Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Get this document free

The Hawaii he Hawaii The Hawaii


                              The Hawaii                                                                                              MAY 2004

                                                                                          An Official Publication of the
                                                                                          Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, Local 1463
Members on the Garden Isle
very active at union meetings

Kauai Fire Fighters
Ready to Fight for
       There’s a major battle brewing on Kauai, where county
officials hope to break the spirit of the Hawaii Fire Fighters
Association (HFFA) members of the Kauai Fire Department
(KFD). The issue at hand? Extreme revisions to the union’s vol-
untary “rank-for-rank” recall program that was won during
the last arbitrated settlement.
       “All of the county fire departments around the state
have been very supportive of the program except for one,”
said HFFA President Bobby Lee. “For some reason, Kauai
County wants to significantly reduce this benefit to our fire-
fighters on the island. Instead, they are arguing that tempo-
rary assignment pay, when available is enough. They don’t
believe that our members on Kauai deserve overtime opportu-         Inspectors Tyler Chan, Ernie Ahlo, Carl Lorenzo and James Todd.
nities for the work they do.”
       But whoever is behind this reduction in overtime com-
pensation to the members on Kauai has picked the wrong
fight. Call it what you will, but HFFA quarterly meetings on
                                                                    Prevention Bureau
Kauai are the best attended and participation by members on
the island for union events are arguably second to none.            Members Goal is to
       “Because we’re a small department, but everyone
knows everybody else,” said Kauai Division Chair Colin Wilson.
“They all like to see each other at the meetings. Sticking
                                                                    ‘Well… Prevent Fires’
together is why we have our benefits. We wouldn’t have what                 There might be some interesting misconceptions among many
we have, such as pay raises and our benefits, if it wasn’t for      Honolulu Fire Department fire fighters about what it means to
the union. We’ve come a long way with the step movements,           “work upstairs” in the Prevention Bureau. For example, what exactly
and that’s really going to benefit the younger guys.”               do they do? Why would they want to do it? What is the makeup of
                                                                    the bureau? Are the fire inspectors organized by region? Are they
       This unity among the 110 or so members on Kauai is one
                                                                    still in the union and do they have the option of going back to work-
reason why Local 1463 President Lee is declaring that if man-
                                                                    ing in a fire station?
agement wants to make the island a battleground, than he’s
glad the fight is with members on Kauai. Already there’s a                  “A lot of fire fighters out there have no idea what we do and
sense of uneasiness among the members, who recently greet-          who we are,” said Thomas “Laanui” Akana, a fire inspector in the
ed a new fire chief who came out of retirement and has been         bureau’s Codes and Enforcement division. “But we’re all in the same
less than stellar in his support for his department’s staff.        boat. A lot of times we get that, a white shirt is a white shirt.”
       “Aside from the overtime issue of rank-for-rank (RFR)                For the record, the bureau is divided up into four divisions;
and the benefits involved, this chief turned down the depart-       Codes and Enforcement, Investigations, Education and Plans. The
ment’s Wellness and Fitness Grant that is available to all coun-    largest of the four, Codes and Enforcement (the focus of this issue’s
ties,” Brother Lee said. “This program, which was pushed by         article), has 12 inspectors. Unlike battalions, the division is divided up
the International Association of Fire Fighters, goes directly for   into only three areas; East, West and Central (four inspectors per
the members. It would have provided fitness equipment for           area).
the stations and physical examinations that are separate from               “As fire inspectors, our job is similar to what other fire fighters
the department.                                                     do out in the field,” Brother Akana said. “But the information we’re
       “On Kauai, the total grant was $170,000, with the coun-      learning everyday is incredible.”
ty’s portion being $30,000. That’s chump change for the coun-               All of the Codes and Enforcement inspectors have their
ty, which already allocated the money for the grant. The bot-       assigned areas, with Akana and fellow inspector Lloyd Trujillo draw-
tom line is the chief didn’t want to give it to his firefighters.   ing Waikiki, with its hotels and high rises.
Now it’s going to be harder for the county to ask for that                  “We do a lot of contacting these facilities and scheduling
grant money again because they basically turned it down. In         appointments,” said Trujillo, who used to be a tiller driver in Kailua.
this case, on the island of Kauai, maybe it’s better to have no     “Our day is spent walking a lot – there’s a lot of public relations
chief at all.”                                                      involved. The most important job for us is educating the public, and

                                            Continued on page 10                                                            Continued on page 4
                                   State of the Union
                                   “Sometimes our good nature and willingness
                                   to work out problems and promote ‘labor-
                                   management relations’ is misinterpreted as a
                                   weakness. If so, this is a huge mistake on the
                                   part of the Employer because we are not
                                   Robert H. Lee, President
       We’ve begun negotiations with the       Employer and their tactics quite simply
Employers for our next contract and as         mirrored that of a used-car salesman. This           he
                                                                                                   The Hawaii
usual, there were no surprises. We give        meeting was a feeble attempt to mildly
them our “wish list” of sections in our        threaten us to accept their proposal or
contract we want to enhance and they           they would do it without our consent.                               An Official Publication of the
                                                                                                                   Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, Local 1463

give us their list of sections in our con-     Their issue was obvious; this wasn’t a mat-
tract that they feel we don’t deserve and      ter of Kauai County not being able to          Hawaii Fire Fighters Association
should be reduced or removed complete-         afford the current RFR program but                IAFF Local 1463, AFL-CIO
ly. Why is this game structured this way?      rather, they just don’t want to. Their mes-
       As fire fighters, we come to work       sage was loud and clear, firefighters get
                                                                                                 Robert H. Lee, President
with the general attitude of respect for       temporary assignment opportunities and
our superiors, which includes the              that’s enough! Firefighters don’t deserve               Emmit Kane,
Employers. All we want to do is help peo-      overtime!                                            Secretary-Treasurer
ple. We risk our own lives when necessary             Why is this happening on Kauai?         Guy T. Tajiri, Business Manager
to help and protect people we don’t even       Why is the mindset of the Employer so
know. This is who and what we are. This        archaic that they cannot understand that
attitude is what makes us FIRE FIGHTERS.       short staffing of our fire crews means a
Why is it always a fight to not only gain      reduction in firefighter and public safety?             Oahu Division
more benefits but also, at times, to keep      Why is Kauai the only county that has no               Guy Fujio, Chair
what we already have? Granted, the             program in place to recall firefighter 1’s       William Donnelly, Recorder
Employer is tasked with the fiscal respon-     to supplement short staffing situations
sibility of balancing their respective oper-   and consistently just run companies
ating budgets but why does it seem to be       short? Lack of respect for firefighters.          Executive Board Members
at our firefighter’s expense? I think it can                                                            Terry Cano
                                                      Maybe Kauai’s Republican Mayor’s
be summed up quite simply… Lack of             attack on our RFR recall program is a                   Roger Goodell
respect for firefighters.                      Republican vs. Democrat issue? I don’t                   Todd Hugo
       Case in point. The continuation of      think so. Both Maui and the Big Island              Cleghorn “Boy” Lopes
our rank-for-rank (RFR) recall program is      have Republican Mayors that are very                   Kenison Tejada
a top priority in our current negotiations.    supportive of the safety and welfare of
We have been working hard with all of          their firefighters. What else can it be?
the fire departments to make this pro-         Lack of respect for firefighters.                     Hawaii Division
gram a success. Most of the Employer                  What about the Kauai Fire Chief’s             Ty Medeiros, Chair
representatives assigned to the various        position against our current RFR recall            Gerald Kosaki, Recorder
Rank-for-Rank Committees have been             program as being “too costly”. Maybe
working positively with us, realizing the                                                        Executive Board Member
                                               this is just a “Fire Chief” thing. Wrong
benefits of this essential program and         again. All the other Fire Chiefs are work-             Aaron Arbles
putting their best efforts forward. As I       ing with us to make this program work.
said, “Most.” And then there’s Kauai.          In fact, even with the overwhelming fiscal
       I attended Kauai’s last Voluntary       constraints we’re experiencing in                       Maui Division
Rank-for-Rank Recall Committee meeting         Honolulu, HFD has made a commitment                Elvin Kamoku, Jr., Chair
back in March along with our Kauai             to our firefighters to make this program          Jeffrey Kihune, Recorder
Division Officers Chairman Colin Wilson        work. And to add even more insult, in a
and Recorder Steven Doi. The Employers         recent “Request for Proposal Form” for a
requested this meeting. Our request for a      new fire apparatus for the Hanalei Fire
meeting agenda went unanswered and                                                                    Kauai Division
                                               Station, the Kauai Fire Chief callously pro-
when we met, the reason was obvious.           vided figures for a “cost-ratio benefit” for         Colin Wilson, Chair
The Fire Chief, Personnel Director and         the fire apparatus as, “$200,000 -                  Steven Doi, Recorder
Finance Director met with us. We sat           $250,000 compared to a human life with
through a pretty contentious meeting           a value of $1,000,000.”
with the Employers, whose sole purpose                How can he identify such an arbi-
was to try to get us to agree to revisions     trary value to anyone’s life? So what’s
of the rank-for-rank recall procedures         with the Kauai Fire Chief? Lack of respect
that would significantly reduce the bene-      for firefighters.
fits for our Kauai members.
       It was an insulting display by the                               Continued on page 5

Summary of Contract Proposals 2005-2007 Negotiations
       As the union progresses through         Section 26 – Temporary Assignment                assignments, reclassification and other
contract negotiations with the employer        The proposal makes significant changes to        upward movements. In addition, the pro-
group, the Hawaii Fire Fighters                the section and to also conform with             posal moves the step movement language
Association (HFFA) will provide periodic       Section 26-A, Rank-for-Rank Recal.               from wages to this section.
updates to the membership. The union           Section 26A – Rank-for-Rank Recall               Section 31 – Vacations
will be meeting with the employer group
on June 3 & 4, 2004 to continue bargain-       The proposal provides for a permanent            The proposal provides changes to existing
ing sessions on important issues such as       Voluntary Rank-for-Rank Recall program           language that will remove certain restric-
rank-for-rank overtime, step-to-step salary    with respect to vacancies and other leaves.      tions and requirements when applying for
adjustments for promotions and tempo-          Section 27 – Holidays                            vacation. In addition, the proposal pro-
rary assignments, bureau incentive pay,        The proposal provides for changes to the         vides for an option to cash out excess vaca-
etc. HFFA has summarized each of the           section that addresses employees on modi-        tion leave.
union’s contract proposals in numerical        fied work schedules. The proposal also           Section 32 – Sick Leaves
order and not by order of priority.            incorporates language from a memoran-            The proposal increases the number of days
Section 5 – Bulletin Boards – Right of         dum of agreement into the contract that          of sick leave before a physician’s certificate
Access                                         allows 40-hour bureau personnel the              is required.
The proposal provides the union the right      option of working on designated holidays         Section 33 – Accidental Injury Leave
of access to computers and other electron-     at an overtime rate.
                                                                                                The proposal amends existing language to
ic equipment to disseminate information        Section 28 – Meals                               now provide that athletic activities
to members in the stations and other           The proposal provides for an increase to         required by the employer as well as the
offices.                                       the meal allowance. In addition, the pro-        maintenance of station facilities shall be
Section 7 – Orientation of Employees           posal deletes language which is redundant        covered by this section.
The proposal provides for an additional        and unnecessary.                                 Section 34 – Leave for Death in Family
four hours for the union to continue its       Section 30 – Wages                               The proposal provides for the inclusion of
orientation and training for new employ-       The proposal provides for an across-the-         great-grandparents to the definition of
ees.                                           board adjustment to the salary schedule          immediate family.
Section 9 – Personnel Information              for July 1, 2005 and July 1, 2006, and the       Section 39 – Company Staffing
The proposal reduces the period of time        continuation of step movements during
                                                                                                The proposal deletes the words “endeavor
derogatory material is allowed to remain       the 2-year period of the contract.
                                                                                                to” from the section to now require the
in an employee’s personnel file.               Section 30-A – Compensation Adjustment           employer to maintain fire service staffing
Section 10 – Placement                         The proposal provides for a step-to-step         in accordance with national recognized
The proposal provides members with an          pay adjustment for promotions, temporary         standards.
opportunity to discuss with the appoint-                                                                                Continued on page 5
ing authority the reason(s) for non-selec-
Section 11 – Shift Exchange
The proposal deletes the word “perma-
nent” from the language in the section.          Kaimuki Fire Fighters Enjoy Renovation
Section 17 – Grievance Procedure                       Although they work in one of the oldest stations on the island, fire fighters
The proposal deletes language pertaining         working out of HFD Station 5 in Kaimuki are enjoying the results of a station reno-
to Stage I Arbitration procedures. In addi-      vation that was done several years ago. “The renovation was done in two stages,”
tion, the proposal deletes language that         says third watch Capt. Marshall Gideons. “They gutted the existing station and
prohibits the union from presenting new          made it our office and recreation area, and built a new port for the ladder and
allegations or charges during arbitration.       engine.”
Section 19 – Hours of Work
The proposal deletes language that is
obsolete and no longer applicable.
Section 20 - Overtime
The proposal deletes language that makes
reference to longevity pay.
Section 22 – Night Shift Differential
The proposal provides for an increase to
the night shift differential.
Section 23 – Night Alarm Premium
The proposal provides for changes in the
section that makes it clear and concise
that any work performed between the
hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., such as
relocations, night drills, fire watch, etc.,
qualifies for night premium.
Section 25 – Travel Allowance
The proposal provides for changes in the
section that broadens the coverage when
employees will be eligible to receive
mileage reimbursement when required by
the employer to report to another (tem-
porary) station.                                 Thomas Ettinger, Bret Chuckovich, Marshall Giddens, Jay Shimabuku, Mike Bunner, Gary
                                                 Yasuda and Anthony Wengler.

Prevention Bureau Members                                                                       Buzzy Hong
Goal is to ‘Prevent Fires’                                                                      Appointed
Continued from page 1                                                                           to Fire
especially businesses, about safety. We
want to provide a safe work environ-
ment for the public – both for business                                                                William “Buzzy” Hong, a
and its employees.”                                                                             former Honolulu police officer
                                                                                                and current executive director of
Prevention Bureau not for                                                                       the Hawaii Building Trades and
everyone                                                                                        Construction Council, has been
                                                                                                appointed to replace the late
       In a sense, the prevention bureau
                                                                                                Norman Ahakuelo as a member
is the proactive arm of the department.
                                                                                                of the Honolulu Fire Commission.
       “We try to eliminate the need for
                                                                                                       “In 1996, the voters of the
fire fighters to fight fires,” said Akana.
                                                                                                City and County of Honolulu rati-
“If you look at the records over the past
                                                                                                fied the charter amendment
few years, you’ll see that most of the
                                                                                                establishing a fire commission
responses out there have been medical
                                                                                                comprised of five members serv-
                                                                                                ing staggered terms,” said HFFA
       Some of their other duties include                                                       President Bobby Lee. “The charter
making sure that existing stand pipes                                                           was amended to also include the
are working and to update all non-resi-                                                         duties and responsibilities of the
dential buildings about their safety sta-                                                       commission.”
                                                                                                       The duties include, most
       “We let the companies know if                                                            notably, the appointment of a
things are not satisfactory,” said Trujillo.                                                    Fire Chief and preparing a yearly
“For instance, their stairwells have to be                                                      evaluation of the chief’s perfor-
clear to allow access. A lot of people out        Inspectors Ken Bogowitz and Allan Wong.
                                                                                                mance. In addition, the
there don’t think about it. I think the                                                         Commission reviews the annual
records show that we have done a good             Aside from overtime, they are other lim-      Fire Department Budget; reviews
job in preventing fires for businesses.           its and sacrifices of personal pay to be      the department’s operations, rec-
But I can’t say that about private resi-          made. It’s quite an adjustment from           ommends improvements to the
dences because we don’t have access.”             going from 10 shifts a month to a five-       fire chief and reviews personnel
       The life of a fire inspector in the        day workweek. It’s quite a pay cut.”          action for conformance with
Prevention Bureau is not for everyone.                  Because of the pay considerations,      polices. They also hear complaints
Both Akana and Trujillo have young chil-          the bureau typically has a difficult time     from citizens concerning HFD per-
dren, so the 40-hour workweek suits               finding fire fighters to fill the holes       sonnel and can recommend
them well. But working in the bureau              when inspectors go back in the field or       appropriate action.
also does not include any overtime                retire.                                              The five current members of
opportunities such as the recently won                  “Not too many guys want to do           the Honolulu Fire Commission are
“rank-for-rank” recall.                           it,” Akana said. “It’s such a big lifestyle   all named by the mayor and con-
       “For me it works out well because          change. They don’t want to go upstairs.       firmed by the City Council. In
it’s nice to be home with the family              But there’s a lot of satisfaction on the      addition to Hong, the commis-
everyday,” Brother Akana said. “But               job. We’re creating safer situations in       sioners include Chair Sandra Au
some guys don’t like it (the schedule).           whatever we’re inspecting.”                   Fong, Senior Vice President and
                                                                                                Secretary – Market City Ltd.;
                                                                                                Cynthia Bond, Former Deputy
                                                                                                Director – Department of Human
                                                                                                Services; Anson “Slim” Ilae,
                                                                                                Member – Local 996 Teamsters,
                                                                                                and Lawrence K.W. Tseu, D.D.S.,
                                                                                                Oahu dentist.
                                                                                                       While both Hong and Ilae
                                                                                                are from the labor community,
                                                                                                the Mayor has the discretion to
                                                                                                name anyone of his choosing with
                                                                                                the City Council confirming or
                                                                                                sending back the name of the
                                                                                                nominee. Currently there is a
                                                                                                resolution before the Council
                                                                                                Committee on Public Safety that
                                                                                                would amend the city charter to
                                                                                                provide that two members of the
                                                                                                commission be representatives of
                                                                                                organized labor.
                                                                                                       The HFFA supports this reso-
                                                                                                lution and will keep you posted
                                                                                                on the status of Resolution 04-
Inspectors Laanui Akana, Allan Wong, Ricky Muramoto and Lloyd Trujillo.

Summary of Contract Proposals                                                                 Members Ratify
                                                                                              Constitution and
2005-2007 Negotiations                                                                        By-Law Proposals
Continued from page 3
                                                 funerals, promotional ceremonies and
                                                 other special events.                              In the previous edition of The
                                                                                              Hawaii Fire Fighter newsletter, the pro-
Section 40 – Infectious Disease Prevention       Section 47 – Automobile Allowances
                                                                                              posed amendments to the HFFA
The proposal provides that the employer          The proposal provides for an increase to     Constitution and By-Laws were included
shall pay for medical expenses in cases          the mileage reimbursement rate.              for review by members.
where an employee is suspected of being          Section 48 – Hawaii Employer-Union                 At the May island division member-
exposed to a pathogen as a result of work        Health Benefits Trust Fund                   ship meetings, those proposals were dis-
performed in the line of duty. The propos-       The proposal provides for an increase to     cussed and voted on. Pursuant to the
al also provides for initial tuberculosis (TB)   the Employers portion of the medical         procedures in HFFA’s Constitution and
screening. In addition, the proposal pro-        insurance premiums.                          By-laws (Article XVI, Section 1), the thir-
vides for voluntary Hepatitis A inocula-         Section 49 – Emergency Medical Services      teen proposals were affirmed by more
tions for new employees and other proto-                                                      than the requisite two-thirds votes.
col enhancement for Hepatitis B shots.           The proposal deletes language that is no
                                                 longer applicable.                                 The union will now be incorporat-
Section 41 – Safety Equipment                                                                 ing the new language into the
                                                 Section 53 – Duration
The proposal amends existing language to                                                      Constitution and By-Laws document and
require the employer to meet or exceed           The proposal provides for a two-year con-    will notify the membership when ready.
current NFPA requirements for self-con-          tract.
tained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The           New Section – Discipline
proposal also provides language that will        The proposal provides for new language
require the employer to provide individu-        that requires the employer to have prop-
ally fitted masks for employees assigned         er cause before taking disciplinary action   State of the Union
to a unit carrying SCBAs.                        against an employee. The proposal also
                                                                                              Continued from page 2
Section 42 – Hazardous Duty                      provides for a bill of rights provision.
                                                 New Section – Bureau Incentive Pay                  Kauai’s current Operating Budget
The proposal provides new language that
                                                                                              proposal is $103.4 million. That includes
prohibits the employer designating fire          The proposal provides for an incentive
                                                                                              five new positions for the Kauai Police
units from performing both search and            pay for employees assigned to 40-hour
                                                                                              Department and two lifeguard positions.
rescue functions and hazmat functions.           work schedules in the respective bureaus.
                                                                                              Kauai Police Department’s overtime
Section 43 – Station Supplies                    New Section – Subsidized Automobiles         expenditures are well over a million dol-
The proposal provides for the prompt             The proposal provides a monthly              lars annually. Kauai County’s inflated
delivery of supplies for housekeeping,           allowance in lieu of mileage reimburse-      annual estimate of our firefighter’s cur-
maintenance and living requirements. The         ment for employees required by the           rent RFR program for fiscal year 2004-05
proposal also provides that the employer         employer to use a personal vehicle for       is approximately $430,000 and again, I
maintains on an annual basis fire service        official duty.                               stress the word INFLATED! If allowed to
books and study materials located at the         New Section – Fire Fighters Permanent        happen, the Employers proposed Rank-
stations.                                        Disability Program                           for-Rank program would severely restrict
Section 45 – Uniforms                            The proposal provides for a permanent        opportunities for our members and the
The proposal provides for the employer to        disability program for fire fighters who     cost to the Employer would essentially be
furnish all employees one (1) formal full        meet the eligibility requirements of the     minimal. Why would they take this posi-
dress uniform to be worn at events such as       program.                                     tion against our firefighters if they can
                                                                                              honestly afford the current program?
                                                                                              Lack of respect for firefighters.
                                                                                                     Unfortunately, Kauai is shaping up
                                                                                              to be the “battleground” for the entire
  Union Recreational Events Coming Soon                                                       state. If left unchallenged, these actions
                                                                                              of disrespect for firefighters on Kauai will
          The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA) is continuously looking for ways        affect our entire membership. Kauai’s
   to further support and bring its membership together. One way to accomplish this           fight is our fight because if given the
   is by funding HFFA sports functions throughout the state. In doing so, the union           choice, Employers across the state will not
   hopes to bring both active and retired fire fighters together through the spirit of        fund our RFR programs.
   competition, camaraderie, and HFFA’s long-standing tradition of working and                       This is like a cancer in one part of
   playing hard together.                                                                     your body. If left untreated, it will spread
          As mentioned last year in The Hawaii Fire Fighter, the union has created a          throughout the rest of your body until
   Recreation Committee to plan and arrange for sporting events throughout the                the infection is everywhere and you die.
   year.                                                                                      Sometimes our good nature and willing-
          “We are planning for league play for the big three sports; volleyball, soft-        ness to work out problems and promote
   ball, and basketball,” said Recreation Committee Chair Todd Hugo. “We are also             “labor-management relations” is misin-
   looking into a two-day HFFA State Softball and Golf Tournament towards the lat-            terpreted as weakness. If so, this is a
   ter part of this year and will be asking for your help as well as your participation       huge mistake on the part of the
   in making it a great success.” (The date is to be announced, and the first 144 are         Employer because we are not weak!
   in).                                                                                              As professional firefighters, we are
          Some of the tasks that the committee has addressed are projecting equip-            used to confronting danger and putting
   ment needs and acquiring fields, courts, and gymnasiums.                                   our lives on the line to accomplish a job.
                                                                                              We work well as teams because there is
          “The costs for referees and trophies, among other things, are also being pro-       strength, protection and success in work-
   vided by our union,” Brother Hugo said. “The money to be utilized is from the              ing together. You’ve heard it before;
   HFFA Community Relations fund. Stay tune for more information on upcoming                  you’re only as strong as your weakest
   events.”                                                                                   link. This is an issue of solidarity… this is
                                                                                              an issue of respect!

Hawaii Delegates Charged Up After IAFF
Legislative Conference
       Meeting presumed                                                                                                                    ence and skills in John
Democratic presidential                                                                                                                    Kerry that citizens see
nominee John K. Kerry                                                                                                                      in their fire fighters –
was one of the many                                                                                                                        service, sense of duty,
highlights of the 22nd                                                                                                                     commitment, courage
Annual Alfred K.                                                                                                                           and sacrifice.”
Whitehead IAFF                                                                                                                             Approaching the podi-
Legislative Conference,                                                                                                                    um, the overflowing
which convened on                                                                                                                          crowd welcomed
March 15, 2004 in                                                                                                                          Senator Kerry with a
Washington, D.C. at the                                                                                                                    standing ovation.
Hyatt Regency Hotel on                                                                                                                            “Thank you for a
Capitol Hill.                                                                                                                              remarkable campaign,”
       A record 852 IAFF                                                                                                                   Senator Kerry said with
members from all 50                                                                                                                        heartfelt appreciation.
states attended this                                                                                                                       “No one has done as
year’s conference. The                                                                                                                     much for this country
Hawaii delegation                                                                                                                          than all of you have
included HFFA President                                                                                                                    done. I could not be
Robert Lee, HFFA PAC                                                                                                                       more honored and
Chair Jeff Kihune, HFFA                                                                                                                    blessed to have your
PAC Vice Chair Colin                                                                                                                       support.”
Wilson, HFFA                                                                                                                                      “Kerry recognized
Legislative/PAC coordi-        Ron Akiyama, Jeffrey Kihune, Robert Lee, Neil Abercrombie, Tino Campos and Colin                            the IAFF as being the
nator Celeste Nip and          Wilson.
                                                                                                                                           first union to endorse
Federal Fire Fighters of                                                                                                                   his presidential candida-
Hawaii Local F263 President Ron
Akiyama and Secretary-Treasurer Tino
                                                   Kerry praises fire fighters                                      cy and most importantly acknowledged
                                                                                                                    the hard work of our brothers and sisters
Campos.                                                    In General President Schaitberger’s                      in the key primary state caucuses,”
       IAFF General President Harold               introduction of Democratic Presidential                          President Lee said. “As president, Senator
Schaitberger’s opening remarks to the              candidate, Senator John Kerry, he said                           Kerry promised to address the lack of
2004 IAFF Legislative Conference high-             “we see the values, principles, experi-                          resources that fire fighters and all first
lighted some of the successes since dele-
gates last met in March 2003.
       For one, the Staffing for Adequate
Fire and Emergency Response
Firefighters Act (SAFER) Act was enact-
ed. This law authorizes the hiring of
                                                                     HFFA Members Encouraged to
75,000 new fire fighters over a seven-
year period by assisting local fire
                                                                      Sign-Up for Federal FIREPAC
departments through a federal grant                             All members of the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA) are encouraged to sign up and be a part
process to share the cost of hiring new                of the International Association of Fire Fire Fighters (IAFF) political action committee, FIREPAC.
personnel. The next step is to get this                         “The mission of FIREPAC is to educate the members of Congress on issues important to fire fighters
authorization bill funded, said HFFA leg-              and emergency medical personnel, and to elect and support candidates who understand and will champion
islative/PAC coordinator Nip.                          fire fighter issues, regardless of party affiliation,” said HFFA Legislative/PAC chair Jeff Kihune.
       In addition to lobbying for the                          “IAFF’s congressional agenda includes fully funding the FIRE Act, providing resources of adequate fire
funding of this measure, the IAFF staff is             fighting staffing levels, protection of our pension from mandatory Social Security, preserving our right to bar-
working with Congress to reauthorize                   gain collectively and securing additional funding for HAZMAT and Weapons of Mass Destruction training.”
the FIRE Act. The reauthorization of the
                                                                Since its inception, FIREPAC has raised and contributed more than $5 million to federal candidates
FIRE Act will enable local fire depart-
                                                       and their campaigns. Candidate requests for support are reviewed and decided by a number of factors.
ments to apply for grants directly to
cover the cost for protective equipment,                        “For incumbents, their voting record on legislation relating to fire service is important as well as com-
training, apparatus and other public                   ments from the local fire fighter affiliates and the difficulty of the race they are engaged in,” Kihune said.
safety needs.                                          “For new candidates, they must complete a candidate questionnaire detailing their position on a number of
                                                       IAFF legislative issues. Input from the local affiliates and if available, the challenger’s voting record on fire-
       In addition to the above, the IAFF
                                                       related and union issues at the local level are also taken into account.”
continues to fight for the enactment of
the Public Safety Employer-Employee                             Every FIREPAC-supported candidate strongly supports issues important to fire fighters and emergency
Cooperation Act. If enacted, this legisla-             medical personnel. The IAFF has been very successful in working with candidates and campaigns in recent
tion would provide fire fighters and                   years and have posted a winning percentage of more than 80 percent.
police officers with basic collective bar-                      As a federally registered PAC, FIREPAC must rely solely on personal, voluntary contributions from IAFF
gaining rights, without undermining                    members, spouses and family members. Federal election law prohibits the use of union dues money to sup-
existing state laws. The proposal explic-              port federal candidates.
itly prohibits strikes and relies on nego-                      “We can be proud of the HFFA members who participate in the IAFF’s FIREPAC through the check-off
tiation and mediation to resolve dis-                  program and we know we can do more,” Kihune said. “The check-off program allows for your contributions
putes. While there has been much suc-                  to be automatically deducted from your paycheck and forwarded to FIREPAC. To start your participation in
cess, there is much more to be done.                   the FIREPAC check-off program, please call the HFFA office for a form and remember that every dollar helps
The delegates, armed with their charge,                us reach our goal of electing a fire fighter majority in Congress.”
made their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

responders face by pledging his commit-
ment to work with the Congress to fund
the SAFER Act and the FIRE Act.”
       “You didn’t sign up to be the front
lines of a new war, but you have proven                                                                             Jeffrey Kihune,
time and time again that you can get                                                                                Robert Lee, IAFF
the job done,” Kerry told the delegates.                                                                            General President,
“You deserve a president who knows his                                                                              Harold
job is to make sure that you can do                                                                                 Schaitberger and
yours. And when I’m elected president,                                                                              Colin Wilson.
that’s what I’m going to do.”

IAFF declared most influential
in all of labor
       The afternoon session featured
James Carville, a Democratic political
strategist and commentator and former
senior political advisor to President Bill
Clinton. He referred to the IAFF as “the
most influential and powerful organiza-
tion in all of organized labor.”
       Carville acknowledged the work of
the fire fighter and stated “at the end of     Representative Curt Weldon. This award      have celebrated many successes and a
the day it’s no more complicated than          recognizes members of Congress who act      few setbacks. And we are going to con-
that – fighting fires and helping people.      as champions of fire fighter issues by      tinue to fight as long as we have oppor-
That’s what makes our profession a             passing specific legislation or providing   tunity to do so, and I know you will too.”
great one. As seen in the primary caucus-      leadership in support of multiple issues.         Congressman Weldon recognized
es, fire fighters are totally committed to           Congressman Curt Weldon, (R-PA),      IAFF President Emeritus Alfred K.
any task they undertake.”                      working with both Democrats and             Whitehead saying, “There is no finer
       Carville also joined with the IAFF in   Republicans, has made fire service issues   individual than Alfred Whitehead. He
his support of Senator Kerry and simply        a priority in Congress. Brother             convinced me we could raise the image
stated, “I’m going to lay it on the line –     Schaitberger, in presenting the award,      of the fire service if we worked together
Kerry is just a better man than Bush. In       said of Rep. Weldon “I never would have     as Republicans and Democrats.” Weldon
the end, what matters is what you have         dreamed when I first met you in 1987,       thanked the IAFF for this important
inside” and “in the end, it’s about hav-       and you said you wanted to put the fire     acknowledgment and concluded with
ing a country with a president whose           service on the map in Congress, that I      “there is no better example of what
word means something and you don’t             had the audacity to suggest that you        America is all about than to look into
need any proof to go with it.”                 might be biting off more than you could     the eyes of a fire fighter. I accept this
       “He encouraged all of us to go          chew. It has been a pleasure and an         award and I accept the challenge. As
back to our states and do what we need         honor to work with you all these years.     long as I am here, you will be my num-
to make Senator Kerry the next presi-          Your wisdom has exceeded ours. We           ber-one priority.”
dent of the United States,” HFFA PAC
Chair Kihune said. “With candor and
humor, James Carville left the crowd
excited to meet the challenges ahead of
                                                                   HOME STREET BANK
       The conference also featured guest
speakers who briefed the delegates on
                                                  AT THE FENCE POST
issues currently being considered by the
Congress. Topics included collective bar-
gaining, taxation of Internet sales, reau-
                                                  Question of the Quarter:
thorization of the FIRE Act, Funding for               Q: I’ve heard the interest on Equity Lines of Credit can be tax
SAFER and the Federal Fire Fighters               deductible, is this true?
Presumptive Disability. Other speakers                 A: Often the interest on home equity lines is in fact tax deductible.
included the Honorable Bart Peterson,
Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana; the
                                                  If you itemize your deductions and your income is below the threshold,
Honorable Jim McGreevey, Governor of              generally you can deduct the interest on the first $100,000 of equity you
the State of New Jersey; the Honorable            borrow above the remaining amount of your purchase mortgage. As
C. Suzanne Mencer, Director of the                always, consult a tax professional for complete information.
Office of Domestic Preparedness,
Department of Homeland Security; the
                                                       In addition to the tax deductibility of the interest, the interest rate
Honorable Chris Cox, Chairman of the              on home equity lines is often lower than the rate on credit cards or other
House Select Committee on Homeland                forms of borrowing. Using a home equity line of credit to consolidate
Security; the Honorable Paul Sarbanes,            high interest loans can help pay down debt sooner and more effectively.
U.S. Senator from the State of Maryland;          The savings on payments toward credit cards, lower interest and tax
and the Honorable Ciro Rodrigues, U.S.
Representative from the State of Texas.
                                                  deductibility of interest makes a home equity line of credit an attractive
Lifetime achievement award                             A promotional rate as low as 3.49% is available to new applicants for
passed out                                        home equity lines through 05/31/04. Restrictions apply. For more infor-
      Honored as a special guest and              mation please call HomeStreet Bank in Honolulu. Toll free 866-389-
presented with the Alfred K. Whitehead            6369 or in Honolulu 808-596-2008.
Lifetime Achievement award was U.S.

But you have to register and vote
2004 Elections an Opportunity to Maintain
Wages and Benefits
       Can binding arbitration be taken away? Can the                         This year, there are five federal offices up for election –
Governor or legislative bodies refuse to fund arbitrated pay            U.S. President and Vice President, U.S. Senator and two
increases? Will my employer continue to pay 100% of my                  Congressional members are all up for reelection. Senator
medical premium once I retire?                                          Daniel Inouye, Congressman Neil Abercrombie and
       At a recent membership meeting, questions like these             Congressman Ed Case currently represent Hawaii in the con-
were posed to the HFFA Oahu Executive Board. As the Board               gressional positions.
explained, the answers to most of those questions are found                   All of the State House seats are up as are 12 senate
in the Hawaii Revised Statutes. The answer is “yes” to the              seats. The City and County of Honolulu and the County of
question regarding whether binding arbitration can be taken             Hawaii will be electing mayors in the fall election in addition
away.                                                                   to electing county council, OHA and Board of Education
       Chapter 89-11 provides for binding arbitration for cer-          members.
tain public sector units which includes fire fighters. This sec-
tion was amended in 2001 that removed some of the units                 Voting has little to do with jury duty
(2,3,4,6,8, and 13) from the binding arbitration process. Then                 “Some people are hesitant to vote because they do not
in the special session in 2003, those units were put back into          want to serve on jury duty,” Nip said. “Well, in addition to
the section and are now covered by the statute.                         the voter lists, the master jury pool list is supplemented with
       Can the Governor or legislative bodies refuse to fund            names from taxpayers and drivers’ license lists. As a taxpayer
arbitrated pay increase?                                                and a licensed driver, you have just as much of a chance of
       “As with any award, arbitrated or negotiated, the issue          being selected for jury duty.”
of funding is always of concern in light of the fiscal condition               You’ve heard it before; your vote is your voice. The
of the state and counties,” said HFFA administrative assistant          three basic steps are registration, education and participa-
Celeste Nip. “Most recently, the Governor vetoed the legisla-           tion. If you’re not registered, please do so. If you’ve missed a
tion to fund the arbitrated pay raises for the HGEA units with          few elections and or moved since the last election, you need
the legislature overriding that veto. In both cases, the legisla-       to re-register. The HFFA Board members can supply you and
tive bodies did fund the awards.                                        your family with voter registration forms. You can also down-
       “We believe that Chapter 89-11 is clear and that                 load the forms at
employers are obligated to fund the pay adjustments. As is    
the case, this is subject to challenge but luckily it has not                  “You will receive a card from the county clerk’s office
been tested.”                                                           which will list your district and precinct information,” Nip
       When I retire, will my medical premium be covered as             said. ”If you are working or can’t otherwise make it to the
was told to me when I was first employed?                               polls, request for an absentee ballot. The ballot will be
                                                                        mailed directly to you and in the comfort of your home; you
       Currently the statute provides for the employers to pay
                                                                        can cast your vote.
100 percent of premium cost for retirees. While the statutes
(Chapter 87A-33) provides for the employer contribution to                     If you are already registered, you can find your polling
be adjusted, there is a chance that the contribution will not           place on line at: Once
match the premium amount. If this situation arises, legisla-            on the site, all you need to do is type your address and the
tion will need to be enacted to correct the situation.                  database will return your voting district information.

Those we elect make laws                                                Want to host a candidate?
      So how does all of this affect you? The laws that govern                 “If you want to meet the candidates from your district,
collective bargaining, your heath benefits, workers compen-             many community and candidate organizations will be hosting
sation and other employment situations affect your liveli-              a ‘meet the candidate’ forum so keep an eye out for the
hood. Your elected representatives, in the House, Senate and            notices in your area,” Nip said. “Many candidates will be
County Councils and governor, have the ability to amend and             walking the districts during the next few months. Take some
repeal these laws.                                                      time to talk to them about issues of concern. If you would
                                                                        like to host a coffee hour for a particular candidate and need
      “It is foolhardy to think fire fighters as first responders
                                                                        some assistance, call the HFFA office and we can help you
and public safety personnel are immune from statutory
                                                                        contact the candidates.”
changes,” Nip said. “What can you do? GET INVOLVED in the
electoral process. The first and easiest step is voting.”                      Please be aware of some deadlines established by the
                                                                        Office of Elections. The deadline to register to vote for the
      As a state, Hawaii’s voter turnout percentages are dis-
                                                                        primary election is Aug. 19, 2004. If you register for the pri-
mal. In the 2002 primary election, the voter turnout was only
                                                                        mary, you will automatically be registered for the general
40.3 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii’s
voter turnout is ranked at the bottom at 44.1 percent. Think
about this, in the 1980s there was a tie in a primary election                 If you do not meet this deadline for the primary elec-
and in more recent elections, several races were determined             tion, you have until Oct. 4, 2004 to register for the general
by very small margins. In the 2002 elections, one race was              election. By mail or at the polling places, HFFA members are
decided by 128 votes.                                                   urged to vote because your vote can make the difference.
      “So your vote is important and along with a few of                       For more election information, check out the Office of
your friends, you can decide an election,” Nip said. “The elec-         Elections website at: or any
tions this year is no different. All of the races are important.”       of the city clerks’ websites.

HFD Fire Fighters to Participate in Wellness Initiative
       Being a fire fighter means you               “There will be an informational            health risk appraisal. You are encour-
always have to be at the top of one’s         video distributed to each worksite along         aged to follow up with your personal
game, medically, physically and emotion-      with an informational packet with forms          physician if the analysis suggests so.
ally. Statistics document what you have       to be completed by each individual                      The only information that HFD will
probably known for your entire career in      ahead of time,” said HFFA Business               receive is an aggregate analysis of the
the fire department, fire fighting is one     Manager Guy Tajiri. “The results of the          on-line risk assessments results. For
of the most dangerous jobs. From sup-         blood test and the health risk assess-           example, the report may reflect the
pressing fires, to attending to medical       ment are confidential. Neither the City          ranges of cholesterol levels of all of the
calls, to responding to a hazardous           nor the Fire Department will have access         participants or the ranges of blood pres-
material incident, you face life-threaten-    to your records. Once you have autho-            sure reading. At no time will names be
ing situations as part of your job.           rized the blood draw, you will be                associated with the report.
       In light of the pressures of your      allowed, on duty, to visit one of the 11                “We have demanded strict doctor-
employment, the International                 Kaiser Permanente sites to have your             patient confidentiality and have been
Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) –         blood drawn.”                                    assured that will be the case,” Tajiri said.
working with the International                      The tests run on your draw is              “The Joint Labor Management Wellness
Association of Fire Chiefs – developed a      known as the SMAC 20 and includes liver          Fitness program is a holistic program
Joint Labor Management Wellness               function tests, complete blood count             that tries to attend to fire fighters’ med-
Fitness Initiative. The Hawaii Fire           (CBC) protocols, and platelet count,             ical, physical and emotional fitness and
Fighters Association (HFFA) supports this     among others. The draw will also give            as stated many times before, it is non-
program because it is designed to             you your triglycerides, glucose, and cho-        punitive. HFFA wants to help you in
address your medical, physical and emo-       lesterol levels. You will receive a copy of      ensuring your professional longevity and
tional fitness and access to rehabilitation   your results and by using a secure online        health and we encourage all to partici-
if warranted.                                 site you will be able to get an individual       pate in the program.”
       As a result of a FIRE Act grant, the
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD), work-
ing with HFFA, is pleased to announce
that you will have the opportunity to         History Highlights Central Station
participate in the initial phase of the              The first thing anyone driving past HFD Central Station No. 1 on Beretania Street
program during the summer. This phase         notices is the front doors to the station. Ornately designed, the doors are on the histori-
includes a blood analysis, a personalized     cal list.
health risk assessment, and a participant
                                                     “It’s kind of funny in that the doors are on the list but the building is not,” said
                                              third watch Capt. Guy Katayama.
                                                     Moved from its original location in the 1930s, the station is at the entrance to
                                              downtown and houses the battalion chief. Because of its proximity to Chinatown and
                                              the halfway houses and “safe havens” in the area, Katayama says that 80 to 90 percent
   Baltimore Fire                             of the emergencies they respond to are medical.

   Fighters Get                                      “It does get interesting at night when the town closes down,” he said.

         Not all fire fighters around
   the country have binding arbitra-
   tion as a means to work out con-
   tracts as Hawaii does. Case in
   point: After a 20-year struggle,
   Baltimore County (Md.) fire
   fighters used concerted political
   action to win the right to use
   binding arbitration to protect
   their working conditions and
         To achieve this victory, the
   members of Fire Fighters Local
   1311 launched a public aware-
   ness campaign that garnered
   17,500 signatures on a petition
   for a referendum and sponsored
   radio and newspaper ads on the
   issue. The referendum passed in
   November 2002, and the county
   council approved the final
   language of the ordinance on
   Aug. 4, 2003.
                                              Guy Katayama, Mark Nakagawa, Eric Boyles, Nolan Nip and Oscar Cano.

Kauai Fire Fighters Ready to Fight for Respect                                                 about your union here than anyone else.”
                                                                                                      Kauai Division Chair Wilson, who
                                                                                               also talked about the grant lost by Kauai
                                                                                               County over the Wellness and Fitness
                                                                                               Grant, emphasized that the issue of rank-
                                                                                               for-rank will be a statewide concern if the
                                                                                               battle is lost on the island. That message
                                                                                               was echoed by the more than 40 members
                                                                                               in attendance, including those from the
                                                                                               nearby Lihue station.
                                                                                                      “I come to the meetings because I
                                                                                               want to find out what’s happening,” said
                                                                                               Brother Barry Brun, an 11-year member of
                                                                                               the department. “We have to keep up
                                                                                               with the county and statewide. We have a
                                                                                               lot of new guys here and it’s important to
                                                                                               show them that the union pays the bills.
                                                                                                      “Our membership will stick together
                                                                                               on rank-for-rank. If we don’t we’re
                                                                                               screwed. We should be afforded the same
                                                                                               respect that everyone else is expecting
                                                                                               from other counties.”
                                                                                                      Brother Alan Saiki, who has been a
HFFA members on Kauai at their quarterly May meeting.                                          KFD employee for 15 years, says that the
                                                                                               unit’s closeness is going to help when it
Continued from page 1                           for-rank because than they will make           comes to battling the county on the issues.
                                                more wages than himself. In fact, it’s well           “We just have to stick together as a
Rank-for-rank issue on Kauai                    known on the island that no one wanted         union,” he said. “Everybody’s the same,
                                                the chief’s job because of its low compen-     whether they are off-duty or not. They all
important to all HFFA members                   sation. Maybe that’s the reason why it was     want the same thing. The best thing for
         But the most important issue fac-      taken by a retiree.                            our young members to do is to get
ing KFD members is the revision of the                 “If the reason the chief and the        involved. It’s easy to sit and be the
union’s RFR program. Lee attended               county are rejecting our RFR is because        ‘Monday Morning quarterback’, but to be
Kauai’s last meeting in March with              of his salary than we have the wrong           a part of the solution will only be accom-
Wilson and Kauai Division Recorder              chief for the job,” Lee told the Kauai         plished by being active with the union.”
Steven Doi. At the meeting, the fire chief,     members at the division meeting. “He                  Hanapepe station fire fighters Joey
county personnel director, and most             doesn’t care about you guys who are            Durocher and Reid Tanita have attended
importantly, the county’s finance director      working. He doesn’t want you to make           almost all of their HFFA meetings since
talked about cutting back on the RFR            more money than him. If he had support-        joining the department. Both of them
provisions that give overtime benefits to       ed our overtime program, we would have         admit they come to the division meetings
HFFA members (see Lee’s State of the            supported any effort on his part to            as often as they can in order to support
Union address starting on page 2 of The         increase the salary for his position. It       what the union is doing for them.
Hawaii Fire Fighter).                           makes perfect sense. But instead, he has              “Colin talked to us three years ago
        “The idea that they would propose       done things that deliberately hurt our         about the importance of sticking togeth-
such a significant cutback of rank-for-         members.”                                      er,” Durocher said. “There’s strength in the
rank is ridiculous,” Lee told the Kauai                Lee explained that if any county        union in numbers.”
members at their May 4 meeting. “It was         should be resistant to rank-for-rank, it              “Whatever the union decides affects
like playing cat and mouse with them            would be Honolulu because of their bud-        us,” said Brother Tanita. “We have a voice
when it came to the budget figures.             get shortfall. But the department’s admin-     when we attend our meetings. It’s a great
Presently, they have no program to recall       istration has made it work despite the         way to meet our fellow coworkers and
Fire Fighter 1’s. They have chosen to run       monetary constraints. Kauai, on the other      hear their concerns.”
fire crews consistently down to a three-        hand, is another story all together because
man minimum rather than recall fire                                                                   Kilipaki Vaughn, a fire fighter at
                                                the county does have the money.                Kalaheo, is ready to show his support for
fighters and run a minimum of four-man
                                                       “It all comes down to respect,” he      the issues the union is fighting for on
crews. This is not a money issue on Kauai,
                                                said. “They don’t respect how significant      Kauai.
it’s a safety issue. The county has the
                                                {us} our fire fighters are on Kauai. They             “It’s about the Brotherhood,” he
money – the previous chief already allo-
                                                are taking us for granted, which is why        said. “It’s sticking together, that’s what is
cated the monies for RFR. They would
                                                they are trying to reduce the compensa-        important. You can hear stuff through the
rather risk having something disastrous
                                                tion we deserve.”                              grapevine, but you cut through all the
happen because they don’t respect the
work we do.                                                                                    rumors when you go to your union meet-
                                                Kauai membership in solidarity                 ing. You hear about other stations’ issues.”
        “You guys on Kauai are not alone
and by yourselves on this battle. The
                                                and ready                                             Wilson, who was asked by the for-
union will fight for our members. If they              The advantage that the union has on     mer Kauai division chair to take the job,
don’t want to pay the overtime and they         Kauai is its active membership. Where          says the idea he is making a difference in
win the fight, other departments in the         union participation – whether public or pri-   terms of improving working conditions for
state can look at what happened on              vate sector – has declined over the past       KFD members is the satisfaction he gets as
Kauai and have similar ideas. This is an        few years in the state, the island of Kauai    an HFFA board member.
issue of respect; it’s not that Kauai cannot    seems to be an aberration. HFFA’s Kauai               “There’s no amount of money to
afford it because they can.                     Division will often have more than 30          compare to the amount of time and effort
        One rumor circulating around the        members attend its quarterly union meet-       we spend on what we do to assist our
seven fire houses on Kauai is that the          ings.                                          members,” he said. “But there’s a great
new fire chief doesn’t want Local 1463                 “The other jurisdictions can learn      satisfaction in standing up for everyone
members to earn the overtime on rank-           from you guys,” Lee said. “You know more       and making things better.”

                                                                                                Aikahi Fire
New HFD Members                                                                                 Fighters Work
                                                                                                with Marine Corp.
Introduced to Union During                                                                            With its close proximity to Kaneohe

Orientation                                                                                     Marine Corp. Base, the Honolulu Fire
                                                                                                Department’s No.19 Aikahi Station per-
                                                                                                sonnel will often work with their coun-
                                                                                                terparts on base.
                                                                                                      “We respond to their medical emer-
                                                                                                gencies on the base, and they help us
                                                                                                with our mountain fires,” said Capt. Mel
                                                                                                      Thanks to a renovation of the sta-
                                                                                                tion in 1996, station 19 features a “big
                                                                                                storage area” on its first floor, which is
                                                                                                used to store leftovers from Kalihi’s
                                                                                                Hazmat unit.

Robert Lee, Guy Tajiri, Roger Goodell and William Donnelly address the recruits.

       In accordance with Section 7 of the          administration has given the union an
Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA)             additional four-hour period per recruit
collective bargaining agreement, this               class to provide further union-oriented       Capt. Mel
union is afforded one hour to introduce             training and education.
each Honolulu Fire Department (HFD)                        “Your union leadership realizes
recruit class to the union, fill out the            that this is an important step in the
necessary paper work, and try to educate            development of a strong, healthy, and
them about how the HFFA works for its               effective union,” Cano said. “This educa-
members.                                            tional process will also evolve and grow
       Not only was this all supposed to            as time goes by and issues change. We
be accomplished in one hour, says Oahu              need to keep our union and our mes-
Division Executive Board member Terry               sage strong. We are all united with a
Cano, but it was also either their first or         common goal. The voice of one can be
second day of Honolulu Fire Department              ignored but the voice of many is loud
recruit orientation.                                and clear.”
       “Recruits are being bombarded at                                                                                     Kevin Kahale
this time with information about: expec-
tations of what it is to be a firefighter,
the enormous work load about to be                     Dues Adjustment
placed upon them, insurance, credit                    Effective July 1, 2004
union, ‘I want your money’, and ‘this is
best for you, think about it’, etc.,”                         In accordance with the
Brother Cano said. “Our HFFA union                     Hawaii Fire Fighters Association’s
message to our newest member was                       Constitution and By Laws, Article
being lost in a huge pile of ‘information              XIII, Section 3, HFFA membership
overload’.                                             dues will be adjusted accordingly.
                                                       HFFA statutory dues are now
       “We realized that more time was
                                                       $39.00 per month. Effective July 1,
needed! Your union leadership request-
                                                       2004, dues will be $39.50. This
ed from the administration more time                                                             Jesse Wilson
                                                       amount is based on 1.25 percent
near the end of the recruits training to
                                                       (rounded to the nearest half-dollar)
address union issues. Our primary goals
                                                       of SR 17, Step F salary rate.
were to educate our new members
about what the union is about, solidari-                      “The dues adjustment is
ty, the historical background of our                   based on our Local 1463 By-Laws
union, and importance of our contract,                 and automatically occurs whenever
political action, introduction of the                  we receive an across-the-board
board members and office staff, and to                 increase such as what was awarded
answer any questions our new members                   to us in our 2003 arbitration
may have.”                                             award,” said HFFA Business
                                                       Manager Guy Tajiri.
       In addition to the one-hour intro-
duction, the Honolulu Fire Department
                                                                                                                     Thomas McKee
YES-Climb to the Top
       On April 12, 2004, the inaugural “Yes – Climb to the Top”
race was held at the First Hawaiian Bank Building. Hawaii Fire
Fighters Association members and SHOPO members were invited
to participate in the first ever “run-up” event in Hawaii.
Featuring Hawaii’s tallest building, 30 floors standing at 428
feet, 11 inches tall, the First Hawaiian Bank YES-CLIMB TO THE
TOP is Hawaii’s version of other famous stair races including the
Empire State Building Run-Up in New York and the Hustle-Up
the Hancock in Chicago.
       The race began at 11:00 am with Mr. Walter Dods, Chief
Executive Officer, First Hawaiian Bank, signaling the official start.
Seventeen HFFA members and two SHOPO members entered the
“run up.” The first to finish was Fire Fighter Keith Daniel who
climbed 30 floors and crossed the finish line in a record setting
time of 3:45. For his first place finish, Keith is automatically
entered in the Empire State Building Run Up in February, 2005.
Right behind Keith were Fire Fighters Russell Youth, Jay Kemmler
and Lloyd Gaddis with times of 4:09, 4:19 and 4:19 respectively.
Taking the challenge a bit further was the crew from Engine 23,
3rd watch. Suited in full turnout gear including SCBA’s, they
                                                                          First Hawaiian Bank Chief Executive Officer Walter Dods and climb par-
emerged together from the stairwell on the 30th floor in the              ticipants.
time of 12:57. Thank you to all of the fire fighters who partici-
       The “Yes – Climb to the Top” was one of the pre-race activ-
ities to promote the U.S. Olympic triathlon trials held in                      2004 Climb Participants
Honolulu on Sunday April 18th.                                                     Keith Daniel                   3:45
                                                                                   Russell Youth                  4:04
                                                                                   Jay Kemmler                    4:19
      Log On to the HFFA Website                                                   Lloyd Gaddis
                                                                                   David Taratko
       Want to find out the latest about what is happening                         Roland Shelton                 4:28
 with the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association (HFFA)? For the                         Dominic Marquez                4:34
 most up-to-date information available exclusively to Local                        Jack Crouse                    5:00
 1463 members, log on to HFFA’s website at www.hawaiifire-                         Kevin Kadooka                  4:04 (SHOPO member)
                                                                                   Kimo Lyman                     5:10
       Once in, click on the “members only” section. You will
 be prompted with a user name and password – with the user                         Edwin Tangunan                 5:12
 name being your first name, underscore and last name (no                          Keahi Palaualelo               5:33
 spaces). Your member’s password is your IAFF (International                       Brad Heatherly                 6:12 (SHOPO member)
 Association of Fire Fighters) number.                                             Ken Silva                      6:35
       For your convenience Personal Exposure Reports can be                       Bill Melemai                   7:51
 completed and submitted on line at
                                                                                   Anthony Sabatini               12:56 Please note the Honolulu Fire
 Department will no longer be accepting PERS on line through                       Isaac Raphael                  12:56
 the HFD intranet system. Please direct all of your PERS to the                    Roger Goodell                  12:57
 website listed above.                                                             Charles Griep                  12:57

                                                                                                                             Presorted Standard
          The Hawaii                                                                                                             U.S. Postage
                                                                                                                              Honolulu, Hawaii
                           An Official Publication of the
                           Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, Local 1463                                                         Permit No. 59

Hawaii Fire Fighters Association
IAFF Local 1463, AFL-CIO
2305 S. Beretania Street, Room 202
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826

To top