American Heroes Air Show 2015

The 2015 American Heroes Air Show is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2015.

The show will feature helicopters from numerous public safety and military agencies, plus an occasional television news helicopter. The LAPD, LAFD, L.A. County Fire and L.A. County Sheriff will each have their helicopters on display.

More information will be posted shortly.

Sources: SCMA members Kent Cullom and Dominick Falzone

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

LAFD Rescues Family of Four and Pet Dog

Los Angeles Firefighters dramatically rescued a family and their pet dog from fierce flames, when fire erupted after business hours Wednesday evening in an automotive upholstery business, where the family apparently resided.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified at 6:21 PM on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 of a structure fire at 6015 South Broadway Street in South Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire to the rear of a well secured 4,600 square foot, combination one- and two-story upholstery firm, with reports of four persons trapped within the rear of the burning building.

Despite limited access and structural compromise of the unreinforced masonry building by
fast-moving flames that soon extended through the roof, teams of firefighters navigated swiftly among downed power lines to the rear of the building, to extend ground ladders to mezzanine windows, where the family of four was reportedly trapped. Using power saws and hand tools atop the ladders – as their colleagues pushed back flames with hoselines, firefighters deftly removed window bars on the upper level, and assisted the four trapped persons and dog from the inferno.

The man, woman, child and toddler – all suffering smoke inhalation, were taken to a nearby hospital by LAFD paramedic ambulance. Preliminary information described one of the children as being in serious to critical condition, with the remaining family members in fair condition. The small dog, which appeared uninjured, was placed into the care of the Department of Animal Services.

One hundred sixteen firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Donald Frazeur confined flames within the upholstery business, preventing fire from damaging a karate studio to the north or a church to the south. The fire was extinguished in just 31 minutes.

Due to fire damage, the presence of smoke alarms and their functional status at the time of the blaze could not be immediately determined. The 93 year-old building was not equipped with fire sprinklers. The Department of Building & Safety was summoned to evaluate the integrity of the heavily damaged structure, as well as to determine if the building was appropriately serving as a domicile.

Fire loss to Fernando’s Upholstery is still being tabulated. The cause of the greater alarm fire remains under active investigation.

DISPATCHED UNITS: T33 E233 RA33 RA833 E57 E221 E21 T21 SQ21 EM11 BC13 BC11 E14 RA246 RA257 T66 E266 E15 E264 T64 E210 T10 DC1 EM1 EM9 BC18 T3 E203 E3 UR3 UR88 BC4 E66 RA803 T15 E215 RA21 RA266 E46 EA1 AR1

Source: Brian Humphrey, Spokesperson for Los Angeles Fire Department. Picture provided by Dominick Falzone, LA-125 via club email list.

Thanks to Rick, WA6KFI LA-101 for alerting fellow club members about this incident via the club repeater.

Posted in Article, News, SCMA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Times Article on CHP Vehicles


For three decades, the California Highway Patrol has used the Ford Crown Victoria sedan as its primary patrol vehicle. In 2013, the CHP switched to Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility. The “PUV” sports new safety and handling features and more cargo space and looks strikingly different from what California motorists are used to seeing.

Comparing the Crown Victoria to the Police Interceptor Utility


Additional weight capacity

CHP vehicles designated for patrol duties must accommodate an additional 1,500 lbs. of equipment, including radios, weapons, and four fully loaded officers averaging 220 lbs. each. Some of the additional gear includes:


Police-programmed electronic stability control

Unlike the Crown Victoria, the Police Interceptor Utility is equipped with electronic stability control specially programmed for law enforcement. The system aids the driver in slippery or aggressive driving situations by automatically braking and adjusting the throttle to prevent oversteer or understeer and keep the vehicle under control.


Sources: California Highway Patrol, Ford Motor Co.
Graphics reporting by Rong-Gong Lin II and Lou Spirito

Thank you to SCMA club member Steve Herbert, K6CRW LA-187 for sharing this article with me. 

Posted in Article, News, SCMA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

IMG_20141210_182051-MIXThis 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

Posted in SCMA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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 

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


Posted in Article, News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment