Brothers & Sisters,
Today as we laid to rest Brother Mike Fournier and honored his sacrifice and that of his family, we learned of another tragic death of one of our brothers from the US Forest Service at the El Dorado Fire. Our prayers and condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.
This year has been particularly difficult for our members as we are being stretched to the limit both physically and mentally with COVID-19 as well as facing unprecedented dangers with wildfires across the state. The tragic death of Brother Fournier and our USFS brother are stark reminders of the risk we take to protect our communities. As we continue to battle the Bobcat Fire, stay safe, and take care of each other. Remember to use the resources in your stations if you or someone you know needs peer support.
IAFF FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 19 at 11:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) for the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 2020 Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Virtual Remembrance to honor our fallen whose names will forever be etched onto our Wall of Honor. We are all disappointed that we are unable to hold our traditional ceremony this year, but this is the safest and best path during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year we will be adding Brother Randall Duarte’s name to the Wall of Honor. All our 2020 families are invited to the 2021 Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial service on September 18, 2021, in Colorado Springs where they will receive flags and experience the full magnitude of the honors provided at our annual ceremony. Honor our fallen brothers and sisters and tune in to tomorrow’s memorial.
MEMBERS NEEDED FOR UCLA COVID-19 STUDY
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is conducting a study on Firefighters and COVID-19. We need greater participation from our members to ensure that we have the data necessary to fight for critical legislation and benefits like presumption. See the details of the study below:
- The UCLA team is only using the samples for COVID related tests (i.e. antibody and PCR).
- The testing they are providing through their study is the most state-of-the-art testing offered.
- They are able to test for the presence of antibodies as well as antibody levels.
- This is important because we expect some people will be able to maintain antibody levels while others may not, however, we need more information to predict this accurately.
- We have noted that even asymptomatic Firefighters who are post-COVID infection may have reduced exercise tolerance. This has been particularly notable during fires. Our hope is that this study will help us identify at-risk members BEFORE they go into a fire.
- Lastly, we are already seeing reinfections worldwide and likely within the fire service. If we have baseline data on reinfection we can ask the UCLA lab to genetically sequence the virus. This will help tell us why reinfection occurred (among other things).
Participation is voluntary but we are encouraging members to participate because this study is critical to understanding how this disease is going to impact our workforce and ability to respond to emergencies now and in the future.
If you are interested in participating please contact Battalion Chief Brian Kane.
In Solidarity and Strength,