Los Angeles Firefighter by sanmelody

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                                                                                Los Angeles Firefighter
                                                                                Official Publication of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City—Local 112, IAFF, AFL-CIO-CLC
VOL. 47, NO. 5                                                                                                                                                                                      September/October 2009

Mayor Villaraigosa on the attack…

                                LAFD Ordered to Close 28 Fire Companies,
                                   Ambulances and Other Resources
       By Pat McOsker                                                                                                                                                                        his promised reduction of fire
            President                                                                                                                                                                        and paramedic protection for
  On August 6th, 2009, Mayor                                                                                                                                                                 the people of Los Angeles.
Villaraigosa began ordering 28                                                                                                                                                               Villaraigosa disingenuous
fire companies, ambulances,                                                                                                                                                                  and misleading the public
Paramedic Supervisors and                                                                                                                                                                       To this writer, the Mayor’s
Battalion Command Teams                                                                                                                                                                      actions seem calculated. It
closed each day, and for the                                                                                                                                                                 appears to me that his plan all
remainder of the fiscal year.                                                                                                                                                                along has been to make it
The     Mayor’s      ill-advised                                                                                                                                                             impossible for UFLAC to
brownout plan went into effect                                                                                                                                                               come to terms on a contract, to
despite repeated warnings by                                                                                                                                                                 downsize the LAFD by closing
UFLAC leadership regarding                                                                                                                                                                   fire companies and ambu-
the negative impact that such                                                                                                                                                                lances, and then blame fire-
an action would have on public                                                                                                                                                               fighters and their union for not
and firefighter safety. It was                                                                                                                                                               being willing to make sacri-
clearly communicated to him                                                                                                                                                                  fices. It will not work.
that the closures amounted to a                                                                                                                                                                 The people that we protect
ten percent reduction of the                                                                                                                                                                 know us better than that. They
LAFD’s emergency response                                                                                                                                                                    know that nobody is more will-
capability, and that the result                                                                                                                                                              ing, everyday, to make whatev-
would be longer response times                                                                                                                                                               er sacrifices are necessary than
to emergency incidents. We                                                                                                                                                                   LAFD firefighters. Hundreds
further explained that in our                                                                                                                                                                of our members have made the
business, seconds can mean the                                                                                                                                                               ultimate sacrifice over the
difference between life and                                                                                                                                                                  years, and this generation
death.                                                                                                                                                                                       stands ready to do our part for
  Sadly, the Mayor’s actions                                                                                                                                                                 the people of Los Angeles,
were calculated to affect the                                                                                                                                                                whatever that may be. Of
outcome of current contract                                                                                                                                                                  course we trust that the Mayor
negotiations between UFLAC                                                       Prior to Mayor Villaraigosa’s cutbacks and brownouts of Los Angeles City fire stations, over                got it right when he struck a
and the City. The two sides                                                      500 off duty firefighters marched on City Hall to protest his ill-conceived and dangerous plan.             deal with 22,000 civilians in
have been far apart since early                                                                                                                      Photo by Gene Blevins, EPN              July. He must have done the
July when the Mayor came to                                                                                                                                                                  math and calculated correctly
terms on a new contract with                                                     cutbacks necessary to get the      tion union leaders were quick       ians, LAFD firefighters will         the level of sacrifice needed
22,000 civilian workers repre-                                                   City through the current finan-    to point out to their members       have to rollback pay and bene-       from, if shared equally by, all
sented by unions under the                                                       cial crisis.                       that the deal included no reduc-    fits in order to get a deal that     city employees in order to get
umbrella of the Coalition of                                                                                        tion in anyone’s pay or bene-       preserves our service. Further-      through this downturn. If how-
City Unions. Up to that point,                                                   …the Mayor’s definition of         fits, but rather included sub-      more, the harsh terms that the       ever he erred and his calcula-
UFLAC leadership and the                                                          “sharing” and ours are            stantial improvements in years      Mayor’s negotiators have dic-        tions were wrong, we under-
Mayor had been engaged in                                                        two very different things.         three, four and five. UFLAC         tated at the bargaining table        stand that. Just fix it…and open
what appeared to be productive                                                                                      congratulated both parties, and     would spread the pain of pay         our closed resources before
talks toward our own agree-                                                        When the Mayor suddenly          offered to accept the terms of      cuts unevenly among our mem-         someone gets killed.
ment. More specifically, we                                                      shifted his attention to the       their agreement in a contract       bers, cutting deepest into the          Despite all that’s gone on –
were meeting in the hope of                                                      civilian unions and struck a       for firefighters. Unfortunately,    take-home pay and future pen-        all the bad faith treatment
developing a “shared sacrifice”                                                  deal with them, he hailed it as    we quickly learned that the         sions of those in the rank of        we’ve gotten from the Mayor
contract that might serve as the                                                 the model for “shared sacri-       Mayor’s definition of “shar-        firefighter. It is a proposal that   and his negotiators these past
template for any city union                                                      fice”, and boasted that jobs and   ing” and ours are two very dif-     was designed so that we would        few months – we are still ready
willing to share equally in the                                                  services had been saved with       ferent things.                      never be able to accept it. Now,     to help and still eager to do our
                                                                                             no furloughs and          Since July the Mayor’s posi-     because we have balked, the          share. All that we ask – just as
                                                                                             no layoffs. Coali-     tion has been that, unlike civil-   Mayor has moved ahead with           we’ve said right from the start
                                                                                                                                                                                             – is that whatever sacrifices we
                     Los Angeles, CA
                      Postage Paid

                                                                                                                                                                                             make be shared equally with all
                                                                                                                                                                                             of our brothers and sisters in

                                                                                                                                                                                             city service. Shared sacrifice
                                                                                                                                                                                             ought to be shared after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                             Backed by over 100 off-duty
                                                       September/October 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                             firefighters at the elected offi-
The Los Angeles Firefighter

                                                                                                                                                                                             cial’s vehicle entrance of City
                                                                                                                                                                                             Hall, UFLAC President Pat
                              1571 BEVERLY BOULEVARD
                                LOS ANGELES CA 90026

                                                                                                                                                                                             McOsker refutes the misin-
                                                                                                                                                                                             formation campaign of Mayor

                                                                                                                                                                                             Antonio Villaraigosa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Rick McClure, LAFD

                                                                                                                                                                                              There is nothing
                                                                                                                                                                                             that can’t be done
                                                                                                                                                                                               if we raise our
                                                                                                                                                                                                voice as One!
Page 2                                                                                    Los Angeles Firefighter                                                      September/October 2009

Report from the 1st Vice President…
                            The Mayor’s Plan - A Design for Disaster
                                            the Chief said he had no alter-           reductions and the resulting          on City Hall and told the           holes and trim trees and bushes
                                            native but to submit which                delays in the initial stages of a     Mayor and City Council what         (which by the way are still in
                                            companies were to be affected             fire, greatly increases the           would happen if these cuts          the budget) you don’t at the
                                            under orders from Councilman              potential death or injury to our      were made. Sadly our com-           same time reduce fire and para-
                                            Bernie Parks.                             firefighters and paramedics.          ments fell on deaf ears with the    medic resources.
                                               At the time of this writing,              Since before the August 6th        Mayor and a few council mem-
                                            Chief Barry is on vacation and            implementation of the Mayor’s         bers…but thankfully, not all. In             Negotiations
                                            officially retiring in a couple of        Plan, UFLAC has been on               fact, Councilmember’s Janice           Your UFLAC Negotiating
                                            weeks. On a side note…work-               record opposing these cuts.           Hahn and Jose Huizar know           Team has met with the City
                                            ing with Chief Barry was a                Since then the members and            how grave the situation is.         team ongoing now since about
                                            positive      experience       for        your executive board have not         They were not intimidated by        April of this year. We know the
                                            UFLAC. Unlike his predeces-               stopped in our efforts to make        others on the council to speak      economic realities of the City,
       by Paul Gilbrook                     sor, Chief Bill Bamattre, Barry           the public aware of the devastat-     out against the Mayor’s disas-      State, and Country and have
      First Vice President                  is respected for his honesty and          ing effects these cuts will have.     trous plan.                         brought numerous concessions
  As of August 6th, 2009 the                openness to work with us on all              All UFLAC members should              We will not stop our informa-    to alleviate brownouts to save
LAFD initiated the Mayor’s                  issues facing our members. I’m            take every opportunity to let         tional campaign to alert the cit-   money, and allow the city time
plan to close 28 fire companies,            sorry to see him go. Having               the public know of these cuts in      izens in spite of the misinfor-     to get back to a stable economic
ambulances, EMS Captains                    said that, we now have an inter-          the LAFD and what it means to         mation and phony propaganda         position. Unfortunately the City
and Battalion Command Teams                 im Fire Chief in command and              them. Please encourage Los            being made by the Mayor and         has rejected all of our proposals
every day…indefinitely. The                 I implore him to immediately              Angeles citizens to contact the       the “termed out” Councilman         in their entirety. At the time of
plan also permanently closed 9              put the Mayor and Council, as             Mayor at (213) 978-0600 and           Greig Smith. Saving lives and       this writing they have only
Captain/ Paramedics from                    well as the citizens of Los               their respective City Council         property is serious business…       brought two written proposals
service. The rotational closing             Angeles on alert that this                members to restore the LAFD           saying it plain and simple,         to the table, and they were total-
of fire and paramedic compa-                reduction in fire and paramedic           to its former levels before the       “give us the tools and staffing     ly absurd. They included a 10 to
nies is the result of a 39 million          services be restored immedi-              brownouts took effect.                levels to do our job, that’s all    20% reduction in pensionable
dollar reduction in the LAFD                ately before a tragedy occurs.                                                  we ask.” Prior to the brownouts     salary. Ridiculous!
budget.                                        Numerous reports and stud-                   It’s the job of every           we were already doing an out-          We are working closely with
  The architects of this disas-             ies complied by the Interna-              member of UFLAC to fight              standing job of providing fire      the Police Protective League
trous plan are Mayor Anto-                  tional Association of Fire                 the Mayor’s Plan before a            protection and paramedic serv-      negotiating team and will keep
nio Villaraigosa, Coun-                     Fighters (IAFF) have shown                         tragedy occurs               ices to the City with one of the    meeting with the City to resolve
cilmember’s Greig Smith and                 rapid response and intervention              What we don’t want is a            most understaffed fire depart-      these negotiations. Basically,
Bernie Parks. With their dan-               is the best way in dealing with           repeat of what happened the last      ments in the nation. The            we are only asking for the same
gerous and ill-advised cutbacks             structure fires, brush fires,             time we had ill-advised and           Mayor’s Plan is most certainly      contract the Mayor and council
in providing adequate fire and              heart attacks and major emer-             recalcitrant politicians cutting      a design for disaster. It’s not a   have already signed with the
rescue protection to the City of            gencies.                                  the LAFD. It was 1991 when            question of “if”, but “when”        22,000 other union members
Los Angeles, these politicians                 The Mayor’s Plan has taken             the mayor and council made the        that tragedy will strike.           working for the City of L.A.
have completely turned their                that ability away from the men            same mistakes our current                The Mayor should have pri-       That is not asking for too
backs on the citizens they have             and women of this organiza-               Mayor and council are doing,          oritized his budget cuts proper-    much…just treat us the same.
sworn to protect.                           tion. In addition to the devas-           and reduced services to the pub-      ly without cutting the uni-         Your negotiating team, working
  Your UFLAC Executive                      tating effect these cutbacks              lic. It was only 30 days into the     formed services. Just like a        with our lead negotiator and
Board met with Fire Chief                   have on civilians, these cuts             brown outs and a fire occurred        family budget, when economic        UFLAC Business Representa-
Douglas Barry before the                    will have a serious impact on             with deadly results. A family         times are tough you tighten         tive Mike McOsker will keep
brownouts were to take effect.              the remaining firefighters and            lost 6 members in an apartment        your belt and provide food,         you updated as we go. I can
We implored him to take the                 paramedics because they will              fire due to the closest light force   shelter and pay your bills. You     proudly say with admiration
position of standing with us in             try to go faster and work hard-           being browned out. The delay          don’t go on vacation, spend         that without Mike McOsker
opposition to any cutbacks that             er during an emergency just to            of the next in Truck Company          lavishly, and not take care of      leading this negotiation,++ we
would certainly result in longer            make up for the loss of                   was too little, too late!             the essentials first. The same      would be in the worst possible
response times, bigger fires,               resources and staffing. The                  UFLAC is on record, over           goes for the City of Los Ange-      position of any employee group
and loss of life. Unfortunately             IAFF studies also show any                500 of our members marched            les. Though it’s nice to fill pot   in the City.

PSD Issues…
                       The LAFD Professional Standards Division
                                                            (An oxymoron if ever there was one…)
                                            pline, and the shenanigans by             These issues include Firefight-       get very far. You would figure      factors. The member then
                                            the Professional Standards                er safety, passing important          that an Assistant Chief put in      requests an appeal to the sus-
                                            Division (PSD) Chief Officers             legislation for firefighters at       charge of the PSD has some          pension to have it heard before
                                            who run it. I want to reiterate           the state and federal levels, and     horse power to make decisions.      a Board of Rights (3 random
                                            like I do in most every arti-             negotiating better working con-       Wrong…often the Assistant           Chief Officers). What happens
                                            cle… The Firefighter Bill of              ditions and wages for you…not         Chief has to run to the City        next is that the member never
                                            Rights (Assembly Bill 220) is             chasing an unnecessary and out        Attorney to have them make an       gets their appeal and the Chiefs
                                            not a ‘get out of jail free card’         of control ‘anonymous’ Com-           elementary decision for him.        in PSD give them a reprimand
                                            for our bargaining unit mem-              plaint Tracking System (CTS)          This is because in PSD you          a year or years late.
                                            bers.                                     cases.                                have Rookies training Rookies,        The reason the ‘Operations
                                               The union wants a well disci-             Courts of law routinely            a very dangerous recipe. Rook-      Bureau’ doesn’t handle disci-
       By Frank Lima                        plined Fire Department as                 throw cases out for several rea-      ie meaning that the Chiefs in       pline anymore is because the
      2nd Vice President                    much as anybody so we can                 sons; evidence was obtained           charge of PSD have zero back-       Deputy Chiefs that ran it
  Here we go again with the                 then spend more quality time              improperly /tampered with,            ground in discipline; they’ve       failed…it is that simple. The
hot topic in the arena of disci-            on important firefighter issues.          statute dates, double jeopardy,       never represented a member          Deputy Chief in charge of the
                                                                                      etc. Although the LAFD hear-          from the defense side or been       Emergency Services Bureau,
  In This Issue . . .                                                                 ings are administrative in            in investigations as an internal    who was more obsessed with
  Article                                                                Page(s)      nature there are many laws that       affairs investigator.               discipline rather than running
                                                                                      the Chief Officers running PSD          Reprimands (which defined         his Bureau, didn’t help the
  LAFD Budget Cuts –
                                                                                      simply ignore, or more alarm-         by law are punitive discipline)     cause either. An audit by the
    Firefighters and Citizen Protests . . . . . . . . . . 1-3, 8, 9
                                                                                      ingly, cannot make a decision         are PSD’s new way out of            City Controller’s office fol-
  The LAFD PFD –                                                                      at all (Emphasis Added). A sug-       cases they cannot handle or do      lowed and suggested an over-
    An oxymoron if there ever was one . . . . . . . . . . 2, 4, 5                     gestion to save company               not want to handle. For exam-       haul of the LAFD discipline
  Officer Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-7   resources (Brown Out Clo-             ple, a case in which a member       and hence the birth of the Pro-
  The Body Scan: Improving Length and                                                 sures) would be to have a City        receives a 10 day suspension        fessional Standards Division.
    Quality of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6   Attorney run PSD for the inde-        unfairly, brings mitigating facts     The Fire Commission has
  Employee Assistance Corner –                                                        cisive Chiefs running it. I say       to the same mentioned Chief         written objective measures of
    Don’t Let Debt Bury You! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7            this because whenever the             Officers in a pre-disciplinary      success to evaluate the new
  The Truth about Generic Drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10                UFLAC discipline committee            hearing (Skelly). The member        PSD. Here are two examples of
  Remembering the “LAFD Hook and Ladder Lads” . 14                                    meets with these officers to          is then ignored and given the       the many:
  Lest We Forget…9/11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16          ‘fix’ or ‘make the new system         suspension anyway, even after         • Significantly shorten time
                                                                                      work better’ we often do not          presenting several mitigating                   Continued on page 4
September/October 2009                                                          Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                            Page 3

    Report from the President

                                                                                                                                                               By Pat McOsker

                   Devastating Cutbacks in the LAFD
   We are going to prevail.                                                                                                                             we really need ‘em. Well, we
These brownouts are going to                       Mayor Villiariagosa bashes firefighters                                                              see you there...and we hear you
come to an early end. I refuse                                                                                                                          as well. So far, some have been
to say we’re going to “win”                              and misleads the public                                                                        champions and some have been
because our so-called “win”                                                                                                                             dead wrong. But the biggest
might coincide with someone            reductions. As a matter of fact,        As this is being written we are    ger seat everywhere he goes,          group is right in the middle;
else’s great loss. That is; some       he knows that we’ve been the         only a few days into the              but none of that makes him            those who have yet to take a
innocent person might get              only party to our negotiations       brownouts. I hope and pray they       king. He’s a guy with a job to        position. We’ll be watching
killed before the Mayor and            that is even interested in a get-    are over by the time you read it.     do, just like us, and his job is to   and recording for posterity
other elected officials come to        ting a deal worked out.              They may not be, but as I said        support and facilitate our life-      what you say and do now that
their senses and call off the             Months ago, when the Mayor        above: we will prevail. What          saving work from his cozy cor-        the Mayor has stripped fire and
brownouts. I certainly hope and        unveiled his budget, I was the       has been very heartening these        ner office.                           paramedic protection from
pray that’s not the case, but it       first union leader in the city to    first few days is the way union                                             your constituents, and put mine
might be. That scenario has            acknowledge the depth of this        members have pulled together                We are watching                 – my LAFD brothers and sis-
been my greatest concern, and          financial crisis. I promised then    in a time of crisis. We’ve had lit-     The same applies to all the         ters – at greater risk of death or
has motivated all that we at           that firefighters would do           erally hundreds of volunteers         other elected officials that the      injury every day that they go to
UFLAC have done and said,              whatever was necessary to pre-       give their time and energy to the     taxpayers of Los Angeles put          work. It needs to be fixed.
right from the start.                  serve jobs and services. At the      cause of making the public            into their offices. Too many of
   If a life is lost that could have   Mayor‘s invitation, our chief        aware of the danger that the          them love to come around and          Fraternally,
been saved, it will be a terrible      negotiator and I sat down with       Mayor is subjecting them to. I        pose with us at campaign time,
tragedy, but it won’t be our           him right away to propose cre-       shouldn’t be surprised: Nobody        but then duck for cover when
fault. UFLAC leaders have been         ative solutions to the contract      responds better in a tough situa-
as proactive as we possibly            dilemma we faced. He must            tion than an LAFD member
could be on this issue. We’ve          have liked our ideas because he      …nobody understands the need
repeatedly warned the Mayor            took the proposals we made,          for teamwork in the midst of a                        An Open Letter to
and the City Council about the         sweetened them just a bit, and       battle better than a professional
danger of closing fire compa-          then offered them to the City’s      firefighter.                                          Mayor Villaraigosa
nies, ambulances and paramedic         civilian workers. They gladly           And we aren’t alone in this
resources. I’ve put our concerns       accepted.                            battle. Several neighborhood           Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,
in writing, stated them from the                                            council leaders have come for-
podium in City Council cham-              Mayor attacks working             ward already to support our               I’m very sorry to hear that you’re upset with UFLAC’s
bers, and spoken to the public           firefighters – stonewalls          cause. Using their extensive           recent efforts to inform the public about your decision to close
through the news media. And                     in negotiations             networks, they’ve solicited            28 fire companies and ambulances. Of course, I understand
hundreds of you have been there           Now of course, the Mayor          hundreds of letters, phone calls       why you wouldn’t want people to know what you’ve done,
as well, doing your part to put        says that the deal he made with      and emails to the Mayor and            and what the impacts are on their neighborhoods and their
them on notice and to wash our         civilians is too good for us. He     Council Members. A couple of           safety. Nonetheless, we believe that people have a right to
hands clean in this dirty gamble       is entitled to his opinion, but I    them have written to the news-         know the facts. I invite you to swallow some pride and join in
with human lives.                      think there is something that        papers as well, and one is even        our effort...why not provide full disclosure if you’re proud of
   But the Mayor pulled the trig-      he’s not saying. Given the fact      planning a community event.            your decision? It’s not too late to start.
ger anyway. He said that his           that his negotiators haven’t                                                   As you know, we have an interactive company-closure map
decision to begin withholding          been willing to budge an inch         Union funds a vast public             on our website at www.uflac.org. Since you’ve got nothing to
10% of the LAFD’s life-saving          in all these months, it would              information effort               hide about brownouts, you could link to it from the City’s
service from the public was            seem that this closure of LAFD          We have also begun working          website. You could also help us deliver informational signs to
motivated by his inability to get      resources is part of a plan to       with a professional communi-           browned-out firehouses. We’ve got plenty more signs already
“further concessions” from             take advantage of the current        cations company to plan and            built for the next round of closures. Those signs really let peo-
UFLAC in contract talks. On            economic downturn and use it         coordinate our public informa-         ple what’s going on in their particular neighborhood.
the day the brownouts began, he        as an excuse to downsize our         tion effort. Dakota Communi-              And as long as I’m appealing to you for clarity in our deal-
held a press conference in Hol-        department. The game seems to        cations is helping us develop          ings, I might as well ask one more favor: Please stop saying
lywood to highlight his public         be: offer the union something        mail, make phone calls, capture        that our campaign to inform the public about your brownouts
safety credentials. He was there       they could never go for, close       the media’s interest, plan ral-        has something to do with our contract negotiations. You know
to talk about the police presence      fire companies and ambu-             lies, neighborhood walks and           better. You know that our fight to keep LAFD resources open
in the neighborhood, but it did-       lances, and then blame the fire-     other events. The goal is to           and available to the public actually works against us at the
n’t take long for a reporter to        fighters for not being willing to    fully and honestly inform the          bargaining table. In fact, if we were after a better contract
ask       him      about      LAFD     do their part in a time of crisis.   public in every way possible,          we’d say, “Go ahead and close the resources - save the money
brownouts. Clearly unnerved,              It’s all baloney of course. We    because letting the people see         - then apply the savings to our pay and benefits.” But we
he responded that “nobody              are more than willing to do our      what’s going on here is crucial.       aren’t saying that. Instead, we’re doing what firefighters
cared about 87 firefighters per        part. At the negotiating table       Ultimately, it will be up to ordi-     always do: putting public safety first... even ahead of our own
day” and that the union’s claims       we’ve put it in writing. We’d be     nary citizens to fix this mess.        self interests. So again, please open those life-saving
about safety “didn’t pass the          glad to share the sacrifices         Our esteemed Mayor needs a             resources immediately Mr. Mayor.
smell test”. When pressed fur-         equally with other workers…          gentle reminder from the peo-             And finally this regarding the negotiations that you keep
ther he said that the closures         we’ll take the deal today that       ple who elected him that pro-          bringing up: I want to repeat here again for the umpteenth time
he’d ordered were our fault            we proposed to the Mayor             viding for the public’s safety is      that we firefighters will do whatever it takes to get Los Ange-
because “the firefighters refuse       months ago. But he isn’t inter-      his first and most important           les through this economic downturn. All that we ask in return
to take a pay cut”.                    ested in fairness and he doesn’t     responsibility.                        is that our sacrifices be shared equally with other city workers.
                                       want labor peace. His negotia-          Let’s be clear here: We are at      As you know, that has been our position from the start and it
   UFLAC acting in good                tors continue to insist that fire-   odds with a just couple of deci-       remains so. You called for “shared sacrifice” months ago, and
    faith from the start –             fighters take on a much greater      sion makers right now, and no          we said “yes”. Now let’s bring this dangerous contest of wills
     Mayor gives Union                 burden than civilian workers.        one else. Let’s continue to stick      to an end. Open the fire companies and ambulances and let’s
    Proposal to Civilians              Even worse, they propose to          together, operate as safely as is      finish a “shared sacrifice” contract that is fair and just to
  What the Mayor isn’t                 spread the pain of pay cuts          possible in our profession, and        LAFD firefighters and paramedics.
acknowledging is the fact that         unevenly within our bargaining       remember who we really work
UFLAC has been acting in               unit, punishing those in the rank    for: the people of Los Angeles.           Sincerely,
good faith for five months now,        of firefighter far worse than the    The Mayor isn’t the boss of               Pat McOsker
seeking a fair contract, one that      rest of us. If they think we’re      you and me. He makes a lot of             President, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City
would help the City get through        going for that, they don’t know      money, eats in the finest restau-
this crisis without service            UFLAC firefighters very well.        rants, and travels in the passen-
Page 4                                                                         Los Angeles Firefighter                                                       September/October 2009

                   The LAFD Professional Standards Division
Continued from page 2               is, a company is closed, the wit-      do an official investigation after       • The U.S. Supreme Court         publically      praising    the
for resolution of complaints        ness or subject is sent down-          you ask them, “Could these            has defined the defense repre-      Chiefs/Management who do
and reprimands                      town to be recorded, the other         questions lead to discipline?”        sentative’s role, and to the        have integrity, are competent
   • Fewer member opted Board       member from the closed ambu-           They have to advise you that          PSD’s dislike, it is not to just    with their job, and treat union
of Rights                           lance sits around doing                you are under investigation and       be a potted plant observer. In      members with respect. You
   Now why do we have cases         absolutely nothing, and the            also entitled to a representative     fact the defense representative     know who you are; and you are
that are STILL UNRE-                defense rep stays at their station     (which often- times gets              is there and charged with being     treated with respect and profes-
SOLVED for over a year and in       because they have not been             missed). Then on a recorded           an advocate for the member          sionalism by the Union
some cases, dating back to          released by the PSD/ERO.               tape, they often follow by com-       requesting assistance, as well      because you have the respect of
2007? PSD is so worried about          We have had several of these        pelling your statement with a         as to assist the employer with      the rank and file union mem-
adhering to policies when it is     interrogations take place where        direct order, followed up by          the facts of the case.              bers…thanks.
convenient to them and not the      members walk in without a              threatening you with insubordi-          • Remember – The simple
members. As far as fewer            representative and the PSD             nation up to and including termi-     presence of a union representa-           Work/Life Balance
member opted Board of Rights,       knows it, the ERO knows it,            nation. No big deal, huh? I’ll let    tive = Fairness                        This one applies to not only
the last several members I rep-     and the member has to go               you decide that fact.                    You can do everything 100%       our Local 112 firefighters
resented who requested an           through an interrogation with-            Remember a few basics…             textbook correct on an inci-        working 112 hours minimum
appeal to their unfair suspen-      out representation. What a             I’ve represented hundreds of          dent/inspection and still get a     every two weeks, but in life
sion never got their request.       shame! These are facts that the        members including a 33 year           complaint from an irate/unrea-      itself. Technology of text mes-
The PSD Commanders just let         union is working on correcting,        decorated Captain who never           sonable citizen.                    saging, emails to Blackberry’s,
it hang in the wind. Then a year    and these are the same Chief           received a suspension during his                                          etc. have changed the way we
or two goes by and you ask for      Officer decision-makers who            entire career until an asinine and         Labor/Management               live; it is a new game now,
a letter stating that the Depart-   want to become an IAFF Local           improper 120 day suspension                      Relations                especially as a union official.
ment decided to drop all            Union…the Managers who                 before he retired. Which by the          Trust is the big word here       The competition for promo-
charges is given to the member;     want to be a part of the House         way he later received 100%            with labor/management rela-         tions on this job is unbeliev-
they say, “Let me check on that     of Labor? Wow! If they are             reimbursement of his suspen-          tions. Often the managers           able, the opportunity for over-
one….Oh, we are just going to       serious about affiliating and          sion through arbitration. I bring     (Chiefs are management –            time is almost always there,
give that member a Reprimand        becoming a UNION, then they            this up because there are several     undisputed fact) get big prefer-    and then there is the balance of
and not the eight or ten day sus-   should act like it.                    outstanding members of all            ential treatment in comparison      family and friends. It is much
pension”. Just a reprimand?            It is my job to keep you post-      ranks in our Local; Engineers,        to us silver badge rank and file    easier said than done, but you
Just punitive discipline? For       ed on the factual things going         Inspectors, and others who that       union members. It is mind bog-      have to make time to take care
similar offenses by Chief Offi-     on downtown. If you are put in         think, ‘I’ll never be in that situ-   gling how the same high rank-       of yourself. It is easy get
cers you can bet you’ll never       this situation without a rep, or       ation’, I’ll just tell the Chief      ing deputy Chief Officers can       wrapped up in work and get
see a Chief Officer get a repri-    even better, PSD chooses your          everything before the investiga-      be guilty of retaliation numer-     pulled away from what is
mand. That is the unprofession-     rep (normally a ‘yes’ member)          tion’. Think again and remem-         ous times, cost the City mil-       important in your life; family,
al double standard that Chiefs      for you, please read the follow-       ber there is NO ADMINIS-              lions in multiple lawsuits, and     friends, faith, health and fun.
running the PSD continue to         ing into the record.                   TRATIVE EMERGENCY!                    yet still hold the same office      Take the time to go for an exer-
allow to happen.                       “I am making this statement            • If you make a voluntary          without even a reprimand to         cise, get a body scan, BBQ
   The PSD and the ERO              involuntarily, in compliance           statement to the Department           their name because of it. By the    with loved ones, tap out and
(Employee Relations Officer)        with a direct order made               you waive your 5th Amend-             way, retaliation according to       enjoy once in a while, etc. Do
continue to NOT let a member        under penalty of sanction              ment rights                           LAFD and City of Los Angeles        me that favor.
of Local 112 under investiga-       and/or termination. In com-               • Never encourage a member         standards is punishable up to
tion be provided the defense        pelling my statement without           to waive their rights                 and including termination. If a           Union/IAFF History
representative of choice (as        representation (of my choice),            • Never discourage a member        silver badge member just has a         You ever heard members
required by law). It is mind        you are in violation of the Cal-       to invoke their rights                ‘perception’ of retaliation, or     around the kitchen table say-
boggling that PSD will close a      ifornia Government Code,                  • You DO NOT have a duty           even a lesser offense of a possi-   ing, “What does my union dues
2 member rescue ambulance to        Sections 3250 through 3262,            to prove yourself innocent            ble hostile work environment        get me?” How about the diesel
investigate a member. That          and are subject to civil penal-           • Compulsion and consent do        through hearsay or an anony-        exhaust systems in our fire-
member is then ‘detailed’ to        ties prescribed by law. I do not       not go together                       mous complaint; PSD and the         houses? The City did not just
City Hall. The other member         waive any of my rights under              • EEO cannot give you a            same Deputies will send the         put them in for your health out
on the closed ambulance is          this law, our current M.O.U.           direct order; neither can the         EEO cavalry after them with         of the kindness of their heart.
then sitting around doing noth-     union contract, any other              Workforce Excellence Unit.            vengeance, looking for blood        Thank the one and only union
ing (undisputed fact). Now          local, state or federal law, or        Remember, civilians cannot            because ‘they will not tolerate,    in the LAFD, IAFF Local 112
comes the defense representa-       my right to remain silent              give you a direct order.              and have a zero tolerance of        for that. Here are a few exam-
tive of the member’s choice         under the 5th and 14th                    • If you are ordered to make a     that kind of behavior under         ples to make you aware of
who is working the same day at      Amendments of the United               written statement and it is after     their command’. They support        where your dues money is
another firehouse. The PSD          States Constitution”.                  business hours against your           the above statement only when       going at the IAFF level. Your
Chiefs and the ERO jointly                                                 will (whether it be an official       it applies to Local 112 Union       dues also go towards dental
have decided to dig their heels     AB220 and Your Rights as               F-225 letterhead, memo,               members.                            insurance, to the Local 112
in, bow their backs, refuse to                 a Firefighter               email…it is all the same).               I’ve heard over and over that    office, the CPF, and the IAFF.
treat Local 112 union members         You need to protect yourself         Trust your gut instinct, and yes      Chief Officers are to be held to       • 1958 Redmond Foundation
with respect, and not provide a     because your Chief will not.           this continues to happen when         a higher standard, yet that         – Library for disabilities and
defense representative.             LAFD Chiefs (a unique breed            Chiefs take advantage of a            statement is all talk. How about    pension
   The unused member on the         compared to other Departments)         union member. If you are in           when a Chief Officer is under          • 1977 Mc McLennan Schol-
rescue ambulance is not sent to     often will try to get you to make      this situation, just add an open-     investigation, a union official     arship (for college/deaths of
the firehouse where the defense     a voluntary statement to them          ing statement such as… “My            should be placed as part of the     FF’s kids)
representative is. The defense      after telling you, “Hey this is no     completion of the required            investigation team to ensure           • 1979 Deferred Compensa-
rep could easily be relieved (as    biggie, just a little administrative   memo/email/report was pre-            the proper integrity of the PSD     tion plans for FF’s
has been past practice) and sent    process where I’m gathering            ceded by my assertion of the          process and that in fact Chiefs        • 1982 California first state to
to downtown to be a defense         facts, etc”. DO NOT GIVE               right to silence, but that the        are held to a higher standard?      win cancer presumptive law
representative during the inter-    ANY VOLUNTARY STATE-                   invocation of my rights was           They would never have it!           (state by state law)
rogation. So what is happening      MENTS…EVER! Make them                  overridden by a direct order”.           I want to end this topic by                 Continued on page 5

Left to right: Boston Local 718 President Ed Kelly, UFLAC 2nd
VP Frank Lima and IAFF District VP Mike Mullane. Kelly and                 Garage fire in the 8200 block of Beeman Ave. The fire was knocked down in about 10 minutes.
Mullane were great hosts to the Lima family while they were                Two large dogs perished in the blaze.
vacationing on the east coast in August.                                                                                 Photo and information by Mike Meadows, EPN
September/October 2009                                                              Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                        Page 5

Continued from page 4                                                                                                                                     office and your local City
   • 1985 IAFF wins FLSA                                                                                                                                  Council member to express
overtime for Firefighters                                                                                                                                 your opposition to brownouts
   • 1987 NFPA 1500 = More                                                                                                                                of fire companies. Districts
Safety for Firefighters                                                                                                                                   and phone numbers are on
   • 1996 Firefighter wellness/                                                                                                                           the UFLAC Website.
fitness initiative-behavioral
health and peer fitness trainer                                                                                                                                         Safety
   You are always welcome to                                                                                                                                 September is a month where
contact any Local 112 Board                                                                                                                               the Annual IAFF Fallen Fire-
member via email or cell                                                                                                                                  fighter Memorial is held in
phone, call the UFLAC office                                                                                                                              Colorado Springs, Colorado. If
direct, or even better, come by                                                                                                                           you have never been it is worth
and see your union hall (emails                                                                                                                           seeing and paying tribute to
on website). Your staff at the                                                                                                                            once in your lifetime. In anoth-
CPF (California Professional                                                                                                                              er sad year for Firefighters,
Firefighters) and the IAFF are                                                                                                                            there were over 100 deaths,
outstanding and always ready                                                                                                                              duty related and incident con-
to serve and help.                                                                                                                                        nected. Several deaths are from
                                                                                                                                                          very basic things such as acci-
    National Conference                                                                                                                                   dents without seat belts, to
           of Mayors                                                                                                                                      heart attacks at an incident.
  A few months back the                 Breaking Labor’s Cardinal Rule...                                                                                    In these tough times with Los
National Conference of May-                                                                                                                               Angeles’ Mayor Villaraigosa
ors was held in Providence,                Mayor’s Cross Providence RI Firefighters Picket Lines                                                          choosing to close 28 fire com-
Rhode Island. The Providence              Providence Mayor David N.             session on the last day of the         labor dispute. Others like San     panies daily and compromise
Firefighters picketed around            Cicilline, left, talks with Anto-       U.S. Conference of Mayors 7th          Francisco Mayor Newsome            firefighter and civilian safety,
the conference because of the           nio R. Villaraigosa, center,            annual meeting in Providence at        and New York City Mayor            we must be extra careful in our
unfair treatment by their Mayor         mayor of Los Angeles, and               the R.I. Convention Center.            Bloomberg and the Obama            tactics on the fire ground
in Providence who they sup-             Manuel A. Diaz, mayor of                  Mayor Villaraigosa crossed           Administration      cancelled      because we will be put into
ported to get elected (funny            Miami and president of the U.S.         the Providence Firefighters            their visit to the conference      very dangerous positions. For
how they turn on you). It was           Conference of Mayors, before            Picket Line, ignoring ad-              because of the Firefighters        safety this month I’d like you
interesting to see who support-         the start of the business/plenary       vanced information about the           Picket Line.                       to please check your blood
ed labor, and who didn’t; who                                                                                                                             pressure (in private if you
crossed the picket line, and            pledged support of Firefight-             Where was the Mayor of Los           first warning that the Mayor       wish) and began a wellness fit-
who didn’t. It was refreshing to        ers. VP Biden along with Hilda          Angeles…the dedicated labor            would flip on his promise to       ness initiative. It is never too
see Vice President Biden keep           Solis, the Secretary of Labor in        politician? Demonstrating the          not compromise firefighter and     late, so do me that favor and
his word to labor, not cross the        President Obama’s cabinet, and          height of hypocrisy, Mayor             civilian safety. It shows by his   please be extra safe out there
picket line, and boycott the            other White House officials             Antonio Villaraigosa was in            recent closing of 28 compa-        while unfortunately working
conference. We met with VP              boycotted the entire conference         Providence, Rhode Island               nies a day in the City of Los      shorthanded at fires.
Biden first hand last March, as         out of respect for union fire-          crossing the firefighter picket        Angeles.                              Sincerely,
well as last August where he            fighters.                               line! This should have been our           Please call the Mayor’s            Frank

Appeals Court Affirmed and Upheld…
                               Jury Award to LAFD Captain II Frank Lima
  The jury found that Captain II        served that the jury had not only       firefighters to have them be pre-      whether or not it’s properly be-      And it was Lima against the
Frank Lima, Second Vice Presi-          believed plaintiffs version of the      pared for the eventualities of hor-    fore the court by having been      fire department, and they chose
dent of United Firefighters             events, but had strong empathy          rible fires and lives that are lost.   raised by the city, and that’s     Lima. And they believed him in-
Local 112, IAFF, AFL-CIO-               for him.                                   And the jury completely re-         something I’m going to look        stead of the higher ups in the
CLC, was retaliated against               The trial court stated: “It           lated to him, it seems, and that’s     into because that was my           fire department. And the jury
when he refused to give prefer-         seems to me that there is a lot         what their verdict demonstrates.       biggest concern from the           has the right to make those
ential treatment to female fire-        that goes on in terms of a trial           And it was something that           minute the verdict came down.      credibility calls and determine
fighters. (For more detail, read        with a jury and whether or not          was undervalued by the city, the         But my comments really go        that.” Comments of Judge Pa-
the Appeal Court’s decision on          they believe someone and                sincerity of Captain Lima and          more towards an issue of not so    tricia Bigelow, see pg. 51 —
the link at the end of this article).   whether or not they find their          how the jury was going to . . .        much that the verdict was an       Appeals Court Opinion:
                                        testimony convincing.                   accept that and what happened.         emotional situation but that it
  The Appeals Court cited                 And part of what’s unstated           I indicated to you that I think        was one where it became a           http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/
       the opinion of the               from a dry transcript is it seems       that I have concerns about dam-        credibility contest and who                opinions/nonpub/
Superior Court trial judge,             to me that the jury found Frank         ages. I also have concerns about       were they going to believe.                 B202029.PDF
       Patricia Bigelow:                Lima to be quite credible, that the
   “It is clear the jury believed       jury related quite well to Mr.
plaintiff (LAFD Captain Frank           Lima, that he was someone who
Lima) and empathized with               joined the fire department early
him. During oral argument on            in his life, dedicated his life to it
defendants’ judgment notwith-           and came across apparently to
standing the verdict and new            the jury as someone who was
trial motions, the trial court ob-      sincere in his attempts to train

 For the Record...
 To David Zahniser/LA Times             LAFD at station 3, downtown),
 Hi David,                              I am eternally grateful to Cap-
    Captain Lima is a highly re-        tain Lima for his integrity and
 spected ACTIVE LAFD fire-              courage in standing up for the
 fighter. He is a Captain II            truth and pursuing justice. That
 currently assigned to Fire Sta-        he was retaliated against by his
 tion 69 in Pacific Palisades, and      superiors for refusing to give
 he is also 2nd VP of United            women firefighter’s preferen-
 Firefighters' of Los Angeles           tial treatment, and for putting
 City (UFLAC). www.uflac.org.           the safety of his crew and the
    I hope you are able to make         public he took an oath to serve
 this correction before the print       above "political correctness" is
 edition comes out tomorrow.            unconscionable. The public
    If you would like to contact        and taxpayers should be up in
 Captain Lima, email him at:            arms, and the offending chief
         flima@uflac.org                officers should have been
                                                                                A serious traffic accident involving 4 vehicles occurred at the intersection of Vernon and
    As the wife of a retired            given the boot a long time ago.
                                                                                Alameda. One male patient was entrapped and A critically injured. LAFD Task Force 14 extri-
 LAFD firefighter, and the
                                                                                cated the driver and RA 21 transported the patient. 3 additional ambulances were order by
 mother of two active firefight-          Thank you David.
                                                                                Vernon Fire Department, for patients complaining of neck and back pain.
 ers (one who works for the               Mrs. Chris Mattson
                                                                                                                            Photo and information by Jeff Zimmerman, EPN
Page 6                                                                         Los Angeles Firefighter                                                      September/October 2009

It’s only a matter of life or death…
   The Body Scan: Improving Length and Quality of Life
                                     to expect. You’ll then be placed      gets you to the right doctor at         • Abdominal and chest cavity      diagnosed the higher the sur-
                                     on a scanning bed, fully              the right time. Have you seen        aneurisms (balloon-like bulges       vival rate. Whether it’s breast
                                     clothed, and the scanner will         the video posted on the UFLAC        in weakened artery walls that        or lung cancer, early diagnosis
                                     quietly whirl around you in an        website of Jobe Leon talking         can grow to the point of rup-        leads to early treatment and
                                     open and airy tube. The com-          about his body scan experience?      ture, threatening life)              early treatment can keep the
                                     plete scan takes eight to ten         If you didn’t catch it…in 2000          • Thyroid and parathyroid         disease from spreading. The
                                     minutes. Within a short time,         Jobe was experiencing chest          disease                              American Cancer Society esti-
                                     your results will be available        pain. He followed the medical           • Uterine and ovarian disease     mates that cure rates would
                                     and a physician consultant will       chain of command and had a              • Prostate disease.               increase from 62 percent to 95
                                     discuss your scan with you. It        “complete work-up done.” The            • The spine for disc bulges       percent if a cancer is detected
                                     takes approximately 3 to 4            “work-up” showed no issues,          and structural abnormalities         early.
                                     hours for the entire process, but     areas of concern, or follow-up          Optional scans include a vir-       Dr. Eisenberg will tell you
   By Brian K. Hishinuma             it’s worth it.                        needs. Two weeks later, Jobe         tual colonoscopy and a neck          that the most important aspect
            Treasurer                   • I recently had my first body     was still experiencing the chest     scan.                                of the body scan is the under-
  • What if you could see            scan three months ago. Being a        pain and was given a partial            For some of you, it’s easier      standing that preventive medi-
inside your body in 3-D look-        32 year veteran of the LAFD           body scan. In that short scan and    not to know if a problem exists.     cine only begins with finding
ing for the smallest signs of        who exercised regularly, I            subsequent consultation, Jobe        Some of you believe if you’re        diseases at their earliest stage.
disease? What if this could be       knew something would proba-           learned he had a 90 percent          pre-programmed for a disease,        He recommends that adults in
done quickly, painlessly and         bly show up - a little choles-        blockage in one of his major         there’s nothing you can do. But      their mid to late 20’s, particu-
safely, with no recovery time?       terol build up and some wear          arteries. By the next morning        with many diseases, genetics         larly those with high risk fac-
Thanks to the work of Harvey         and tear on the joints. To my         Jobe was under the care of the       play a very small factor and         tors, consider having a baseline
Eisenberg, M.D. and Body             surprise, I had considerable          right doctor at the right time       you have control over more           scan. Re-examinations are rec-
Scan International, the technol-     cholesterol build up in places I      undergoing triple by-pass sur-       than you think. The good news        ommended between 1.5 to 4
ogy is available today.              didn’t know you could have it.        gery. Jobe’s comment: “It can        is that many of these diseases       years, depending on initial
  • Body Scan International             • The scan detected my con-        make the difference between          can be slowed, stopped or            results.
uses ultra-fast CT scanners          dition before I had symptoms.         being here and not.”                 even reversed if action is             No one loses with a body
with special software that           It allowed me to make changes            • With a body scan, you will      taken early.                         scan. Physicians gain support,
quickly scans and produces 3-        and stop the situation from           take a journey through your             To take full responsibility for   and patients benefit from earli-
D pictures of your torso. If you     moving into a crisis. I am put-       body, pinpointing not only           your health, you need knowl-         er and less invasive treatments
think of your torso in terms of a    ting some effort into stopping        areas of concern, but areas          edge - and that’s what a body        that expand the length and
loaf of pumpernickel bread cut       and reversing the process and         where your genetics and per-         scan gives you. Many of the          quality of life.
into ultra-thin slices, you get an   have since slimmed down and           sonal efforts are having posi-       most common diseases like              For those of you UFLAC-
idea of the extent to which your     managing what I eat. I feel           tive results. You will be look-      heart disease, cancer, diabetes      sponsored Anthem Blue Cross
body is being examined.              healthier now than I have in a        ing at micro-width slices            and osteoporosis are slow,           members and spouses interest-
  • The procedure is simple          long time.                            organs and bones such as:            cumulative processes that            ed in taking advantage of this
and, as a member of the                 • Since my scan, I’ve learned         • Heart and arteries, looking     occur over decades. These dis-       amazing technology, the Body
UFLAC-sponsored Anthem               that cholesterol build up can         for plaque and blockages that        eases are often symptom-less         Scan International trailer is
Blue Cross HMO or PPO plan,          start before you’re 20. If I had      may not be visible with tradi-       until they are life-threatening.     scheduled to be with us for four
is available at your doorstep.       had a scan in my 30’s, I would        tional exams                         Why wait to know? A body             consecutive days in October.
As you may have seen at the          have had the luxury of time to           • Internal organs, detecting      scan can give you time to con-       Appointments will be available
UFLAC office, the Body Scan          make        gradual,    low-key       very small tumors, cysts, or         trol a condition before it con-      from Thursday October 1, 2009
International trailer is not a       lifestyle changes instead of the      stones                               trols you; plus, common sense        to Tuesday, October 6. Sched-
stranger to our neighborhood,        hasty changes I’ve had to                • Lungs showing the earliest      tells us we’ll get better results    ule your appointment soon by
we’ve had more than 160              recently make. An earlier scan        stages of damage, emphysema          when a situation isn’t at crisis     calling 888-724-8439. You’ll
members visit its inner sanc-        would have also given me a            or lung cancer                       level.                               even get a reminder call 5 busi-
tum. The body scan is by             baseline, where later scans              • Breasts showing cysts or           When we’re talking about          ness days before your appoint-
appointment and we’ve already        could tell me if my preventive        masses as an augmentation to         cancer, a body scan is invalu-       ment.
scheduled open blocks of time        efforts were working. I also          regular mammograms or ultra-         able. A body scan can pick up          Remember, keep your physi-
for you later in the year.           would have had a gauge as to          sounds                               irregularities that are signs of     cian in the loop, this a is a
  • At your appointment, you’ll      how fast I was building up the           • Bone density and observing      pre-cancer long before an X-         “body scan” and you may
view a short video about the         cholesterol blockages.                the bone for early signs of          Ray or MRI can. Cancer can be        require additional consultation.
procedure so you’ll know what           • I believe a body scan also       osteoporosis                         aggressive and the earlier it’s      Take care of your health!

               LAFD Grievance Procedure – Delayed Justice
                                       Only a few grievances have          always ask for more time to            Resolved: 4                        what…only ONE Battalion
                                     been handled at the lowest lev-       review this process, delaying          Requested arbitration: 1           Chief is browned out. Is there
                                     els. The theory or hope is that       one to two more weeks.                       ___________                  any wonder why the “lifesav-
                                     you or your Union Rep might             After you get an arbitrator it                                          ing” boots on the ground (fire-
                                     forget to file on time or will file   will take from two to three               LAFD Brownouts                  fighters) are browned out com-
                                     the wrong paperwork, thereby          months before a meeting date.          The modified LAFD Budget           pared to the Chief Officers
                                     ending the grievance. The             That meeting will then be            Cutback Plans (Brownouts)            ranks? Unfortunately, they
                                     Department hopes that by              scheduled three to five months       were put together by high rank-      have once again demonstrated,
                                     stretching out the process the        later. If you are lucky it will      ing Chief Officers, and guess        “He who has the Gold rules!”
                                     member might get frustrated by        then take a month or two to get
                                     the long time it takes and give       a ruling…a complicated case
                                     up.                                   will take more time.
          By Jobe Leon                 If your grievance makes it            Bottom line…a grievance
             Director                through all levels (experience        may very well take a year to a
  Lately I’ve been receiving a       shows that from the informal          year and a half to reach a settle-
lot of phone calls about filing      (1st) to the 4th level the short-     ment. It seems that the only
grievances. Most of our mem-         est time it takes is around 165       way to shorten this process is to
bers have never filed a griev-       days). Occasionally an exten-         impose some form of sanctions
ance, but the ones who have          sion may be requested by the          on Management for purposely
will tell you that it takes forev-   grievant, but you can almost          stretching out a grievance.
er to get to the end of it…and       always count on Management                      ___________
that is by design. Department        going to the extreme.
management will purposely                                                      Two year history of
delay the process as long as                   Arbitration                       LAFD Grievances
possible.                              When no agreement is                  In 2008 there were 24 griev-
  The books say that griev-          reached on a grievance it takes       ances entered into:
ances should be handled at the       around 165 to 190 days before           Still open: 6
lowest level. That is not the        arbitration. You then have ten          Dropped by member: 7
way it works. At the 1st step        days to file for arbitration.           Resolved: 7
(informal level), the grievance      After getting a list of arbitra-        Requested arbitration: 4
information fly’s up the chain       tors, the Union and Manage-             In 2009 (to date) there were
of command…and then word is          ment have seven days to strike        13 grievances entered into:
sent down to stall and let it get
to the last level.
                                     names to get down to one arbi-
                                     trator.    Management      will
                                                                             Still open: 7
                                                                             Dropped by member: 1
                                                                                                                                    Never Forget!
September/October 2009                                                        Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                            Page 7

                                    An Introduction to Debt Collection
                                    telephone to demand payment.          harassing you, I would first try      and done, my friend ended up           garnish a percentage of your
                                    If you have never fallen prey to      to see if some settlement can be      paying nothing on this debt and        wages, put a lien on your real
                                    this, you’re lucky! However, if       agreed upon with the collection       her creditor has not been able to      estate and potentially force a
                                    you have been the victim of the       agency (e.g., one lump sum            harass her since. Furthermore,         sale, sweep out your bank
                                    harassing barrage of telephone        payment of a reduced amount           the bad debt is no longer show-        account through a bank levy,
                                    calls from debt collectors, then      or some type of structured set-       ing on her credit report. To           and/or have the sheriffs come
                                    you know exactly how frustrat-        tlement where you get to pay          make a long story short, here’s        into your home and attach non-
                                    ing, burdensome, and debilitat-       back your debt over a period of       what happened: I informed her          exempt personal assets.
                                    ing these calls can be. Addi-         time via installment payments).       that although she still technical-
                                    tionally, once you go into            Don’t try to avoid them unless        ly owed the money, there was               Filing for Bankruptcy
                                    default, debt collectors can also     they are unbearable and unco-         really nothing the creditor could            Blemishes Credit
                                    report these bad debts on your        operative. If you can work with       do to collect it. They couldn’t                  for 10 Years
        By Chuong Ho                credit report. Other than these       them, then I suggest you do           call her anymore (because of              One other option for consider-
            Director                two main tactics, collection          because they want to settle           her certified letter) and they         ation would be to file for pro-
   Much like our economy,           agencies are very limited as to       with you. They don’t want to          couldn’t sue her because of the        tection under the Federal Bank-
many of our personal finances       what they can and cannot do to        have to bring in lawyers to uni-      4 year statute of limitations.         ruptcy laws. Filing Bankruptcy
have also fallen on hard times.     collect a debt.                       laterally collect because the         Lastly, since this debt was over       will put a blemish on your cred-
You can see it all around the                                             price tag then goes up since the      6 years old and creditors can          it report for 10 years and you’ll
nation as commercial buildings         Possible ways we can               lawyers will have to be paid.         only report bad debts on your          first have to see if you qualify
go vacant and residential             fight back against these                                                  credit report for 7 years, she         for protection under the Bank-
homes fall into foreclosure.             collection agencies              Four (or Two) Year Statute            only had to ride it out a few          ruptcy Codes. I won’t start div-
However, one industry that             With regards to the ongoing,              of Limitations on              more months before her credit          ing into the Bankruptcy laws
thrives in these inopportune        harassing telephone calls, sim-               Debt Collection               report would be wiped clean of         now, but just know that it might
times is that of the collection     ply send them a certified letter         Keep in mind that a lawyer         this blemish. The moral of this        be something to consider. Also,
industry. For the obvious rea-      demanding they stop! Once             must sue within 4 years from          story, and as I echoed earlier, it’s   please understand that the infor-
sons, collection departments,       they receive this letter, they        the date of breach if the debt        always good to know the rules          mation provided here is general
agencies and collection law         must, for the most part, stop         was memorialized in writing (2        of the game prior to dealing           in nature and not intended as
firms have seen a steady rise in    calling you. Nevertheless, you        years if the debt was established     with your creditors.                   legal advice. If you do have
activity and business. I hope       must keep in mind that                via an oral agreement). With            As you may now be seeing,            issues related to this topic, you
that you’ll never have to deal      although the collection agency        this in mind, let me go off track     the collection agencies ultimate       should seek personal assistance
first hand with the people in       won’t be allowed to call you          for a little bit and tell you about   goal is to get you to voluntarily      and not rely on any of the gen-
this industry, but if you do, I     anymore, you still owe the            a friend I have who charged up        pay the debt back (with little to      eral information given here
believe (to effectively deal        money! Ergo, the collection           about $8,000 in credit card debt      no work on their part but for the      because each individual case
with them) it’s always best to      agency has really no other            when she was in college. Well,        multitude of telephone calls)          may have a unique fact to it
know what’s in their arsenal        option, but to either forget          you guessed it, she never paid        and if they are unsuccessful at        which could drastically impact
before they come calling.           about the debt or refer it to their   the credit card company back          getting you to cooperate, then         the outcome of the case.
   Let us first begin with the      lawyers (and this will often          and then after 6 years, the cred-     they will have to hire lawyers to         When seeking personal assis-
collection agencies. Collection     depend on the amount of               it card company came calling.         unilaterally collect through the       tance, I would direct you to use
agencies, for the most part, are    money in controversy). If they        She said they called her so           legal process. Of course, they         caution as there are many scam
non-lawyers that are in the         decide to get lawyers involved,       much that she just couldn’t take      would rather you settle with           companies out there! I would
business of collecting debts for    the lawyers will waste very lit-      it anymore. She mustered up           them than with the lawyers….           also direct you to our UFLAC
creditors. Creditors resort to      tle time, perhaps sending out         $5,000 by borrowing from her          Nevertheless, if successful in         EAP program (i.e., Nancy
collection     agencies     first   one letter and nothing more,          friends and was about to offer        the legal process (and most            Mraz and Jeffrey Harris) as
because it’s easier and cheaper     and if they get no response           the collection agency this            often they are successful              they have excellent informa-
for them, as opposed to refer-      and/or an unfavorable response,       money on the condition that           because these are pretty easy          tion on this subject and a qual-
ring them straight to law firms.    then a lawsuit will soon follow.      they leave her alone. However,        cases, that is, either you owe         ity referral program, which
In my opinion, the most power-         For this reason, it’s my opin-     prior to making the offer to          the money or you don’t), the           together, could put you back on
ful tool available to these col-    ion that prior to sending out the     them, she asked me to take a          lawyers then have a wide array         the right track toward debt
lection agencies is their ability   certified letter to the collection    look at her file to see what I        of tools in which to unilaterally      management, collections and
to consistently call you on the     agency telling them to stop           thought. Well, when all was said      collect on your assets. They can       credit repair. Good luck!

Employee Assistance Program…
                                                 Don’t Let Debt Bury You!
                                    a house of cards that can tum-        infrequently, such as property          Give us a call at (800) 252-         big fees and not deliver on the
                                    ble down at a moments notice.         taxes, or insurance premiums?         8352 and we will help you find         promises.
                                    The only way this works is that          • These are a sampling of          a reputable credit counseling             Being able to turn around
                                    you never get sick, or injured,       behaviors that are clear indica-      service. The good counseling           your financial picture requires
                                    and that overtime is always           tions that you may have created       services are being swamped by          a plan and persistence. If you
                                    available. Since life isn’t that      a shaky financial plan that           people who have fallen prey to         find yourself falling back into
                                    predictable for any of us, this is    needs to be evaluated and pos-        the predatory practices of peo-        old spending patterns, pull out
                                    gambling with your financial          sibly reworked. In the next list      ple promising to “fix credit”          your budget, check that it is
                                    future.                               are things you can institute          and “consolidate debts”, only          still a realistic plan and get
                                      Listed below are some com-          immediately that can help you         to take the consumers money in         back on track.
                                    mon warning signs that you            regain control over your
                                    may be heading into financial         finances:
        By Nancy Mraz               trouble:                                 • Make a list of everything
         CEAP Director                • Am I charging day to day          you owe and pay out on a
  The topic that seems to be on     expenses, i.e. groceries?             monthly basis.
everyone’s mind today is              • Am I paying only minimum             • For a week keep track of
finance. With the economy in        monthly payments on credit            everything you spend and what
recession, people losing jobs,      cards?                                it’s for.
and tax revenues dropping at          • Are my balances increasing           • Know where ALL your
all levels of government, how       on my credit cards?                   money is going, even that trip
we’re going to make it finan-         • Have I withdrawn money            to Starbuck’s.
cially is a concern for every-      from deferred comp, or am I              • Create a realistic spending
one. Our focus in the EAP is on     considering it, to pay bills?         plan that you can live with and
our individual members, and           • Have I depleted any emer-         stick to it.
your extended families.             gency savings I might have               Start a savings account for
  One of the most frequent cir-     had?                                  emergencies if you don’t
cumstances we see in our office       • Am I unable to save for           already have one.
is the person who may have          emergencies?                             While these are simple
overextended themselves in the        • Next months bills arrive          changes in behavior, your situ-
purchasing of big ticket items.     before I paid last months bills?      ation may be so serious that
They may have created a               • Are there arguments in your       debt collectors are calling, and
monthly financial obligation        home due to finances?                 your financial picture so com-
that requires they work a cer-        • Do you fail to plan for big       plicated that you feel profes-        Firefighter’s families spreading the word about LAFD budget
tain number of overtime days        expenses that you know are            sional help is needed to unrav-       cuts in Councilman Greig Smith’s Chatsworth district.
just to stay afloat. This creates   coming up, but only occur             el your situation.                                        Photo by Dave Pimentle, UFLAC Secretary
Page 8                                                                        Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                              September/October 2009

Mayor Villaraigosa on the attack...

  Firefighters and Citizens Protest LAFD Budget Cuts
                                     that could lead to an increase in
                                        “As you know, with emer-
                                     gency medical calls as well as
                                     fire calls, sometimes minutes,
                                     even seconds, can make the                                             August 11, 2009
                                     difference on success,” Barry           OFFICERS
                                                                                                            Mayor Villaraigosa,
                                     said.                                   Terri Tippit, Chair
                                                                             Letty Bugarin, Vice-Chair
Editor’s note:                          The current cuts eliminate           Mary Kusnic and                Please accept this letter as a formal request from the Westside Neighborhood Council that you
                                                                             Melisa Kenady, Recording
  The following correspon-           the engine and light force/para-                                       reinstate fire services throughout the city. The board voted unanimously to submit this request
                                                                             Steve Spector, Corresponding   to you.
dence was between City Coun-         medics at each station 9 days           Secretary
cil President Eric Garcetti and      out of every 30. This can only          Stacy Antler and
                                                                             Lisa Morocco, Treasurer
                                                                                                            The Westside Neighborhood Council (WNC) covers an area bounded by Santa Monica Blvd. on
                                                                                                            the north,
Michael Eveloff, President of        impact response times as the                                           the San Diego Freeway on the west, National Blvd. on the south, and Cheviot Hills and Century
                                                                             BOARD MEMBERS
the Westwood Neighborhood            Chief indicated.                        Jerry Asher                    City on the east.
                                                                             Barbara Broide
Council - Tract 7260 Associa-           Front-line firefighters are          Douglas Butler
                                                                                                            The WNC is charged to:
tion regarding the LAFD              very concerned. The Times               Gerry Del Sol
                                                                             Bob Guerin                           Be an advocate for the Westside Neighborhood to governmental and private agencies
budged cuts. Councilman              quoted Bill Ramsey, a 30-year           Dick Harmetz                         upon those issues that the WNC selects;
                                                                             Charles Horwitz                      Assist other organizations in the Westside Neighborhood which want help in
Garcetti took the time to            department paramedic as stat-           Renato Romano
                                                                             Ron Stone                            accomplishing their objectives or projects and which the WNC desires to support; and
respond, but like so many oth-       ing: “You’re going to compro-           David (Ty) Vahedi                    Assist and serve as an advisory body to the Los Angeles City Council, including its
ers, unfairly laid the blame on      mise care for a lot of people and                                            District office(s) serving the Westside Neighborhood, City Council Committees and City
the Fire Chief. Mr. Eveloff cor-     you’re potentially going to kill                                             boards and commissions, by making investigations and recommendations on issues
                                                                                                                  relating to the Westside Neighborhood.
rected Garcetti and objectively      some people,” I have heard the
spoke directly to the issue.         same sentiment from our neigh-                                         We strongly believe that properly staffed first-responder services are essential to protect the
                                                                                                            lives and property of our residents, our neighborhood businesses, our schools, our religious
         ____________                borhood firefighters. They are                                         institutions and the thousands of people who visit our area each and every day.
                                     especially concerned as we
Dear Michael,                        head into fire season.                                                 As volunteers within the neighborhood council framework, we understand the budgetary
                                                                                                            pressures on the city. However, we strongly believe that cutting back on first responders is
  I share your concern about the        I encourage you to speak                                            neither fiscally sound nor in the best interests of public safety. One tragic incident followed by an
need for the Fire Department to      directly to the firefighters in                                        inevitable lawsuit will adversely impact the city’s finances and tarnish the exceptional reputation
                                                                                                            of our fire department.
provide quick response to            your district. See what they
address and prevent fire and         really think and what impact                                           The Westside Neighborhood Council urges you to restore fire and paramedic services
medical emergencies. Given           these cuts will really have on                                         immediately. We stand ready to help you and the city find other ways to address our city’s
                                                                                                            financial problems.
these tough financial times, our     public safety. I think that once
goal in Los Angeles has been to      you do, you will make rein-                                            Sincerely,
make public safety a top priority.   statement of full fire services                                        Terri Tippit, Chair
  The new staffing plan being        the highest priority.
implemented is the one pro-             Again, thank you for your
posed by the Fire Chief, who         time and your response.
felt that the department could          Sincerely,
make these changes to reduce            Michael Eveloff                   budget cuts need to be made. It                 there are 14 other members that                Department is not being cut
the firefighter overtime budget         President                         simply makes no sense to cut                    probably have the same size                    when we are going without
while minimizing the impact             Tract 7260 Association            back on our first responders,                   staffs, this could run into mil-               precious Fire Department cov-
on actual services provided to                ____________                especially when such cuts are                   lions of dollars.                              erage. These services are both
residents.                                                                both illusory and dangerous.                       Let the members of the City                 vital for the city and its citi-
  We will continue to work to        Mayor Villaraigosa,                    Eighteen years ago city                       Council cut their staffs and                   zens. To cut one service and
find funding to restore funds to        Please accept this letter as      leaders tried the same thing.                   save the money it’s costing the                not the other just doesn’t make
the Fire Department as quickly       Tract 7260’s request that you        On the 30th day a fire                          taxpayers to support them                      sense and is disingenuous for
as possible, but in the mean-        rescind your order to reduce         occurred in a South L.A.                        before they start cutting the                  the people paying to be pro-
time the Mayor has authorized        fire services throughout the         apartment building, and a                       Fire Department.                               tected.
Chief Barry to implement his         city. The reduction of fire serv-    mother and daughter tragically                     James G. Jones, Winnetka                      Unfortunately, there are
plan.                                ices represents an unacceptable      burned to death because the                              ____________                          some departments not being
Sincerely,                           degradation in city services and     nearest fire company was                                                                       cut and sharing the sacrifice. It
Eric Garcetti                        a disturbing roll of the dice        closed and the back-up com-                         Firefighters Respond                       doesn’t make sense to cut the
Councilmember Eric Garcetti          with regard to public safety.        pany had to come from miles                        Once again, we have another                 people we need, first respon-
Los Angeles City Council,               The Tract 7260 Association        away. Firefighters could have                   person who is misinformed                      ders, to solve the city’s short-
District 13                          covers an area containing over       saved those two innocent peo-                   about what their tax dollars are               fall in funds when it is so top-
         ____________                1300 homes. The boundaries of        ple if they had just gotten there               used for when it comes to pub-                 heavy with management in all
                                     Tract 7260 run from Pico             in time. By the next day the                    lic safety.                                    departments.
Dear Councilmember Garcetti,         Boulevard to Santa Monica            City Council changed course                        When you see firefighters at                  Bob Mcguire
   Thank you for the response.       Boulevard and from Beverly           and ordered all closed compa-                   the local market shopping, they                  Tujunga
   My understanding is that          Glen Boulevard to Century            nies immediately reopened.                      are there shopping for meals                            ____________
overtime has been programmed         City. Our Association has been         Please make public safety                     that are paid for out of their
in to LAFD operations.               exceptionally involved in the        your top priority and restore                   own pockets.                                           Better things to
   There was apparently a con-       support of West L.A. infrastruc-     our first responders to full                       As far as fires go, the Los                            cut than fire
scious choice to make use of         ture and has a deep commit-          strength. Let’s not wait until                  Angeles Fire Department                           Instead of the loss of Los An-
overtime instead of                  ment to preserving West L.A.         the next tragedy to act.                        responded to more than 58,000                  geles Fire Department response,
   hiring additional firefighters    neighborhoods. We are served           Sincerely,                                    fire incidents last year. And the              and maybe loss of life, perhaps
to cover needed shifts. The          by the firefighters of Station 92.     Michael Eveloff                               paramedics are also firefight-                 I could give up having my street
decision was made because it            We strongly urge you to             Tract No. 7260 Association                    ers. In fact, 61 of the fire com-              swept twice a week?
would save money as com-             restore fire services city-wide               ____________                           panies in the city have a para-                   I live across from the Los An-
pared to hiring and training         immediately. The loss of                                                             medic/ firefighter.                            geles River, and besides the
additional firefighters.             engine and paramedic forces           Los Angeles Daily News                            Most of the time when you                   street cleaning the city contracts
   Regardless, our first-respon-     is unsupportable. The delay             Letters to the Editor                        see a fire apparatus, they are                 out to a gardening service that
der system is now dependent          in response time that will cer-                                                      responding to an emergency                     consist of three or four men who
on this programmed overtime          tainly result will manifest            Fire too important to cut                     medical call. We don’t just                    trim a few branches and then
and the planned service reduc-       itself in an unknowable and             The Fire Department is one of                respond to fires, we encompass                 spend a couple hours sweeping
tions will impact first respon-      potentially devastating way.         the agencies that shouldn’t be                  all emergency services.                        the same street that was swept
der readiness and capabilities.      Whether it is a heart-attack         cut. After all, when you have a                    Steven Hamm                                 the day before.
   The current plan was not vol-     victim who receives a                fire or need medical assistance,                   Valley Glen                                    We could even have the trash
untarily suggested by Chief          response a few precious min-         it’s the first organization to                     The writer is a Los Angeles                 picked up every nine days in-
Barry. He was ordered to make        utes too late, or a brush fire       respond to your needs.                          firefighter.                                   stead of weekly. We just can’t
cuts. The L.A. Times reported        that could have been stopped            How much have the mem-                                ____________                          take this chance with lives.
on the Chief’s concerns. It said:    from spreading, the risk asso-       bers of the L.A. City Council                                                                  Funny how the City Council
   Fire Chief Douglas Barry          ciated with this “cost-cut-          cut their budgets? One council                           L.A. needs its                        came up with the money for a
said last month that the cut-        ting” measure will almost            member has a staff of 17 mem-                          first responders                        celebrity funeral when we’re in
backs would create longer            certainly backfire.                  bers. Do any of these staff                        The mayor of Los Angeles                    the worst financial mess of our
response times for both med-            We understand that the city       members get city-owned cars                     has spoken on the “shared sac-                 lives.
ical emergency and fire calls,       finds itself in a critical budget-   with the gas paid for by the tax-               rifice” of all city departments.                  TONI GMUER
but he declined to speculate if      ary period. We understand that       payers? When you figure that                    It seems odd that the Police                      Studio City
September/October 2009                                                        Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                             Page 9

                         Open Letter to Councilman Greig Smith
   I was so surprised to read your   something entirely different.        downtown LA, one in North-            someone dies. One lawsuit and         open and staffed? Couldn’t tree
email about denouncing the              I caution you Councilman          ridge and one in Chatsworth. I        all your cost savings go out the      trimming be deferred until after
United Firefighters (UFLAC)          Smith in the use of certain          see you still have 3 different        window. Do you really believe         our budget crisis? Do we really
on Friday. On Saturday I re-         words; such as, shameful, ex-        phone numbers and two fax             that a 7 minute response time is      need all 33+ City Departments?
ceived the much discussed, “no-      ploits, drum up fears, blatant       numbers. Is all this necessary?       “good enough” for your dis-           The Commission on the Status
torious” mail piece and was          disregard, insensitive, fresh           Please tell me who these resi-     trict? I live in your district and    of Women? Give me a break,
even more shocked at how in-         wounds, deeply affected, ex-         dents are in the community            this is not acceptable to me.         please! Come on Councilman,
flated your accusations are.         ploited, sleazy, and misleading,     with, “fresh wounds who have             You must know that simply          it’s time for you to step up to the
   As a native Angelino, I have      fear mongering, spreading mis-       already suffered enough?” Do          keeping Fire Stations open is a       plate, roll up your sleeves and
personally lived through many        information, and not telling the     you have any names? I thought         hollow solution if these same         protect the citizens who have al-
disasters around us like earth-      truth. They are potentially li-      most, if not all of the people on     stations do not contain redun-        ways supported you. The blood
quakes, riots, fires, floods,        belous and are not representa-       the train were traveling through      dant resources sufficient to av-      is on your hands, not the fire-
shootings, plane crashes and         tive of what the firefighters are    Chatsworth to other communi-          erage 5 minute response times.        fighters.
yes the Metrolink crash. We are      actually doing (informing the        ties where they lived. Didn’t         By offering this as one of your          The issue you raised is about
exposed to these tragedies daily     public), and are not supported       that train already leave the          “truths”, makes you deceptive         non emergency overtime; fur-
and reminded of them on our          by one shred of evidence.            Chatsworth Station before it          and untruthful. Why do you            loughs and layoffs are now and
local news channels, newspa-            Am I to believe that you in       crashed? Who is doing the fear        continue to do this?                  have always been a moot point.
pers, and even the LA City web-      your election campaign(s) have       mongering, now?                          As far as calling Pat McOsker,     You still do not seem to get it?
site that is now linked to a         never used a “professional po-          As far as being on the “truth      a current and tenured uniformed       It’s not about the firefighters
disaster preparedness section.       litical consultant” to secure        squad” let me ask you a ques-         Los Angeles City firefighter          and paramedics - never has
   I would think that you as a       your position as a council mem-      tion. Is a seven (7) minute re-       (elected by LAFD members) and         been. It’s about the citizen’s.
volunteer for the LAFD and           ber? Exactly what is wrong with      sponse time for an emergency          President of UFLAC – not the             Step up please. We’re still
LAPD would understand that           using a consultant? Is it illegal,   service acceptable to you or for      Chicago styled “Union Boss” as        counting on you. We understand
this is reality and we need to be    unethical, what? Something           one of your family members?           you characterized him, and ask-       that you will now term out and
fully staffed at all times. Per-     must be wrong because you            As a volunteer public safety ser-     ing for a solution to the current     not campaign for reelection, but
haps as a volunteer you did not      brought it up in a very negative     vant, surely you know that the        budget deficit(s)… maybe I’m a        we are still expecting you to do
realize that these emergencies       way. Is there anyone in the City     industry standard threshold for       little confused. Isn’t that what      what is right. After all, it is your
really do happen? As to you tak-     that does forecasting in antici-     life is 5 minutes –not 7. These       you get paid to do? Regardless,       job. Supporting cuts in emer-
ing it upon yourself to speak for    pation of steep economic de-         facts were originally used to de-     how is this for a solution? Stop      gency services is not what we
firefighters who responded to        clines?                              termine existing staffing levels,     spending money you don’t have         pay you to do.
the scene…how dare you speak            What cuts have you made in        but, of course you already knew       on nonessential services.                Regards,
on behalf of these brave young       your office to offset the City’s     this, being a volunteer fire-            Why are perfectly serviceable         Valerie Lawrence
men and women without their          budget deficit? Is somebody          fighter, didn’t you? So, maybe        streets in our district being con-       Proud widow of Captain II
permission? Using documented         asleep at the wheel? It certainly    you just fudged a little on the       tinuously repaved; instead of            John Edward Lawrence
quotations is one thing but          is not the firefighters. I noticed   truth – doesn’t that make you         patched? Why are virtually all           LAFD -Line of Duty Death
speaking on their behalf is          you have three offices, one          untruthful, unless, of course         the libraries in our district still      – December 14, 2008

                                     and above board with the peo-        to an emergency and respond to           “Hip! Hip! Wh-o-o-o-o-o-           Public safety, trash collection,
 Mail Bag Cont.                      ple when it comes to our lives,      nearly 4,000 calls a year.            ray!,” hooted the bird, nick-         health and street maintenance
                                     and our safety. We depend on           Sara Shepard                        named         “Annette”         by    should be off-limits except for
Dear Firefighters:                   you and we love what you do.           Santa Clarita                       firefighters. If Annette had got-     the most minor budget cuts.
   I am so glad the LAFD is          STAY SAFE.                                   ____________                  ten stuck in the San Fernando         Everything else can be put on
advising citizens that certain         Susie Lancaster                                                          Valley, she might have spent          hold.
stations will be experiencing          (Mrs. Burt Lancaster)              Cuts endanger firefighters            more than one entangled night           Just wait until the first person
brownouts, even if it upsets our             ____________                    As a 25-year Los Angeles city      waiting for help and a trip to the    dies in a house fire because of a
Mayor. WHY???                                                             firefighter, I must respond to        vet to repair an injured leg.         delayed response time. The law-
   The firefighters of Los Ange-            City leaders cut              Councilman Greig Smith’s col-            Our political leaders are giv-     suit could be in the millions -
les have one objective and that             L.A.’s safety net             umn. He says “The entire re-          ing us the bird, with rolling         possibly exceeding the current
is to SAVE LIVES.                       The mayor and City council        duction to the fire department is     brownouts and 87 fewer fire-          $56.5 million Fire Department
   Because they were vocal on        think its acceptable to reduce       taken from non-emergency              fighters, 15 fire engines and six     shortfall.
this, I now know to get a friend     fire and ambulance protection        overtime.”                            ambulances eliminated, axing            The consequences of public
or neighbor to take me to the        to my family and neighbors? I           What that means is when a          firefighters who work 12-hour         safety aren’t the only things at
hospital if need be. I know to       wonder how many of them live         firefighter takes off a manda-        shifts responding to less serious     risk. Just wait until the insur-
wait for the LAFD to come to         in an area that will be affected?    tory vacation day, or calls in        calls along with three supervis-      ance companies get wise to
my assistance from a location           Are the mayor and City coun-      sick, they are not filling his spot   ing field captains.                   these “adjustments” and raise
other than my local station          cil reducing their staff of work-    on the truck or ambulance. If a          And what’s our gallivanting        their rates because homes aren’t
which will conceivably take          ers? How many city employees         firefighter is off duty from a        mayor’s response to this?             fully protected.
more time and possibly cost me       drive city-owned cars home           work-related accident, they are          According to him, there will         Of course, the answer to that
and/or others our lives. LA          with city paid fuel and insur-       not filling his spot. What they       be no “dilatory” effect on the        is for the council to mandate
went through this in 1991 and        ance? Please tell me all other       are doing is closing firetrucks       city; there are no brownouts and      that all homes, not just new con-
lives were lost, so the              avenues have been cut first be-      and ambulances and using those        it “doesn’t pass the smell test.”     struction, be retrofitted with au-
“brownouts” of ’91 lasted            fore my city leaders decided it      personnel to fill the empty              What is he thinking? There         tomated roof and interior
approximately 30 days.               was OK to reduce the safety of       spots.                                were “dilatory” effects the last      sprinklers at great homeowner
   On Aug 6, 2009, Channel 7 –       my family?                              Mr. Smith can call that non-       time this happened, so why not        expense (only to be used on
11 a.m. TV show with Adrienne           Kerry Mccrea                      emergency OT, but I call it re-       this time, too?                       Mondays and Thursdays - but
Alpert…Mayor Villaraigosa               Northridge                        duced staffing which gives my            The city is in financial peril     not between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
was the guest. Villaraigosa                   ____________                family and neighbors less fire        and our safety is in jeopardy.        unless you turn them on by
received a few calls of com-                                              and EMS protection and makes          For years, the police department      hand).
plaints about brownouts, “So                 Firefighters pay             it more hazardous on the fire         has been woefully understaffed          Give us all fire extinguishers
people don’t care” he said.                   their own way               scene.                                for a vast 468-square-mile city       and we can be our own individ-
THEY CARE PLENTY.                      Firefighters are the people           MIKE MCCREA                        with a population of about 4          ual volunteer firefighters.
   You should know that when         who compromise their chil-              Northridge                         million.                                If there are more cutbacks to
you call the Mayor at 213-978-       dren’s birthdays, anniver-                    ____________                    I thought we were still wait-      the LAPD, every citizen will be
0600 or 213-978-0722 there is a      saries, and holidays to make                                               ing for the 10,000 police the         told to get a shotgun and protect
recording that says “YOU ARE         sure you’re safe. They do              “It’s not a wise move to            mayor promised.                       themselves from the criminal
BEING FORWARDED TO                   drive the trucks to the store               cut fire services”                Apparently not. Without fan-       element.
VOICE MAIL, BUT THE                  but most stations are within a       By Sandy Sand                         fare or mayoral photo-op, the           We already have to fend for
SYSTEM IS FULL”. Then the            mile from a store. Firefighters         ‘WH-O-O-O-O-O-RAY!’                LAPD apparently reached the           ourselves in other areas. We pay
recording tells you “Á VALID         need to be within seconds of         screeched a great horned owl          10,000 goal this month. The           for streets and sidewalks.
ATTENDANT’S NUMBER                   the truck at all times so when       that was rescued by Pasadena          LAPD’s            Web         site,   Though it is considered city
HAS NOT BEEN SPECI-                  they get a call they can get         firefighters on Aug. 6 after be-      lapdonline.org, says there are        property, the city says it’s the
FIED”….SO YOU COULD-                 into the truck fast and get to       coming entangled in a web of          10,004 sworn officers, but be-        homeowner’s responsibility to
N’T LEAVE A MESSAGE IF               the emergency.                       netting suspended over the driv-      cause of retirements, it hasn’t       fix the sidewalk in front of his
YOU WANTED TO. He is                   Firefighter’s meals come           ing range at Eaton Canyon Golf        stayed above 10,000.                  home when he sells it.
wrong when he says people            from their own pockets. They         Course.                                  Why are firefighter positions        Next, the city will tell us to go
don’t care! PEOPLE DO                are paid to attend seminars and         It happened in Pasadena on         being eliminated, while the           to get a sack of ready mix to fill
CARE!                                drills to learn about new equip-     the very day that the Los Ange-       mayor and council members re-         the potholes on our streets. That
   BRAVO to the members of           ment and techniques. The             les Fire Department began             tain large staffs while those who     makes sense - we can probably
the LAFD for making the sacri-       money goes to maintaining the        rolling brownouts as a cost-cut-      really help us are suffering          do it faster and better than city
fice of putting their lives on the   vehicles and supplying the           ting measure ordered by Mayor         rolling brownouts?                    workers.
line for us each and every day.      equipment. Firefighters are al-      Antonio Villaraigosa and the             Foresight and logic are              It won’t end there, not with a
Thank you for being honest           ways the first people to show up     City Council.                         needed by our so-called leaders.                 Continued on page 10
Page 10                                                                     Los Angeles Firefighter                                                    September/October 2009

What you need to know…
                                     The Truth About Generic Drugs
                                   review of scientific data on the                                          good manufacturing practices.      who laid out the initial costs
                                   generic drug’s ingredients and                                            FDA won’t permit drugs to be       (including research, develop-
                                   performance. FDA also con-                                                made in substandard facilities.    ment, and marketing expenses)
                                   ducts periodic inspections of the                                         FDA conducts about 3,500           to develop the new drug. How-
                                   manufacturing plant, and moni-                                            inspections a year to ensure       ever, when the patent expires,
                                   tors drug quality – even after the                                        standards are met. Generic         other drug companies can
                                   generic drug has been approved.                                           firms have facilities compara-     introduce competitive generic
                                     The following is a quick Q                                              ble to those of brand-name         versions, but only after they
                                   and A reference guide to com-           There are many misconcep-         firms. In fact, brand-name         have been thoroughly tested by
                                   monly asked questions con-           tions swirling around generic        firms are linked to an estimated   the manufacturer and approved
                                   cerning generic drugs:               drugs...                             50 percent of generic drug pro-    by the FDA.
                                                                           Why are generic drugs             duction. They frequently make        The FDA makes it tough to
       By Anne Clifford             What are generic drugs?                     less expensive?              copies of their own or other       become a generic drug in
          Consultant                 A generic drug is a copy that         Generic drugs are less expen-     brand-name drugs but sell them     America so you can feel confi-
    Fickewirth & Associates        is the same as a brand-name          sive because generic manufac-        without the brand name.            dent about taking your generic
  With our economy still strug-    drug in dosage, safety, strength,    turers don’t have the investment                                        drugs. If you still want to learn
gling to recover, it’s always      how it is taken, quality, per-       costs of the developer of a new       If brand-name drugs and           more, talk with your doctor,
good to find ways to save          formance and intended use.           drug. New drugs are developed           generic drugs have the          pharmacist or other health care
money. One incredibly smart                                             under patent protection. The           same active ingredients,         professional, visit the FDA
and easy way to save money         Are generic drugs as safe            patent protects the investment—            why do they look             website at:
when it comes to your health-         as brand-name drugs?              including research, develop-                   different?                   http://www.fda.gov/cder/
care expenses is choosing            Yes. The FDA requires that         ment, marketing, and promo-             In the United States, trade-             ogd/index.htm
generic drugs. Unfortunately,      all drugs be safe and effective.     tion—by giving the company           mark laws do not allow a              or call 1-888-INFO-FDA.
there are many misconceptions      Since generics use the same          the sole right to sell the drug      generic drug to look exactly                    *****
swirling around generic drugs,     active ingredients and are           while it is in effect. As patents    like the brand-name drug.            Through the Anthem Blue
so I wanted to take the time to    shown to work the same way in        near expiration, manufacturers       However, a generic drug must       Cross CaliforniaCare HMO
explain exactly what they are,     the body, they have the same         can apply to the FDA to sell         duplicate the active ingredient.   and Prudent Buyer PPO
and then provide an informative    risks and benefits as their          generic versions. Because those      Colors, flavors, and certain       plans, UFLAC members and
set of questions and answers       brand-name counterparts.             manufacturers don’t have the         other inactive ingredients may     their families have access to
provided by the U.S. Food and                                           same development costs, they         be different.                      the finest doctors and two of
Drug Administration (FDA).             Are generic drugs as             can sell their product at substan-                                      the most extensive networks in
  When a brand-name drug’s            strong as brand-name              tial discounts. Also, once gener-     Does every brand-name             the state. With Californi-
patent protection expires,                     drugs?                   ic drugs are approved, there is         drug have a generic             aCare, you can build a rela-
generic versions of the drug         Yes. FDA requires generic          greater competition, which                   counterpart?               tionship with your primary
can be approved for sale. The      drugs to have the same quality,      keeps the price down. Today,                           No. Brand-       care physician and receive
generic version works like the     strength, purity and stability as    almost half of all prescriptions                     name drugs         almost all benefits including
brand-name drug in dosage,         brand-name drugs.                    are filled with generic drugs.                       are generally      office visits, hospitalization,
strength, performance and use,                                                                                               given patent       surgery, routine physical
and must meet the same quality          Do generic drugs                  Are brand-name drugs                               protection for     exams, well baby care and
and safety standards. All gener-      take longer to work in              made in more modern                                20 years from      even vision and hearing
ic drugs must be reviewed and               the body?                          facilities than                               the date of        exams, for little or no out-of-
approved by FDA.                     No. Generic drugs work in                generic drugs?                                 submission         pocket cost. Additionally, Pru-
  All generic drugs are put        the same way and in the same           No. Both brand-name and                            of the patent.     dent Buyer is the best fee-for-
through a rigorous, multi-step     amount of time as brand-name         generic drug facilities must                         This provides      service type health plan avail-
review process that includes a     drugs.                               meet the same standards of           protection for the innovator       able for UFLAC members.

                                                                                                              Mail Bag Cont.                      JOHN MCLEAN
                                                                                                             Continued from page 9                Winnetka
                                                                                                             looming billion-dollar shortfall           ____________
                                                                                                             in the city’s pension system.
                                                                                                             When that piper has to be paid,      Another response to
                                                                                                             we can expect the demise of all     Councilman Greig Smith
                                                                                                             city services.
                                                                                                               Yes, Annette the Owl was            “Mailer not shameful -
                                                                                                             wise indeed to have been                      just true”
                                                                                                             trapped in Pasadena, and not          The L.A. Firefighters union is
                                                                                                             here.                              not using any kind of “scare tac-
                                                                                                               (Sandy Sand is a resident of     tics” or “exploiting” anyone. It
                                                                                                             West Hills, a free-lance writer    is asking the tough question: If
                                                                                                             and former editor of the Tolu-     there were another disaster in
                                                                                                             can)                               the city, do the citizens want a
                                                                                                                                                level of staffing on duty that
                                                                                                                  Pension obligations           will be able to handle it?
                                                                                                                       no surprise                 Currently, there isn’t. We
                                                                                                                The $100,000 pension club       have 25 fewer fire companies
                                                                                                             has become the latest cry from     and ambulances staffed. The
                                                                                                             the Chicken Littles on city        mayor, some council members,
                                                                                                             councils and supervisor boards,    and LAFD management are all
                                                                                                             along with their baying hounds     using smoke and mirrors to
                                                                                                             in the news media. The baby        make it appear otherwise.
                                                                                                             boomers are retiring - why now        The mailer that was sent out
                                                                                                             are the city fathers running in    wasn’t “distasteful.” What
                                                                                                             circles and yelling, “oh no?”      would be distasteful is if I
                                                                                                                They built the house of cards   couldn’t do my job safely be-
                                                                                                             and negotiated contracts. They     cause of having a neighboring
                                                                                                             failed to pay retirement obliga-   fire company closed.
                                                                                                             tions. They bought off on taking      DANIEL G. MATTERA
                                                                                                             federal dollars to pay for new        Thousand Oaks
                                                                                                             cops for limited years, with fu-
                                                                                                             ture funding by the city or
                                                                                                             county for salary and benefits,       “Yesterday is history,
                                                                                                             including retirement.               tomorrow is a mystery, and
                                                                                                                I spent 36-plus years working    today is a gift;
                                                                                                             for the Los Angeles County            That’s why they call it the
                                                                                                             Sheriff’s Department. I paid a      present.”
Homeowners throughout the City of Los Angeles are proudly displaying signs of support of                     lot of money into a retirement
their local firefighters. Left to right: LAFD Apparatus Operator Paul Gilbrook, homeowner Anne               program. Now I’m the bad guy                 Eleanor Roosevelt
Marie Lickley (Mt. Washington area), Captain Mark Kleckner and Captain/EMS Dave Pimentle.                    because I lived long enough to                     (1884-1962)
                                                      Photo by Gail Winkles, UFLAC Office Staff
September/October 2009                                                            Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                            Page 11

          SAFER Extends Lifeline to U.S. Fire Departments
                                      members are being asked to give        to be used to rehire laid-off fire     for Fiscal Year 2009, and we are          Additionally, we are focused
                                      up pay raises, pay more for            fighters and prevent future            already working with the               on eliminating many of the
                                      health benefits and confront           staffing reductions. These             Department of Homeland Secu-           issues that prevented depart-
                                      company and stations closures,         changes are especially signifi-        rity (DHS) to develop the rules        ments from applying for SAFER
                                      brownouts and layoffs.                 cant during this economic crisis       to address the current wave of         grants under the old rules so that
                                        In Washington, we made it a          that has caused widespread lay-        staffing cuts.                         funds obtained to fix problems
                                      priority to have federal funding       offs of IAFF members across the           The IAFF wrote and lobbied          and grant money used to expand
                                      dedicated to fire departments to       country.                               for the new provision — which          departments will be less encum-
                                      keep our members safe and on              I strongly urge affiliates to       was included in HR 2346, the           bered, as well. To that end, we
                                      the job. Working with the              work with their fire departments       Supplemental Appropriation bill        will discuss issues such as poten-
                                      Obama administration and con-          to apply for SAFER money. As           – and will ensure that the rules       tially eliminating the match
                                      gressional leaders, we were suc-       we all know, adequate staffing is      relax and eliminate much of the        requirement and the money
   By Harold Schaitberger,            cessful in proposing and passing       critical to effective response and     bureaucracy so that troubled           jurisdictions were required to
    IAFF General President            legislation to waive existing          fire fighter and public safety. The    departments can get grants             come up with for maintenance of
  These are truly challenging         requirements to allow Staffing         new SAFER guidelines will              quickly to bring back laid-off fire    the grant in the old rules, as well
economic times. Faced with cuts       for Adequate Fire and Emer-            apply to the $210 million that         fighters and fill staffing positions   as possibly raising the cap,
to fire department budgets, our       gency Response (SAFER) grants          Congress approved for SAFER            that have remained vacant.             among a number of other issues.

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court Decision in
              Ricci v. DeStefano Case
   Eighteen New Haven, Con-           fire fighters who did not qualify      efficiency ratings and job-related     related, validated hiring and pro-     qualify for promotion based on
necticut, fire fighters who filed     for promotion as a result of a test,   skills, to name a few.                 motional systems for fire fighters     the test results.
suit in federal court against the     in violation of Title VII of the          “Fire fighting involves life and    on the basis of their skill and          The Court further said that
City of New Haven after the City      Civil Rights Act of 1964.              death situations on a regular          ability in the technical and de-       “absent a strong basis in evi-
threw out the results of promo-          The IAFF recognizes that pro-       basis, so any system that is used      manding work of fire fighting          dence that the tests were deficient
tional exams prevailed over the       motional systems are developed         to hire or promote must be com-        and emergency response without         and that discarding the results is
City today when the United            locally, where virtually every fire    pletely unbiased and ensure that       regard to race, religion, sex, sex-    necessary to avoid violating the
States Supreme Court, by a 5-4        department in the country uses its     candidates are truly qualified to      ual orientation or national origin.    disparate impact provision,” the
vote, reversed a lower court’s de-    own, unique system to best fit the     do the job,” says IAFF General           In the New Haven case, the           results could not be thrown out.
cision.                               needs of that community and its        President Harold Schaitberger.         Supreme Court reversed the de-           The case has been remanded
   In the case, Ricci v. DeStefano,   fire department. The IAFF also         “It’s a tough balancing act for ju-    cision of the lower courts, saying     back to federal district court to
the Supreme Court ruled that the      recognizes the fact that a variety     risdictions in developing their        that the City could not throw out      determine final action consistent
City of New Haven could not           of valid promotional testing           procedures, but they have a re-        the results of a promotional test      with the decision of the Supreme
throw out the results of a promo-     processes have been developed          sponsibility not to fail on either     based on “fear of litigation           Court.
tional exam simply because it         that place emphasis on different       account because lives are at           alone.” The City believed that           The IAFF will be preparing a
feared the outcome of a test          elements of the testing procedure      stake.”                                applying the test scores would re-     more detailed analysis of the rul-
could potentially leave it vulner-    – including written and oral test-        In addition, the IAFF supports      sult in a disparate impact on mi-      ing and will post it once it’s com-
able to lawsuits from minority        ing, seniority, table top scenarios,   and advocates for unbiased, job-       nority test takers who did not         pleted.

                     Fight for Employee Free Choice Continues
        by Seth Michaels                 “Victory is in our reach. Turn-     nomic health and growth.”              ployee Free Choice. And in                The Employee Free Choice
          AFL-CIO Blog                ing Around America is up to              Union members and allies             Arkansas, members of the AFL-          Act is the first piece of legisla-
   Members of the U.S. House          us…the President can’t do it by        around the country are stepping        CIO community affiliate,               tion that’s going to give people
return home today for a month         himself. It’s up to us to make         up to the challenge. In Virginia,      Working America, delivered             a fair shake and a fair deal at the
long recess, and the U.S. Senate      him a great president. Winning         union members held a to en-            more than 3,400 letters to Sen.        table. I’ve witnessed on several
is set to adjourn at the end of the   health care for all, creating good     courage Sen. Jim Webb to vote          Blanche Lincoln, adding to the         campaigns the fear, the intimi-
week. Back home, lawmakers            jobs and fair trade, and restoring     in favor of the Employee Free          tens of thousands of letters she’s     dation, the closed-door meet-
already are hearing from union        the freedom to organize and bar-       Choice Act. In Louisiana, Com-         already received in support of         ings, the problem of winning
activists and our allies in the       gain are a matter of mobilizing        munications Workers of Amer-           Employee Free Choice Act.              but never getting the company
field who are telling them to         the most effective ground cam-         ica (CWA) members in Baton               As Aaron Plikat, a member            to bargain in good faith, and the
vote for the Employee Free            paign in our history. One and a        Rouge for the Employee Free            of the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters       retaliation against employees
Choice Act.                           half million workers signed the        Choice Act and against unfair          (UA) from Alaska, notes, it’s          after years’ worth of negotia-
   As the AFL-CIO’s noted at a        Million Member Mobilization,           anti-union corporate tactics.          important to remember why this         tions that never came through.
rally in Colorado, working men        tens of thousands have taken ac-       They signed petitions to their         bill matters—because it will              It’s time to start seeing a
and women around the country          tion, it’s up to us to move hun-       senators, Mary Landrieu and            give workers the tools they need       change in this country. I think
need to speak out for the free-       dreds of thousands to turn             David Vitter, asking them to           to bargain for a better life, and a    this is going to be the best way
dom to form unions and bargain:       around America, to restore eco-        stand with workers on Em-              stronger economy for all:              we can get that change.

                                                     Consumer Identity Theft
         Quick Facts                  ftc.gov/idtheft.                       credit reports, and review the         open, and debts on your                the crime. This report will also
  It’s important to protect your      Identity Theft: What To Do             reports carefully. The alert tells     accounts that you can’t explain.       help you claim your rights as a
personal information, and to                  If Your Personal               creditors to follow certain proce-        Close accounts. Close any           victim of identity theft.
take certain steps quickly to             Information Has Been               dures before they open new             accounts that have been tam-             Report the theft to the Fed-
minimize the potential damage                   Compromised                  accounts in your name or make          pered with or established              eral Trade Commission. Your
from identity theft if your              The bottom line for online          changes to your existing               fraudulently:                          report helps law enforcement
information is accidentally dis-      threats like phishing, spyware,        accounts. The three nationwide            Call the security or fraud          officials across the country in
closed or deliberately stolen:        and hackers is identity theft. ID      consumer reporting companies           departments of each company            their investigations.
Place a “Fraud Alert” on your         theft occurs when someone uses         have toll-free numbers for plac-       where an account was opened or              Online: ftc.gov/idtheft
credit reports, and review those      your name, Social Security num-        ing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a   changed without your okay. Fol-         By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT
reports carefully. Notifying one      ber, credit card number or other       call to one company is sufficient:     low up in writing, with copies of               (438-4338) or
of the three nationwide con-          personal information without                     TransUnion:                  supporting documents.                       TTY, 1-866-653-4261
sumer reporting companies is          your permission to commit fraud              www.transunion.com                  Use the to support your writ-
sufficient.Close any accounts         or other crimes. That’s why it’s                1-800-680-7289                ten statement.                             How to Report if You
that have been tampered with          important to protect your person-                  Experian:                     Ask for verification that the          Have Been a Victim of
or established fraudulently.File      al information. To find out how                www.experian.com               disputed account has been                      Identity Theft
a police report with local law        to deter and detect identity theft,     1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)             closed and the fraudulent debts          If your information has been
enforcement officials. This is        visit ftc.gov/idtheft.But, accord-                  Equifax:                  discharged.                            misused, file a report about
an essential step in claiming         ing to OnGuard Online, if your                 www.equifax.com                   Keep copies of documents            your identity theft with the
your rights.Report your theft to      personal information is acciden-                1-800-525-6285                and records of your conversa-          police, and file a complaint
the Federal Trade Commission,         tally disclosed or deliberately          Placing a fraud alert entitles       tions about the theft.                 with the Federal Trade Com-
online, by phone, or by mail.         stolen, taking certain steps           you to free copies of your cred-          File a police report. File a        mission at ftc.gov/idtheft. Read
  And before identity theft           quickly can minimize the poten-        it reports. Look for inquiries         report with law enforcement            for detailed information on
happens, learn how to safe-           tial for the theft of your identity.   from companies you haven’t             officials to help you with cred-       other steps to take in the wake
guard your information at             Place a “Fraud Alert” on your          contacted, accounts you didn’t         itors who may want proof of            of identity theft.
Page 12                                                                     Los Angeles Firefighter                                                        September/October 2009

                          LAFD Work Party for Valerie Lawrence
   The Fire Family is stronger
than ever in Granada Hills
where members from Fire Sta-
tion 75 assisted the widow of
her beloved husband Captain II
John Lawrence in tearing up her
old pathway to her home and
laying a new brick walk way.
   Danny Leon donated his time
and expertise in laying the brick
that left Valerie
   grinning from ear to ear.
   Members from 75s donated
their afternoon assisting Danny
and enjoyed the camaraderie
that goes with helping Valerie,
who is lovingly known as “sta-
                                    Steve Romas, Danny Leon, Val Lawrence and Adam VanGerpen.
tion mom.”                                                                                                    From L to R: Bret Cartier, Brian Hillbilly, Ryan Nassar, Brandon
                                                                                                              Charbonnet, Steve Romas and Ryan Guzman.

                                                                                                              Another study shows…
                                                                                                                    Firefighters Face
                                                                                                                    High Cancer Risk
                                                                                                                 SAN DIEGO — A new study            The exhaust spews out, but we
                                                                                                              shows that firefighters are at        have recovery systems in here
                                                                                                              high risk for developing cancer,      that hook up to the exhaust and
                                                                                                              10News reported.                      exhausts diesel fuels out of the
                                                                                                                 The men and woman keep cit-        building,” said Pascall.
                                                                                                              izens safe by battling fires, some-      Still, researchers found fire-
                                                                                                              times for several days at a time.     fighters’ equipment does not do
                                                                                                              They inhale toxins, chemicals         a good job of protecting them
Gordon Wilson, Brandon Charbonnet, Ryan Nassar, Adam VanGerpen, Scott Quinlan, Steve
                                                                                                              and smoke while doing it, and         against cancer.
Romas and Mike Wetzel.
                                                                                                              many of them are getting sick.           After hearing the numbers,
                                                                                                                 “It was the biggest shock of       Pascall said they are taking all
                                                                                                              my life,” said Rick Pascall of        precautions more seriously,
           UFLAC’s Maria Riggs –                                                                              the San Miguel Fire Depart-
                                                                                                              ment. Pascall was diagnosed
                                                                                                                                                    down to making sure their gear
                                                                                                                                                    is immediately washed after
                                                                                                              with stage 4 skin cancer.             getting back from a fire.
          Graduate of Labor Studies                                                                              “So when I was diagnosed
                                                                                                              and it was determined that it
                                                                                                                                                       Pascall is now back on the job
                                                                                                                                                    and is ready to fight the next big
         By Jim Perry               resentation. Her dedication and     on Monday and/or Wednesday            was job-related, I was really         fire.
             Editor                 love for firefighters is seen in    nights.                               shocked but you know that’s              “Even I at times doubted my
   Maria Riggs, Executive As-       her every day operations…al-           Maria is never one to put off      part of the job,” said Pascall.       recovery, so coming back to
sistant/Assistant Office Man-       ways with a smile and a calming     her own duties and often works           Researchers at the University      work and getting back on the
ager at United Firefighters of      reassurance that “we can work       well beyond her required hours        of Cincinnati said firefighters       fire engine and doing my job is
Los Angeles City, Local 112 has     this out” attitude.                 to assist others, or put out those    have a 100 percent higher risk        the best thing that could have
earned her Certificate in the         Although Maria is active in       “late night bulletins” to fire sta-   of developing testicular cancer,      ever happened, and I couldn’t
School of Labor Studies.            her own union, OPEIU, Local         tions and work locations.             a 50 percent higher risk for mul-     have done it without all the sup-
   Maria has worked for our         537, she and her husband of 34         Maria Elena Durazo, Execu-         tiple myeloma and non-                port of everybody,” said Pas-
local union for over 35 years.      years, Dick, raised a beautiful     tive Secretary-Treasurer of the       Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 26             call.
During that time she has been       daughter, Heather, and has          Los Angeles County Federation         percent increased risk for               A new study is underway in-
the “go to” woman for innumer-      many hobbies, including riding      of Labor, AFL-CIO, presented          prostate cancer.                      volving 11,000 firefighters from
able officers who have served       horses, fishing, landscaping and    Maria with the “Certificate of           Pascall has seen dramatic          around San Diego County. The
on the Executive Board during       making floral arrangements for      Congratulations for her hard          changes in the equipment that         study aims to confirm previous
times of tremendous growth,         functions, friends and family.      work and dedication in earning        firefighters are using compared       reports and also find out how
ever-changing challenges, great       Maria laughs when asked           a Certificate of Completion in        to 20 years ago.                      firefighters can reduce exposure
accomplishments as well as          how long it took her to com-        Labor Studies, signed by her             “When we go on a call we           and how to better equip them-
some very tough times.              plete her labor studies, “it took   and John R. McDowell, Jr., Di-        start the diesel engine normally.     selves to minimize risk.
   Maria has that unique ability    me over 5 years (10 semesters)      rector of the LATTC Labor
to maintain her cool when things    at the breakneck speed of one       Center.
seem to be unraveling and emo-      class per semester and weekend         All of us that know and love
tions are near the breaking point   classes”, she said. Most of the     Maria offer our most sincere
in the highly charged atmos-        labor classes were held at the      congratulations on her latest ac-
phere of politics and union rep-    United Firefighters Union Hall      complishments.

                                                                                                              Fair Ave. and Saticoy St. in North Hollywood. The driver of the
                                                                                                              Camaro had to be extricated from his car and was in critical
                                                                                                              condition; his children were in serious condition and trans-
Left to right: Kathleen Yasuda, Associate Director of the Trade Tech Labor Center representing                ported to UCLA Medical Center by LAFD Helicopter.
John McDowell, Maria Riggs, Kathy Familathe with ILWU and Maria Elena Durazo.                                                Photo and information by Mike Meadows, EPN
September/October 2009                                                      Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                        Page 13

  We acknowledge the cur-                                                                                                                        structure fire, the minimum
rent economic reality- The                                                                                                                       number of personnel on both
value of the assets used to                                                                                                                      engine and ladder companies
generate local government                                                                                                                        must be 4 members per unit for
revenue has plummeted.                                                                                                                           low hazard environments and 5
Local governments across                                                                                                                         or 6 members per unit for
North America are contem-
plating or proposing decreases        Joint Position Statement of the                                                                            medium and high hazard(high
                                                                                                                                                 risk) environments.
in size and/or reductions in                                                                                                                        We must assure that any op-
the span and depth of their
services. The Fire Service is
                                       IAFF and the IAFC Regarding                                                                               erational adjustments made,
                                                                                                                                                 ensure the safety and wellbe-
often caught up in that con-                                                                                                                     ing of firefighters, paramedics
traction. We must weather this
storm by having a realistic
                                            the Economic Crisis                                                                                  and the public - As labor and
                                                                                                                                                 management leaders, our core
strategy grounded in the safe-      get here and it will likely take    nel as safe as possible- A fire      two companies to accomplish a       mission is to ensure safe, effi-
ty and security of firefighters,    years to get out. Many of the       company should be able to            specific task at the scene of a     cient and effective operations
paramedics and the public at        most fundamental elements of        function as an independent unit      fire, which normally could be       for firefighters responding to
large.                              our economy have been danger-       at the scene of a fire in order to   completed by one effective unit,    aid a public call for help. All re-
  We must be prepared for           ously weakened including em-        permit the Incident Commander        the standard operating proce-       source decisions must be
the long haul- Where the eco-       ployment       rates,      home     to employ the proper tactics and     dures are dramatically and ad-      viewed in light of these funda-
nomic crisis is concerned, we       ownership, property tax rev-        strategies to safeguard the oc-      versely affected.                   mental requirements. Accord-
have several more budget cy-        enue, and federal/state aid to      cupants of the building, as well        Adequate staffing is impera-     ingly, if a decision is made to
cles during which we may be         local government in spite of the    as the operating force and to        tive at the individual fire com-    reduce departmental resources,
dealing with the effects of this    federal stimulus package.           protect the property of the pub-     pany level. In order to permit      it must never be accomplished
recession. It took years of bad       We must keep ‘all hazard’         lic. Whenever understaffing ne-      the effective operation of fire     by reducing company crew size
decisions at the federal level to   emergency response person-          cessitates the combination of        companies at the scene of a         on apparatus.

                      Sen. Franken Joins Senate, Co-Sponsors
                             Employee Free Choice Act
        by Seth Michaels            him to Washington, D.C.             risk shift in this country.            Arlene Holt Baker, executive      tion, all that effort paid off, she
     AFL-CIO News Blog                Franken, a strong supporter          AFL-CIO President John            vice president of the AFL-CIO,      said:
  After a long, hard campaign       of workers’ freedom to form         Sweeney called Franken               said union households and              In an election this close,
and almost eight months of          unions and bargain, said his        “smart, committed, a solid           undertook a massive effort to       everybody’s           contribution
vote counting and litigation,       membership in four unions—          friend to working families,”         make sure Franken could fight       counts. Without the efforts of
was sworn in as the newest          AFTRA, SAG, and DGA—                and said that he’s a great addi-     for working families in the         the grassroots in Minnesota we
U.S. senator representing Min-      gave him, wife Franni and his       tion to the Senate:                  Senate. Union households, she       wouldn’t have Sen. Franken
nesota. Then he signed on for       family the opportunities that all      He’s the real deal, and will be   said, made up 30 percent of the     today.
the first time as co-sponsor of a   working families deserve:           a remarkable, honorable sena-        vote in Minnesota, and 72 per-         Franken will take the seat
bill—the Employee Free                Because of my membership          tor….It couldn’t come at a bet-      cent of union voters supported      once held by the late Sen. Paul
Choice Act.                         in those unions, Franni and I       ter time.                            Franken. Union members in           Wellstone, a fighter for work-
  Franken announced his co-         had health care during the cam-        AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasur-        Minnesota, she said, knocked        ing families, and he took the
sponsorship at a reception last     paign. Because of my member-        er Richard Trumka said work-         on 944,000 doors and distrib-       oath of office on the Wellstone
night at the AFL-CIO, where         ship in those unions, we have a     ers and the union movement           uted 1.5 million worksite fliers.   family Bible. Quoting Well-
Minnesota leaders like former       pension.                            will have a strong ally in           Working America added               stone, Franken said he’ll be
Vice President Walter Mon-            We need to level the playing      Franken:                             200,000 members in the state        guided in office by the late sen-
dale, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and        field. Unions built the middle         You’re family. You’re wel-        and knocked on 130,000 doors        ator’s principles and values:
Minnesota AFL-CIO President         class in this country, but we’ve    come here all the time, because      to get out the vote. With only a       Politics isn’t about winning,
Ray Waldron helped union            seen the playing field become a     you’ve worked for working            few hundred votes making the        it isn’t about power. It’s about
members and leaders welcome         steep hill. We’ve seen a great      families your entire career.         difference in Franken’s elec-       improving people’s lives.

       NAFTA Has Failed; New Development Plan Needed
        By James Parks              addressed through an open           ate sanctions.                       high-wage countries in a glob-      tion and incorporation of these
         AFL-CIO Blog               process that includes workers          • Ensure that all workers,        alizing world, we must restore      dimensions—repairing the crit-
  The governments of the            and unions, said AFL-CIO            regardless of immigration sta-       our competitiveness by devel-       ical flaws in NAFTA, effective
United States, Canada and           President John Sweeney,             tus, are protected by labor laws     oping national industrial strate-   and authentic compliance with
Mexico must take serious and        Canadian Labor Congress             and able to exercise their fun-      gies centered on innovation.        international labor standards,
comprehensive measures to           President Kenneth Georgetti         damental human rights. They            • Make a true commitment to       migration and sustainable
address the dual impact of the      and  Francisco Hernández            said NAFTA’s failure to create       the rule of law to end human        development, and human rights
global economic recession and       Juárez, co-president of the         decent jobs forced many work-        rights violations in Mexico         and rule of law—the vital and
the 15-year legacy of the North     Mexican  Unión Nacional de          ers, especially those in Mexico,     committed by police and the         essential security agenda
American Free Trade Agree-          Trabajordes (UNT).                  to search for employment in          military. At the same time, the     involving our three nations
ment (NAFTA),  labor leaders           Fixing the many flaws in         other countries. In the U.S. and     United States should reduce the     ultimately will not succeed, the
of the three countries said in a    NAFTA is only one part of the       Canada, on the other hand,           demand for illegal narcotics        leaders said.
joint declaration.                  challenge the North American        employers with access to a           and stem the flow of arms to           In conclusion, the leaders
  The “Tri-National Labor Dec-      nations face, the leaders said.     large and poorly regulated           the drug cartels, but also foster   added, it is time to recalibrate
laration on Social and Econom-      We also need to work together       workforce of undocumented            respect for human rights and an     our relationship and focus on a
ic Prosperity for North Ameri-      to address a number of pressing     and temporary migrant workers        end to impunity for Mexican         path built upon shared econom-
ca” points out that the  Leaders    issues, which include labor law     have undermined all workers          security forces.                    ic growth and sustainable
Summit in Mexico City earlier       reform, migration and develop-      by failing to afford the basic         Without  serious considera-       development.
this week was an opportunity to     ment and the promotion of the       labor rights and protections to
lay out a new agenda for North      rule of law.                        everyone.
America, one that could make           Specifically, they called for:      • Foster economic develop-
our region competitive, sustain-       • The United States, Mexico      ment in all three countries by
able and just.                      and Canada must fully comply        helping to stimulate more
  NAFTA did not create thou-        with the core labor rights of the   robust, equitable and sustained
sands of promised good jobs—        International Labor Organiza-       economic growth. In exchange
the jobs it did create were less    tion (ILO), including freedom       for investment in Mexico’s
stable, with lower wages and        of association and the right to     economy—the poorest of the
fewer benefits, the leaders said.   organize and bargain collec-        three—Mexico should agree to
Increased trade largely benefit-    tively. All three countries         changes in laws and institu-
ed the corporate elite in all       restrict the freedom to form        tions to better protect the rights
three countries, and income         unions, both in law and prac-       of Mexican workers and allow
inequality has also grown in        tice, they said.. The North         their income to rise as their
the region, they said. And the      American countries must             economy grows.
economic crisis has only exac-      ensure that workers can exer-          • Rebuild our industrial base,    A fire broke out on the east side of the 170 freeway at Sherman
erbated the problems.               cise their most basic and funda-    which is essential for maintain-     Way in North Hollywood and ran through palm trees, heavy
  These problems must be            mental rights or face appropri-     ing our living standards. As         brush and grass before being knocked down in about 45 min-
                                                                                                             utes.         Information and photo by Mike Meadows, EPN
Page 14                                                                      Los Angeles Firefighter                                                     September/October 2009

          Remembering the “LAFD Hook and Ladder Lads”
          By Jim Perry              band were borne by the mem-          and long-time officer of                • Orange County Fairgrounds      Christmas Parties – Mayor
              Editor                bers themselves, and if they         UFLAC. My apologies to those          “Fire Fair”                        Bradley and Mayor Yorty
  In 1986 a group of active and     were offered payment for their       not mentioned.                          • L.A. Zoo Grand Opening            • L.A. Relief Assn. Functions
retired members of the LAFD         services, they requested any            There was scarcely a parade,         • Griffith Park                     • LAFD and LAcoFD Golf
put together the 100 Year His-      monies be donated to that Fund.      social, athletic, commercial, po-       • Travel Town                    Tournaments
tory of the Los Angeles City           The band was made up of a         litical, fundraising, or public re-     • L.A. Firemen’s Credit             • Wilshire Businessmen’s
Fire Department in a beautiful      variety of ranks on the LAFD         lations activity that didn’t          Union                              Assn.
leather-bound work of art titled,   and included members of neigh-       involve the Hook and Ladder             • Santa Monica Freeway              • Parades – East L.A, Watts,
the “LAFD Centennial Book.”         boring departments as well.          Lads.                                 Grand Opening                      San Fernando Valley, El Se-
  Just recently it was pointed      Long-time members through               Countless letters of apprecia-       • Torrance Straw Hat Pizza       gundo, etc.
out that a very important part of   the years included:                  tion, commendations, photos           Opening                               • Inter-Department Functions
that history was left out…one of       • John Gilmore, LAFD Engi-        and recordings were sent from           • LAFD Coldwater Canyon          – LAPD, L.A.Co.FD, Sierra
the greatest Public Relations       neer, Deceased                       those who benefited from their        Signal Office Opening              Madre F.D., Fullerton F.D.,
groups that the LAFD enjoyed           • Gus Daniels, LAFD Cap-          efforts through the years. A par-       • Olvera St. Festivals and Pa-   Barstow F.D. Santa Fe Springs
was not mentioned.                  tain, Deceased                       tial list includes:                   rades                              F.D., Orange F.D., and Ventura
  As one of the members of that        • Leonard Jacobsen, LAFD             • L.A. Mayor’s Office                • American Legion Bicenten-      F.D., etc.
“Centennial Book Committee”         Engineer, Deceased                      • L.A. City Fire Commission        nial Celebration                      • Celebrity Events for Rudy
I feel particularly bad because        • Harry Gross, LAFD Assis-           • Fire Service Day Parades           • New Orleans Hot Jazz Soci-     Vallee, Pat Buttram, Doodles
of my close association with        tant Chief, Deceased                 from 1959-1979                        ety                                Weaver and Pat O’Brien
this dedicated group known as          • Jim Shaw, LAFD Captain,            • Hollywood Christmas Lane           • L.A.P.D. Academy Parades,         Hundreds of Retirement Din-
the “Hook and Ladder Lads.”         Deceased                             Parades                               Picnics and Parties                ners…and the list goes on.
  On behalf of our committee, I        • Cal Parker, LAFD Fireman,          • Jerry Lewis Telethon               • L.A. Library Assn.                Internationally known and re-
offer a most sincere apology to     Deceased                                • “Queen For a Day” TV               • U.S. Veterans – Sawtelle       spected Los Angeles County
those incredibly talented and          • Lee Zitco, Retired LAFD         Show                                  Veterans’ Hospital                 Fire Chief Keith Klinger, one of
generous musicians that do-         Inspector                               • UFLAC Local 112 Political          • Bob Hope Roast – L.A.          the best pubic relations execu-
nated thousands of hours of            • Frank Donohue, Retired          Functions                             Times                              tives in the nation used to say,
their personal time in providing    L.A. County F.D. Captain                • C.S.F.A. Conferences all           • L.A. Press Club News           “Los Angeles City has what I
the finest in Dixieland Jazz en-       • Herb Johnson, Retired Or-       over the state                        Media Events and Parties           wish I had with those Hook and
tertainment to almost anyone        ange County F.D. Batt. Chief            • Firemen’s Day/Nights at            • Woodbury College Orphans’      Ladder Lads – the best Public
that requested their services for      • Steve Blair, Retired L.A.       Disneyland                            Christmas Events                   Relations group around!”
over 20 years.                      County F.D. Captain                     • Firemen’s Summer and               • L.A. Chamber of Commerce          Chief Klinger wasn’t alone in
  Unfortunately most of the            • Gary Smith, Retired LAPD        Winter Olympics                       Fundraisers                        his assessment of this incredible
members of the Hook and Lad-        Motorcycle Officer                      • Lake Elsinore Firemen’s            • Foresters’ and Fire Wardens’   band. They were definitely
der Lads have passed away and          • Gene Hill, Retired LAFD         Raft Races                            Conferences                        “Number One” in anyone’s
were never recognized for their     Fireman and leader of the Band          • U.S. Coast Guard                   • L.A.F.D. Picnics – San         book. I can only hope that this
incomparable dedication and            • Rick Estrada, Retired LAFD         • U.S. Treasury Dept.              Pedro, San Fernando Valley,        belated recognition of the in-
contributions to the Los Ange-      Engineer                                • Footprinters Organization        Police Academy                     comparable “Hook and Ladder
les Relief Association’s Wid-          There were others that would         • “Towering Inferno” Movie           • Chief Officer Events/Parties   Lads” is accepted in the heart-
ows, Orphans and Disabled           fill in with the band but I cannot   Premiere                              – Bill Miller, Don Hibbard, Ken    felt spirit in which it is being
Firemen’s Fund.                     recall anyone except Don For-           • “Firehouse” TV Series Cast       Long, Keith Klinger, etc.          given…Jim Perry
  All costs associated with that    rest, Retired LAFD Inspector         “Wrap Party”                            • Political Campaigns and

“Loyalty to God and Country Parade – San Fernando Vallley - 1968

                                                                                                         1973 UFLAC Political Candidates Victory Party

Los Angeles City Mayor’s 1970 Christmas Party in the City Hall Tower
with Mayor Sam Yorty and wife Betts behind, left to right: Gus Daniels,
Harry Gross, (Banjos), Jim Shaw (Trombone), Gene Hill (Trumpet),                  Jerry Lewis Telethon - 1971. Left to right: Frank Donohue (Piano), Gene Hill (Trumpet),
Steve Blair (Tuba), Cal Parker (Bass), Frank Donohue (Piano) and Gary             Cal Parker, (Bass), Jim Shaw (Trombone), Gary Smith (Drums) Gus Daniels and Harry
Smith (Drums).                                                                    Gross (Banjos).
September/October 2009                                                                          Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                  Page 15

                   2009-2010 UFLAC                                                           Services Directory                     General Membership Meeting
                                                                                              Department of Fire and
                    Executive Board                                                              Police Pensions
                                                                                                                                       9:00 a.m., September 23, 2009, Wednesday,
                                                                                                                                                    “C” Shift Working
                                                                                                360 East Second Street,                 9:00 a.m., October 21, 2009, Wednesday,
 Pat McOsker, Engineer . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire Station 101-A                                      Suite 400                                    “B” Shift Working
                FIRST VICE PRESIDENT                                                            Los Angeles, CA 90012                         Location – UFLAC Union Hall
 Paul Gilbrook, Apparatus Operator. . . Fire Station 47-C                                           (213) 978-4545
                                                                                                  www.lacity.org/pen                   1571 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
                                                                                                                                        Refreshments and Free Parking Available
 Frank Lima, Captain II . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire Station 69-B                             ACTIVE MEMBERS                                      at both locations
                       TREASURER                                                                     Applying for a
 Brian Hishinuma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire Station 49-A                              Service Pension
                       SECRETARY                                                                    (213) 978-4575                         Station Stewards
 David Pimentle, Captain/Paramedic . . . . UFLAC Office                                              Applying for a                     September/October 2009
                        DIRECTORS                                                                  Disability Pension
                                                                                                                                  Assignment      Platoon       Name
                                                                                                    (213) 978-4500
 Leon Jobe, Caption II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire Station 47-C                                                                  001            A          Mark B. Stafford
 Mike Tobey, Captain/Paramedic . . . . . . . . . . . . EMS 1-C                                      Applying for                      004            B          Charles Garcia
 Chuong Ho, Firefighter III . . . . . . . . . . Fire Station 14-B                                 DROP participation                  005            A          Mario A. Garcia
                                                                                                   (213) 978-4568                     008            C          Mark Kleckner
 Tony Gamboa, Apparatus Operator. . . Fire Station 38-C                                                                               009            C          Felipe Villegas
 Rey Delgado, Firefighter/Paramedic . . Fire Station 42-B                                        Buying Back Time                     009            C          Adrian Vasquez
             BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE                                                         (Academy Time, Bad Time,                 011            C          Gregory C. Malais
                                                                                                   Prior Service)                     015            A          Cameron R. Kennedy
 Mike McOsker, Retired Engineer . . . . . . . UFLAC Office                                        (213) 978-4522                      015            C          Edward Larini
                     EAP DIRECTOR                                                                                                     016            A          Dan Butcher
                                                                                               Contribution Statements
 Nancy Mraz, CEAP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UFLAC Office                               (For Divorce, Loans,                 029            A          John R. Maestri
                            EDITOR                                                           Verification of Contribution)            029            B          Michael Ladue
                                                                                                    (213) 978-4522                    033            C          Kevin L. Willis
 Jim Perry, Retired Fire Captain II . . . . . . UFLAC Office                                                                          034            B          Joe Smith
                                                                                               Pre-Retirement Planning                042            C          Ruben Terrazas
                                                                                                      Seminars                        044            B          David Raya
                                                                                                   (213) 978-4522                     047            B          Chris Stellern
                                                                                                                                      048            A          Hector M. Hernandez
                                                                                               Refund of Contributions                051            A          Alicia Mathis
                                                                                                   (213) 978-4522                     064            A          Ed Campos
                                                                                            Domestic Partner Information              066            C          Anthony R. Temple
                                                                                                 (213) 978-4522                       069            A          Marc Samama
                                                                                                                                      074            B          Michael McGrady
                                                                                               RETIRED MEMBERS                        074            A          William Ramsey
                                                                                                                                      075            A          Adam M. Van Gerpen
                                                                                             Name, Address & Telephone                076            C          Francisco “Frank” Hurtado
   This emblem on the masthead of any labor publication certifies that the publica-              Number Changes                       077            C          M. Benjamin J. Rossell
  tion is a member in good standing of the International Labor Communications As-                 (213) 978-4575                      079            A          Scott Carter
              sociation and is bound to observe the ILCA Code of Ethics
                                                                                                     Cost of Living                   083            C          Benjamin R. Guzman
  IAFF and AFL-CIO affiliates have prior approval to reprint or excerpt articles in
                                                                                                    (213) 978-4495                    084            A          Thomas G. Chamberlain
             the Los Angeles Firefighter — Please include credit line.
                                                                                                                                      084            A          Douglas Deyoung
    Note: Photos and cartoons may not be reprinted without the expressed written
                     permission of the photographer or artist.
                                                                                                     Direct Deposit                   085            A          Andrew D. Muniz
                                                                                                    (213) 978-4495                    087            B          Jeff Rickey
                           The Los Angeles Firefighter                                                                                092            A          Christopher Contreras
                               (ISSN #0190-7573)                                                   Tax Withholding
                                                                                                                                      094            C          Rigo Arellano
                        Local 112, IAFF, AFL-CIO-CLC                                               (213) 978-4495
        Official Publication of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City is                                                            095            A          Buck O’Connor
                              Published Bi-Monthly                                                     1099Rs                         096            A          Ronald Myers
                   Periodical Postage paid at Los Angeles, CA                                  (Year-end tax statements)              098            A          George James
                          Known Office of Publication is                                           (213) 978-4420                     098            B          Dario Reyes
                    United Firefighters of Los Angeles City,
                                                                                                                                      101            A          Pat McOsker
                        1571 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles,                                        Health/Dental Subsidy
                              California 90026-5798                                                                                   103            C          Steve G. Brunett
      POSTMASTER: Send Address Changes to The Los Angeles Firefighter
                                                                                                   (213) 978-4560                     104            B          Gken A. Kratkin
                               1571 Beverly Blvd.
                                                                                                 Health/Dental Plans:                 105            B          Henry Munoz
                          Los Angeles, CA 90026-5798
                                                                                               Fire Relief (Health Only)              112            A          Keith Massey
                          Union Office Phone Numbers                                                (800) 244-3439                    112            C          John Donato
                                 Administration:                                                                                      FPB                       Sidney Chambers
            (213) 895-4006 - (213) 485-2091 - Toll Free (800) 252-8352                                 UFLAC                          DTFH            S         Jacob Ryan
                                      Benefits:                                                     (800) 252-8352                    VFP                       Scott Miller
                                   (213) 895-4990                                                                                     VPP                       Russell K. Rawls
                                 FAX: (213) 250-5678
                               Website: www.uflac.org
                                                                                            If You See An Error…                               Station Stewards Meetings
                                                                                               The Los Angeles Firefighter                           Time: 7:30 a.m.
                   EAP Office: (213) 895-0910 or (800) 252-8352
                                                                                            strives to maintain accuracy and            Prior to Monthly Membership Meetings
                              EAP FAX: (213) 481-1038                                                                                 (Same location as the Membership Meeting)
                                                                                            fairness in all stories, graphics,
                              EAP 24 Hr. Help Line                                          photographs and other copy that
                          Answering Service: (213) 250-1212
                                                                                            appears in our union newspaper.
                                       Affiliations                                         It is our practice to correct er-              Union Stewards Needed
                 International Assn. of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO-CLC                          rors in the issue immediately          We are in the process of reorganizing and updating our Union
                   California Professional Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO                           following their discovery.           Stewards Program. It is our goal to have a Union Steward at
                     L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
                                                                                               If you have a correction or       every work location. Current and prospective Stewards are re-
                        California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
                                                                                            clarification request, please call   quested to contact UFLAC Secretary David Pimentle at the
                                                                                            the UFLAC office at 800-252-         Union Hall: (800) 252-8352.
                             American Federation of Labor
                                                                                            8352 or email the editor:
          International Labor Communications Association, AFL-CIO-CLC
                                                                                            jperry@uflac.org                                     Newspaper Mailing List
                      Los Angeles Firefighter Newspaper Staff                                                                      If you are receiving this newspaper and have a change of ad-
                                  Jim Perry-Editor
                                 jperry@uflac.org                                             Check UFLAC                        dress or would like to be removed from our mailing list, please
                                                                                                                                 call the union office at 1-800-252-8352, Ext. 208 or clip and
                 David Blair
                            Contributing Photographers
                                                  Ryan W. Ling, EPN
                                                                                                Website                          mail this note to:     UFLAC Local 112
             Gene Blevins, EPN                          Brian Litt
                                                                                                                                                             Attn: Maria
             Isaac Burks, LAFD                    Mike Meadows, EPN
                                                                                                For latest news,                            1571 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
             Rob Curtis, LAFD                          Lloyd Paine
              Juan Guerra, EPN                    Martin Nate Rawner
                                                                                                information and
                                                                                                                                   Name __________________________________________
                Brian Haimer                     Jeff Zimmerman, EPN
               Bill Hartenstein                                                                possible meeting                    Address ________________________________________
                     Emergency Photographers Network, (EPN)                                      date changes                      City ___________________________________________
         This union newspaper is printed by a union printer on union-made recycled paper.    www.uflac.org                         State______________________ ZIP _________________
Page 16                                                                           Los Angeles Firefighter                                                        September/October 2009

Lest we forget...
  The Day America Was Attacked
  On September 11, 2001, 19             The hijackers crashed a third         19 hijackers died in the attacks,
Al-Qaeda terrorist hijacked four     airliner into the in Arlington, Vir-     with the FDNY losing 343 Fire-
american commercial passenger        ginia, just outside of Washington,       fighters who responded to the
jet airliners.                       D.C.                                     World Trade Center. The over-
  The hijackers intentionally           The fourth plane crashed into a       whelming majority of casualties
crashed two of the airliners into    field near in rural Pennsylvania,        were civilians, including nation-
the Twin Towers of the in New        after some of its passengers and         als of over 90 different countries.
York City, killing everyone on       flight crew attempted to retake          In addition, an untold number of
board and many others working        control of the plane, which the          people died from which was
in the buildings. Both buildings     hijackers had redirected toward          ruled by a medical examiner to
collapsed within two hours, de-      Washington, D.C. There were no           be a result of exposure to dust
stroying nearby buildings and        survivors from any of the flights.       from the World Trade Center’s
damaging others.                        In total 2,974 victims and the        collapse.

                                                                                                                    NYC Mayor Says…
                                                                                                                    No Rank and Affiliation
                                                                                                                      on 9/11 Memorial
                                                                                                                       “Tell Bloomberg that FDNY          Engine Co. 21. Michael request-
Mural on the side of LAFD Truck 102.                                        Photo by Jeff Zimmerman, EPN
                                                                                                                    fire fighters deserve proper          ed to meet with the board about
                                                                                                                    recognition”                          the decision to omit ranks and
                                                                                                                       The National September 11          was told no. “This is a public
                  9/11 FDNY Firefighter                                                                             Memorial Foundation has
                                                                                                                    informed Michael Burke and
                                                                                                                                                          entity supported by public
                                                                                                                                                          funds. I am the voice of a guy
                                                                                                                    other families of FDNY fire           who gave his life on 9/11, but I
                  Succumbs to Cancer                                                                                fighters killed in the 9/11 terror-
                                                                                                                    ist attacks that ranks and affilia-
                                                                                                                                                          cannot meet with the board,”
                                                                                                                                                          writes Burke in his message,
       The Secret List                Related: 9/11 Responders                people of that age. Under nor-        tion will not be included on the      “Denying My Brother’s Identi-
   FDNY FF John McNamara                         Cancer:                      mal circumstances, researchers        Memorial Wall in New York             ty“ posted on the FDNY web
assigned to Engine Company             Researchers       specifically         would have expected to find           City because New York City            site. “I don’t know where any of
234 passed away on Sunday            studying responders specifical-          only one case of the disease in       Mayor Michael Bloomberg,              them were on September 11.”
August 9, 2009. FDNY has             ly say a small number of young           that age group.                       chair of the Memorial Founda-            The IAFF is encouraging
determined that his loss with        law enforcement officers who                Those four young multiple          tion Board, believes such dis-        members to send a loud and
be classified as an Adminis-         participated in the World Trade          myeloma patients included one         tinctions will cause visitors to      clear message to Mayor
trative Line of Duty Death.          Center rescue and cleanup                officer who was caught in the         mourn the death of the plane’s        Bloomberg and the National
FF McNamara, a 10 year veter-        operation have developed an              dust cloud on 9/11 and then           captain or a fire captain more        September 11 Memorial and
an of FDNY, was diagnosed            immune system cancer. No                 spent months working long             than the death of the plane’s         Museum Foundation that listing
with Cancer in 2006 only 5           doubt-the findings will mir-             hours at the site. Another spent      passengers or the civilian the        the rank and company affilia-
years after working at the           ror the issues known within              111 days at the Staten Island         fire fighter was trying to rescue.    tion of FDNY fire fighters who
World Trade Center. Since            the FDNY and FDNY EMS                    landfill where the rubble was            “This is a disgrace,” says         gave their lives that dark day is
being diagnosed, John had            community.                               sifted. Two others had less expo-     IAFF 1st District Vice President      about honoring them and that
made several trips to Washing-         The numbers are tiny, and              sure, working 12 and 14 days          Kevin Gallagher. “To not honor        disallowing it is inexcusable.
ton to fight for the sick from       experts don’t know 100% that             each in the pit and rubble pile.      our fallen brothers with their           Letters may be sent to:
9/11/01. He is one of the charter    there is a confirmed link                   The study said it is possible      rank is wrong. We cannot let
members of the FDNY FIRE-            between the illnesses and tox-           the monitoring program was            their sacrifice go without the         Mayor Michael Bloomberg
FIGHTER Brotherhood foun-            ins released during the disaster,        simply more effective at find-        proper recognition for the coura-         City of New York
dation, a not for profit organiza-   but numerous signs point in              ing the illness among people          geous acts they performed.”              Office of the Mayor
tion founded to support and          that direction. The doctors              who wouldn’t ordinarily be               Burke’s brother, William F.                City Hall
promote the needs of those first     who coordinated the study,               subjected to intense medical          Burke Jr., was a captain in            New York, NY 10007-1255
responders who are sick follow-      published today in the Journal           tracking. Nevertheless, Moline
ing work at the World Trade          of Occupational and Environ-             said, “You shouldn’t be see-          sure to a carcinogen.                 carcinogens out there? Time
Center. http://www.nycfire-          mental Medicine, said people             ing so many cases of myelo-             In these cases, the cancers         will tell. And hopefully soon-
fighterfoundation.org/               who worked at the site should            ma in younger folks.” The             were diagnosed in as little as        er than later so that ALL who
   McNamara spent about 500          continue to have their health            median age of diagnosis for           three to four years after the         responded and operated at
hours looking for his fallen         monitored.                               that cancer in the general pub-       attacks, suggesting that some-        the WTC on 9/11 will be
brethren at the site where the         “What we are trying to get             lic is 71.                            thing else might have caused          properly diagnosed and
World Trade Center once              out there is: Be alert,” said Dr.           Several groups are studying        the disease. Or, could it be the      treated. Right now, for many
stood, and his plight was part       Jacqueline M. Moline, director           New Yorkers exposed to toxic          heavy concentration in a very         who know-and many more
of a documentary called “Save        of the World Trade Center                dust when the skyscrapers col-        limited period of exposure to         who do not know, it is a race
the Brave,” which chronicled         Medical Monitoring and Treat-            lapsed. To date, no study,            some of the worst possible            against time.
the lives of ailing rescue work-     ment Program at the Mount                including the one published
ers. McNamara, who was                 Sinai School of Medicine.              Monday, has established a
assigned to Ladder 123 in              The researchers looked at              100% link between that dust
Crown Heights, Brooklyn, also        28,252 emergency responders              and cancer, said Lorna Thorpe,
joined the FDNY’s rescue mis-        who spent time amid ground               a deputy commissioner and
sion to New Orleans after Hur-       zero dust and found eight cases          epidemiologist at New York
ricane Katrina.                      of multiple myeloma.                     City’s health department, but it
   He became ill in June 2006          Those findings were no sur-            doesn’t that a “researcher” to
and the cancer spread to his         prise. Multiple myeloma is the           figure out where this will
liver and stomach. Though            second most common hemato-               probably lead.
gravely ill, he spent his remain-    logical cancer in the U.S. after            The timing of the four cases
ing years fighting for better        non-Hodgkin’s       lymphoma.            examined by the team at Mount
testing and health benefits for      Normally, researchers would              Sinai also raised questions
firefighters who worked at           expect to find about seven               about whether they are related
Ground Zero. McNamara is             cases in a group as large as the         to their work at ground zero.
survived by his wife, Jennifer,      one examined in the study.               Most research on multiple
and 2-year-old son, Jack. Our          However, four of the people            myeloma indicates that it usu-
most sincere condolences to          who fell ill were under age 45,          ally takes 10 to 20 years for
the family, friends and Broth-       and multiple myeloma is                  someone to develop that cancer
ers/Sisters of FF McNamara.          thought to be more rare among            after an environmental expo-

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