Fire Commission - October 11, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
October 11, 2017 - 9:00am

PDF iconOctober 11, 2017 Final Minutes.pdf

Wednesday, October 11, 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
Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese Present
Chief of Department Joanne Hayes-White Present
Mark Gonzales Deputy Chief – Operations
Dan DeCossio Bureau of Fire Prevention
Tony Rivera Support Services
Shane Francisco Homeland Security
Andy Zanoff EMS
Jeff Columbini Division of Training
Kai Ali Airport Division
Assistant Chiefs
Ken Yee Division 2
Nicol Juratovac Division 3
Mark Corso Deputy Director of Finance
Olivia Scanlon Communications and Outreach
Dr. Clement Yeh Medical Director
Tom Fogle from Local 798 spoke about the members, active and retired, that have been affected by the North Bay fires and stated that they have teamed up with Local 1401 in Santa Rosa and set up an International Association of Firefighters relief fund for assistance to those affected.
3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES [Discussion and possible action]
Discussion and possible action to approve meeting minutes.
• Minutes from Regular Meeting on September 27, 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.
Report on current issues, activities and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting on September 27, 2017, including budget, academies, special events, communications and outreach to other government agencies and the public and introducing the 4 San Francisco Fire Department members that were finalists on the TV series “F Word”.
Chief Hayes-White reported on events since the last meeting on September 27, 2017.  She mentioned that the 2017/18 first quarter budget was completed and on track and moving forward with the initiatives related to funding equipment and fleet plans.  They anticipate the arrival of eight new fire engines in the coming weeks.  With regards to academies, she mentioned that the 123rd class is in their third week and acknowledged the excellent work the Division of Training does during the 20-week academy.  She added that they are looking at a March 2018 timeframe for the 124th academy class.  Chief Hayes-White gave an overview of the fast moving North Bay Fires and acknowledged all of the members that are currently in the North Bay and that they have canvassed all active duty members who have been affected by the fires.  She mentioned that they are aware of one active member that lost their home, along with a number of retired members and her thoughts go out to all those families.  She highlighted the strike teams, led by Chief Siragusa that were deployed, including the first time in the history of the SFFD, an ambulance strike team was deployed, in which Chief Zanoff weighed in and assisted with that deployment.
Chief Hayes-White touched on other activities and events since the last meeting, including a meeting with the new Chief Executive Officer and President of the Chamber of Commerce, Tallia Hart.  She mentioned that Chief Raemona Williams represented the Department in Sacramento at the California Firefighters Foundation Memorial for firefighters who died, including retired Firefighter Denise Elarms and Firefighter Jalal Aineb.  She touched on Fleet Week activities, the Italian Heritage Parade and the Irish, Israeli, Italian dinner where they honored Chief Anthony Rivera as Firefighter of the Year.  She concluded her report by asking the members who competed in the TV series “The F Word” cooking show, to come and speak about their experience on the show.  She mentioned that she was very proud of them.  Members Firefighter Sean Visser, Lieutenant OJ Leonardo and Firefighter Brian Jessen spoke about their experience on the show and the Commissioners thanked them and congratulated them for representing the Department and stated how proud they were of them.  It was mentioned that Firefighter Garret Lucier was not able to attend the Commission meeting but that they were appreciative of all four of the members.
Commissioner Veronese mentioned that in regards to the early warning system that it would be great to get a report on what sort of early warning systems are out there in case there were similar fires as the North Bay fires or an earthquake in San Francisco.  He wants to make sure that San Francisco is getting the right type of early warning.
Chief Hayes-White announced that a NERT drill is scheduled for the weekend at Everett Middle School at 9:00 a.m. and that in honor of Fire Prevention Week, where the theme is “every second counts, plan for two ways out,” the SFFD will be holding open houses at all Fire Stations and invited everyone to attend.
Commissioner Hardeman thanked Chief Hayes-White for her report and was happy to hear they went to capacity on helping out the North Bay. He mentioned what a wonderful event he attended on Monday on the USS Essex as part of Fleet Week and that the food was remarkable.
Commissioner Covington thanked Chief Hayes-White for her report and was happy to hear there are 54 members in the current academy class.  She received confirmation on the 58 members that were sent to the North Bay fire, and that typically, strike teams can be deployed for 14 days before they send up relief teams.  Chief Hayes-White confirmed that all crews are safe and healthy at the moment.  Commissioner Covington confirmed that all apparatus remaining in the City are sufficiently equipped with required accoutrements.
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 reported on events from the month of September, 2017.  He stated that during the month of September, they had two second alarms and a total of 10 working fires.  He described the first second alarm that occurred on September 22, 2017 at 125 Cambon Drive and that AC Juratovac was the incident commander and crews did a great job.  The other second alarm was also in a high-rise at 350 Arballo on September 29, 2017 and Chief Storti was Incident Commander.  Chief Gonzales gave a brief synopsis of what was occurring at the North Bay fires including the loss of 2,000 structures, 17 deceased people with 200 people still missing.  He also mentioned that San Francisco has an alert system, including the broadcast system they test every Tuesday at noon as well as cell phone alerts you can subscribe to by texting AlertSF to 888777.  He explained how they rotate strike team crews so they can get rest and the need for additional equipment such as SCBA’s and hose, although they are much better off than they were two years ago.
President Cleaveland asked if there was a way to use the Fire Reserves as backup personnel in the firehouses in order to relieve some of the firefighters sent out with the strike teams.  Chief Gonzales stated that historically the fire reserves are qualified to pick up hose to do outside operations but they do not respond to emergency incidents and from a liability standpoint, they can’t put them in harm’s way.
Commissioner Covington asked Chief Zanoff to explain the ambulance strike team that responded to the North Bay fires.  Chief Zanoff explained that he received a call from the DEM duty officer about 1:00 a.m. and they treated it like the suppression side does as an immediate need, which means they took people that were working that day and stocked three of the ambulances with as much supplies as they could and under the supervision of Caption Kevin Chocker they headed out within 2 hours of the call.  They were originally sent to Napa to meet with the AMR command post and were rerouted to Santa Rosa to assist with evacuations at Sutter Santa Rosa and dispersed the patients to various hospitals in Vacaville and Vallejo and arrived back in San Francisco later that day.  There was brief discussion on the ambulance bus and how they had it ready in less than an hour to head up north when they received word from Region saying that the resource was not needed anymore.  Commissioner Covington confirmed that the ambulance bus requires a bus driver employed by Muni to operate it and suggested it would be a good idea to explore the idea of training SFFD members to drive the ambulance bus, as it’s her recollection that the Department has hired as firefighters, several muni drivers.
Vice President Nakajo stated that his heart and prayers go out to all the residents and firefighters affected by the North Bay fires and he appreciates the updates and he stated that it is important to be part of mutual aid as well as have the responsibility to make sure that San Francisco is safe as well.  He touched on what an extraordinary weekend it was in the City, including Fleet Week activities, Hardly Strictly Blue Grass festival and the wonderful weather.
President Cleaveland stated he appreciates everything the command staff and Department is doing to respond to the North Bay fires, and to stay ever vigilant and that the Commisison will help to the extent that they possibly can while keeping in mind that we need to protect the citizens, residents, and visitors in San Francisco as well.
There was no public comment.
5, RESOLUTION 2017-04 [Discussion and possible action]
Discussion and possible action regarding proposed Resolution 2017-04, recommending that the Board of Supervisors authorize the San Francisco Fire Department to accept and expend Fiscal Year 2016 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program funding in the amount of $215,380 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for resources for the Fire Department’s Youth Firesetter Prevention & Intervention Program.
Mark Corso gave a brief overview of the resolution.  He stated that the project was approved for enhancements to the Department’s Youth Fire Setters Prevention and Intervention program, which is under the Bureau of fire Investigation’s responsibility.  The program addresses fire setting behaviors in youth, and they work closely with the schools.  He added that there is a general fund match for the program of approximately $11,000 which is absorbed by the Fire Department and the grant covers personnel costs for one additional position for a year, along with supplies for program materials.
Commissioner Covington was glad to hear that they had contractual help to assist with the grant application and she hopes they will cotinine to use contractual help, or at some point have a grant writer that is on staff.
Commissioner Covington Moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Resolution.  Commissioner Veronese Seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.  (5-0; Cleaveland, Nakajo, Hardeman, Covington, Veronese)
There was no public comment.
Report on Commission activities since last meeting of September 27, 2017.
President Cleaveland announced that the temporary storage facility at the Palace of Fine Arts for the antique apparatus has fallen through for a couple of reasons, one being they were going to request that we move the rigs out twice during the three month period and also because it was contingent on allowing the public to see the rigs and for liability purposes, the Department had to decline the kind offer that commissioner Veronese had put together with the Palace of Fine Arts.  Chief Hayes-White added that she knows it is an important issue, and that Commissioner Veronese personally has spent a lot of time on this issue, but she has some promising news and will be looking at some properties identified over at Treasure Island.
There was no public comment.
Discussion regarding agenda for the October 25, 2017 regular meeting.
• Presentation on Early Warning System Present/Future.
• Update on Pier 35
• Done update
• Update on Training Facility
There was no public comment.
Public comment on all matters pertaining to Item 9 below, including public comment on whether to hold Items 9 (b), (c) and (d) in closed session. 
President Cleaveland called for public comment.  No member of the public came forward and President Cleaveland closed public comment.  A short recess was taken to clear the room.
The Commission may hear Items 9(b), (c) and (d) regarding personnel matters in closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and Administrative Code Section 67.10(b).
Commissioner Veronese made a motion to conduct personnel matters in Closed Session.  Commissioner Hardeman seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.  (5-0; Cleaveland, Nakajo, Hardeman, Covington, Veronese)
The Commission went into closed session at 10:22 a.m.
b. EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE CASE NO. 2017-07. Commission to consider and possibly take action on proposed stipulated settlement agreement concerning member’s suspension appeal filed on June 27, 2017 appealing a 2-day suspension for the following alleged rule violations:
Section 3921- Inattention to Duty
Section 3939 – Loss of Damage of Tools and/or Equipment
CD2 Memo 00-05 – Locking of Ambulances
c. EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE CASE NO. 2017-02. Commission to consider and possibly take action on proposed stipulated settlement agreement concerning member’s suspension appeal filed on March 1, 2017 appealing a 4-day suspension for the following alleged rule violations:
Section 3909- False Reports
d. EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE CASE NO. 2017-05. Commission to consider and possibly take action on proposed stipulated settlement agreement concerning member’s suspension appeal filed on May 23, 2017 appealing a 2-day suspension for the following alleged rule violations:
Section 2901- Journal & Log Book
Section 3001 – Inspection, Maintenance, Service & Operation
Section 3948 - Congregating
10. REPORT ON ANY ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION [Discussion] as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b).
The Commission reconvened in open session at 11:47 a.m.
In each of the three matters above, the Commission voted by a unanimous vote to approve the settlement agreements offered.
11. 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]
Commissioner Covington Moved to not disclose discussions held in closed session.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.  (5-0; Cleaveland, Nakajo, Hardeman, Covington, Veronese)
Meeting adjourned at 11:48 a.m.