Fire Commission - September 28, 2016 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 28, 2016 - 5:00pm
Location: 

PDF iconSeptember 28, 2016, Final Meeting Minutes.pdf

FIRE COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – 5:00 p.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416, San Francisco, California, 94102
 
 
 
President Covington called the meeting to order at 5:01 PM.  
 
1. ROLL CALL
 
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
 
Jeff Myers EMS
Dan DeCossio Bureau of Fire Prevention
Jeff Columbini Division of Training
Ken Lombardi Staff Services
Shane Francisco Homeland Security
Rudy Castellanos Airport Division
 
Assistant Chiefs
Kevin Burke Division 2
Kirk Richardson Division 3
 
Staff
Mark Corso CFO
Olivia Scanlon Communication and Outreach Coordinator
 
2. PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Sylvia Johnson spoke on issues that are being planted on top of some buildings and various codes that run in historical books and scientific technology.
Evan Cambridge recommended that the agenda for each meeting be put on the website so that it might be more accessible for citizens.
 
4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES [Discussion and possible action]
Discussion and possible action to approve meeting minutes.
 
• Minutes from Regular Meeting on August 24, 2016
 
Vice President Cleaveland Moved to approve the August 24, 2016 regular meeting Minutes.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.  Motion to approve above Minutes was unanimous.
 
There was no public comment.
 
4. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT’S REPORT [Discussion]
REPORT FROM CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT
Report on current issues, activities and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting of September 14, 2016, including Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget, academies, 150th Anniversary update, Strategic Plan 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 September 14, 2016.  She mentioned that earlier in the month, the 15-16 fiscal year budget closed out which was completed on budget for expenditures and revenue.  She added that the accounting and finance staff is currently working with the controller’s officer on year end audits and funding initiatives in the 16-17 budget, including equipment and fleet allocation with the order of fire engines and cordless rescue tools, as well as filling some of the vacant prevention and civilian positions.  She touched on the Division of Training by stating the 120th academy class is in their 15th week and there are currently 52 members remaining.  They graduate on November 4, 2016.  With regards to the 121st academy class, she mentioned that it will be comprised of 54 recruits, 42 from the National Testing Network list and 12 from Station 49 and is scheduled to start on November 28, 2016.  She stated that on September 26th, they welcomed 52 H-8 paramedics.
 
She touched on the 150th celebration which included an upcoming meeting, the unveiling of the World Trade Center piece on 9/11 and the living history days that took place at Fisherman’s Wharf and was well attended, including a press conference that included President Covington and Vice President Cleaveland.  She added that fire departments from all over the state, including Escondido and San Diego came to the event with antique apparatus.  She commended Guardians of the City for their hard work, as well as retired Deputy Chief Richard Kochevar, retired Captain James Lee, Dave Eberle, Bill Koenig, Mindy Talmadge, Oliva Scanlon, Kelly Alves, and Firefighters Larry Yup and Mike Day.  She talked about Fire prevention week which is scheduled for the Week of October 9th and on the final day, there will be a NERT drill at Marina Middle School and an open house at all fire stations and on October 17, 2016 at 10:30 there will be the official commissioning of the new fireboat and unveiling of the fireboat name.  She described the naming committee which was comprised of herself, President Francee Covington, James Lee, Charlotte Schultz and four members that work at Station 35.  There were 330 names submitted by school children and the committee narrowed it down to about 10 and finally arrived at the name, which will be unveiled on October 17th.   She announced the free film festival event scheduled for November 5th and 6th 2016 at the San Francisco Main Library.  She stated that she is working with Local 798, specifically Executive Board member Adam Wood on getting sponsorship funding for the showing of their documentary on the Gartland fire that took place years ago.  She announced that the final birthday celebration will be held on December 3rd and she plans on having something special for all members that are working that day and for those that are not, a celebratory event at the San Francisco Zoo.
 
Chief Hayes-White touched on the status of the Strategic Plan and thanked Commissioner Hardman and Vice President Cleaveland for attending the recent committee meetings.  The committee reviewed the latest draft and has submitted additional feedback to be incorporated into the draft document and she hopes to have something to present at the October 26, 2016 or November 9th Fire Commission meeting.
 
Chief Hayes-White talked about recent events and activities that she attended which included the monthly labor management meeting with Local 798, and a meeting with United Fire Service Women, the Department of Emergency Management disaster council meeting.  She concluded by announcing the upcoming exhibit entitled the Art of Fire, Fighting the Beast at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center.  She mentioned that it is a free exhibit and she encouraged everyone to attend.
 
Public Comment:  Sylvia Johnson spoke about many different subjects and experiences she has had.
 
REPORT FROM ADMINISTRATION
Report on the Administrative Divisions, Fleet and Facility status, Finance, Support Services, Homeland Security and Training within the Department.
 
Chief Williams’ report covered the month of September 2016.  She announced that the assignment office recently completed the vacancy survey for members in the field and that report should be distributed the first week of October.  In regards to Homeland Security, she mentioned that Chief Francisco continues to attend various meetings and training exercises and continues to disseminate situational awareness information regarding various tactics, and apprises the command staff and units in the field of potential or real terrorist activity.  He is also planning for the Fleet Week activities.  Chief Williams also reported that the Physician’s Office had 28 work-related injuries for the month of August, construction at Pump Station 1, which is located at fire headquarters is moving along, ESER projects are continuing to move forward and on track and that Station 5 construction has been pushed back to March of 2017 due to renegotiating the contract between the general manager, general contractor, and the subcontractor.  She mentioned that under Fleet Management, all bids have been awarded, and apparatus are on order or have been delivered.  She announced that active shooter training will resume on October 10, 2016 and so far 475 members of the Department have been trained.
 
Vice President Cleaveland thanked the Chief for her report and commended all involved, including Guardians of the City, Rich Kochevar, James Lee, the Port Authority, Elaine Forbes and PG&E and AMR for the wonderful event held at the Wharf in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Fire Department.  Vice President Cleaveland also acknowledged how pleased he is that the Mayor and the budget folks have given the department additional funding for equipment needs and he suggested that when the Chief of the Department meets with other city department heads, a conversation should be had about modernizing citywide fleet needs.  There was brief discussion on work related injuries, investigation into those injuries and preventive measures to avoid them in the future.
 
Commissioner Nakajo asked for clarification on how many H-8’s have been hired.  Chief Hayes-White stated currently they have about 50 and there goal is to get about 100.  She added that they are represented by Local 798 and that the classification itself allows for flexibility to hire EMT’s down the road, but currently they have chosen to hire all paramedics and they are able to utilize their advance life support skills versus basic life support.  Commissioner Nakajo asked how the new fireboat will be rotated within the current fleet.  Chief Hayes-White stated the goal is to always have two boats in the water, which allows one to be dry-docked and there will be a priority order depending on the dry dock schedule.  She added that they always have crew working for one boat and in the event they needed to launch a second boat, they would call in an additional crew.  Once a fireboat gets called for service, Engine 35 goes out of service, as those members will now be on the fireboat.  Commissioner also acknowledged the great event at the Wharf for the 150th Anniversary and thanked all of the volunteers.
 
Commissioner Hardeman mentioned that it is his opinion that the Strategic Plan comes down to wordsmithing, where everybody’s interpretation of words might be different but he thinks it’s very good and everybody did a good job on it.  With regards to the 150th Anniversary event at the Wharf, he stated that he liked seeing the horse drawn engines and historic equipment as well as seeing the Command Staff there along with President Covington who was chairing the committee for the Commission.
 
President Covington mentioned that she thought the Living History Days over the weekend were fabulous and mentioned how enthusiastic Chief Francisco was, as he thought this would be the last time we would ever see three steam engines together in one place again.  She also thanked all the volunteers. She added that many people are proud of the history of the fire service in general, and particularly in California and having that brotherhood and sisterhood is very warming to the heart.  Chief Hayes-White explained that the Grand Marshal for the event was retired battalion chief, Al Waight, who was thought to be the oldest living member of the Department, and served the Department from 1954 to 1983, and the idea was to pair him with the youngest member of the department, who was hired in January of this year, 21 year old Amanda Conroy.  President Covington thought that was a very good choice.  President Covington also mentioned that thousands of people came and enjoyed the day.  President Covington suggested that when the Strategic Plan is provided to the Commission, that each commissioner give candid feedback and if there is anything they feel is amiss or absent, to please bring it up when it goes into public discussion.
 
5. DISCUSSION ON CIVIL GRAND JURY REPORT [Discussion]
Discussion pertaining to the Fire Commissions Submitted Response to the Civil Grand Jury Report “Fire Safety Inspections in San Francisco: A Tale of Two Departments: Department of Building Inspection & San Francisco Fire Department.
 
Vice President Cleaveland stated that he was ready to adopt the response and officially present it.  President Covington stated that she was responsible for getting the response to the Grand Jury by the dead line, which has passed, and for transparency purposes she wanted to make sure that the commission secretary read into the official record.  Commission Nakajo concurred.  He added that the spirit is to work collaboratively with DBI and would like advice from the Chief’s office and the Fire Marshal as to the best way to create another task force.  Commission Secretary Conefrey read the recommendations, findings and responses from the Fire Commission into the record.  It is attached:  http://sf-fire.org/sites/default/files/COMMISSION/Fire%20Commission%20Su...
 
President Covington thanked Fire Marshal DeCossio for providing the framework for the response.
 
Public Comment:  Sylvia Johnson spoke during public comment.
 
6. RESOLUTION 2016-08 [Discussion and possible action]
Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution 2016-08, recommending that the Board of Supervisors authorize the San Francisco Fire Department to accept and expend a SAFER grant from FEMA in the amount of $8,533,872 for the hiring of thirty-six new firefighters.
 
Mark Corso gave an overview of the resolution which is attached http://sf-fire.org/sites/default/files/COMMISSION/Documents/FC%20Resolut...
 
Vice President Cleaveland moved to approve Resolution 2016-08.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.  The motion was unanimous.
 
There was no public comment.
 
7. RESOLUTION 2016-09 [Discussion and possible action]
Discussion and possible action regarding proposed Resolution 2016-09, recommending that the Board of Supervisors authorize the San Francisco Fire Department to accept and expend Port Security Grant Program funding in the amount of $60,524 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase a rapid deployment dock system.
 
Mark Corso gave an overview of the resolution which is attached:  http://sf-fire.org/sites/default/files/COMMISSION/Documents/FC%20Resolut...
 
Vice President Cleaveland moved to approve Resolution 2016-09.  Commissioner Nakajo Seconded.  The motion was unanimous.
 
Sylvia Johnson provided public comment.
 
8. AMENDMENTS TO THE 2016 CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE [Discussion and possible action]
Discussion and possible action to approve recommended amendments to the 2016 California Fire Code and recommending the Board of Supervisors approve amendments to the 2016 California Fire Code.
 
Fire Marshal DeCossio explained the attached recommended amendment to the 2016 California Fire Code:  http://sf-fire.org/sites/default/files/COMMISSION/Fire%20Commission%20Su...
 
Chief DeCossio explained that come January 1st of 2017, the Department will be repealing the 2013 San Francisco Fire Code and replacing it with the 2016 San Francisco Fire Code.  The majority of the code carries over to the latest version, however, there are some changes.  The code itself is based on the model code, which is the International Fire Code and the Building Standards Commission in Sacramento adopts and publishes it with California amendments in July.  It becomes the California Fire Code and as the local jurisdiction, the Department has 180 days to submit amendments from the Chief through the Commission and then to the Board of Supervisors for approval and then onto Sacramento.  He proceeded with a brief summary of the changes outlined in the above attachment.
 
Commissioner Nakajo confirmed that the adoption period is three years 
 
Public Comment:  Sylvia Johnson spoke during public comment.
 
Vice President Cleaveland moved to adopt the 2016 California Fire Code.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.  The motion was unanimous.
 
9. UPDATE ON THE RESTORATION OF BATTALION 5 (Discussion)
Discussion on developments pertaining to restoring Battalion 5 to the field.
 
Deputy Chief Mark Gonzales gave an overview on the restoration of Battalion 5.  He mentioned that Battalion 5 was deactivated on May 25th, 2014 due to budget cuts and is now scheduled for reactivation at Station 21 sometime in the middle of January 2017.  He added that the Battalion 5 response area covers the Western Addition, Cole Valley, Hayes Valley and part of the Inner Sunset.  He went on to describe the duties of Battalion Chiefs.  He thanked President Covington for her work advocating with the Board of Supervisors, as well as the Chief of the Department, Olivia Scanlon and Local 798.  President Covington asked him to elaborate on why it so important to restore Battalion 5.  Chief Gonzales acknowledged the challenges facing the city, including population growth, traffic, density and increase in call volume, Battalion Chiefs really lay the foundation at an incident until the assistant chief get there.
 
Vice President Cleaveland mentioned how important it was to get Battalion Chief 5 reactivated and he publicly thanked the Mayor and Board of Supervisors for authorizing it.
 
Commissioner Nakajo echoed the thanks and praise given to all who worked on getting Battalion 5 restored
 
Commissioner Hardeman mentioned it was wonderful news to reactivate Battalion 5.
 
President Covington also thanked and appreciated the efforts of everyone involved.
 
Public Comment:  Sylvia Johnson spoke during public comment.
 
10. STATION 35/PIER 26 UPDATE ON PLANS, CONSTRUCTION AND PROGRESS [Discussion]
Update on Station 35/Pier 26. 
 
Chief Lombardi announced that the Station 35/Pier 25 project has been a joint effort with other city agencies, including the Port and Department of Public Works and he introduced the project manager, Ms. Gabriella Judd Cirelli.  He reminded folks that discussions about getting a new Fire Station 35 have been going on since before 2010, and an ESER Bond in 2014 which was approved by 79 percent of the voters, has allowed this project to come to fruition.  He went on and explained the attached presentation:  http://sf-fire.org/sites/default/files/COMMISSION/Fire%20Commission%20Su...
 
Chief Lombardi explained that the current fire house is grossly undersized and currently is staffed with seven full time members on a 24/7 basis, with only 6,100 square feet. and plans for the proposed new facility will be approximately 16,800 square feet and will be able to accommodate three fireboats, watercraft, rescue craft,  jet skis and if needed, a dive boat.  He went on to describe the floating steel pier, which would accommodate the predicted sea level rise.  He talked about the approval process for the project and the time lines for the phases of construction.  President Covington invited Ms. Cirelli up to add to the conversation.  Ms. Cirelli thanked the Commission for having her and stated she was here to support Chief Lombardi and answer whatever questions they might have in the full technical detail.
 
Vice President Cleaveland thanked Chief Lombardi and his entire team for putting a very impressive plan together.  He asked what the cost difference was between putting a fixed structure versus a floating structure.  Chief Lombardi answered that a fixed pier was estimated at 6.4 million dollars and a steel floating pier was 6.3 million.  Vice President Cleaveland also asked how much movement would be expected on a floating pier.  Ms. Cirelli stated that with the design of guide piles and marine engineers’ feasibility study for the comfort criteria for a floating barge to absorb the motion, they expect it to be not very different from being in a conventional land structure.  She added that if need be, the pier could be floated away, the Fire Department considers the floating station to actually be part of the firefighting assets and equipment.  Chief Lombardi stated that members of Station 35 have been involved in the project and invited the Union Executive Board to attend the meeting with the Port and DPW where they presented this PowerPoint.  Vice President Cleaveland concluded by stating he is very excited about getting Pier 26 built and getting floating Station 35 built.
 
Commissioner Nakajo thanked Chief Lombardi and Ms. Cirelli.  He asked where members of Station 35 will go during construction of Pier 26.  Chief Lombardi stated they would stay at Station 35 during the construction and would access the fireboats from Pier 26.  They are in negotiations with the Port, working on an MOU since the Department is putting money into it, so that the Department would maintain one slip at Pier 26 to store excess equipment and maybe one of the fireboats after the proposed new Station 35 is built.
 
Commissioner Hardeman stated Chief Lombardi’s graphics were great and mentioned that because of the age of the other two fireboats, the Department should think about getting another.
 
President Covington commented that she thought it was an excellent presentation and she can’t wait to see the finished project.  She asked Ms. Cirelli if a portion of the project would be built off site.  Ms. Cirelli confirmed that part of the construction would be built off site.  Ms. Cirelli stated that Public Works will continue to interact with the Sa Francisco Fire Commission in an advisory capacity and according to the administrative code, there is no contract action that the Fire Commission needs to approve the plans, the approvals are basically coming from the regulatory agencies that need to bless the project to allow it to move forward.   Ms. Cirelli added that the San Francisco voters have spoken and approved the bond funding.  
 
Public Comment:  Sylvia Johnson spoke on various subjects.
 
11. AGENDA FOR NEXT FIRE COMMISSION MEETING [Discussion]
Discussion regarding agenda for the October 12, 2016 regular meeting.
 
• Status of the H-23 classification
 
Public Comment:  Sylvia Johnson spoke about various subjects.
 
12. ADJOURNMENT
 
Vice President Cleaveland Moved to adjourn the meeting.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.
 
President Covington adjourned the meeting at 7:46 p.m.