Representing over 3200 Firefighters, Paramedics, Dispatchers,
Pilots, Wildland Firefighters, Forestry and Health Haz Mat personnel
Brothers & Sisters,
This has been an extremely challenging week for our members, our families and the communities we serve.Thank you to all of our members who have served during this siege.
The Woolsey Fire has now burned nearly 100,000 acres, destroyed over 400 structures and caused 4 deaths. This is no doubt the worst fire in the County’s history and certainly in recent memory. We have deployed 450 fire engines, 40 water tankers, 22 helicopters flying day and night and 50 bulldozers to fight back this fire. We are also ensuring that we continue to fully staff our stations to protect the rest of the 2,307 square mile LA County Fire District.
We created the rules as we went to staff our rigs with two shifts per rig. We pulled rigs from everywhere to fill 27 strike teams while at the same time covering our vast area of LA County with fire and paramedic service. We moved Orange County Fire Department rigs into our stations to help while we drew down hard to get it done. Local 1014 Dispatchers, Forestry and Health HazMat, FSA’s, and Heavy Equipment all pulled hard to help get it done. We should all be proud of our efforts.
Thank you to Chief Daryl Osby for communicating early and often on this fire and empowering his staff to work with our Local 1014 Executive Board to create solutions to staffing and working condition issues. As for our ongoing recall issues for strike teams and seven-day staffing issues, we were able to get these addressed by the Chief from the operations briefing area where we told him it was held up at OPS. There will be more action on the staffing items in the coming weeks.
Additionally, for the first time ever, we formed 'Occupancy Support Strike Teams.' These teams went out into the communities devastated by the loss of homes to help them repopulate and look for lost treasures, records and photos etc. There were many small victories in the middle of this tragedy such as the strike team that helped a woman find antiques and heirloom rings from her grandmother amidst the rubble of her home (pictured below). This was an emotional moment for her and our strike team members were humbled to restore a little piece of her life amidst the ashes
We would like to thank to Governor Elect Gavin Newsom and State Senator Henry Stern for taking time this week to join our first responders on the front line and shadow our Peer SupportTeams. We thank them both for their commitment to getting our members more resources and more behavioral health support not only on this incident but long term. Our Peer Support Teams have been fighting the fire on the front lines while offering support for our fellow brothers and sisters. We are committed to getting our members the help they need both physically and emotionally. We embedded Peer Teams at both the Woolsey Fire and the Camp Fire. We had over 60 Firefighters lose their homes throughout California, one Firefighter run over by a car, and we had peer support needs for Firefighters from last week’s Borderline shooting. Thank you to all our Peer Support Team Leaders who have been spearheading this monumental effort.
Tomorrow, President Dave Gillotte will be joining President Trump’s tour of the Woosley Fire. On behalf of our members, we will continue to ensure that all our elected representatives from every level of government know the challenges our members face here in Los Angeles County, not just during wildfires but every day, as we protect the residents of Los Angeles County with limited resources and staffing.
To that end, we also provided a tour of the fire site to our Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer and used it as an opportunity to explain the harsh conditions our members face out in the field and again lobby for our contract to come to a resolution.
We would also like to thank IAFF 10th District Vice President Frank Lima and CPF President Brian Rice who have been instrumental in getting our members and members of our surrounding locals the help they need.
On behalf of the Local 1014 Executive Board, we are proud and honored to represent the men and women of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.