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September 16, 2014
What's New at IAFF 244
Staffing Challenges

The IAFF Local 244 Executive Board would like to acknowledge the City Chapter Labor/Management & Safety Committee personnel for their leadership in confronting the current staffing challenges. We are working with AFD Fire Administration and pulling all resources together to prevent any future staffing reductions. We will also continue to work on funding for critical staffing for BCFD in the best interest of our County Chapter members and the public we all serve. 

Message from City Chapter Safety Committee appointees Paul Dow and Justin Staley: 

IAFF Local 244 Brothers and Sisters,

During difficult times, such as these, it is imperative that we educate ourselves and the public regarding the importance of properly staffed fire apparatus. Inadequate staffing will delay or at times even prevent the performance of critical tasks, increases the physiological stress on fire fighters, and increases the actual physical risk to both firefighters and the civilians we are attempting to save. Please take the time to download and read the following information so that you are better prepared to articulate our message of public safety. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Report on Residential Fire Ground Field Experiments, April 2010.  

  • This is a study on staffing levels for residential structures. During this study it was determined that the four-person crews completed the same number of fire ground tasks (on average) 5.1 minutes faster — nearly 25 % — than the three-person crew.
  • Download the complete document by clicking on the link below: http://www.nist.gov/el/fire_research/residential-fire-report_042810.cfm
  • Other staffing studies from Boston, Dallas, Seattle, Austin and Minneapolis Fire Department concluded that firefighters were not only more efficient in the performance of their tasks on the fire ground but they also had fewer injuries and fatalities among the firefighters. All of these studies showed increased stress to firefighters as staffing is reduced which led to greater risk of death, injury and overall safety. The Austin Study concluded that fewer injuries/deaths for civilians and Firefighters as a benefit to increasing staffing levels from three to four persons. The Boston study demonstrated that there is a disproportionate increase in risk to firefighters that attempt to complete routine task when staffing decreases. The NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY reports on the Dallas study stated: A smaller workforce doing the same, as a larger workforce will result in increased injuries to the back and knees. The cost to the city and department are heavy.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA 1710, 1410 and 1500 all recommend a minimum staffing of no less than 4-person Engine Co.’s. These recommendations by the NFPA have grown out of experience and are empirically grounded in results from study after study showing the causal relationship of deficient fire ground staffing and increased firefighters’ safety.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Ensure that at least four firefighters are on the scene before initiating interior firefighting operations at a structural fire - OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.134 (two-in and two-out).

Time

During a fire response, time is our enemy. The faster we can complete our fire ground tasks, the faster we can provide a safer environment for ourselves and the community we’ve sworn to protect. The faster the fire goes out, the faster the danger to occupants goes away and the more property we are able to save. The silver bullet to defeating the issue of time: We must sufficiently staff our Engines so they can quickly and effectively accomplish their mission. Time becomes a stronger enemy to us if we must wait for additional companies to arrive before there are adequate levels of staffing necessary to mounting an offensive operation.

Safety

Reducing our staffing levels compromises the safety of the public by diminishing our efficiency on the emergency scene. This could be a medical call, motor vehicle accident, wild land fire or a structure fire. Four firefighters are 25% more efficient than three firefighters are (NIST, 2010). With one less Firefighter, the Company Officer of the Engine Co. will have to perform more hands-on tasks rather than communicate with the Incident Commander or other units on the emergency scene. At a fire scene, this also reduces his ability to watch for scene safety, changes in fire behavior or the structure collapsing on the firefighters inside. Firefighters operating in understaffed environments are too often expected to perform beyond their capabilities. Lowering the staffing levels compromises the safety of the citizens and our firefighters.

All members should remember and stress to the public that a reduction in staffing will result in a reduction in the amount of work that can be performed when lives and property hang in the balance.

Additional PDF documents are available to download below.

Paul Dow and Justin Staley

IAFF Local 244

Safety Committee Members


Download: NIST FF Staffing Report.pdf , Staffing_Tactics_FF_Survival.pdf , 4 Person Stafffing Fact.pdf , Landmark High-Rise Fire Study Evaluates Effectiveness of Crew Sizes , Elevator Use.pdf , Contributing Factors to FF Line-of-Duty Death_IAFFand USFA.pdf
Remembering the 343 FDNY Fire Fighters on 13th Anniversary of 9/11

Message from General President Harold Schaitberger:

“On this 13th anniversary of September 11, 2001, we take today to recognize and honor all who responded on that horrific day – and in the weeks and months after – to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the fields of Shanksville, for their incredible selflessness, service and sacrifice. Our members gave everything they had. The best that this union and our nation have to offer was demonstrated in their courageous response.

“Even more significantly, we must always remember the profound loss of the 343 FDNY fire fighters who faced down unspeakable horror defending the citizens of New York City. We must also remember the 9/11 workers who have since died from cancer or respiratory disease. Their names are etched on the Wall of Honor at our Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs. We honor their service, courage and ultimate sacrifice with continued determination to ensure the safety and security of all of our brothers and sisters across the United States and Canada.

“We made a solemn pledge 13 years ago, on that cloudless blue morning in September, to always remember and to never forget. The 300,000 members of this great union, our entire Executive Board, Tommy Miller and I continue to stand by that pledge.”

Memorial Service for Brother Johnny R. Walker
It is with a heavy heart we announce the Memorial Services for our Brother Johnny Walker. Services will be as follows: Memorial Service September 10, 2014 4:00pm First United Methodist Church 314 Lead Ave SW Albuquerque, NM 87102 IAFF Membership Memorial (at the request of Brother J. Read More...
IAFF-MG MOTORCYCLE RALLY

IAFF-MG MOTORCYCLE RALLY

Attention All Local 244 Motorcycle Riders:

The NM Chapter of the IAFF-Motorcycle Group is heading out to Flagstaff on September 14th, 2014, for the IAFF-MG International Bike Rally. We are inviting all bikers to ride out with us to Flagstaff or as far as you would like to go.

We will meet at Einstein Bagels (Jefferson & Osuna location) at 9:00a.m. with special thanks to Brother Michael Palmer for providing free coffee and bagels to all members who attend.  Kickstands will be up at 11:00a.m.

Hope to see you all there!!

Date: September 14, 2014

Location: Einstein Bagels (Jefferson/Osuna)

Time: 9:00a.m.

Ride: 11:00a.m. to Flagstaff

Giving Muscular Dystrophy the Boot
The year was 1954. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the White House home, a gallon of gas averaged 22 cents, and the television show “Father Knows Best” kept Americans captivated with Hollywood’s version of the perfect family. Read More...
The IAFF Local 244 General Election will be held December 9, 2014 from 7am-7pm
Nominations for the 2014 General Election officially open at the General Membership Meeting on September 11, 2014 and will close at the General Membership Meeting on November 13, 2014. In accordance with the Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters IAFF Local 244 Bylaws: Article X, Officer Elections Contract Voting, Section 4. Read More...
Annual AFD/IAFF Softball Game - Alarm Room vs. Station 13

On August 17, 2014, IAFF members and their families gathered for the annual AFD Alarm Room Softball Game. Members from Station 13 and several retirees played in this year’s games.  This year was a huge success with a record turnout! A special thank you to Brother Johnny Sedillo for his work in organizing this event.  

Celebrating Lt. Johnny Walker's Career

Lt. Johnny Walker has had an exemplary career with BCFD and is a proud and loyal member of the International Association Fire Fighters. He served the department as a Lieutenant and a Wildland Task Force Leader. Today he was recognized by Fire Chief Barka for his meritorious service at the Thompson Ridge Fire in 2013. President Arencón, Vice-President Sanchez, Chief Steward Asi and Steward Lujan were in attendance alongside several members to honor him for his last shift.

Brother Walker thank you for your leadership!


Download: J. Walker presentation 8-5-14.jpg
Special Meeting Announcement for August 5, 2014
On Tuesday, August 5, 2014 the IAFF Local 244 Executive Board will present the City Chapter Paramedic/Arson Investigator Incentive Pay MOU for approval by the membership pursuant to Article V, Section 6 Special Meetings & Article II, Section 4 Memorandums of Understanding of the Constitution & Bylaws. The meeting will begin promptly at 5:30pm.
Delegates Make History at IAFF Convention
Delegates at the IAFF 52nd Convention left Cincinnati armed with tools and resources to navigate in these challenging times after making tough decisions on a number of resolutions - including one

resolution that called for a roll call vote for the first time since 1982.

In case you missed it, visit www.iaffconvention2014.org for coverage, photos and videos.

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