Fire Commission - January 26, 2022

Meeting video
    Agenda

    SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco Fire Deprtment Official Seal FIRE COMMISSION

    Fire Commission Regular Meeting

    January 26, 2022, 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:  2487 336 8858

     

    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 comment.
    • 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

    Stephen Nakajo

    Commissioner

    Francee Covington

    Commissioner

    Ken Cleaveland

    Commissioner

    Armie Morgan

     

     

    Chief of Department

    Jeanine Nicholson

    Ramaytush Ohlone Land Acknowledgement

     

    The San Francisco Fire Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula. As the indigenous stewards of this land, and in accordance with their traditions, the Ramaytush Ohlone have never ceded, lost, nor forgotten their responsibilities as the caretakers of this place, as well as for all peoples who reside in their traditional territory. As guests, we recognize that we benefit from living and working on their traditional homeland. We wish to pay our respects by acknowledging the Ancestors, Elders, and Relatives of the Ramaytush Ohlone community and by affirming their sovereign rights as First Peoples.

     

    2.         RESOLUTION 2022-02 [Discussion and possible action]

    Resolution making findings to allow teleconferenced meetings under California Government Code Section 54953(e)

     

    3.         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.

     

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

    Discussion and possible action to approve meeting minutes.

     

    • Minutes from Regular Meeting on January 12, 2022.

     

    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 January 12, 2022, including budget, academies, special events, communications, and outreach to other government agencies and the public.

     

    REPORT FROM ADMINISTRATION, DEPUTY CHIEF TOM O’CONNOR

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

     

     

    6.         FIRE DEPARTMENT OPERATING BUDGET – FISCAL YEARS 2022-2023/ 2023-2024 [Discussion]

    Presentation from Mark Corso, Deputy Director of Finance and Planning on the Fire Department’s operating budget for Commission review and discussion.  Overview of City’s budget process, Mayor’s Office Budget Instructions, and Fire Department budget updates and priorities.

     

    7.         FIRE COMMISSION ANNUAL STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 2022 [Discussion and possible action]

    Discussion and possible action to adopt the 2022 Annual Statement of Purpose.

     

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

     

    8.         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, January 26, 2022 – 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=40399

     

    President Feinstein called the meeting to order at 5:02 p.m.

    1.         ROLL CALL
     

    Commission President

    Katherine Feinstein

    Present

    Vice President

    Stephen Nakajo

    Present

    Commissioner

    Francee Covington

    Present

    Commissioner

    Ken Cleaveland

    Present

    Commissioner

    Armie Morgan

    Present

     

     

     

    Chief of Department

    Jeanine Nicholson

    Present.

     

    Robert Postel

    Deputy Chief -- Operations

    Thomas O’Connor

    Deputy Chief --Administration

     

     

    Sandy Tong

    EMS

    David Brown

    Airport Division

    Ken Cofflin

    Bureau of Fire Prevention

    Shayne Kaialoa

    Division of Training

    Ramon Serrano

    Support Services

    Erica Arteseros

    Homeland Security

    Natasha Parks

    Health and Wellness

    Brice Peoples

    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    Simon Pang

    Community Paramedicine

     

    Staff

     

    Mark Corso

    Deputy Director of Finance

     

    President Feinstein read the Ramaytush Ohlone Land Acknowledgement.

     

    2.         RESOLUTION 2022-02 [Discussion and possible action]

    Resolution making findings to allow teleconferenced meetings under California Government Code Section 54953(e)

     

    Commissioner Covington Moved to adopt the Resolution.  Commissioner Cleaveland Seconded.  The motion was unanimous.

     

    There was no public comment.

     

    3.         PUBLIC COMMENT

     

    There was no public comment.

     

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

    Discussion and possible action to approve meeting minutes.

     

    • Minutes from Regular Meeting on January 12, 022.

     

    Commissioner Covington Moved to approve the minutes and Commissioner Morgan Seconded. The motion was unanimous.

     

    There was no public comment.

     

    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 January 12, 2022, 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 January 12, 2022.  She mentioned that Omicron has started to decline within the Department and 36 folks have caught Omicron in the last 10 days.  She announced that Mayor Breed introduced a 14.7 million dollar supplemental to the Board of Supervisors so they can continue to provide essential city services and work to not just maintain but increase the staffing levels.  She added that they have experienced a significant increase in the use of overtime pay due to staffing shortages.  She stated that over the past week, they have conducted interview panels for the next H-2 academy which she hopes will start in May if the supplemental budget passes.  She added that Chief Tong has also been conducting interviews for the next EMS H3 Level 2, paramedic class.

     

    Vice President Nakajo acknowledged and appreciates the mayor’s support as she understands the shortage that the Department has in terms of staffing.

     

    Commissioner Cleaveland let the Chief know if she needed any assistance with conversations with the supervisors, the Commission would be happy to lend their support as best they can.  He also acknowledged his appreciation with the leadership that the mayor has taken to backfill some of the needs of the Department.

     

    President Feinstein also reminded the Chief that the commission is there to be advocates for the Department and that she has their support.

     

    There as no public comment.

     

    REPORT FROM ADMINISTRATION, DEPUTY CHIEF TOM O’CONNOR

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

     

    Chief O’Connor presented his December 2021 report. Chief O’Connor stated that Assistant Deputy Chief Kaialoa and the Division of Training has been very busy, and included the following training opportunities that were offered to the members:  Public Information Officer class, controlling ignitable liquids and gasses, an instructor class, an engine boss class, a task force leader class, logistics section chief, wildland fire behavior, hazmat, rope rescue, personal radiation detector, disaster logistics, electrical and fuel cell vehicle training and confined space rescue tech along with hosting the California Conference of Arson Investigators.  He announced that the 128-academy class graduated with many starting their shifts on Christmas Eve.  He mentioned that Chief Peoples had a recruit academy briefing, a finance meeting and he sat in on a creative development workgroup, did some outreach, recruitment, and development for his office's needs looking at grants as well as provided an update on the 9910 city EMT program.  Chief O’Connor mentioned that NERT is still at limited capacity due to the pandemic.  He touched on the Health, Safety and Wellness Division, the Physician’s Office, the Investigative Services Bureau, Support Services.  He concluded his report by reporting that rescue swimmers, Ryan O’Donnell, and Firefighter Tyler Kelly, along with Station 14 were given an award and honored for their daring rescue last year where they saved someone from the rocks below the Cliff House and that the Department partnered with the toy program and delivered over 200,000 toys to disadvantaged children through the Bay Area.

     

    Commissioner Cleaveland confirmed that the 9910 Program is part of the City EMT program.  Chief Peoples added that it is a developmental pipeline that the Department manages where they take graduates in from another program that deals with developing youths who might be at risk and helps them to get one of the minimum qualifications that are important to onboarding, which is the national registry EMT certificate.

     

    Vice President Nakajo thanked Chief O’Connor for his comprehensive report.  He acknowledged Chief Kaialoa and all his training staff and getting the 128th academy class graduated and having them hit the ground running.  He also confirmed that members who have tested positive for COVID are given 10 days off to isolate and may return after five days if they have no symptoms and they test negative with a rapid antigen test.  He touched on the Staff Services Division and noted that there was extensive material outlined in the report and he commented on a few items such as the Focus Scope Program, ESER Bond 2020 updates, and CEQA process.  He acknowledged Lt. Baxter for all his dedication and hard work as he goes back to the field.

     

    Commissioner Covington thanked Chief O’Connor for his first report as Chief of Administration.  She asked for clarification on the assessments that are being done with the 3,000 firefighters in maintaining their good health.  Chief O’Connor answered that it was a study that was done about 12 years ago through Tony Stefani who started the Cancer Prevention Foundation where they sent out a survey to active and retired members and realized there was a problem with the survey as dead members don’t return surveys.  They were getting responses back from spouses or widows who had died saying the member died of cancer x number of years ago and while they were doing all this different research at UCSF regarding kidney and bladder cancer, they were approached by NIOSH who found out the work that was being done and they wanted to involve SFFD, Chicago and Philadelphia in a 50-year study covering 30,000 firefighters to see how firefighters were dying.  They realized that perhaps one of the biggest problems they had was that the turnouts were becoming like sponges for toxins and all the chemicals they were facing in the fire environment, and they learned they needed to clean them all the time and detoxing firefighters right after the fire.  He added the studies are continuing.   Commissioner Covington thanked Chief O’Connor for that summary and stated it’s important that everyone know that the dangers that are faced by firefighters are not just fires and the ability to put out fires, but there is a great danger in ingesting all the off-gassing and all of the other things that come with property or cars being on fire.  She thanked everyone in the Department who over the years have participated in the research and encouraged everyone to see a documentary called the Toxic Hot Seat.  She also thanked the physician's office as they have a great sensibility for these kinds of things and made sure that the research included San Francisco Firefighters.  Commissioner Covington confirmed that they boosted 250 members and the hope is everyone will be boosted by March 1, 2022, and she encouraged everyone to get it.

     

    President Feinstein confirmed that the limit on the intoxilyzers is .004 and that all tests during the reporting period were negative.  Chief O'Connor confirmed that they also do drug and alcohol testing after an accident and there were four accidents during the reporting period, and all were negative.  President Feinstein also confirmed that the turnout coats are lined with PFAS and the industry right now is gearing up to get out of the PFAS chemicals and there is evidence that PFAS is a carcinogenic chemical.

     

    There was no public comment.

     

    6.         FIRE DEPARTMENT OPERATING BUDGET – FISCAL YEARS 2022-2023/ 2023-2024 [Discussion]

    Presentation from Mark Corso, Deputy Director of Finance and Planning on the Fire Department’s operating budget for Commission review and discussion.  Overview of City’s budget process, Mayor’s Office Budget Instructions, and Fire Department budget updates and priorities.

     

    Mr. Corso provided the overall city budget process and instructions as well as some Department Specific information.  His PowerPoint presentation is attached:   https://sf-fire.org/files/2022-01/Commission%20Presentation%20-%2022%2001%2026%20Budget%20Discussion%20updated.pdf

     

    He mentioned that after the approvals, budgets were loaded into the budget system, including any new initiatives that were approved, however, many uncertainties that have remained during the current fiscal year are mainly stemming from COVID, both operationally for departments, as well as economically for the city.  He added that over the last two years, the city has had about a 108-million-dollar surplus, and generally, departments are requested to provide a reduction of 5 or 10 percent to their general fund commitments, and this year, that is not the case.  He stated that departments are being emphasized to not request additional funds but to make use of existing budgets, find efficiencies, make modifications, but stay within their budgets for any of their proposals.  He added that any initiatives or any changes should be aligned with mayoral priorities, which are outlined here restoring vibrancy in San Francisco, recovery of the local economy, and local businesses mainly as a result of COVID.  Mr. Corso provided a brief update on the Grants Committee where they had their kickoff meeting in early December where they discussed how to better prepare and identify potential grant applications.  He stated that if they identify a project specifically, the Grants Committee will allow them to better seek out specific funding that may be tailored for funding a specific type of project and be able to give themselves as much time as possible to fully vet projected project proposals.

     

    Commissioner Cleaveland thanked Mr. Corso for his excellent budget report and stated that he thinks the Department and certainly the Commission rely on him and is deeply indebted to him for keeping the Department on track in terms of the budget.  He confirmed what the mandatory staffing levels are for the Fire Department which keeps all the engines and trucks and other apparatus open and staffed fully every day, which amounts to a little over 300 positions per day that they need to staff.

     

    Commissioner Covington thanked Mr. Corso and noted that there are so many good things happening in terms of being able to garner the dollars and support they need and announced that the mayor was a Fire Commissioner and has a special place in her heart for the Fire Department and she thinks that her care and notice of the needs is reflected in the kind of financial support they can get. Commissioner Covington stated that the surplus of 108 million dollars is such good news and is music to her ears and she loves the sound of “no mandatory reductions are being requested”.  She thanked Mr. Corso for his summary of the Gants Committee but would like his team to come before the commission and provide details regarding what grants have been applied for, what grants have come in, and where grants are most needed.

     

    Vice President Nakajo stated how fortunate in terms of Mr. Corso's abilities and skill level that he presents to the department and how he can make something complex as a presentation of a departmental budget on such a high level so comprehensively and clearly to where the lay folks can understand it.  He confirmed that the budget presented does not include the impacts of the EMS supplemental that will bring 50 additional employees into the budget, that they will be incorporating those additional FTEs into the budget by working with the mayor’s office.  Vice President Nakajo confirmed different budget items presented in the PowerPoint including that the continuing fund projects carry over from year to year.

     

    There was no public comment.

     

    7.         FIRE COMMISSION ANNUAL STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 2022 [Discussion and possible action]

    Discussion and possible action to adopt the 2022 Annual Statement of Purpose.

     

    President Feinstein Moved to approve the 2022 Statement of Purpose.  Commissioner Cleaveland Seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.

     

    There was no public comment.

     

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

    Discussion regarding agenda for next and future Fire Commission meetings.

     

    Vice President Nakajo congratulated Commissioner Covington on her reappointment of 4 years to the Fire Commission.

     

    • Budget – Action Item
    • Grants applied for and received
    • GOTC
    • Homeland Security Overview

     

    There was no public comment.

     

    9.         ADJOURNMENT President Feinstein adjourned the meeting in the memory of Firefighter/Inspector Larry Dean and the three Baltimore Firefighters, Lt. Paul Butrim, Firefighter/Paramedic Kelsey Sadler, and EMT/Firefighter Kenny Lacayo at 7:04 p.m.