PIO Brian Humphrey's blog account of Saturday's action log for the Los Angeles Fire Department's helicopters makes a good read. The day began with high-rise fire on Wilshire Boulevard caused by a dermatology laser [you can't make this stuff up—ed.] then turned more harrowing. There was the copter rescue of a 35-year-old man who broke his fibula and tibia in Topanga State Park, followed 45 minutes later by a woman who fell ten feet onto the riprap outside Gladstone's on PCH and suffered a head injury that required air evacuation. Less than an hour later, firefighters got to an accident in Woodland Hills where a 7-year-old boy was badly hurt.
From the LAFD blog:
The Paramedic-staffed Engine Company from the Neighborhood Fire Station had arrived quickly on the scene, and as the veteran Firefighter/Paramedic began his assessment, he turned to his Captain and matter-of-factly asked for an Air Ambulance. Were it not for the message conveyed solely by eye contact between the men, a bystander might have thought little of the request - but both men in an instant knew the clock was ticking....The boy needed a pediatric critical care center, yet in what is often a surprise to Los Angeles residents, there is no such medical facility in the 243 square-mile San Fernando Valley. The nearest such hospital by ground was UCLA, but even then a potentially 45-minute drive. Then again, that hospital had just taken a barrage of critical patients. The next option? Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in distant Hollywood, an ambulance trip that could take nearly an hour. An hour this boy didn't have.
Also on Saturday, Humphrey posted an explainer on the science of pre-deploying firefighters on these windy, red-flag fire danger days. Monday, by the way, is another red flag day for the hills — meaning no parking on posted narrow streets and some advance movement of fire engines.
File photo: Jeff Miller/LAFD.org