Fire Commission - February 24, 2021

Agenda

SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco Fire Deprtment Official Seal FIRE COMMISSION

Fire Commission Regular Meeting

February 24, 2021, 5:00 p.m.

 

AGENDA

 

Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing (see below links and phone numbers)

This meeting is being held by WebEx pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders Mayoral Proclamations Declaring the Existence of a Local Emergency.

During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) emergency, the Fire Commission’s regular meeting room at City Hall is closed, and meetings of the Fire Commission will convene remotely.

Watch live at www.sfgovtv.org

Participating During Public Comment: By Phone

Public Comment Call in number is: 

1-415-655-0001

Access Code:  187 388 9460

 

Members of the public will have opportunities to participate during public comment. The public is asked to wait for the particular agenda item before making a comment on that item. Comments will be addressed in the order they are received. When the moderator announces that the Commission is taking public comment, members of the public can:

  1. Raise hand” by pressing * 3 and you will be queued.
  2. Callers will hear silence when waiting for your turn to speak. Operator will unmute you.
  3. When prompted, callers will have the standard three minutes to provide comments.
  • Ensure you are in a quiet location.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Turn off any TVs or radios around you.

 

 

Item No.
1.         ROLL CALL

 

President

Katherine Feinstein

Vice President

Tony Rodriguez

Commissioner

Stephen A. Nakajo

Commissioner

Francee Covington

Commissioner

Ken Cleaveland

 

 

Chief of Department

Jeanine Nicholson

2.         GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Members of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes on any matter within the Commission’s jurisdiction that does not appear on the agenda.  Speakers shall address their remarks to the Commission as a whole and not to individual Commissioners or Department personnel.  Commissioners are not to enter into debate or discussion with a speaker.  The lack of a response by the Commissioners or Department personnel does not necessarily constitute agreement with or support of statements made during public comment.

 

3.         APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES [Discussion and possible action]

Discussion and possible action to approve meeting minutes.

 

  • Minutes from Regular Meeting on February 10, 2021.

 

  1. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT’S REPORT [Discussion]

REPORT FROM CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT, JEANINE NICHOLSON

Report on current issues, activities, and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting on February 10, 2021, including budget, academies, special events, communications, and outreach to other government agencies and the public.

 

REPORT FROM ADMINISTRATION, DEPUTY CHIEF JOSE VELO

Report on the Administrative Divisions, Fleet and Facility status and updates, Finance, Support Services, and Training within the Department.

 

5.         COMMISSION REPORT [Discussion]

Report on Commission activities since last meeting on February 10, 2021.

 

6.         AGENDA FOR NEXT AND FUTURE FIRE COMMISSION MEETINGS [Discussion]
Discussion regarding agenda for next and future Fire Commission meetings.

 

7.         PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITEM  8

Public comment on all matters pertaining to Item 8(b) below, including public comment on whether to hold Items 8 (b) in closed session.

 

8.         POSSIBLE CLOSED SESSION REGARDING EXISTING LITIGATION

 

  1. VOTE ON WHETHER TO CONDUCT ITEMS 8(b) IN CLOSED SESSION [Action]

The Commission may hear Item 9(b) in closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and Administrative Code Section 67.10(b).

 

  1. CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – EXISTING LITIGATION. Conference with legal counsel to discuss existing litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(a), (c), (d), and Administrative Code Section 67.10(d)(1) and possible recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for settlement approval or to take other action.  [Action item]

 

Existing Litigation:

Jennifer Galarza v. City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-18-569532

 

9.         REPORT ON ANY ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION [Discussion and possible action] as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b).

10.       VOTE TO ELECT WHETHER TO DISCLOSE ANY OR ALL DISCUSSIONS HELD IN CLOSED SESSION, as specified in San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a).   [Action]

 

11.       ADJOURNMENT      

San Francisco Fire Commission

 

NOTICE OF COMMISSION PROCEDURES

 

 

Commission Meeting Schedule and Location

 

The Fire Commission will meet regularly on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102. The second Wednesday in Room 416 at 9:00 a.m. and the fourth Wednesday in Room 400 at 5:00 p.m.

 

Commission Office

 

The Fire Commission Office is located at 698 Second Street, Room 220, San Francisco, CA 94107. The Fire Commission telephone number is (415) 558-3451; the fax number is (415) 558-3413. The web address is http://sf-fire.org/fire-commission-home.  Office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

Language Access

 

Per the Language Access Ordinance (Chapter 91 of the San Francisco Administrative Code), Chinese, Spanish and or Filipino (Tagalog) interpreters will be available upon requests. Meeting Minutes may be translated, if requested, after they have been adopted by the Commission.  Assistance in additional languages may be honored whenever possible. To request assistance with these services please contact the Commission Secretary at (415) 558-3451, or fire.commission@sfgov.org at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing.  Late requests will be honored if possible.

 

Information on Disability Access

 

The hearing rooms in City Hall are wheelchair accessible.  The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center Station at United Nations Plaza and Market Street. Accessible MUNI lines serving this location are: #42 Downtown Loop, and #71 Haight/Noriega and the F Line to Market and Van Ness and the Metro Stations at Van Ness and Market and at Civic Center. For information about MUNI accessible services call (415) 923-6142. There is accessible curbside parking adjacent to City Hall on Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue and in the vicinity of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue adjacent to Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex.  For more information about MUNI accessible services, call (415) 701-4485.

 

To obtain a disability-related modification or accommodation, including auxiliary aids or services, to participate in the meeting, please contact the Commission Secretary at least two business days before the meeting at (415) 558-3451 to make arrangements.  Late requests will be honored, if possible.

 

To assist the City’s efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical based products. Please help the City to accommodate these individuals.

 

Policy on use of Cell Phones, Pagers and Similar Sound-Producing Electronic Devices at and During Public Meetings

 

The ringing and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at Fire Commission meetings. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic device.

 

Documents for Public Inspection

 

Documents referred to in this agenda, if not otherwise exempt from disclosure, are available for public inspection and copying at the Fire Commission Office.  If any materials related to an item on this agenda are distributed to the Fire Commission after distribution of the agenda packet, those materials, if not otherwise exempt from disclosure, are also available for public inspection at the Fire Commission Office, 698 Second Street, room 220, San Francisco, during normal office hours.

 

Know Your Rights under the Sunshine Ordinance

(Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code)

 

Government's duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public. Commissions, boards, councils and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people’s business. This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people’s review.  For more information on your rights under the sunshine ordinance or to report a violation of the ordinance, contact the sunshine ordinance task force. You may contact the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force Administrator, as follows: Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, City Hall, Room 244, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102-4689, Phone: (415) 554-7724, Fax: (415) 554-5784, E-mail: sotf@sfgov.org. Copies of the Sunshine Ordinance can be obtained from the Clerk of the Sunshine Task Force, the San Francisco Public Library and on the City’s Web site at http://www.sfgov.org.

 

San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance

 

Individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local policy or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code sections 2.100 – 2.160) to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 3900, San Francisco, CA 94102, telephone (415) 581-2300, fax (415) 581-2317 and Web site: http://www.sfgov.org/ethics/.

 

 

FIRE COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 – 5:00 p.m.

This meeting was held remotely on WebEx

 

 

The Video can be viewed by clicking this link:  https://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=180&clip_id=37891

President Feinstein called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m.

Commission President

Katherine Feinstein

Present

Commission Vice President

Tony Rodriguez

Present

Commissioner

Stephen Nakajo

Present

Commissioner

Francee Covington

Present

Commissioner

Ken Cleaveland

Present

 

 

 

Chief of Department

Jeanine Nicholson

Present.

 

Bryan Rubenstein

Deputy Chief -- Operations

Jose Velo

Deputy Chief --Administration

 

 

Joel Sato

Division of Training

Sandy Tong

EMS

Mark Johnson

Airport Division

Dan DeCossio

Bureau of Fire Prevention

Dawn DeWitt

Support Services

Erica Arteseros

Homeland Security

Natasha Parks

Health and Wellness

Tom O’Connor

AWSS

 

 

 

Staff

 

Mark Corso

Deputy Director of Finance

Olivia Scanlon

Communications and Outreach

 

 

2.         PUBLIC COMMENT

There was no public comment.

3.         APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES [Discussion and possible action]

Discussion and possible action to approve meeting minutes.

  • Minutes from Regular Meeting on February 10, 2021.

Commissioner Cleaveland Moved to approve the minutes and Commissioner Rodriguez Seconded.  The motion was unanimous. 

There was no public comment.

4.         CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT’S REPORT [Discussion]

REPORT FROM CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT, JEANINE NICHOLSON

Report on current issues, activities, and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting on February 10, 2021, including budget, academies, special events, communications, and outreach to other government agencies and the public.

Chief Nicholson reported on activities since the last meeting on February 10, 2021.  She stated that the Fire Department continues to step up in whatever way they can and whatever way they are asked, and they have filled different positions at COVID command and staffed shelter in place hotels as well as vaccinated folks.  Concerning the budget, she mentioned that they continue to meet with the mayor's budget office and added that they have been asked to cut seven-and-a-half percent with an additional contingent of two-and-a-half percent and they are bringing their story forward and letting them know they can't afford any more cuts, although they want to be a good city partner, they must realize that the Fire Department has important services that they need to continue to provide.

Chief Nicholson touched on the Street Crisis Response Team, which continues to work with the Department of Public Health and nonprofits on responding to the behavioral health crisis in the city and taking calls over from the police which is going well.  She added that the media is going to be running a story on the Team and she is hopeful that there will be national coverage and they will continue to get funding from Proposition C.  She mentioned that they have met with SFMTA, following the terrible incident when a member was injured when a muni bus ran over a hose line and they are working with them on training, so MUNI will know exactly what to do and not to do when there is a fire scene on the street, and they are trying to get through.  She announced that Dr. Yeh is resigning his position and Dr. Jeremy Lacocque will be replacing him and she will invite them to a future commission meeting.

Commissioner Covington thanked Chief Nicholson for her condensed report and stated she is concerned about the budget and confirmed that the recent announcement that there is a 125 million dollar surplus available in the city coffers cannot be touched at this time as there is uncertainty on reimbursements from FEMA and the Mayor’s office has not decided how it is going to be appropriated and distributed.  Commissioner Covington stated she is hopeful that some of those monies will come the Department’s way.  She also confirmed that Dr. Yeh has been with the Department for 9 years and had a good long tenure, and she appreciates everything that he had done to help the Department, particularly with the homeless population, and that Chief Nicholson will be sending Dr. Lacocque’s CV to the commissioners.

Commissioner Nakajo thanked Chief Nicholson for her report and acknowledged the contributions that Dr. Yeh has made, including the formalization of EMS-6, and wants to make sure that he gets a proper sendoff and wished Dr. Yeh, his wife, and family well in future endeavors.

There was no public comment.

REPORT FROM ADMINISTRATION, DEPUTY CHIEF JOSE VELO

Report on the Administrative Divisions, Fleet and Facility status and updates, Finance, Support Services, and Training within the Department.

Chief Velo presented his January 2021 report.  He mentioned that February is firefighter cancer awareness month, and that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in firefighters during the job and after when they retire, and it is a reminder of the perils that firefighters suffer throughout the nation.  He touched on the Division of Training stating that Chief Sato has been very busy, as they have the 127th academy class that just started week three and they also started the first module of the Captain’s Academy, which Chief Nicholson has been a proponent of professional development and it consists of three modules, one of which is leadership and team building, and they have been very progressive in trying to make sure that they have the tools needed to do the job better.  He touched on the EMT refresher, EMS, and airport training, NERT, which has been extremely busy, and Chief Parks, who continues to meet with the Peer Support Group.  He stated that they met with the International Public Safety Data Institute which has a program called the National Fire Operations Reporting System and they have been invited to participate in the study which consists of tracking data and letting members log in their incidents so they can obtain a record of their incidents and exposures to different chemicals at fires and other situations they respond to.  He added that Carrie Beshears from Health Services System is trying to bring mental health First Aid to the Department with special classes for the Critical Incident Response Team and the Peer Support Team.

Chief Velo announced that 1,154 members have been vaccinated and that Captain Jose Zalba of ISB has been extremely busy doing random alcohol and drug testing where 44 members were tested during this reporting month, and all results came back negative.  He touched on Support Services, including facility repair requests, equipment repairs, and generator replacements, as well as an update on Station 35 which is expected to be completed by the end of March, and a possible move-in date of May 1st.  He mentioned that the hose tender bids have been finalized and they are awaiting the result of the selection of the bidder and they are looking forward to working with them to make sure that they get those hose tenders as soon as possible and the project will take about a year to build from starting point to actual delivery.

Commissioner Cleaveland thanked Chief Velo for his report and asked to get a copy of Anthony Boone’s report.  He confirmed that the Department is in discussions with Public Works on trying out a pilot program where they will assign one person to the Fire Department to do repairs.  He confirmed that the cost to replace generators tends to cost between 2 and 600 thousand dollars, depending on where they are located and that the Ambulance Deployment Facility ribbing cutting will hopefully be in May.

Commissioner Rodriguez thanked them for their reports and confirmed that the position for Assistant Deputy Chief of Division of Training was announced in a General Order where it lists the qualifications that are required to apply for that position and many of the certificates that are mentioned are governed by the State Fire Marshal's Office.  He also confirmed that the Department is doing a pilot program on masks that are reusable and can be washed and will fit small faces.  He asked how the random drug testing works and Chief Velo explained that they contract with a company that has the schedule of all personnel working daily, and every day they do an unbiased lottery drawing and notify the captain in charge of the Investigative Services Bureau and he goes to the station where the members are working and tests them for drugs and alcohol.

Commissioner Nakajo thanked Chief Velo for his report and confirmed that Chief Sato will be returning to the field and that they are in the process of going through applications to determine who will be getting an interview on March 8th.  He asked Chief Johnson to describe what a virtual red cap drill is, and Chief Johnson responded that the red cap drill is their monthly readiness drill where they try to involve different agencies through the airport.

Commissioner Covington thanked Chief Velo for his report and the robust glossary of terms.  She confirmed that the Captain's Academy consists of three eight-hour days focusing on leadership and team building on the first day, how to conduct drills properly on the second day and the third day, it’s all about operations and administration and has 60 members enrolled off the captain's promotional list.  Commissioner Covington stated she thinks it is a wonderful idea that the Chief of the Department and Chief Velo have seen fit to have this kind of comprehensive training and that it makes a big difference when you have a cadre of people who are going through the same training so that they can reinforce each other.  She was happy to hear that NERT has been deployed to work at the large injection sites and thanked all the NERT Volunteers for all they do.  She mentioned that after the wrinkles have been ironed out at the new Station 35, she looks forward to a wonderful celebration.  She confirmed that the hose tenders are an apparatus that carries a large diameter hose, that carries large amounts of water to set up a portable hydrant system above ground.  Chef Velo added that they were originally granted 5 hose tenders on the last budget, but two have been cut out, so they currently have three that are out to bid, one came from state funding and two are coming from city funds.  Commissioner Covington also confirmed that about 200 members have been trained to give the COVID vaccination and that the drone evaluation exercise is being run by member Tom Fogle, who has worked diligently on getting himself qualified and certified as a trainer for additional volunteer members and that the department currently has about nine members in the cadre that will be certified to get called up for operational support and planned events with drones and will be piloting the unmanned aerial system to support the Department.  The goal is to get enough pilots trained so at least one will be on duty each day.

President Feinstein confirmed that the mental health First Aid classes are meant to serve the members of the Fire Department and it is a class that has been taught to the Peer Support Team and Critical Incident Response Teams to help identify some of the issues that the members may be going through and teaches them how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health issues.  She also confirmed that many of the plumbing repair requests they get are because the firehouses have old pipes, and the infrastructure is very old and most of the facilities were built in the 1950s and 60's and things just break and get clogged up over time.  President Feinstein also confirmed that there is a nationwide issue with counterfeit masks and that they were purchased by the COVID command and not the Fire Department.  She also commended everybody that is stepping right up to the plate in every way they can, and she is proud of them for all the efforts they must do in their regular duties and jobs.

There was no public comment.

5.         COMMISSION REPORT [Discussion]

Report on Commission activities since last meeting on February 10, 2021.

There was nothing to report.

6.         AGENDA FOR NEXT AND FUTURE FIRE COMMISSION MEETINGS [Discussion]

Discussion regarding agenda for next and future Fire Commission meetings.

There was no public comment.

  • Update from Chief Parks and Tony Boone
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Updates from Chief DeWitt, Chief DeCossio, and Chief Johnson
  • Fireboat update
  • Introduction of Dr. Lacocque

There was no public comment.

7.         PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITEM  8

Public comment on all matters pertaining to Item 8(b) below, including public comment on whether to hold Items 8 (b) in closed session.

There was no public comment.

8.         POSSIBLE CLOSED SESSION REGARDING EXISTING LITIGATION

  1. VOTE ON WHETHER TO CONDUCT ITEMS 8(b) IN CLOSED SESSION [Action]

The Commission may hear Item 8(b) in closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and Administrative Code Section 67.10(b).

Commissioner Covington Moved to conduct item 8(b) in closed session.  Commissioner Cleaveland Seconded.  The motion was unanimous.

The commission went into closed session at 6:29 p.m.

Also present in closed session was Deputy City Attorney, Jennifer Donnellan and Commission Secretary, Maureen Conefrey.

 

  1. CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – EXISTING LITIGATION. Conference with legal counsel to discuss existing litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(a), (c), (d), and Administrative Code Section 67.10(d)(1) and possible recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for settlement approval or to take other action.  [Action item]

Existing Litigation:

Jennifer Galarza v. City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-18-569532

9.         REPORT ON ANY ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION [Discussion and possible action] as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b).

Reconvened in open session at 6:34 p.m.

The commission recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve the settlement.

10.       VOTE TO ELECT WHETHER TO DISCLOSE ANY OR ALL DISCUSSIONS HELD IN CLOSED SESSION, as specified in San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a).   [Action]

Commissioner Covington Moved to not disclose discussions held in closed session.  Commissioner Cleaveland Seconded.   The motion was unanimous.

11.       ADJOURNMENT

President Feinstein adjourned the meeting at 6:36 p.m.