MONTEBELLO >> Rescuers freed a 68-year-old man from his minivan Thursday after he became trapped by high-voltage power lines when his vehicle struck a utility pole, authorities said.
The incident, which began with the crash about 7 p.m. on Beverly Boulevard, just east of Poplar Avenue, resulted in no injuries, Montebello Fire Department Capt. Fernando Pelaez said. With 16,000-volt power lines sparking and arcing all over the crash scene, the situation could have been much worse, he said.
The solo-vehicle crash sent power lines down onto the street and over the minivan, the captain said.
Firefighters arrived on scene and warned passers-by to stay away from the lines, as well as metallic items such as fences and lampposts that were electrified by them.
They also told the driver of the minivan to stay inside until Southern California Edison officials could shut down the power, which took about 45 minutes, Pelaez said. Had he stepped out prior, “He definitely would have gotten electrocuted.”
The sheared power pole also supported an electrical transformer, officials said.
Rescuers tried to keep the driver calm until the power was ultimately cut off to the wires, officials said. Firefighters then managed to free him from the crashed minivan.
The driver, a doctor, did not appear injured and declined to be taken to a hospital, Pelaez said.
The intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Poplar Avenue was expected to remain closed into Friday morning as utility crews repaired the damage.
About 5,000 SCE customers initially lost power as a result of the crash, Montebello police Lt. Kelly Gordon said. By 10:45 p.m., about 500 SCE customer remained without electrical service.
No crime was initially suspected in connection with the crash, which was being investigated as an accident, Gordon said.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A sheriff’s helicopter crew hoisted three stranded hikers and their dog to safety Saturday after they became trapped on a mountain ridge north of La Canada Flintridge, officials said.
The rescue took place about 12:45 p.m. near the Bear Canyon Campground in the Switzer Falls portion of the forest.
The hikers, two men, a woman and a dog, went off a trail, became disoriented and ended up stuck on a mountain top, unable to get back down, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“One hiker was able to make a cell phone call to contact the local sheriff’s station, Crescenta Valley Station, and requested help.
A sheriff’s department helicopter responded and hoisted all three people and their dog into the aircraft before flying them to safety, officials said. They were not hurt.
For the second time in two years, an El Monte police officer is credited with resuscitating a pulseless man with CPR earlier this week, officials said.
The incident unfolded about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as a woman was driving her 37-year-old husband to a hospital as he was suffering chest pains, El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian said. The wife pulled over and called 9-1-1 for help after her husband lost consciousness.
Officer Hector Hernandez arrived first at the scene at Peck Road and Ranchito Street, Cobian said.
“Officer Hernandez saw the subject was unconscious and immediately checked his pulse but did not feel one. Officer Hernandez climbed inside the vehicle and began CPR,” Cobian said.
“Officer Hernandez administered CPR, including rescue breathing, until emergency medical personnel arrived.”
The man was taken to an area hospital, where he was listed in stable condition in an intensive care unit, police said.
“The nurse advised (that) the man’s family was extremely grateful for Officer Hernandez’s actions,” Cobian added.
The same officer used CPR to rescue another man on Dec. 27, 2012.
While at his local gym, Hernandez saw a man collapse from a heart attack, officials said. Hernandez performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
“The man recovered and is alive today as a result of Officer Hernandez actions,” Cobian said.
PASADENA >> Firefighters rescued three football fans late Saturday after they tumbled into a dry flood-control channel in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl just after the USC vs. UCLA game, officials said.
The two women and one man, who estimated to be in their 20s, suffered “minor to moderate” injuries in the mishap, which took place about 9:15 p.m. in parking lot 7 of the stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
The three had just left the stadium, where UCLA defeated rival USC 38-20 in an anticipated game that came to an end shortly before 8:30 p.m.
They had been walking along the channel when they slipped and fell in, tumbling about 20 feet down a steep slope into the concrete channel, officials said.
Paramedics took the two women and man to an area hospital for treatment.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — In an effort to curb all-to-common rescue calls at a popular recreation site in the Angeles National Forest, officials have announced the Eaton Canyon Upper Falls will be off-limits starting Friday.
The 84-acre closure is planned to stem the dozens of annual mishaps, some of them fatal, on the slippery and treacherous terrain near the second waterfall in Eaton Canyon, U.S. Forest Service officials said in a written statement.
“The user-created trail to the lower waterfalls is not the dangerous portion,” the statement said. “It is the area around the second waterfall that is creating the increase in rescues and deaths.”
Officials have handled 60 rescues near the second waterfall in 2012 alone, and five deaths have been reported there since 2011.
“In particular, hikers ignore warning signs and climb the canyon’s crumbling walls in search of the second waterfall, enticed by social media videos that encourage and challenge people to risk their own lives and those of emergency responders,” according to the USFS statement.
The closure area, “has been kept to an absolute minimum in hopes of changing the behavior of those who ignore the warning signs and continue to place themselves and emergency responders in danger,” according to the USFS.
Additionally, officials plan to continue their public awareness campaign regarding the dangers at the second waterfall of Eaton Canyon and enforce the closure.
Those found violating the closure may be receive a $5,000 fine, up to six months in jail, or both.
VENICE – Nine people were hurt, and at least one needed CPR, as an unusual summer beach lightning storm spread danger from Catalina Island to the shores of Santa Monica Bay on Sunday.
Witnesses said the Coast Guard was helping search the popular beach, as at least one person believed to be in the water was still unaccounted for two hours after the thunderstorm moved through. And photos of a stricken diver being worked on by paramedics on the beach surfaced on social media.
City fire paramedics set up a triage and treatment center on the crowded beach near Washington Boulevard, and one patient was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Two of the victims were critically hurt, city fire spokeswoman Katherine Mann said. The other eight had lesser injuries, with one hospitalized for panic.
Eight adults and a 15-year-old youth were hurt on the beach, but reports of a swimmer hurt in the water and picked up by a Baywatch boat were struck down by the county fire department. County Baywatch crews were on scene, but it was not immediately clear if they treated anyone.
- City News Service
PHOTO courtesy of @Venice311
… FULL STORY
A 57-year-old man suffered injuries described as minor when he was struck by lighting on the Catalina Island Golf Course, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Dave Gillotte said.
“He took an indirect hit,” the captain said. Lighting struck near the man at the Catalina Island Golf Course, travelled down a fence and shocked the man, knocking him off his feet.
Los Angeles County and Avalon fire officials treated the man for minor injuries, “primarily injuries from the fall,” Gillotte said. The man was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
“We had a monsoonal type storm come through fast and furious, landing for about an hour and a half,” he said. The heaviest rain and lightning took place over a period of 35 to 45 minutes.
“Lighting strikes were initially cloud-to-cloud, with heavy monsoonal rain, and eventually went cloud-to-ground with thick, heavy bolts.”
The heavy storm also caused flooding and ignited at least four small brush fires on the island, Gillotte said. The fires never grew beyond a fraction of an acre before they were doused by firefighters and Catalina Conservancy Rangers, or self extinguished.
Once the rain ceased, “We did a complete drive of all island roads, and two aerial reconnaissance flights, to ensure there was no fire or smoke,” Gillotte said.
The storm took a narrow, fast-moving path over the island, Gillotte said.
Catalina Island quickly began returning to normalcy once the storm passed. But first responders kept their eyes on the horizon, as additional storm cells were possibly moving over the island between 11 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers rushed a woman to the hospital Saturday after she was bit by a rattlesnake while hiking near the Bridge to Nowhere in the Angeles National Forest, authorities said.
Officials received a call reporting the snake bite shortly before 10 a.m. from someone at the Bridge to Nowhere, along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River north of San Dimas, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg said.
The caller reported a woman had been bit by a rattlesnake about half a mile south of the bridge, the lieutenant said.
The sheriff’s San Dimas Search and Rescue Team headed up to help, but Los Angeles County firefighters reached the victim first via helicopter, Berg said.
She was taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment.
An update on the woman’s condition was not available, Berg said, however rattlesnake bite victims generally respond well to prompt treatment with anti-venin.
The bite occurred adjacent to a portion of the forest known as Rattlesnake Canyon.
Experts have cautioned that the severe and prolonged drought California is experiencing could increase encounters between people and the venomous reptiles.
If bitten, Berg said the ideal course of action is for the victim to call for help and remain still.
“The first thing to do if bitten is to stay calm,” according to a fact sheet published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Get to a doctor as soon as possible, but stay calm. Frenetic, high-speed driving places the victim at greater risk of an accident and increased heart rate. If the doctor is more than 30 minutes away, keep the bite below the heart, and then try to get to the doctor as quickly as possible.”
PASADENA >> Firefighters who rescued a black kitten from a storm drain pipe Friday afternoon named him “Lucky.”
The incident kicked off about 3:45 p.m. when a caller reported hearing the feline in a pipe connecting a storm drain and a drainage ditch along the 2900 block of Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Officials were lowering a firefighter down to the pipe, which was about 3 feet wide, to look for the imperiled animal.
After spotting the black kitten, firefighters performed a “confined space rescue,” Derderian said.
“We sent a firefighter inside about a 36-inch pipe with a breathing apparatus,” she said.
The firefighter pulled the kitten, estimated to be about 4 months old, from the pipe.
“It was purring very strongly, so it appeared to be healthy,” Derderian said. Firefighters christened the kitten Lucky.
No one came forward to claim the cat, which was turned over to the Pasadena Humane Society.
PHS officials could not be reached late Friday for comment regarding Lucky.
But the rescue came only hours after the PHS reminded residents via its website that June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.”
“During June only, the adoption fee for all adult cats (one year old and older) is cut in half — $35! In addition, all cats adopted in June will receive a free nail trim!” according to the PHS statement.
In addition, PHS runs other programs year-round to help adopt out cats to good homes.
All cats with black markings are available for an adoption fee of $13 on the 13th of every month, PHS officials said. Two adult cats may be adopted for a fee of $50. Any cat that has been at the shelter for more than a month is available for $35. Adoption fees are waived for senior adopting cats more than 5 years old, though a $20 mandatory microchipping fee still applies.
Adoption fees includes the spay or neuter surgery, officials added.
PHOTO by Mike Mullen
SOUTH PASADENA>> The South Pasadena Police Department Thursday recognized a 9-year-old boy who called 9-1-1 to help save his choking 3-year-old sister, as well as a good Samaritan and the first responders who also rushed to the aid of the choking child.
The frightening incident unfolded Sunday afternoon at the family’s home in the 1100 block of Pine Street, after the mother of 3-year-old Yalaena Santos noticed she was choking on a grape, South Pasadena police Sgt. Mike Neff said.
The panicked mother, Jennifer Santos, scooped up the child and rushed outside to find help, Neff said. She handed her 9-year-old son, Jaequon Santos, the phone and told him to call 9-1-1.
The boy told the dispatcher what was happening and provided the address, Neff said. “He did a great job.”
Meanwhile, Max Storer, a local man on his way to work at Starbucks noticed the mother and daughter in distress and stopped to help, Neff said. He performed CPR on the choking girl prior to the arrival of police and fire officials.
Police arrived at the scene in about one minute, but were unable to dislodge the grape lodged in the child’s throat, police officials said in a written statement. Firefighters arrived about two minutes later, but were also unable to extract the grape.
So firefighters blocked intersections as firefighters rushed the girl, still struggling to breathe, about three miles to Huntington Hospital in Arcadia, police said.
“In the emergency room, (Huntington Hospital) doctors and staff were able to successfully remove the obstruction and the victim was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit,” according to the police statement. “The victim has since fully recovered with no adverse outcome.”
South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller hosted a ceremony Thursday at South Pasadena City Hall to recognize those involved in saving the girl’s life, as well as give the family a chance to meet with the police and firefighters involved in the rescue.
Jaequon Santos and Storer were presented with certificates of appreciation, Neff said. The boy was also given a remote control police car, and his sister received a pink blanket.
“The good Samaritan trying to help, what a good guy,” Neff said.
As a result of the experience, Neff added that the mother had signed up to participate in a first-aid class at the South Pasadena Police Department, and encouraged other parents to do the same in case of a medical emergency.
First responders honored for their parts in the incident included South Pasadena police officers Darren Wong, Tom Jacobs and Louie Cetro, as well as South Pasadena police dispatchers Stephanie Barrientos and Catalina Valdez and South Pasadena Fire Department Capt. Eric Zanteson, paramedics Dan Dunn and Matt Robertson and engineers Mike Larkin and Rocky Bergstrom.