Two years ago today, 19 brave men made the ultimate sacrifice when they were over run by an out of control wild fire near the town of Yarnell. The Granite Mountain Hotshots were an elite team and valuable resource used during wild land fires. To help honor these brave men, a make shift memorial was built this morning by Local 1234 members Captain Brandon Case, Engineer John Rundle, and Firefighter Gavin Goble. It was put up for display in front of City Of Yuma Fire Station 5. This station proudly serves the east side of Yuma and is located at 6490 East 26th Street.
Thank you Station 5 C-shift.
Take a moment to remember those that have gone before us, and those that still stand tall protecting us today.
Submitted by Mike Erfert;
Yuma Fire Department (YFD) Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Juan Huerta has successfully completed the process that has led to his receiving the professional designation of “Fire Marshal”. The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) recently met to officially confer the designation upon Firefighter Huerta.
Juan is only the 2nd member of the Yuma Fire Department to earn this recognition. The first was Fire Marshal Kayla Holiman who received the designation last year, shortly before being appointed the Fire Marshal for the City of Yuma. There are only 6 individuals in Arizona who have earned this designation.
The CPC awards the Fire Marshal designation only after an individual has successfully met all educational and profession development criteria. The process includes an assessment of the applicant’s education, experience, professional development, technical competencies, contributions to the profession, and community involvement. Applicants also are required to identify future professional development plans. The process includes a comprehensive peer review to assist in the evaluation of a candidate’s qualifications.
Juan has almost 17 years of service to the citizens of Yuma. He started with the city as a Plans Examiner in 1998 and became a Fire Plans Examiner for YFD in 2003. In 2010 he was hired as a Firefighter Cadet and successfully completed the training/testing process for his current position as Firefighter/EMT. The CPC recognition is a professional designation and not a job title.
From City Of Yuma Interim Fire Captain Bill Kereluk:
For those who may not know, a board has been working for more than a decade to raise money and build a memorial to Arizona firefighters and paramedics who have fallen in the line of duty. The project has broken ground this past weekend and scheduled to be completed by October of this year. Please take a few minutes to navigate around this web site and follow the progression of our state memorial.
The total cost of this project is just over $1.5 million. Through private and corporate sponsors we have raised just over $1M. We still need some funding if you have a corporate contact that may be interested in donating or if anyone has ideas for local fund raisers please contact me at any time.
Submitted by City Of Yuma Interim Fire Captain Steve Legros;
An interesting article regarding the current environment at PSPRS.
You can also follow the progress of investigations into PSPRS activity and litigation at:
It is a website operated by active and retired members of PSPRS acting as a watchdog group on behalf of concerned PSPRS members.
Disclaimer: Public Safety Pension Systems are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny by numerous groups, because of this it is difficult to get a clear and concise answer to questions since each side is “spinning” the story to support their position. What does this mean to you? You should read and research all that you can so that you may be informed! Do not rely on others to do it for you as this perpetuates the spread of misinformation. It’s your pension, it’s your responsibility!
A message from Local 1234 President Kris Leon:
Brothers and Sisters,
My first term as your President is coming to an end and I must say that it was more challenging than I initially anticipated. Most of my term was learning the position while still maintaining open lines of communication with our Administration, our Council Leadership and even the Administrator. I also had the opportunity to represent us at the PFFA level. There were several battles within all three Chapters of our Local. Some battles were lost, some were won, and others I would consider Pyrrhic victories. In the end, we continued to help each other and stand for each other across all three Chapters within our Local.
I wanted to ensure that I stepped back and let the executive board do their job. In order for me to do my job well as our State Rep, I had to rely on our executive board. I received all of the support needed to fulfill my duties. Captain Louser has done an excellent job representing YFD as your Vice President. Secretary / Treasurer Smith has the books and rosters more organized than ever before. Your Stewards have been able to keep the lines of communication open with all three crews. The entire e-board has allowed for every event from a fund raiser to a celebration to be completed with the best results possible.
We have had waves of tribulation and at times it seemed like things couldn't get worse. We all endured high levels of stress at one point or another, specifically in the past year. As a department, we came together. As a Local we supported each other. We will continue to improve our voice with our Departmental leaders as well as with City Leadership so that we as firefighters can be heard. I have never been a political person. Frankly, I don’t understand the mentality of getting ahead by deception. That being said, I have maintained open political lines of communication so that the people who make decisions understand that we matter. Every political contact I have established has been with help from your executive board. It has been obtained with integrity and we have never put our name out to be tarnished. Struggles don’t disappear, they merely change colors. I stand by our executive board and they stand by me. We will continue to work for the benefit of us Firefighters, our Departments and our Communities. We will continue communications with the new Council and Mayor.
Elections open up next week. I have been nominated by John Metha and I have accepted the nomination. I write this letter to ask for your support. I enjoyed being your representative with Fire Administration, Council, the PFFA and at the fire stations. Your executive board has done its best to represent our members to the best of our abilities. We look forward to representing you this next term.
Kris E. Leon
Our Firefighter's are proud members of the International Association of Firefighter's and the Professional Firefighter's of Arizona.