Fire Commission - September 27, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 27, 2017 - 5:00pm

PDF iconSeptember 27, 2017 final meeting Minutes.pdf


Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 5:00 p.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 400, San Francisco, California, 94102
President Cleaveland called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.  
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
Raemona Williams Deputy Chief – Administration
Dan De Cossio 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
Robert Postel Division 2
Nicol Juratovac Division 3
Mark Corso Deputy Director of Finance
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 September 13, 2017.
Commissioner Covington Moved to approve the meeting Minutes as amended.  Commissioner Hardeman Seconded.  Motion to approve above Minutes as amended was unanimous.
There was no public comment.
Presentation by Firefighter DeWayne Eckerdt, member of SFFISE (San Francisco Firefighters in Safety Education), in conjunction with the SFFD and the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF), a program providing important safety information to school children in San Francisco.
Chief Hayes-White introduced Firefighter DeWayne Eckerdt.  Firefighter Eckerdt introduced Ann Hildebrand, Regional Manager of Northern California for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and Firefighter Christian Ozo, lead intern.  He went on to provide a general update on the San Francisco Firefighters in Safety Education program attached here:
He mentioned that the program is a collaboration between the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and the San Francisco Fire Department that delivers fire safety burn prevention education for children since 2001.  Ms. Hildebrand added that in 1971, the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation was founded and they are a nonprofit organization serving burn survivors and working in prevention education.  She explained that the program started when eight-year-old Alisa Ann Ruch was fatally injured in a backyard barbecue accident and her family used this tragedy as a catalyst for change and a huge part of their mission is reducing burn injuries through prevention education.  Their vision for the future of the program is a safer California and the continued partnership with the San Francisco Fire Department educating the children of San Francisco.  Firefighter Eckerdt explained in detail how the program works.  Mr. Ozo discussed the data they have collected since 2008 and added that they have instructed over 84,000 students with over 652 presentations on fire safety education.
Vice President Nakajo excused himself at 5:21 p.m. as he was not feeling well.
President Cleaveland thanked them for their educational and important presentation.  He also thanked the volunteers who spend many countless hours instructing youth across the city.
Chief Hayes-White echoed President Cleaveland’s thoughts and thanked the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and their volunteers and acknowledged the phenomenal job they have done.  She presented them all with certificates of recognition and acknowledged each of them; DeWayne who has educated 3,838 children over the past year; Hashim Anderson, 489 children; Nicole Kabod, 2,329 children; Jonathan Honda, 811 children; Aram Maravillas, 192 children; Lorge Quant, 210 children; Patrick Reyes, 3,149 children; Lieutenant Patricia Lui, 779 children; and Lt. Mary Shea, 111 children.
Commissioner Veronese stated that he thought it was a great program because, for years to come, the kids will remember the interaction with the firefighters as a positive interaction and something they will continue to talk about.
Commissioner Covington thanked them for their presentation and all the great and inspiring work they are doing.  She asked what their current operating budget was and Ms. Hildebrand explained that because she was new to the program, she did not know that information but would find out and provide it to Commissioner Covington.  Commissioner Covington confirmed that their funding source comes from fundraising efforts as well as a FEMA Grant and that they raised $80,000.00 at the recent burn relay race.
Commissioner Hardeman thanked them for their presentation and stated it’s a great program and the Fire Commission is in support of the work they do.  Mr. Eckerdt thanked the Commission for their continued support and mentioned that the Commission was instrumental in allowing the San Francisco Unified School District mandate the program last year.
There was no public comment.
Report on current issues, activities and events within the Department since the Fire Commission meeting of September 13, 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 September 13, 2017.  She acknowledged Assistant Deputy Chief Khai Ali, who replaced Assistant Deputy Chief Rudy Castellanos at the Airport.  Chief Ali stated that she was truly humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to serve as the Assistant Deputy Chief at the Airport and that she has been a member of the SFFD for about 28 years.
Chief Hayes-White touched on the budget, stating that they are in the 2017-2018 budget year and they are moving forward with initiatives including the fleet and equipment purchasing plan.  With the regards to academies, she announced that the 122nd academy grudged on September 8, 2017, and the 123rd academy class started on September 25, 2017.
Chief Hayes-White attended the tributes to Battalion Chief Terry Smerdel who passed away very unexpectedly on September 10, 2017 at Station 2.  She also attended a leadership symposium put on by the San Francisco Veteran’s Association, the memorial service for retired City treasurer Mary Callanan, she presented before the Government, Audits, and Oversight Committee related to the heat wave statistics from Labor Day Weekend along with Deputy Director Mark Corso and Assistant Deputy Chief Andy Zanoff who did a great job in preparing her for the meeting.  She mentioned that one thing they would like to see as a department is the ability for the receiving hospitals to have a mechanism by which, when there’s a surge, be able to release the crews a little sooner than they did on Labor Day Weekend.  She acknowledged the phenomenal work done by the members and partners during the spike in calls over the Labor Day weekend.  Chief Hayes-White attended the celebration honoring the 30-year anniversary of United Fire Service Women, along with President Cleaveland and Commissioner Covington, she attended an excellent training session that was organized by Fire Marshal DeCossio entitled The Bureau of Fire Investigation Court Testimony to assist with training the members in the court of law when they’re testifying and how exact they need to be when they’re doing their investigations.  She also attended the Mayor’s Department Head meeting regarding housing and the acceleration process of making sure they stay on track in terms of meeting goals and deadlines related to the permitting process; and she attended the event at Glide Memorial where she was introduced to the new CEO, Karen Hanrahan.
Commissioner Veronese asked in regards to emergency preparedness if the Department has an early warning system.  Chief Hayes-White answered that she believes the DEM, through a grant, has contracted for the early warning software and their goal would be to get it in every fire station where all the apparatus doors would come up in case of a power failure during an earthquake.  Commissioner Veronese suggested that if there is some sort of warning system for tsunamis it would be nice to give members of the public a refresher update.
Commissioner Hardeman thanked Chief Hayes-White for her report and welcomed Chief Ali and stated that he took a tour of Station 3 at the airport when they had their grand opening and it’s a wonderful place to visit.  He mentioned what a sweet lady former City Treasurer Mary Callanan was and he also attended her service.
Commissioner Covington welcomed Chief Khai Ali and mentioned that she is very proud of the work that everyone is doing at the airport.  With regards to the quick release of ambulances at receiving hospitals, Commissioner Covington asked what the Chief had in mind.  Chief Hayes-White responded that since the issue has been raised, there has been a consortium of a group called the Hospital Council, represented by each of the nine receiving hospitals in the city and they plan on presenting it to them for discussion.  Commissioner Covington agreed with Commissioner Veronese about getting more information out to the public regarding earthquake safety, heat advisories and steps to take to stay safe and healthy.  Chief Hayes-White responded that they are working in conjunction with Department of Public Heath, the lead agency for pushing heat-related messages.  With regards to the women in the fire department anniversary event, Commissioner Covington stated that Senator Feinstein regaled the participants with stories of going to three different fires and learning so much about what it is that firefighters do and she was very proud of the fact that she was wholeheartedly behind the effort to get women in to the Department.
President Cleaveland mentioned that he thinks they are all concerned about the wait time at hospitals and would like someone from the Fire Commission to attend the meeting with the Hospital Council to assist in that effort.  Chief Francisco spoke about what the Department will be doing during Fleet Week as well as an update on the early warning system, which is called Shake Alert.
There was no public comment.
Report on the Administrative Divisions, Fleet and Facility status, Finance, Support Services, Homeland Security and Training within the Department.
Chief Williams’ report covered activities from August 24, 2017 to September 27, 2017.  She mentioned how busy the Assignment Office has been, as they completed first assignments for the newly graduated probationary firefighters from the 122nd academy class, and they worked diligently on scheduling and planning during the memorial services for Firefighter Perry Choy’s funeral mass, as well as Battalion Chief Terry Smerdel’s funeral.  They have worked with the assistance of mutual aid to ensure staffing stayed at the highest levels so they were able to respond accordingly.  She touched on Homeland Security, the Physician’s Office, Support Services; and Division of Training.
Commissioner Covington thanked Chief Columbini for the wonder graduation and how exciting it was to see the newly graduated probies demonstrating their skills during the drill.
Commissioner Hardman thanked Chief Columbini again for the great sound system at the graduation and how wonderful it was to have it outside, and everything was just perfect.
There was no public comment.
Report on Commission activities since last meeting of September 13, 2017.
Commissioner Hardeman attended the service for Battalion Chief Smerdel and mentioned what an incredible sendoff he was given.  He acknowledged the other communities who volunteered to cover the City so San Francisco Firefighters could attend the funeral.  He commended the Fire Reserves for the great job they did as well as Chief Burke. Commissioner Veronese also stated it was quite a tribute to Chief Smerdel and acknowledged the other agencies that came and covered the City and asked that the Commission acknowledge them in some sort of way.  Chief Hayes-White responded that they received an outpouring of condolences on the death of Chief Smerdel and she plans on responding to them all and will add signature lines for the commissioners to sign if they so wish and she will acknowledge the agencies that covered the city for that day as well.
Commissioner Veronese announced that the Director of Rec and Park, as well as Commissioner Kat Anderson, stepped in to help store the antique apparatus temporarily at the Palace of Fine Arts.  He also mentioned that he was unaware of how many firefighters actually cared about this issue as he had a lot of people stop him on the street and thank him for trying to do something about it.  He said they still need to find a permanent home for the antique apparatus.
Discussion regarding agenda for the October 11, 2017 regular meeting.
• Home for antique apparatus
• Update on drone policy
The Commission may hear Item 8(b) regarding labor negotiations in closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 and Administrative Code Section 67.10(e). 
Commissioner Covington made a motion to conduct labor negotiations in Closed Session.  Commissioner Veronese seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.  (4-0; Cleaveland, Hardeman, Covington, Veronese)
The Commission went into closed session at 6:30 p.m.
b. CONFERENCE WITH NEGOTIATOR - LABOR NEGOTIATION [Discussion and possible action]
City Negotiator: Carol Isen, Employee Relations Director 
Employee Organization: San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 
Anticipated Issues Under Negotiation: Procedures for implementing administrative appeals in Fire disciplinary proceedings 
9. REPORT ON ANY ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b). [Discussion] 
10. 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.  Hardeman Seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.  (4-0; Cleaveland, Hardeman, Covington, Veronese)
The commission reconvened in open session at 7:48 p.m.
President Cleaveland adjourned the meeting in the memory of Mary Callanan at 7:50 p.m.