Fire Commission - July 12, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
July 12, 2017 - 9:00am

PDF iconJuly 12, 2017 Final Minutes.pdf

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416, San Francisco, California, 94102
President Cleaveland called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.  
Commission President Ken Cleaveland Present  
Commission Vice President Stephen Nakajo Present
Commissioner Michael Hardeman Present
Commissioner Francee Covington Present
Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese Excused
Chief of Department Joanne Hayes-White Jury Duty
Mark Gonzales Deputy Chief – Operations
Raemona Williams Deputy Chief – Administration
Dan DeCossio Bureau of Fire Prevention
Tony Rivera Support Services
Andy Zanoff EMS
Shane Francisco Homeland Security
Rudy Castellanos Airport Division
Jeff Columbini Division of Training
Assistant Chiefs
Jose Velo Division 2
William Storti Division 3
Mark Corso Deputy Director of Finance
Elaine Walters Finance Director
Dr. Clement Yeh Medical Director
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 June 28, 2017.
Commissioner Hardeman Moved to approve the above meeting Minutes.  Vice President Nakajo Seconded.  Motion to approve above Minutes was unanimous.
There was no public comment.
Discussion and possible action to approve Chief of Department's request with pay for one day on July 25, 2017 to attend the California Metropolitan Fire Chiefs EMS Task Force Summit.  Assistant Deputy Chief Andy Zanoff will be joining her.  The workshop will be at the Hyatt Regency located in downtown Long Beach.  The source of funds for this trip is provided for in the Fire Department 2017-2018 approved budget. .Deputy Chief Raemona Williams will serve as acting Chief of Department during Chief Hayes-White’s absence.
Commissioner Hardeman Moved to approve the above Leave.  Commissioner Covington Seconded.  Motion to approve above Leave was unanimous.
Report on current issues, activities and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting on June 28, 2017, including budget, academies, special events, communications and outreach to other government agencies and the public.
Chief Hayes-White reported on events since the last meeting on June 28, 2017.  She introduced Tony Boone, the newly hired Certified Industrial Hygienist.  He gave a brief update on his background.  Chief Hayes-White also acknowledged Vickie Wells from the Department of Public Health, and mentioned that she was able to arrange a work order through DPH to have Tony assigned to the SFFD.  All of the Commissioners present welcomed Mr. Boone.  It was announced that a formal presentation from Mr. Boone would be offered at a later date, most likely in the fall.
Chief Hayes-White talked about the budget and stated that they just closed out the fiscal year and are in the process of rectifying all final matters related to the budget and they are moving forward into the new fiscal year, and were able to sustain the hiring and fleet plans.  With regards to the academies, the 122nd academy is in its 12th week with 48 members remaining.  She acknowledged her appreciation for the hard work of Chief Columbini and all his staff at the Division of Training and dealing will with all of the back to back academies.  She added that the 123rd academy is on track for a start date at the end of September.  Related to activities since the last meeting, Chief Hayes-White mentioned that she participated in a “read aloud day” as part of the library’s annual Read Aloud Day at various branches, she attended the Chinese Chamber of Commerce installation event, and the 20 year anniversary event for the merger of the EMS into the Fire Department.  She acknowledged Chief Zanoff, who put together a very nice tribute, as well as the members of Station 49, President Cleaveland, Commissioner Alioto Veronese and former Chief of Department Robert Demmons for attending that event.  She touched on other events and meetings attended throughout the reporting period.
Chief Hayes-White stated that because of the wild fires in the State of California, they were asked to send resources to the Butte County area, particularly the Wall fire and they deployed a strike team which is comprised of a strike team leader, Captain Pablo Siguenza, his assistant Battalion Chief Brook Baker and 20 members from the Department.  She added that they did a very good job and she was happy to say they all returned safely home.  She also mentioned that they sent a strike team to Southern California to the Alamo fire in the Santa Barbara County area.  Chief Hayes-White announced that they are working on setting a date for a promotional ceremony, possibly occurring in September, followed by a meritorious ceremony in late fall.  She announced that the City went live with a new financial and procurement system and many users in the Department went through a lot of training to make this transition go smoothly.
Commissioner Hardeman told a story about his daughter who has a horse rescue ranch in Bangor and how they were concerned that the fire was close and 15 volunteers showed up and took 63 of her horses off here property and all ended well as they were able to control the fire.  He was glad to see the firefighters return safely home and was appreciative for their work.
Commissioner Covington confirmed that there is enough backup equipment in the City when the strike teams get called out of the area.  She asked if the Department has a contingency plan for what might happen as we get closer to the really dry months.  Chief Hayes-White stated that they have about 200 members trained for wildland firefighting and they are very organized when it comes to deployment.
Vice President Nakajo thanked the Chief for her report and confirmed that a total of 26 members were deployed as strike teams, 22 went up north and four to Southern California.  He acknowledged the expertise of Chief Siragusa and retired Chief Franklin in their strike team leadership.  He also confirmed that the Chief would not be deploying strike teams to other areas if the City and County of San Francisco was in any danger if any incidents occurred within the City.  Chief Hayes-White described the Master Mutual Aid Agreement from the State of California.  Vice President Nakajo welcomed Mr. Boone and thanked Vicki Wells for all of her support within the Fire Department.
President Cleaveland asked for a brief update on the H-23.  Chief Hayes-White stated that they are moving forward and they put a General Order out for the promotional opportunity.  They are currently in the application process.
There was no public comment.
Report on overall field operations, including greater alarm fires, Emergency Medical Services, Bureau of Fire Prevention & Investigation, and Airport Division
Chief Gonzales’ report covered the month of June 2017.  His report is attached:
Chief Gonzales reported that there was one greater alarm, a fourth alarm at 1300 Donner.  Assistant Chief Storti was the Incident Commander.  He thanked Commissioner Veronese for showing up to that fire.  He added that there was a total of 18 other working fires in the month of June.  He mentioned that on June 2nd, it was the 6th anniversary of the Berkeley Way fire where they lost their brothers, Lieutenant Vincent Perez and Firefighter/Paramedic Anthony Valerio and wished them to rest in peace.  He touched on a cliff rescue at Mile Rock, a vehicle collision rollover at Martin Luther King and Kezar, a working fire at 775 Post Street, and an active shooter incident at the UPS building at 17th and Utah.  He described other incidents that occurred during his reporting period.  He read a few of the media responses that were received by PIO Jonathan Baxter and commended him for his coordination that remotely through his social media accounts gets in touch with many of the other agencies and gets them on scene and in touch with victims that need to be placed somewhere and stated he does a good job.  He touched on drills and training, including the recent training with the National Park Service VA Hospital and the California Highway Patrol that allowed members firsthand experience in training on how to conduct an air based water rescue.  He touched on other notable incidents as well which are contained in his attached report.
Chief Gonzales stated that Chief Zanoff, Chief Rivera and Olivia Scanlon are working diligently with DPW on the ambulance deployment facility.  He touched on the Sharps containers.  With regards to the Division of Fire Prevention he commended Captain Russell and her staff for community outreach and the 100 percent target completion for the permit annual inspections.  He mentioned that high-rise inspections are at 99.8 percent.  He gave a plan check and TASC update.  He announced that at the Bureau of Fire Investigations they have 100 open active fire investigations.
Vice President Nakajo thanked him for his comprehensive report and asked for clarification from Chief Zanoff on the hiring plan of the H-8’s.  Chief Zanoff explained that the H-8 application process is an open process which means they are always collecting applications.  He commended Captain April Bassettt and Captain Simon Pang for all the accomplishments in the EMS-6 program.
Commissioner Hardeman thanked Chief Gonzales for his report.  He acknowledged all the folks that have been doing a great job in the Department, including Fire Marshal DeCossio, Captain Cofflin, Fire Captain Bowdin, Chief Castellanos, Chief Storti, Chief Columbini and Chief Williams.
Commissioner Covington thanked Chief Gonzales for his report and asked how many helipads are in the City.  Chief Gonzales stated he will provide the information once he receives it.  She asked him to explain more about the H-23 position and how it was developed.  Chief Gonzales stated that there was never a promotive path for the H-3 Level 1 and this classification provides that promotive opportunity.  Commissioner Covington stated that members of the Department fear that the H-23s will in some way supplant the H-33s and she confirmed with Chief Gonzales that he has put it in writing to Local 798 that this is not the intent and never was.  The intent was to have a promotive rank for a rank that did not have that and he thinks that it very important.
President Cleaveland asked what was lost at the Koret Playground fire.  Chief Gonzales stated that it was the huge intricate play structure that the kids loved and they think someone just lit it up.  President Cleaveland confirmed that the H-8 position is a potential stepping stone into the Department as well as being a Fire Reserve.  There was discussion on the EMS-6 encounters and Dr. Yeh explained the differences, including addiction abuse, mental health issues and chronic medical issues as being the most complicated cases.  President Cleaveland and Chief Castellanos touched on the meeting with the Airport Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Littlefield and the members being in compliance with the FAA and stringent rules that they have in regards to being in compliance with record keeping and drills.
Commissioner Hardeman brought up a recent article in the Chronicle concerning the Asiana crash and the 47 minute video that popped up showing how wonderful the Fire Department responded.  He also described his recent tour at the 9-1-1 facility on Turk Street stating that it was a wonderful presentation and tour.  Chief Gonzales stated that they also met with Director Kronenberg and Rob Smuts at the end of May and made a proposal to add a couple more supervisors from the Fire Department to oversee some of the operations on the fire side, but overall, it’s a good collaboration.
There was no Public Comment.
Discussion regarding agenda for the July 26, 2017 regular meeting.
• Update on Drone Policy
• Update on H-23
• Presentation from Guardians of the City
• Public Education and outreach presentation
There was no public comment.
The appeal is from a ten calendar day suspension for violation of the Rules and Regulations as follows:
Section 1501 – Vehicle Operations Manual
Section 3905 – Familiarity with the Rules
Section 3923 – Acts Detrimental to the Welfare of the Department
Section 3924 – Disobedience
Section 3925 – Insubordination
Section 3939 – Loss or Damage of Tools and/or Equipment
This case may be heard in closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b).
A. Public Comment on Agenda Item 7; Possible Closed Session
i. Members of the public may comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item 7, including anything pertaining to the suspension appeal and whether to hold the deliberations in closed session.
President Cleaveland called for public comment.  No member of the public came forward and President Cleaveland closed public comment.
ii. Vote on whether to hold Closed Session.  [Action Item]
Commissioner Covington made a motion to conduct the deliberations in Closed Session.  Commissioner Hardeman seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.  (4-0; Cleaveland, Nakajo, Hardeman, Covington)
The Commission went into closed session at 10:13 a.m.
B. Deliberations/Possible Action, Open or Closed Session
Deliberations and possible action on Suspension Appeal [Action Item]
C. If Closed Session is held, reconvene in Open Session
The Commission reconvened in Open Session to report action taken at 10:46 a.m.
i. Report on any action taken in Closed Session as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a)(5) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b)(4).
By a unanimous vote of commissioners present (Cleaveland, Nakajo, Hardeman, Covington), the Commission voted to sustain the charges against member and the penalty of a 10-day suspension imposed by Chief of Department. 
ii. 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 Item]
Commissioner Covington made a motion not to disclose discussion held in Closed Session.  Vice President Nakajo seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.  (4-0; Cleaveland, Nakajo, Hardeman, Covington)
8.         ADJOURNMENT Meeting adjourned at 10:47 a.m.