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OCFA Academy 41

By OCFA
 December 2015




OCFA Academy 41 graduated 38 new career firefighters who were welcomed to the Fire Authority on December 9.

The firefighters completed an intense 16-week course that tested both their mental and physical abilities. Take a look at some of the recruits of Academy 41 in action. Graduation photos are available here.



 


OC Holiday Safety

By OCFA
 December 2015




OCFA has launched its holiday and winter safety campaign.

If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to like/follow/visit the OCFA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and our AlertOC Community Education page.

#OCHolidaySafety



 


Open House 2015

By OCFA
 September 2015




The Orange County Fire Authority RFOTC will be hosting Open House on Saturday, October 24. RFOTC Open House time is from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Open House attendees are encouraged to park at the Salvation Army lot at 10200 Pioneer Road. Shuttle service from the lot to OCFA will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

  View RFOTC Open House Flier
 


 


Public Fireworks Display 2015

By OCFA
 July 2015




The Orange County Fire Authority encourages residents throughout Orange County to celebrate the July 4th holiday by attending one of the many spectacular public fireworks displays staged by professionals.

As a public service, the Orange County Fire Authority has compiled a list of community fireworks displays scheduled for July 4,2015. Please view the flier below to learn more about firework displays in Orange County. You can also call (714) 573-6200 for more information.

  View Public Displays List

Learn more about fireworks safety.

  View Public Safety Flier
 


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Smoke Alarms

By OCFA
 March 2015

 
Smoke alarms save lives. Almost two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm. In an effort to prevent these needless tragedies, the Orange County Fire Authority's Smoke Alarm Program highlights the following life-saving strategies:
 
Install
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, in every sleeping area, and in the hallway leading to every sleeping area.
  • Install smoke alarms according to manufacturer's recommendations. A licensed electrician should install hardwired smoke alarms.
  • Interconnect all battery powered (wireless) and hardwired smoke alarms. If one alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
Inspect
  • Test smoke alarms every month.
  • Replace 9‐Volt or hardwired smoke alarm batteries every 6 months. Lithium batteries last 8-10 years and do not need to be changed.
  • Replace the battery right away if an alarm "chirps", warning the battery is low.
  • Clean smoke alarms at least once a year.
Protect
  • Develop a Home Escape Plan showing 2 ways out of every room and an outside meeting place. Practice home fire drills at least twice a year.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, crawl low where the air is cleaner and cooler and evacuate as quickly as possible.
  • Once you're out, go immediately to your outside meeting place. Call 911 from outside the home. Never go back inside a burning building for any reason.

Photoelectric vs. Ionization

In general, photoelectric smoke alarms are more effective during smoldering fires and ionization smoke alarms are more effective during flaming fires. Both types must pass the same test to be certified as UL smoke alarms.

Having Both is Best

It's impossible to predict what type of fire you may have in your home. Studies by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that no matter what type of fire occurs, photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms will both activate fast enough to give you time to escape. For best protection, the NFPA recommends having both smoke alarm types in your home. Combination alarms using both smoke detection technologies are also available.

Reduce Nuisance Alarms

Ionization smoke alarms are more likely to go off during normal cooking activity, the leading cause of nuisance alarms. Although cooking fumes may also cause photoelectric alarms to sound, they are usually the better choice near the kitchen. If steam from hot showers triggers nuisance alarms, try moving the smoke alarm further away from the bathroom.

Children and Smoke Alarms

Many children sleep so soundly during their developmental years that they remain asleep when smoke alarms go off. If you have children, it's important to test smoke alarms during sleeping hours. If they remain asleep, consider an alarm with a different tone or a recorded message. If you find you can't rely on smoke alarms to wake your child, make sure your escape plan addresses his or her special needs.


Best & Bravest 2015

By OCFA
 Feb 2015

 
Irvine, CA - More than 400 people came out to the Orange County Fire Authority's "Best and Bravest" awards ceremony that honors our firefighters and staff employees for their bravery and merits on Thursday, January 29. Engineer / Paramedic Dan Brown was selected Career Firefighter of the Year, Bruce Newell was named Reserve Firefighter of the Year, Todd Muilenburg was chosen Manager of the Year, and Jason Caya was awarded Staff Employee of the Year.
 
Captain/Paramedic Paul Holaday received the esteemed Lifesaving Medal for his heroic actions by a pool in Palm Desert when he was vacationing with his family. On August 20, 2014, a three year old boy slipped unnoticed into a crowded resort pool and was pulled out, unconscious and not breathing. "Paul's quick actions directly contributed to the successful outcome of this call," said OCFA Fire Chief Jeff Bowman. "If Captain Holaday was not there, this little guy might not today."
 
The Medal of Merit was awarded to Michele Hernandez who is currently assigned to Strategic Services. Michele's unwavering commitment to the OCFA, comprehensive background in the Emergency Command Center, extensive historical knowledge, and specialized education has demonstrated to be invaluable as she has brought significant advancements in the form of technology and innovation to the Strategic Services Section. Since 2002, she has worked on 35 separate Secured Fire Protection Agreement projects which has generated the OCFA over 10 million dollars in revenue.
 
The Unit Citation was presented to OCFA firefighters who helped save four people from a burning home on January 8, 2014. Engines 70 and 72 were dispatched as part of a working structure fire response to a home on N. Hathaway Street in the City of Santa Ana. Responding units received reports from the Santa Ana Police Department that there were children trapped inside the house. Engine 70's crew worked efficiently and proceeded to the inside rear of the house to begin a search for the victims and brought one of them out. Engine 72 arrived and began assisting with the rescue effort of others. Both crews searched from the side and rear of the structure, but were pushed outside due to the intense heat levels. Engineer's Levi Medina and Matthew Berger prepared hose lines on the driveway in preparation for other arriving resources. Firefighters Austin Brawner, Nick Kruger and Pariet Hernandez returned to the front to man the hose lines on the driveway, in hopes of making conditions better for the continued rescue attempt. Captains Fernando Salas and Cliff Blasi were at the rear of the structure and knew they had little time left to save anyone else inside. Upon searching the first room, they found a second person and removed her to the front yard. If not for the immediate, aggressive actions of these two crews entering the house despite there being a large volume of fire, the patients would have perished. In all, four people were rescued and treated and have since recovered.
 
The Unsung Hero was awarded to the OCFA Benevolent Association. The Orange County Fire Authority Benevolent Association was established in 1986 by a small group of firefighters following a severe off-duty injury to an OCFA firefighter that left him permanently disabled. Although fellow firefighters scrambled to help their brother in need in his personal challenges, this tragic event illuminated the need for an organization that could help in a more formal way outside of the fire department's responsibility. This small group formed a not- for-profit corporation that we now know as the OCFA Benevolent Association. The Board of Directors volunteer numerous hours of their time and represent every battalion and section of the Orange County Fire Authority. The motto "Taking Care of Our Own" is the benchmark for their decisions, many of which are done behind the scenes to protect the privacy of those involved. The Association provides many benefits and services to its members thanks to their future planning and prudent investing. These include providing personalized assistance and special needs to members who are sick, injured, disabled; providing loans and grants to those experiencing a hardship; member and dependent death benefits and funeral assistance; providing low cost supplemental insurance and offering $25,000 in annual scholarships.
 
The Best and Bravest awards ceremony and dinner is coordinated by three Orange County Exchange Clubs and the OCFA Ceremonies and Protocol (CAP) Team. OCFA's Board of Directors was represented on stage by the OCFA Board Chair Al Murray and Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer.
 
If you would like to read about all the nominees, please see the program for more details.
 
 

Smoke Alarms

By OCFA
 Feb 2015

 

As a follow-up to the tragic La Zanja fire on January 20, 2015 and in an effort to reduce the risk of deaths related to home fires, on Saturday, February 21, volunteers went door-to-door and installed free smoke alarms. The volunteers came together from the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), Orange County Sheriff Department, the American Red Cross and Mission Basilica in partnership with the City of San Juan Capistrano and other community partners to install the smoke alarms in homes in the La Zanja neighborhood in the City of San Juan Capistrano. Residents also received information on fire safety and preparedness and learned how to create a home evacuation plan.



Recent Promotions

By OCFA
 Dec 2014

 

OCFA welcomes two new Assistant Chiefs, Mike Schroeder and Brian Young. Chief Schroeder will be our new Assistant Chief of Support Services, replacing Brian Stephens, and Chief Young will be the Assistant Chief of the newly-created Plans Department.


Mike Schroeder, Asst. Chief of Support Services
Mike Schroeder's fire service journey began in 1987 as a Fire Explorer with the Orange County Fire Department, (OCFD). He was then hired as a Paid Call Firefighter with the OCFD while also working as an Emergency Medical Technician on an a private ambulance. In 1993, Mike was hired as a fulltime Firefighter with the City of Tucson Fire Department in Arizona. While serving at Tucson Fire, he became a certified Engineer and completed paramedic school. Mike worked as a Firefighter/ Paramedic until being hired by the OCFA in 1999.
 
Since returning to Orange County Mike has served as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Fire Captain, Fire Investigator and Battalion Chief before being promoted to Assistant Chief. He has three Associates Degrees: Fire Administration, Liberal Arts and Paramedicine. Mike is married and lives in Mission Viejo with his wife and two sons.

Brian Young, Asst. Chief of Organizational Planning
Brian Young is an Orange County native who began his fire service career in 1990 with the Orange County Fire Department. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Protection Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Throughout his career, Brian has been actively engaged in numerous specialty assignments. Some of these assignments include; Paramedic, Hazardous Materials Team, Urban Search and Rescue (California Task Force 5), Terrorism Liaison Officer Coordinator and Fire Investigator. Brian is married and has a son and daughter.