Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gettin' It Done in the 951.

Batt. 2 units battle a fire in a single family dwelling, Nov. 25, 2016.

I caught the tail end of this last night. The fire had started in the garage and and burned through into the attic. When I arrived, the garage fire was knocked down and the truckies were making a coordinated attack on the attic with interior crews. While I was a little bummed missing the garage knockdown, I was pretty happy to capture the attic portion of the battle. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt during this incident.

I know tactics change over time, but I still struggle watching crews attack attic fires from above. It was always pretty much a Bozo No-No to stick a nozzle through a vent hole when I was on the job, now it is in the tool box, in the top tray. That's why old bastards like me retire. Change is tough for us.

Click on the image to see the big picture!

It had been a while since I had been out on a fire, it was good to see some of my peeps again. It makes me feel good to see "new guys" wearing red helmets and driving trucks.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Persiods 2016

The hype said that the annual Persiod meteor shower was going to be the best since 2009. As I was truly impressed with last years show and didn't want to miss out, I packed up the gear and headed out to Joshua Tree National Park.

 Photographically, I was a little disappointed. Out of almost 600 images, I captured 15 with meteors in them. None had a "fireball" type meteor in them, though some were a little bigger than others.
Visually, it was absolutely amazing. This years Persiods lived up to the hype and delivered a spectacular display. The thousands of other people that had driven into the middle of the desert probably agree. What a display!

 I was there from about 8:30 Thursday night until 2:30 Friday morning. I slipped into bed about 0430 yesterday and didn't get much done around here after I got up. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. It was worth it.

 The Persiods are an annual event, One that I will try not to miss.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Easy shifts and quiet nights, Dave. You're awesome buddy!

Battalion Chief David Campos 

The older I get, the more often we have to go through this. I worked with Dave at old 6's, he was the engineer, I was the firefighter. We worked for Rick Kosar (he passed 5-6 years ago) and though the house was old, cramped and sort of run-down, we all got on well enough. Part of that was because Dave was a really, nice guy.

I was never assigned to work for Dave after he made Captain or Chief, but we did work together on several major incidents. We retired about the same time and though he was a bit older than me, I still can't believe he's gone. He was a true family guy, I know his family must be devastated. 

Well, shit. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Out of Chaos Comes...

Using chaos to capture light, shadows, texture and people. I am so grateful that I am still allowed to photograph these people while they work.

These are but a few that I have taken recently. While it has been rather slow in this part of town, what goes around comes around and it will get busy again.

Till then, thanks for reading,


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Evil is as Evil Does

I was at the drill tower today, stopping by as I had business with the training division. Engine ?? was there, putting the final touches on a boot who takes his six month practical test next shift. As always, I asked the Captain (in private) if the boot was ready. The captain assured me that the boot was indeed ready, and that they were just hitting a few points that could use a tiny bit of polishing.

The conversation moved to some recent vacancies that had been created, both of which I had not heard of. The first was a guy who I had only met once or twice, one that had come to us from a large department on the east coast. Apparently, after a short time here, he decided west coast all risk firefighting was not what he looking to do. The absurd number of EMS calls we run and the very likely possibility of responding to wildland conflagrations that last for weeks was not something that he cared to deal with. I think that the thought of going through a year of probation probably didn't appeal to him either. This guy's wife is very well employed so he just resigned. Good on him. If you don't like what you are doing, GTFO.

This gig isn't for everyone. I have more respect for someone who makes the change, than for someone who is miserable and stays. Good luck to him, I hope he does well at whatever he is doing now.

It was the second departure that I found shocking. The Evil Medic, a guy who had been on my crew for a while, was terminated after a second (or more?) DWI arrest.

The Evil Medic (rear) during better times.

 The first arrest had occurred while I was still on the job. The department knew and had taken the appropriate action, but he had done a real good job keeping it from the troops and I never knew.

His most recent arrest in itself was good cause for termination, but what really got him was the policy of the agency that regulates paramedic licensing. They don't mess around. I don't know what their policy actually is, but apparently,  two deuces will cause them to revoke your paramedic license. Done, game over. They don't care what the department does, what their policy is or whether an employee deserves another chance.  The license is revoked and the person in question can look forward to a career in used car sales.

In our agency, a person who does not have a medic or emt license is of no value, much as a person who does not have a drivers license. Adios, thanks for coming.

While I support the hard-line policy, it kinda hurts when it hits this close to home. The evil medic was a solid firefighter, medic and pulled his weight around the station. I liked him. I know he worked hard to get on  the job, but now that is irrelevant as it is very doubtful that he will be able to recover from this.  As my wife put it "he should have learned from the first incident and changed his ways."

Obviously his drinking is a problem, I just don't know to what extent. He will need to get that issue squared away before he can begin to recover from losing his career.

Good luck Evil Medic.

Thanks for reading,