Brothers and Sisters,
This week, we celebrated several legislative victories at the State level for our members. Local 1014 was proud to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across California as the Governor signed into law the Firefighter Behavioral Health Package:
- SB 542(Stern)-Gives first responders the occupational protections needed to treat Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI) and begin the healing process. The bill passed unanimously out of Assembly Insurance Committee and moves to Appropriations Committee next.
- AB 1116 (Grayson)-Peer Support Confidentiality - Sets statewide standards for Firefighter peer support and crisis referral programs. It confers confidentiality for related communications between peer supporters and Firefighters.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed both CPF-sponsored Behavioral Health Bills creating confidential peer-support and PTSI presumption law for firefighters across the state. Chair of the California State Task Force on Behavioral Health in the Fire Service President Dave Gillotte joined California Professional Firefighters President Brian Rice, International Association of Fire Fighters 10th District VP Frank Lima, and members of the Task Force from across the state for the signing.
This legislative package was the culmination of 3-years of hard work for our members and Firefighters across the state as we fight to break the silence on behavioral health in the fire service. While this was a historic day, the fight is not over as we work to break the stigma.
This week the Governor also signed: SB 438 (Hertzberg)- This bill blocks the privatization of emergency dispatch to ensure patient care is the top priority and keeps 911 dispatch in the hands of sworn public safety officers.
We want to thank Sister Cerena Lewis, Fire Dispatcher, and 603-604 Bargaining Unit member, for joining us to lobby the California State Legislature on SB 438 earlier this year and for providing moving testimony on behalf of our LA County Dispatchers and Dispatchers across California.
We can never emphasize enough that political action is the cornerstone of protecting our members and their families while improving our wages, hours, and working conditions. Los Angeles County is the largest county in the nation. It is critical that our voice and the voice of our members is heard by those who make life-changing decisions on our behalf. Your Executive Board is continuously working to ensure that our members are protected at every level of government.
We want to thank the excellent staff at California Professional Firefighters (CPF) for their effort to push these bills through the California Legislature. Special thank you to President Brian Rice for walking the halls to support these bills.