SAFER Monthly Meeting Minutes - March 2017


SAFER Meeting Minutes

March 17, 2017

SAFER Board Attendees:   Pres Gurrola,Vice Pres Quinn, Past Pres. Duran, Seely, Sczcepanek, Cardenas,  Vender Liaison Sposato

Fillmore Fire Department

Fillmore City Hall

0945    Meeting called to order - President Gurrola, Fillmore Fire Chief, welcomed SAFER and opened the meeting, Thanks to the City of Fillmore for use of the facility and Louie Garcia of  Western States Fire Equipment for morning bagels and coffee,  the” Fillmore Fire Foundation” for BBQ lunch.

SAFER email :, twitter, facebook etc.

Business Meeting:

Finance: $467.65 savings, $1000+/- in checking. Tony encouraged all to pay their dues (on line or by check). We’d like to hire a web-master to handle some of those updates as required. Our expenses include support of NFPA committees.

OSHA: ” Violence against first responders” reporting– Agencies must maintain a Log / Journal , (similar to a “300 Log”) beginning April 1st, 2017 of incidents involving:  (1) Member on Member, (2)Violence on  first responder from public, (3) Dog Bites.  April 2018: All members must be trained.

NFPA: Jim Evans:  1851 Committee met to consider public input and begin drafting new standard. Available on-line for review. “At incident cleaning” will be addressed in the new 1851 standard. * AB2146 (Cal) is going to make 1851 ‘Law” in California. A discussion on AB 2146 followed: Cost to implement, gov’t un-funded mandate issue, Grant opportunities to cover PPE and laundering facilities, the “10 year Rule” (maximum life-span of PPE). The act will have a five year phase-in period. Year one will have requirement to conduct “Advanced Inspection” and “Annual Inspections”. Helmets are high on list for replacement to CalOSHA approved gear.  

Apparatus: No report today. Joe added there has been a consolidation of ambulance companies into REVONE: a public company who bought several major manufacturers including KME and E-1 manufacturing.  

Technology: Discussion on the web-site work.

Venders: FDIC In Indianapolis Joe recommends everyone attend at least once, it’s the best look at all the equipment available in the market place.  April 26th thru 30th, 2017.


  • Program: Initial Accident Investigations- a Guide for Incident Safety Officers

Presenter: Brian Bulger - Ventura County Fire Department (Retired) , Incident Safety Officer

            Insert program PP/PDF

Presentation opened with demonstration to represent a group of people with observable skill sets but who don’t routinely work together (similar to resources assigned to an incident):

 A display of 6 individuals performing a task as directed by a “supervisor” who provided specific instructions on the task to be completed (a 7’ stick exercise). The exercise demonstrated the difficulty in coordinating a group of “experts” to complete a series of tasks using DIRECTIONS ONLY, then demonstrated the observable improvements in task completion with LEADERSHIP ADDED (pushing the stick down to establish momentum towards successful completion).  Discussion on “leadership” and “Followership” roles in a program.

Tony Duran then related his experience’s investigating numerous accident investigations while working for LACoFD as a Safety Officer. Many times another agency will take the “Lead Investigative Role” to cancel out any biases or favoritism. 

Scott Quinn related some helpful tips:

  • Don’t call it an ACCIDENT, it’s always referred to as n INCIUDENT.

  • Maintain the demeanor that were trying to resolve a safety matter, not a disciplinary matter – even though a disciplinary action may come if warranted.



  1. Review any previous similar statement or evidence available.

  2. Make a written or mental note of “Known” issues.

  3. Make a written or mental note of the “Need to Know” issues.


  1. Properly identify yourself.

  2. Give reason for interview without disclosing case details.

  3. Conduct interview with all witnesses.


  1. Comment on topics of apparent interest to the interviewee.

  2. Establish confidence by friendly confidence – downplay the investigator roles.

  3. Keep conversation informal and easy.

  4. Be pleasant and avoid unpleasant expressions.

  5. Tape record interview, if possible.


  1. State date, time, place of interview, name of interviewer and interviewee.

  2. Have interviewee acknowledge and and permit tape recording of interview for the record.

  3. Have interviewee state occupation and any technical background.

  4. Ask Interviewee of what he / she heard or observed that was unusual before or after the accident / investigation.
    Have interviewee describe what happened.

  5. Ask for other witnesses.



  1. Label all taped cassettes / notes and secure a “CONFIDENTIAL” marked enveloped. Forward to the Departments Safety Office.





  1. Obtain Briefing from Incident Commander.

  2. Secure the scene with barricade tape – utilize Police or Department personnel or other assistance.


  1. Photograph:

    1. Major Incident – Department photographer

    2. Routine Incident – Disposable (Digital or Smart Phone)

  2. Diagram and measure the scene

  3. Account for any movement of physical evidence.

  4. Vehicle accidents and potential criminal circumstances – local police agency in charge of investigation and evidence.


  1. Name, address, work and home telephone numbers.

  2. Their location at the time of the accident.


  1. Interviews conducted by the Duty Safety Officer are to be considered FACT FINDING in nature only. Fact finding issues are those related to the following items:

  2. Equipment Performance

  3. Safety Practice

  4. Standard Techniques

  5. Training

  6. Issues of a non-punitive nature

  7. If, for any reason, during the interview it is discovered that wrongdoing or gross negligence were factors in the accident, the interview process shall cease immediately and the Department of Human Resources shall be contacted for direction. This action is to preclude any violation of the employees’ rights.


Three “categories / things” Safety Officers should classify:

  1. Items – Things we all can discuss without specifics

  2. Concerns – An observed risk / hazard we all can discuss and determine a “best case” solution.

  3. Issues – Already happened


  • Who owns the problem? Critical Factor in analysis of accident. The more complex the incident the more difficult the analysis.

  • Route Cause Analysis – Un-layering to the most basic task level

  • Swiss Cheese analogy (one slice – see light, add additional slices and less shines through).

  • Seven coinciding events that lead to an accident (USAF)

  • Who owns the problem? Related his experience with a burn-over (Rucker – Cedar Fire) that occurred outside of Julian, Ca.: Extinguished FF’s burning body, took photos and notes on situation. Didn’t know who was “in –charge” as the incident hadn’t built to a complete incident command structure.

  • Utilize “Job aides” (Lap top, forms) to help document and format the investigative pathway going forward.

  • Have checklists, similar investigative documents from prior incidents.

  • Your Expectations: Have a good an idea what you want to accomplish on an investigation, understanding your investigation may simply “attach” to another agencies investigation when they have a larger / more appropriate level of investigation.

  • Discussion of CalOSHA’s role:

  • Uses the :SOP’s, standards from “host agency / jurisdiction” to apply.



Meeting recessed to Vender Time at 1125

Meeting reconvened at 1145 for roundtable

  • Board of Supervisor Kelly Longer addressed the meeting and expressed appreciation for our work on behalf of employee and health safety.


Steve Hoyle – CalFire / OCFDCa Fire Museum and learning center. Encourages out-reach to the Irvine City Council @  to support the California Fire Museum in the future Great Park.  

Jeff Wilkerson – Camp Pendleton Fire Department (Retired) – Relates the use of flags over deceased is not allowed in federal incidents.  

Capt Cardenas – LAFD Safety Coordinator – Numerous promotions (60) in the LAFD all the way up the ranks. Running two academies now, will trim to one next year. Working on an “Overhaul Committee” to consider how the agency leaves fire scenes to minimize toxic exposures to crews. They want to eliminate or at least minimize overhaul in the future. He related some issues with gasoline fueled smoke ejectors as a source of CO. Related / reminded attendees of the Federal death benefit for ff families.

Scott Quinn – AC LAFD – Added to the discussion on overhaul and it’s connection to Cancer in FF’s. LAFD now has psychologists to help with FF Health issues.

Scott  Bethurum  - CAL Fire Riverside – Related they’ve recently installed extractors (31 sites so far) to help with 1851 PPE laundering. Recently received an $18,000 citation for not providing adequate water in a heat illness incident. Discussion followed with agency representatives with experience fighting CalOSHA citations relating their advice. 

Don Reyes LAFD – World Fire Police Games – August7-16th web site: Related information available at the website:, opening ceremony at the LA Coliseum.   

Tony Duran –ASTI -  LACoFD (Retired) – Related ASTI teaches agencies on the response to Anhydrous ammonia incidents. Adds the only rescue from an NH3 incident will be by first responders in 1872 PPE with SCBA as waiting for a reinforced response by HazMateers with class A suits will be too late to save a victim.

Brian Bulger – Retired and enjoying life!

Joe Sposato- AllStar – SCOTT being purchased by 3M, ($2 Billion), 3M known for innovation and allowing its daughter companies to operated unhindered. SCOTT Thermal Imager available. Lion apparel V-Force Turn-Out available. Future is focused on keeping PPE CLEAN for FF health. Phoenix Helmets have new head pads for the inside top.

Mike Klusyk - Santa Barbara County Fire – Works on stations and grounds, Chair of Safety Specialist Group with FIRESCOPE. Expecting a severe fire season due to heavy rains this year. SART

John Flores – Santa Monica Fire – Organizing PPE program, purchases, maintenance etc.

Louie Garcia – Western States Fire Equipment – Discussed “SMART” vehicles and the requirements for monitoring equipment to document the operation of all commercial vehicles. More info should be available at FDIC. Western States Fire Equipment represent “Rosenbauer” apparatus.

Tim Macee –Torrance Fire Dept. – Safety Committee member in Torrance. Recently attended IAFF Legislative Conference in DC, Discussed the conference and the Torrance refinery issues which use HF in their production of hydrocarbon products.  All Torrance personnel use “station shoes” (black tennis shoes) when they leave the rig to eliminate blood borne pathogens etc. from station / quarters and are removing 80% of station carpeting. “Fire” gear gets removed prior to entering quarters and bagged for cleaning. “Fire Hood Fridays” is a local standard developed to ensure protective hoods are maintained in a clean condition.

Kevin Schroepfer - Oxnard Fire Department – Initiative to support: ”Clean Fire Station” programs: assigns two hoods / man to ensure protective hoods are maintained in a clean condition .

Rob Szczepanek - Ventura County FD has all Rosenbauer apparatus, purchase a quint, water recycling trailers has saved millions of gallons of water while training – drilling. Had a “heat related” illness that was reported as “Heat Exhaustion” which should not be used as were not Ds – we do not diagnose.

Steve Cooley – COBRA Litter – will have a sample at next meeting that addresses the enhancements requested by SAFER members.

Jim Clearey – Plymovent Air Exchange – Related diesel exhaust is the only listed carcinogen FF’s are exposed to everyday in the worked place. WHO has now stated diesel exhaust is a hazard as a carcinogen.

David Molinatti - Industrial Scientific – Related 35k times users have turned off their (4-gas) monitors while in alarm mode. Some relate they found the alarm distracting others related they didn’t know what to do in response to the alarm. New IS monitors actually annunciate what actions the user should take when in alarm. 

Eric Higgins – BestWay Laundry – New scanner capability to track and monitor equipment settings for proper laundering to be shown at FDIC in April.

Ryan Johnson – SoCal PPE Laundry – Class in June for PPE Class will train FF’s to conduct in house PPE inspections. Look for details.

Alexis Labbe’ – Leader Fire Equipment Supply – Discussed their company and the products they represent. Will have a booth at FDIC. Has a new line of nozzles being tested at North Net in Anaheim. Has Search-Cam equipment, FOAM supplies and rescue equipment for USAR work.

Jim Evans – Solutions Safety – Commented on the meeting today and expressed appreciation for the efforts on SAFETY being made across the nation. Related the Hood problem and related several solutions to eliminate the toxicity being detected.  Related each wash needs 3 x rinses per wash.

Keith Gurrola- Fillmore Fire – Next month’s meeting M A Y be in San Dimas Forestry HQ. or Santa Monica

May meeting is scheduled for  Ventura county Fire  

1145 Meeting adjourned to BBQ lunch hosted by Fillmore Fire Foundation.


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


Meeting Attendees (Sign-ins)

Agency / Co                 NAME              PHONE #                      EMAIL (s)

Downey Fire (Retired)      Chuck Seely     (949) 492-7993     California fire muaseum    steve hoyle        9494965688       


Camp Pendleton Fire ret. Jeff Wilkerson 949-830-087 

ASTI    LACoFD Retired   Tony Duran    

Los Angeles Fire Dept    Scott Quinn   213-434-1380

CAL FIRE/ RCoFD   Scott Bethurum    951-575-5391

Western States Fire EquipLouie Garcia   213-272-5680

Fillmore Fire      Keith Gurrola    805-558-0932

Santa Monica Fire     John Flores    805-236-5633

Industrial Scientific    David Molinatti    714-403-1915

Cobra Litters        Steve Cooley       805-377-5348 

Torrance Fire Dept.    Tim McAtee     310-344-1490

Santa Barbara Co Fire Dept.  Michael

Ventura City Fire DeptLuis Manzano805-256-8533


Solutions Safety     Jim Evans 770-634-0848

SoCal PPE   Ryan Johnson   619-993-1164

Los Angeles Fire Department     Don Reyes    213359-1054

Los Angeles Fire Department    John Cardenas   661-917-7019

Bestway Laundry SolutionsEric higgins18005426166

oxnard    Kevin.Schroepfer     805385-7709``    kevin,

VCFD     Robert Szczepanek   805-914-4021