Federal Death Benefits for LODDs Frozen in the Wake of the Government Shutdown, Yarnell Hill Fire Families Left On Hold

Federal Death Benefits for LODDs Frozen in the Wake of the Government Shutdown

Kevin O'Connor
October 10, 2013 09:35

If you’ve watched the news at all this week, you’ve probably noticed the government shutdown has delayed the timely payment of death benefits to families of service members lost in the line of duty. It’s a disgraceful tragedy and deserves to be remedied immediately. Yet, as we continue to consider the many consequences of failing to fund the federal government, one cannot overlook the fact that the families of fallen fire fighters, too, have been given the short shrift. Federal Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB), awarded to families of public safety officers who die in the line of duty, have been put on hold for the duration of the government shutdown.

The program’s official government website says it all.

Among those held hostage to the government shutdown are the families of the 19 Prescott fire fighters who gave their lives during the Yarnell Hill fire. Feted for their selflessness and bravery only a few short months ago, their families’ applications for benefits are on hold, unable to be processed because the staff necessary to make the payments have been furloughed.

Families waiting for their promised benefits, families who have lost a mother or father, spouse or child, must wait and wonder just when the federal government will deliver on their promise to provide for their loved one’s service.


This government shutdown has real consequences on real people, and it will only worsen with time. The shutdown is shameful, and needs to end now


LAFD Statement from Fire Chief Brian L. Cummings: I will retire from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

LOS ANGELES - We would like to share with you a statement from Fire Chief Brian L. Cummings:
LAFD Fire Chief Brian Cummings 

"Effective November 1, 2013 the Mayor will be appointing an Interim Fire Chief. 

Following a period of transition, I will retire from the Los Angeles Fire Department

Serving those who, live, work and play in Los Angeles is an extremely rewarding experience. It is a profound honor to work with and lead you incredible men and women of the LAFD. 

Every day, responding to over 1,100 calls for service, you make a positive difference in the lives of so many Angelenos  LAFD employees and volunteers have risen to the multiple challenges of increased workload, decreased funding, staff reductions, fewer apparatus and aging equipment.

 All the while, you continue to provide world class public safety, save lives and protect property. I could not be more proud of what you accomplish each day.

I remain committed to the on-going success of this great Department. I will retire confident that Los Angeles’ strong support of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Fire Department will afford the continued provision of service befitting the City of Angels. Be well and be safe." - LAFD Fire Chief Brian L. Cummings


LAFD: Firefighters Escape Harm When West Adams Building Collapses #CaFire

CA-LFD 1381 - Major Emergency Structure Fire

Location: 4100 W Jefferson Bl
West Adams
Dispatch Time: 9:59 PM Wednesday, October 9,  2013

WEST ADAMS - Firefighters attempting to save a recently renovated Los Angeles business from flames escaped harm late Wednesday evening, when the roof of the building suddenly collapsed - just nine minutes after the fire was reported.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 9:59 PM on October 9, 2013 to 4100 West Jefferson Boulevard in the West Adams area, where firefighters arrived quickly to find flames through the roof of a one-story 50' x 50' building with a 20' addition to the rear. 

Forcing entry into south side of the well-secured structure charged with heat and smoke, six firefighters took a brief moment for situational awareness prior to entry. Despite the clamor of a what would soon become a "Major Emergency" blaze, their experienced ears noted sounds of structural compromise - and they stood their ground - seconds prior to collapse of the building's roof in an area where they would have been standing. 

A well-coordinated transition to defensive operations ensued as all personnel were accounted for and assured to be unharmed. Heavy streams were used to push back flames that briefly towered in the sky, as 121 LAFD personnel under the command of Battalion Chief Surgey Tomlinson held the fire in check. The blaze was skillfully confined to the non-fire sprinklered building of fire origin, and fully extinguished in just 54 minutes. 

No injuries were reported. 

Fire loss to the vacant building, zoned for light manufacturing and being prepared for lease, is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.

Dispatched Units: E29 E27 RA68 E26 T26 E226 E215 T15 RA15 EM13 BC11 BC5 E15 BC18 E229 T29 E43 DC1 BC5 E46 E261 T61 EM11 T3 E203 E3 UR3 UR88 BC1 E68 E210 T10 RA94 E10 T21 E221 E21 AR1 SQ21 T21 E221 AR2 T66 E266 T2 E202
video ] 

# # #

For Updated Information and Video Please Refer to:
Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service, 
Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist - Public Service Officer
Emergency Public Information (EPI) Center
Los Angeles Fire Department
"Serving with Courage, Integrity and Pride"


LAFD: Major Emergency Structure Fire three firefighters were evaluated for injuries. #CaFire #HOWATF

Major Emergency Structure Fire with Firefighter Injuries
"I got fire all around me... I got fire all around me."

Update 0900 10-9:  Three LAFD ‪#‎firefighters‬ injured during two-alarm church ‪#‎fire‬.
Two caught in a roof collapse and a third firefighter shocked when a master stream hits an energized power line.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Fire Department battled flames that ripped through a 19th century wooden church on Tuesday October 8th, 2013. A firefighter was trapped in the burning rubble when significant portions of the Crouch Memorial Church collapsed during a Major Emergency Structure Fire.

Firefighters were summoned at 9:27 AM to 1001 E 27th Street in South L.A. where they found a large two-story church with fire blowing out of the attic. Firefighters assumed an immediate aggressive attack with hose-lines inside the dark, hot interior and up to the second floor. 
Within fifteen minutes into the battle, a loud crash was heard outside as portions of the attic and second floor suddenly fell. A firefighter on the second story rode the floor down as it dropped to the first story. He was trapped in heavy burning debris and had to utilize his emergency air canister to breathe.

"I got fire all around me... I got fire all around me." - Chilling radio traffic from the trapped firefighter inside the inferno.

Several critical objectives were rapidly met by Battalion Chief Fligiel...
  • Activate Emergency Traffic on the radio alerting firefighters to the current conditions.
  • Determine the exact location of the trapped firefighter within the nearly 7,000 sq-ft structure.
  • Deploy a RIC (Rapid Intervention Company) Team to extricate him.
  • Ensure no others are unaccounted for by obtaining the location of each firefighter on scene.
  • Safely transition from an offensive interior fight to a defensive exterior fight.
Then a sense of relief...
"We have the firefighter... we are taking him out the front door." - Radio transmission. 
Shortly thereafter the trapped firefighter was carried down the church steps to safety.

Firefighters Injured While Battling South LA Church Blaze Over 150 firefighters, under the command of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, fully extinguished the flames in three hours and 45 minutes. Over the next several hours, firefighters carefully salvaged items from the sanctuary and supported the investigation.
LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section Investigators were soon on scene, and in accordance with protocol, activated the regional "House of Worship Arson Task Force", bringing specialists from the Los Angeles Police DepartmentFederal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to join the active LAFD investigation in determining the cause.  
The historic church suffered grave damage and is considered a total loss monetarily.

Location: 1001 E 27th St 
South Los Angeles/Newton
Tuesday, October 8,  2013
TIME: 9:27 AM
INCIDENT #: 0352

A total of three firefighters were evaluated for injuries. The trapped firefighter was immediately transported to a local hospital where he will remain overnight, and is expected to be released the following day. The second firefighter was involved in the rescue and accompanied his colleague to the hospital. He was briefly evaluated and did not require treatment. Hours into the battle, a third firefighter suffered a possible electric shock while on an Ariel Ladder Truck that was pouring water into the structure. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. All firefighters are in stable condition. 
Dispatched Units: E14 E210 T10 RA10 E9 T9 RA9 E21 SQ21 EM11 BC11 BC1 E15 E221 T21 E215 T15 DC1 BC13 E46 E203 T3 EM18 E3 UR3 RA3 RA803 T5 E205 UR88 BC5 E17 RA814 RA21 RA15 EM13 EA2 AR1 E226 T26 E211 T11 E33 E11 EM9 RM2 RA46 RA246 E66 AR17 RT59 EA1 AR7 CM2 CM1 AR11 RA10 EM9 RA17 T33 E233 E11 T94 E294 E63 E98 SU2 BC13 EM13 AR17 T66 E266 E26 RA29

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman 
"Serving with Courage, Integrity and Pride"
Public Service Officer
Emergency Public Information (EPI) Center
Los Angeles Fire Department
500 East Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012