Thursday, December 26, 2013

[californiadisasters] Near Death Fiery Christmas Crash Has Fortunate Ending

Dear Friend of the LAFD,

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SHERMAN OAKS - Emergency Personnel and two civilians rescued a trapped elderly motorist from a burning vehicle on the northbound San Diego Freeway (405), just South of Ventura Boulevard, on December 25, 2013.
Just before 2:00 p.m., a station wagon on the freeway lost control for unknown reasons and collided into the concrete center divider and burst into flames. Fortunately, there happened to be two Emergency Responders, one on his way to work and another traveling to visit family for Christmas, along with other brave motorists that changed the outcome of a man's life

LAPD Bomb Squad Officer Thompson was driving to work on the southbound 405 freeway when he witnessed a station wagon crash and burst into flames. He quickly pulled to the center median, jumped over the guardrail and opened the car door. The driver of the vehicle was unconscious and still trapped behind the wheel as the flames began to engulf the front seat compartment.  The Officer fought the intense heat and smoke while feverishly working to remove the victims seat belt and pulled him out. With the help of two brave motorists, they carried the limp victim over the center median to safety, where another fortunate event took place.

Off-Duty Battalion Chief Miyagishima was headed to visit family for a Christmas dinner. He supervises LAFD's 9-1-1 dispatch center. Witnessing the driver being pulled out, he promptly called a direct line to an on-duty LAFD Captain at the dispatch center and provided the exact location of the incident. This was a great help since previous commuters contacting 9-1-1 provided different locations. This is an important reminder when calling 9-1-1 knowing your exact location or address expedites response. He also advised responding firefighters to access to the traffic filled incident by strategically and safely entering a nearby off-ramp, saving approximately five minutes. Miyagishima then started to assess the injured driver before additional help arrived. 

The man driving the car was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries. Officer Thompson sustained first and second-degree burns, abrasions to his hands and knees and suffered from smoke inhalation during the rescue. Thompson was treated by LAFD personnel on scene and later received additional treatment for his injuries at an urgent care facility. There were no other injuries.

The trapped victim would not have survived if it had not been for the fortunate and brave intervention.

Dispatched Units: E39 E83 E37 E99 E108 RA39 LF39 RA78 LF88 BC10

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

"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

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