Friday Update 7-2-21
Updated On: Jul 23, 2021


Sisters & Brothers,

Our Los Angeles County Firefighters will never be alone because we have each other. This week we once again proved how resilient and strong we are as a fire family when we work together to heal. 
We have traveled through shock, anger, and grief; now we are moving forward with hope. We are working to repair and rebuild the LA County Fire Department.  We will once again shine as the premier and most sought-after fire department in the country with the best firefighters and fire personnel serving the citizens of LA County. 
We have negotiated some simple but powerful tools to get moving in the right direction with much more to be done.  Sports are back, no online training for 90 days, no more EVOC training, Chief Breshears and Chief Marrone together with Chief Chapman are taking the helm of entry-level testing, promotional testing, and training to set the gold standard and push big county back when they infringe on the quality of process or candidate. Additionally, we worked with the Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn to pass a motion that will ensure action on a variety of behavioral health, working conditions, and leadership items with a 30-day report back to the Board of Supervisors.  Local 1014 has also continued to engage the Fire Chief and Executive Staff to negotiate more changes to staffing, promotion, and leadership items.  
Local 1014 along with the California Professional Firefighters (CPF) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) hosted a meeting to continue working to get our Department back where it needs it to be. The Fire Chief showed up committed and engaged with his Executive Team to work.  Local 1014 hosted an AAR on the Sierra Incident with Peer Support, Chaplains and family liaison teams, MMT, Operations, Union, and Management to follow up on recommendations on working conditions, leadership, training, and staffing.  

The meeting was not an easy meeting and had some intense moments.  In the words of President Gillotte and the Executive Board, “words alone, or plans will not suffice... only ACTIONS and deliverable work product will be acceptable for all who we serve in our leadership roles.”  The Fire Chief committed to working with all to get things done.  
At the meeting, we reviewed items in the Board of Supervisors' (BOS) motion regarding behavioral health. We also conducted a deep dive into working condition items and filling vacancies in all ranks.  We are crafting a plan for entry-level and promotional testing with 3 to 4 classes annually, medic drawdown from FF, BC, Captain and FFS promotional exams every year with periodic, perhaps quarterly, promotions and training for the newly promoted.  Filling our vacancies for FFS is the most critical need right not and a current exam is in progress.  Outside the box ideas are in play including an FFS acting program one time to help with the vacancies. We are also working to promote the FFS as soon as they pass the practical in weekly groups until we finish the process and all successful candidates are promoted.  
Additionally, instead of a long-drawn-out appeal process, Director Pat Dolan and his team are working with Chiefs O’Brien, Breshears and Marrone to streamline a retest process for the practical portion of the exam.  Nationally there are many departments who have moved to this and we know this will allow some to show their skill and move forward.  Furthermore, the Labor / Management Staffing Committee with the Acting Chief Deputy of Operations at the management helm for the first time will meet this month to work on recall relief ideas and any other items in the mix.  Local 1014 will keep the pressure on entry-level testing, hiring, and regular promotional exams, because no matter what schedule we are on, or what recall or staffing rules we have, no solution will fix the recall numbers in volume beyond full staffing. We will keep you posted as we move forward on these issues. 
Finally, we are continuing progress on the members-voted 48/96 trial shift schedule proposal.  The Department has had presentations, data, logistical information, and the “vote”. Now more than ever before should be when we try.  Next week we will have the official Department position on this item.  Stay tuned. We are also vetting leadership, conflict resolution, and management training programs that fit so that our members have the tools to use when conflict or disorder hits.   
We want to thank the Fire Chief and his Executive Team for joining President Gillotte and the 1014 Executive Board, Supervisor Barger’s Justice Deputy Christina Mesesan, President Brian Rice of CPF, and 10th District VP Steve Gilman from the IAFF along with subject matter experts and the Peer Support, Chaplain, MMT, RTW, and staff to work on the issues that are going to change our work environment for the better.  
TEAM-BUILDING is the word we are going to use from now on.  Teamwork, compassion and behavioral and physical health through training. Sports, physical drilling, in-person training, and station life with family and multi-company love with everything we do is where we are going. Companies are back to having a little fun with lineup, workout, hose lays, ladders going up, and FGS being taught.  

Captain Gillotte’s Engine 9, Engine 16 and Squad 16 fought two commercial building fires in their backyard before noon and then hit the pickleball court. Truck 164, Engine 164 and Squad 164 were throwing ladders and putting up the stick on little Alameda under Captain Johnny Ahten’s careful watch.  This is what station life is meant to look like. Please send us your pictures of station life, drills, and activities that show “TEAM-BUILDING” as we want to share our successes in station life.  
Our Peer Support Team along with our Chaplains convened for an in-person quarterly training for the first time in over a year. Retired Fire Captain Joe Woyjec joined the peer meeting and together with President Gilotte shared some important insights and words prior to the anniversary of Granite Mountain Hotshots. 

At the training, peers reviewed the response to the Sierra Incident and the ongoing work needed to help repair our fire family.  Jake Wendell reported on our Peer Support Dog Program and we heard from Kristine Thompson who coordinated our outside agency peer response.  Our Peer Support Team is one of the best in the world. We are used to being shipped out to help others with major impact incidents, but this time it was us who needed the help.  Dr. Steve Froehlich was formally introduced to our team and our Department.  Local 1014 hired Dr. Steve to work as our lead culturally competent clinician and work is in progress to make our program even better and secure additional behavioral health resources.  

Proud parents, siblings, and even second-generation firefighters came together today as Recruit Class 162 graduated and new boot firefighters hit the streets filling vacancies and joining our team to serve others.  Congratulations to all who completed the grueling program to get their badge pinned today.  We will repair, recover and rebuild and class 162 is a sign of just such resiliency and solidarity in our Fire Family.

In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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