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Two Alameda Firefighters Injured at House Fire on Bay Farm Island

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALAMEDA FIREFIGHTERS

Two Alameda firefighters were injured last night while responding to a house fire in a single family residence. One suffered 2nd degree burns to his back, flank and stomach. He was initially transported by AMR to Alameda Hospital for treatment, and received additional treatment at the Burn Center of St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco. The second firefighter was treated and released from Alameda Hospital with 2nd degree burns to the palms of his hands. Both firefighters were wearing their department issued protective equipment.

At approximately 6:28pm on Sunday 14 JUNE 2009, City of Alameda Firefighters were called to a report of a structure fire at 110 Inverness Way, on Bay Farm Island. At the time of the call, all three of the ALS Ambulances staffed with two firefighters on each of them were busy transporting patients to off island hospitals from unrelated EMS calls. At the time of the initial response there were only four remaining units in service in Alameda with three firefighters on each of them. The lack of resources to complete a simple first alarm and the subsequent delayed actions allowed the fire to intensify and hazardous conditions to exponentially increase. That translates to a more dangerous threat to life and health and increased property damage.

With the recent implementation of station and Fire Engine closures, response times have already decayed to a level worse than originally anticipated by the Fire Chief. The injuries to these firefighters are directly related to the inadequate resources available for emergency response, lack of training, outdated policies and organizational neglect by the City of Alameda and Fire Department Management.

There are additional cost saving measures being unilaterally implemented by the City of Alameda. Current experience of the above noted fire as well as that surrounding the FISC fire in March of 2009 have proven that with the imposed cuts and reduction to Fire Department staffing, resources cannot handle the average daily response load.

The firefighters know the impacts of the existing and proposed closures and are trying to educate the community on just where that risk lies. It is very simple; it will end up ON THOSE EXPERIENCING AN EMERGENCY AND THOSE WHO ARE RESPONDING TO HELP THEM. In addition to the injured firefighters, 2 pets were killed and the property loss is still being calculated. There was a re-kindle to the fire early Monday morning.

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