Fire Commission - November 9, 2016 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
November 9, 2016 - 9:00am

PDF icon November 9, 2016 Final meeting Minutes.pdf


Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 9:00 a.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416, San Francisco, California, 94102
President Covington called the meeting to order at 9:01 AM.  
Commission President Francee Covington Present  
Commission Vice President Ken Cleaveland Present
Commissioner Stephen Nakajo Present
Commissioner Michael Hardeman 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
Jeff Myers EMS
Rudy Castellanos Airport Division
Jeff Columbini Division of Training
Assistant Chiefs
Tom Siragusa Division 3
Mark Corso CFO
Olivia Scanlon Communication and Outreach Coordinator
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 October 12, 2016.
Commissioner Hardeman Moved to approve the October 12, 2016 regular meeting Minutes.  Vice President Cleaveland Seconded.  Motion to approve above Minutes was unanimous.
There was no public comment.
Report on current issues, activities and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting of September 28, 2016, including academies, strategic planning, 150th Anniversary update, special events, communications and outreach to other government agencies and the public.
Chief Hayes-White’s report covered events since the last meeting on October 26, 2016.  She announced that the Commissioners joined in the celebration on November 4, 2016 at the 120th Academy Class graduation, where 51 recruits will enter into their first field assignment as early as November 5, 2016.  She acknowledged the Division of Training for doing a great job in moving the candidates forward and the probationary members into their new assignments.  Chief Hayes-White mentioned that the 121st Academy class will start on November 28, 2016 comprised of 42 members off the current National Testing Network list, joined two weeks later by 12 members from Station 49, for an overall academy class of 20 weeks.  She proudly reported that the Department welcomed 36 new members into the H-8 per diem rank, which brings the total H-8 staffing levels to approximately 85.  She stated that they are grateful for that classification because during peak periods or surge times, they are able to call upon these part-time paramedics to assist with the staffing needs, and in the las month, the Department had the highest call volume, and because of the H-8’s they are meeting their response time goals.
Chief Hayes-White touched on the Strategic Plan, and hopes to have the draft document ready to be presented at the December 14, 2016 Commission meeting.  With regards to the 150th Anniversary, she reported that they are nearing the end of events, and commented that the Film Festival was a wonderful event, the content was excellent and the folks that attended really thought it was informative and thanked President Covington for putting her heart and soul into making it a special event.  She described the plans she has for the upcoming December 3, 2016 events, which is the actual 150th Anniversary date.
Chief Hayes-White stated that she and Director Corso attended a meeting with the Mayor’s Budget Director and discussed a five-year finance plan and review of staffing needs and on December 6, 2016 there will be a Department Head and CFO meeting to go over budget instructions.  She attended the Phoenix Society event, a preview of the implicit bias training that is to be rolled out some time next year, and the 90th birthday celebration of retired member Earl Gage, who came into the department in 1955 as the first African American firefighter and he retired in 1985 as the director and coordinator of Community Services for the department.  Chief Hayes-White announce the upcoming Veterans Day parade on November 13, 2016 and encouraged everyone to attend.  She announced the promotion of Captain Anthony Rivera to the Command Staff as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff Services.  Chief Rivera thanked the Commission, Chief Hayes-White, colleagues and the audience and said what an honor it is for him and his family to accept the position and promised to uphold the values of the Fire Department and keep moving it forward into the future.  He gave a brief overview of his background.  Chief Hayes-White added that Chief Rivera’s son, Niko won the fireboat naming contest.  She touched on many of the accomplishments Chief Rivera had as Captain of the Bureau of Equipment.
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 September 2016.  He mentioned that during the reporting period, there were three greater alarms.  The first was a second alarm on October 1, 2016 at 2997 Harrison Street.  AC Lorrie Kalos was incident commander for this fire.  There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  There were nine residents displaced and SFFD worked with ARC and HAS to ensure all displaced were cared for.  The second incident was also a second alarm on October 7, 2016 at 1814 21st Avenue.  The Incident Commander was Assistant Chief Kevin Burke.  There were 3 civilian injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  He added that first alarm companies did an excellent job.  The third incident was a fourth Alarm on October 20, 2016 at 2931 Hattie Street.  There were four firefighters injured, one who sustained a broken wrist.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the incident commander was Assistant Chief Bob Postel.  According to AC Postel, Firefighter David Lester performed exceptionally well at this incident.
Chief Gonzales reminded members of the public to sign up for emergency notifications by texting “AlertSF” to 888-777.  He touched on community outreach efforts including the simulated military humanitarian aid and supply drop off at Crissy Field, the Armed Forces ride along with the Department medics, the USAR and K-9 rescue unit training and the hands on only CPR training provided at multiple schools in the City.  He mentioned the good work by SFFD and SFPD on October 14, 2016 during an officer involved shooting and the SFFD PIO was sked to fill in as the Mayor’s PIO at General Hospital and Chief Hayes-White worked with multiple agencies during this event providing support and assistance.  He described in detail the rescue that took place out in the Bay as a result of a man who jumped from the Bay Bridge and had Chief Myers explain what Pleural decompression is.  Chief Gonzales gave an update on EMS and stated that the ambulance response times were 98.5 under the 10 minute mark and that they captured 76 percent of the market share with 5,493 transports, which was up from last report.  He mentioned that the controlled substance policy is still in the review phase.  He touched on Division of Fire Prevention and Investigations revealing that there are 104 open active fire investigation reports, which reflects an increase of six from the previous month.  He reported that on October 12th ADC Castellanos led a very large MCI disaster drill at the Airport.  Chief Castellanos described the drill and explained that the FAA requires this drill be done every three years, but the SFFD does it every year and it involves 185 volunteers, 40 pieces of apparatus and approximately 15 agencies including the Coast Guard.  He mentioned that it is an excellent opportunity to come together and simulate a large-scale incident which allows them to focus on areas of improvement.
Vice President Cleaveland appreciated the comprehensive report and asked what is discussed at the H-2 orientation.  Chief Hayes-White explained that it is an overview of what they should expect for the 20-week academy.  There was discussion on what criteria is used for hiring EMT’s, which includes experience and minimum qualifications.  Vice President Cleaveland commended President Covington for the excellent job she did putting together the Film Festival.  He also commended Assistant Deputy Chief Anthony Rivera on his new position and to Lt. Johanson and Paramedic John Drake for saving the bridge jumper’s life.
Commissioner Nakajo thanked Chief Gonzales for his comprehensive report and appreciated his descriptions of greater alarms and the recognition of staff members responsible for leadership at the incidents.  He also commented that it was good to see that the ambulance response times are good and that SFFD ambulances capture 76 percent of the market.  He confirmed that in the Division of Fire Investigation, there is an average of two H-6 inspectors per day on 24 hour shifts, but on some days there are three, depending on how the tour works out.  Chief Gonzales stated that under the leadership of the new Captain and Fire Marshall, they do a phenomenal job of closing out the reports as over a year ago, there were over 400 open fire investigation reports.  Chief Gonzales described the ALS response times and the responsibilities of Department of Communications.  Commissioner Nakajo also stated he thought the recent academy graduation at Presentation High School was a wonderful event and commended the training staff for their hard work preparing the recruits and he congratulated Assistant Deputy Chief Rivera on his new position and he congratulated President Covington for her amazing work on the Film Festival.
Commissioner Hardeman appreciated the report that was given on the Bay rescue, and felt that members of the public that watch the meeting can hear what firefighters, paramedics and EMT’s have to deal with, and congratulated the members who saved the man’s life.  He touched on the high call volume and the difficulty getting around San Francisco with all the traffic and construction and was happy that response times are still improving.  He mentioned the recent academy graduation and commended the training staff under the leadership of Chief Columbini and he recognized the great relationship that exists between Chief Myers and his prior employees that graduated from that class.  He thanked Chief Castellanos for his detailed log and talked about the Phoenix Society dinner that he attended and thought it was a great event and was glad to see so much of the Command Staff there and the great camaraderie between the retired members and active members.  He also thanked President Covington for her hard work on the film festival and thought it was very educational.  He also mentioned that the academy graduations are the best part of being a commissioner.
Chief Hayes-White acknowledged Mr. Bernard Osher and his wife Barbara for the generous donation of two ambulances they recently took delivery of and the Department if very appreciative of their generosity.
President Covington thanked the Chief and mentioned that the Oshers’ as individuals and the Bernard Osher Foundation do a lot of good work, not just in San Francisco but across the country with their Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  She touched on how wonderful the graduation ceremony was and how proud Chief Columbini looked as the graduates got pinned.  She welcomed Chief Rivera to his new position.  She commented on the operations report and thought the narrative was very good.  She asked Chief Gonzales to elaborate on the exceptional job Firefighter David Lester did at the incident at 29-31 Hattie Street.  Chief Gonzales stated because Firefighter Lester was the first engine operator to arrive, he had a lot to figure out, and he stayed calm, made no mistakes and got the fire out.  She also suggested having Firefighter Lester attend a Commission Meeting to be acknowledged for his efforts.  President Covington inquired as to what steps the Department was taking to get the word out to the public about fire safety with the holidays coming up, with the likes of turkey fryers and Christmas tree hazards.  Chief Hayes-White stated that they will put out a press bulletin along with social media announcements and that a general order will be prepared to go out to all members, particularly the battalion chiefs that do inspections, related to what the expectation is for public assemblies and where there would be holiday decorations.  President Covington suggested putting the information on the website as well.  She thanked everyone for their good words regarding the film festival and said it went extremely well.
There was no public comment.
Discussion and review of the harassment prevention policy.
President Covington stated that due to a family emergency of HR Director, Jesusa Bushong, this agenda item will be continued to the next meeting on December 14, 2016.
Discussion regarding agenda for the December 14, 2016 regular meeting.
• Harassment Prevention
• H-23 update
• Strategic Plan update
There was no public comment.
Vice President moved to adjourn the meeting.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.  Motion was unanimous.
President Covington adjourned the meeting at 10:17 a.m.