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Home Explore Firewire Magazine in the Fall of 2014

Firewire Magazine in the Fall of 2014

Published by tamurahouki, 2015-07-27 23:11:14

Description: This official magazine is sponsored by the professional firefighters, which engages in the fire issues and the related measures.


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FIREWIRE is the official publication of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 935 published under the supervision of its Executive Board. The San Bernardino County Fire ProtectionDistrict does not have any control over this publication. Opinions expressed by writers do not necessarily reflect those of IAFF, Local 935 or any members of the Executive Board. The presence of paidadvertising in this publication does not represent a guarantee, express or implied, by IAFF, Local 935, regarding the merchants or service providers advertising herein.

STAFF 935 Leadership & Administration. . . . . . 6 Profile: Fire Station 41 Highlight. . . . . . 9Editor: Jeff Allen Division 1 News. . . . . 10Assistant Editors: Ryan Beckers, Brenton B aum, Dan Nelson, Incident Report: Banana Incident. . . . . 12Kyle Hauducoeur, Jared Newcomer, and Kalina CoxFinance Manager: Jen Meischer Division 2 News. . . . . 14Photo Editor: Steve Castagnola Letters to the Editor. . . . . 17Design and Layout Provided by: miketeald Division 3 News. . . . . 18 Division 4 News. . . . . 20Advertising Design: Josh Wilkins, Mike McC lintock Division 5 News . . . . 22Digital Publishing: Josh Wilkins Tip A Fireman . . . . 25 Office of the Fire Marshal. . . . . 26QPhuoigtoggVrVapDhayi:lyToPdreSsusd, mSaeriaehr/AElPvaNr,aTdeorriVNViDel asielyn,PCrehsrsis, Nichols, Ed Sherman, James David Pardo VV Daily Press,Troy Branam, HLM photography, Mike Lang e/Loudlabs News, David DickinsonCover Photo: Tod Sudmeier EPN Office of Emergency Services. . . . . 28 Dept. in Action. . . . . 30 Division 1 County firefighters battle a multi-alarm fire at a pallet yard in Fontana Driving Simulator. . . . . 35Back Cover: Ed Sherman Cold Water Challenge. . . . . 37 SBCoFD Contributing Photographers: SBCERA. . . . . 38Brandon Barsugli, Brenton Baum, Bret MRaanr kesy,,JJeerfef mBiyrcLhinfiedlsda.y,,CJharriesdNNoertwocno, mSteerv,eTurner, Jeremy Kern, Dan Nelson, Clint Message from Rick Denison. . . . . 39LCaansetaMgncoGliav,eJrenf,fDAeleaxny,DDicaknoPveeird, Rloywa,nJaByecDki merosf,f,JoSecoZtutcAcbarraoh,aZmack Mullenix, Steve The Mothership. . . . . 41 935 In Action. . . . . 42Marketing/Advertising: Randy Wormdahl The Last Alarm. . . . . 43To advertise in next FireWire issue, contac t: [email protected] County Fire Goes International . . . . 44Dept. Liaisons: Strike Team Summary. . . . . 46Deputy Chief Jim Johnstone Higher Ground. . . . . 47Flight Paramedic Eric SherwinDivision Chief Dan Munsey John Cham berlin, Marc Peebles, Classifieds. . . . . 48Battalion Chiefs: Jeff Birchfield,Tom Marshall, Darrayl Felgar EMS Preview: Past, Present, Future. . . . . 49 Pipes and Drums. . . . . 51 Our Editors. . . . . 52 CAPF Contact Information Photo Credit: Terri Nielsen Long Term Disability Benefits or Claims 800-832-7333 or Long Term Care Benefit Information 800-832-7333 or Life Insurance & Financial Planning Services 800-832-7333 CA Lic. #0544968


VOLUME 4 • 2014Photo Credit: Chris NicholsGreetings,Welcome to Volume 4. The FIREWIRE magazine has now completedits first year with 4 quarterly issues published and as of this printingwe have had over 19,000 digital views between the first three issuespublished. The magazine was developed with two goals in mind. Thefirst goal was to use it to improve internal communications between the935 executive board and the membership. The second goal was to usethe magazine as a way to show all the positive things we do in our countyon a daily basis. This project is a constantly evolving team effort. Wehave developed a solid infrastructure from the editing staff to divisionnews writers. We also have developed numerous relationships with localmedia photographers as well as some local free-lance photographers.These photographers have been generous enough to give us their qualityphotos. Our advertisers have funded a large portion of our costs for 2014and we look forward to 2015 being more of the same. Please support ouradvertisers; they make this magazine possible. 2015 will bring four morequarterly issues, starting in January. Please don’t hesitate to contact meor and anyone else on our staff if you would like to be involved.Respectfully,Jeff AllenFIREWIRE Editor To have a digital version the FIREWIRE delivered directly to your inbox each quarter You can subscribe at: Do you want to advertise in the FIREWIRE? Contact: RandyWormdahl@[email protected] FIREWIRE | VOL.4 5

935 LEADERSHIP ENGINEER Jim Grigoli was hired JIM GRIGOLI full-time as a Firefighter/ PRESIDENT Paramedic with SBCoFD in 1998. He is currently serving Brothers and Sisters his second term as Executive Vice-President for Local Thank you to the members that voted me president of this 935. He promoted to the rank great union. The responsibilities of the office require tireless of Engineer in 2003. Currently effort and I have begun that effort by scheduling meetings with he is assigned to Division 1 our management, the CEO and the San Bernardino County in Fontana at Station 78. As Board of Supervisors (BOS). These meetings regarding our Executive Vice-President Jim many challenges have produced solutions that will help the oversees all committees and membership succeed. day to day operations of the Local as well as co-chair of the I renew Local 935’s support for Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Operations Leadership team. Colton and Loma Linda and the resources they need to continue to thrive. We will stand together in the face of adversity. Force hires have increased in frequency, keeping our members away from their families for long hours. Local 935 monitors the situation and works with management to maintain consistency throughout the process. I believe we have reached the worst of it. If a member denies a force hire, keep in mind, doing so merely shifts the responsibility to another brother or sister. After four ratification meetings a new MOU with the county was ratified. I appreciate the questions and concerns expressed by our members during these meetings. The structure of this MOU will benefit us in future negotiations. The E-board will continue to work with the BOS and the CEO to make sure we have a sustainable future. In closing, I would like to congratulate our newly promoted captains and engineers. Nominations and elections for our new executive board are coming up. Thank you to the E-board members for their support through these tough times. Their diligent work for our members is to be commended. I am proud to serve you and this great local. I want the best for all of you and I am dedicated to achieve that goal. Take care of yourselves and your families and feel free to contact me anytime with any concerns you may have. Jim Grigoli President, San Bernardino County Firefighters Local 9356 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

ADMINISTRATION Local 935 President Operations/Leadership Jim Grigoli Jim Grigoli Treasurer Executive VP Secretary Dan Wooters Gary Jager Dennis Cunningham Dan Wooters Jennifer Miescher Jeremy Kern Kenny Halseth Division 1 Mark Vigil 1st VP Division 1 Rep 2nd VP Division 2 Rep 3rd VP Gary Jager Jeremy Kern Division 3 Vacant Division 2 Eric Spies Kenny Halseth Seniority Roster Division 4 & 5Apparatus & Equipment Division 1 Rep Public Relations / Social Media Support Services Transfer CommitteeWildland EMS / Ambulance Ops LeadershipTraining and Safety Vacant JAC Text Alerts Honor Guard / Pipes & DrumsTransfer Committee Transfer Committee Video Productions Special OperationsOps Leadership Division 3 Rep Ops Leadership Mike McClintock Aviation Video Productions Division 4 Rep Telestaff Apparatus and Equipment Graphic Design Support Services Mike McClintock Jared Newcomer Co Chair K. Halseth Webmaster Eric Spies Budgets Sam Thomas Co Chair D. Wooters Local 935 site Co Chair J.Kern Jeremy Kern Retirement Bill Mahan Gary Jager Eric Spies - Designee Jeff Allen Rick Denison Video Productions Armando Rodriguez Division 5 Rep Doug Simpson Steve Simpson Darrel Feuerhahn FireWire Uniforms Darrel Feuerhahn HAZMAT Mike McClintock Jeff Allen Co Chair J.Kern Pipes & Drums Honor Guard Co Chair Training and Mike Westfall-Designee Sam Thomas Safety JAC Jade Morgan Steve Lasiter Tony Siciliano Sam Thomas Kenny Halseth Mark Murphy Steve Lasiter Co Chair G.Jager Co Chair J. Kern Mark Murphy Nick Landry Bobby Cox Tim Porter Mike McLaughlin Nick Landry Big Bear Gary Jager Bob Mack Matt Mejia Carlos Canizales Jay Hausman Matt Durham Kenny White Travis Vanhulten Dan Rogers Mike McClintock EMS Equipment Ken Munsey Matt Durham Steve Simpson Scott Abraham Travis Aguirre Colton Co Chair J. Kern Scott Tuttle Wellness and Ryan Beckers Designee Jeremiah Johnson Eric Spies Tom Debellis Fitness Steve Houston Jerren Grundy Scott Micheals Steve Story Mike Westfall Loma Linda Co. Chair G.Jager Robert Stine Jeremiah Johnson Jerren Grundy-Designee Cole Wellman Nate Boucher Roy Gault Darrell Feuerhahn Tim Goforth Spencer Brumbaugh Jay Hausman Retiree Rep Darrel Feuerhahn Jonathan Duarte Derek Blenkarn Bob Greene Matt Durham Scott Abraham Kelly Carter Gary Sanders Matt Anderson Capt Derek Blenkarn Collin Sheehy Matt Anderson (FF) DUTY | HONOR | COMMUNITY FIREWIRE | VOL.4 7

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STATION41 By: Brad MooreAddress: 57201 29 Palms Hwy. Yucca Valley, Ca 92284Rotation: Division 5 Battalion 8Equipment: Medic Engine 41, Medic Ambulance 41, Brush Engine 41 Station 41 is located on the corner of 29 Palms Highway and Hwy 247 (Old Woman Springs Road) in the heart of Yucca Valley. The station’s central location is ideal for responding to the over 4000 emergency calls it receives per year, making 41’s units some of the busiest in the county. The station also serves as the south desert’s primary education/training location, as well as an emergency operations center (EOC). Over the years, as the town continued to grow and call volumes increased, the need to house more personnel and equipment has led to many additions and changes to the station itself, which was built in 1959. In fact, many of these additions were constructed and implemented by the on-duty crews themselves. The station is currently staffed with a two-person medic engine and two paramedic ambulances. This has been the staffing model for some time in Yucca Valley, but not for much longer. Both Stations 41 and 42 (Yucca Mesa) will be staffed with three full-time personnel starting late September and the medic ambulances will be converted to non- suppression staffing when the Ambulance Operator program comes on-line sometime in October. This will be a wonderful change for those assigned to the south desert as well as for those of you who have been visiting beautiful Yucca Valley more frequently over the past several months. The area that surrounds Station 41 has certainly seen many changes over the years, expanding from only 200 total structures in the late 1940s to the growing city of over 20,000 it has become today. Further, as an isolated area where calamities occur far from the nearest trauma center, many paramedics in this department—as well as others— have gotten their start in acute EMS care right in downtown Yucca Valley at station 41. In 1976, the local fire chief received a federal grant and was able to send three firefighters to paramedic school, and by1977 the paramedic program was operational, making it one of the earliest established in the county of San Bernardino. Since then, many paramedics have dialed-in their skills either as paramedic interns assigned to preceptors or as medics assigned to the station itself. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 9

LABOR REP. PENDING JON MCLINN DIVISION CHIEFBY: BRENTON BAUMDivision 1 had a busy few months that included several infrequent incident types during which personnel performed exceptionally.Through flash floods, confined space entries and multi-alarm incidents, Division 1 personnel rose to and met the challenges.Additionally, the entire division was happy to welcome Captain Andy Shipway back to work following his cancer treatment.MAJOR INCIDENTS STATION EQUIPMENT, PERSONNEL MOVESIn early August, County Fire responded to two mountain communities during an almost In August the division and many of its personnel underwent a major reshuffle, as the long-rumored, long-discussed transfer of the tiller truck from Station 77 tounprecedented downpour that caused flash floods and massive mud slides. In Mt. Station 71 finally took place. This move had a ripple effect on a number of levels, and some of the changes are still being worked out. For starters, the move liftedBaldy, the incident claimed the life of one motorist whose vehicle was overwhelmed by 71’s daily roster population to 10 firefighters—all career personnel—making the John B. Roberts Fire Station the county’s largest. Crews will rotate between thethe torrent of mud and debris. In Forest Falls, meanwhile, there were initially several three-person engine and four-person ladder truck, while the paramedics will also each have rotations on the squad. This configuration achieves the goal of havingreports of people missing and/or trapped in raging floodwaters, but those reports were the tiller, while still an ALS-level apparatus, centralized in the city and dedicated to major fire, rescue or traffic calls (as well as public service and other non-medicaldetermined to be unfounded. The swift water rescue team from Division 1 did respond incidents). Of course with 10 firefighters jaw-jacking at the morning coffee table and evening card game, this is no house for the thin-skinned! Further, when Towerfrom Fontana and performed a couple of rescue assists, but no major injuries were 5 releases its trainees to the floor, each shift at 71 will have an open spot held for a probationary firefighter.reported. Also, crews from Forest Falls Station 99 assisted one disabled victim who Meanwhile, the tiller’s move left Station 77 with a giant opening in its apparatus bay,had been stranded inside his house as floodwaters rose. A door-to-door survey was which was soon filled by the ladder truck that had been operating for years out of Station 78. That station transitioned to a three-person engine company to go alongcompleted on foot by paid-call firefighters and the local CERT members. County Fire with its squad, while 77’s remained a truck-and-squad house. Two department-wide transfer bids accompanied the moves, which allowed members to apply to either hand crews responded to both stay with the tiller as it made its move or transfer to a different station. communities to assist with To create the configurations described above, the city of Fontana agreed to add a full-time position on each shift at 71’s. Local 935 appreciates the city’s the massive cleanup effort. commitment to public safety staffing, and to the department, local and city for working together to make these changes happen. Ultimately, the mudslides TRAINING caused widespread damage to In early July Division 1 conducted a division wide multi-company Mass Casualty both mountain communities, Incident (MCI) drill. The drill was designed to refresh personnel’s knowledge of incident command system (ICS) positions and roles. This is a low-frequency as well as several other incident type, but the MCI structure is a very useful tool for effectively managing incidents with a large number of patients. The emphasis of the drill was focused areas in the valley, and the more on the operational than patient care due to the complexity of an MCI within the ICS system. It is important that all personnel be able to function incident received local, under any assigned role that they are given during these incidents. regional and national media attention. Numerous cooperating agencies and2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford meets with departments worked togethermembers of Crew 6-1 during the Mt. Baldy Floods. to keep human casualties to a minimum.In mid-August SBCoFD’s Urban Search and Rescue team from Division 1 wasrequested by San Bernardino County Sheriff to assist with a body recovery in JoshuaTree National Park. A body had been discovered by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescueteam at the bottom of a mine shaft, but due to the toxicity of the environment theywere unable to complete the recovery themselves. Rescue company 72 respondedand ultimately made two separate confined space entries in order to gather evidenceand recover the body. The recovery required working off a high-angle main line whileutilizing the supplied air breathing apparatus (SABA) due to the hazardous atmosphericenvironment. With extreme heat and dire working conditions, entrants were limited toabout 20 minutes each in the 90 foot-deep shaft. One firefighter suffered minor injuriesduring the entrance, but overall the recovery was completed without major incident.On September 14th Fontana had another large pallet yard fire that required a third- NEW EQUIPMENTalarm response, along with an inmate hand crew and county fire’s dozer. Enginesfrom Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, and Rialto also assisted with the extinguishment, Station 74 recently took receipt of a new Type 1 fire engine. The new rig replaceswhich encompassed approximately 2.5 acres. Total loss was about $1 million, but it is their old KME, which was one of the last two-stage pumpers remaining inestimated that County Fire’s efforts saved over $5 million in property loss.10 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

DIVISION 1Firefighter Nick McAtee discusses the importance of wearing seatbelts during a recent Open House at station 71.frontline service. The 2013 KME is definitely a step up from the previous engine and the crews have Local 935 proudly supports Mayor Acquanettaa lot of positive feedback about it. Other than a short snafu with the front seats needing replacement Warren for Fontana Mayor.due to the air suspension being too reactive, the engine is a huge improvement from the previousRosenbauer models that were being purchased. Many thanks to the apparatus committee and jobwell-done!ANDY SHIPWAYCaptain Andy Shipway recently returned to full duty after receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Firefighter/Paramedic Aaron Matteson usesB-cell follicular. Andy initially began having fatigue and bone pain in January of last year that resulted in hydraulic powered rescue equipment to open thea visit to his personal doctor; he ultimately received a cancer diagnosis in April (though it is likely thathe had the cancer for several years prior). After being off work for almost 11 months and receiving seven door at Station 71’s open house.rounds of chemotherapy, along with a month of radiation treatment, Andy was released back to full duty atStation 12. Initially his worker’s compensation claim was denied due to California’s cancer presumptionlaw being rebuttable by the employer. Andy said that for his case it ultimately came down to him provingtwo factors: that the cancer development occurred during his employment and that he had been exposed to known carcinogens. After an examination was concluded by a qualified medical examiner the county accepted his claim and began covering his already-in-progress treatment. Unfortunately, he still has some lasting effects including decreased endurance and tinnitus. Research has determined that firefighters have a higher Groundbreaking for the new station 73. occurrence rate of cancers compared to the general population. According to Cancer Weekly, depending on the type of cancer (i.e. digestive tract, respiratory or malignant mesothelioma), a firefighter is between nine and 129 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. The same research shows a higher mortality rate among firefighters from cancer when compared to the general population. Due to this fact, the California Labor Code (section 3212.1) states that for firefighters the cancer“shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment.” However, this issubject to some dispute and evidence gathering by the employer, and the employee mustalso “demonstrate(s) that he or she was exposed, while in the service of the departmentor unit, to a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research onCancer…”Andy’s advice to his fellow firefighters: “Avoid diesel exhaust fumes, keep your gear clean,and use common sense to minimize your exposures.” He also found some great resourcesthrough the Firefighter Cancer Support Network: Division 1 readies for the Santa Ana winds this fall we are preparing for a busy wildlandfire season. These wind events typically bring large-scale wildland incidents and long,sleepless nights. The crews of Division 1 are dedicated to meeting these incident needs andwe look forward to doing what we have trained for.Reference: City of Fontana and SBCoFD paid tribute to the victims of“Findings from R.D. Daniels et al in Occupational and Environmental Medicine Reported [Mortality and cancer 9-11 during a ceremony held at station 71.incidence in a pooled cohort of US firefighters from San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia (1950-2009)].” CancerWeekly 15 July 2014: 51. General OneFile. Web. 30 Sept. 2014. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 11

INCIDENT REPORTIncident Diary: Banana Incident By: John ChamberlinOn the evening of September 15th, 2014 at approximately ME-72 deployed just south of my location and grabbed two2149 hours, ME74 was dispatched to the area of 13800 block supply lines from the street side hydrant. I assigned Captainof Slover Ave/Banana Ave for a reported “Improvement Fire”. Lansing as Division A, on Banana Ave south of SloverThe initial CAD notes depicted several pallets and a tire on fire. Ave. At the same time I had tasked ME-74 with Division CThe temperature was in the low 90’s with moderate humidity believing that they would be able to make access from theirand no wind. current location. Both Fontana PD and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department units were in the process ofWhile en route, ME-74, under the command of Captain Myers, locking down all street traffic in the area.noted heavy smoke showing from Cherry Ave/Jurupa Ave.He requested the assignment be balanced to a full first alarm ME-71 and MT-71 were directed to another access pointcommercial structure fire response. identified from Banana Ave, catching their own supply and deployed to a lot north of the fire area, placing MT-71The balance of the assignment consisted of BC-125, MT-77, in service. Captain Fernandez from ME-71 was namedMS-77, ME-71, MT-71 and ME-72. An additional squad was Division D.added to the assignment as per standard, adding MS-72 to theresponse. I also moved ME-79 to Station 71. In addition, it I placed the incident command post (ICP) directly in front ofshould be noted that BE-75 and BE-76 had just been assigned Division A, established Banana I/C with Comm Center andto Strike Team 6270-C for the King Fire. struck a second alarm. MT-77 reported good access from Calabash Ave. and were positioning for an elevated streamME-74 arrived and was flagged down by a business owner on the west side. I assigned Captain Raney as Division Cdirecting them to a lot directly off of Slover Ave, the sight of a and still not seeing ME-74, reassigned ME-74 to work underprevious Pallet Yard fire several years ago. ME-74 proceeded MT-77 on a deployment to the west side of the incident. Atto the rear of the lot; however, a large locked security gate cut the same time, I requested the water company to send aoff their ingress. This resulted in a substantial delay in initial representative and boost the system pressure.deployment efforts. Level 2 staging was to be established at Slover Ave/MulberryMT-77 on arrival hearing ME-74’s situation proceeded down to Ave. The second alarm consisted of ME-73, ME-78, ME-Calabash Ave. and assessed the situation from the west side of 174, ME-79, ME-137 and BC-132. In addition I had BC-1825the incident. and BC-2115 added as overhead. An AMR unit was also requested to standby at the ICP.I arrived and had ME-71 and MT-71 stage on Slover Ave atBanana Ave. I made a lap to see what other access could be ME-73 arrived and assumed Staging Area Manager (STAM)achieved. I was able to drive directly onto the lot where the (Captain Marshall). ME-78 was the next arriving unit. Theyinitial fire was without issue from the Banana side. along with ME-174 were deployed to the area south of the incident, securing their own supply from Banana Ave and12 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 Captain Gorman was assigned as Division B. Division C was requesting an additional engine to supply their unit, so ME-73 was tasked with leaving Captain Marshall as STAM at Slover Ave/Mulberry Ave and the engine was assigned with the remaining three personnel to Division C. All divisions were experiencing heavy exposure problems. On arrival, multiple privately owned vehicles, semi-trucks with and without attached trailers, several business offices,

several manufacturing butler buildings, and a fuel island were INCIDENT REPORT: BANANA INCIDENTPhoto Credit: Tod Sudmeier/EPNalready taking substantial radiant heat. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 13A needs assessment was conducted with each of the divisionsand 3rd alarm was struck. Rehab supplies were ordered fromthe warehouse and the countywide duty chief arranged formove-ups to the Valley Division.BC-132 (Walls) arrived and after a quick exchange tookcommand, as I already had an operational plan in place that wasworking.BC-1825 was tasked as a safety officer working the A/B side ofthe incident. BC-2115 was assigned as a safety officer workingthe C/D side.The third alarm consisted of ME-173, ME-201, MS-71, ME-138,ME-172, and additional battalion chief from Division 2/3 (latercancelled), and a breathing support unit from Colton Fire (latercancelled).As these resources filtered in, the equipment requests bydivisions were prioritized based on real time incident needs andassigned accordingly. BC-1825 was able to provide a WIFIconnection through a portable screen working with Ontario’sPD aircraft through their FLIR. Through this tool we were ableto directly assess and direct operations or areas of concerns toeach of thedivisions.As media arrived IO-170 handled their questions and providedrelief to the ICP.To assist tired crews, additional resource requests were madefor the Glen Helen crew on call and Dozer 2, which had itson call operator sent on ST6270-C. We balanced resourcereleases with pulling ME-2 into the call with the dozer operatoron board. Captain McCord would arrive several hours later andcomplete the work, allowing for the release of ME-2.A glide path for release was developed and implemented firstwith our cooperators and then releasing our County Fire assetsfrom Division 2/3 to return to their home areas.The entire operation was made highly efficient by AAR’s fromprevious incidents of the same nature. I credit D/C Opliger withher direction and review from prior events for use as a templatethat everyone seemed in tune with. The feedback from eachof the divisions on resource needs, allocation, and sharing wastremendous.There were two minor injuries to our personnel. One was a1st degree burn to a hand and the other a back injury after afirefighter tripped in poorly lit conditions.

LABOR REP. ERIC SPIES BRITT SIPE DIVISION CHIEFBY: TRAVIS GRAPES Division 2 once again has had a busy quarter Firefighter/Paramedics from station 10 and 16 extricate a with many notable calls, including a horse critically injured patient from a traffic collision on Palmdale Rd. rescue, a major hazardous materials incident on the I-15 and a traffic accident involving an to leaking flammable liquids, sharp metal, broken glass and extended extrication, just to name a few. Crew the threat of moving traffic. All of these concerns also come 6-1 also spent some time in Wrightwood edu- with the threat of causing more harm to the patient and the cating the public on defensible space, and a rescuer. The goal in trauma care is prediction of injury pattern veteran captain transferred to Division 1. based on mechanism of injury and extrication coupled with rapid transport to a trauma hospital. Medical helicopters are SIGNIFICANT INCIDENTS used quite frequently as the quickest means of transport to the trauma centers. This was the case on this particular call. In late July San Bernardino County Fire responded to a traffic collision with major extrication on Palmdale Road near the HAZMAT ON THE INTERSTATE town of Phelan. First arriving units found a small sedan had collided head on with a truck towing a toy hauler. Trapped in the Also in late July County Fire responded to a tanker truck wreckage, the driver of the sedan sustained critical injuries and rollover on Interstate 15 near Hesperia. First arriving units had to be extricated from his vehicle. While that operation was found a gasoline tanker rolled over with fuel leaking. County started, firefighter/paramedics climbed in to access the patient Fire HazMat teams from Stations 322 in Adelanto and 73 and provided advanced life support measures, maintaining the in Fontana were requested, as well as airport crash/rescue patient’s airway and initiating intravenous fluids. engine Red 3 from Station 319 at Southern California Logistics Airport. This is a very high-risk incident that had the potential San Bernardino County Sheriff Air Rescue 06 was ultimately to become worse if the fuel had found an ignition source. The called upon to transport this patient to the Arrowhead Regional incident was mitigated several hours later. Medical Center. Thanks to a team effort from multiple agencies, the time of the initial dispatch to when the patient reached the Local 935 and County Fire have worked to maintain constant trauma center was just over one hour. The patient was given qualified staffing on our hazardous materials units, and in a good chance of survival due to the initiation of immediate 2015 HazMat 322 will be reassigned to Station 22 in Spring paramedic-level care while the extrication took place. Valley Lake. County Fire will be adding an additional person, which will conclude the upgrade of Station 22 to a three-person The call highlighted several dangers firefighter/paramedics from engine company. Although Station 22 is located in Division County Fire encounter. An intensive operation, vehicle extrication 3 the Hazardous Materials unit assigned there will cover the poses several safety hazards to rescuers, including exposure large geographical area that Division 2 and 3 offers.14 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

Overturned tanker truck on I-15 proved the need for constant DIVISION 2staffing for our Haz-Mat stations. TRAINING HORSE RESCUE Crews at Station 302 completed some station-level rapid intervention On July 29 Local 935 Firefighters responded to a report of a crew (RIC) training in August in preparation for the Division 2/3 horse that had fallen and become trapped in a 3-4 foot-deep drill that was held in October at the AFG glass plant in Victorville. ravine. The rider was uninjured and the horse was alive but RIC training is extremely important—it is training designed to unable to get back on its feet. County Fire responded with help firefighters rescue their own. Fortunately, a “firefighter down” a full response including a “heavy” level technical rescue scenario is not a common occurrence, but it is always a possibility crew. After assessing the situation, it was determined the while working in hazardous environment. Over the last several years horse needed to be sedated in order to safely remove it from there have been several firefighter fatalities in other fire departments the ravine. A local veterinarian responded to the scene and in the United States, including Houston, Texas, where five firefighters sedated the animal long enough for firefighters to conduct have died over the past year or so alone. Four died, for example, a rescue. Rancho Cucamonga Fire District firefighters, who while battling a multi-alarm fire in a hotel. Firefighters always realize have a specialized large animal rescue team, also assisted there is an inherent risk to our profession, however we can do on the incident. Once the horse—named Quigley—was everything possible to minimize that risk through training. sedated, firefighters sprang into action and starting digging an area around the horse. Once enough area was cleared, Jarrod Dowden from crew 6-1 discuses the importance of defensible firefighters were able to get a skid underneath the animal and space to residents in the town of Wrightwood slide the horse down the hillside to a safe location. Once the sedative wore off, Quigley was brought to his feet and was PUBLIC EDUCATION able to walk himself into the horse trailer. The entire operation was conducted safely and without unnecessary risk. On Aug. 9 San Bernardino County Fire, County of San Bernardino Land Use Services, (LUS) and Cal Fire participated in a Each of the last two calls exemplifies the specialized training demonstration to the public on private property in Wrightwood. professional firefighters across the country—including County The property used for demonstration, a home located of Lone Pine Fire—hold and maintain. Referenced above, the terms Canyon Road, had been identified by the local fire safe council as “HazMat team” and “technical rescue crew” do not refer to a prime example of fire hazard abatement designed to increase entities outside County Fire. Rather they comprise regular defensible space for a private residence. engine, ladder truck, squad or ambulance company members who are cross-trained in specialties such as HazMat The presentation began at 9am and members of the public were mitigation and technical rescue. When called upon, they staff welcomed to take part in a presentation of the county’s fire hazard a specially-equipped apparatus and join engine companies abatement process. Several tours were given at various times en route to the call, lending their technical expertise and throughout the day, where approximately 40 members from the equipment to the incident. community of Wrightwood visited with officials from all three of the agencies mentioned above. Engineer and USAR member Rich Lyons renders aid to “Quigley” San Bernardino County Fire’s Crew 6-1 completed hazard abatement on the property on July 29. Before and after pictures were taken the day the work was completed and the pictures were made available to the visitors at Saturday’s events. Information was given and questions were answered. Education is the primary goal of these demonstrations. It was a well-orchestrated event with special thanks to Julie Hernandez from LUS and to Cal Fire’s Henry Herrera. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 15

CAPTAIN BOB KITTLEMAN Benefits of Annexation County Firefighters are given the opportunity to transfer In cities such as Fontana, Hesperia and Victorville, San Bernardino to other stations and divisions, and Captain Bob County Fire operates via contracts for service. With these agreements Kittleman recently transferred from Station 10 in Phelan the city and county negotiate a service level within the county’s to Station 71 in Fontana. Under normal circumstances capabilities, and payments are made by the city to maintain that level. this would not be Division News-worthy, but Bob had The county provides the personnel and offers all-risk services, including been assigned to Phelan for 16 years and had become fire, technical rescue, Hazmat and airport fire/rescue, as well as fleet, somewhat of an icon in the community. Bob has earned dispatch, fire investigation and prevention. The cities or districts pay a respectable reputation in the community and was an administration fee for the contract, but get to maintain all ownership responsible for mentoring many young people in the of facilities and equipment. In addition, these cities generally maintain Phelan fire explorer program. Many of our Local 935 their local fire boards and thereby influence County Fire operations members started their careers as explorers under and service administration. If the cost of service increases due to such Kittleman’s direction. Bob remains the coordinator for factors as changes in the labor contract, workers compensation or the local CERT team and remains a resident in the retirements, the additional costs are passed on to the local jurisdiction. community. Bob Kittleman is a prime example a true leader, and Local 935 applauds him for making Station There is another option, however, one that is endorsed by Local 935 for 10 what it is today. He will be missed! its overall benefits to public safety and, ultimately, to the taxpayer. This option is called annexation, and it is the model by which communities Capt. Bob Kittleman recognized for his 16 years like Lake Arrowhead, Lucerne Valley and Yucca Valley—areas that of service to the Tri Communities once operated their own fire protection districts—have existed within County Fire.16 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 Annexation essentially dissolves the local fire district altogether and diverts a portion of the jurisdiction’s property taxes directly to County Fire. The county would then be responsible not only for conducting day- to-day fire service operations, but also would take ownership of the fleet, as well as handling apparatus replacement and station upkeep. In other words, with annexation, County Fire wholly becomes that jurisdiction’s fire department. The county, city and Local Area Formation Committee (LAFCo) work together to facilitate the transition and plan. The primary benefit of annexation, aside from eliminating the contract service fee and a city’s costs of maintaining a local fire board, is that it allows County Fire to operate as a true regionalized service provider. City boundaries no longer become barriers to sharing of services, allowing resources to be dispatched as needed more efficiently. Changes to Medi-Cal reimbursement also provide fiscal incentive for annexation. Under the recent Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) supplemental reimbursement program, service providers can apply for federal funds to help close the gap in Medi-Cal reimbursement, which typically covers only about 10 percent of the costs of providing paramedic care and transport. A contracted jurisdiction such as Hesperia, one that operates its own ambulances (as opposed to using a private ambulance company as is done in Fontana and Victorville) stands to share in a much larger portion of GEMT monies by dissolving its fire district and annexing with County Fire. For example, the county currently collects approximately $800,000 per 5,000 transports. This added revenue could be the difference between maintaining or closing stations during economic hardship. Overall, annexation allows County Fire to plan long into the future while building a seamless regional public safety model to benefit its citizens.

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DAN MUNSEY DIVISION CHIEFLABOR REP. MIKE MCCLINTOCKBY: DAN NELSONSince the last installment of FIREWIRE, Division 3 has continued its streak of challenging emergency responses,excellent training, and great public relations events. Many division members found themselves responding to out-of-county strike teams throughout the state, while others accepted promotions to engineer and captain.SIGNIFICANT INCIDENTS In the early morning of Sept. 8, E53 responded to a traffic accident involving two semi-trucks, one of which was on fire.During the last weekend in August, units from Division 3 responded The collision shut down all southbound lanes of Interstateto five working structure fires, including a commercial fire on 15. After E53 and the Baker Ambulance crew checked forHesperia Road in Victorville. Most of these injuries the crew began a fire attack onblazes occurred in abandoned structures, and the burning semi-truck. Approximatelythe fires were presumed to be arson related. one minute into the firefight, E53 was advised that there was a traffic collisionOn Aug. 8, units responded to a structure fire with a victim trapped approximatelyin the 14600 block of Ponderosa Ranch Road half a mile from the current Victorville. Crews arrived to find a garage The crew immediately suspended theirfully engulfed in flames, with an SUV parked fire attack, ordered an air ambulancein the driveway also on fire. Crews launched for the trapped victim, and respondedan aggressive fire attack and prevented the to help free the trapped driver. Injuriesfire from destroying the entire house. The to the trapped victim were so severefire temporarily displaced the eight residents, that the medic from Baker Ambulanceincluding six children. requested assistance with patient care while the patient was being transportedDuring this quarter, Division 3 personnel found to the landing zone in Baker. At thatthemselves responding to an aircraft incident point, the captain was left on his owninvolving a Boeing 707 mid-air refueling to provide patient care to the driverjet. Personnel from Fire Station 319 led the Engine 53 from Baker operates as a 2 person of a second vehicle involved in theresponse after being notified by the flight tower engine company with no Paramedics on board. wreck until an ambulance from Nevadaat Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) arrived on scene and assumed patientthat the 707 had lost use of one its engines and care. Eventually, the captain returnedwould be making an emergency landing. While the crew from 319 to extinguish the fire. Fortunately for him, ME401 from thepositioned their Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) apparatus Barstow Marine Corp Logistics Base arrived at the same timein strategic locations along the runway, fire units from Division to assist with extinguishment of the semi-truck. This incident is2 and 3 responded to SCLA, providing additional assistance if just one of many that illustrates the need for additional staffingneeded. Fortunately, the aircraft landed without incident, but the along the I-15 corridor.response showed that, as always, the men and women of SanBernardino County Fire are always prepared to respond, no matter The third quarter of 2014 proved to be loaded with challengingwhat the emergency is. incidents throughout Division 3. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we’re only allowed to highlight a few. If you’reThe crew at Station 53 in Baker continues to run calls that prove interested in keeping up with major incidents throughout ourespecially challenging because of its two-person BLS staffing.18 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

DIVISION 3Annual RIC refresher held at the old AFG glass plant. Station 311 has a new landscape honoring some of our fallen members.Photo Credit: Clint Marks department, please follow us on Twitter Explorer Post 555 (@SBCOUNTYFIRE ). Followers of our Twitter feed receive updates on major incidents as they unfold. RECENT EVENTSSIGNIFICANT TRAINING Station 311 saw a major upgrade to the exterior of the station in July when Boy Scout Julian M. Estrada chose the Division 3 has recently held a variety of training sessions station to construct a fallen firefighter memorial for his Eagle on some important topics. First and foremost, the crews Scout project. On July 19, the project was unveiled during a throughout the division have been reviewing their rapid dedication. The IAFF Local 935 Color Guard, several chief intervention crew (RIC) procedures. RIC training focuses on officers, and members of the Victorville City Council attended training firefighters to rescue their own when one or more the dedication. The memorial is visually striking and truly honors becomes injured or trapped during an incident. On October our brothers and sisters that have made the ultimate sacrifice. 7th, 8th and 9th Crews from Division 2 and 3 were able to complete RIC Training at the old AFG glass plant on Silica CLOSING Dr. RIC training is the most important training we can do in the fire service. This quarter has proved to be dynamic and exciting for the members of Division 3. We look forward to the final quarter Despite an always-busy schedule at Station 311, A -Shift of 2014, in which we will see the promotion of some of our was able to provide an important training opportunity for members, welcome new probationary firefighters, and, of Theresa from Comm Center. The training consisted of a course, respond to all of the challenging incidents that our “ride out” on ME311 in Victorville. The ride-outs provide division offers. the dispatchers with the opportunity to see first hand how emergency responses are handled in the field. In return, FIREWIRE | VOL.4 19 our suppression crews get the opportunity to learn from the dispatcher about how things are done at Comm Center. The ride-out training sessions with dispatchers and call takers from Comm Center are a valuable tool in providing excellent responses to emergencies, and we always look forward to these training days.PUBLIC RELATIONS / PUBLIC EDUCATION Victorville Fire Explorer Post 555 conducted a car wash to raise much-needed funds for the post. Explorer Post 555 has a long history of helping young people who are interested in a career in the fire service with training and career guidance. In fact, many of the career firefighters currently serving in our department got their start in Post 555. For more information about Fire Explorer Post 555, including membership requirements, training opportunities, or to donate to the post, please email the post’s advisor, Captain Jay Hausman ([email protected]).

LABOR REP. JARED NEWCOMER KATHLEEN OPLIGER DIVISION CHIEF BY: JARED NEWCOMER Alas, the call was not done yet. The patient’s child, friends, and half PINNACLES HOIST RESCUE a dozen suppression personnel still had to make the hike out. The When the weather is permitting, rock climbers flock to the incident commander knew there was limited water on scene, so natural landscape of Division 4. One popular spot in particular is known as the pinnacles. Broadly speaking, the Pinnacles is County Fire’s very own professional hand crew was requested for the area of jagged rock formations between Lake Arrowhead and Hesperia. Some weekends there will be droves of support, as they were in the area. The patient’s family and friends climbers in the area, each trying to test their skill to make it to the top. As is common knowledge, though, there is no hobby were elated to see Crew 6-1 equipped with cold water and cheerful without its inherent risks. Division 4 received a 911 call for an injured climber midday motivation to continue on. From there, the rest of the hike seemed on an otherwise normal shift. Initial reports were inconsistent, but the location was confirmed to be the Pinnacles climbing like no big deal. Once again, County Fire delivered exceptional area with an alleged fall of greater than 20 feet. The captains responding recognized the major resource need from the customer service even after the emergency services were deemed beginning, and started additional units, including Air Rescue 06 for a potential hoist. Stations 92 and 94 hiked in and were complete. able to locate the injured party. A severe traumatic injury to a lower extremity confirmed the need for a hoist. Due to Captain Jeremy Lindsay and many challenges out of human control, the timeframe was extended. Yet through a coordinated effort by all personnel on Engineer Jason Rolston on his last scene, a successful hoist was performed and the patient was transported by air to a trauma center. ROLSTON FAREWELL shift at County Fire.Flight Paramedic Eric Sherwin monitors the tagline As a rule, the fire service enjoys aduring a hoist rescue in the Pinnacles. very high retention rate. This is why it is surprising when one of our own 20 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 leaves for another department, especially when that particular employee can be described as exceptional. County Fire bid farewell to that employee recently. Jason Rolston decided to accept a position with the Orange County Fire Authority last month. His last position with County Fire was an Engineer at Station 26 in Twin Peaks. As a Tower 1 graduate, he had nearly eight years of career service with SBCoFD. When asked how he feels about leaving, he states, “I will miss all of the people I worked with here the most.” As is usually the case with such a difficult decision, the life and future of Jason’s family align more with a different organization and a different location. It is for that reason we wish to extend a farewell and good luck to Jason. Thank you for your service, and we wish you the best. JENSEN’S COMMERCIAL FIRE Early in the morning of August 13th, residents of Lake Arrowhead called in multiple reports of a fire at the Jensen’s market at the corner of Hook Creek Road and state highway 173. Somewhat

of a staple in the area, Jensen’s has been around for a long Photo Credit: David Dickinson DIVISION 4 time and is known in the community as a great neighborhood grocery store with a delicious deli. The building itself is Engineer/Paramedic Ryan Beckers , Firefighter Steve Houston and members of actually a historical landmark. Several resources were station 99 prepare a patient to be hoisted by Air Rescue near Big Falls. dispatched and within minutes, the first in engine was on scene. Front end loaders and graders from San Bernardino County Roads department were eventually able clear several of the walls of mud Upon arrival, ME91 reported heavy fire and requested a enough for rescuers to fan out and canvass the town and begin second alarm due to the heavy fire, potential for growth, and accounting for any missing persons. immediate danger to two adjacent businesses. Luckily, the Captain ordered an aggressive attack utilizing the deck gun Crews from County Fire and Sheriff, as well as US Forest Service, on top of the fire engine, which extinguished much of the fire American Medical Response and the Forest Falls CERT team within minutes. As more units arrived on scene an aggressive responders teamed up to go door-to-door searching for potential and coordinated interior fire attack mitigated the incident. victims. The swift water rescue team from Division 1, as well as In all, 22 firefighters safely and aggressively contained the hand crews normally used for wild land firefighting, were dispatched fire to one building. Most of the building was saved, as were to assist in the search. the adjacent businesses. With some repair, this historical landmark will be able to stand another day. Eventually all community members were accounted for, including over 500 children and teens who had just arrived at Mountain Home FOREST FALLS MUDSLIDES Conference Center to begin a week-long church group retreat. This group was the focus of initial rescue operations; it was found that The Aug. 3 mudslide incidents described in Division 1 news while the conference center sustained some damage, the group affected Division 4 as well, as an afternoon downpour set was found by rescuers to have sheltered in place successfully and loose a series of heavy mud and debris slides through the without injury. community of Forest Falls. The storm caused extensive damage and temporarily marooned upwards of two thousand Two rescues were effected: one of a motorist stranded in his vehicle residents and visitors. by the rising flood; the other of a disabled resident who had hailed rescuers to retrieve him from rising floodwaters entering his home. While the same storm caused flooding that led to the death Both victims were escorted to safety and without injury. of one motorist in Mt Baldy, within Forest Falls there were ultimately no injuries reported. Following is a recap of the Power remained intact throughout the flooding. The next morning, incident: however, electrical utility crews disconnected power to a portion of At approximately 3pm on Aug. 3, San Bernardino County the town in an effort to repair damaged power lines that had sagged Fire received reports of heavy rain causing flash floods and across the main road, which had for a time prevented crews from mudslides, threatening homes, vehicles and pedestrians in clearing the final wall of debris and mud isolating the upper portion the small mountain community in the eastern San Bernardino of the town. mountains. A partial closure of Valley of the Falls Drive at Hwy 38 remained in Responding crews arrived on scene to find the debris slides place for quite some time; only Forest Falls residents were allowed had washed out Valley of the Falls Drive—the only road to pass the CHP barrier for entry into the town. It took several days leading into and out of town—in several places, initially after the incident before traffic was able to move freely. County Fire keeping rescuers from reaching the stranded. A “shelter in did save life and property that night with a lot of hard work by the place” order was placed, meaning those in the way of harm dedicated personnel on scene. were asked not to evacuate or venture into the flood but instead stay in a sturdy structure or vehicle until the waters subsided enough for rescuers to get to them.Captain Glen Bales and Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Swingle perform Urban Search and Rescue duties during the Forest Falls Flooding FIREWIRE | VOL.4 21

DAVE BENFIELD DIVISION CHIEFLABOR REP. DARRELL FEUERHAHNBY: JEFF ALLENDivision 5 had a very busy quarter, handling a variety of incidents, including a major traffic collisions, severalstructure fires, swiftwater rescues and some significant training. The division said goodbye to a veterancaptain and also welcomed several new promotions.SIGNIFICANT INCIDENTS the unsustainable LT program, has made this area a prime candidate for an increased level of service.On July 12 companies from Division 5 responded to a rollovertraffic accident on Alta Loma Dr. in Joshua Tree. County firefighters TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!and paramedics extricated numerous critically injured patientsfrom the vehicle and provided a safe landing zone for multiple air The summer months in the eastern Mojave bring anambulances and Air Rescue 06. There were fatalities and numerous increase in temperatures and also an increase in monsoonalcritical injuries involved. This incident proved the value of having thunderstorms. Typically these storms are strongest in theparamedics on fire engines, and highlighted how the specialized afternoons during the daytime and can cause intense flashsafety gear that firefighter/paramedics wear minimizes the hazards flooding that turns roadways and low-lying areas into ragingthat comes with auto extrication. torrents of water and debris. The division had two significant swiftwater rescue incidents this summer. The first ne wasLater that month Division 5 crews completed a refresher in auto located near Vidal Junction and involved numerous vehiclesextrication training just in time to respond to the real deal. On the stranded and one actual rescue in which several victims wereafternoon of July 26—while practicing extrication scenarios on rescued by SBCoFD firefighters as floodwaters overtook theirdonated cars at Station 42—crews responded to a reported traffic vehicle. The second incident occurred in the community ofcollision in Landers on Highway 247. Upon arrival it was determined Joshua Tree and involved a local resident who drove throughthat one critically injured occupant was trapped in the vehicle and approximately 12 inches of moving water across the roadway.would require extrication. Quickly the victim was removed from the The victim’s vehicle became stranded in the roadway and wasvehicle and transported to an awaiting Mercy Air unit for transport to eventually overtaken by a much larger surge of water, whicha trauma center. This was one of those times when keeping up on pushed his vehicle downstream and trapped him as his vehicleour skills truly made a difference, and Local 935 would like to give was inundated with floodwaters. Medic Engine 41, staffed withspecial thanks to Hills Towing for donating the vehicles. Captain Matt Anderson and Engineer Travis Anway, arrived onThe City of Needles had two structure fires in July, illustrating howCounty Fire crews in this area must often complete major taskswith minimum staffing. The Needles fire contract features a uniquepersonnel configuration, as one Local 935 captain and three limited-term (LT) firefighters staff Station 31. Further, while a the City ofNeedles is small (population just under 5000), the area Station 31covers includes an approximate 50-mile stretch of Interstate 40,from Kelbaker Road to the Arizona state line. This I-40 corridor is an“unfunded” area, which means there are no tax dollars generatedfor fire protection or paramedic service. Therefore Company 31functions at the basic life support (BLS) level, which means there areno paramedics provided by County Fire. Baker Ambulance Companyprovides paramedic service. This staffing configuration, coupled with22 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

DIVISION 5scene of this incident while en route to another call. The crew Captain Rick Denison provides landing zoneattempted to evacuate numerous individuals who were in the instructions for an inbound medical helicopter.water attempting to rescue the victim in the car. The incident was Firefighter Ken Phippeny and LT/FF Josh Cessorupgraded to a rescue call, adding several resources that included corrdinate care with Morongo Basin Ambulance.a swiftwater rescue unit. At this point the vehicle was hit with aneven larger surge of water described as five to six feet high. The Structure Fire in the City of Needles.water receded as more units arrived; the victim was removedfrom the vehicle but unfortunately did not survive. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 23This kind of tragedy illustrates the lethal danger of fast-movingwater. It is ALWAYS the best practice to avoid driving throughmoving water. SBCoFD firefighters are highly trained inswiftwater rescue and some are trained up to the technicianlevel, but swiftwater rescue is a very dynamic environment.We make a risk-versus-gain assessment based on victimsurvivability. Once we determine that entering water is going tohave the best possible outcome and all other safeguards are inplace, including an upstream spotter, downstream spotter andsafety officer we will then attempt an in water rescue. We arepaid to take risk, however we do not take unnecessary risk.TRAININGThe anniversary of 9/11 brought the annual rapid interventioncrew (RIC) training to Division 5. In fact Battalion Chief TomMarshall stated that “The best way we can honor our fallenbrothers is to practice rescuing our own.” Captain Jay Dimoffcoordinated the multi-day training and all shifts and stationsrotated through the scenario at the old Wal-Mart on 29 PalmsHighway. RIC training is one of the most important things we doas firefighters. In the event that one of our own becomes injuredwhile inside of a burning building we must have resources readyto initiate a rescue. The RIC is the most important assignmenton the fire ground and we pride ourselves on being proficient inRIC tactics.DIVISION 5 WELCOMES NEW PROMOTIONSDivision 5 has for the most part always been a revolving doorof probationary firefighters, captains and engineers. Everyonepromotional candidate risks an increased commute should heor she be assigned here upon promotion. Although County Firehas employees living all over Southern California, very few livein the Morongo. With the recent retirement of Captain WayneThompson the division lost another local resident. However, OnOct. 4 we welcomed brand new captains Dave Newman, DonnieViloria and Heath Hammonds to Station 36 in Joshua Tree, whilenew Captain Darrell Feuerhahn will go to Station 41 in YuccaValley. All four of these individuals bring a wealth of knowledgeand experience to the Morongo Basin.

TIP A FIREMANST. JUDEFUNDRAISERBY: JEFF ALLENSeptember is childhood cancer awareness month and eachyear Chili’s Bar & Grill hosts several “give back nights”with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Local935 is proud to partner with Chili’s and this year on Sept. 13 we participatedin a “tip a fireman” event at the Victorville location.Here’s how “tip a fireman” works: patrons at the restaurant leave a tipabove and beyond what their normal tip would be, and the proceeds ofthe extra gratuity go towards the named charity of the night. Local 935Firefighters waited tables, washed dishes and served drinks to supportthe cause. The new recruits of Tower 5 owned the night. In fact, every newrecruit showed up in support of the charity.With each passing year, Chili’s employees and guests become morecommitted to St. Jude. This campaign has become an annual tradition,uniting communities nationwide and in Puerto Rico, making Chili’s thedestination for families and friends to gather and enjoy great food whilehelping St. Jude.In 2013, Chili’s raised more than $5 million for St. Jude and to date has raisedmore than $51 million. This effort surpassed their $50 million commitmenttwo years earlier than planned. Local 935 is proud to partner with Chili’s onthis annual event and give back to the communities we serve. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 25

PFAL Victorville Police and Fire Activities LeagueBy Joe Zuccaro, Fire Prevention SupervisorThe Victorville Police and Fire Activities League (PFAL) is a programfor youth 12-18 years old that provides adult mentorship in a boxing andphysical fitness-based environment.PFAL was the culmination of ideas Deputy Marvin Wilke works out with one skills such as sparring, heavy bags, speedbetween former Victorville Police Chief Cliff of the Victorville PFAL participants in front bags and one-on-one training. We are veryReynolds and former Victorville Division of the ring. The program is run by Deputy fortunate to have Roberto Espinoza assistingChief Sid Hultquist and is supported by Wilke and Fire Prevention Supervisor Joe in our program as our boxing coach. Robertothe San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Zuccaro, and assisted by members of County is an Olympic trainer and has several boxersDepartment, San Bernardino County Fire, Fire and Sheriff. moving into the professional level. Severaland the City of Victorville. PFAL kicked off of our kids have also qualified for amateurJanuary 2011 under the coaching eyes of Two members of Victorville PFAL spar in boxing licenses.Fire Prevention Supervisor Joe Zuccaro the ring. The PFAL is run by members of theand County Sheriff’s Department Deputy sheriff and fire departments While this program is free to the youths, weSheriff Paul Gallant. do require that they participate in community service events and fundraisers such asToday Zuccaro is still overseeing the National Night Out, Victorville Fourth ofprogram with Deputy Marvin Wilke July celebration, Victor Valley Chamber ofand County Fire Hazardous Materials Commerce Christmas Parade, neighborhoodSpecialist Jose May. Several Citizens on cleanup and beautification programs, etc.Patrol (COP) volunteers also assist with They are also required to maintain a Cthe program. The boxing gym is provided average in the City of Victorville, located at theVictorville City Yard property across from The Victorville PFAL program has had somethe police station. Approximately 50 kids very impressive success stories. PFALare enrolled in the PFAL program. PFAL participants have improved their academicis a 501.3(c) nonprofit entity chartered grades and some have graduated highunder the umbrella of the national Police school with honors, all while improvingActivities League (PAL) and is quite their health and fitness and broadeningprobably the only combined police andfire group in the PAL system. PFAL meets Monday and Wednesday Several members of the Victorville PFAL work out on Two members of the Victorville PFAL work out with evenings, usually for a bit over two the universal gym equipment. The gym building is the free weights. hours. A typical day involves the kids provided by the City of Victorville. (and adults!) running two to three miles, followed by 30 minutes of intense cardio workout (circuit training, sprints, Insanity video, calisthenics, etc.). The remainder of the time is spent practicing boxing26 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

Two of the members spar in the ring at the Victorville PFAL gym. OFFICE OF THE FIRE MARSHAL The gym building is provided by the City of Victorville. CERS and thetheir horizons. Some PFAL participates have gone Adrianna Espinoza assists one of the girls Emergency Responseon to become police officers, military members, at the pull up station. Modeland other productive members of the community.Many of the students consider the adult volunteers In 2008, then Governor Arnoldas extended family and the adult volunteers are Schwarzenegger signed Assemblyalways there to assist with homework or just ‘lend Bill 2286, which created thean ear’ when the kids need to vent. Of course, the California Environmental Reportingprogram benefits the adults as well by allowing System. CERS is a statewide, web-them to maintain fitness as well as provide a based system designed to supportvital community service. If you are interested in businesses and California Unifiedvolunteering your time to this worthwhile cause, Program Agencies (CUPAs) withcontact Joe Zuccaro at 760-995-8196. electronically reporting, organizing, collecting, and managing hazardousMany of the members of the Victorville materials related data. The purposePFAL enjoy using the speed bags at the of periodic reporting of chemicalgym. The gym building is provided by the inventory information was to ensureCity of Victorville. that local response agencies have current, up-to-date information.Roberto Espinoza helps one of the girls Previously, inventory informationwith her boxing techniques. was provided annually to the CUPAs and local response agencies using paper. The concept of forwarding paper inventory information to the local response agencies was good in theory, but was it practical? Fast forward to 2014…emergency response capabilities are moving towards an electronic platform. Many of the required ICS forms can be found on our laptops, or better yet, apps downloaded to a smartphone. The San Bernardino County CUPA is embracing this new electronic platform by beginning to work with the suppression side of County Fire to provide the information for CUPA- regulated facilities electronically. In the perfect scenario, when an engine company is dispatched to a facility that handles hazardous materials in excess of 55 gallons of liquid, 500 pounds of solids or 200 cubic feet, CERS provides those responders with a better understanding of what chemicals may be present and how to approach the situation to protect not only their own health, but the health of the surrounding community. As more information is being entered into CERS daily, the CUPA will continue to work on policies and procedures to provide the most current information to local response agencies in a timely matter. Should you want to see CERS in action, stop by the Office of the Fire Marshal anytime Monday through Friday and we would be honored to show you the system. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 27

By: Cheryl Nagy Disaster Corps Volunteers Trained and Ready to ServeOES MISSION In June 2010 the San Bernardino County Operational into the state’s emergency management system.STATEMENT Area was one of five California counties awarded Governor Brown continues to support the Disaster funding to hire a volunteer coordinator to provide Corps as it moves forward throughout the state. “Through leadership and assistance to a new state volunteer program called the The Disaster Corps initiative has been built collab- guidance, strengthen California Disaster Corps. Each volunteer coordinator oratively from the ground up through public-private countywide emergency was charged with providing training, working with local partnerships and with a wide range of subject matter management capabilities non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and serving experts, including representatives from all levels of to ensure the protection of in the local government emergency operations center government, local emergency managers, state agency life and property before, (EOC). The partnering counties include Los Angeles, volunteer coordinators and leaders in non-governmen- during and after disasters.” Riverside, San Diego and San Francisco. tal volunteer programs.Disaster Corps training and The California Disaster Corps is a first-in-the-nation Disaster Corps volunteers represent a mutual aidresponse trailer. effort to professionalize, standardize and coordinate resource that can be utilized statewide. highly trained disaster volunteers statewide. This pro- Within San Bernardino County, nearly 200 volunteers 28 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 gram harnesses the power and passion of Californians have been selected under the recommendation of the to ensure their communities are safer, stronger and local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) more resilient. CaliforniaVolunteers developed the Di- fire liaisons, CERT coordinators, and ECS (emergency saster Corps program in partnership with the California communications service) coordinator from the already Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to existing ECS program and CERT programs located with- integrate volunteer resources into the state’s emergen- in the unincorporated communities of San Bernardino cy management system. County. The 200 volunteers have been FBI security screened and are registered under the Disaster Service The California Disaster Corps came about due to the Worker (DSW) Volunteer Program, which provides aftermath of the 2007 Southern California wildfires worker’s compensation coverage for volunteers. All vol- and Cosco Busan Oil Spill, when thousands of disaster unteers are trained to fit the needs of San Bernardino volunteers poured into affected areas to assist with County. When needed the volunteers are deployable throughout San Bernardino County, with the potential evacuations, sheltering, clean-up and of traveling to the other Disaster Corps counties of a host of other activities supporting Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and San Francisco. response operations. Governor Schwarzenegger recognized a Disaster Corps volunteers are set aside from regu- need to more effectively integrate and lar CERT/ECS volunteers by having the ability to be coordinate disaster volunteer efforts in deployed throughout other areas of San Bernardino all phases of emergency management, County and partner Disaster Corps counties. Disaster from disaster preparedness and ex- Corps volunteers receive specialized training in SEMS tending through disaster response and and NIMS, plus first aid and CPR training, if they are recovery. Currently, disaster volunteer not already trained. In addition, there will be training resources are not integrated into the opportunities not offered to the regular CERT/ECS vol- state emergency plan and are spread unteers. Additional supplies and equipment have also across a multitude of different organiza- been issued to each of the Disaster Corps volunteers. tions and programs, varying in function and mission. One of the best ways to practice the skills learned is to participate in exercises and drills. In March 2013, In February 2008, Governor the five Disaster Corps counties came together for a Schwarzenegger appointed Karen Baker to serve as the two day deployment exercise and training weekend. nation’s first secretary of service and volunteering. He Twenty-five San Bernardino County Disaster Corps charged Baker and her office, CaliforniaVolunteers, with members and SBCoFD/OES staff members were developing a framework to help integrate volunteers deployed to Riverside County and spent the weekend

OES training and sharing their skills with other Disaster Corps volunteers. The OES EMPLOYEE networking was also a way for our members to learn more about what the HIGHLIGHT other county volunteer programs are learning. In addition to conducting training sessions and exercises the Disaster By Cindy Serrano DAISY PUGA Corps has created a community partnership with the Home Depot store in north Fontana. SBCoFD OES/Disaster Corps was one of five Disaster Daisy Puga recently joined the Office of Emergency Services (OES) as a PSE Corps programs in California to receive $10,000 from the Home Depot office assistant III. She is proud to be the first clerical staff to be assigned to Foundation. In July 2013 the San Bernardino County Disaster Corps vol- the new emergency operations center (EOC) in the San Bernardino County unteers watched and assisted as $10,000 worth of Disaster Corps sup- Government Center in Hesperia. In addition to clerical assignments for OES, she plies and equipment were purchased and loaded onto several vehicles. is also responsible for continuing the development of the High Desert EOC to In early 2014 the supplies and equipment will be sorted and distributed ensure it is ready on the spur of the moment for activation. throughout eight designated areas of San Bernardino County to assist in community response and recovery when the next disaster occurs. She recently experienced the fast-pace environment of the EOC during the Disaster Corps volunteers are those who have demonstrated commitment activation for the August severe weather incident. She was assigned to the to their volunteer program and strive to continue developing their skills message center, but quickly learned that her responsibilities in the food unit and training to better support their program and their community. were of the utmost importance to the EOC responders! Daisy explained that For information regarding the Disaster Corps in San Bernardino County, she enjoyed the “opportunity to be part of the activation” and realizes there are please contact: more to come. Cheryl Nagy Emergency Services Officer She finds the OES programs and projects interesting and challenging and is San Bernardino County Fire Department Office of Emergency Services excited to learn every aspect of emergency management. She appreciates that 909-356-3910 the emergency services officers are so well-informed and considered subject [email protected] matter expects in a variety of areas and she is interested in advancing to that level one day. With only four months on board, she has already completedDisaster Corps Volunteers practicing their skills at the Five County training in “Mitigation for Hospitals” and the California Department of PublicDeployment Exercise. Health “Emergency Operations Manual”.Donation Celebration with Disaster Corps Volunteers, Fontana Home Prior to OES, Daisy worked with the Hesperian Office of the Fire Marshal. SheDepot Staff and Fontana Mayor – Acquanetta Warren. also earned a degree in architecture from Rio Hondo College. That type of critical thinking may be what she needs if our region experiences a major earth- quake, and the recovery process that will follow. Consequently, she is looking forward to the upcoming Shake Out Drill on Oct. 16, and to being a part of its preparation countywide. She did not realize upon relocating to the High Desert that the San Andreas Fault splits the county in two, and now recognizes the importance of being prepared. Daisy and her husband Elias, currently reside in Victorville. She enjoys spend- ing time with her five children and five grandchildren, and she is challenging herself to find “hidden treasures” in the region by hiking to little-known water- falls and basking in their beauty. OES, too, has found a hidden treasure in Daisy and we are happy to have her as part of the OES family! FIREWIRE | VOL.4 29

30 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 Photo Credit Photo Credit: Terri Nielsen

Photo Credit: James Quigg VV Daily PressFIREWIRE | VOL.4 31

32 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 Photo Credit: Brandon Barsugli

Photo Credit: Tod Sudmeier/ EPN Photo Credit: HLM Photography

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DRIVING SIMULATOR Captain Pablo Fernandez completes annual driver simulation training. An Inside Look at San BernardinoA County Fire’s “Driving Survival Program” By Jeff Birchfield fter seeing a dramatic increase in traffic accidents involving fire apparatus in Southern California, members of the San Bernardino County Fire Division 11/ Training saw a need for more formal training of their emergency vehicle drivers.A relationship was forged with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s EVOC training center and by Jan. 2007 County Fire mobile driving simulator. Photo Credit: Steve Castagnolaall newly promoted and new-hire personnel were rotated thru training at the course. The training includeduse of sheriff’s driving simulator training system, and hands-on driving course that included skid-pan train- Palm Springs Fire Dept. recently completeding, accident avoidance, slow speed maneuvers, and a code-3 track. driver simulation training.Recognizing the benefit of driving simulator training, County Fire sought funding for a state-of-the art driving Simulation training has proven to effective forsimulation-training system through the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant. numerous government agencies.The grant was submitted and awarded in the amount of just over $600,000, with a match of $150,000from the department required. In July 2009 the department purchased a driving simulator training system FIREWIRE | VOL.4 35comprising three student simulators and an instructor console in a 48-foot towable trailer at a cost ofapproximately $750,000.Because of the enormous expanse of County Fire’s jurisdiction—over 17,500 square miles—it made senseto purchase a training system that could be transported across the county to bring the training to thedepartment’s personnel.Currently, the driving simulator training system is rotated thru each of the department’s five divisionsbi-annually. The trailer is delivered to a centrally located fire station in each division as engine, truck, andambulance companies are rotated through a training session that lasts approximately three hours. Thecrews are left in-service and available to respond to emergency calls during each session, thereby avoidingany interruptions in service.The training program is designed to enhance decision-making and build muscle-memory related to defen-sive driving techniques. Although there is no substitute for actual “on the road” training, the simulator is anexcellent component of the overall training program. A routine class consists of a lecture in defensive drivingfollowed by discussion of significant recent apparatus collisions both local and national. The students thenenter the simulators to first be acclimated to the system, and are then put through various defensive drivingand emergency response scenarios. After-action reviews are conducted at the completion of each scenariodriven to discuss decisions made by each student and comparisons between each student’s decisions.Other topics covered during the after action meeting are size-ups and apparatus placement.During the four years of the program, over 1,000 drivers have attended the simulator training, includingdrivers from neighboring departments. County Fire drivers qualify for continuing education credits for theirtime in the simulator.SBCoFD has seen a reduction in vehicle collisions by at least 50 percent since the inception of the towabledriving simulator training system. In 2007, the department averaged approximately 15 preventable vehiclecollisions and approximately 13 non-preventable collisions annually. In 2010, we reduced the number ofpreventable accidents to nine, with just three non-preventable collisions. The number of County Fire vehicleaccidents dropped even more in 2011 and 2012.A study conducted by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (Cal POST) in2009 confirmed the effectiveness of driving simulator training for police officers. The study concluded thathands-on training on an EVOC course reduced collisions by four percent, and driving simulation reducedcollisions by eight percent. A combination of the two training components reduced collisions by 10 percent.Simulation training has been effectively used for years in the military, aviation, transit, and law enforcementindustries. Like any other training, simulators are only as effective as the instructor and the student. We havebeen fortunate to have excellent instructors who see the value of the simulator, and as a result, we haveseen great benefits for the students.

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By: Bob Mack Photo Credit: Sarah Alvarado VV Daily Press A new social media challenge that has been sweeping the country has begun to pick up pace. It’s called the Cold Water Challenge and these are the rules: • If you open your social media page and find a nomination, you have been challenged to douse yourself fully in cold water and then donate $20.00 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). • You have 24 hours to complete the challenge or pay the consequence, which is to donate $100.00 to the NFFF. • If you accept the challenge, you must videotape yourself doing the cold water challenge and post it to YouTube or Facebook. Now you are eligible to nominate up to five more friends to take the challenge. San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Local 935 has stepped up in a big way in support and recognition of the NFFF via the Cold Water Challenge (CWC). The NFFF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which supports the nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters. The mission of the NFFF is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes and provide resources to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives, and to work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries. We encourage you to keep the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Cold Water Challenge running strong and make a donation online at: Local 935 firefighters take the challenge FIREWIRE | VOL.4 37

The Foundation for a Secure RetirementBy Bret HenryI hope this finds you well and preparing for your retirement. There are a myriad of topicsto write about concerning retirement. However, due to a limited amount of space, I willcover some basic topics and point you to where you can find more information.Refundable vs. Non-refundable Contributions Retirement AgeSafety-designated employees have an option to choose refundable or non- Some have asked about retiring with 20 years of service. You have perhaps beenrefundable retirement contributions. You exercise this choice when hired, and mistakenly told that you can retire after working 20 years regardless of age, andthen once a year in open enrollment. However, there have been rumors over the the “50” in the “3 at 50” calculation “doesn’t mean anything.” This is wrong. Tolast year that the option to choose may be taken away. If that occurs, you will clear this up, you can retire with 20 years of service in the county; however, yourhave to choose one or the other at some point, and then stick with that for the benefit is calculated at a reduced rate per year if you are not 50 years of age. Forduration of your career. example, if you started with the county at 20 years old, you could retire at age 40, earning approximately 40 percent of your highest year. You must be vestedWhich to choose? In short, the difference between the two options means you AND 50 years old to get three percent credit for every year worked. Hope thisare either eligible to get back your contributions, or not, if you leave employment clears this matter up.with the county. As they say, the devil is in the details, and this is a very complexissue with many variables. Following are a few facts of the matter. SBCERA or “the pension fund” continues to perform well and above the assumption rate which has been recently adjusted to 7.5 percent annually. When • Your contributions are very slightly less when you choose “non-refundable.” you look at the fund’s balance sheet, SBCERA is approximately 80 percent In theory, if you were already vested in SBCERA (which requires five years of funded. To put this in perspective, it would be like saying if you put 80 percent employment) and you left employment with the county, you probably would not down on a home and had 30 years to pay the balance. Some don’t care for this choose a refund but a deferred retirement in the future. analogy but it’s the best I have to depict the strength of the fund. There are many funds that have a funded rate much lower … and some higher. • If you were to leave the county prior to being vested, you would only get back your contributions if you chose “refundable.” Many believe that until you are SBCERA’s staff continually impresses me as it continues to win awards. Also, vested you should select this option. we have recently hired a new CEO and counsel. Rest assured, SBCERA is in excellent shape for the future in many ways. The best way to learn about how • Some choose to stay “refundable” at a slightly higher contribution rate because, SBCERA—and your retirement—works, is to do your own research. Also, I have in the event of death, your beneficiaries have more options with the benefit that written a book that will be published next year called American Firefighter, which they would receive. delves into retirement, amongst other things. The book will be very informative on this topic. These are only the basics of the issue, and ultimately this a personal value choice where you will need to do some research. Please visit to find a In closing, I would like to leave you with a couple things. It’s very likely that this wealth of information on this issue. At the bottom of the page, under “Resources will be my final note to you on retirement. I have been a trustee on the pension and Retirement 101s,” you’ll find a list of pros and cons on the issue.You can also fund since Jan. 1, 2004. My war is over. I have often said, somewhat in jest, that sign up for an informative quarterly newsletter. it was the hardest thing I’ve ever learned.Retirement Tiers I have been working closely with Jared Newcomer, who has shown great interest in learning about the fund and its inner workings. He has an excellent background,Besides having “general” and “safety” employees in the county, we now have two judgment, and education. He is a good resource for you as well.tiers of employees: those hired before January 1, 2013, and those hired after.One of the differences between the tiers, besides retirement calculations, is the Take care of yourselves,rate that employees contribute. -Henry • If you were hired prior to Jan. 1, 2013, you are considered Tier 1 and your contribution rate is calculated based on your entry age into the system, which is approximately 10-12 percent of your salary—on the higher side if you were older when hired. • If you are hired after Jan. 1, 2013, you are considered Tier 2 and the contribution is a flat rate for all employees. Space does not allow me explain why this is. For now, let’s just say it’s a fact of the matter. There is some talk of Tier 1 employees being put on a flat system however this isn’t the case yet.I predict unintended consequences some years down the road due to this othertier, but time will tell and that’s another story.38 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

I am proud to have the support of San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters as I campaign for a seat on the Yucca Valley Town Council.As a 38-year resident of Yucca Valley, and with my 33 years of experience providing emergency services throughout the county of SanBernardino, I am properly positioned to assume a management role with the Town. As a council member I will fight to: • Strengthen public safety • Reduce traffic congestion • Improve the paving and maintenance schedule on residential roads • Expand tourism as an economic engine As a servant leader, I’ll am committed to conservative principles of local government: • Low taxes • Efficient organizational management • Common sense approach to regulationsJoin us as we keep pubic safety at the forefront of our communities. With your vote this November 4, I will provide the leadership that is vital to the business models of today’s communities. Learn more at www.rickdenison.comADVERTISEMENT FIREWIRE | VOL.4 39

ADVERTISEMENT The Value of ExperienceTheresa J. Murphy, Realtor When you’re buying or selling a home, there’s no room for errorHomeSmart27645 Jefferson Ave. Homesmart agents have the experience to guide youSuite 116 through the process and Agent T.J. Murphy has overTemecula, CA 92590 9 years experience helping Firefighters and their families.Cell / Text (909) 518-9178 Agent T.J. Murphy has experience in buying, selling, shortE-Fax / VM: (951) 491-7854 sales, and foreclosures. Whatever your needs are; Agent T.J. Murphy is here to guide you. T.J. prides herself in understanding the demanding and sometimes chaotic schedules of Firefighters and their families, and why wouldn’t she. She has been married to one for 12 years, and has helped many Firefighters and their families from not only the San Bernardino County FIre Dept., but also from surrounding Fire agencies, purchase or sell their homes. Let T.J. demonstrate her experience, understanding and guide you throughout the purchase or sale of your next home.EQUAL HOUSING BRE# 01470375 OPPORTUNITY40 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

By: Terri NielsenFormer Rancho Cucamonga Fire Chief Mike Bellhas been selected as the new Director of ConFire.Bell is a 33-year veteran of the fire service andbegan his career in Apple Valley as a paid-calland seasonal firefighter in 1981 before beinghired full-time by the City of Banning in 1983.He also served as a part-time dispatcher for Desert Comm (the In his role as deputy chief he was tasked with managing the transition then regional communications provider for High Desert agencies). of Rancho Cucamonga Fire from the Ontario communications center to In 1985 Bell was hired by the Foothill Fire District , which is now the Comm Center. This two-year project resulted in a smooth and successful Rancho Cucamonga Fire District. Early in his career there he also served transition in December of 2009. Bell credits the team approach taken by all part-time as a dispatcher with the Ontario (Pre Comm) communications stakeholders for that success. As fire chief, Bell oversaw the culmination center, which dispatched for most of the West End fire agencies. of that process when in 2013 Rancho Cucamonga became the first new member of Confire since its inception. “Things have come a long way since my pre 9-1-1 days at Desert Comm,” Bell says. “But the basic role of answering, processing, dispatching and Bell served as the president of the San Bernardino County Fire Chiefs monitoring incidents remains the core of any emergency communications Association for three one-year terms. He was also an area director for the center. I think Comm Center is one of the best in the state.” California Fire Chief’s Association. “I am very excited about this opportunity to join the Confire team and the “I love technology and innovation, but the heart and soul of a agencies it serves,” Bell said. “The fire service is changing rapidly and communication center is the people, and Confire has great people,” Bell I am convinced that any success in the future will depend on a healthy, says. “That is why I am coming here and why I can’t wait to get down to innovative and professional regional communications capacity. I am business. Thanks to prior leadership and the ‘can do’ spirit in the center, amazed at how much Confire has changed in the short time I have been I believe we are on the cusp of major movement in the capability of our associated with it. It’s only because of the dedication and passion of its region.” people that the organization has absorbed and adapted to so much change so well. I hope to help bring the support needed to take this group to the Bell lives in Rancho Cucamonga with his wife of 31 years, Diane. They next level and beyond as well as explore other opportunities for the Confire have three grown daughters who also live in Rancho Cucamonga. Their agencies to partner in ways that will improve the level of services provided oldest, Maureen, is married to Darren Moser and they have a two-year old to their respective communities and the region as a whole.” daughter, Elizabeth. Over the course of his 29 years in Rancho Cucamonga Bell moved up Bell enjoys outdoor activities and is an avid baseball fan. He and his through the ranks, eventually being named fire chief, where he served for wife attend Water of Life Church in Fontana. Bell has been a member of the last five years. Throughout his career he has maintained a keen interest Firefighters for Christ throughout his career and leads a local chapter in the in dispatch operations, and served as the agency liaison from Rancho West End. Cucamonga to the Ontario communications center and worked with staff there to implement response updates and protocols. As deputy operations chief, Bell helped initiate a county wide ops chiefs group that worked on various issues related to regional dispatching and communications. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 41

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By Ben Van Wyk AN OPEN CALL TO OUR MEMBERSHIP REGARDING LAST ALARM It is our goal at “Last Alarm” to remember each of our deceased brothers and sisters. Columnists are limited to remembering only those we have knowledge of, which is only a fraction of all members who have passed from us. If you have information regarding deceased members not yet recognized in Last Alarm, please share with us. The more complete the information, the better we can recognize the contributions of the departed members of our fire family. To do so, contact any of the editors, or email me at the address below. Thank you for your help! -Dave | email: [email protected] Chris Rutledge: At San Bernardino County Fire Station impact was great enough to push the truck out A Memorial & 8 in Lucerne Valley there is a modest into a field and cause the ambulance to lose Lessons Learned bronze plaque that reads: control as it veered to the right, striking a tree. The engine company came upon the scene and Hello Fire Family, on Oct. 22, 1993 “This monument has been built and dedicated advised Comm Center of the situation. Resources we lost a member of our fire family, in fond memory of Christopher Charles Rutledge, from Cal-Fire, Apple Valley Fire Protection District, Christopher Charles Rutledge, in a line Who on this date of October 22, 1993 while in Valley Ambulance and Mercy Air responded to of duty traffic accident. The accident dedicated service to the Lucerne Valley Fire assist. The call took several hours to unfold; in the happened during a routine ambulance Department and his community fell in the line of end Fire Fighter Chris Rutledge and his patient transport and in a split second two duty.” died from their injuries. The two patients in the lives were lost. pickup as well as the ambulance driver were After 21 years, the memory of Firefighter Rutledge extricated from their vehicles and transported It has been 21 years since his death. In and the day he died has faded. Our new members to area hospitals. Meanwhile, word of the loss of Chris’ honor, our family is asking everyone to should know a little about Chris and how the story one of our own began spreading throughout the take a “safety stand-down” with their crews of his death should impact our everyday at work. department. to review safe driving policies. Driving our personnel to and from emergencies—from Chris was 16 years old when he joined the This month, as we recall the loss, remember the ambulance transports to grocery store explorer post in Lucerne Valley. Four years later he importance of limiting distractions while operating trips—places our fire family and the public at graduated high school, started respiratory therapy our vehicles. During both code 2 and 3 driving, risk. Resist complacency. school and joined the local paid-call company. disaster can strike any time. An old captain of Right away, he was bitten by the fire service mine used to tell me: “It’s not your emergency, it’s My brother is gone and we miss him. We “bug.” After completion of his respiratory therapy theirs. So let’s get there professionally and safely.” appreciate the thoughts and prayers that program, Chris set about becoming a firefighter. come this time of year. In the years since his He went first From PCF to “full-time/part-time,” death thousands of ambulances, squads which was the old title for what eventually became and fire engines have had near misses. We the limited term (LT) position. He was assigned to hope no other members of this fire family what was then Station 111 (now 8’s) driving the will feel the pain we experienced. ambulance. Eventually Chris was hired full-time in 1991 by the San Bernardino County Fire Agency Practicing safe driving habits everyday could and assigned to Lucerne Valley. He proved to be a be the greatest way to remember Chris. Your dedicated and service-oriented firefighter. brother and sister firefighters, as well as the public, are relying on you to get them home On the morning of October 22, 1993 Company safely to their families. Let our loss help you 111 was dispatched to a medical aid for a patient make this a priority and drive safe. complaining of difficulty breathing. Chris was the paramedic assigned to medic ambulance that Sincerely, day. The patient contact was nothing out of the Your Brother in ServiceFF/PM Mark ordinary, with exception of the fact that the patient Rutledge and The Rutledge Family turned out to be Chris’ great aunt. Eventually the crew loaded the patient and began transportingPhoto Credit: Dan Piedlow to the hospital. Approximately three miles into the transport, following what was later determined to be a ‘series of distractions,’ the ambulance struck a pickup truck that had stopped in the road. The FIREWIRE | VOL.4 43

COUNTY FIRIEngotees rnationalA Ride-Along HolidayBy Ryan BeckersAdd Fontana and Oak Hills to the list of top Southern California vacation spots Fire back in the 1990s. This was his 21st trip to the U.S., while for Haar-for Europeans looking to catch a slice of American summer fun. lander it was his first. The others had been here before, but were still eager to learn and share ideas and experiences.That is, if you’re anything like these guys: Some of the organizational compare/contrast discussions with the Ger-Meet Niels Pirck, Jan Haarlander, Tim Pietrasch and Markus Priemel, all from mans mirrored what Swiss Firefighter Mirielle Glauser (main story on thisAhrensburg, Germany (near Hamburg), and all firefighters with the volunteer page) described. Ahrensburg runs no EMS calls; the volunteer staffing oftenforce there. Wanting to mix in “a bit of adventure” with their relaxation, the means up to 10 persons on a rig heading to a fire; response areas weregroup solicited several American fire departments for permission to engage in greater but call volumes less.a kind of immersion training that included full shift ride-alongs. Pirck said it was a great experience overall. “We explored how you handleCounty Fire’s online presence, including, had caught their eye, and different calls and were able to take part in some training with you,” Pirckthat, coupled with our proximity to both the beach and Las Vegas, led them to said. “We are proud that we made friends with firefigthers from ‘the othersend a letter to our department (as well as to places such as Detroit). Eventu- side of the world.’ We were impressed with the engagement, support, hospi-ally the group received word back and arranged a visit through Assistant Chief tality and the ‘inside look’ everyone offered us.”Jim Johnstone, who invited the group to join County Fire for several shifts worthof calls, meals, training, and station life. The group was split into two pairs Pirck went on to thank Battalion Chiefs Chris Norton and John Chamberlin,who would alternate ride outs at Station 71 in Fontana and 305 in Hesperia. Captains John McGarvey, Jim Gras and Matt Smerber, as well as all the fire- fighters they encountered on the working portion of their vacation.Priemel, a captain, had done this before, having visited Miami-Dade County44 FIREWIRE | VOL.4

Switzerland COUNTY FIRE GOES INTERNATIONAL Sharing the Firefighter Experience By Jennifer Deshon Everyone knows that the fire service is one big family. This There are only 15 professional fire stations in all of Switzerland, holds true now more than ever because of our increasing including a station that is privately owned by a large corporation. use of the Internet. Websites such as Facebook are Approximately 1200 career firefighters work out of these 15 allowing firefighters around the world to connect and stations. While County Fire staffs its stations with an average learn from each other and just share in the “firefighter of three-to-five firefighters per day, the average Swiss station is experience.” staffed with 10-12 firefighters, and some stations have up to 25 firefighters at a time. Swiss Firefighter Mireille Glauser recently spent part of her West Coast vacation visiting with a firefighter from There are more than 66,000 emergency calls per year in San Bernardino County Fire (SBCoFD). The two had Switzerland. In contrast, County Fire, staffed with only about 600 recently connected through an online discussion group firefighters, responded to 78,058 calls in the last year. for firefighters. Firefighter Glauser also stopped on her way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and visited the crew While County Fire has paramedics on almost every rig, Swiss at San Bernardino County Fire Station 312 in Victorville. firefighters are usually only trained in first aid and do not respond to medical emergencies. With the exception of a few Mireille got to see first hand the impressive size of this cities, single-function paramedics, who are part of a completely county, as well as the massive number of calls that we different emergency system, handle medical calls and traffic run. The entire country of Switzerland is only 15,940 accidents. Firefighters in Switzerland mainly respond to fires, square miles, with a population of approximately 8 million rescues, and other hazardous conditions. Interestingly, they are people, making it about 20 percent smaller than San also responsible for relocating beehives when necessary! Bernardino County, but with four times the population. The vast majority of firefighters in Switzerland are not Swiss building construction techniques make large structure fires professional. As a general rule, a city will only receive a relatively rare in Switzerland. Modern construction uses mostly full-time, professional firefighting force if the population stone and cement with no wood structural members. According of the city exceeds 100,000. Most cities and towns have to Firefighter Glauser, “Every wall, every door, and every window “volunteer” firefighters, community members who have has to have a fire resistant rating of at least 30 minutes. The fire other professions, and respond to emergency calls as resistance in higher buildings or community buildings or hotels needed. These volunteers are paid per call, much like with lots of people can go up until 180 minutes!” the few remaining paid-call firefighters we have here in County Fire. In Switzerland, these volunteers also Instead of the vertical ventilation techniques we use here, Swiss receive a tax break as an incentive for their service to the firefighters can use huge, truck-mounted blowers to remove community. There are about 94,000 volunteers working smoke and super-heated gases from burning buildings without out of almost 1500 Swiss fire stations. cutting holes in roofs. Most career firefighters in Switzerland are on duty for 24 hours, and then off for 48. And, while SBCoFD firefighters are often forced to work extra shifts to keep staffing levels up, Swiss firefighters are NOT allowed to work overtime! It is considered unsafe and is against the law. Extra personnel are built into the system to accommodate vacancies cause by injury, illness, or vacations. Swiss firefighters are also well compensated, so overtime pay is not normally needed. As San Bernardino County Fire continues to grow, we look forward to our connection with the international firefighting community growing as well. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 45

By: Jeff Birchfield Photo: Troy BranamCounty Fire Strike Teams 6270C and 6271C Summer 2014 ExperienceA common saying in the fire service each summer is, “It’s going to be the worst fire season ever!” Toput that saying in perspective, I experienced a few days on a strike team in January when a fire burnedin Glendora. It was my first time in over 20 years experiencing days in fire camp in winter. It was alsomy first time spending two weeks each at two strike teams in one season in Northern California. an Bernardino County Fire sent strike team 6271C to the French Incident Photo: Mike Lange /Loudlabs News in North Fork, Calif., at the beginning of August. We spent about four days on structure defense prepping structures in the Arnold Meadows area near Strike team 6270C was deployed in mid-September to the King Fire located Mammoth Pool Reservoir before being re-dispatched to the July Complex near just north of Placerville, Calif. Our assignments were primarily in the same Etna, Calif., where we worked on the Whites Fire. On our first shift there, we division each day, and we became very acquainted with a compound of were the only units assigned; fortunately this changed in the days to follow structures known as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a bar built in 1864 and surrounded as the fire grew. We worked the entire night that first shift—in extremely steep by about 10 cabins. We spent our first day prepping the structures for terrain—establishing hoselays to protect the line and keep the fire from structure defense. We arrived here to find the owners preparing for fire to threatening a historic mining area known as Rainbow Mine. We spent every come to the compound. The inside of the historic bar is lined with dollar shift in the same vicinity, defending structures and holding the line. Our last bills on the ceiling and walls, and the owner was attempting to remove shift on the Whites Fire was spent in Sawyers Bar, where we prepped structures them in case the structure didn’t make it. We spent the entire shift getting to for structure defense as a contingency plan if the fire was to reach the historic know these friendly folks, and hopefully brought some comfort in assuring mining community. Of particular concern was protecting the town’s Catholic we would do what it takes to save their historic structure. The fire came church, was built in 1855. We were given specific instructions to do ‘whatever it through the compound the next day, and all structures were spared as a takes’ to keep it from burning. With those instructions, Lake Arrowhead’s BE94 result of the proper preparation of the structures. We spent our next shift and its complement of Thermogel were deployed to protect the church. The mopping up around the perimeter of the structures. Some of our firefighters Thermogel was to be used only as a last resort. Our strike team was relieved maintained communication with the owners via Facebook, letting them know by a fresh crew on day 14; the new crew spent an additional week at this fire their structures were still standing without any damage. Our strike team before being released back home. experienced some other unique experiences, including working to thin out vegetation along the roadway, a technique known as “brushing” with some46 FIREWIRE | VOL.4 hardworking hand crews. We also deployed thousands of feet of hose along dozer lines. Experiencing these two long strike team assignments gave me a sense of appreciation for the hardworking members in our organization. We were tasked with doing some extremely difficult tasks, sometimes on non-stop working shifts. I could not have asked for a better group of individuals on both teams. They had great attitudes and got the job done, and represented our organization very well.

Grounds for ChangeBy: Dave Burkart, Local 935 Chaplain“Higher Ground” is the name of a little coffeehouse formerly Which begs the question: are these still our values? Read for yourself:located at Bear Valley and Hesperia Roads in Victorville. Whileworking the ambulance at Station 304 in the 1990s, Higher Ground 1. The purpose of the labor/management process is to make the San Bernardinowas a common stop for weary medics following a transport to County Fire Department more effective as an organization. The focus of our efforts isDesert Valley Hospital. the total commitment to the quality of our services—internally and externally. 2. Labor and management leadership commit to participate in planning and development.Betty, the owner, explained the origin of the name was two-fold: her love for coffee In doing so, management shares authority and labor shares responsibility.and her even greater love for God. I doubt Betty would remember me, but I remember 3. Labor and Management will continually work on trust in the process. In turn this valueher because she made “higher ground” her mission statement as well as her place promotes respect and credibility among the “participants” individually.of business. She provided a place for fellowship for the faithful and non-faithful alike. 4. We will always strive to reach an agreement. When we reach an agreement, weWhile the coffee was good—though a bit pricy—it was the people and the atmosphere will follow it through to conclusion. At times labor and/or management may “agree tothat kept me coming back. Higher Ground remained an outpouring of who she was disagree” on certain issues. If we disagree, and management proceeds with their plan,and what she stood for. it will not be designated a labor/management agreement. If we can’t agree, we will continue to try to resolve our differences and reach an agreement.Betty carved out 11 successful years of business on these principles. Times and 5. We agree to meet and communicate with each other directly, and resolve problemsplaces change, and Starbucks discovered the High Desert. The atmosphere of the as they occur before making an issue out of our differences.chain store is different, because their mission is different. This is neither bad nor good, 6. The most important strength we have for the future is the relationship we havebut it is not the same. with each other. We will always work on maintaining positive relationships while constructively working on the issues. We will not sacrifice a relationship for an outcome.Change can be feared, embraced, promoted, or opposed; depending on the motive 7. We agree that the Fire Chief has the final decision-making capability for managementof those who encounter it. Change is also inevitable. The same holds true for our decisions, and the Union President has the final decision-making capability for labordepartment and our local. Each of us faces significant changes on many levels; some decisions.will embrace these changes and some will not. There are of course valid reasons foreither approach, and the trending firehouse discussions each day bear this out. I ask only because I believe it is important to measure ourselves against the values we espouse. This is neither an indictment nor an affirmation, but rather a systems-As was shared in the third issue of FIREWIRE, our members are impacted each and check. How do we measure up against them? Are these values still valid regardingevery day by expanded AORs, reductions in our net income and ever increasing force- who we are organizationally? Do we need to revisit them, modify or change themhires throughout the ranks. Our ”bigger picture” has yet to come into clear focus. altogether?These changes, over the last few years, have altered our perception of who we are asan organization. Now, the impact of 42 non-safety paramedics and EMTs staffing our Regardless of the answer, “Common Core Values of Commitment’ between laborambulances and the 30 or so probationary firefighter/paramedics in Tower 5 can not and management are required, which includes but is not limited to the Operationsbe certain, but I challenge all of you to remain positive. Leadership team alone. Core values are crucial for each of us who make up County Fire. I appreciate these documents because it invites transparency and providesWith the 2014/2015 contract ratified, albeit by a nearly-split vote, this brings to light our direction for the very basis of who we are and what we are about—not unlike marriagecollective difference of perspectives relating to our present circumstances and future vows between a husband and a wife. The words of which become a mediator of thedirection. Depending on which way each of us voted, this is either a sigh of relief or a relationship providing a higher ground of behavior, whether the times are for bettermeasure of concern. One thing is certain, after approval by the board of supervisors, or for worse.we will have a current contract and additional grounds of change organizationally.Discussing the details of the issues is not the point of this article; I mention them I believe each of the above values has merit. Number six is especially important in myonly as examples of the ongoing changes faced by our fire family and as part of the opinion. One could even argue it is the most important. The relationship of labor andongoing challenges we face in the greatest job in the world. management under the umbrella of County Fire is somewhat like the threefold cord mentioned by King Solomon in Ecclesiastes:While working a force-hire shift at Station 75, three framed documents, each of whichlisted our organizational core-values, caught my eye. The first document contained “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if theyour mission and vision statements as well as our standard of commitment and service fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for hemotto. The second and third comprised letters signed and posted as agreements to has no one to help him up again. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;the core values, one each from two different eras of management and Local 935 but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, twoleadership. can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12The names were Darrel Crane, Peter Hills, Bob Munsey, Terry Welsh, Terry Smith,Rick Groff and Dan Wurl—plus one still with us today, Jim Gras. I was struck by what These words pour like a cup of Betty’s coffee, a fresh aroma from the historyI read. Each document represented common interests from two different eras of our of Higher Ground.department. There were subtle wording changes in each, yet the seven values of thetwo signed documents remained basically the same. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 47

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EMS:San Bernardino County Fire PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE FIREWIRE SPECIAL EDITION coming Nov 20th, 2014EMS is not a service that beginswith the transport of a victim to anemergency care facility; instead,it begins with a 9-1-1 call and thedispatch of highly skilled and trainedemergency medical personnelfrom San Bernardino County FireDepartment who provide basicand advanced levels of care.San Bernardino County Fire prides itself The County employs approximately 275 Paramedics. on being your local fire department. We San Bernardino County Fire Paramedics are tested and recognize that we are a large Department trained in every capacity of their job. Our Paramedicsand serve a very large area. Our size allows for a are not only on ambulances, but also staffs Fire Engines,depth of resources that benefit even our smallest USAR units, HAZMAT units, brush patrols, squads, andcommunities. Accountability to and participation even helicopters with well known ALS providers. Wein the cities and communities that we serve is part are the leaders in emergency medical service in theof the culture of our organization. We work hard to largest County in the lower 48 states. San Bernardinobring a local sensitivity to each and every call for County Fire Department Paramedics are unique in theirservice. On average, 88 percent of emergency calls experience and heritage. Local communities contractfor service are medical in nature. San Bernardino service with the County allowing years of local experienceCounty Fire Department is an Advanced Life Support to be disseminated amongst the members of a much largerprovider in the majority of its service areas. We are the team. That community now benefits from paramedicsambulance transport provider in multiple areas of the with a more broad range of experience. We are an adeptcounty. In fact, we are the second largest provider of group who humbly pay respect to the foundation built inambulance service in the County. Our aim each day is the PAST, steadfastly take pride in the quality of our serviceto provide the utmost in quality service to the members in the PRESENT, and find inspiration in what exists in ourof the community we serve, while continually striving to paramedic service FUTURE.raise the standard of EMS service delivery. FIREWIRE | VOL.4 49

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