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April 20, 2014
What's New at IAFF 244
IAFF Briefing on Interoperability and Communications Issues
April 16, 2014 – One of the most important pieces of safety equipment is a functioning, mission-critical-voice portable radio. Effective and reliable two-way voice communications is essential for both overall fire ground operations and for individual fire fighter safety.

Over the past several years, the IAFF has worked diligently on issues ranging from interoperability, to spectrum, to improving the reliability of portable radios. This union has consistently maintained that the most important function in emergency communications is ensuring basic operability on the scene. While the IAFF supports efforts to improve interoperability and data communications, nothing supersedes mission critical voice capability in terms of importance. 

The IAFF's efforts have succeeded in obtaining a large block of spectrum real estate known as "D" Block, which is dedicated for public safety use. However, the passage of this legislation created some negative unintended consequences, the most notable of which is a threat to large cities operating on the T-Band spectrum for voice communication.

A quasi-public entity known as FirstNet was established to manage this new range of “D” Block spectrum and construct an interoperable system for digital (data) communication. Unfortunately, this effort has led to a great deal of confusion about the First Net, the new “D” Block Spectrum and moving public safety from the T-Band to the “D” Block.

It is important that IAFF members understand the advantages, threats and challenges associated with these developments. The IAFF has prepared a Briefing on Interoperability and Communications Issues and FirstNet to provide a primer on overall communications issues. Click here to download this document.
Brother Chris Serino
Attention Members: Brother Chris Serino has suffered a heart attack and is recovering. The QA Officers will serve as the point of contact for information/updates. Capt. Gene Gallegos is the point of contact to facilitate TTW for Chris. 
The 3rd Annual ‘Swing for Survivors’ Golf Tournament was a Great Success!

On Saturday, April 5th 2014, the Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters will hosted the 3rd Annual ‘Swing for Survivors’ Golf Tournament to Benefit the IAFF Local 244 Firefighters Survivors Fund (FSF). The New Mexico Fire and Police Pipes and Drums started off the tournament with a ceremony to honor our fallen. There over 60 participants and several guests between active members and retirees. We raised over $6,000 for the FSF! A special thank you to all our sponsors and Lt. Martin Salazar for organizing the event. 

Benefit Poker Run for Jeremy Sanchez (VP Robert Sanchez' brother) on April 12
Come out and help support Jeremy Sanchez and have some fun at the same time.  See attached PDF for all the information. Contact George Asi with questions.
Download: POKER RUN.pdf
Special Meeting Announcement for April 7, 2014 at 7:00pm

On Monday, April 7, 2014 the IAFF Local 244 Executive Board will present the official Political Action Committee recommendation for United States Congress, Dist. 1 for ratification by the membership pursuant to Article V, Section 6. Special Meetings & Article IX, Section 6. Political Action Committee. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm.

IAFF Mourns Loss of Two Boston Local 718 Members

The IAFF is saddened to learn that two Boston, MA Local 718 members – Edward Walsh Jr., 43, and Michael Kennedy, 33 -- made the ultimate sacrifice on March 26 while responding to a nine-alarm brownstone fire in the Back Bay section of the City. Thirteen others were injured, some seriously, and treated at the hospital. They suffered burns and broken bones, but none of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

“Our hearts are heavy today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and with all of our Local 718 brothers and sisters during this difficult time,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. The IAFF will post more information regarding services as soon as the information is available. Donation information is below.

The fire started in the basement and spread very quickly because of the 45-miles-per-hour weather conditions. Walsh and Kennedy, both from Engine 33, went inside to assist with the interior attack, but called a Mayday within two or three minutes after entry.Local 718 leaders report that early indications suggest that the intensity of the flames may have burned through their fire hoses, preventing them from putting water on the fire.

Both Local 718 members are being remembered for their commanding presence. Walsh, who had almost a decade on the job, comes from a family of fire fighters. His father and uncles served in Watertown and were members of Local l347. Walsh is also remembered as a devoted family man. He leaves behind a wife and three children who are all under the age of 10. Kennedy was a six-and-a-half year veteran fire fighter and a Marine Corps veteran. He was one of the first on the scene in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing last year. He was dedicated to his City and community, even when he was not on the job. He worked with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and he worked hard to assist a blood and bone marrow registry drive in support of a six-year-old boy with leukemia.

Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund has been established at the Boston Fire Boston Firefighters Credit Union.

Donations will be accepted by mail by sending a check to:

Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund 
Boston Firefighters Credit Union 
60 Hallet Street 
Dorchester, MA 02124

‘Honoring Our Own’ – For Life Saving Rescues on September 17, 2013

On September 17, 2013 BCFD Station 38 B was toned out for a patient who accidentally fell into a metal shredder/separator. Upon arrival they learned it was in fact, two patients that were trapped in the heavy machinery.  Upon arrival, Rescue 38 requested additional resources. The patients were approximately 6-8 feet down into a divider/hopper.  Truck 38 crew arrived within minutes and Captain Fichtner assumed command, verified the machinery was locked and tagged out.  Additional units were advised to stage at entrance, as it was very muddy due to the heavy recent rainfall. The decision was made to rapidly extricate as one of the patients looked unresponsive. They were immobilized using c-collars and long spine boards and were skillfully removed thru a small openings in the machine.

The IAFF Local 244 Executive Board honored Station 38 B on the 19th of March for rescuing two trapped patients and for excellence in scene management. The crew was very humble in accepting the award and gave credit to the other crews who responded and assisted. The Medical Director also recognized Station 38 personnel for their professionalism. The following members were honored: Captain Chris Fichtner, Engineer Joel Gallegos, Paramedic Chris Roche, Firefighter Juanito Chavez and Firefighter Richard Baca. 

IAFF NM Chapter Motorcycle Group Jemez Loop Spring Ride

It is time again to hit the road for the 8th Annual Spring Jemez Loop (a BCFD tradition), a full day of riding with fellow Fire Fighters and Police Officers on March 24, 2014. The ride starts in Albuquerque at 10:00am at the Starbucks at Wyoming & Paseo Del Norte for a ride through Jemez, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Madrid and back to Albuquerque. We have added a Poker Run with a $10 buy in to benefit the Firefighter Survivors Fund. Call Keith Clark for more information @ 505-269-9068.

Come and Join your Brothers & Sisters @ Ned's Bar & Grill (250 San Mateo NE) CELEBRATING FIREFIGHTERS for St. Patrick's Day! Portion of the Proceeds Donated to the Local IAFF FF Survivor's Fund. Show your FF ID for a chance to win great prizes. Read More...
'Honoring Our Own' – For Life Saving Rescue on February 8, 2014

On February 8, 2014, a first alarm was dispatched for District 2 to a car fire that was threatening a structure. All units were assigned accordingly by Command.  Units working around the alpha side of the structure were advised that someone might be trapped inside. At this time, fire had spread to the front door. Ladder 5 Captain Gabe Blea made a decision to enter through the Charlie side of the structure with his crew to perform a primary search.  After forcing the door, they encountered heavy smoke conditions to the floor.  During their search they encountered a downed victim. They swiftly removed the patient from the structure handed her off to the Rescue 5 Paramedics. Enroute to the hospital the Rescue 5 crew treated symptoms and stabilized the patient.

The IAFF Local 244 Executive Board performed an Honoring Our Own Ceremony on February 27, 2014 at Station 5. With Fire Chief David Downey and Commander Mike Silvera in attendance we recognized the heroic efforts of Captain Gabe Blea, Lt. Ron Benavidez, Driver Jason Galindro, Driver Adrian Breen and Firefighter Justin Baca. 

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