- The safest decision may be to not enter the water. Think about the risks when swimming due to dangers from currents and cold temperatures.
- Wear a life jacket. Infants and children should always wear lifejackets when in or near open water.
- Do not go past your comfort zone when swimming.
- Supervise children in or near water. Always stay within touching distance of young children.
- Learn first aid and CPR.
SEATTLE – Firefighters responded to two structure fires on July 4, 2018. The first fire began at approximately 1:45 p.m. in a three-story apartment building located at the 800 block of N. 130th St. Firefighters quickly contained the fire to one unit, but were unable to save a dog and cat that were inside the unit at the time of the fire. Three adults were displaced due to extensive damage to their unit. Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental, and determined it started from an overheated electrical extension cord. The total estimated loss is $70,000.
The second fire occurred just after 7 p.m. at the 3600 block of E. Marginal Way S. Firefighters arrived and found heavy smoke and fire coming from a warehouse repair garage with multiple cars on fire in the outside wrecking yard. The fire was upgraded to a 2-alarm approximately 20 minutes after crews arrived on scene. Crews fought the fire defensively, setting up around the building to ensure the neighboring buildings did not catch fire. As of 3 p.m. on July 5, firefighters are still on scene ensuring all hot spots are extinguished. Due to the extent of the damage, investigators are still working to determine the cause.
Firefighters across the City responded to more than a dozen fireworks-related fires over the Fourth of July holiday, and this number continues to climb. A more accurate report of statistics will become available in the next few weeks.
Photo credit (top photo): John Odegard
-Acting PIO Lieutenant Sue Stangl
SEATTLE – At an event and demonstration today with the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle City Light, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a first-in-the-nation partnership today between Seattle City Light and the Seattle Fire Department to more effectively fight fires in underground electrical vaults.
“Seattle has always been at the leading edge, and thanks to this innovative partnership, Seattle is now at the leading edge of fighting fires that are a danger to the public, our infrastructure, and our economy,” said Mayor Durkan during a demonstration of the new approach at City Light’s North Service Center. “This is the kind of collaboration and innovation we need as we work to deliver essential services, protect the public, and provide reliable electricity that powers Seattle. I am grateful to the men and women of the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle City Light who have made this vision for partnership a reality and who put themselves in harm’s way to limit the impact of these dangerous fires.”
The event included members of the Vault Response Team, which is comprised of specially trained Seattle Firefighters as well as executive members from both departments and other advocates of this partnership.
Last month, SFD Chief Harold Scoggins and City Light Interim General Manager and CEO Jim Baggs reached an agreement to solidify the partnership between the two departments and the Vault Response Team. The 48 members of the Vault Response Team will be continually trained to safely address the public safety needs resulting from network vault fire incidents. City Light will provide specialized supplies and equipment to treat these fires along with updated intel on City Light’s network maps.
Fire Chief Harold Scoggins praised the partnership for its innovation and what it means for other departments across the country.
“Vault fires create dangerous situations in confined spaces. Before this team was created, standard procedure was to keep the area clear and wait for the fire to burn itself out. This partnership, which takes an offensive approach, is a major advancement in our field and is an example that other energy providers and fire departments want to learn from. We are proud and thankful to have this vital resource here in Seattle.”
Electrical vault fires can be caused by something as simple as a cigarette butt landing on a pile of dried leaves or as critical as an arc flash created during maintenance. Their impact is costly and can be dangerous to the public and the firefighters extinguishing them. Within an instant, the pressure of a vault fire can launch a 300-pound utility cover up to three stories. To further complicate matters, these fires may cause large-scale power outages.
The fire department and City Light are deploying a new technology that can effectively and efficiently extinguish vault fires. With a financial contribution from City Light, the fire department revived an older truck that was scheduled for decommission to address these kinds of fires.
Armed with carbon dioxide canisters, Seattle firefighters can now remove the utility hole cover, insert a metal wand and inject the vault with carbon dioxide while covering the opening with a fire-resistant tarp. This removes the oxygen from the area, snuffing the fire by robbing it of oxygen. It is an offensive approach that keeps the fire from spreading throughout the entire vault system. Once the fire is out and the vault is cleared of smoke and carbon dioxide, City Light can de-energize electrical equipment, making the area safe for crews to begin repairs.
“This partnership enhances the safety of our both departments’ employees. We are exchanging information on safety practices and institutional knowledge while training together to ensure that these fires are extinguished safely and efficiently,” Baggs said. “Not only will this process reduce the amount of damage from these fires, but it can also greatly reduce the repair and outage time. This partnership is an insurance policy for our customers, the economic drivers in Seattle’s business core and for the public servants who address these fires.”
This technology reduces the potentially disastrous effect of these kinds of fires. While this method is crucial, the partnership between fire department and City Light is the key ingredient to ensure its success. For Seattle Fire Captain Chris Greene, the technology behind extinguishing these fires is only one piece of a much larger puzzle.
“There are a variety of great products available to handle high-voltage emergencies, but without a partnership, fire departments and utilities are missing a key component,” explains Greene. “CO2 and other chemical extinguishers are in fact effective, but it’s an engineered solution to a problem that can have significant impacts. The true solution is a foundational relationship with the energy provider like City Light that builds long before a fire begins.”
Content provided by Seattle City Light
SEATTLE – On June 6, 2018, just after 4:30 p.m., the Fire Alarm Center received a call about a house fire in the Blue Ridge/North Beach neighborhood. Dispatchers relayed information to the responding crews about a possible person inside the home.
When crews arrived on scene at the 2100 Block of NW 96th St. they saw heavy black smoke and flames coming from the two-story residence. There was fire showing from most of the windows on floor two, which was the main living floor in the home. Engine 35 began a rapid fire attack so they could conduct a targeted search of the home. An approximately 77-year-old female was found in the second floor living room, and her injuries were incompatible with life.
Firefighters protected nearby homes from catching fire and had the fire under control by 5:20 p.m. The incident commander called the fire extinguished at 5:46 p.m.
Fire investigators responded to the scene and ruled the fire as accidental. They determined the fire started in the living room on floor two. Estimated loss is $300,000 to structure, and $100,000 to contents.
SEATTLE – Firefighters responded to two separate working fires last night in South Seattle. The Fire Alarm Center received the first call at 11:55 p.m. on May 23 for a report of a house fire at the 4200 Block of S. Eddy St. Crews arrived on scene to find smoke and flames from the back side of a one-story home. The fire was extinguished within 26 minutes and there were no reported injuries.
The second call came in at 2:02 a.m. with the caller reporting a storage unit on fire at the 11200 Block of Beacon Avenue S. Engine 33 arrived first on scene and saw a fully-involved detached garage fire and requested a full response. There were initial reports of three people trapped inside the garage, but upon investigating, this was found to be incorrect.
Firefighters worked to protect the home just East of the garage, however it did sustain minor damage to the side of the structure. Three residents inside this home were evacuated as a precaution. Due to the amount of fire and hazardous propane tanks located inside the garage, the response was upgraded to a 2-alarm, bringing in additional units. Firefighters continued to make progress on keeping the fire under control, resulting in the cancellation of the second alarm. The fire was completely extinguished within 40 minutes of arriving on scene. At the height of the fire, there were four engine companies and two ladder trucks on scene. There were no reported injuries to residents or firefighters.
The cause of both fires is under investigation.
– Acting PIO Firefighter Hilton Almond
More teenagers are killed in vehicle crashes during the 100 days between Memorial and Labor Day than during any other time of the year. This is on top of the fact that more teens are killed due to vehicle crashes than in any other type of trauma-related death.
What makes the next 100 days so dangerous for teens?
- Teens drive more during the summer for recreational activities.
- They are more likely to have passengers in their vehicles.
- Alcohol consumption at parties or other events.
- Driving later in the evening than they are used to.
- Driving routes that they are less familiar with.
What can be done to protect teens and others on the road?
- Talk to your teen and set expectations on their driving.
- Remind teens about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Discuss when, where, and with whom they can drive.
- Know whether their driver’s license has restriction on it about passengers and driving times.
- Set a good example as a parent by not texting, not speeding excessively, and not talking on your cell phone while driving.
Parents and teens should also be aware that in the last year, Governor Jay Inslee signed a new, more restrictive, distracted driving bill, primarily aimed at cell phones. The bill now prohibits handheld uses, including composing or reading any kind of message, picture, or data. Photography while driving is illegal. Drivers also cannot use handheld devices while at a stop sign or while stopped at a signal light.
Your firefighters want everyone to have an enjoyable summer. By following the law and reducing risk, our community can have a safe one as well.
Content credit: Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority
SEATTLE – On Wednesday, May 16, Seattle Fire Department employees and members of the community will be honored at the Annual Awards Luncheon held at the Sheraton Hotel. SFD partnered with the Seattle 4 Rotary Club to host this event, which allows award recipients to be recognized by those they serve.
Each year, SFD members nominate their colleagues for their exemplary service and dedication. This year’s luncheon is emceed by SFD Deputy Chief Phil Jose and King 5 Evening News Anchor/Seattle 4 Rotary Club President Elect Mark Wright. Congratulations to all award recipients:
- Mayday Procedures: Battalion Chief Matt Rogers, Battalion Chief Michael Sharp, Battalion Chief Geoffrey Wall, Battalion Chief Brady O’Brien, Battalion Chief Paul Foerster, Firefighter/Dispatcher Hilton Almond, Firefighter/Dispatcher Diana Delashmutt
- Pump Operator Academy: Lieutenant Brian Anderson, Firefighter Jonathan Foree, Firefighter Gib Mastri II, Firefighter Morten Haastrup
- Ladder Company 11: Captain Jared Fields, Firefighter Ryan Rimmer, Firefighter Daryl Finley, Firefighter John Guthrie
- Wildland Team Coordinators: Captain Erik Hotchkiss, Lieutenant Cameron Chambers
- Rescue One, Aid 14: Lieutenant Colin McElroy, Firefighter Jesse Radomski
- Off-duty Cyclist Response: Lieutenant Kenny Stuart
- Rescue Swimmers in Action: Lieutenant Michael McCaslin, Firefighter Dalen Roesijadi, Firefighter Jonas Smith
- Recruit Class 105: Firefighter Lane Cromelin, Firefighter Kody Hayes, Firefighter Katherine Knowles, Firefighter Tucker Lazare, Firefighter Ryan Read, Firefighter Nate Thompson, Firefighter David Walters, Firefighter Sam Woestwin
- Vegas EMS Response: Firefighter Mark Jennings
- Off-duty CPR: Lieutenant Mark Nelson
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT:
- FDIC Instructor of the Year: Firefighter Aaron Fields
- Swift Water Rescue: Firefighter Brandon Freeland
- Captiol Hill Fire: Firefighter Joshua Materi
- Customer Service Award: Melodi Drake, Fire Alarm Center
- Employee of the Year: Kellie Randall, Public Affairs
- Firefighter of the Year: Firefighter Craig Snow, Ladder 4
- Officer of the Year: Captain Chris Greene, Engine 25
- Chief of the Year: Deputy Chief Reba Gonzales, Battalion 3/EMS
- Lifetime Achievement: Firefighter Michael Osborne, Engine 24
- Lifetime Achievement: Loi Birge, Management Information Systems
SEATTLE 4 ROTARY SERVICE ABOVE SELF:
- James and Sherry Raisbeck
Thank you to this year’s event sponsors: Seattle 4 Rotary Club, Seattle Firefighters Union – Local 27, Seattle Fire Chiefs Union, Local 2898, Seattle Fire Department Officer’s Association, SMEAD Capitol Management, American Red Cross, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, Evergreen Treatment Services, NWSC, WSRB, Kenney’s Office Supply, Absco Solutions.
SEATTLE – On Wednesday, May 16, two Seattle firefighters will receive the Maltese Cross at the department’s Annual Awards Luncheon. The Maltese Cross is awarded to a member for meritorious actions performed under hazardous conditions that are beyond the call of duty and at great personal risk. This is the second highest award one can receive in Seattle’s fire department.
The first Maltese Cross will be awarded to Firefighter Brandon Freeland. On July 27, 2017, while on vacation in Cashmere, Washington, Firefighter Brandon Freeland saw a male struggling in the cold, swift-moving current of the Wenatchee River. Firefighter Freeland Saw the victim going underwater, and entered the fast-flowing river, without the benefit of a personal flotation device to assist him. The victim went underwater several times and was completely exhausted before Firefighter Freeland reached him. He had completed the Rescue Swimmer training a week prior, and was able to safely bring the victim through the whitewater to shore.
Firefighter Joshua Materi will receive the second Maltese Cross. On August 4, 2017, Firefighter Josh Materi was detailed to Ladder Company 10. While operating at an apartment fire on East Denny Way, Firefighter Materi learned of a victim on the third floor. He proceeded to floor three and entered the fire unit without the benefit of a hose line. He was immediately driven to his knees by fire rolling over the ceiling just inside the front door. Forcing the flames back with his pump can, Materi crawled into the room to search. Rising to his knees instantly blistered his ears, and he expended the remaining water in his pump can into the fully involved adjacent room to buy himself time to complete his search. Hearing a moan, Firefighter Materi crawled over to a pile of debris and found a person. Seizing hold of the victim, Firefighter Materi successfully rescued her.
Thank you Firefighter Freeland and Firefighter Materi for your service to the community.
SEATTLE – On April 7, 2018, Seattle firefighter Josh McBride, was on his way to work when he came upon a multi-vehicle collision on westbound Interstate-90, just west of the summit. Emergency personnel had not yet arrived on scene. Firefighter McBride pulled in front of the vehicle, put on his hazard lights, and began conducting a size-up of the incident based on skills learned as a Seattle Firefighter. Firefighter McBride rendered medical aid to the driver of the SUV, who was in critical condition. Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue arrived on scene shortly after, and utilized Josh to assist with patient extrication. Josh was able to use their hydraulic tools to push the dash board and steering wheel off of the patient, freeing his legs. Eastside Fire arrived and took over patient care, transporting the driver to Harborview Medical Center.
The patient’s family members visited the fire station a few days following the incident, and McBride happened to be on shift. Chief Scoggins invited the family and FF McBride to Headquarters to recognize McBride for his quick actions.
Media interested in interviewing McBride at his fire station can contact the acting Seattle Fire PIO via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, April 30, the City of Bellevue announced the appointment of Jay Hagen as chief of the Bellevue Fire Department. Chief Hagen began his career with the Seattle Fire Department in 1988. During his 30-year career with the department, he worked in various operations and administrative assignments, and progressed through the ranks from Firefighter to Assistant Chief.
“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Chief Hagen, for his dedication and commitment to serving the Seattle community during his 30 years of service,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold D. Scoggins. “I congratulate Jay on his new role as Fire Chief and look forward to having him as a peer in our neighboring City.”