SAFER Monthly Meeting Minutes - October 20, 2017 - San Diego Fire & Rescue


SAFER Meeting Minutes

October 20, 2017

SAFER Board Attendees:    President Gurrola , VP Quinn,  Wilkerson,  Seely

San Diego Fire & Rescue Training Center

0945    Meeting called to order – President Gurrola welcomed SAFER and opened the meeting, Thanks to San Diego Fire – Rescue Department for use of the facility, to AllStar Fire Equipment for the morning hospitality and Scott of FIRE ETC for lunch.  

Chief Gurrola Introduced Assistant Chief Weber who welcomed SAFER and related his appreciation for the group.

Committee Reports:

NFPA – Dick Weise absent today, Kirk and Jim added the 1851 Standard is in final phase of rewrite – “Public Comment period” till Oct 15th, committee to meet in LA to consider the comments before finalizing the standard.

Question: status of CalOSHA accepting the 1851 Standard as “California Law”. It was stated that it is still under consideration by CalOSHA.

Workplace violence reporting standard being worked on by LAFD et al. 

Apparatus – Pres Gurrola discussed the values of sharing information between various departments nationwide after issues being

Safety and Training:

Program: “Firefighter Behavioral Health and Suicide Awareness / Prevention”

Presenter: Jeff Dill, founder of the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA)

 via teleconference from Firehouse Expo.

MS Degree, Retired Fire Captain Cell (847) 209-8208

On site facilitator/program coordinator: David Picone – Battalion Chief – Health and Safety Officer

San Diego Fire – Rescue Department

1010 Second Avenue, Suite 400 MS 604

dpicone@sandiego-gov, (619) 533-4466

SD Fire –Rescue began its Health and Safety Officer Position about three years ago. EMS Division now focused on citizens being served, the Health and Safety program is aimed at the fire service personnel. There is staff assigned for Cancer Awareness / Prevention and Behavioral Health. (760) 845-6243. Related a three phase approach (1) Behavioral Change: Posters (Clean Gear, Clean Air, and Clean Body) (2) Policy Changes: Establishing operational standards for safety and wellness in daily operations and associated lifestyles. (3) Facilities upgraders such as extractors and multi sets of PPE Commitment: A sticker on helmet after committing to the programs any observed violation of “Best Practices” from the program.

Fire Department Chaplin: Has been involved with fire service in San Diego and nationally. Chaplin is a Member of “Peer Support Team” with the “firefighter’s benevolent association”. Many of “San Diego Fire & Rescue Departments” “firefighter’s benevolent association” programs were described that contribute to FF wellness needs. Contracts were developed with select mental professional services to provide needed assistance to Fire-Rescue family (includes lifeguards, fire, ems).

Notes from Jeff Dill’s presentation:

Jeff related the problem of FF Suicide and the most common causes that contribute to it:

  • Marital, Family problems

  • Depression

  • Addictions

  • Medical and Health Issuers

  • PTSD

  • Financial

  • Legal Issues

San Diego Fire-Rescue – BHP:

  1. “Cultural Brainwashing” – Fire Service Inexperience

  2. 12 Steps in creating a successful Behavioral Health Program.

  3. Joint Effort – I will be a constant working alongside Capt.  Cerruto who oversees the SD program

  4. “Commend the Call” – when a call for help is received. (from employee or a co-worker / supervisor)

  5. Education will be determined based on feedback and trends and shared to us by the providers

Issues to be addressed in San Diego - BHP:

  1. Education = all members within fire-rescue Division (FF’s, Lifegaurds, Pilots, Dispatch and civilians)

  2. Resources – “Official providers” FOCUS Psy Services, Chaplin’s, Fire Fam Services (SDFRA), EAP, Private Med Insurance, PERR support group and vetted long-term facilities

  3. Family Members

  4. New Recruits

  5. Retirement -0 Current and future retirees.

  6. Policies and Guideline’s –

Data / statistics related to FF Suicide was presented (138 in 2015)

No observed differences between paid / Volunteer/ male / female / city / rural data.

Suicide by Firearms 4x other methods – statistics presented

Retiree’s vs. active employees – (36 within 1 week of resignation)

Q: Size-up: Why am I using these substances, why do have these feelings. We have to self-assess:

Warning signs:

  1. Anger

  2. Reckless Behavior

  3. Isolation

  4. Lack of personal self-confidence – job competence

  5. Sleep depravation


  1. Loss of sense of humor


  • If you look back to incidents in your career that you remember in absolute details of the incident you have some level of PTSD. A website from Phoenix FD with resources for direct access regarding Behavioral Health needs.

Sleep disorders program (from Harvard) is available for around $40,000 / agency. They send a “Train the Trainer” team out to teach your agency about sleep disorders. Those who’ve used the service highly recommend the program. Contact Kurtis with SD Fire-Rescue.

Discussion on the current state of affairs regarding mental health / suicide issues in the fire service. Recent experiences with various departments who’ve experienced suicide in their agency(s).

Additional information from local SD Fire – Rescue resources was provided: FOCUS Psychologist, Chaplin.



Jeff Wilkerson – Camp Pendleton (Retired) -Great job SDF-R on the wellness issue

Jim Marugg - San Miguel Fire & Rescue Dept. – Related the green sheet report on an incident where a FF was contaminated with human waste at a homeless encampment. Related the particulars of his injury from a chemical burn / reaction to chemical contaminates. Policy changes include (1) No overhaul at night, (2) had to toss about $1,000 in PPE plus hose due to contamination. (3) All homeless encampments are considered a HazMat location.

Steve Hoyle – OCFA (Retired) – CA Fire museum

Adam Brandos LAFD – Attending for first time

Scott Quinn BC LAFD – “National” Mayday report is out, FF Memorial Ceremony held last week

Sebastion – Fillmore NTR

North Co FD and Peer Councilors being used for several local agencies

Ventura – Running Academies, many resources are out.

Michelle Trout – Lion –Related lots of new products for PPE / Uniform needs.

John Fisher SD Fire and Rescue – Wildland Committee – Finishing a PPE Survey for 1977 gear.

David Bogg – Psychological “ FOCUS” program.

BullEx – Live and Visual displays.

Henry SD City – NTA

Frank Uram - Qualtel – Liked the topic, related the experience in today’s military.

MES – Covers SD County. Has new dual compliant work pant available.

David Molinatti  – Industrial Scientific -  Related new equip and services available to first responders.

Mario Marion – Streamlight , related new products avail

Scott Estrada – FIRE ETC. – Related they supply SD F-R, SoCal FPE – cleans PPE to meet 1851 standard

Emily Stubbs - Solutions Safety – Business development for Solutions Safety

Jim Evans – Solutions Safety – Long way since 19XX in the development of PPE selection, care and maintenance

Louie Garcia – Western States Fire Equipment – Related an attempted suicide event within his department.

Tracy Rabe – Linegear Fire & Rescue Equipment – Related equipment and support services available through Linegear.  

Kirk Owen – Veridian -  Liked the presentation, topic today. Thanked the presenter.

Larry Asst. Fire Marshall SD F-R – Related the importance of these types of employee support systems / programs.

Tom Martin – Has shelty gloves that meet the new NFPA standards. (Note new email address)

Rob Hoadley – Cardiac Science – First Meeting with SAFER, Vender of fully automatic AED’s and EMS AED’s

Ed Shabaro – LN Curtis – Related equipment / PPE currently available through Curtis.

Bill Ward – Pump Pod USA – Related the use of the “Pump Pod” that allows Fire departments to train, test and certify fire pumps while saving large volumes of water.

Abe – AllStar Fire Equipment – Related the PPE available through AllStar. Fire Show Reno – first week of November.

John Picone BC SD F-R –Related the topic today as being timely and needed.

Mark Sheldone – Days off Consultants – related the products they manufacture / rep.

Brett Days off Consultants – Reps Red Back Shoes and wildland foot wear

Jeff Storey – Plymovent rep. Related the importance of exhaust removal and the history with San Diego Fire with Plymovent. They were the first they were able to design and build a system for

Steve Cooley – Cobra Litter – Introduced the completed version of the Cobra Rescue Litter. Related the many uses of the system, the quality and versatility of the product for fire, ems, major event support where transportation of victim’s / support equipment / fire hose / SWAT – Law.

Mike Schlags – Cobra Litter – Added the potential uses of the Cobra Litter in incidents like the Las Vegas massacre / mass casualty incidents. 

Keith Gurrola Fillmore Fire Chief (Retired Ventura County) – Related the importance of today’s topic and the myriad of employee assistance programs.

NEXT MEETING SanDimiss – US Forest Service

SAFER email :, twitter, facebook etc.

Meeting adjourned: 1200

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


Meeting Attendees (Sign-ins)             


Agency / Co





Downey Fire (Retired)

Chuck Seely

(949) 492-7993


c alifornia fire muaseum

steve hoyle



Redback/Cosmas Footwear


619 203-6541


Camp Pendleton Fire ret.

Jeff Wilkerson



Quala-Tel Communications

Frank Uram




Daniel Vaccaro




Michelle Trout




Steve Hanks




David Picone




Bill Ward


Aair Purification/Plymovent

Jeff Storey



Days Off Consultants/NightStick Lighting

Mark Sheldone



AllStar Fire Equipment

Gabe Sayegh



Fillmore Fire

Keith Gurrola



Western States Fire Equipment

Louie Garcia



Safety Components

Bill Black



Responder Solutions

Tom Martin



Solutions Safety Products

Jim Evans



Solutions Safety Products

Emily Stubs


San Miguel Fire & Rescue

Jim Marugg



San Diego Fire-Rescue

John Fisher




Adam Brandos


LineGear Fire & Rescue Equipment

Tracy Rabe




Melissa Magee



Cardiac Science

Rob Hoadley




Kirk Owen



Cobra Litters LLC

Mike Schlags



Industrial Scinetific

David Molinatti




Robert Szczepanek




Shannon Black



Mario Payan

(818) 731-2510


MES (Muni Emerg Services)

Bill Zamudio

(858) 715-4639



Chase Powell

(619) 309-2240