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Training to stay alive Training to stay alive

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									                                                                                  APRIL ISSUE 2009

Published since 1927 by California State Firefighters’ Association              www.csfa.net

                                                                     Training to

                                                                      stay alive

                                                                         Avoiding scams in
                                                                          higher education

                                                                      Promotion strategies

                                                                     Corporate profile: HME
                                                                                                                                         The California Fire Service
                                                                                                                                             published by CSFA since 1927
                                                                                                                                               2701 K Street, Suite 201
                                                                                                                                                Sacramento, CA 95816
                                                                                                                                            800-451-2732 • www.csfa.net

                                                                                                                                                        Executive Editor,
                                                                                                                                                           Kevin Nida
                                         April 2009 • Volume 20, No. 4

                                                          Tradition, innovation


                                                          and quality are the
                                                                                                                                                         Gary Giacomo

                                                          watchwords at HME
                                                                                                                                                          Dave Hubert

                                                          By Gary Giacomo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

                                                                                                                                                     Design and Layout

                                                          Fighting to stay alive
                                                                                                                                                      Mary Burroughs

                                                                                                                                               Editorial deadline 1st of the
                                                          By Robert Dunivin                       ....................                       month preceding publication date

                                                          Being aware leads to
                                                                                                                                                 (800) 451-2732 ext. 232

                                                          firefighter survival
     6                                                                                                                                        For display advertising rates and
                                                                                                                                                 deadlines call Frank Swift
                                                                                                                                                     at (800) 506-4ADS.

                                                                                                                                               For classified advertising rates
                                                          By Shawn Millerick                       ...................                                  and deadlines
                                                                                                                                                     call Gary Giacomo
                                                                                                                                                 at (800) 451-2732 ext. 232

                                                                                                                                         The California Fire Service ISSN: 1048-5074 (USPS
                                                                                                                                         083920) is published monthly by the California
                                                                                                                                         State Firefighters’ Association, Inc., 2701 K Street,
                                                                                                                                         Suite 201, Sacramento, CA 95816, a non-profit
                                                                                                                                         organization formed in 1922 by firefighters to serve
                                                                                                                                         firefighters. Periodicals postage paid at Sacramento,
                                                                                                                                         CA and an additional mailing office. Copyright
                                                                                                                                         2009 California State Firefighters’ Association. No
                                                                                                                                         material can be reproduced without written permis-
                                                                                                                                         sion of the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send

                                                                                              LA Heat head to the
                                                                                                                                         address changes to: The California Fire Service,

                                                                                                 Rose Bowl May 2
                                                                                                                                         2701 K Street, Suite 201, Sacramento, CA 95816.
                                                                                                                                         Address editorial contributions to the above
                                                                                                                                         address, attention editor. Publisher assumes no
  10                                                         36
                                                                                                                                         responsibility for unsolicited material. Views
                                                                                                                                         expressed are those of the authors and do not
                                                                                                                                         necessarily represent CSFA policies or positions

Guest Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Legal Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Legislative Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

    CSFA News
SAFER Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

    Benefits Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
    Benefits Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41            ON THE COVER:
    Conference News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35, 37
                                                                                                                                           Five engine companies and two trucks
    CSFA News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36          from Torrance Fire Department
                                                                                                                                           responded to a house fire in Torrance
    Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
                                                                                                                                           in January. The first-in engine company
    CSFA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40                reported heavy black smoke coming
                                                                                                                                           from the roof of a two story home The
    Fire Service Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39            fire was contained to the attic. Allunits
    Fire Service Databank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41              were out for over an hour.

    Hubie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39      Photos by Jon Androwski
    President's Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

4     •    THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                                              •    APRIL 2009
Corporate Profile                                   By Gary Giacomo

     Tradition, innovation and
quality are the watchwords at HME

T       he late William Randolph Hearst
        would be pleased. Up at the Hearst
Castle, along California's beautiful San
                                                    fire rigs there roll on chassis that also began as
                                                    raw sheet metal in Wyoming, Michigan.
                                                          More recently and with increasing fre-
                                                                                                         cialized applications such as heavy delivery, stone
                                                                                                         cranes, roofer's hoists and scavenger bodies.
                                                                                                               Ever the innovator, it was Hendrickson
Simeon coast, the thousands of European             quency, HME rigs are being seen in Cal Fire          that developed and marketed the first tandem
treasures that Hearst acquired as a media           stations across the Golden State, as HME ful-        axle suspension, and was one of the first truck
tycoon early in the 20th century are protected      fills a multi-year contract for 120 fire engines.    manufacturers to install Diesel engines. The
by a fire engine that got its start at a plant in   Simply put, the link between Michigan's HME          company built its first line of fire apparatus in
the HME plant in western Michigan. One of           factory and California's fire service is strong      the 1930s.
Hearst's California contemporaries, conserva-       and growing.                                               Hendrickson Motor Truck Company
tionist John Muir, who convinced President                                                               changed its name over time to Hendrickson
Teddy Roosevelt to preserve Yosemite Valley as      A rich history                                       Mobile Equipment (HME) to better reflect the
California's first national park, would be             HME can trace its heritage back to 1913,          diversity of products being produced. Over the
equally happy. Today, the National Park Service     when Magnus Hendrickson founded the                  road trucks, crane carriers, split shaft power
                                                            Hendrickson Motor Truck Company              take offs, cast spoke wheels, tandem suspen-
                                                            in Chicago. Quite an innovator in his        sions and specialized prime movers such as a
                                                            day, Hendrickson began building cus-         mammoth rig that was built to transport
                                                            tom trucks including those for spe-          500,000-lb. transformers to a Canadian hydro-

                                                                An aerial view of the 150,000 square foot HME plant in
                                                                Wyoming, Michigan adjacent to the city of Grand Rapids

             A crew advances a hose line on a grass fire accompanied by one of the rigs built by HME for the Governor's Office
                                                  of Emergency Services (now the California Emergency Management Agency).

6   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                                Corporate Profile
electric plant, proved over and over, the engi-       Badged with legendary Ahrens-Fox               tus. Over the years the factory in Michigan has
neering and manufacturing expertise of HME.       nameplate, the RAT™, or Rapid Attack Truck,        churned out the chassis for products that
In 1980, HME was the first to introduce a cab     combines a fully rated Class A pumper engi-        were eventually badged as E-one and LTI rigs
over tilt cab to the fire market in a custom      neered into the size of a mini pumper with-        among many others. Through various manu-
design. Further enhancing maneuverability         out sacrificing water, hose or equipment car-      facturers, fire apparatus that began as raw
HME led the industry with the introduction of a   rying capacity.                                    sheet metal in Western Michigan now roll in
standard 45-degree front axle cramp angle.            As maneuverable as the RAT™ is, we all         response to incidents from China and South
                                                  know that a rat can still be snared by a cat.      Africa to Mexico.
HME today                                         Therefore HME engineered the the CAT™ or                Owing to its Chicago roots - HME's chas-
    Today, HME is located in Wyoming,             City Attack Truck. This rig is custom engi-        sis products are all numbered 1871 (such as
Michigan, the largest suburb of Grand             neered, perfect for departments with high call     the 1871-SFO, that is the chassis for the CAT)
Rapids, just a half hour drive from the shores    volumes that need a unit having heavy duty         in honor of the year of the Great Chicago Fire.
of Lake Michigan. With over 120 employees         pumping power, easy service accessibility, and     The economic and versatile 1871-Vocational
working in a 150,000 square foot plant, pro-      user-friendly design elements such as an           Chassis, the 100 inch 1871-W and the Spectr
ducing fire apparatus, and special mobile         extremely low rear hose bed. The CAT™ pro-         round out the company's chassis offerings.
equipment units such as drill rig chassis and     vides an abundance of compartment space for        Each chassis, though, can be adorned with a
heavy-duty prime movers, HME is a hub of          storing EMS and firefighting equipment and is      variety of trim and options.
manufacturing activity. All HME vehicles          mounted on an HME custom chassis designed               “I like to call it plug and play,” Lenz says
begin with the raw frame rails literally enter-   to be more maneuverable than the chief's           with a grin, commenting on the HME line of
ing one side of the plant, and the finished       Crown Victoria.                                    customizable chassis in various stages of con-
units emerging from the other. This “under                                                           struction on the factory floor. By utilizing a
one roof” facility brings together the chassis,   Today's management                                 number of custom configurations that are
systems, pump and body engineering to pro-        and fire service history                           interchangeable depending on the configura-
duce rigs that are truly single-source from            The company's sprawling headquarters in       tion, HME is able to realize volume manufac-
start to finish.                                  Wyoming, Michigan is overseen by a manage-         turing discounts, which, of course, help keep
    The company is the world's largest single-    rial Holy Trinity of three executives. One keeps   costs down for the customer.
source producer of custom, stainless steel fire   tabs on manufacturing and warehousing,                  Still it was the 1871- SFO - (short forward
apparatus, and as such, has introduced a          another oversees the accounting side of the        overhang) that is the chassis of choice for the
number of new products in recent years.           business, and Ken Lenz, who holds the title of     nimble and compact workhorses that caught
                                                  president, keeps tabs on engineering, sales        the eye of Cal Fire and OES. As they sit ready
A menagerie of products                           and marketing.                                     to ship to the Golden State, one can almost
    Not surprising, from a vehicle manufac-            Lenz, who has over three decades in the
turing state that spawned the Ford Mustang        heavy truck business, cut his teeth with HME
and the Chevy Impala - the marketing folks at     when it was Chicago based and shipped cabs
HME seem to lean toward animal names for          and chassis to fire departments throughout
their family of fire service products.            the country badged as Grumman fire appara-

                                                  Although known in the fire service for
                                                  their apparatus and chassis, HME also              Inspectors put the HME Cal Fire rigs
                                                  engineers and manufactures special-                through extensive tests to replicate ter-
                                                  ized trucks like this transport used at            rain that may be encountered during a
                                                  the Nasa Space Center.                             wildland fire.

Mackinac Island Fire Department in
Michigan's upper peninsula took deliv-
ery of the company's first Rat - that
operates like a mini pumper on
steroids with the nimble maneuver-
ability needed on the island’s narrow
winding roads.                                    Chino Valley's Fire District's all-wheel drive HME rig in action.

                                                                 APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                      •   7
Corporate Profile

imagine them scurrying up a rugged hillside,         business, Ahrens-Fox. As any student of fire his-        As the factory in western Michigan churns
battling a Santa Ana wind-fed wildfire.              tory knows, it was Ahrens-Fox that introduced       out a dozen new California bound rigs a
                                                     innovations such as the first gasoline propelled    week, it seems certain that the company with
The latest animal - The Rodent                       fire engines, rotary pumps, and booster tanks       roots tied back to World War I, will provide the
     In the weeks leading up to the 2009 Fire        on fire apparatus. The last of the old Ahrens-      stability and the innovations that the modern
Department Instructor's Conference in a cor-         Fox line was produced in Ohio in 1977, but          fire service demands for many years to come.
ner of the HME plant, we were able to catch          HME, through a licensing agreement with Ken              For more information on HME visit
a glimpse of the new multi function rig that         Menke, who is the owner of the company              hmetruck.com.
will be introduced on the FDIC floor in              name, parts inventory and service records of
Indianapolis. Code named “the rodent”, at            Ahrens Fox, insures that the tradition of engi-
first glance it looks like a rescue - and certain-   neering innovation as well as the name Ahrens-
ly has more than enough cubbies and com-             Fox lives on with HME's modern products.
partments to stow all the tools to make any
true truckie's heart flutter. But wait, closer
inspection shows that it also carries water -
500 gallons to be exact -- and this animal is
also equipped with a foam unit to make that
water even wetter. With its short-wheel base
and multi-function capabilities, the Rodent is
sure to cause a stir when it is unveiled on the
show floor in Indy.
     Like all of HME's offerings, the Rodent's                                                           With Cal Fire's order fully underway,
use of stainless steel that can be painted, but                                                          employees at HME have plenty of work
won't easily corrode, insures long life for the                                                          to keep them busy. Here a worker
rigs from HME.                                                                                           checks the specs on component for a
                                                     Is it a quint or is it a rescue? Well it's a        Cal Fire rig.
     “When the holocaust leaves nothing but
                                                     first look at new animal from the HME
rats and cockroaches -- these trucks will still      stable. Code named the Rodent, this rig
be around,” says Lenz about the durability of        is equipped with pump, foam unit,
HME's stainless steel products.                      ground ladders and storage for rescue
     Given HME's innovations over the years, it      tools. This rolling Swiss Army knife will
is entirely fitting that their apparatus are         have its debut at the FDIC show in
badged along with a former innovator in the          Indianapolis at the end of the month.

                                                                                                         Designed for ease of maintenance HME
                                                                                                         wiring harness is color coded allowing
                                                                                                         a trouble shooter to easily trace a line
                                                                                                         to the rig's various electrical systems
                                                                                                         and components.

                                                                                                                                                            PHOTOS THIS PAGE BY GARY GIACOMO

                                                                                                         As well as being a major employer in
                                                                                                         the greater Grand Rapids area, HME
A completed Cal Fire cab and chassis assembly is ready for water                                         gives back to the local community as
tank. HME's underbody support (inset) provides extra strength while                                      well. The company annually produces a
allowing the body to flex when driving over rough terrain as found                                       fire safety coloring book and co-spon-
in California's wildlands.                                                                               sors a coloring contest for children.

8   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                         Legislative Report
                         By Afrack Vargas, CSFA Legislative Advocate

                         CSFA sponsors legislation to protect
                         your lungs at wildland fires

CSFA                            has     sponsored
                                legislation that
would guarantee your right to protect your
                                                     would-be Good Samaritans from having to
                                                     choose between following their moral inclina-
                                                     tion to help a person in need and protecting
lungs at a wildland fire.             AB 635 by      themselves from the possibility of a lawsuit.
Assemblymember Victor Manuel Perez (D-
Coachella) would prohibit a fire department or       CSFA Conference in
district from keeping you from using a respira-      Sacramento: Politics and
tory breathing device at wildland fires, provid-     Power
ed that it does not interfere with your ability to       The 87th Annual Conference will be held
do your job.                                         in Sacramento at a time when all eyes are on
     Are there really firefighters prohibited        California and its Capitol. Our conference will
from protecting themselves and are NOT               feature some of the most influential people in
allowed to wear a dust mask or even an N-95
mask? Unfortunately, YES!
     There are many fire departments in
California that prohibit their firefighters from
respiratory protection at wildland fires. The
                                                     The CSFA Political Action
fire services' attitude toward wildand respira-
tory protective equipment is as diverse as           Committee invites you to join
California's terrain. Many departments issue
disposable N95 dust masks, some issue respi-         them as they host Governor
rators or filtering masks, but most issue noth-
ing at all.                                          Arnold Schwarzenegger,
     One thing is for sure: wildland firefighting
is a dusty, dirty, smoke-filled job, and no device
can fully protect a firefighter's lungs from the
                                                     Senators, Assemblymembers,
smoke. That is probably the reason why many
departments question the practicality of using       and their staff at the Annual
any equipment at all. We respect that there
are varying opinions on some of this equip-          Legislative Reception on
ment, and that this issue can be controversial,
but any time we can further the discussion of
firefighter safety, we will do just that.
                                                     Wednesday April 15 in
Good Samaritain rescue bill
                                                     Sacramento. Register online
passes Assembly
     AB 38 by Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-          for the CSFA Conference at
Los Angeles) Seeks to encourage Good
Samaritans to continue to step forward and           www.csfa.net.
help others in danger by providing that a per-
son who, in good faith and not for compensa-
tion, renders emergency medical or non-med-
ical care or assistance at the scene of an emer-     California, and you will be able to ask them the
gency shall not be liable for any civil damages      tough questions you have always wanted to.
resulting from an act or omission while render-           The CSFA Political Action Committee
ing such care, so long as that act or omission       invites you to join them as they host Governor
does not constitute gross negligence or willful      Arnold        Schwarzenegger,          Senators,
or wanton conduct.                                   Assemblymembers, and their staff at the
      This bill responds to the recent narrow        Annual Legislative Reception on Wednesday
Court ruling to expressly state that persons         April 15 in Sacramento. Call the office at (800)
who provide emergency care or assistance,            451-2732 for more information or visit
whether medical or non-medical, shall not be         www.csfa.net and register for the CSFA
liable for damages caused by their acts or omis-     Conference now.
sions while rendering emergency care, so long
as conduct does not constitute "gross negli-
gence" or "willful or wanton misconduct."
       CSFA supports this measure and we
believe it is urgently needed so as to prevent

                                                                    APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE   •   9
Survival Training
                                      By Robert Dunivin
                                      Photos courtesy LAFD In Services Training Section

Fighting to
stay alive
A look at Los Angeles Fire
Department's Firefighter
Survival Training
                                                                                     Background photo:
                                                                                     In this prop a firefighter
                                                                                     locates a hose in zero
                                                                                     visibility, determines exit
                                                                                     path and direction of

                                                                                    Inset photo:
                                                                                    A Firefighter breaches a
                                                                                    wall pushing SCBA through
                                                                                    first to exit a room.

                                              Survival Training

        T        his last year I had the opportunity to attend LAFD's

        Firefighter Survival training at the Los Angeles Fire Department's

        Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center. During my fire service

        career I have had the opportunity to attend other firefighter sur-

        vival courses, but this one was a wake up call. At the end of the

        day I learned new techniques, where my physical limitations

        were, and frankly, I found I need to get back on the treadmill.

            The tremendous experience of the LAFD In-Service Training
        Section cadre was very evident. The incident overviews and training
        prop selections for this course provided for realistic top-notch training.
            On January 14, 2008 the In-Service Training Section began
        training the Los Angeles Fire Department in the subject of
        Firefighter Survival. This training was delivered through the In-
        Service Training Academy (ISTA) delivery system. The training
        was conducted on 48 training days, in 96 sessions and over 3000
        LAFD members received the training.
            The idea of delivering Firefighter Survival Training was
        spurred from In-Service Training staff members attending the San
        Diego Firehouse World Conference held in February of 2007.
        Firefighter Survival and SCBA Air Management were instructed
        and taught by members from the FDNY and Seattle Fire
        Departments. Relationships were developed with these instruc-
        tors, ideas were exchanged, information was traded and LAFD
        Fire Fighter Survival was under way.
            Captain Jeff Brown spearheaded the program along with
        Captains Paul Nelson and Andrew Ruiz. In an interview with
        Captain Brown, he was quoted as saying, “One of the main goals
        of the In-Service Training Section is to develop and deliver a high-
        er level of training. We strive to create a training curriculum that
        is not possible to achieve at a field assignment and focus on a
        positive learning environment. We know that standard training
        is being performed at the battalion and station levels and what
        we provide is over and above the standard. This section truly
        strives to provide training that is a cut above.”
            The Firefighter Survival program consisted of two hours of
        classroom and two hours of hands-on practical application. This

APRIL 2009   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                    •   11
Survival Training
training curriculum worked well to teach and       occurred. Several lessons were learned from      drawal techniques
motivate students prior to performing the          these incidents and the training reinforced           3. The “SCBA Air Management” segment
tasks involved.                                    avoiding those same mistakes again.              focused on being aware of SCBA air usage
     The classroom portion included three               The incidents studied included:             and air conservation techniques. This also
PowerPoint presentations and a short video              • The Western Fire                          included the “GRAB LIVES” acronym, which
clip. The Power Point presentations were titled:        • The Adams Fire                            gave firefighters a guide on what to do in case
     1. Firefighter Survival                            • The Westlake Fire                         of an emergency and running out of air.
“Learn from the Past”                                   • The Hollyridge Fire                            The classroom portion also included a
     2. Firefighter Survival -                          • The Lankershim Fire                       short video segment on Cancer prevention.
Techniques                                              2. The “Firefighter Survival” Power Point   Lori Harris, the widow of LAFD Apparatus
     3. SCBA Air Management                        segment focused on teaching specific tech-       Operator Bret Harris who lost his life to cancer,
                                                   niques to use in order to effectively travel     was the speaker in the video. She delivered
   1. The “Learn from the Past” power point        through a building with entanglements or par-    the message of “Cancer Prevention” through
segment focused on five previous fire inci-        tial collapse. This included SCBA maneuvers,     keeping cleaner turnouts, getting regular
dents where a significant injury or death          body positioning techniques and rapid with-      check-ups and SCBA use at fires. This is long
                                                                                                    term “Firefighter Survival”.
                                                                                                         The overall classroom portion of the train-
                                                                                                    ing effectively motivated the student in prepa-
                                                                                                    ration of the hands-on portion.
                                                                                                         The hands-on portion was broken down
                                                                                                    into two areas:
                                                                                                         • Firefighter Survival techniques
                                                                                                         • SCBA Air Management.
                                                                                                         The Survival Techniques portion was
                                                                                                    designed as a confidence course. In a con-
                                                                                                    trolled environment, tasks were developed to
                                                                                                    place firefighters in situations they could
                                                                                                    encounter during structure fire fighting. This
                                                                                                    included SCBA maneuvers; body-positioning
                                                                                                    techniques and rapid escape techniques. This
                                                                                                    took place in the basement of FHMTC and
                                                                                                    consisted of over 150' of prop built by the In-
                                                                                                    Service Training Staff.
                                                                                                         The tasks presented to the firefighters
                                                                                                         • Entanglements
                                                                                                         • Collapsed ceilings/ walls
                                                                                                         • Reduced Profile
                                                                                                         • SCBA Pass Through
                                                                                                         • Burned out floors
                                                                                                         • Tight openings for exit
                                                                                                         • Hose coupling identification
                                                                                                         • Stud wall pass through
                                                                                                         • Buddy breathing
                                                                                                         • Overhead obstructions
                                                                                                         Each survival task that was developed was
                                                                                                    associated with a documented case where an
                                                                                                    injury or death occurred to professional fire-
                                                                                                    fighters around the nation in a similar situa-
                                                                                                         The training objective of “Fight to Stay
                                                                                                    Alive” was met in this training.
                                                                                                         The Air Management portion placed fire-
                                                                                                    fighting teams on a 200' hose line in a black-
                                                                                                    out environment. The training objectives of
                                                                                                    this portion were:
                                                                                                         • Company unity
                                                                                                         • Continuous awareness of Air remaining
                                                                                                    in SCBA
                                                                                                         • Team Communications
                                                                                                         • Buddy Breathing
                                                                                                         Teams accomplished these objectives with
                                                                                                    close proctoring and guidance due to the

12     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                    •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                                Survival Training
training environment that was created.             ters. Through the use of VET funds, letters           As a result of the training, the Medical
     The overall hands on portion of Firefighter   were written and approved to purchase             Plan was activated ten times during the course
Survival training proved to be very successful.    $53,000.00 of these wire cutters. The inten-      of the training. The need for the EMS to be
This training gave firefighters a realistic view   tion of the wire cutters is for firefighters to   activated included heat exhaustion, shortness
of what may be encountered while involved in       place them in their turnouts and have them        of breath, tired, or being weak and dizzy. As
a structure firefight or while attempting to       available for use in an emergency.                a precaution, any firefighter that was seen by
exit a building after some sort of structural           As a precaution, a medical plan was devel-   the paramedics was automatically transported
compromise.                                        oped for possible injuries or medical occur-      to the hospital. A total of ten patients were
                                                   rences in the hands on training area. An EMS      transported to the hospital.
Training Statistics                                station was set up in proximity to the training       The majority of the patients had a pre-
Training Period               January - May        location and all training cadre members were      existing condition that caused alarm.
# of Training Days                     48          trained on the medical plan in the event of an    Some of the patients were held over night
# of Training Sessions                 96          emergency. The Quality Insurance Section was      for observation. Most patients returned to
# of Days Training was Cancelled       9           dedicated as the initial treating Paramedics on   duty immediately after being released from
# of LAFD members trained              3029        medical occurrences.                              the hospital. No major medical complaints
# of Outside Agency members trained 204
# of Overtime hours used       Approx. 4500
# of Training Cadre members            92
# of Outside Agencies trained          12
Length of time to complete training 4 1/2

Outside Agencies
    The news of Firefighter Survival Training
spread fast throughout the LAFD as well as
other fire departments.       The In-Service
Training Section began receiving calls from
outside agencies requesting that their contin-
gent attend the training. With the willingness
to share training and having a well-trained,
adaptable cadre, the LAFD was able to
accommodate these requests without addi-
tional costs. Other departments that received
the training included:
    • Los Angeles County Fire
    • Culver City Fire
    • Beverly Hills Fire
    • Santa Ana Fire
    • Pasadena Fire
    • Contra Costa Fire
    • Downey Fire
    • Orange County Fire
    • Cal Fire
    • Glendale Fire
    • Toronto Fire
    • Santa Monica Fire

    The feedback received from these outside
agencies continues to be extremely positive.
The relationships that have been fostered
have proved to be beneficial to our depart-
ment as well. The department is continuous-
ly being invited by other fire departments to
attend various training sessions throughout
the Southland in a wide variety of subjects.
This assists in further the training growth of
the LAFD.
    To assist with long term Firefighter
Survival, the Bureau of Training and Risk
Management and the In-Service Training
Section purchased each member of our
department a pair of spring loaded wire cut-

                                                               APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                  •   13
Survival Training
resulted from the training.                       cal or mental condition for this training. Also     highly rated. Many of the comments included
     As in every training evolution, lessons      many members were not comfortable operat-           the statement “best training ever received on
were learned that would help enhance future       ing in total darkness, able to perform in tight/    the job, wish we could do it again, realistic
training. A part of these lessons learned         restrictive positions and lack manual dexterity     training approach”.
included weaknesses and deficiencies that         with firefighting gloves on.                             The team at In-Service Training takes a

Firefighter working through the entanglement scenario                         Wire Cutters are used to free this firefighter from an
pushes down the wire with his hand.                                           entanglement.

were noted by our training staff as well as the        Generally speaking and considered a            tremendous amount of pride in the level of
members involved. The In-Service Training         fringe benefit, this training brought to light a    training provided. This Section truly believes in
Section will take these noted deficiencies/       reality check of the items listed above and         bringing a higher level of training to our field
weaknesses into account when developing           served as a wake up call for many members.          force. Capt. Brown and his staff believe this
future training curriculum. Some of the                Firefighter Survival Training proved to be a   goal was accomplished and they are looking
weaknesses that were noted included that          highly successful endeavor. The evaluations         forward to providing future Class 1 training.
many firefighters were not in adequate physi-     received of the program were overwhelmingly              The prop still remains at the training center

14     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                    •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                                Survival Training
and it has been recommended that it remain        years experience and held the positions of        Safety Committee for over ten years and is
up to be available for further training use.      Engineer, Lieutenant, and Firefighter. For        currently the Co-Chair of the newly
Currently every recruit class goes thought this   the last 6 years he has be a firefighter with     formed Health and Wellness Committee.
training prior to graduating the drill tower in   the Los Angeles Fire Department. He has           Robert can be reached via email at rduni-
addition to other departments that continue       been a member of CSFA's Health and                vin@csfa.net .

A Firefighter demonstrates the wall breach prop.                           This firefighter learns how to reduce his profile while
                                                                           leaving his SCBA on.

to take part in the program. If you would like
                                                                  Is your department training for survival?
further information on the Survival Training
please feel free to contact Captain Jeffery               We are interested in letting the state know what your department in doing in the
Brown at the LAFD In Service Training Section         area of Firefighter Survival training. Please e-mail Robert Dunivin at rdunivin@csfa.net
via email at jeffrey.brown@lacity.org .               for possible coverage of your department's program in a future edition of The
                                                      California Fire Service.
About the author: Robert Dunivin has 18

                                                             APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                     •     15
Truck Company Corner                                                                                 By Shawn Millerick

                 Being aware leads to
                   firefighter survival
                                                                                                                  (Part 1 of 2)

I    have been involved with teaching a few
     RIC classes recently. My department put
on a “Train the Trainer “class to help increase
                                                  actually perform that rescue? Do they have
                                                  the manpower, the proper tools, training,
                                                  street smarts, etc….? You may need to sur-
                                                                                                     help or start the mayday. Why? Ego. Don't let
                                                                                                     pride stand in the way of your well being.
                                                                                                     While you are trying to save face, you are
the number of certified instructors in my         vive alone, or buy some time until they can        using up valuable air.
county. We had many different departments         get to you. Every firefighter needs to be               Calling for help can be done by using your
represented in the class and it was very bene-    trained in self survival techniques. Hopefully,    radio if you have one, activating your pass
ficial to all involved. I enjoyed the chance to   you will never need to use them.                   device, or using your voice. If you have a B.A.
share ideas and train with these folks.               Becoming lost or disorientated inside a        mask that has a voice amplifier on it, turn it on
                                                                                                     and use it. It will help you communicate on
                                                                                                     the radio and increase the volume of your
                                                                                                     voice. The radio should be used on the proper
                                                                                                     channel but you may need to use other chan-
                                                                                                     nels to reach someone. Try all the channels if
                                                                                                     you have to. If it is equipped with a red emer-
                                                                                                     gency button, utilize it. Once communication
                                                                                                     is made, your sense of panic will ease. Now is
                                                                                                     the time to communicate the following infor-
                                                                                                     mation slowly and clearly:
                                                                                                        • LOCATION
                                                                                                        • NAME
                                                                                                        • UNIT DESIGNATOR
                                                                                                        • ASSIGNMENT
                                                                                                        • RESOURCES NEEDED
                                                                                                        • AIR SUPPLY
                                                                                                        • SOUNDS OF NEARBY OPERATIONS (VEN-
                                                                                                           TIALTION SAWS)
                                                                                                        • DESCRIPTION OF BUILDING AROUND
                                                                                                          The PASS device should now be activated.
                                                                                                     Remember that they are loud and it may be
                                                                                                     difficult to hear the radio or transmit clearly.
                                                                                                     You may need to periodically turn it off to
                                                                                                     communicate. If there is a telephone in the
                                                                                                     building, give it a try. It may save your bacon
                                                                                                     if you cannot use the radio. You can dial 911
                                                                                                     on it and connect to your dispatch.
                                                                                                          A decision is going to be needed next.
                                                                                                     Are you going to stay in place or move? If
                                                                                                     you decide to move, try to find a wall. Walls
Everyone brought many great ideas and con-        building can happen to anyone at anytime. It       will lead to hallways, doors, and windows. If
cepts to the table. I wanted to share some of     has led to many firefighter fatalities. It is a    you are sweeping the wall, reach high
these ideas with you.                             true emergency that will cause stress and          enough to feel that window sill. The window
    I think the majority of us are using RIC      eventually lead to exhaustion. The one thing       will give you an opening to the outside of the
teams at our structure fires. We usually will     to remember is that you need to remain calm        building. You can signal for assistance by
start out with a stand-by team and graduate       and think clearly. I know, easier said than        straddling the window with your PASS on,
into a full RIC team, typically an engine         done. I have been there and it is scary, but       using your flashlight, yelling, waving your
company. Both NFPA and OSHA require a             your training will come back to you, provided      arms, or throwing items out of the window.
RIC, but they don't require the members to        you had that training. The initial emotion will    Depending on what you read, the idea of
be trained in RIC tactics. The teams we use       be panic. You need to stop what you are            throwing your helmet out the window comes
here in California probably are made up of        doing, take a few breathes, and THINK. By          up. The helmet is part of your safety gear
some people that are trained in RIC tactics       getting excited, you will start sucking down       and it may not be an option if the heat is too
and some that are not. The bottom line is,        that bottle and that is not what you want. A       intense. The helmet may provide your unit
the team will be a mixed bag. Can they            lot of firefighters wait and try not to call for   and name to someone outside if found. That

16     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                    •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                           Truck Company Corner
is going to have to be a last ditch effort. If a     Park, N.Y., Thomson Delmar Learning, 2006             and a senior lead instructor at Crafton Hill Fire
door is found, check it for heat. A strap on             Norman J., Fire Officer's Handbook of             Academy in Yucaipa for forcible entry, RIC, sal-
the handle would be good if you need to              Tactics,    Saddle       Brook,       N.J.,    Fire   vage/overhaul, and Fire Control 3. Mr.
close it quickly. If it is cool open it slowly in    Engineering/Penn Well Publishing, 1998                Millerick teaches various truck operations in
case conditions change. Try to figure out                5th Edition Essentials of Fire Fighting, Upper    his own and surrounding departments. He
where it goes, if you find shoes or clothes,         Saddle River, N.J., IFSTA/Brady, 2008                 has been in the fire service since 1993, and
you may be in the closet.                                                                                  he holds a BA in History from California State
     If a hose line is found, it should be used.         About the author: Captain, Shawn                  University, Fullerton. He is also a certified
You will eventually find a coupling. There will      Millerick of the San Bernardino County Fire           state paramedic. He is also Department Field
be a male end and a female end. The best             Department is currently assigned to Truck 78          Public Information Officer and a member of
way to remember this is like I talked about a        in Fontana.                                           the Fire Safety Team at the California
few months back, “Bumps to the Pump”.                    He is a Certified State Instructor for auto       Speedway. To reach Mr. Millerick e-mail smill-
Another one is smooth, rocker, rocker. This is       extrication, RIC, and Fire Control 3 (Structure),     erick@sbcfire.org.
a basic task that any firefighter can master
with a few minutes of training. If you cannot
recognize the proper direction to travel, you
could be in big trouble. If you are low on air,
you don't want to follow the line deeper into
the building. If you are in a commercial build-
ing, you should be able to find expansion
joints on the concrete floor. The expansion
joints on the floor will help you find a column
or wall.
     One other tool you can use is your ears. It
is called active listening. You can stop moving
and hold your breathe to be as quiet as possi-
ble. Now listen! What do you hear? This may
help orientate you. If you turn off your lights
and put your face on the floor you may be
able to see other light sources. You can also
try and retrace your steps. It may lead you
back to your original location. Just make sure
to have a plan. You cannot just start wander-
ing around the building wasting air.
     If you are injured or have decided to wait
for the RIC to find you, here are a few things
you can do:

     The nature of interior firefighting places us
in a position to become lost, trapped, or injured.
The window of survivability is narrow and it is
up to us to employ sound self-survival tech-
niques to help increase our chances. The num-
ber 1 basic self-survival responsibility is DON'T
     Mason R. and Pindelski J., Rapid
Intervention Company Operations, Clifton

                                                                  APRIL 2009        •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   17
Education                                               By Timothy A. Capron, PhD and Rhonda A. Capron, MBA

 Buyer beware: Avoiding scams
      in higher education

W            hen the economy takes a nose dive, the masses head back
             to school. The authors of this article recently typed the fol-
lowing question into the Google Search Engine: Does the poor econ-
                                                                                     • Regular school staff assessment of progress through the interven-
                                                                                 ing years between full self-studies.
                                                                                     They also offer example of benefits of accreditation, such as:
omy increase enrollment in college? We were astonished at the num-                   • In November 2002, the University of California passed a policy
ber of hits. There were over 87,000 results with news articles and               that requires all schools that want UC approval of courses to be accred-
reports about the increases that colleges and universities have seen and         ited by WASC or at least be an initial WASC candidate.
expect to see in enrollment numbers. The numbers are all up, from 11                 • Accreditation is required with respect to the Cal Grants.
percent at Irvine Valley College in California, as an example, to over               • Colleges and universities examine transcripts to determine if the
140 percent for some colleges and universities that have online pro-             students have attended accredited institutions.
grams. That is good news for colleges and universities and for those                 • Teachers will not receive credit for the years during which they
students headed back to school to upgrade their skills. But caution is           taught at a non-accredited school by many schools/districts nationwide.
advised. Poor economic news also brings out unethical individuals and                • The military recruiters expect the applicants to be from accredit-
organizations only too willing to fleece unsuspecting students. This             ed schools.
article will discuss accreditation, credit for work and experience and               • Many districts have policies to accept credits only from WASC
some information about financing your education that will help deter-            accredited schools or schools accredited by other regionals with which
mine whether or not an institution is worthy of your time and money.             WASC has reciprocal agreements.
     In the education world, there are many, fine, accredited institutions            The accreditation process is lengthy, demanding and expensive. It
that are for profit. In other words, they wish to deliver a service to you       evaluates the purpose of the institution, the school's leadership and
in the form of an education, and yes, they want to make some money               governance and ensures the leadership, faculty and staffs are qualified
in return. That is certainly something they are free to do. But many             for their assigned responsibilities. There is a focus on learning out-
institutions, particularly private, for profit, institutions are not accredit-   comes and assessment, using research based information about learn-
ed by any accrediting body that matters. For example, from the feder-            ing and teaching.
al Government Accounting Office's testimony to Congress recently, the                 Accreditation has over the last few years focused more and more
following: Section 4107 of title 5, U.S. Code only permits the federal           on educational effectiveness. For example, every course has objectives
government to pay for the cost of academic degree training provided              or outcomes for student learning. These outcomes have to be aligned
by a college or university that is accredited by a nationally recognized         with the overall program outcomes and then a correlation has to be
accrediting body.                                                                shown with the institution's student outcomes. How is educational
     The same report recounts some of the worst offenders and notes              effectiveness measured? How do they know students have learned
how often their names are similar to accredited colleges and universi-           what they are trying to teach? For each course, professors need to col-
ties. So what should a prospective student or consumer know? First,              lect student work in the form of tests, projects, journals or other evi-
there are six major accreditation bodies in the United States, organized         dence. This work needs to be evaluated by rubrics that evaluate per-
by region. For example, the Western Association of Schools and                   formance. So you can see that the accreditation process is more than
Colleges (WASC) covers most areas in the western part of the United              just an inspection from an outside organization, but a true self evalua-
States. They do an excellent job of explaining why a university or col-          tion of how well students are learning.
lege should be accredited. This is from their Website:
       Accreditation ensures:                                                    So what should you do?
     • Certification to the public that the school is a trustworthy institu-          So lesson number one should always be that you verify an institu-
tion of learning                                                                 tion is accredited by a regional accreditation body. But do not take
     • Validates the integrity of a school's program and student tran-           their word for it, go to the source. In this case, begin with
scripts                                                                          http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ . Second, there are multiple red flags
     • Fosters improvement of the school's programs and operations to            with regard to unethical institutions. If they assert they are accredited
support student learning                                                         but a check determines they are accredited by someone other than a
     • Assures a school community that the school's purposes are                 regional body, this should alert you to the fact that something is wrong.
appropriate and being accomplished through a viable educational                  For example, there is a Distance Education Training Council, also known
program                                                                          as (DETC) that does accredit many institutions with a focus on distance
     • A way to manage change through regular assessment, planning,              and online programs. However, most regionally accredited universities
implementing, monitoring and reassessment                                        will not accept transcripts from colleges accredited by DETC. And this
     • Assists a school/district in establishing its priority areas for          is confusing as the United States Department of Education and the
improvement as a result of the perpetual accreditation cycle that                Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes DETC. If you
includes                                                                         are considering selecting a university, check the accreditation. If you
     • School self-assessment of the current educational program for             are unsure about the particular school, then call or email a regionally
students                                                                         accredited university or college in your area and ask them what would
     • Insight and perspective from the visiting committee                       happen if you take some course from Private University (PU) and try to

18     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                          •   APRIL 2009

transfer them to the local school. Chances are excellent that they will         an unaccredited university. The doctorate required a four page paper, a
not accept any transcripts from good old PU.                                    five hour correspondence course on business ethics and $3600.
     And our favorite offender was Pacific Western University (appar-
ently now operating as California Miramar University). Pacific Western          Conclusion
University was a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate                     When times are difficult, many individuals make a decision to not trav-
Schools of Business (AACSB). This is the accreditation body for busi-           el or not buy a new vehicle but to focus on what is important. What is
ness colleges. But membership in AACSB is not accreditation and                 important for many may be returning to school for more education, such
Pacific Western University was never accredited by AACSB. California            as teaching certification or just for learning opportunities. While there are
Miramar University is not currently accredited but operates due to a            many fine institutions, there are many that are not. Make certain the uni-
lack of meaningful standards in California, according to the Oregon             versity or college is accredited, you receive proper credit for experience and
Student Assistance Commission. And even more problematic is the                 training and do apply for financial aid. If you attend an accredited pro-
fact that there are multiple, fraudulent accreditation associations out         gram, you should reap all the benefits mentioned and avoid an after the
there with impressive sounding names and Websites, only too happy to            fact disappointment. Education should be a wonderful experience, so find
provide “accreditation” to any institution for a price, as well as fake         the right program and start studying and learning.
degrees for sale.
                                                                                About the authors: Rhonda A. Capron, holds an MBA from the Anderson
Another indicator - Credit for Work                                             School of Business at the University of New Mexico. She was in high
and Experience                                                                  tech, working for the Department of the Army, Department of Energy
     Many regionally accredited colleges and universities will offer some       and then Oracle Corporation for some twenty-five years. She is now an
credit for work experience, training, and in particular training that was       Assistant Professor of Business at William Jessup University in Rocklin.
received while serving in the military. This is usually limited and is gov-          Timothy Capron is a retired military officer with ten years in the
erned by guidelines provided by the American Council on Education               Marine Corps and fifteen with the Army. He is currently the coordina-
(ACE) and their College Credit Recommendation Service. For example,             tor of the Fire Service Management Special Major at California State
if you served in the United States Army's military police occupational          University Sacramento and the coordinator for the online Fire Service
specialty, you may receive some credit for that training and even experi-       Management Special Major and the Online Degree Completion
ence. But only if there are ACE guidelines that allow this and only if the      Criminal Justice Program at the College of Continuing Education. He is
evaluators at a university agree. And at times, credit is provided but it       also an Associate Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice, teaching
may only be elective credit and not helpful, although there is a recent         management, leadership, and violence and terrorism courses.
California State University Executive Order, No. 1036, that does seem
more generous. The lesson here is that if a university or college provides
a great deal of credit for work and experience, it may not be legitimate.
Generally, 30 units is the maximum allowed for experience and training.
Counselors, trainers, fire and police department instructors and others
may qualify for the Bachelor of Career Technical Studies, and work with
the university to determine if they can receive credit for demonstrated
learning, knowledge or skills acquired through experience.

Paying for a College or University,
financial aid and increase in pay
     Most universities and colleges that are regionally accredited are eligi-
ble to administer federal student aid. If you decide to attend a specific
university and fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid at
http://fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm you may discover the school does not have
a Federal School Code. This means that the school is unlikely to be
accredited. Tuition amounts can also be a warning concerning a college
or university. If tuition is low, or very high, or simply a certain amount of
money for a specific degree, beware. Most colleges and universities have
a specific unit cost, for example, $295 per unit and a three unit or three
credit course would cost $885. Many universities have a per semester
cost and in the case of some online programs, a per course cost.
     Some public safety departments have incentive programs where
they pay an increase in salary for degrees. Most departments and the
related city or fire district will not pay an increase for a degree from an
institution they determine is not regionally accredited. The authors are
aware of several instances where increases were denied, after firefight-
ers completed a degree from an unaccredited institution. And at times,
a degree from a completely unaccredited institution can cost a person
their job. As the FederalTimes.com notes in an article by Karen Robb,
Laura Callahan, a senior director for the Department of Homeland
Security's chief information officer was placed on administrative leave
and resigned after a background investigation revealed that the doctor-
ate she listed from Hamilton University in Evanston, Wyoming, was from

                                                                   APRIL 2009      •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                         •   19
Hot Shots

                                                             Hot Shots

California Hot Shots

             Five engine companies and two trucks from Torrance Fire
             Department responded to a house fire in Torrance in January.
             The first-in engine company reported heavy black smoke
             coming from the roof of a two story home The fire was
             contained to the attic. All units were out for over an hour.

             Photos by Jon Androwski

        APRIL 2009   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE         •     21
Guest Column                                                                  By Paul H. Stein and
                                                                                Ettore Berardinelli

           So you want to get
Part two of a series                                tions and take care of the higher priority           tion to study, and creates a synergy for suc-
    In this final section of preparing for the      items, that way you can concentrate on your          cess. Even though you are actually competi-
written portion of promotional exams, we will       study program and the material your are try-         tors, study groups do work for some people.
talk about the myth of the “good test taker”,       ing to absorb.                                       Setting up a study schedule with a group
and discuss effective reading, study partners                                                            increases the motivation to study.
and test day pointers.                              READING RETENTION                                    Additionally, two or more people can cover
    We have all heard people claim that they          Reading retention is enhanced when a               more material and quiz each other as the
                                                                                                         study group progresses through different
                                                                                                         areas of the exam.
                                                                                                             Before starting a study group, make sure
                                                                                                         that a reciprocal benefit is received. Partners
                                                                                                         should have fairly similar backgrounds, experi-
                                                                                                         ence and education and completely under-
                                                                                                         stand that the “competition” only starts when
                                                                                                         the actual testing process begins.

                                                                                                         TEST DAY
                                                                                                               On “test day”, here are some measures
                                                                                                         that can be utilized to help you remain cool,
                                                                                                         calm and collected. First, use some common
                                                                                                         sense. The night before the exam, any study-
                                                                                                         ing you do should be limited to reviewing
                                                                                                         items that you have already become familiar
                                                                                                         with. Don't try to cram at this point, as you
                                                                                                         have systematically approached your learning
                                                                                                         process over the past months. Relax at home
                                                                                                         and get plenty of rest. It is highly recom-
                                                                                                         mended to take the day before the exam off.
                                                                                                         If you do work your shift the night before the
                                                                                                         exam, even at the slowest station in the City,
                                                                                                         Murphy's Law tells you that you will have sev-
                                                                                                         eral medical runs after midnight, a working
                                                                                                         structure fire and a late relief. Murphy's Law
                                                                                                         always wins! Be well rested and confident
simply are a “good test taker”? Are there           good reading environment is maintained. A            on test day.
guarded secrets for success on exams, or is         good reading environment is a quiet area, free             Arrive at the test site early. Give yourself
there some genetic ability that ensures suc-        of distractions and interruptions. When read-        plenty of time to get there, find the location
cess on exams? Not really. The “secret” is          ing, sit in a firm upright chair. We all know        of the test site and relax for several minutes.
simply that success comes from being pre-           what happens when you try to read in a too           Bring some light reading like the newspaper
pared. And the biggest part of being pre-           comfortable a chair!                                 to get your mind warmed up. Eat light, be
pared is being an above average reader. Since            Another key to efficient reading is to          a little hungry. They say that our minds
we have already discussed preparation several       increase your reading speed. Many people             work better when you are a little hungry.
times in previous articles, let's zero in on how    believe that increasing speed reduces concen-        Once again, use common sense. Don't think
to improve our reading skills.                      tration and retention. Not true. The faster the      that if your mind works better if you are a
     First and foremost, the more you read,         material is read, the more concentration is          little hungry, if you don't eat for several days
the better reader you become. The next key          required. When the material is read with the         before the exam your mind will really be
to effective reading is concentration. The          conscious intention of pushing speed to the top      working. Yes it will, but all it will be think-
more you're able to concentrate, the more           comfortable level, it brings with it closer atten-   ing about is food. Drink a cup of coffee or
you will retain. Concentration on the mate-         tion to the material and improved retention.         tea just prior to the exam. The caffeine will
rial you are reading depends on your balance                                                             help energize your system. Try to avoid sug-
of interest at that moment. It is difficult to      STUDY PARTNERS                                       ary foods, as the sugar rush received only
concentrate on study material when there                 There are many benefits to having a             lasts a very short period of time, and after
are distractions in your life, or higher priority   study partner or a study group. Working              the sugar rush comes the sugar dive, and
items are on your mind. Your first step in          with other people that share the same inter-         often the dive occurs before you have fin-
preparing should be to remove the distrac-          est, direction and goals increases the motiva-                                  Continued on page 26

22     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   APRIL 2009
                                                                           By Curt Howard                       Wealthy Firefighter

Capital Gains: A Double-
Edged Sword at Tax Time

It’s                no fun to look at your mutu-
                    al fund statement and real-
ize that you've had losses for the year. It's
                                                     Some capital gains distributions this
                                                     year may be affected by what hap-
                                                     pened in 2000-2002. Many funds
even more painful if you discover that, in           that suffered during the bear mar-
addition to suffering a paper loss, you owe          ket could use those losses in
taxes on the fund's distribution of capital          subsequent years to offset
gains. It's a question that puzzles a lot of         any capital gains and mini-
investors: How can you owe taxes on an               mize that year's taxable dis-
investment that has lost money? The answer           tribution. However, many
has to do with the difference between your           funds have now used up their
profit when you sell fund shares, and the            losses from the down years,
fund's profit when it sells individual securities.   leaving their managers with
As a fund buys and sells securities during the       fewer leftover losses to off-
year, it will typically have some gains and          set any current gains from
some losses. At the end of the year, losses are      selling individual securities.
subtracted from gains to determine the
fund's shareholder distribution. The fund also       Tax factors to consider
may use losses from previous years to help           in fund selection
offset gains. By law, gains and/or income                 One way to minimize such
must be distributed each year; typically, those      problems is to consider a fund's tax
distributions occur around the end of the year       efficiency in advance. Taxes shouldn't be
and are taxable (unless the fund is held in a        the single deciding factor in any invest-
tax advantaged account such as an IRA). Even         ment decision. However, when assessing
if a fund is down at the end of that year, it        the capital gains impact of a potential pur-
may still have capital gains from earlier sales      chase, consider the following points:
of securities.                                            • Some mutual funds tend to be more
     Example: In 2002, Harry's stock fund            susceptible to the capital-gains dilemma than
bought 10,000 shares of XYZ Corporation for          others. For example, funds with a high
$33 a share. By the end of last year, the share      turnover ratio buy and sell more often and
price had reached $50, helping to push up            may generate more capital gains distributions.
the net asset value (NAV) the fund reported               • Some actively managed funds are
on its year-end statement to shareholders.           designed specifically to be tax efficient, taking   best way to manage any capital gains liability.
This year, XYZ's price drops to $43. The fund's      capital gains into account when making trad-            Owing taxes on distributions from a
manager, concerned that XYZ might fall still         ing decisions.                                      fund that's down is especially likely in
further, sells the shares for a $100,000 profit.          • A fund's long-term capital gains will be     years when a fund has substantial
However, other shares held by the fund drop          taxed at a more favorable rate than its short-      redemptions by shareholders. You can
in value, and Harry's end-of-year statement          term gains.                                         reach Curt at 800-627-6722 x1072
now shows a lower balance compared to the                 • Bond funds can experience capital gains          Investment Advisor Representative with
year before. Because the fund did not sell           and losses from the sale of individual bonds.       and securities and investment advisory servic-
shares to realize losses, it must still pass its          • Each mutual fund must report its after-      es offered through InterSecurities, Inc. mem-
$100,000 XYZ profit on to shareholders as            tax return in its prospectus.                       ber FINRA, SIPC, and Registered Investment
capital gains distributions.                                                                             Advisor.     Non-securities,        Inc.   Neither
                                                     In the small consolation                            InterSecurities, Inc. (ISI) nor its representatives
Good news, bad news                                  department …                                        provide legal, tax nor accounting advice.
    Owing taxes on distributions from a fund              If you are squeezed by both a loss in your         Reprinted with permission. Forefield
that's down is especially likely in years when a     fund's value and a capital gains distribution       Advisors, Inc.
fund experiences substantial redemptions. If         this year, remind yourself that at least the max-
your fellow investors in a mutual fund have          imum tax rate on long-term capital gains and        About the author: Curt Howard is a National
been pulling money out, the manager might            qualified dividends is 15% until January 1,         Director with ORBA Financial Management
have had to sell securities in order to meet         2011 (less if you're in the 15% or 10% tax          and creator of the RetIRAprep and DROP
those redemption demands. High market                bracket). You also may be able to offset capital    PLAN Advantage planning processes. He is the
volatility also could mean a greater than usual      gains from one mutual fund by taking a capital      exclusive   Financial      Management/CSFA
level of capital gains distributions by funds        loss on another investment. A financial profes-     Benefits Specialist. To reach Mr. Howard call
with managers who traded actively, either to         sional can help you assess the potential tax        (877) 858-0909 ext. 1072 or e-mail
try to lock in gains or avoid further losses.        impact of a given mutual fund, as well as the       cwhoward@orbafinancial.com.

                                                                  APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   23
Legal Corner                                      By by Lawrence R. Whiting, Esq.

             We did the right thing,
                  didn't we??
(The perils of going it alone in Workers' Compensation)

W            orkers' Compensation is intend-
             ed to be a delivery system. The
need for attorneys in legal claims should be
                                                  slalom with them at the adjuster's desk.
                                                  Who's going to smash the most cones then?
                                                  Of course, the Engineer is. In comparison to
                                                                                                          The following examples are taken from
                                                                                                   cases where firefighters have attempted to
                                                                                                   handle their work injury benefits/process on
rare. An injured Firefighter rarely wants to be   the adjuster the Engineer's knowledge of         their own. Of course, the names are not real,
perceived as “suing” his employer. We are         Workers' Compensation Law is going to be         but you will recognize situations involving
trained to work as a team and we believe          minimal. As to those things that he “knows”,     your fellow Firefighters and, probably, your-
that the team will support us. This worked        this knowledge may be based upon incorrect       self. They are examples of what can go wrong
well in the old days. The team                                                                                when you go it alone.
did indeed look after us.                                                                                           FIREFIGHTER JOHNSON was at a
However, there has been a rapid-                                                                              training session with loaded lines.
ly increasing strident position                                                                               He slipped in some water and twist-
taken by the employers and                                                                                    ed his right knee. Firefighter Jones
those who run their Workers'                                                                                  asked Johnson if he was okay.
Compensation system. Virtually                                                                                Johnson replied, “Sure, I'm fine.”
every claim is viewed with skep-                                                                              Johnson did have some pain, but he
ticism. In those instances where                                                                              continued the drill. He figured that
the injury cannot be denied,                                                                                  the pain would go away. Johnson
every effort is made to limit the                                                                             worked for another four months
cost of treatment, the time lost                                                                              with the pain in his knee. He was
from work and/or compensation                                                                                 gradually getting worse. However,
for permanent residuals. It has                                                                               he still did not report it. On a regu-
become a truly adversarial sys-                                                                               lar four-day cycle off, he went skiing.
tem.                                                                                                          Halfway down the hill he crumpled
     Although some injuries are                                                                               in a heap and could not continue.
handled smoothly and with little                                                                              He had emergency knee surgery at
acrimony, this is becoming the                                                                                the local hospital and lost four
exception more than the rule. To                                                                              months from work. He only had two
compound the situation, the                                                                                   months time on the books and so
injured Firefighter simply is not                                                                             was two months without pay.
an      expert    on     Workers'                                                                                  After surgery, Johnson filled out a
Compensation Law and/or the                                                                                   claim form for the earlier incident dur-
procedures one goes through to                                                                                ing the training session. However,
obtain all deserved benefits. On                                                                              Jones could not recall the incident.
the other hand, the adjuster or                                                                               Workers' Compensation denied the
risk management person han-                                                                                   claim. The surgery was not a total suc-
dling the claim probably has a                                                                                cess. Johnson continued with some
great deal of expertise in how to                                                                             residuals. One year later, it was deter-
channel your claim to minimize                                                                                mined that further surgery was neces-
your benefits.                                                                                                sary. This was, of course, again denied
     The best example I can give is                                                                           by Workers' Compensation. Johnson
to take an Engineer who has                                                                                   decided at this point in time to get an
been injured on duty. I like to ask                                                                           attorney. Unfortunately, because it
that Engineer to hypothetically                                                                               had been more than a year since the
take the claims adjuster on a slalom through      anecdotal information from his or her fellow     denial of injury, the WCAB had no jurisdiction to
traffic cones in a big shopping mall parking      Firefighters based upon laws that are no         review the earlier denial. He was fortunate in
lot. Who does he think would smash the            longer on the books, or applications of prior    that the second surgery was successful and that
most cones doing that slalom -himself or the      decisions erroneously placed upon new and        he was able to continue working. Otherwise, he
adjuster? Of course, he's going to state that     different fact situations.                       could have been forced off on a non-industrial
the adjuster would smash the most cones.               Workers' Compensation is not rocket sci-    medical retirement.
The adjuster has probably never even sat on a     ence. However, it's one heck of a lot more            Johnson made several mistakes here.
fire truck much less driven one.                  complicated than it used to be. You cannot       Although it is not unusual to ignore what are
     I then ask the Engineer to imagine that      simply pick up a book, read a couple chapters,   initially considered minor pains, it is important
the Workers' Compensation Laws are traffic        and adequately handle your own Workers'          to report them as soon as possible if the symp-
cones and that he's going to go through a         Compensation case.                               toms continue. In this case, Johnson could

24     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                   •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                                           Legal Corner
have, on the date of the incident, made some             Dr. Safe Choices' office was the farthest    his last four years to reach the “magic 30”.
type of log entry as to the twisting of his right   from Green's residence and it would take two      For the last eight years, he'd had hypertension,
knee. He could have even had Jones initial          weeks longer to get an examination with him.      acid reflux problems, and difficulty sleeping.
that so that at a later date he would not be        Green summarily dismissed that choice.            He thought he was entitled to a well-deserved
relying upon Jones' memory. Certainly, some-             Green picked Dr. Hun. Not surprisingly, he   Industrial Disability Retirement. He filed for a
time within the four months prior to the ski        agreed with the employer that this was a result   service retirement pending outcome of a dis-
incident, the injury should have been reported.     of the original injury. Green was left without    ability retirement as well as filing for Workers'
     Next, he accepted the denial of injury         additional 4850 Pay and was burning up all her    Compensation benefits for his multiple ortho-
without taking any type of action. This not         accrued credits. A simple telephone call to one   pedic complaints and the hypertension, acid
only precluded him from getting benefits for        of the CSFA recommended attorneys immedi-         reflux, and sleep disturbance problems.
the earlier surgery, the delay precluded him        ately upon realizing that her 4850 Pay was             Workers' Compensation sent out an
from getting benefits for the second surgery.       used up would have guaranteed a much better       investigator to interview Old Timer. The
Once a claim is denied, it is essential that you    conclusion. The attorney could have waited        investigator asked Old Timer if it was true
get advice from one of your CSFA recom-             for the panel and discussed with Green the        that his back problems were all related to an
mended attorneys.                                   doctors named. More likely the attorney           old injury in 1981, and Old Timer replied yes.
     CAPTAIN GREEN had been on the depart-          would have recommended immediate repre-           The investigator asked Old Timer when he
ment for 15 years of which the last five years      sentation so that Green could have gone to an     first knew that the hypertension was work-
had been as a captain. She'd had an injury to       Agreed Medical Examiner instead of a panel.       related. Old Timer stated that when he was
her right shoulder in 2004. She had surgery         This would have been a doctor with whom the       first diagnosed with hypertension, he had
and ultimately lost eight months time from          attorney was familiar. One who has seen hun-      been having a lot of trouble with the captain
work. She had returned to duty and was              dreds or thousands of firefighters and not a      at that time and he knew then that the
doing well until she started noticing increased     hired gun for her employer.                       hypertension was work-related. That was
symptoms with her right shoulder. She                      PAUL OLD TIMER was a 30-year               some eight years prior.
reported these problems immediately upon            Firefighter. He was ready to retire. He saw no         His employer's Workers' Compensation
noticing them. Although the pain seemed to          reason to “sue his employer”. They had            accepted the 1981 injury and indicated that
be a little bit different.             Workers'     always been good to him. He'd had multiple        they would provide medical care for that.
Compensation attributed this to an “exacer-         injuries along the way. He had always received    They would not pay any additional compensa-
bation” of her original injury.                     treatment and compensation for his time lost      tion because it was more than five years post
     Green returned to the original surgeon.        from work. He had gritted his teeth to put in                               Continued on page 33
He took her off duty and tried conservative
measures for four months. He then indicated
that surgery was necessary. Unfortunately,
because the injury was being carried as a con-
tinuation of the injury that had occurred in
2004, her 12 months of industrial injury leave
time had expired. She was put off on State
rate Workers' Compensation, which was only
one-half of her regular salary. Her depart-
ment allowed her to use accrued leave credits
to bring it up to full salary, but these credits
were exhausted after three months.
     Green knew that she had to have this lat-
est event counted as a new injury to start her
4850 Pay over again. She appealed the deci-
sion stating that it was all due to the 2004
date of injury. Pursuant to the directions of
Workers' Compensation, she wrote the State
and requested a panel of three physicians.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, the three
physicians named were, unknown to her,
notorious employer-oriented physicians.
     Green did some checking on the Internet.
Dr. Attila the Hun had been practicing for 36
years. Green thought that was a good sign.
Unfortunately, it simply meant that he had been
doing employer-oriented reports for 36 years.
     Dr. Jack the Ripper was a Board Certified
Orthopedic surgeon whose office was quite
close to Captain Green's residence. Although
this is probably the factor most often used by
unrepresented workers in selecting a panel
physician, it is no guarantee of a reasonable
examination and report.

                                                                APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                     •   25
                                                        Guest Column - continued from page 22
                                                        ished the exam.
                                                             During the exam, listen to the proctor. Their only job is to help
                                                        you get through the exam process. Listen to all the instructions, don't
                                                        try to jump the gun and get a head start on your competitors. If you
                                                        are confused with the instructions, ask for clarification.
                                                             Plan your time. When you receive your answer sheet, make two
                                                        very light check marks every 25 questions. These check marks will
                                                        remind you of two things. First, if you have a 100-question test and
                                                        100 minutes to complete it, when you get to question number 25,
                                                        you should be at least 25 minutes into the test. The second check is
                                                        a reminder to make sure that if you are on question number 25, you
                                                        should be on answer number 25. There is nothing more psycholog-
                                                        ically damaging than to be on question number 99 and answer num-
                                                        ber 100. A word of caution about these check marks. If you are
                                                        using a Scantron automated answer sheet, be careful where you
                                                        place these “reminders” and erase them before turning in your
                                                        answer sheet.
                                                             Don't linger over difficult questions. It is OK to skip a question.
                                                        Just remember to skip a number on the answer sheet also. When
                                                        you have skipped a question and you return to it later, your first intu-
                                                        ition is usually the best. Don't change an answer unless you posi-
                                                        tively know the answer is different than your first thought. Don't
                                                        rush through the test. Take your time. There are no rewards for fin-
                                                        ishing first.

                                                             This is the part where we will tell you what we told you! The best
                                                        way to improve written test scores is to be prepared for the test and
                                                        understand the testing process. Being prepared is not a one-shot
                                                        study period or a weeklong cram session. Systematic, intensified
                                                        study sessions over a long period of time, with regular review sessions,
                                                        is the best study system.
                                                             There are four components to a successful study program. They
                                                             Purpose, selection of material, effective reading, and review
                                                             Understanding these components and taking advantage of the
                                                        information gained through effective reading, review and note taking
                                                        will help you retain the material and do well on the examination.
                                                             A person who has continually done well on exams is usually one
                                                        who has been prepared, is a good reader and has paid attention to
                                                        the workings of the organization through their career. Becoming a
                                                        good reader is like any other skill. It can be practiced, analyzed and
                                                        improved. Take the time to do that.
                                                             Maintaining reading concentration through reading at a fast,
                                                        comfortable pace helps improve knowledge retention.
                                                             Best results are usually received when the candidate is mentally
                                                        and physically prepared for the test. The testing process is nothing to
                                                        be apprehensive about. It is designed to provide the department with
                                                        the best-qualified candidate for the job. If you have prepared yourself
                                                        well, you will be that candidate.
                                                             Good Luck!

                                                        About the authors: Fire Chief Ettore Berardinelli began his career with
                                                        the Santa Monica Fire Department in 1972. After holding the posi-
                                                        tions of Firefighter, Paramedic, Engineer, Captain, Training Officer,
                                                        Battalion Chief, and Deputy Chief during his first 25 years, he promot-
                                                        ed to Fire Chief in 1997. The holder of a lifetime teaching credential,
                                                        he also taught Fire Technology courses at Santa Monica College over
                                                        a 20-year span. He retired in 2003.
                                                            Paul Stein, retired from the Santa Monica Fire Department, is a
                                                        nationally-recognized fire service instructor affiliated with Public
                                                        Safety Consultants. To reach Chief Stein, e-mail PaulHStein@aol.com.
                                                        For a list of upcoming classes and seminars visit www.fireclasses.com

                                                                                                      Wildland Fire Training
                                                                         By Jim Neumann

So Cal Association of Foresters
    set training conference
It         is with great pleasure that we announce the dates of our
           upcoming 79th annual Training and Safety Conference in
the lovely hilltop community of Oak Glen California. This years con-
                                                                         the latest protective gear available to firefighters. The Annual Conference
                                                                         of the Foresters and Fire Wardens Association offers an excellent opportu-
                                                                         nity for firefighters from
ference dates are May 7th and 8th, 2009 and has a great proposed             throughout southern California to meet each other and to discuss
agenda including:                                                        their common goal, that of protecting lives and property.
    • Private Fire Contractor vs. Public Agencies                            The Annual Conference is held in a camp environment where all meals
    • Northern Cal Fire Siege                                            and lodging are provided. The only thing you have to bring is a sleeping
    • Sayer Fire Evacuations                                             bag, your personal effects, and a desire to learn in an effort to become a
    • 2008 Metro Train Derailment                                        better firefighter.
    • The Mudd Fire Entrapment - Lessons Learned                             Membership in the Associationis only five dollars per year. Five
    • Complex Interagency Cooperation - The Freeway Fire Complex         newsletters
    • DHS Earthquake Scenario                                                are E-mailed to all members to advise them of the activities of the
    • FLCES - A variation of LCES                                            association and the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings. Please
    • Go Early or Stay and Defend                                        consider becoming a member of the Southern California Association of
    • Fuels and weather update                                           Foresters and Fire Wardens and joining us at our annual conference.

History of the Association                                               For more information visit: http://www.scaffw.org/
    The Southern California Association of Foresters and Fire
Wardens was born on a train somewhere between Seattle and Los
Angeles in March of 1929. Frank E. Dunne, Santa Barbara County
Forester, and Spence D. Turner, Los Angeles County Forester, were
returning from a Western Forestry Association convention. During
the long train ride they discussed the need for an organization
which would be of benefit to the rank and file person who is
engaged in wildland
    fire control. They also saw a need for improved interagency rela-
tionship. Their discussions were not just passing conversation. This
spark of an idea kindled into a flame of reality, and in just one
month, the Association was off to its beginning.
    The initial meeting was held on April 16, 1929, in the Santa
Barbara County Courthouse and was attended by twenty-eight per-
sons. At first, the organization was called the Association of
Foresters and Fire Wardens. However, it was soon changed to its
present name.
    The next meeting was held on May 16, 1929 at the Deauville
Club in Santa Monica where the initial constitution and by-laws
were adopted. Subsequent quarterly meetings were held on August
19, 1929 at the Los Angeles City Hall of Records, and on November
22, 1929 at the San Bernardino County Courthouse.
    At this time the Association was ready to hold its first Annual
Meeting (Conference) in San Diego. Little did these early-day
Foresters know what they were starting.

The Organization today
      Today, the Southern California Association of Foresters and Fire
Wardens carries on the work started over 79 years ago, that of pro-
viding training and safety programs for the men and women
involved in wildland fire control throughout Southern California.
This is accomplished through an annual conference held on the first
Thursday and Friday of May. At the Annual Conference, programs
selected by the Board of Directors are presented by experts in the
field of fire control, vegetation management, fuels, weather, and a
host of other subjects that are pertinent in today's wildland work
     In addition to the programs presented at the conference, new
up-to-date fire equipment is displayed along with vendors showing

                                                                APRIL 2009    •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                     •   27
Safer Notes
                                                  By Jim Dolan

   San Diego County Fire Authority rises
    from the ashes of 2003 fire storms
     The February monthly meeting was held            • 392,000 acres                                  agement
in San Diego at the Firehouse World                   • 2,700 homes                                        Fire & Life Safety Services Reorganization
Conference. Meeting contact Terry Powers              • 2,900 accessory structures                         • Affected Agencies
made arrangements for the meeting. Fire               • 3,800 vehicles                                     - Volunteer Fire Companies
Chief Jarman, of San Diego Fire and Rescue,           The response to these fires was to review            - County Service Areas
left a Chief's Seminar to make a special          and propose amendments to existing County                - Fire Districts
appearance at our SAFER meeting. The Chief        building, subdivision, and zoning codes and              - CAL FIRE
Jarman gave all of us a very hearty welcome       make recommendations to reduce the risk of               - Sheriff
and her thoughts on how important SAFER is        structure loss during wildfires in the future and        - Tribal Fire (Pala & Sycuan)
to the fire service. She spoke briefly on the     increase wildland fire protection.                       • Step I: The Volunteer Fire Companies
Marine Corps F-18 crash that occurred in her          Direction of the County Board of                 (VFC) that are not associated with a County
jurisdiction. Chief Jarman indicated that the     Supervisors at a 12/2/03 public hearing initi-            Service Area (CSA)
many resources from many agencies worked          ated:                                                    -Sunshine          Summit,        Boulevard,
very well together and complimented the               • Improvement of Fire Suppression &              Intermountain, Ranchita, Shelter Valley,
first-in company for setting everything in        Prevention through Contractual Services along        Ocotillo Wells, and De Luz
place so the operation flowed smoothly.           with,                                                    • Step II: CSAs
There was a brief SAFER business meeting fol-         • Regional Leadership with Local Control             - Campo, Boulevard, San Pasqual, and Mt.
lowing Chief Jarman's comments.                   through Collaboration across Boundaries              Laguna Summit
     The Training session this month was set                                                               • Step III: Fire Districts
up for us by Rick Griggs of CAL/Fire. He was           Damage Assessment                                   - San Diego Rural and Pine Valley
introduced and he then introduced the three            • Assessment of Destroyed and Damaged               • Station Coverage
speakers of the day; Ken Miller, Bob Eisele,      Structures using                                         - Volunteer Fire Companies, 6 stations:
and Ralph Steinhoff. They all spoke quite elo-         - Red Cross (Food/Clothing)                     Two reserve firefighters and one volunteer or
quently on the topic Formation of the San              - FEMA (Shelter)                                reserve fire fighter.
Diego County Fire Authority. They did an               - Insurance Companies (Claims)                      - County Service Areas, 4 stations: Two
excellent job of transitioning from one speak-         - Building Department (Rebuild)                 reserve firefighters and one volunteer or
er to the next in such a flawless manner you           - Assessor's Office (Tax Assessment)            reserve fire fighter.
could tell they have worked hard and long on           - Regulatory Code Changes                           - Fire Protection Districts, 4 stations: Two
this project of Fire Authority in San Diego.           Vegetation Management                           career firefighters and one volunteer or
                                                       • Received $40,275,000 in grant funds*          reserve fire fighter.
A Systems Approach for Fire                            - Program focused on Palomar Mountain               • Program Costs
Protection in San Diego County                    and Greater Julian areas                                 $9.50M            (current appropriations)
  Dept. of Planning & Land Use                         - Program completed one year ahead of               $6.02M            (new appropriations)
  County Fire Authority                           schedule (three years),                                  $15.52M             (TOTAL)
  February 18, 2009                                    - 2 times the targeted acreage (18,400
                                                  acres)                                                   43 Pieces of Equipment Purchased
     • A Systems Approach to addressing wild-          - 5 times the expected road miles (244              - 13 Water Tenders
fires and fire protection contains the follow-    miles).                                                  - 2 Type I Engines
ing:                                                   - Removed 417,000 trees on 3,350 parcels            - 13 Type II Engines
     Fire Suppression; Damage Assessment;         of land.                                                 - 1 Light & Air Unit
Fire and Building Codes; Vegetation                    * US Forest Service (USFS) and the Natural          - 2 Interface Rescue Engines
Management; Land Use Planning; Education          Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).                   - 1 Mobile Emergency GIS Trailer
and Outreach.                                          Fire and Building Codes                             - 11 Command and Staff Vehicles
     Planning for wildfires in San Diego County        • Guidelines for determining significance
required an overview of San Diego County's        for Wildfires                                        Contract Fire Services
Fire Services Division, while remembering              • Fire Protection Plans for all discretionary       The County of San Diego contracts with
there is a need for Regional Coordination with    permits for:                                         CAL FIRE to Provide Year-Round 24/7
Local Control!                                         - Emergency services                            Coverage at Fifteen Stations (Amador Plan)
     • A Systems Approach To Addressing                - Access                                            CAL FIRE provides year-around 24/7 cover-
Wildfires and Fire Protection                          - Water                                         age at three stations from State Budget
     Fire Suppression                                  - Construction                                      Schedule A Contracts with CAL FIRE to
     • Cedar/Paradise Fires of October 2003            - Defensible space and vegetation man-          Provide Improved Fire Protection:

28     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                     •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                                        Safer Notes
                                                                                                    • Leverage of funding sources- Grants and
                                                                                                General Funds
                                                                                                    • Enhanced communication at station
                                                                                                level between agencies
                                                                                                    Automatic Aid Agreements Required
                                                                                                    Program Success of the 2007 Angel Fire
                                                                                                    San Diego County Pre-Fire Actions

                                                                                                    - 3D Program removed 1,436 dead trees
                                                                                                from Whispering Pines
                                                                                                    - Fire Clearing enforcement between CAL
                                                                                                FIRE and DPLU
                                                                                                    - Long-term maintenance of the Sunrise
                                                                                                Fuel break
                                                                                                    - 5 out of 8 water tenders that fought in
                                                                                                the Angle Fire are County purchased.
                                                                                                    - Ignition resistive construction regulations
                                                                                                    - A limited number of trees fell over evac-
                                                                                                uation routes
                                                                                                    - Fire crews fought along the sunrise break
                                                                                                and kept the fire north of the homes
   • Rural Fire Protection District                 • $ 15.5 Million Annually                       - 193 homes in Whispering Pines
   • Deer Springs Fire Protection District          • Partnerships with CSAs, FPDs, CAL FIRE    saved….Estimated          replacement      value:
   • Valley Center Fire Protection District         • 18 Departments/ Agencies                  7,000,000.
   • Pine Valley Fire Protection District           • 53 Stations within contracts
   • Warner Springs CSA 135                         • Year-Round Fire Service- Amador and           Program Success of the 2007 Fire Storm
   Contracts with the following CSAs and        Schedule A Contracts w/ CAL FIRE                    San Diego County Pre-Fire Actions
FPDs to provide improved fire protection            • Regional partnership for fleet replace-
   Existing CSAs               New CSA 135      ment established                                    - 3D Program removed 96,000 dead trees
                                                    • Standardized apparatus purchase-          from Mt. Palomar
   •   Boulevard           De Luz               includes outfitting                                 - Fire Clearing enforcement between CAL
   •   Campo               Intermountain            • Training coordination                     FIRE and DPLU
   •   Mt. Laguna          Ocotillo Wells
   •   Palomar Mountain    Ranchita
   •   San Pasqual FPD     Shelter Valley
   •   Julian/Cuyamaca     Sunshine Summit

    Contracts generally provide reimburse-
ment for the following:
    - Workers' compensation insurance
    - Training
    - Fuel
    - Tax Roll Fees/DPW
    Savings from these items could be used
for additional operation needs or other

    Contracts also provide:
    Administrative support for:
    - Additional training for volunteers
    - Assistance with grant applications
    - Accounting and GIS services
    - Run Books
    Pooled resources for apparatus/ equip-
ment and other needs
    Coordination between funding sources-
Leveraged $
    - County General Fund
    - CDBG/ Tobacco Funds
    - Indian Special Distribution Fund Grants
    - OES- Homeland Security
    Accomplishments-Contract Fire Services

                                                           APRIL 2009      •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                     •   29
Safer Notes
    - All new county fire apparatus were          sale (specifically, roofing material)              drought, insects, and disease that encom-
deployed                                              • Streamline permit process for green          passed approximately 84,000 acres. The
    - Ignition resistive construction regula-     waste processing and lumbering operations          Dead, Dying, and Diseased (D3) Tree Removal
tions                                                                                                Program started in the spring of 2003. The
    Results                                           How does the County Handle Fire                County and NRCS applied for funds from the
    - A limited number of trees fell over evac-   Protection W/O a County Fire Dept.?                Emergency Watershed Protection Program
uation routes                                                                                        (EWP) but found that funding was unlikely
    - Suppression actions were able to turn            • County contracts with volunteers, CSAs,     since there was no money allocated by
the fire from entering Palomar Mountain due       FPDs & CAL FIRE                                    Congress for the program. That is right, a
to vegetation and dead tree abatement.                 • County partnerships with CAL FIRE and       program with no money allocated. Normally
    _      17,561 homes saved….Estimated          USFS for weed abatement                            EWP is a post disaster program. In fall 2003,
replacement value: $10 Billion.                        • Does this approach work? YES (San           and following the Southern California
                                                  Bernardino CSA's for over 50 years used a sim-     Firestorm, Congress funds EWP, and as such
     Areas for Improvement                        ilar approach)                                     Congress funds the Forest Service grant pro-
    • Pursue funding to continue Dead,                                                               gram. Funding for the program comes from:
Dying, Diseased Tree Removal Program.                                                                     ~$32 million NRCS EWP
    • Review and update landscape ordinance           San Diego County Forest Area Safety                 ~$9 million USFS Grant
and ignition resistant plant species list         Taskforce                                               ~$5 million County of San Diego
    • Review and update regulations that pro-                                                             ~$3 million San Diego Gas and Electric on

mote/require back-yard open space                      Dead, Dying, and Diseased Tree Program        right of way trees
    • Consider improvements to public out-             Forest Area Safety Task Force (F.A.S.T.)          ~$49 million spent by all agencies on
reach on weed abatement/defensible space          History                                            dead, dying, and diseased tree
    • Consider more proactive fuel manage-             F.A.S.T. was formed in September 2002
ment enforcement                                  following the 62,000 acre Pines Fire (July            So what do we do now? It is essential to
    • Pursue legislation to promote shaded        2002) and in response to the extensive conifer     continue to work together to maximize value
fuel breaks that are exempt from Timber           mortality throughout San Diego County              and eliminate duplication of efforts and to
Harvest Plan                                      Mountains. F.A.S.T. is a coalition of 81 local,    continue to leverage ongoing federal, state,
    • Pursue legislation to expedite prescribed   state, and federal agencies, private industries,   and utility projects with grant projects for
burning for fuel management on public lands       utilities, community organizations (Fire Safe      funding.
    • Consider regulations that require con-      Councils), and private citizens. Extensive pine
struction upgrades as a condition of home         tree mortality was a result of overstocking,          F.A.S.T. prioritized project areas based on

30     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                    •   APRIL 2009
these criteria: population, escape routes, safe
zones, fuel hazard, infrastructure, risk of igni-
tion, and ecological sensitivity. The Process
for accomplishing these priorities was to first
hire a management firm with experienced
foresters. There was a project specific public
hot line created and maintained for any pub-
lic concerns. Public meetings in were con-
ducted in project areas designed to inform
and educate. Project information (with a
right-to-enter form) was mailed to affected
property owners. Prior to cutting down trees
the registered Professional Forester marked
dead, dying and diseased trees. Surveys of
project areas were conducted that looked for
biological and archeological resources. A mit-
igation plan was prepared that would be
designed to protect those resources identified
in the surveys. Hired firms to cut and remove
trees and cut brush. Very attempt was made
to achieve economies of scale by biding large
areas using reverse E-bay. (This process
worked very well) And then the companies
performing work had to be monitored. The
results of this process yielded over 417,000
hazardous trees removed on 3,350 parcels of
land and 18,000 acres of vegetation treated
while clearing 250 miles of road that can be
used safely for ingress and egress. All of this
was completed one year AHEAD of schedule.
     The speakers presented documentation to
show how successful their work has been by
comparing the destruction caused in various
fires prior to and after they commenced their
work. The data were excellent but there is
not enough room here to show it all. Please
contact the speakers themselves for the com-
plete program. They projected their work into
the future especially in dealing with the vege-
tation problem of more dying trees, especially
the oak. This was one of the best topics and
presentations we have had in some time. We
are hoping to present it again in the near
     Kenneth Miller, Fire Services Coordinator
     County of San Diego

    Ralph Steinhoff, Fire Services Coordinator
    County of San Diego

    Remember that you can attend these train-
                                                                                   For more
ing sessions and derive considerable knowl-                                        information
edge from them by being a member of SAFER

and attending the meetings on the third Friday
of each month. Go to www.safer.org and
apply now. You will find the Board contacts
and the schedule of meetings for the rest of
the year. April is North Las Vegas and May will
be Ventura. See you there!

                                                    APRIL 2009   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE   •   31
Product Review

 Training: It could be the difference
       between life and death
     In the fire service, training is a necessity-   by departments in California and across the         administrative expenses and fuel. Of course,
one that has life and death repercussions.           U.S. to:                                            that doesn't take into account the overall
     According to the NFPA's most recent U.S.             • Assign and deliver online NFPA curricu-      environmental impact of driving, printing
fire service report, 103 firefighters died in        lum and EMS continuing education courses as         training documents, and recording the hours
2007. Over half of those deaths were the             well as OHSA and other compliance-related           logged on paper.
result of fireground operations (35 percent) or      training                                                 However, by using TargetSafety's
vehicle crashes (26 percent). In addition to              • Dramatically reduce the expenses associ-     PreventionLink, fire departments can lower
these fatalities, there were another 80,100          ated with overtime, administrative tasks and        their carbon emissions and experience a sig-
firefighters injured on the job-with the largest     fuel                                                nificant decrease in their training and admin-
percentage of those injuries occurring during             • Document and maintain records on all         istrative costs by delivering some of their
fireground operations.                               required firefighter training and EMS continu-      instruction online. Doing so will help them

                                                                                                                   From the PreventionLink dash-
                                                                                                                  board, you can quickly see how
                                                                                                                  many courses and assignments
  PreventionLink features more than 100                                                                                    have been completed.
  NFPA and EMS courses, along with hun-
  dreds of other OSHA, compliance and
  human resources courses.

      Could these deaths and injuries have           ing education hours                                 ensure that their firefighters have the training
been prevented? Were the firefighters                    • Facilitate better internal communication,     needed to stay safe-giving training officers
involved adequately trained? While we may            including during an emergency                       and chiefs more time to focus on the hands-
never know the answers to those questions,                                                               on, instructional components. Since all that is
we do know how critical training is to the           Over 170 Refresher Hours for                        required is a computer and Internet connec-
overall health and safety of the fire service.       Firefighters and EMTs                               tion, firefighters can take the training at a
We also know how important it is to combine              Any training officer or chief will tell you     time and location that is convenient for them.
“book” learning with hands-on skills training.       that one of the most challenging aspects of         They can also return to the courses as often as
    As the leading provider of online fire and       their jobs is to deliver the required training to   necessary.
EMS training, TargetSafety offers departments        every firefighter without sacrificing public            TargetSafety's online library features more
a convenient and cost-effective online train-        safety. If that were not difficult enough, they     than 500 titles, including 170 plus refresher
ing and records management solution. This            then have to account for the out-of-pocket          hours specific to firefighters and EMTs:
solution, known as PreventionLink™, is used          costs associated with employee overtime,                • NFPA 1500 Series

32     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   APRIL 2009
                                                                                                                       Product Review

    • NFPA 1001 Series                              Improved Organizational
                                                    Communication                                      Legal Corner - continued from page 25
    • NFPA 1021/Company Officer
    • EMS Continuing Education                           Have an important document that all your
    • Emergency Vehicle Operator                    firefighters need to review?               With    injury. Workers' Compensation denied the
    • Emergency Response to Terrorism               PreventionLink, you can share that document        hypertension on statute of limitations
    • First Responder Operations Level              with any employee. The system also features        grounds. This was based upon Old Timer's
Refresher                                           an online discussion board, or forum-giving        assertion that he knew, some eight years pre-
    • OSHA and Compliance                           you the ability to easily solicit employee feed-   viously, that the hypertension was work-relat-
    • Human Resources                               back while increasing transparency between         ed. The acid reflux was denied because a doc-
    • Employment Practices for Supervisors          officers and their staffs. And, in the event of    tor had found that it was due to a hiatal her-
(CA AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Training)             an emergency, you can quickly notify a group       nia, which he felt was non-industrial.
    • Ethics (CA AB 1234)                           of firefighters and EMTs, 2,500 per minute, via         Had Old Timer obtained an attorney, that
                                                    email or telephone.                                attorney could have developed the fact that
    Courses include case studies, relevant sto-                                                        the back complaints now were significantly
ries and short interactions-all designed to         Driver Monitoring and                              worse than they were in 1981. This worsen-
increase understanding and improve reten-           Employment Screening                               ing had to be due, at least in part, to the
tion.                                                    To prevent vehicle accidents, like the ones   strenuous duties of being a Firefighter
    In addition to the PreventionLink courses,      highlighted in the NFPA's 2007 report,             through all those years. The attorney could
the system features a growing library of fire-      TargetSafety combines emergency vehicle            have also explained that although Old Timer
rescue video clips. These clips can be shared       operator training courses with an automated        felt that the hypertension was due to stress at
with your firefighters and used as a training       employer pull notice (EPN) program. Using          the time, this was only a suspicion or opinion.
supplement.                                         this EPN program, departments can electroni-       Until a doctor actually connects the dots and
                                                    cally monitor firefighters' driving records and    states that a condition is work-related, there is
Tools to Simplify                                   receive notification, within hours, of a           only a suspicion or opinion. A suspicion or
Recordkeeping and Ensure                            reportable incident, such as an accident, con-     opinion does not start the statute of limita-
Compliance                                          viction, failure to appear, license suspension,    tions.
     While the courses themselves are criti-        license revocation, or any other action taken           Finally, as to the hiatal hernia, an attorney
cal, so is documenting their completion. To         against an individual's driving privilege by the   could have explained that hernias are pre-
simplify this process and make it more effi-        California Department of Motor Vehicles.           sumptive injuries. This includes hiatal hernias.
cient, PreventionLink gives departments                  TargetSafety clients also have access to an   This is an extremely important injury because
the ability to electronically create, assign        end-to-end employment screening solution           acid reflux can lead to a condition called
and track the status of all training-both           that will help increase the odds of a successful   Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus can
web-based and instructor-led courses. It            hire. This solution provides criminal and pub-     lead to esophageal cancer. Old Timer's mis-
also lets officers document vehicle and             lic records searches, credit reports and social    take was letting his statement be taken with-
equipment inspections as well as record an          security number checks, general verifications,     out representation.
employee's acknowledgement of a depart-             and drug and alcohol testing.                           All of these workers thought they were
mental SOP.                                                                                            doing the right thing. They were being good
     For departments that need to track fire-           For More Information                           employees and playing by the rules. They did
fighter and EMT licenses and certifications,            To find out more about PreventionLink,         not know that not only are the rules slanted
PreventionLink provides a way to quickly            and how it can be used to keep your fire           against them, they are faced with adjusting
and accurately identify which employees             department safe, contact TargetSafety at           companies who get their jobs by promising to
are qualified to perform specific job func-         877.944.6372 or fire@targetsafety.com. You         save your employer money. The way they save
tions. The system also makes it possible to         can also visit us at FDIC, Booth #8221, or go      your employer money is by taking it out of
oversee ICS qualifications and produce ISO          to www.targetsafety.com.                           your pocket or cheating you out of benefits.
and JAC reports with just a few clicks of the                                                          In Workers' Compensation, “nice guys” really
mouse. And, with a special application pro-         Call Out Box #1:                                   do finish last. It takes very little time and the
gramming interface (API), user records can          Continuing Education for EMTs                      small cost of a phone call to consult with one
be synchronized with systems like                        In addition to providing entire depart-       of your CSFA recommended attorneys. This
PeopleSoft, ZOLL (Sunpro, BIO-key),                 ments with an online training and records          should be done at the start of processing
Firehouse and TeleStaff.                            management system, TargetSafety also offers        claims for any injury, no matter how minor it
                                                    individual firefighters access to EMS training     is considered. We're not going to “sue your
Custom Training and Tests                           courses. These courses, which are now avail-       employer” if things are going well.
     Along with the TargetSafety course cata-       able to CSFA members at a special discount,             However, we will advise you as to the poten-
log, PreventionLink lets you deliver your           feature over 60 hours of California-approved       tial pitfalls and let you know if they are already
department's own training content. You can          EMT-B, EMT-I and EMT-P training. Once you          starting to cheat you out of benefits. Don't wait
also build custom tests on this or any other        register for the program, you have unlimited       until it's too late to start asking the questions you
information you chose. Tests can then be            access to the training content for two years at    should have asked at the beginning.
assigned to an individual or department and         a cost of just $89.
instantly graded. Best of all, it's nearly impos-        For more information, visit the CSFA web-     Lawrence R. Whiting is recommended by
sible for employees to cheat as tests cannot        site or register today by going to www.target-     CSFA for workers' compensation and retire-
be printed, copied or shared in any other way-      safety.com/cafirefighter. You can also call        ment representation and can be reached at
and, no two tests are identical.                    877.944.6372.                                      (714) 866-0714.

                                                                APRIL 2009       •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                         •   33
                                                                                   PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

       Proud of our profession? Come to Sacramento
                and demonstrate how proud you are
                                                                                            Kevin Nida, Los Angeles City Fire Department, is the president
                                                                                                                 of the California State Firefighters’ Association.

I       am a taxpayer as well as a paid firefighter. I pay plenty of taxes. Like
        most people I want efficient local and state government and good
        public safety services.
      In my city public safety makes up 43% of the entire city budget. In
 Los Angeles public safety includes fire,
                                                                                   ably and not blame them for the cost of reliable professional service. If
                                                                                   you want a firefighter with a defibrillator to respond in time to save vital
                                                                                   brain and heart cells, you need to have reliable staffing and rapid
                                                                                   response. It is cost versus gain. If you cannot get a firefighter/paramedic
                                                                                                                  or a defibrillator to the patient in less than 4-
 police, city attorney, animal regulation, etc.                                                                   6 minutes, you might as well have an option
 The fire department is one-third in size com-
 pared to the police department. (3300 fire-
                                                        There is no doubt that                                    to call the local mortuary instead of the EMS
                                                                                                                  system on 9-1-1.            The Fresno Fire
 fighters versus 10,000 police officers). In Los
 Angeles the fire service is a real bargain. In        public safety is expensive,                                Department has a simple, makes sense, is easy
                                                                                                                  to remember and is easily justifiably response
 L.A. we have close parity to police officers                                                                     standard. It is called “4 minutes to excel-
 who make what a firefighter makes, but they             but it is government’s                                   lence”.
 only work 40 hours a week versus our 56                                                                                We need to help educate politicians that
 hour a week schedule.
      At our annual conference in Sacramento
                                                        primary responsibility.                                   firefighters are also deployed away from their
                                                                                                                  families for weeks on wild-land fires or other
 beginning April 14 (see more information on                                                                      natural catastrophes which take a physical toll
 the conference on page 35), you will have the opportunity to hear from            on their families and often times their health. Firefighters have a higher can-
 a variety of public policy makers at the local and state level. You will also     cer, heart attack, and failing health rate thus making their retirement short-
 be able to tell them how vital our services are to the taxpayers of               er in comparison to non-firefighters. Some critics these days attack our
 California. The message needs to be clear: If you want to retain good             pensions. Think about it: you don't see too many overweight patients or
 committed professional employees, you have to compensate them reli-                                                                         Continued on page 35

34    •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                             •   APRIL 2009
                                                                 CSFA NEWS
         CSFA Conference Schedule of Events
                                                2:45 pm - 4:30 pm                    9:00 am - 9:30 am                           7:30 pm
     April 14th Tuesday                    Insurance Investment Trust Ad          Opening Remarks: Matthew                    Hospitality Opens
                                                  Hoc Committee                     Bettenhausen, CA EMA
         8:00 - 10:00 am                                                          Guest Speaker: Rob Feckner,
      Registration/Credentials                  3:00 pm - 4:30 pm                     CalPERS President                   April 16th Thursday
                                          Historical Society Board Meeting
      8:00 am - 12:00 noon                                                           9:30 am - 10: 45 am                     7:30 am - 8:00 am
       CSFA Board Meeting                       4:30 pm - 6:00 pm                         BREAKOUTS:                            Staff Meeting
                                               Opening Ceremonies               City Bankruptcies: Is yours next?
       8:00 am - 5:00 pm                      Conference Dedication                  - Jon Riley/Kurt Hinckey               8:00 am - 11:00 am
     CSFEWBC Board Meeting                 Welcome Remarks: Sacramento          Campaign in a Box - John Wainio        Registration/Credentials/Polling
                                                Mayor Kevin Johnson                                                                 Opens
       9:00 am - 5:00 pm                  Keynote Speaker: Senate Pro Tem              10:45 am - 11:00 am
      Registration/Credentials                    Darrell Steinberg                           BREAK                          8:30 am - 9:45 am
        & Vendors Opens                   Read Letter from Maria Shriver:                                                    BUSINESS SESSION
                                                   Sandra Vargas                     11:00 am - 12:15 pm                       RECONVENES
     10:00 am - 12:00 noon/                      Tom Garner Award                         BREAKOUTS:
       1:00 pm - 2:00 pm                       Flame & Fame Award                  Firefighters Bill of Rights -           9:45 am - 10:45 am
        PAC Board Meeting                          FSTI Awards                            Howard Rayon                 Guest Speaker: Jerry Brown, CA
                                                  Memorial Service              Vol FF: What you should know -                Attorney General
      12:00 noon - 1:00 pm                                                             Vargas/Losh/Jefferies                Guest Speaker: TBA
           Buffet Lunch                         6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
                                             Welcome Reception - heavy                 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm                   10:45 am - 11:45 am
        1:00 pm - 4:30 pm                            appetizers                               Lunch                          Guest Speaker: TBA
        Resolutions Meeting                                                                                                    Guest Speaker:
                                                     8:00 PM                         1:00 pm - 1:30 pm                   John Garamendi, Lt Governor
          1:00 - 4:30 pm                      Hospitality Opens/Vargas            Guest Speaker: Steve Westley
       Volunteers Committee                       Entertainment                                                            11:45 am - 12:00 noon
                                                                                     1:30 pm - 1:45 pm                    Announce Election Results
         1:00 - 4:30 pm                                                         Photo: Front steps of the Capitol            Unfinished Business
       Education Committee                  April 15th Wednesday
                                                                                        2:15 pm - 3:30 pm                  12:00 noon - 2:00 pm
          1:00 - 4:30 pm                           Legislative Day                        Legislative Visits              Awards Luncheon - hosted
       Fire/Arson Committee                      7:00 am - 7:30 am
                                                    Staff Meeting                    4:00 pm - 4:30 pm                      2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
         1:00 - 4:30 pm                                                             Cookies, Life & Trusts -            Post Conference CSFA Board
    Fire Life/Safety Committee                  7:30 am - 2:00 pm                        Rafael Ruano                             Meeting
        1:00 - 4:30 pm                                 Opens                         5:30 pm - 6:45 pm                      2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
FF Health & Wellness Committee                                                     PAC Legislative Reception                  Post Conference
                                                8:30 am - 9:00 am                                                         CSFEWBC Board Meeting
         1:00 - 4:30 pm                         BUSINESS SESSION                             7:15 pm
     Valor Awards Committee                    President's/ Executive                        Caucuses:                       6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
                                                 Director's Report                            North:                           Business Partner
        2:30 pm - 2:45 pm                      Nomination of Officers                         Central:                        Roundtable/Dinner
              BREAK                                                                           South:
        2:45 pm - 4:30 pm
          EMS Committee                        Register today at www.csfa.net
President’s Message continued from page 34
retired firefighters at nursing homes because statistically neither live very   ing”, or as the firefighters came into my home, I knew everything was
long. I know of no city that truly uses 80% of their budget for public safe-    going to be better”, or most of all “even though my spouse passed away,
ty (some have used this number in media reports) unless they have skewed        I could see the firefighters and paramedics working so hard to save him.
the numbers and moved money around to get an enhanced number.                   They really cared.” Those are priceless quotes and unfortunately, or for-
     There is no doubt that public safety is expensive, but it is govern-       tunately, quotes I have personally heard and experienced. Those quotes
ment's primary responsibility. Like anything else, you get out of it what       take their toll on us too. Let's get our message out to the decision mak-
you put into it. Ask any recipient of fire or paramedic services if they feel   ers, the voters!
they are not getting their money's worth and there is a very high cus-               In closing I hope to see many of you at the CSFA Conference in
tomer satisfaction rate.                                                        Sacramento. To register or learn more about the conference visit
      I have heard so many times, “I felt relief just hearing your siren com-   www.csfa.net.

                                                                   APRIL 2009      •    THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                       •   35
                                                                     CSFA NEWS
          American Truck and Fire Apparatus
                  acquires Westates
W               estates the long-time Woodland-based fire apparatus manufac-
                turer has been acquired by American Truck & Trailer Body
                Company, Inc. The business will remain at its 285 Industrial Way
 address, operating under the new name of American Truck and Fire Apparatus.
     “This acquisition will be a perfect venue to enhance and broaden
 American Truck & Trailer's fine product lines,” said President Clint Garner.
     The new venture will continue servicing Westates products and will
 also sell new apparatus under the American Truck & Fire Apparatus
 Name. For more information contact Guy Garner, Vice President of
 Operations at (530) 661-0101

 Courtland Fire District recently took delivery of one of the last Westates
   badged rigs. Pictured (left to right) Guy Garner and George Michel of
    American Truck & Fire Apparatus, Courtland Fire Chief Dave Welch
            and Courtland engineers Brian Whitney and Dennis Bodine.

 LA Heat drop season opener to OC Lawmen
                                           Photos and story by Eddie Medrano, Santa Ana FD

On                    Saturday, March, 7 the Los Angeles Heat played their first
                      game of the season against the Orange County Lawmen at
                      Laguna Hills High school. The Heat was on fire with a
 quick two touchdown lead in the first quarter. The first one coming on a pass
 from quarterback Travis Mari to wide receiver Scott Thomas. Moments later,
 Sonny Marcione intercepted a pass and went 40 yards for the score. Before half-
 time The Heat scored one more touchdown and the Lawmen had put up 19
 points of their own. In the second half the Heat scored one more touchdown yet
 failed on a two point conversion. The Lawmen scored nine more points in the
 second half including the game winning field goal with just a few minutes
 remaining in the game. The Heat had one last chance to win the game with 55
 seconds to go but lost the ball on a fumble. The final score was Orange County
 Lawmen 28 Los Angeles Heat 27.

                                                                                            Heat's number 32 Sonny Marcione from
                                                                                            LAFD on the way to a 40 plus yard
                                                                                            interception return for a touchdown.

                                                                                             LA Heat host FDNY Bravest
                                                                                             Rose Ball Stadium May 2
                                                                                             kick off 6:30pm
                                                                                             For more information visit

                                                                                            Heat's number 28 Jonith Johnson from the
                                                                                            LAFD busting one of his many long runs
                                                                                            on the Lawmen defense.

36    •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                             •   APRIL 2009
                                                       CSFA CONFERENCE NEWS
              CSFA offers local political consulting services

T          he 2009 CSFA Conference will
           include an introduction of CSFA's
           most exciting new member benefit:
the Local Political Assistance and Consulting
(LPAC) program.
                                                        the public, CSFA Political Consultant John
                                                        Wainio designed and implemented a compre-
                                                        hensive public affairs and political campaign
                                                        strategy that:
                                                             • successfully informed the public of the
                                                                                                            endorsed challenger from a large field of candi-
                                                                                                            dates -- was not easy. We were 100% successful
                                                                                                            with all these objectives, and may not have been
                                                                                                            without the assistance of the CSFA LPAC.
                                                                                                                 “The CSFA Board of Directors chose John
      CSFA Recommended Political Consultant             danger of proposed cuts,                            Wainio of the San Diego Group as our recom-
John Wainio, President of the San Diego Group,               • built visible public opposition to the       mended political consultant and to provide LPAC
will make a presentation Thursday morning,              plan, and                                           services last Fall because of his extensive winning
April 15, 2009, describing the new campaign                  • resulted in the reelection of one            record with local partisan races, his long standing
assistance program being made available to              endorsed incumbent and the replacement of           relationships with scores of local fire and police
CSFA locals statewide, and providing an abbre-          another incumbent, opposed by EFA, with an          associations, and his extensive experience running
viated political campaign training for attendees.       endorsed challenger.                                public information programs and revenue ballot
     The presentation will include:                          CSFA Board member and EFA President            measures for local government,” Diaz said.
     • A description of LPAC discounted services        Mike Diaz said: “developing a strategy to edu-
available to CSFA local associations and mem-           cate and activate the citizens, and to reelect an   Local associations interested in LPAC services may
bers, from full service political consulting and        endorsed member of the City Council, while          contact John Wainio of the San Diego Group direct-
campaign planning, to low cost pricing for pro-         defeating another strong entrenched incumbent       ly at www.TheSanDiegoGroup.com or at (619)
duction materials including mailers and signage.        - and replacing that incumbent with an              299-VOTE.
     • A “how to” training on basic campaign
planning, including timelines, targeting, budg-                 The LPAC presentation “Campaigns in a box” by CSFA
eting, vote-by-mail chase programs and GOTV                 recommended political consultant John Wainio is scheduled for
(Get Out The Vote) programs; and,
     • A discussion of the latest techniques in tar-
                                                           Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 9:30 am at the Capitol Plaza Holiday
geting, internet campaign techniques and new                  Inn. To register for the CSFA conference visit www.csfa.net.
technologies - to benefit even the most experi-
enced campaigners within the Fire Service.
     • An explanation of new revenue ballot
measures strategies which many local depart-
ments and municipalities are considering now
to alleviate budget crises that will otherwise
negatively effecting the fire service and mem-
ber associations.
     Recognizing that, today, the governmental
decisions having the greatest immediate impact
on the lives of CSFA members are being made
often by local city councils and fire district
boards - not in Sacramento or Washington DC
- CSFA launched it's Local Political Assistance
and Consulting program late last year to ensure
members have access to the services and skills
they need to win elections at the local level.
     “The elected officials in Sacramento have
an important impact on our profession, but the
rubber meets the road at local city council
meetings and fire district board meetings. It's
at the local level where the critical decisions are
being made about staffing levels, training and
benefits. The CSFA Board members recognize
this and are responding by providing our local
associations and members with the support
they need through the LPAC program,” said
Kevin Nida, President of CSFA.
     CSFA launched its local political assistance
consulting (LPAC) program in 2008 with a
demonstration project in Escondido. Faced
with cuts that the Escondido Firefighters
Association (EFA) believed would detrimental-
ly effect the safety of both their members and

                                                                    APRIL 2009        •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                          •   37
                                                                                           BENEFITS CORNER
   Has your Assistance to Firefighter
         Grant award been reduced?
                                                                                                               Bob Hamilton,         General Manager, CSFEWBC

W                 e all assume that everyone in the fire service in California is
                  familiar with the Assistance to Firefighters Grants. Under this
                  program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
 (FEMA), grants are awarded to fire departments to enhance their ability to
 protect the public and fire service personnel from fire and related hazards.
                                                                                    value of various pieces of equipment cost and will bring the final cost in line
                                                                                    with the fair market value.
                                                                                         3.     If we bundle all the associated costs into the price of the equip-
                                                                                    ment, the fair market value of the equipment will be inflated and the award
                                                                                    will be reduced to the fair market value.
 Three types of grants are available: Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG),            SOLUTIONS:
 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S), and Staffing for Adequate Fire and                   1.     Are you aware that there are only three states that charge them-
 Emergency Response (SAFER). I am sure that many of you have been suc-              selves sales tax and California is one of those states. Do not include taxes and
 cessful in obtaining grant funding and yet there are just as many who submit       shipping in the cost of your equipment.
 requests all of the time without positive results. Others of you have had your          2.     On the budget page enter all costs that are not for the equipment
 grants reduced from what your request originally was. Below are a few ques-        under section “h. other”. In that area there will be an opportunity to explain
 tions that you may have already asked yourself.                                    that we are charged sales tax. Also if there is transportation costs involved
      OUESTIONS:                                                                    include that in line “h. other” with an explanation. If there are any other costs
      1.     Have you been frustrated because your award has been reduced?          that do not have specific line items include them on line “h. other” with a full
      2.     Have you “padded the price” without realizing it?                      and complete explanation.
      3.     Have you “bundled, sales tax, shipping and other costs?”                    3.     Will a better explanation of the costs eliminate a reduction in the
      ANSWERS:                                                                      grant award. NOT AT ALL but it will give you a better opportunity for full
      1.     Yes, many of us have all been frustrated at a reduction in our         funding.
 award and in all reality it is not the Grants Staff but our providing them with         If you have questions on about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant pro-
 misinformation on the application that has caused the reduction to happen.         gram you can go to their website at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ . Good
      2.     The Federal Grants Staff personnel know what the fair market           luck in the upcoming round of SAFER Grants later this spring.

38    •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                              •   APRIL 2009
          FIRE SERVICE CALENDAR                                                                          CLASSIFIEDS
Training/Workshops                                                                           BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

                                                                           Own your own business teaching First Aid and CPR/AED. Great earning potential
April 6 - 10: Hands on Technical Training (HOTT) presented by
                                                                           and flexible schedule with minimal initial investment. www.EMSSafety.com 800
the California Fire Mechanics Academy at McClellan Business Park,
Sacramento. For more information call (916) 727-7019.
May 6 - 7: Incident Command System, IEC Training Center San
                                                                           For Sale: Fire Safety Store. Mountain View, CA. Retail & on-line sales of fire safety
Carlos. For more information contact Diane at Industrial Emergency         equipment and uniforms. Established 3 years. $50K+/year Net Profit. Perfect for
Council (650) 508-9008.                                                    retired fireman or family member.
May 11 - 15: Command 1A, Oakland FD. For more information                  Asking only $25K + $50K inventory. Seller will finance.
contact Diane at Industrial Emergency Council (650) 508-9008.              Broker: Todd 650-988-1870
June 8 - 12: Assessment Center Workshop/Preparing for
Promotions, San Carlos. For more information contact Diane at Industrial                                EMPLOYMENT
Emergency Council (650) 508-9008.
August 11 - 12: Incident Command System, IEC Training Center               FIREHIRE Inc. is accepting applications for our Firefighter/EMT and
San Carlos. For more information contact Diane at Industrial Emergency     Firefighter/Paramedic Consortium Recruitment. Please visit our website at
                                                                           www.firehire.com for detailed job announcements and information.
Council (650) 508-9008.
October 5 - 9: Assessment Center Workshop/Preparing for
                                                                                                      HELMET SHIELDS
Promotions, San Carlos. For more information contact Diane at Industrial
Emergency Council (650) 508-9008.
                                                                           LEATHER HELMET FRONTS MADE BY A RETIRED L.A. CITY FIREMAN.
October 20 - 21: Incident Command System, IEC Training                     sambrownshields.com 1-859-887-4636.
Center San Carlos. For more information contact Diane at Industrial
Emergency Council (650) 508-9008.                                                             PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Conferences/Meetings                                                       Bring “The Fire Family” to YOUR department! Include Shari's presentations in a
                                                                           couple's night, a family event, or following a recruit academy graduation. See
April 14 - 17, 2009: CSFA Leadership Summit & Conference,                  www.shariwiegel.com or call 530-306-2725 for more information.
Sacramento. For more information call (800) 451-2732 or visit
www.csfa.net.                                                              Do you want to increase your department's image? Do you want to teach the
                                                                           public about who you are and what you do? Do you want to reach out to the
April 20 - 25: Fire Department Instructor's Conference,
                                                                           community and touch your potential volunteer base? Let me be your voice. Let
Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information visit www.fdic.com.
                                                                           me create and deliver customized presentations for you. Contact Shari Wiegel:
April 26 - 29: American Occupational Health Conference, San
                                                                           shari@shariwiegel.com or 530-306-2725.
Diego. For more information visit www.acoem.org.
May 13 - 14: Symposium on Dust Explosion Hazard Recognition                        RETIREMENT AND PROMOTION GIFTS
and Control, Baltimore. Sponsored by NFPA. For more information call
(617) 984-7281                                                             CUSTOM SHADOW BOXES - Gifts, Promotions, Retirements
February 28 - March 4, 2010: Firehouse World, San                          www.ShadowBoxUSA.com (541)476-8938
Diego. For more information call (800) 827-8009.

Special events
April 9, 2009: California Emergency Equipment Showcase, McClellan
Business Park, Sacramento. For more information call (916) 727-7019.
May 2: LA Heat Football team versus FDNY Bravest, Rose Bowl
Stadium, Pasadena, 6:30 p.m. For more information visit www.losange-
May 13: Guns 'N Hoses Fire versus Police Submission Grappling
Fight Contest, Palm Springs for more information call Wayne Womack
(949) 584-8139 or e-mail wwomack815@aol.com.
May 16: LA Heat Football team versus LA Centurians. Location and
time to be determined. For more information visit
May 21: 9th Annual Charity Golf Classic, Cottonwood at Rancho
San Diego Ivanhoe Golf Course. Sponsored by San Miguel firefighters.
For more information call Nick Johnson at (619) 654-3012.
October 16: CSFA Valor Awards diner, Sacramento. For more
information call (800) 451-2732.
November 1 - 8: CSFA cruise to Mexico. Leaves from Long
Beach. Cost is $515 - per person double occupancy. Price includes port                       SAFETY MEETINGS
charges and taxes. For reservations contact Special Promotions at (800)        SAFER - Meets third Friday of every month.
377-6765 ext. 239.                                                             For more information visit www.safer.org.

                                                                  APRIL 2009   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                                  •   39
           PRESIDENT                        Fire/Arson Investigation                       Afrack Vargas                     PRESIDENT & CFO
           Kevin Nida                                  (co-chairs)                       Vargas & Associates                   Sam Winner
  Los Angeles City Fire Department                   Terry Miller                        Legislative Advocate                 (562) 691-9674
           (818) 423-6000                              (951) 358-2798                       (avargas@csfa.net)            samwinner@earthlink.net
      email: krnida@krnida.com                e-mail: tmiller@riversideca.gov             Colleen Rainey
    NORTHERN DIVISION                                Michael Neu                      Director of Administration               CSFA ENDORSED
            Jeff Gilbert                              (213) 485-6527                        (CRainey@csfa.net)
                                                                                                                                BENEFITS AND
                                              e-mail: csfa451@sbcglobal.net              Monty Gearhart
             Williams FPD                                                                                                           SERVICES
                                                    Fire Districts               Director of Information Technology
           (530) 473-2269                                                                                                   INSURANCE SERVICES
                                                      Pete Liebig                    and Services and Director of
                email:                                                                                                         A + Auto & Home
                                                      (619) 561-6875                    Business Development
      wfdc300@frontiernet.net                                                                                                    Insurance Plus
                                                  e-mail: Pliebig@csfa.net               (webmaster@csfa.net)
     NORTHERN DIVISION                                                                                                            (Managed by
                                                Fire & Life Safety                         Gary Giacomo
          Patt Wyckoff                                                                                                        California Casualty)
                                                  Page Dougherty                  Director of Communications and
         West Valley Vol. FC                                                                                                    (800) 800-9410
                                                      (949) 439-2738              Publications (Ggiacomo@csfa.net)
           (530) 347-6991                                                                                                  Myers-Stevens & Toohey
                                             e-mail: pagedougherty@csfa.net                  Membership
    email: pwyckoff42@aol.com                                                                                                      & Co., Inc.
                                              Firefighter Health &                       Representatives
     CENTRAL DIVISION                                                                       Janet Sueoka                      (Life, Disability, and
                                               Wellness (co-chairs)
         Michael S. Gill                                                                 Membership Services                    Long-Term Care)
                                                   Robert T. Scott
       Fresno Fire Department                                                               (Jsueoka@csfa.net)                  (800) 827-4695
                                                      (213) 485-9431
           (559) 916-4361                                                                     Toni Dixon                 FINANCIAL & RETIREMENT
                                               email: robert.scott@lacity.org
     email: mgill4405@aol.com                                                            Membership Projects              INVESTMENT PLANNERS
                                                   Robert Dunivin
     CENTRAL DIVISION                                 (805) 955-0401                         (tdixon@csfa.net)                   ORBA Financial
          Mike Cromer                           email: fyrnflame@aol.com               Janelle Mollgaard                        (800) 627-6722
       Visalia Fire Department                Resolutions (Co-chairs)                      Membership Data                  DENTAL AND HEALTH
           (559) 972-4278                        Patricia Johnson                         (jmollgaard@csfa.net)             SAVINGS PROGRAMS
      email: mcromer@csfa.net                         (559) 642-3863               Administrative Field Representative     Careington International
   SOUTHERN DIVISION                              e-mail: johnfam@sti.net          Dan Coffman (Huntington Beach)               (866) 222-2558
          Chuck Knapp                                Dale Lintner                             (949) 499-2126                MEDICAL INSURANCE
     Barstow FPD (ret.)                               (760) 242-2933                                                         Individual and Group
           (760) 954-0591                     e-mail: dlintner1@verizon.net          CSFA POLITICAL                             Health Insurance
       email: cknapp@csfa.net                   Retirement Issues                  ACTION COMMITTEE                        Anderson-Shea Insurance
   SOUTHERN DIVISION                                Richard Reed                          Gene Gantt                            (877) 448-4800
       Darryl Cleveland                               (916) 835-2699                         (Vacaville)                        LIVING TRUSTS
           (760) 953-4719                        e-mail: firerep1@aol.com              Res: (707) 451-3262                   Goyette & Associates
     email: dcleveland@csfa.net              Valor Awards (co-chairs)             Email: genegantt@comcast.net                  (888) 993-1600
   SOUTHERN DIVISION                              Michael Esparza                      Bill Callaway,                      EMPLOYEE-EMPLOYER
            Mike Diaz                                 (951) 351-6120                   Chair Emeritis                         REPRESENTATION
     Escondido Fire Department                  e-mail: mesparza@csfa.net                (San Luis Obispo)                     Bob Roberts (FIRE)
           (877) 570-0344                           Jeff Loveland                         (805) 543-1355                        (951) 696-9281
        email: mdiaz@csfa.net                         (951) 826-5321               Email: wildbillsbbq@aol.com
   SOUTHERN DIVISION                         email: jloveland@riversideca.gov      Political Consultant
      Kenneth Wuchner                         Workers' Compensation                      John Wainio
    Long Beach Fire Department                    George Stillman                         (619) 299-8683
           (562) 424-8288                             (559) 683-2562                  johnwainio@aol.com
     email: kwuchner@csfa.net                  email: stillman@sierratel.com
                                                                                   California State Firefighters'           California Fire Service
                                             CSFA OFFICE STAFF                                                                 Training Institute
     STANDING COMMITTEES                                                         Employee Welfare Benefits Corp.
                                               (800) 451-2732                                                                 Michael S. Williams
                  Bylaws                                                             GENERAL MANAGER
                                            E-Mail: info@csfa.net                                                        President-Executive Director
            Dennis Frazier                                                                 Bob Hamilton                          800-451-2732
                (714) 556-3971                    John Dane, CAE
                                                                                          (916) 933-3772                        www.cafsti.org
           e-mail: fraz7@aol.com           Executive Director (Jdane@csfa.net)
  Committee for Volunteers
                 Vern Losh
 (707) 431-1994 e-mail: vlosh@aol.com
         Bill Messersmith
                                                 For more information about
               (626) 355-9606
     e-mail: fireman_bill@prodigy.net
                                                CSFA or any of the services or
             Chuck Knapp
               (760) 954-0591
          email: cknapp@csfa.net
                                                 benefits listed on this page
                                                  please visit www.csfa.net.
 Emergency Medical Services
            Larry Grihalva
               (714) 754-5155
   e-mail: lgrihalva@ci.costa-mesa.ca.us

40   •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                            •   APRIL 2009
                                                        FIRE SERVICE DATABANK
                                          RETIREMENTS APRIL 2009
         Cal Fire                         Robert Dillon                Norman Kuramoto               John Roberts             Raymond Gonzales
        Ruben Grijalva                    Kip Downen                         John Lee                  Fred Sevy                 David Holden
                                         Robert Findlay                    Ronald Lem               Patrick Shanley             Leonard Ingalis
   Kern County Fire                    Steven Fitzgerald                    John Leon                 Craig Smith              Russell Kalander
     Department                            Jose Flores                    Frank Lockett               John Sparks                 James Kuhn
        Phil Castle                         Scott Fries                     Don Lopez               Gregory Stone                Lazaro Lahera
     Dennis Thompson                   Michael Garrison                  Patrick Marek              Nelson Strange             Arnold Mendoza
                                       Robert Gladden                    William Martin               Brian Teddy              Kevin Quistberg
   Los Angeles Fire                      Michael Gross                  Richard Matthes              Edward Teter                 Steven Rossi
     Department                         Robert Haffner                 Timothy McComb              Jerry Trowbridge               Jesse Seiffert
     William Anderson                      Larry Harris                 John McDonald               David Vaughn               Robert Thurston
     Michael Arguelles                 Michael Haytack                 Michael McOsker              William Waite              Craig Vestermark
     Arthur Ascencio                     Barry Hedberg                 James McPherson               Michael Wells               Lee Woolever
          Ted Bailie                    John Heldoorn                  Eugene Merchant               Mark Wilhite
      Wilfred Bisson                    James Jimenez                      Albert Miller           Glenn Wilkinson            Riverside Fire
     Robert Brinkman                   Ronald Johnson                    Richard Miller              Roger Ziemer              Department
     Kenneth Buchan                      Eldridge Jones                  Steve Montiel                                          Tedd Laycock
      Frank Comfort                       Gary Kahler                   Terrence Onishi         Long Beach Fire
       Roger Cook                       Mark Khitikian                   Richard Ousley           Department                 Santa Barbara
        Jon Cooper                     Robert Kilpatrick                  Tennie Pierce           Samuel Adams              Fire Department
      Lynn Crockatt                  Christopher Knowlton                  David Perez             Mark Boone                    Ron Prince
     Philip Delacerda                      Roy Kozaki                   Arturo Resendez           Robert Espinosa

                                         IN MEMORIAM APRIL 2009
     Beverly Hills Fire                        Gonzales Fire                       Los Angeles Fire                      Nevada County
       Department                               Department                           Department                        Consolidated Fire
          Edward La Fouge                          Stanley Duby                             Dale Booth                 Protection District
                                                                                         Joseph Corrigan                      Dick Walters
          Fresno Fire                        Kentfield Fire                             Robert Henderson
          Department                       Protection District                           James Magruder                    Pomona Fire
           Carlos Ramirez                         Kenneth Kamp                            Joseph Oronoz                    Department
          Jack Reddemann                                                                Kenneth Padgham                       John Fowlkes
                                                                                            Roy Walters
                                                                                          Wilburt Young                 Westminster Fire
                                                                                                                             John Carbone

CSFA RECOMMENDED ATTORNEYS                                                                        REGIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Workers’ Compensation                                                                               REPRESENTATIVES
Linda J. Brown (Greenbrae) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(415) 925-9212
Richard Elder (Concord) . . .(925) 676-7991 or (800) 242-COMP                             Bob ‘Malibu’                 Louie Rodriguez
Michael Lewis, Alan Marenstein                                                            Martin                              Long Beach FD
or Robert Sherwin                                                                Los Angeles County FD (ret.)         Voice: (714) 903-7470
(Woodland Hills) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(818) 703-6000   Voice: (805) 492-1566                                Mobile:
Scott O’Mara                                                                     Pager: (805) 442-0281                                 (714) 580-9338
(San Diego/Orange Counties)619) 239-9885 or (800) 247-1222                       FAX: (805) 241-9944                        email: lrodriguez@csfa.net
(Riverside County) . . . . . . . .(909) 276-1199 or (800) 247-1222               email: malibu@csfa.net Areas              Areas represented: Orange
Lawrence R. Whiting LAFD retired (Santa Ana)(714) 866-0714                       represented: Los Angeles,                         County and eastern
Labor                                                                            San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara                   Los Angeles County.
Paul Goyette (Sacramento) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(888) 993-1600            and Ventura Counties
Howard Rayon (San Diego) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(619) 925-9310                                                    CSFA Steamer Team
Stephen Silver (Santa Monica) . . . . . . . . . . . . .(310) 393-1486                      Robert McNabb                     Dave Hubert
Daniel Kodam (Murrieta) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(951) 296-2336                    Corona FD (ret.)                (949) 589-2444
Retirement                                                                                 Voice: (951) 440-2849
Linda J. Brown (Greenbrae) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(415) 925-9212                     Pager: (951) 440-2849
Richard Elder (Concord) . . .(925) 676-7991 or (800) 242-COMP                    email: ROBM909@aol.com
Tom Wicke (Woodland Hills) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(818) 703-6000             Areas represented:
Scott O’Mara                                                                     Imperial, Riverside,
(San Diego/Orange Counties)(619) 239-9885 or (800) 247-1222                      San Bernardino and
(Riverside County) . . . . . . .(909) 276-1199 or (800) 247-1222                 San Diego Counties

                                                                     APRIL 2009     •    THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                   •   41
Smoldering Thoughts                                                                                       By Gary Giacomo

               Light a fire; kill firefighters;
             lose your life. Any questions?

It           was a sunny weekend in March
             and the guilty verdict had just
been announced in the Esperanza Fire murder
                                                     jurors are faced with the decision to either
                                                     send Mr. Oyler to prison for the rest of his life
                                                     or to end his life in the death chamber at San
                                                                                                          met over the years, yearns to be deliberately
                                                                                                          put in harms' way. They do the job, watch
                                                                                                          their backs and the backs of their crew mates,
case. In case you don't remember, Raymond            Quentin. They are deliberating and hearing           and pray that they come back alive.
Lee Oyler, 38, of Beaumont was convicted of          from teary eyed family members like Monica                I'm no mind reader, but I suspect the crew
five counts of first-degree murder in connec-        Hoover-Ayala the 15-year old sister of Daniel        of Engine 57 was no different in that regard
tion with the 41,000-acre blaze. A jury decid-       Hoover-Najera who told of being teased by            when they were dispatched to help guard struc-
ed beyond a reasonable doubt that he is the          her big brother, and yet how she looked up to        tures during this man-made wildland blaze.
fire bug who sparked the wildfire that tore          him, and how she still does.                              So the deliberations will wear on and on
through Riverside County in the fall of 2006.            Tragedy from sudden death is never easy.         in the courtroom, and meanwhile misguided
It started in the wee hours of October 26 and        Most humans past the age of about 22 realize         people like my friend at the restaurant will
destroyed 34 houses and 20 outbuildings, as                                                               somehow try to diminish the punishment that
well as damaging State Route 243 severely                                                                 a known arsonist should receive.
enough that motorists required an escort until          Lighting fires for profit                              My simple point is this: if you use a gun,
the damage could be repaired. The monetary                                                                or a knife, or a wall of wind-fanned flames to
damage the fire caused was estimated at                  or some sick sense of                            kill another human being - firefighter or a
more than $9 million. No ordinary conflagra-                                                              musician, homeless man or pregnant actress,
tion was this one. Aside from the evacuations           excitement, puts mem-                             and you are found guilty beyond a reasonable
of the public, and the enormous cost to the                                                               doubt, you need to pay the ultimate price. I'm
state, this one also had a human toll.                 bers of our profession in                          sure there are those who would beg to differ,
     The crew of U.S Forest Service Engine 57                                                             and in my younger years this was an issue that
was one of several sent to a hilltop communi-           undo harm. Sometimes                              caused me some soul searching.
ty north of Twin Pines to evacuate and defend                                                                   Killing, you may argue, will not bring the
homes in the first hours of the Esperanza                they are killed in the                           dead back to life. That is true, but what law
blaze. Killed that day were firefighter Daniel                                                            tries to do is to match the intensity of the
Hoover-Najera, 20 and Capt. Mark Allen                     course of their job                            crime with the punishment doled out. That is
Loutzenhiser, 43, and firefighters Jason                                                                  why if you park in a loading zone, you are
Robert McKay, 27, Jess Edward McLean, 27,               duties, and those who                             looking at a monetary citation, but if you rob
and Pablo Cerda, 24. Each of these firefight-                                                             a bank it's a federal offense.
ers paid the ultimate sacrifice while fighting         are responsible need to                                 It's like this: when firefighters go on a
this arson sparked blaze.                                                                                 call, or are sent on a strike team they are
     As this issue goes to press, the sentencing         be held accountable.                             placed squarely in harms way; we all know
of Mr. Oyler lies ahead. One casual acquain-                                                              that. There are scores of fire department cof-
tance who knows I'm involved vicariously with                                                             fee mugs and posters hanging on fire station
the fire service, said to me over dinner, as if to   that they are not immortal, that yes, someday,       walls across the state with the slogan “come
goad me on the evening that the verdict              their life on this planet at least, will end. Face   back safe and alive.” Words, certainly, by
against Mr. Oyler was announced, “The guy is         it, that's why the best armies throughout the        which to live. Lighting fires for profit or some
a fire bug, but geez, that's not grounds for         centuries have been comprised of the young.          sick sense of excitement, puts members of
execution. Heck, John Lennon's killer is still            Firefighters play a special role in the daily   our profession in undo harm. Sometimes
alive behind bars.”                                  dance with death. It is undeniable that work-        they are killed in the course of their job
     First of all, any Beatle aficionado knows       ing in a fire station is more hazardous and          duties, and those who are responsible need
that Paul McCartney was the real musical             could lead to sudden death quicker than say          to be held accountable.
genius of the Fab Four, not that this particu-       working in the men's department at                        The larger question, and one that I hope is
lar point diminishes Mr. Lennon's talents, or        Nordstrom - or even walking the beat as a mall       pondered in that court room in Riverside, is
somehow diminishes the punishment his                cop. Sure, you might say, in recent years any-       just what kind of society do we want? One
killer surely deserves. As I pointed out to my       way, most calls to dispatch the fire department      where life is valued and respected or one
friend, if I were the one handing down the           are calls for help with medical emergencies,         where arsonists grow bolder knowing that
sentences, Lennon's shooter would have met           which is, I suppose, a nod to better fire pre-       they can cheat the death house door despite
his maker long ago. Ditto for Charles                vention and improved building codes.                 the suffering they cause to those in our pro-
Manson and the nut case who tried to assas-          However, that one in ten that is a fire call - or    fession and society at large.
sinate Ronald Reagan “to impress Jodie               even worse the annual fall and summer rite of
Foster”. Puhleese.                                   strike teams being sent from all corners of the      Gary Giacomo is the editor of The California
     As this issue goes to press the trial in        state (often from urban areas) to fight wildfires    Fire Service magazine. You may reach him at
Riverside has now entered what is known in           - are the ones that tip the ante in favor of the     ggiacomo@csfa.net or (800) 451-2732 ext.
legal parlance as “the penalty phase”. The           grim reaper. Nonetheless, no firefighter I've        232.

42     •   THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE                        •   APRIL 2009

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