Fire Commission - March 8, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
March 8, 2017 - 9:00am

PDF iconMarch 8, 2017 final meeting Minutes.pdf

Wednesday, March 8, 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 9:02 AM.  
Commission President Ken Cleaveland Present  
Commission Vice President Stephen Nakajo Present
Commissioner Michael Hardeman Present
Commissioner Francee Covington Present
Chief of Department Joanne Hayes-White Present
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
Bob Postel Division 2
David Franklin Division 3
Mark Corso CFO
Olivia Scanlon Communication and Outreach Coordinator
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 February 22, 2017.
• Minutes from Special Meeting on March 2, 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.
Dr. Clement Yeh to provide update on EMS-6 Program since implementation of program.
Dr. Clement Yeh introduced Captain Simon Pang and Captain April Bassett, members of the SFFD, along with Dr. John Brown, Medical Director of the EMS Agency on behalf of the Department of Public Health, Jim Wagner on behalf of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, Jason Davi and Jim Wagner, with the Homeless Outreach Team, Mike Dayton from DEM and Nate Shapiro who serves on the EMS-6 team on a relief basis.
Dr. Yeh described some of the activities of the EMS-6 Program over the last 12 months and presented the attached PowerPoint presentation.
He mentioned that the origin of the name “EMS-6” refers to the EMS Star of Life and consists of these six different start points: early detection, early reporting, early response, on scene care, caré in transit and transfer to definitive care.  He stated that the sixth star point, the transfer and connection to definitive care, is in so many cases of people who rely on 9-1-1- services, is one of the lacking pieces, so EMS-6 is specifically designed to address those needs of the patients.  He added that from an operational standpoint, the EMS-6 team has consisted of an H-33 paramedic captain who is paired with a homeless outreach team worker who is also connected with the Department of Public Health street medicine team, and who are available to the system 12 hours a day, starting from noon through midnight, with the express purpose of addressing the needs of frequent users of the 9-1-1- system.  He added that the overall mission of the project is not to prevent people from utilizing services, it’s to recognize the people who depend on 9-1-1- as a safety net and have some inherent unmet need that  isn’t happening through their normal activities and the EMS-6 team is to address these people by intercepting them in the 9-1-1 system but also engaging them in trying to find out what exactly is happening that requires them to depend on the 9-1-1-1 system.  He explained that a definition of a frequent user would be someone who calls 9-1-1 more than four times in a month, more than twice in a day or 10 times a year.  He added that they get to recognize some of these people and get to know what their needs are.  He stated that the city overall has identified certain patients as being high users of multiple systems, in addition to 9-1-1 services.  One goal of EMS-6 is to find out why these patients are depending on 9-1-1- services so much, and hopefully, stabilize them and improve their situation.  Dr. Yeh touched on the development of the California State Community Paramedicine pilot project, in conjunction with the San Francisco Sobering Center, which the Fire Department has become a California EMS authority pilot project number 13.  He thanked the partners in the system who are able to make EMS-6 a successful program, including the Department of Emergency Management , Department of Public Health as well as the California State EMS Authority.  He added that over the past year, they continue to improve the data management.
Dr. Yeh invited Dr. John Brown to speak.  Dr. Brown touched on three brief points that outline his support of the EMS-6 program.  He mentioned that the EMS system, and the Fire Department specifically, is in the lead in taking care of the marginalized people anywhere in the world, but specifically in San Francisco and their outreach to the marginalized, refugees, immigrant and those in need that have dropped through the safety net of care, and the EMS group is picking up that care and doing it in a very unique way.  The second point he made was in terms of participation in the California EMS Community Paramedic Program, which is the pilot program going on throughout the state, and the EMS-6 program brings a lot of expertise.  The third point he made is the tremendous training program that the Fire Department hosted, collaborated with some amazing partners, such as the Department of Health, the Sobering Center, City College of San Francisco, Zuckerberg San Francisco General, and the Kaiser facilities, who helped put on the 150-plus-hour training program, who trained the additional 10 very bright women and men to take on the job within the EMS-6 program.  Mr. Jim Zelaya-Wagner touched on the successful partnership between EMS-6 and SF HOT.
Dr. Yeh had Captain Bassett and Captain Pang describe specific case studies they have experienced working the EMS-6 Program, which had mostly positive outcomes.
Commissioner Covington thanked everyone who spoke.  She inquired as to what the busiest hours are for the EMS-6 program.  Dr. Yeh responded that they found that the 12:00 to midnight time frame is probably the busiest.  Commissioner Covington asked for more information about the Sobering Center, and Dr. Yeh explained that it is an enormous and fantastic program and is a unique resource in the city that care for people who are specifically intoxicated with alcohol.  Dr. Brown described the history of the Sobering Center.  Commissioner Covington confirmed that there are spikes in the system during holidays and weekends.  She asked if the goal of EMS-6 was to reunite people with their families elsewhere in the country or to find them housing in San Francisco.  Dr. Yeh responded that the strategy is whatever it takes to help people get better, and for many people, changing an environment to get them into a more supportive area, can make a big difference.  Jim Zelaya-Wagner stated that the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing has a program called Homeward Bound which is staffed by city workers who assess a client’s ability to relocate and if it’s a good fit, and they provide them with a bus ticket back home and a small subsidy for food on the way.  Commissioner Covington asked for more details regarding how the interviews to develop a plan for the 2,244 encounters work.  Dr. Yeh stated that it is very client specific.  He stated that they collect data when they encounter someone on the street or in a shelter in the midst of a 9-1-1 call and they have weekly coordination meetings, monthly system case management meetings and the team has organized specific case conference around a specific client’s needs.
Chief Hayes-White took a moment to acknowledge all of the people involved in the EMS-6 program and stated the concept of the program, which has been running for a year, is very innovative, creative and a model program for the Country.  She added that the program has identified a segment of the population in the city that is most vulnerable and they found a better way to serve them through partnerships, collaboration and city services and it would not be a success without the partnerships and dedication of Captain Pang, Captain Bassett, Dr. Brown, Mr. Dayton, Jim Wagner and Jason Davi and everyone else involved in the program.
Commissioner Hardeman thanked everyone involved for all that they do and the patience they have.  He was happy that the public gets to see where the resources are going and what a difficult job the EMS-6 members have.
Vice President Nakajo thanked Dr. Yeh and the other participants in the presentation and mentioned how important it was for him to hear the one year anniversary update of the EMS-6 program and the collaboration of the available city services that are also involved.  He stated his support of the EMS-6 program and all the dedicated folks that deal with the high frequent users of the 9-1-1 system.  Vice President Nakajo mentioned that with the number of calls increasing to the point the system is going to be taxed, he is interested in recommendations of what will be needed in order to keep this program successful.
President Cleaveland thanked everyone involved for the presentation.  He asked what they need from the Fire Commission or the City to do a better job to enhance and grow the EMS-6 program, which he thinks is probably one of the most innovative and helpful programs for the people on the street that need it most.  Dr. Yeh stated that the Commission, the Department and Chief Hayes-White have already been extraordinarily helpful and supportive, and he appreciates it.  He added that there have been challenges and he would like to see an initial level of analysis and oversight so they can decide on what those next steps are, but he couldn’t give an accurate resource request at this point, but he wants to make sure that the growth and expansion is a smart one.  He confirmed that the specific programs are not funded centrally from the state.
There was no public comment.
Report on current issues, activities and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting of February 22, 2017, including budget, academies, special events, communications and outreach to other government agencies and the public.
Chief Hayes-White’s report covered events since the last meeting on February 22, 2017.  She announced her selection for the EMS Division Chief, Assistant Deputy Chief Andy Zanoff.  Chief Zanoff gave a brief background introduction into his career over the years and stated that he looks forward to continuing to work with the Commission in his new role.  Chief Hayes-White announced that the current budget is on track for both revenues and expenditures.  In relation to academies, she stated that the 121st academy is in their 15th week and 49 members remain in that class and graduation is scheduled for April 14, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at Riordan High School.  The 122nd academy is on track for a start date of April 24, 2017, and she anticipates 54 members in that class.  She thanked her staff as well as Jesusa Bushong, ISB Captain Sheila Hunter and Captain Zanoff for their hard work in getting ready for the next academy class.
Chief Hayes-White attended a park Alliance event supporting the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, H-3 Level 1 EMT’s graduation which was also attended by Vice President Nakajo and City Assessor Carmen Chu.  She attended the United Irish Society’s event honoring retired Deputy Chief of the Police Department, Dermot Philpot as the Grand Marshal, the opening ceremonies for San Francisco Youth Baseball League, which FLAME has a part of, and is overseen by Ricky Hui, who took over from long-time FLAME coordinator Joe Hallisy.  She also attended the Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the Read Aloud Day, the Government, Audits and Oversight Committee hearing related to EMS response times, the retirement certificate ceremony, Hotel Heroes event at the Marriott Hotel where they acknowledged hotel workers, the Larkin Street Youth Event at the Four Seasons Hotel and the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation fundraiser, the Celebration of Life ceremony for Ms. Aileen Hernandez, also attended by Commissioners Covington and Hardeman, and a City department head meeting regarding health and wellness and additional training for city employees on implicit bias training.  Chief Hayes-White invited all to attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 11, 2017.  Chief Hayes-White announced the very sad news of the passing of Firefighter Jalal Anieb and asked that the meeting be adjourned in his memory as well as the memory of Aileen Hernandez.  
Commissioner Covington thanked the chief for her report and asked for more information pertaining to the memorandum from the Civil Service Commission detailing the policy on family and romantic relationships at work.  Jesusa Bushong stated that since the Department-wide e-mail went out attaching the updated family and romantic relationships policy, they created a data base in the Department’s Human Recourses Division and they have gotten great response in terms of compliance, where members are reporting both family and romantic relationships and so far they have not encountered any relationships that would require a management plan, meaning if it’s a direct supervision, they would report it to Chief Hayes-White and Chief Williams and together they would discuss it with the members involved and develop a management plan to remove the conflict.
Commissioner Hardeman thanked the Chief for her report and complimented on the Read Aloud event she attended and he had heard the kids love her and she has a great presence about her.  He mentioned what a remarkable person Aileen Hernandez was and how she devoted her life to taking care of the underprivileged.
President Cleaveland asked if the Chief had a replacement in mind for Chief Zanoff’s position as internal investigator.  Chief Hayes-White responded that Christopher Bonn, currently CQI Captain will fill that position.  President Cleaveland asked Chief Hayes-White what concerns were brought up at the GAO haring that Supervisor Peskin requested.  Chief Hayes-White responded that the genesis of the request was to have the agenda item before the GAO was that on the evening of Friday, February 13, 2017, there was an incident which was originally a Code 2 call, and was upgraded to Code 3, and there was a delayed response to an elderly woman who had fallen and Supervisor Peskin wanted an overall system presentation, and they assured him that by and large, on a monthly basis they are reaching the required goal and they were able to showcase all of the progress that has been made.  President Cleaveland replied that as call volume continues to go up, more resources are going to be needed.  There was brief discussion on the FLAME program that the Department supports by having a small amount taken from paychecks to support athletic events for youth throughout the city.
Vice President Nakajo commended the Chief for her attendance at the many city civic events and to Commission Secretary for taking care of the retirement ceremony.
Commissioner Hardeman commended Chief Zanoff for his recent promotion and thanked him for the tremendous amount of effort and resources he puts into the Department.
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 and update on H-23 classification.
Chief Gonzales’ report covered the month of February, 2017.  He mentioned that during the reporting period, there was one greater alarm.  It was on February 3, 2017, at 1199 Stockton Street and Assistant Chief Kevin Burke was the incident commander.  He stated that all the responding units from the four battalion chiefs to each and every company performed extremely well under very difficult circumstances.  There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire was accidental, unspecified electrical fault.  Chief Gonzales also mentioned incidents of note including a first alarm at 255 Dorland where crews rescued an adult male and started immediate CPR, a first alarm fire at 2619 Harrison Street, where one person was rescued and one person was displaced, and a first alarm fire at 2621 Santiago where one male was rescued and no injuries.  He touched on the City high-rise drill under the leadership of Chief Postel, a surf rescue of a 45-year-old male, and a structural compromise with multiple evacuations at 41 Tehama, which they were able to stabilize.  He mentioned the first-alarm fire with recues at 132 Apollo Street, the storm damage causing flooding, as well as downed trees and wires.  With regards to the EMS Division, he stated that ambulances responded under 10 minutes 92.6 percent of the time, and call volume, traffic and hospital wait times are still a concern.  Concerning Station 49, he mentioned that Assistant Deputy Chief Rivera, Olivia Scanlon and Assistant Deputy Chief Andy Zanoff will continue meeting with DPW.  Regarding Division of Fire Prevention, he stated they had a total of 291 permits issued for February, with 1,637 inspections completed.  They also conducted two fire safety workshops for H-2 building owners in San Francisco.  They also recorded six orders to abate which included one order to vacate at 4690 Mission Street.  He added that the Warriors arena is still under review and the site plans are close to approval. He touched on TASC, and gave a quick overview of the Turk Street project where SFMTA wants to add a bike lane adjacent to the curb side parking, similar to what they have on Market Street, and proposed speed humps throughout the city.  With regard to BFI, he stated there are 107 open active fire investigation reports, a decrease of one from last month and there were two arrests.  He invited Airport Assistant Deputy Chief Castellanos to give a brief overview of the Airport’s operations.  Chief Castellanos stated that the new Station 3 has opened up and they’ve been in there about one month and it’s about 95 percent complete, they still have architects and construction workers taking care of some of the minor details and getting it ready for the grand opening at the end of the month.  He announced that a conveyor belt that brings in the luggage from the AOA side up into the baggage claim area caught fire but fire units responded effectively and put the fire out.  He touched on the recent active shooter training, and the FAA inspection that is coming up, and is done on a yearly basis.  He mentioned that construction on a 12-story high-rise hotel will take place in August which should be completed by 2019.  He announced that the Marine based program is planning a fairly large-scale drill, which will require several agencies up and down the peninsula, to participate in.  Chief Gonzales stated that the H-23 classification is official.
Vice President Nakajo thanked them for their reports and asked when the grand opening for Station 3 at the airport is.  Chief Castellanos confirmed it is scheduled for March 28, 2017.
President Cleaveland asked Chief Gonzales to explain more about quick response vehicles.  Chief Gonzales stated they would be something along the lines of a buggy, with one or two personnel involved and would be concentrated in the areas where it’s most dense and they get more calls and to be able to take care of the Code 2, low acuity calls.  President Cleaveland asked who makes the final decisions on speed humps.  Chief Gonzales stated that what they have agreed to do, is work together, DFMTA gives the Department a list of proposed locations and the Department sends members out in the field that are in those areas to decide if it is practical or not in regards to fire operations and the MTA has agreed to work with the Department but there is no formal process.
Report on Commission activities since last meeting of February 22, 2017, including President Cleaveland and Vice President Nakajo’s recent tour at the Department of Emergency Management’s Communications Division.
Vice President Nakajo thanked Chief Gonzales and Chief Hayes-White for arranging their visit to DEM and to David Ebarle, Mike Dayton and Robert Smuts for the tour of the DEM facility. He stated that it was a fruitful tour and the purpose of the tour was to develop more knowledge base on the discussions of Code 2 and Code 3, ambulance response time.  He added that when a citizen picks up the phone and hits emergency communications, he was informed on how those calls get dispatched.  He encouraged members of the public look into becoming an emergency dispatcher, as is a reputable and very professional job.  They work extremely hard and the individual dispatchers are trained to handle both police and fire calls.  He continued describing the duties held at DEM and his observations from the tour and his better understanding of how the system works.  Dr. Yeh added that what they do at dispatch is attempt to identify and triage people by the nature and severity of their medical complaint and there’s no attempt to determine, the social situation, it’s purely based on medical need and there’s an intense fairness that he strongly believes is important in the way they provide emergency medical services to everyone in the city.  Commissioner Nakajo added that he is always amazed and gratified that the SFFD personnel are sensitive, professional and caring because that the last thing a patient wants helping them is someone that looks like they don’t want to help you.
President Cleaveland thanked all of the folks that met with them at DEM, including Dr. Yeh, Dave Ebarle, Rob Smuts and Mike Dayton as well as Lt. Hayes for dedicating time to giving an overview of what DEM did.  He added that it is a very tough job being a dispatcher and he was glad that there is a class of people there being trained to be dispatchers.  He encouraged other members of the Commission to take the opportunity to visit and get a briefing on just how they define what is a Code 2 and a Code 3 call.
Emails from James Corrigan dated January 22, 23, 24 30, and February 1 2017.
Email from Christopher Wisniewski dated January 28, 2017.
President Cleaveland asked Chief Gonzales to explain the policy on parking at the Fire Stations.  Chief Gonzales stated that the put out a memo stating that personnel shall not use unauthorized placards.  He added that with regards to Station 2 in Chinatown, one of the complaints was about rigs blocking traffic.  He added that during change of shift, the rigs need to be checked.  There’s incoming crews and off going crews and they have to check the aerials as well as checking the pump every morning and they cannot go to a remote area, it’s part of housecleaning and there is no other place to put the rigs.  Chief Hayes-White added that she has directed Chief Gonzales to regularly let the members know they do great work every day, but they should not feel entitled to do something that is illegal.
There was no public comment.
Discussion regarding agenda for the March 22, 2017 regular meeting.
• Canine Pinning
• Good Samaritan Certificates
• Fire Reserves
• Green v. Solar 
President Cleaveland adjourned the meeting in the memory of Firefighter Jalal Aineb and Trailblazer Aileen Hernandez at 12:00 p.m.