SAFER Monthly Meeting Minutes - August 2017 - OCFA


SAFER Meeting Minutes

August 18, 2017

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

Orange County Fire Authority Headquarters

0930    Meeting called to order – President Gurrola welcomed SAFER and opened the meeting, Thanks to ORCO Fire Authority for use of the facility and to Michelle Trout with LIONfor the morning hospitality.   

Russ Snyder Introduced A/C Dave Anderson who welcomed SAFER and related his appreciation for the group’s contribution to FF safety and health. He related the importance of today’s topic (Cancer) and how his agency has been impacted by this health problem. He added the agency just pushed out a new policy to mandate SCBA use from beginning to end at every fire. He related the “clean gear, clean air, clean body” initiative.

A/C Chief Brian Young added his appreciation for the coordination to SAFER and the venders aligned with the safety and health of today’s fire service. 

Committee Reports:

NFPA – Dick sent an email with his report – delivered by Scott Quinn:

1977 Standard is in public input, several issues related to “how clean is clean” to try to set a standard for cleaning.

1851 is being revised to incorporate changes that have been proposed from its public comment period.

1971 Soon to be released in the 4th quarter to incorporate changes to those parts of the PPE ensemble.  

Pres. Gurrola related he attended a PPE meeting that included a major change in PPE for ARFF personnel for “most” airports. The “silver” suits are being phased out to favor of 1971 PPE. The exception is for major airports like LAX etc. and military installations.

Moving website to Tracy Rabe, our new website manager to speed up and improve postings.

Safety and Training:

Pres related there are several shows coming up. ARFF , Cancer symposium in Phoenix is coming in September.

Wants to team up with TO’s to post various training opportunities.  

Russ introduced Jonathan Wilby - OCFA Risk Manager, who will deliver today’s program:

Program: “An Organizational Look at Cancer Awareness and Prevention”

Jonathan related his position as OCFA Risk Manager and explained his role as an advocate for agency health and safety. He related the cooperation of management and labor in the health and safety mission. He related the OCFA’s Cancer experience over the past five years.

(Insert PowerPoint here)

Changes Implemented to date:

  • Sunscreen products at every station

  • Second set of PPE

  • Structural PPE selection, care, and maintenance to meet NFPA 1851 standards

  • Rescue wipes used during post fire decontamination

  • Respiratory protection program procedure

  • SCBA use throughout suppression / overhaul

  • PAPR use throughout investigations (Cache kept on Truck Companies)

Mentioned San Diego Cities program as a model program

Changes in Process:

  • Educational component (cultural change)

  • Standardized signage restricting turnouts from living and sleeping areas

  • Post fire asbestos sampling and testing procedures

  • Ice machine contaminate assessment

  • Washer / extractors located in each battalion


Related asbestos contamination problem: PPE came back from their ISP with detectable levels of asbestos. They use LION Total Care ISP in Texas who has a proprietary process to clean PPE with asbestos. The department is using an industrial hygienist to verify test results to drive policy decisions.

Five Gas Monitors:

  1. CO

  2. VOC (look for zero VOC)

  3. O2

  4. Lower Expl limits

  5. Upper Expl limits

B/C Scott Quinn answered what LAFD is doing regarding asbestos and related all the difficulties in establishing policy for agency wide use. Related you almost need to build a flow chart to follow based on specific contaminates.

Chief Gurrola related Ventura County relies on the station extractors for cleaning contaminated gear.

Discussion on placement / appropriateness of Station Extractors vrs centralized service center based cleaning strategies.

Question: (Wilkerson) How does OCFA handle brush gear (1877 gear)?. (Russ) They currently don’t see many brush sets coming through the service center. Related some guys wash their 1977 gear in stations or even at home. Attendees related there will be cleaning requirements included in the new 1977 standard.

Jonathan related Historically the “first-in company” stayed throughout he suppression – overhaul – investigation phases. “First in – First out” to return to quarters for showers and equipment decontamination efforts is a possible policy change towards firefighter health.

Jonathan demonstrated the various promotional materials the OCFA is using in support of these program changes: stickers, posters and a video. The in-house produced video was viewed and very well received by all.

Question (Russ) Are any agencies doing an exchange program for hoods? Fresno – the B/C’s have a bag of new hoods that they distribute “on-scene” and collect  contaminated units for decontamination . LAFD relate if you need a new hood you’ll get a new hood.

Pres. Gurrola related were hoping to develop a “blog” capability to continue and expand discussions on various subjects (like FF CA) within the website.

John Price related the IAFF programs being instituted to enhance the awareness and practices designed to reduce carcinogens. He related the Firefighters Cancer Support Network efforts to reach-out to Cancer Victims for support and to all fire service personnel for education and training.

Jim Plymovent related there are numerous Attorneys representing Firefighters in exposure cases. Discussed exhaust gas removal systems and their respective differences.


Chief Gurrola – Fillmore FD -  Encourages members to report accidents / injuries to promote discussion and exchange of potential solutions.

Jeff Wilkerson - Camp Pendleton (Retired) – Reports Camp has been having fires. Ca Fire Museum is meeting with Irvine to request location

Russ Snyder OCFA – Thanks for attending, related the video was excellent and related the organization is starting a 52 man academy in Sept, another 50 thereafter, got numererous new apparatus. Related the trucks are overweight – working with committees to resolve. Second of 3 phases of “second set” PPE’s is nearing completion

Fillmorer Fire Sebaastion

Eric Higgins - Bestway Laundry – Related new hand scanner for use on extractors will be rolled out next week

B/C Scott Quinn - LAFD – Regional Safety Team is doing investigation of Kelly Wong LODD. LAFD is doing FRO training – Opioid problem is becoming a real problem – First Responders are having problems getting enough Narcan to service all the fentanyl OD’s. Additionally, personnel exposed to very small quantities of fentanyl can cause risks to their health.

Steve Hanks - Scott Safety – Reps West Coast and Hawaii – Scott has 2018 NFPA Packs are ready to ship waiting for official certification from NFPA.

Steve Harris – Plymovent

JP – Nothing to add

Louie Garcia - Western States Fire Equip – Showed new structure glove and related DPF is still an issue . Cops West is having a show in October 31-Nov 1 & 2  Palm Springs.

Kelly Witt - Workrite – Corporate was talking to fabric supplier of “Nomex” discussing the characteristics of the fabric as it relates to cleaning and performance in multi-certifications.

Sean Van Sluis - Santa Monica Fire – Enjoyed presentation, just took over the PPE role, is a member of their safety committee. Is organizing their PPE to lean towards “second set” program and will be going “single layer” for brush gear (1977). Gurrola: Should we be wearing our 1971 gear to T/C’s and risk absorption of petro-chem’s? Maybe come up with a “better Option” for simple T/C responses.

Tracy Rabe - LineGear Fire and Rescue Equipment – Been with them for 7 years, now have a catalog with gear they sell.

Tracy Is now managing our website to improve attendance and expand content and interaction. The enhancements should help both FD’s as well as member venders.

Chad Dicksins - Atwood-Prior – Reps Pelican Products

Tom Martin - Atwood-Prior – Discussed Level A, B, C PPE, has a number of products.

X Discussed the dual /Tri certification for “cover pant” as it affects our Cancer risk.

Steve Hoyle – Ca Fire Museum & Safety Learning Center – ORCO (Retired)  – Related the 1851 Standard was a direct off-shoot of the work SAFER produced. There have been updates since the original proposed standard. Museum organizers will be meeting with City of Irvine to discuss a location for the museum in the great park.

Melissa McGee / Doug Murphy – SoCal PPE - ISP “Intratech Certified” has pick-up and delivery service. They are located in San Diego near Coronado. She related the procedure to send contaminated PPE in for cleaning. 

Frank Uram - Qualatel Communications – Related the” ear pieces” on headsets / microphones get contaminated and should be replaced as some reasonable period. He relates he designs and installs radios and intercom systems in emergency vehicles.

Kirk Owens –  Veridian Fire Protective Gear (Retired Fire Chief & NFPA Committee Chair) – Related he is available to help support the group in technical matters. Discussed the asbestos issue and related the traditional approach was to dispose of anything exposed to asbestos, was interested in the cleaning procedure being used by OCFA. Related they will be releasing a hood with “Particulate Blocking” capabilities. Waiting for the updated 1971 standard. Several problems: Dual Certified, Tri-Certified – Vapor Protection feature costs you breathability and removes it from wildland certification. Related many of the Venders can provide training for agency decontamination techniques.

Robinson – Pelican Products – Relates they support many products for Fire Service. They have numerous lighting devices and power supplies for FD Use. Manufacture of numerous types of protective cases.

Keith Gurrola – Fillmore FD – Related the Fillmore FD budget has been set, their fire foundation golf tour was a success. He needs to purchase gear for 18 new recruits. Received a FEMA Safety Grant – will have three new paid Firefighter positions.

 They had a FF take his PPE in for alteration without authorization – he considers the incident a “near –miss” for his dept

** FF Memorial will be September 30th in Sacramento..

Los Osos Symposium on PPE (Vender Driven Event) was a good event with relavent information for the end users.

Santa Paula FD is merging with Ventura Co. FD. Much SPFD gear will be excess and will be available. They also have a Light / Air Trailer that will be available.

NEXT MEETING September 15th – Location and topic to be announced

San Diego – Behavioral Health – October


SAFER email :, twitter, facebook etc.


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         

Air Exchange PLYMOVENT   Steve Harris           909-973-8211      

Air Exchange PLYMOVENT     Jim Cleary          909-720-7064       

OCFA                                        Russ Snider                 714-573-6601           

Camp Pendleton(Retired)    Jeff Wilkerson         949-445-9512         

Qualatel                                   Frank Uram                 858-577-2900      

Ca fire museum & safety learning center   stevehoyle949-496-5688

Santa Monica Fire        Sean Van Sluis             949-702-3473       

OCFA                                 Jonathan Wilby         714-573-6832             

Scott Safety                   Steve Hanks                858-226-7420                

  SOCAL PPE    DOUG MURPHY/melissa MAGEE   619-993-1163    


Atwood-Prior          Tom Martin            909-264-4875                   

LION                              Michelle Trout                     480-225-1324        

LineGear Fire & Rescue Equipment      Tracy Rabe    949-230-5610        

Veridian Fire Protective Gear    Kirk Owen       712-260-3547              

MES                              Lazaro Martinez               562-320-2385             

MES                                    John Price                     562-212-6803                  

Bestway Laundry Solutions          Eric Higgins951-532-7700              

CURTIS Tools For Heros            Ed Shabro          760-250-1180              

fillmore fire poi         sebastian ramirez             805-2975214    sebastian

Fillmore Fire Dept      Keith Gurrola         805-558-0932