Friday Update 11-10-23
Updated On: Jan 02, 2024


Brothers and Sisters, 
This weekend is Veterans Day, a day we pay tribute and remember those who have served in our Armed Forces, including those who sacrificed their lives for our country.  Many of our LA County Firefighters, Dispatchers, Pilots, Paramedics, Forestry, and Health HazMat personnel have had the honor of serving in the military, and we are proud of our continued support of our active and retired military veterans. 

Please take the time today to thank a veteran in your life. Call your friends, neighbors, family members, or your brother and sister Firefighters and thank them for the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we can enjoy our freedom.

Four LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Die by Suicide in 24 Hours
Our thoughts and prayers go out to ALADS and PPOA, who mourn the loss of 4 of their deputies who died by suicide. Three active duty and one retired deputy took their lives in less than 24 hours. The deputies were all found in Lancaster, Santa Clarita, Stevenson Ranch, and Pomona. Our hearts stand broken with our brothers and sisters in the Sheriff’s Department, and while often they don’t get a fair shake from the public and the district attorney, we stand beside them and with them in our unending bond in all we do.  ALADS and PPOS represent the Sheriff’s Deputies and are reeling from a tragic month laying to rest Deputy Clinkunbroomer, who was senselessly shot in Palmdale.

Our Department, Union, Peer Support, Chaplains, and Memorial Management Teams stand ready to help and are already assisting our brothers and sisters from the Sheriff’s Department.  Suicide for Law Enforcement Officers has become the leading cause of death, outpacing line-of-duty deaths once again, and like firefighters, we struggle to get ahead of this illness that affects all of us.  Please take time to find out about the Deputies and attend their services in uniform if possible, and a reminder that we have resources to help each other and our families if you are feeling like taking your life.  If you or if you know someone who has demonstrated suicidal ideations, talked about it, or has reached out, please direct them to our toolbox of resources to help them.  Peers are specially trained members of our Department who, along with our Fire Clinicians, know our world, and they are a call or reach out away.  Thank the Sheriffs on our streets today for their service; they need to hear it from us regularly in our work.  We will post more information on the services as it becomes available. 
While this has been a lingering and difficult discussion, the Fire Chief is working hard to evaluate our proposal. We need to be clear, we need his support in this moment to move forward with the trial.  We have asked him to make history, at least bold enough as LA County Fire, to try this contemporary, progressive schedule.  With budget issues and Measure F in play, we could not nor would not try and force the schedule with the BOS or the citizens. While we reserve the right to pursue this at any time, the reality is we seek the Fire Chief’s support as a partner in the trial, including incentives for the members and the Department in cost savings, elevated staffing levels, and what would appear to be an overall better mental health schedule that allows us to separate work from our home lives in a much better way, according to the data statewide and nationally. 

Our members, like members in Orange County and Sacramento, two of the largest Departments and membership with 800 plus and 1800 plus, along with countless other smaller agencies, have tried the schedule, and the numbers add up to give it a try.  While most memberships voted trials in with low to high 50s percentage wise in favor and a smaller group of members not in favor of the trial, once time has gone by, with data and evaluation of the pros and cons, highs and lows of the schedule, memberships have voted in the 80% range.  For the first time nationally, we see a trend toward schedules and time at work vs. time off as the number one issue affecting memberships for job satisfaction recruitment and retention.

President Gillotte will talk with Chief Marrone one last time and has asked the 10th Fire Chief of our Department to own his decision wholly and to communicate his decision directly to the members and not just in print.  This is important. We deserve an honest and owned answer from our Chief, and we are hopeful he will agree to a trial that is supported by a strong majority of our members and families, as acknowledged by the Chief.  Schedule and work-life balance have become the number one issues in our membership and we look forward to hearing the Fire Chief’s position on this proposal. 
Local 1014 has joined with the BOS on a DEI and Entry Level Testing Program board motion to openly and honestly tackle the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion of candidates reflecting our communities and our neighborhoods in LA County and beyond while at the same time recognizing that the testing system and recruit academy system was broken, netting candidates who were not adequately prepared to physically and mentally serve as LA County Firefighters. 

We have garnered an agreement for a trial to use the FCTC written exam, which has been used statewide with great success.  This is a test that is given monthly, and candidates can work hard to improve their scores. It also has recruitment and retention embedded into the process with integrated women in the fire service and California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee recruitment tools in place, similar to the FCTC CPAT exam.  Our FSAs will now also have a monthly opportunity to take a written exam and be considered for the Internal Promotional Path to being hired as an FFT.  This has been commonly referred to as the “Bridge Exam” and Local 1014 previously garnered agreement with the Department for this process that requires a candidate from within our structure to be on the current written test list.  We have also simultaneously garnered agreement to use the BEEP test for any candidate to enter the drill tower or for any injured firefighter to return to a tower following an injury, and also any recruit must successfully complete a drill tower within one calendar year of offer of employment.  We are now entering into the final phase of negotiations to determine what the rest of the entry-level test looks like. 

The Department has expressed interest in a Psychological Evaluation, which we will consider and evaluate just as we have put forward our proposal to integrate a weighted ORAL INTERVIEW with two Firefighter Series members – Captains, Engineers or Firefighters and Firefighter Paramedics – who have had ethics training, and implicit bias and cultural diversity training in addition to being raters with experience in our job.  This proposal would restore our ability to have a fair and appropriate cognitive written exam, a physical standard, and an interview where asking, “Why Do You Want to be an LA County Fire Fighter” becomes the core evaluation of whether an individual would be an asset to our great department in service to others in our communities. 

We thank Chief Marrone for his fair and partnered work to get to where we are now, as we both battle big county to some extent to gain control of the entry-level testing process, and we look forward to rapidly finishing negotiations on the final phases of entry-level testing, and more importantly the new process and evaluation of how well it works.  Stay tuned, we are almost there, and we all know that the process will be markedly improved by establishing a baseline of candidates who will give us an honorable and dedicated 30-plus years of service in active duty.

The “THEATER” of an annual cap serves no purpose to regulate any aspect of earnings or staffing or work-rest cycles, as we consistently “MOVE THE BAR” incrementally each year to allow workers to work.  We have a small group of members who are up against the 68.5 shift arbitrary cap now, with many members up against the cap by the end of the month.  This effectively limits workers who are available to work so members can get days off, and it also forces other members to work through recalls.  The reality is the members work to provide service to the communities and should be valued for their willingness to step up and work when they are available versus recalling them to duty or restricting members from getting days off because of this arcane and irrelevant policy. 

We have asked the Department to cease and desist with the policy section immediately as we have reached the threshold for a large number of workers by month's end, and furthermore, to meet and confer to negotiate this removal of this section in permanency.  The teams from labor and management will meet as soon as we can set a date, but in the meantime, ask the chiefs in the chain to support removing the cap and ask them to convey their support up the chain as we work to gain support from the fire chief.  Ask your battalion chiefs, assistant chiefs, and bureau chiefs to put it in writing, and we will likely reach out to the AOC also to garner their support.  We also are driving a better and more appropriate discussion on work-rest cycles. Regular physical fitness with camaraderie built is a valuable tool, along with eating properly, meditation and breathing exercises, and use of our annual physicals and behavioral health tools through PEER Support and counselors we see regularly instead of only in crisis all play a role. We intend to push the data and contemporary thinking now prevalent in the IAFF and departments and Unions nationally. 

President Gillotte, representing our Executive Board, serves on the National Standing EMS Committee, representing the 10th District of the IAFF in work on EMS policies, practices, and laws affecting our profession.  Working with members from throughout the United States and Canada, committee members and instructors for the IAFF in FGS, PEER Support, ACE PEER Fitness Trainer, and more, convene to get up to speed on our profession's latest standards, policies, and practices. 

Captain Scott Ross is a Master PEER Instructor for the IAFF and travels to teach other department and union members PEER Support.  Captain Mike Ritchie also attended in his role as a Master Fire Ground Survival Instructor also teaching the art of fireground self-survival to many members nationally.  Scott and Mike have teams of LA County PEERS and FGS instructors who should also be recognized for their work.  We also want to thank Derek Urwin and Sister Jamie Gabriel for their work on cancer studies with the IAFF, helping redefine prevention nationally for our members. 

The IAFF Standing Committees are established in EMS, Wildfire, Haz-Mat, Human Relations, Labor Employee Assistance, Fallen Firefighter Memorial, Protective Clothing, Behavioral Health, Political Action, and more.  The work establishes paths for legislative, administrative, and negotiated best practices in all areas of our profession.  Accreditation of training, specifications of turnouts and gear, medical director standards for EMS, standards for behavioral health, and cancer testing and prevention.  The work will take shape in the form of proposed policies, best practices, and resolutions for IAFF and State Conventions driving the efforts of our great Union.  Thank you to our members for stepping up to train and help at a higher level benefitting not only LA County Local 1014 members but all brothers and sisters in our profession in the United States and Canada.


In Solidarity, 

President Dave Gillotte and the Local 1014 Executive Board 

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