Sisters and Brothers,
First, on behalf of the Union Executive Board, we want to say THANK YOU to all our members and their families for the incredible dedication, professionalism, and care you have shown to our communities as we navigate the constantly changing frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has not been an easy few months and we know that this pandemic has placed a strain on you and your families. Thank you for continuing to serve our most vulnerable at great personal risk to you and your families. You are our frontline heroes and we can never thank you enough.
The Department sent out EA 326 in an attempt to reiterate policies and help us continue to do the great job we have been doing to stay healthy while we handle this dangerous mission. While we acknowledge that we ALL need to remain vigilant and practice the highest level of protection and precaution, the tone and language in the EA does NOT reflect the incredible care that our members have taken as they serve day in and day out on the frontline.
Our members as a whole have done an incredible job of not only serving our residents but maintaining standards needed to prevent the spread and our numbers reflect that commitment. It is true we have had our incidents of people not adhering to the standards and those issues have been addressed and dealt with appropriately. It is extremely important to continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard for the good of our members, our families, and our communities. To that end please take a moment to listen to the latest CPF Fire Wire Podcast and the powerful testimony from two of our brothers at Anaheim Firefighters Local 2899 — healthy, experienced firefighters — who spent close to a month in the hospital after contracting the deadly virus.
We are blessed to have Dr. Kazan as our Medical Director and Health Services Director during this trying time. He has done a great job removing the politics, advising us, and crafting policies to keep us safe. We support Dr. Kazan and all his input and expertise in our policies. However, we risk losing that message when it is not delivered properly by Management.
It can be easy for Management, who are removed from the reality of the field, to not comprehend the level of commitment it takes for our members to maintain these standards as we work on thousands of COVID patients and transport and care for the most severely ill patients several times a day. However, ignorance of the field is NOT an excuse for the unacceptable language used in the EA to scold our members.
We will be working with the Department to discuss this rollout and will work to regain the leader’s intent and good practice as we continue to serve the public during this challenging time. The Union has contacted Chief Osby and is working to make changes to the language of this EA that reflects both the need for vigilance and the dedication and sacrifice our members have made and continue to make to serve LA County.
We are fighting for you and your families, not only for you to remain safe and healthy but also for you to receive the respect you deserve as you risk your health every day in the field.
In Solidarity and Strength,