Remembering a near-miss with LAFD Light Force 35
The 1992 Los Angeles riots after the Rodney King verdict forever changed the perception that firefighters and paramedics were immune to violence during civil disorders.
This eight minute compilation of news video and LAFD radio traffic shows the chaos encountered by the crews. Crews were "losing windshields" and encountering bottles, bricks and gunfire … with no police assistance available.
At 2:30 into the video is the alert by Light Force 35 that they have a firefighter shot … followed by other companies reporting gunfire.
Jordan was riding directly behind Miller as Truck Company 35 navigated through the smoke and mayhem of Western Avenue. He saw the handgun, then the flash. "Geez, they're shooting at us," Jordan recalled thinking.
Craning his neck, Jordan saw Miller slumped on the wheel. The captain pulled an emergency brake and the 55-foot-long vehicle lumbered to a stop.
Blood was squirting from Miller's neck. Jordan, a wiry firefighter who had worked at some of the city's busiest stations, had seen his share of gunshot wounds. This one wasn't good. "I thought he was going to die," he said. Another firefighter pressed his hand against Miller's neck to stem the bleeding as the crew loaded him into the back of the truck.
Jordan jumped behind the wheel and took off for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Robert L. Lopez (May 04, 2009) 'Miracle' firefighter shot during '92 LA riots back on job. Los Angeles Times
Near exsanguination results in stroke
Laying on the engine cover of the open cab Seagrave tiller truck, Miller, 33,had lost so much blood through his ripped carotid artery that he suffered a stroke.
Scott Harris (April 29, 1993) The Right Choice for Capt. Scott Miller : This 34-year-old Granada Hills family man, this grown-up boy-next-door . . . seems to understand what is expected of him. It has become a matter of duty. Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times also did a video on Miller in 2009:
20th Anniversary Observation:
John North (April 27. 2012) LA riots anniversary: firefighters recall dangers KABC-TV, Channel 7.
Mike "FossilMedic" Ward
Also on FireGeezer…
- LAFD reduces Light Force staffing to put 11 additional ambulances on the road – April 30, 2013
- The 1913 Brennan Hotel fire – LAFD – January 24, 2013
- Saturday Car-Toon: 1914 Peugeot Grand Prix – March 9, 2013
- First LAFD hiring since 2009 – August 1, 2012