Safer Monthly Meeting - June 2015

SAFER Meeting Minutes

June 19, 2015

SAFER Board Attendees:  President Fortman, VP Weise, Immediate Past President Duran, Seely, Sposato, Lloyd ,Hudson, Quinn, Past President Dolan  

Los Angeles City Fire Department

Hotchkins Training Center

0945    Meeting called to order – President Ells Fortman

Thanks to UniMac – Bestway Laundry Solutions (snacks and lunch) for hospitality

SAFER email :, twitter, facebook etc.

President Fortman opened the meeting by introducing Deputy Chief Joe Castro who welcomed SAFER to LAFD and lead the flag salute and moment of silence. Chief Castro related his experiences that “drove home” the importance of effective PPE in modern firefighting. He related a fire in the Hollywood Hills that led to a roof team member falling through a roof into a fully involved attic. The member was wearing “newer” turnouts as a rookie firefighter that provided fairly good PPE that is well maintained and properly donned.   


                        Deputy Chief Castro – Operations Bureau – Los Angeles Fire Department

“Notable Large Incidents”:

1)      Condos under construction (Approx 1 Million Sq. Ft.) exposing several high rise exposures. Incident management strategies was discussed including the “after-on” efforts to provide assistance to tenants of adjacent buildings.


2)      Venice Fire (a storage facility) – An example of a fire that had an extended “burn time” that may need a change in tactics over time. Related the tendency to throw additional resources into the incident when “initial incident tactics” aren’t meeting production / progress expectations. He attributed this observation to Chief Alan Brunacini (Phoenix Fire Dept. – Retired) who relates the importance of periodic evaluation of current tactics as incidents evolve and to initiate timely strategic / tactical adjustments.



3)      Chatsworth Train Accident – Metrolink vs. Freight Train – The concept of resource allocation on major incidents and the need to address critical elements of the incident while maintaining a reasonable risk level. Chief Castro related the unique rescue methods required to locate and extricate victims from this major entrapment incident.


4)      Port of Los Angeles Wharf Fire 9/22/14 – Contrasted “our” Incident Objectives vs. the objectives of a large entity like the port or the airport. Related the impact of “closing the port” or “shutting down the airport” has on the important operation of the theses unique locations. Explained the importance of “continuity of operation” in these critical infrastructures / manufacturing occupancies. Documentary photos and video of the firefighting operation were displayed and explained by Chief Castro.  The lengthy firefight and the nature of the burning wharf material (creosote impregnated wood structural materials) exposed the crews to extreme smoke / toxic by-products. Related the role of the Incident Safety Officer on this and other incidents was suggested by Chief Castro as being an evolving part of Incident Management, adding there needs to be broader acceptance of difficult  safety restrictions in incidents were “risks” are non-life-safety objectives.



Discussed the concept of “Quantitative Decomposition” during fire scenarios and the over-haul process - specifically the risk to fire crews that are involved in this work. 


Chief Castro thanked the SAFER group for the commitment to Firefighter Safety over the years and into the future. 


Business Meeting:


OSHA Update: Scott Hudson discussed changes in OSHA regulations and oversight. Fatalities are on the rise in California since 2009. Heat illnesses are being scrutinized in the fire service. He recommended that “your” Heat Illness written policy should be on your fire apparatus. Discussion continued regarding: Oil refinery Bill is in the works and OSHA is increasing inspections. Future proposals are for Battery storage, charging and handling; crane operation standard, firefighter glove has been finalized, the Standards Board seats are nearly all vacant positions and that reduction in the fine schedule for compliance is being rewritten.


NFPA update: Dick Weise began discussing NFPA 1977 regarding wildland helmets, destructive testing and vented helmets, fire shelter industry variances in materials, designs and weight. (18-19 options available). Discussed the  SCAM document for wildland PPE and the pro’s and con’s (single layering). Discussion continued regarding Ethanol additive in fuel and 2 cycle engines, NFPA 1971/1851, Firefighting hoods and new considerations to design, USAF Risk Assessment regarding structural and proximity PPE’s, sizing standard for 2 and 3 dimensional gloves. Cleaning/Contaminates. Biological and Chemical with regards to disinfection/cleaning. Update on Fire Protection Research Foundation (funding, and PPE Cleaning)

DRD. Drag Rescue Device Survey report for Public Input. Chemical List, revision/update list regarding addition/deletion.hydraulic Fluids response to moisture barriers. Survey produce well over 1700 responses and mobile ISP’s Carbon Monoxide Study for firefighters for low level, long term effects and high levels in short term.  UCLA and St Joseph Hospital to study effects regarding respiratory, cardiac, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis related on exposure.


Apparatus update: Tim McIntyre discussed: KME now has FDNY contract. Prices are rising on their apparatus. Costing LACoFD an additional $80k per type I pumper. Expect higher prices from them. LACoFD current bid for 12 pumpers is going back out.  Pierce may be an option. Pierce has a new aerial out. 107' aerial ladder that is 750b lighter than their previous 105'. Brush season is upon us. Get your type III's ready. LACoFD has currently 2 of our 5 in the shops, so were unable to respond to San Bernadino this past week. LACoFD will be having our OES type III class at Del Valle TC again soon. Contact me if you have anyone interested in attending.  If you receive OES rigs, be aware of their rules for use & training.


Vendor update: Joe Sposato discussed the recent FDIC show and that it is a must attend event and that it would be good to have a greater west coast presence. Drones are going to be part of our emergency operations potentially by both agency and public use. The purchase and production of fire apparatus declined starting in 2009 and is starting trend up again, hesitancy to commit by manufactures exists.


Technology: Jan Stenc discussed that the website ( is up and running with content to come with connection to Facebook and e-mail addresses are coming


 Treasures Report: Steven Lloyd presented the treasures report. “have some need more” request for dues will soon go out. Approximately $2400 in reserves.


Open Forum and Round Table:


LACoFD Tony Duran discussed recent HazMat training and a new quick reference chart modeled after the periodic table.

LACoFD Tim McIntyre discussed: LACoFD will hopefully have a recruit class starting in September 2015.  Last Saturday we had 100 candidates arrive at the HQTC for uniform & turnout fitting.  Vendors were selected by Human Resources and it was not put out to bid.  Boot vendor failed to show. LACoFD Training Services Section will soon be designing 5 new "Training Engines/Pumpers" that will be used for training only.  They will not be outfitted to ever go into service in the field.


LAFD Scott Quinn provided and update regarding Cal/OSHA process for LAFD case, drill tower status.


All venders provided current matters regarding their product lines and services.

Meeting Adjourned , next meeting July 17th, 2015 at AllStar Fire Equipment.