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May 11, 2006

No. 06-15

MINUTES OF THE FIRE COMMISSION

Regular Meeting  Thursday  May 11, 2006  6:00 p.m.
698 Second Street, Room 102

The meeting was called to order by President Conroy at 6:05 p.m.

Item No.
1. ON ROLL CALL, the following were noted present:

President Paul A. Conroy
Vice President Stephen A. Nakajo
Commissioner Clem Clarke
Commissioner George Lau
Commissioner Victor Makras


Joanne M. Hayes-White

Chief of Department

Richard E. Kochevar

Deputy Chief, Operations

Gary P. Massetani

Deputy Chief, Administration

Assistant Deputy Chiefs  Staff:

Patrick J. Casserly

Division of Airports

Peter Howes

Division of Emergency Medical Services

Barbara A. Schultheis

Division of Fire Prevention and Investigation

Thomas A. Siragusa

Division of Training

Robert Navarro

Division of Homeland Security

Chief Officers  Firefighting Services:

Kevin Taylor

Division 2 (Acting)

Audry Lee

Division 3


2. PUBLIC COMMENT

John Darmanin, congratulated the newly appointed Assistant Deputy Chief Barbara Schultheis as Fire Marshal. He wanted to commend the Chief for making the selection from among the various Fire Prevention candidates, and hoped that a resolution could be drafted so as to ensure that future appointments to Fire Marshal should made from within the Bureau of Fire Prevention based on the Department's need and the candidate's years of experience and knowledge of the job.

Jennifer Mathews, Firefighter. She commended the Chief on the appointment and commented that Chief Schultheis is the best person for the job because of her vast knowledge of the fire code and over ten years of experience in fire prevention. She would like to join other department members in congratulating Chief Schultheis.

Gerald Zari, Inspector. He commended the Chief for making a bold decision in appointing Chief Schultheis, and praised Chief Schultheis for her professionalism.

Robert Fuller, President, Northern California Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. He wanted to commend the Chief and congratulate Chief Schultheis as well. He was a member of the Bureau of Fire Prevention for 15 years and had known Chief Schultheis as a person with full potential.

Michie Wong, Inspector. She wanted to thank Chief Schultheis for teaching her all that she needed to know during her three years at Fire Prevention. She also thanked the Chief for appointing Chief Schultheis.

3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES [Action]

Regular Meeting of April 27, 2006.

PUBLIC COMMENT
John Darmanin, noted that some comments were made by individuals at the meeting of April 27th but were not included in the minutes. He hoped that the minutes could reflect what was being said at the meeting.

Commissioner Makras moved and Commissioner Clarke seconded. There were further no questions or discussion and the minutes were approved as presented by a vote of 5-0.
(Commissioners Conroy, Nakajo, Clarke, Lau, Makras)

4. COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED BY COMMISSION [Discussion]
(April 21 through May 3, 2006)

COMMUNICATIONS ADDRESSED DIRECTLY TO THE COMMISSION

1. From Yefim Stone, C&N Engineers, inquiring if the San Francisco Fire Code is posted on the San Francisco web site and, if so, how to access it. Copy: Commissioners and Fire Marshal.


2. From Richard Brandi, wondering how many of the recommendations from the 1989 earthquake have been implemented, and asking specifically how many were implemented regarding the water supply. Copy: Commissioners, Chief of Department and Deputy Chief, Administration.

3. From Greg Simpson, praising the NERT program and encouraging the Commission to support it since disaster could strike the Bay Area at any moment and the valuable NERT training helps people prepare for and react to pending disasters.

4. From Steven Zeluck, surprised to see as he was walking his dog by a fire station a firefighter skinning an animal behind the station. He does not believe that practicing taxidermy at a fire station is part of a firefighter's job description. Copy: Commissioners, Chief of Department and Deputy Chief, Operations.

CHARGES ISSUED BY CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT


Formal Complaint
Submitting formal complaint against Firefighter Albert Tenbruggencate, dated May 2, 2006, for violation of the Rules and Regulations as follows:

Section 3912  Intoxicants & Drugs
Substance Abuse Policy  Illegal Drugs

PUBLIC COMMENT
John Darmanin, commenting on the formal complaint that was being filed against Firefighter Albert Tenbruggencate, expressed his concern about the procedure followed in testing urine sample at the Physician's office. During a provisional medical exam that he had recently, he noticed that the cup that was used to contain the urine sample was not sealed. Instead, it was left on a shelf and was easily accessible by anyone entering the room. He is concerned that under the circumstances the results of the test would not be correct. He hoped that the Department would improve this procedure.

President Conroy directed the Secretary to comply with Section 4006 of the Rules and Regulations and inform Firefighter Albert Tenbruggencate of the trial date as soon as one is set.

5. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT'S REPORT [Discussion]

REPORT FROM CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT
Report from Chief of Department Joanne Hayes-White on current issues, activities and events, including discussion of the current budget and FY 2006-07 budget, updates on Divisions within the Department, including Administration, Operations, and EMS Reconfiguration.

Prior to beginning the report, Chief Hayes-White announced that she had appointed Assistant Deputy Chief Barbara Schultheis as Fire Marshal. After she and the two Deputy Chiefs had conducted interviews, Chief Schultheis was chosen from among nine candidates. The selection of the Fire Marshal from within the Bureau of Fire Prevention is very valuable because the new Fire Marshal is bringing expertise in the handling of complex issues related to code enforcement and code interpretation. Chief Schultheis will be a very valued member of the command staff. The Chief then invited Chief Schultheis to introduce herself and offer some comments.

Chief Schultheis thanked the Chief for giving her the opportunity to be the Fire Marshal of the San Francisco Fire Department and for having faith in her. She is proud to have been selected and will fulfill her obligations to the best of her ability. She wants to be a good Fire Marshal with a dedicated and trained staff; one who knows the code and knows how to apply it to meet life safety requirements. She will remain open to new technology and innovative ideas, provide the necessary training to her staff to do the job, and ensure the safety of the community. Chief Schultheis was congratulated by members of the Commission.

Chief Hayes-White informed the Commission that the Department will close the fiscal year within budget, and thanked Deputy Chief Massetani and Chief Financial Officer Julia Dawson for doing a very good job. Funding for Proposition F has been approved for $7.1 million for FY 2006-2007 budget. The class of the 24 new H3 Level II Paramedics graduated on May 5, 2006, at Treasure Island, and Commissioners Conroy and Makras were present at the ceremony. With the graduation of these 24 paramedics, the Department can now move forward with the implementation of the EMS reconfiguration. The Chief congratulated the Training Division under the leadership of Chief Siragusa, and also Assistant Deputy Chief Howes and Paramedic Hogue, all of whom worked very well together to provide excellent training, a wonderful curriculum and quite an experience to the 24 members who the Department is very proud to have in the Fire Department. This is a significant step in the reconfiguration to make the Department more operationally efficient and streamlined.

With a balance of approximately $437,000 being carried forward to fund examinations, the Department plans to administer an H30 Captain exam to be followed by an H40 Battalion Chief exam. Hopefully, the H20 Lieutenant, H6 Investigator and H4 Inspector exams will soon be administered. This is a big step for the Fire Department since no exams were held for over 10 to 12 years. In the meantime, it has been necessary for the Department to make provisional appointments to fill vacancies in the various ranks.

Commissioner Nakajo commended the Chief for appointing as Fire Marshal someone from within the Bureau. It is important because there is a sense of accomplishment for the Chief when the command staff works well under her. The fact that the Fire Marshal is a female is also important because it reflects the presence of minority representation in the command force. Besides, the command force should include representation of the various ethnic groups. He is glad to know that after 10 to 12 years, promotional exams are going to be administered to allow members to take advantage of the opportunity to be represented.

Chief Hayes-White thanked Commissioner Nakajo for his comments. Just as her appointment to Chief was non-traditional, the appointment of Chief Schultheis to Fire Marshal is non-traditional as well. Typically, a Battalion Chief or Assistant Chief from the field would most likely fill the Fire Marshal position. This appointment is a significant change from the past, there will be continuity because of Chief Schultheis' knowledge and experience from her work in Fire Prevention. She believes that the longer someone stays in one position, the more effective the performance. The Chief noted that she is proud of all her female staff members, and in a city as diverse as San Francisco, the work force should reflect that, not only in the H2 Firefighter rank, but all the way up through the command staff, which includes the rank of Assistant Chief.

Commissioner Makras also commended the Chief on her timely appointment of Chief Schultheis as Fire Marshal and on the Chief's provisional appointments. He reminded the Chief about the request he made a few weeks ago that PG&E grant the Fire Department access to their buildings. He could not understand why PG&E is not cooperating, why are they not submitting plans like every single other property owner in San Francisco. His concern is about public safety. Chief Hayes-White agreed to arrange a meeting in the near future.

Commissioner Lau wanted to echo on the positive comments and congratulate the Chief on the Fire Marshal appointment. He wondered if the $7.1 million for Prop F should have been $7.6 or $7.5 million. Deputy Chief Massetani replied that the lower figure is reflective of cost savings.

Commissioner Clarke wanted to echo the other Commissioners' sentiments with reference to the new Fire Marshal, especially Commissioner Nakajo's sentiments as regards the diversity of the command staff. She inquired as to whether the Budget Analyst's audit on the Office of Emergency Services has an impact on the Fire Department. The Chief replied that she had not yet seen the final draft of the audit but that she will have more information for the Commission when the final audit report is released.

Commissioner Conroy reviewed future agenda items. For the meeting on May 25, 2006, the agenda will include a report from the SFFD Historical Society regarding recent activities and events, as well as an inventory and accounting. Next, for the meeting on June 8, the agenda will include a more detailed report on how the Fire Department would respond to a major incident. Finally, on the agenda for the meeting on June 22, 2006, will be a presentation on the implementation of Prop F. In response, Chief Hayes-White mentioned that she would try to schedule a report concerning PG&E for one of the June meetings. Prior to the May 25 Commission meeting, there will be a ceremony for the provisional appointments at 5:00 p.m. that day. She invited the Commissioners to attend. Finally, she informed the Commission that Dr. Marshal Issac will be leaving the Department at the end of June to join the Dallas Fire Department. He has been a valued member of the Department and she would like to put on a presentation at one of the meetings with the support from the Commission. Commissioner Conroy complimented the Chief on the provisional appointments. He stated that while it is important to pursue permanent civil service promotions, it is also important now to instill members with the responsibility and recognition that accompanies their provisional officer status. He congratulated Chief Schultheis on her appointment as Fire Marshal. He agreed that it is good practice to identify and promote members who want to pursue a particular career within the Department so that they can grow in the position and the Department can have greater continuity.

REPORT FROM OPERATIONS
Richard Kochevar, Deputy Chief, Operations, provided the report for the period from April 13 through May 10, 2006. During this reporting period, there were two greater alarm fires and 31 working fires. The greater alarm fires resulted in $1.2 million in property damage, $75,000 in content damage, $570,000 in exposure property damage, and $55,000 in exposure content damage. Fortunately, there were no civilian injuries or fatalities and no reported firefighter injuries or fatalities, and only five people were displaced.

The new H3 Level II Paramedics were put on the ambulance on May 6. A short presentation will be given by Chief Peter Howes, EMS Division, to further explain this implementation. The Department provided assistance at the immigration mass gathering on May 1, and a meeting was held yesterday with CalTrans in Oakland regarding the next closures on the Bay Bridge. The Department put on a demonstration of the portable hydrant system at the request of a convention of structural engineers and insurance underwriters.

Discussion ensued with Commissioners asking questions and Chief Hayes-White and Deputy Chief Kochevar responding.

EMS REPORT
Pete Howes, EMS Chief, reported on the ferry boat accident, noting that by coordinating resources early and staging them, the operation went very smoothly. The good result was based on the frequent training and drilling the Department does.

With the graduation of the 24 H3 Level II Paramedics in May, the Fire Department is in Phase I of the EMS reconfiguration. Another class will begin in July, with a four-week training and a three-week evaluation. So Phase II will start some time in September. This will continue through the fall and Phase III will start approximately the first of the year. With the deployment of the 24 individuals in the field from the May graduation class, there are now 12 teams of two paramedics working a 10-hour shift. This will allow the Department to shift some of the workload from the 24-hour Medic units to the 10-hour ambulances. At the same time, the Department is monitoring the Firefighter/Paramedics as they are returned to the various engine companies to make sure that their skills are retained and they are effective employees as well. For day-to-day operations, the Bureau of Equipment is the base for the transport tier to get their fuel and general supplies. The Department is going to consolidate the supply depots so that all engines and ambulances will have to go to those fuel stations. Chief Howes also pointed out that modifications are being made to the existing ambulances to allow more room to restock.


The 24 hour ambulances are referred to as  Medic Units and the 10 hour shift dynamically deployed ambulances are referred to as  ambulances. Medic units in the downtown, mission corridor area are being moved to other stations forming a ring around the downtown area. An average of 5 dynamically deployed ambulances will be in the downtown-mission area. In addition, the H-1 staffed ambulances are also on ten hour shifts and can be deployed anywhere they are needed in the City.

The Department has acquired a multi-casualty unit and also plans to acquire disaster medical trailers.

Discussion ensued with Commissioners asking questions and Chief Hayes-White and staff responding.

PUBLIC COMMENT
John Darmanin commented that with the implementation of Prop F, it means that the Department will have to maintain staffing levels of January 2004. If the Department continues the long practice of reducing staffing on the engines and trucks by detailing members to various assignments such as training, meetings, and appointments during the day, this will violate the MOU, and violate the intent and spirit of Prop F. He urged the Chief and the Commission to prevent this from happening in the future.

PERSONNEL REPORTS

a. Physician's Report
Submitting biweekly report of Fire Department Physician concerning disability injuries, April 8 through April 21, 2006.

b. Appointments
Reporting the following PROVISIONAL appointments effective MARCH 25, 2006:

H20 Lieutenant


Name

Vice

John M. Barcojo

David Rege, retired

John J. Barden

Charles Elzey, retired

Chris B. Callen

William Demattei, retired

Michael B. Charlton

Austin Dito, retired

John A. Diluzio

Joseph Douglass, retired

Felix T. Duag

Edward Perricone, retired

Michael T. Duncan

Melvin Canevaro, retired

Christine E. Emmons

Raymond Dito, retired

John J. Ferrando

James Griffin, retired

Clydelho L. Frommoethelydo

Thomas Kurpinsky, retired

Karen J. Heald

Matthew Plescia, retired

Randall C. Hiro

Eugene Ahern, retired

Alphonso Howard

Richard Jonasson, retired

Victor G. Hurtado

Robert Ness, retired

Shelia V. Hunter

David Dryden, retired

Jerry E. Keohane

Daniel Curran, retired

Rohan Knight

William Clark, retired

Thomas Kohmann

Larry Henry, retired

Kerby Lau

James Hentz, retired

Kenneth Lombardi

Richard Lauer, retired

Roberto J. Lucha

Richard Robinson, retired

Fred R. Meyer

Kevin Walsh, retired

Joseph E. Morrison

Timothy Callen, retired

Michael D. Patt

John Beckerley, retired

Eli F. Payton

John Bonnici, retired

Bruce E. Platt

Albert Gughemetti, retired

Cristeo A. Reyes

Gary Montague, retired

David C. Ritter

Robert Kim, retired

Patrick N. Sabia

John O'Leary, retired

Robert J. Turnquist

Walter Bertollo, retired

Paul T. Urquiaga

John Sanchez, retired

Mike J. Wong

Alexander King, retired

Christopher Zaczek

Robert Anderson, Jr., retired

Lawrence Zammarchi

Richard Ames, retired

Reporting the following PROBATIONARY appointment effective APRIL 24, 2006:

7388 Utility Plumber

Devlin D. Joe (vice: Jason Ochlan, separated)

c. Retirements
Communications received from Retirement Board indicating the following members have retired:


Name

Rank

Type

Retirement Date

Chin, Paul H.

H51 Asst. Deputy Chief II

Service

Apr. 22, 2006

Ryan, Michael J.

H40 Battalion Chief

Service

Apr. 20, 2006

Murphy, Michael E.

H30 Captain

Service

Apr. 21, 2006

Zouzounis, Dennis J.

H30 Captain

Service

Apr. 01, 2006

Jenner, Daren W.

H3 Firefighter/Paramedic

Ind. Dis.

Sep. 04, 2005

Voboril, Joel E.

H2 Firefighter

Ind. Dis.

Mar. 31, 2005


(Retirement Certificates will be presented at Fire Commission Meeting of June 22, 2006)

d. Resignation
Reporting resignation of H3 Firefighter/Paramedic John Graf, effective April 30, 2006. (Approximate length of service  six years.)

Reporting resignation of H2 Firefighter Sonny T. Lee, effective April 24, 2006. (Approximate length of service  15 years.)

e. Leaves
Reporting leave of absence with pay for Assistant Deputy Chief Thomas Siragusa, Acting Battalion Chief David Franklin, and Lieutenant Ronny Tsujimoto, for three days, May 17 through May 19, 2006, in order to attend a CBRNE Enhanced Fire Operations functional exercise planning for the National Scenarios at the National Emergency Response & Rescue Training Center, College Station, University of Texas A&M, Texas. The Office of Homeland Security will pay for transportation, lodging, car rental and all related expenses. Members will not be replaced.

President Conroy directed that the report be accepted and incorporated in the minutes of today's meeting.

6. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.



Tania Bauer
Secretary


Last updated: 1/30/2014 11:29:21 AM