SAFER Monthly Meeting Minutes - October 2016


SAFER Meeting Minutes

October 21, 2016

SAFER Board Attendees:   President Fortman, Weise, Seely, Quinn, Alvarado, Past President Duran, Vender liaison Sposato

Los Angeles Fire Department

 Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center   

0900 – 0945    Vender Display on drill deck           

0945    Meeting called to order –  B/C President Fortman (Batt 13)  welcomed SAFER and opened the meeting with an update on the LAFD department, led the flag salute and moment of silence to remember our fallen brothers and sisters in the fire, police and military. Thanks to LAFD for use of the facility and President Fortman for hospitality.

SAFER email :, twitter, facebook etc.

1000 – 1130    Presentation – Assistant Chief Corey Rose -“Firefighter Behavioral Health”

  • Program: Firefighter Behavioral Health

Assistant Chief Corey Rose – “Emergency Medical Services Bureau”

(Working on Masters in Organizational Psychology)

Chief Rose related his “near death experience” during an entrapment event at the “KING FIRE”- (Sept 17, 2014, Northern California near Lake Tahoe). He was assigned as ‘STRUCTURE PROTECTION BRANCH” on a management team. He produced a series of photographs of the fire progression towards his position and related what was going through his mind that contributed to his decisions.  The experience struck home with the Chief and became a motivating factor in his pursuit of firefighter stress and behavioral health to help. He related the incidents of suicides within the fire service community and the PTSD phenomenon.

Decision’s under stress:


  • Stay Calm

  • Think Clearly


There are times when quitting looks good, defeat inescapable and retreat the only option.

PowerPoint by AC Rose - “Can’t Take it Anymore? Keeping Firefighters Happy: An Inside Job


Little empirical data is available regarding FF/EMS suicides.

Family issues and work issues combined

Risk Factors:

  • Divorce

  • Trauma

  • Stress

  • Sudden Fame

  • Suicide

Suicide Motivation:

  • Loss/change in important relationship

  • Avoid or end perceived pain

  • Escape an intolerable situation


Indirect Suicide Indicators:

Buying a weapon

  • Indirect Verbal cues:

  • I cant do this anymore

  • Im tired of life

  • Etc.

Direct Verbal Cues:

  • I’m tired of life

  • I’m going to kill myself

  • Etc.

Resilience “ Psych & Behavioral Lingo

Resilience= ability to withstand negative pressure

Resilient people experience negative circumstances associated with poor psychological and social outcomes yet despite the odds, the end up healthy and productive:

  • Mentally ill or abusive parents

  • Deprived social or economic conditions

  • Major stressful events

Related to:

  1. Biology – temperament, emotions etc.

  2. Attachment

  3. Control

90% of the population lacks traits to be emergency responders.

 “Adrenaline Junkies”:

  • Control Oriented

  • Attentive to detail

  • Traditional

  • Strong Role Identity

  • Action Oriented

  • Risk Takers

  • Highly Dedicated

Emergency Services - Stressful?

Most Stressful Jobs: Firefighter is #1

  • FF’s will seek clergy over professional mental health by 40.9% over 7.4%

  • FFs tend to have positive views about the world despite continued exposure to traumatic events.

Stress in EMS Providers:

  • 1,600 EMT’s and Medics surveyed

  • 100% reported exposure to traumatic events

  • PTSD incidence lower than general population.

Immune to stress?

  • FFs are human

  • They are highly effective on the job

Relationship Stressors:

Work Schedules – cause you to miss important events, occasions

Loyalty – to members, agencies, associates

Divorce – Attorney data suggest FFs have high rate of divorce. Family, home relationship issues likely related to work.

NFPA 1500 – Chapter 11: Behavioral Health and Wellness Program.

The FS Org will develop ………………

Employee Assistance Programs

  • EAP

  • NFF: Behavioral Health Assistance Program (BHAP)

  • Regardless of what you call it, they must be familiar and be prepared to treat firefighters.


  • Began in 1800’s to deal with ETOH problems

  • Expanded in 1950’s to mental health

Behavioral Health:

  • AKA: Mental Health

  • As important as physical health and safety

  • Left untreated, leads to illness and death

  • Covers a wide range of issues:

  • Sleep problems

  • Anager management

  • Depression

  • PTSD

  • Substance abuse and addiction

RESILIENCE: The Bottom Line:

Problem focused coping increases resilience while emotion-focused coping impairs resiliency


Resilient people are:

  • Sociable

  • Optimistic

  • Flexible

  • Self-confident

  • Competent

  • Insightful

  • Etc.

You play the hand you’re dealt –

Promoting Resilience:


Social Support

Stress Prevention: FFs must have good stress management skills; most stress in emergency services is not from extraordinary events/incidents but from day to day activities and responsibilities.

Stress Prevention:

Ranking causes of burnout:

  1. 911 abusers

  2. Extensive shift lengths

  3. Sleep depravation

  4. Etc.

Tips for Stress management for firefighters:

  • Condition your body and mind

  • Listen to your inner voice

  • Never stop growing and learning

  • Be positive

  • Have a life outside the fire department

What do we do as leaders?

Maintain an environment of security, of support, create opportunities for success, maintain respect, reward, since of inclusion, allow others to have a since of identity, show benevolence.

Chief Rose discussed “Leadership” and the leadership program delivered at the training center and its availability to all agencies.

Define Leadership: “Influence and motivation of others even in the absence of the leader”. Based on the development of “Trust” between leader and those being led”.

Three Pillars of Leadership:

  1. Ability

  2. Integrity

  3. Benevolence

Servant Leader

Transitional Leader




*PowerPoint Presentation, Check Sheets and Test parameters available from presenters upon request.



  • Business Meeting:

Dues: Please pay annual dues per website fee schedule.

1130 -1200 Roundtable

  • Roundtable:

Dick Weise: Related recent NFPA Committee activity, expressed appreciation of the SAFER org.

Scott Quinn Capt II – LAFD : Heat / Ilness prevention program completed, completing Drill tower classes.

Ells Fortman BC  LAFD formed an equipment committee to contribute to future purchases

Alvarado Long Beach FD: Related appreciation of SAFER as imormation source.

Tony Duran  LACoFD (Retired) Now with Ammonia Institute, giving training nationally and in South America.

Treasures report: $

Reminds all to pay dues online to support the organization.

Jim Cleary: PlymoVent – Related the hazards of diesel exhaust.

Mike Slaggs – Related some info on the recent roll-over accident in Ventura County FD. Discussed his extraction cart system demonstrated below.

McGee - Torrance Fire – Discussed the problems with pathogens migration into the work place (change gear outside station, polished concrete floors instead of carpet.

ScottCalFire Riverside; Related he is the new Safety Officer for CalFire Riverside. Related the efforts they have undertaken on behalf of FF health and safety.

Joe Sposado – Vender LiasonAllStar Fire: Related the recent Fire Tech Reno event. NFPA Standard on SCBAs: A change to the “Sound” requirement will increase the volume of the alert feature. All new MUST comply, those already in service MAY update. Chicago is changing over to the ORCO spec PPE.

Jack Kolta -Pt Mago – Fed Fire Ventura County – San Nicolas Island, New Fire Chief, related the Island has no diesel fuel – uses JP 5 to fuel apparatus.

Jim Black –

B/C – Ventura County – Related the support VCoFD received during the LODD funeral for their firefighter killed in roll-over accident was exceptional.

Eric Higgins Laundry Extractors systems – Related his company supplies, installs and services extractors in support of NFPA 1851 requirements. 

Scott Periguin – Best Way Laundry – Looking to include bar-codes to interface with PPE to properly match wash cycles.

Lazaro Martinez Cascade Fire Equipment – Wildland PPE out of Medford Oregon will have booth at Firehouse world.

Bren Cohee – Christian Bros – Diesel Exhaust Installation Company Rep for Nederman.

Kirk Owen -  Veridian Fire Protective Gear - NFPA PPE committee, CalOSHA will be adapting NFPA 1851 as a recognized standard for SCAM.  

Luois Garcia Western States Fire Equipment –

Tracy Fire Equipment – Local company

Tom Martin – Atwood-Prior, Inc. – Manufactures representative for several companies.


  • LN Curtis Next meeting

  • Long Beach FD next meeting:       Long Beach Fire Headquarters

                                                      3205 N Lakewood Blvd

                                                      Long Beach, CA90808

                                                      “FD/LEO Command Operations” – Fire Chief Ed Hadfield

Rincon FD & Firetown Training Specialist

  • Please RSVP to John Price at MES for a lunch head count by 11/16/16                                                       



Meeting Attendees (Sign-ins)        21-Oct-16

First Name            Last Name                   Agency/Company                                Email Address

Tony          Duran            LACoFD, ret./ASTI                     

Scott          Bethurum        CAL FIRE/ Riverside County      

Shannon    Black               VCFD                                         

Paul           Alvarado          LBFD                                          

John           Cardenas         LAFD                                          

Chuck        Seely                Downey Fire (Retired)                          

Dick           Weise            LA County Fire                           

Tom           Martin             Atwood Prior factory representation

Tim            McAtee           Torrance Fire                          

Eric                        Higgins                        Bestway Laundry Solutions       

Scott          Peregoy           UnimacLaundry Systems         

Michael     Schlags                        COBRA Litters LLC                    

Louie         Garcia             Western States Fire Equipment

Ellsworth   Fortman          LAFD/SAFER President              

Kirk            Owen               Veridian Fire Protective Gear   

Jack           Koltaj               Fedderal fire Ventura County   

JIM                        CLEARY            PLYMOVENT                             

Joe             Sposato            Allstar Fire                                

Michael     Weisenberg     Ventura County Fire                  

Lazaro       Martinez         Cascade Fire Equipment Co.     

scott          quinn               LAFD                                          

tracy          rabe                 LineGear Fire & Rescue            

Bren          Cohee            Christian Brothers/Nederman  




Vender’s, Manufacture’s and Consultants represented at this meeting:


Michael Schlags – Cobra Rescue Litters


P.O. Box 1981

Buellton[CS1]  , CA 93427-1981

(805) 896-7993


Kirk H. Owen – Regional Sales Manager – Veridian Fire Protective Gear

(888) 922-9433

(712) 260-3547

(712) 262-5200 #217

3710 W Milwaukee St.

Spencer, Iowa   51301


Frank Uram- President-  Quala-Tel Communications

Tel (858) 577-2900

Fax (858) 693-4109

Toll Free (800) 442-1504

Cell (858) 945-1659

9925 Business Park Avenue- Suite A

San Diego, CA92131-1171



Louie Garcia – Western States Fire Equipment

(909) 510-4266

(213) 272-5680

13800 Valley Blvd.

Fontana, CA


Jim Evans – Solutions Safety


Lazaro Martinez – Cascade Fire Equipment Co.

(626) 255-0433 Cell


Tracy Rabe – LineGear Fire & Rescue Equipment

(800) 466-7574

23121 Antonio Parkway #125

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688


Tom Ramstead – LineGear Fire & Rescue Equipment

(800) 466-7574

23121 Antonio Parkway #125

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688


Jim Cleary – Plymovent

(800) 300-2945

(909) 720-7064

Air Exchange, Inc.

1494-B East Francis Street

Ontario, CA91761


Tom Martin – Atwood-Prior, Inc.

Manufacturers Agent

(937) 689-2222

2895 Valpak Rd. N.E.

Salem, OR97303

(800) 545-5678