firefighters battled until they were low on air and had to exit to get new air-bottles, then rejoined the fight. Continual waves of additional firefighters were repeatedly ordered throughout this intense fire.

The building’s metal roof made it difficult to vertically ventilate with saws to allow heat and smoke to release. Firefighters broke out windows to assist with horizontal ventilation and utilized rotary saws with diamond tip blades to cut large sections of exterior stucco walls.

One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and was transported to a hospital. Then an Engine Captain was evaluated and rehabbed on-scene, but did not require transport. Another firefighter suffered a back injury and heat blisters and was transported. A Truck Captain suffered heat exhaustion and was transported in serious condition. Lastly a firefighter from a Truck Company suffered heat exhaustion and was treated on scene.

Over 200 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Storms, battled the fire through the night. The abundance of contents continue to smolder and an official Knockdown will be called in the morning.

Dispatched: BC1 BC11 BC13 BC14 BC18 BC4 BC5 BC6 BC9 DC1 E15 E19 E203 E205 E21 E211 E215 E226 E237 E260 E261 E263 E269 E288 E294 E295 E298 E43 E5 E58 E59 E62 E63 E66 E67 E68 E88 E93 E94 E95 EA1 EM11 EM14 EM9 FT100 HU59 RA43 RA5 RA59 RA62 RA66 RA69 RT83 T11 T15 T26 T3 T37 T5 T60 T61 T63 T69 T88 T94 T95 T98 UR5 UR88

Article written by Erik Scott, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department


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Wings Wheels and Rotors Expo October 26

Wings Wheels and Rotors

From LAPD Air Support

Come visit us next Sunday Oct. 26th at this great event.
Rain or shine 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Free family event.

WWRE is an annual open house, exhibition and family event hosted by the California National Guard, Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) and the Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce. All the activities will take place on the flightline on Los Alamitos Army Airfield (KSLI).Los Alamitos Army Airfield is the last remaining military airfield in the greater LA/Orange County areas with the longest runways in the OC. The JFTB is also the disaster support area for Southern California.

On display will be military aircraft, helicopters, many cars, and warbirds along with public safety, first responder and military equipment. Aircraft flyovers are planned including aircraft static displays.

Wings Wheels Rotors and Expo will have various civilian and public safety helicopters with fire, police and military rotorcraft including some of the media aircraft seen daily in the air around SoCal.

Helicopter awareness will be supported by the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA).

Along with the airplanes and warbirds are helicopter flights in civilian “choppers” for hire with helicopters provided by Star Helicopters. Also, free flights in general aviation aircraft by the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles for youth between the ages of 8 and 17 who are interested in flying and aviation. Also, schedule a flight on D-Doll, a WW2 military transport…….

WWRE will include a large car show including custom cars, new autos, motorcycles, roadsters, antique vehicles, trucks and hot rods. Awards to be presented for best cars. There will be many activities for families at Wings Wheels & Rotors along with Kids Korner. Additionally, there will be food, including breakfast. Enjoy music, vendors, displays, demonstrations, flybys and other events on 26 October 2014.

A portion of the proceeds will go to support the armed forces personnel and veterans on the Joint Forces Training Base. Sponsor and Exhibitor openings and vendor space available.

Check with the Los Al Chamber of Commerce at 562-598-6659 about these opportunities.

Free admission, free parking. Donations accepted. No Smoking on the flightline. Dogs, bikes, skateboards or alcohol not permitted. Open to the public. Photo I.D. required to enter the base.

Check WWRE Facebook, “Wings Wheels Rotors and Expo” Media invited.

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Culver City Police Department Open House

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The Culver City Police Department will be holding their open house on October 18th from 10 AM to 3 PM.

The public will be able to tour the police station and jail, explore police vehicles and equipment, visit with officers and CSI forensic specialists, watch K-9 demonstrations, view police weapons and even get a picture sitting on a CCPD motorcycle unit!

The event will be held at the Culver City Police Station located at 4040 Duquesne Ave. in Culver City.


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