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!
Submitted by City Of Yuma Fire Engineer Bill Kereluk........
Every year, the IAFF Burn Fund sponsors the International Burn Camp in Washington, DC. The Foundation draws a young burn survivor (ages 13 to 15) along with professional fire fighter/counselor from each of the more than 40 regional burn camps throughout the United States and Canada to attend the International Burn Camp. The chosen individuals are brought to Washington, DC for week-long, once-in-a-lifetime trip where they tour the monuments, memorials, and museums; visit the White House and the Capitol; meet national leaders; and spend time with local fire fighters. Since its inception over a decade ago, the IAFF Burn Foundation's International Burn Camp has earned an international reputation as a model for burn survivor support.”
The Arizona Burn Foundation hosts Camp Courage held in Prescott AZ each year. The camp is staffed by firefighters and volunteers as “camp counselors”. These counselors are assigned a small group of burn survivors which they care for, mentor and entertain for a whole week. With the help of hundreds of sponsors and volunteers Counselors and Campers enjoy camping, fishing, rappelling, archery, horseback riding and many more organized events. The counselors however make the otherwise down time even more fun with activities, themes, costumes and even the occasional prank played on other cabins.
Each year at Camp Courage the camp staff and counselors vote to choose an outstanding counselor and one child burn survivor between the age of 13-15 to attended the International Burn Camp in Washington DC. This year the chosen counselor is our very own Firefighter Andrea Moreno. This year camp had chosen the “superhero” theme. As she always does, Andrea began preparing for Camp Courage months in advance, Andrea spent tons of hours hand making costumes for each of her campers, herself and her co-counselor.
The United Yuma Firefighters Association is extremely proud of Andrea and very excited for her upcoming opportunity! Firefighter Moreno has given countless hours of her time and committment to help make the Arizona Burn Camp a success!
The United Yuma Firefighter's Association would like to CONGRATULATECity Of San Luis Firefighter Mauro Rodriguez & his wife Rubycell on the birth of their baby boy "Jovan." Weighing 7lbs 11.5oz and 19.76". Mom and baby are doing great!!
YFD Had Highest Accreditations, ISO Rating Under His Tenure
Yuma Fire Department Chief Jack McArthur is retiring after 10 years with the department effective May 8. He has accepted a similar position with the City of Vallejo, California.
McArthur engineered a number of changes within the Yuma Fire Department, leading it during times that included a sharp period of community growth followed quickly by the impact of the 2008 recession, during which time the department kept making improvements.
"We want to thank Chief McArthur for taking the department to its highest level of service, which currently exists within the department, during his tenure," said City Administrator Greg Wilkinson. "We wish him well in his retirement and in his future path."
Some of YFD's accomplishments under McArthur's leadership include the following:
Accredited twice by the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Improvement of the City's insurance industry or ISO rating for its fire suppression system to a grade of 2, putting YFD among the top 1 percent of fire departments nationwide.
State approval of an improved model for ambulance transport of patients, which has reduced transit times to the emergency room, added efficiency of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the community and reduced overall cost to the City for EMS transport.
Opening of Fire Station 6, and the replacements of Fire Station 3 and the E.F. Sanguinetti Fire Station 1.
Extension by Yuma voters of the Public Safety Tax, which was modified to allow those funds to be used to replace aging equipment.
McArthur will take over as fire chief for the City of Vallejo effective May 13.
The City will immediately begin its search for the most qualified candidate to serve as chief, including candidates within the department.
Subject: YFD Personnel Recognized for Tower Rescue
Contact: Mike Erfert, Public Information Officer
Release: For Immediate Release
On Thursday April 10, 2014 Yuma Fire Department personnel attended the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce “Good Morning Yuma” meeting hosted by Arizona Western College. The occasion was used to award the department’s Medal of Honor to Fire Captain John Whitson, Firefighter/Paramedic Manny Lara, and Firefighter/Paramedic Alex Urzua. YFD’s Honor Guard and Pipe and Drum unit performed and the medals were presented by Fire Chief Jack McArthur.
On July 18, 2013, the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department responded to the 15000 block of Avenue G. A man had climbed a cell phone tower and was threatening suicide. He was 160 feet up the tower and could not be reached by the fire department’s ladder trucks. The Yuma Fire Department was dispatched to this call for mutual aid and the Yuma Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team (TRT) was activated.
The TRT team, working with the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department, Somerton Police Department, and the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office developed a rescue plan. The victim initially was unwilling to accept help and threatened to jump if anyone approached him, but he was becoming increasingly weaker as the day’s heat reached well over 110°. Because of the state of mind of the victim, the TRT team faced the additional risk of a combative or uncooperative patient and had to prepare for this as they considered their approach. The Sheriff’s Office negotiation team was able to talk the victim into allowing the TRT team to perform the rescue and a joint decision was made to send three Team members up the tower.
Captain Whitson, Firefighter Lara, and Firefighter Urzua climbed the tower, while other TRT personnel supported them from the ground. This was an extremely dangerous mission due to the high heat of the day, the height of the tower, and the skill level it takes to perform this type of rescue. As the team reached the man, he was so weak that he was unable to assist in his own rescue. The victim was quickly secured to the tower so he would not fall and then placed in a harness to be lowered to the ground. The team lowered him about 100 feet to a waiting Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department ladder truck. The ladder truck assisted with lowering him the rest of the way to the ground, where an Ambulance waited to transport him to Yuma Regional Medical Center.
Yuma Fire Department TRT personnel go through a five week specialized course that trains them to conduct these types of rescues as well as rescues in water, confined spaces, trenches, and building collapses. Training continues year round so that they can be prepared to do the job quickly and safely, this was a great example of this team putting their training to good use.
Support the Federal Fire Fighter Flexibility and Fairness Act
The IAFF’s federal fire fighters are engaged in a big push to garner support and co-sponsors for HR 1141 (Representative Sarbanes (D-MD).
This cost-neutral federal legislation, also known as the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act, resolves trade time inequities for our nation’s federal fire fighters. Specifically, the bill ensures that federal fire fighters have trade time parameters similar to those provided for municipal fire fighters under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations.
Currently, 34 members of Congress have signed on to HR 1141 as co-sponsors, but more are needed in order to keep this bill alive and moving this year. To make this happen, federal fire fighters need your help!
Firefighters respond to emergency calls for service 24hrs a day and 7 days a week. Our firefighters are always on duty and ready to respond when dispatched. Daily duties such as training, station and apparatus maintenance, self study for promotional exams, & other such activities are frequently interrupted for emergency responses.
On Thursday March 6th City Of Somerton Firefighters were out shopping for meals when they received a call. They pushed the cart loaded with that days meals to the side, informed the store staff that they would return after the call and left the store to respond. When they returned to the store and returned to the grocery cart they were pleasantly surprised to find that an unknown citizen had graciously paid the bill and left a simple note on the back of the receipt.
Members of Eastside Fire Local 2878 recently contacted The United Yuma Firefighters Associationfor assistance. One of the members of Local 2878 had a family member who had recently suffered a stroke and lived in the City Of Yuma. Local 2878 is in the State of Washington and therefore quite a distance from Yuma. The request was to assist with putting Local 2878 in touch with a company or person that could build a ramp from the patient's driveway to the front door to allow for wheel chair access. Local 1234 President Kris Leon was able to coordinate something better than the original request! Over the course of a few on duty shifts, Kris and his fellow firefighters were able to develop a plan, shop for the lumber, paint, and hardware and then construct a sturdy ramp for patient. The end result was a ramp that will now allow the patient easier access in and out of his home for a very long time!
On duty crew members consisted of Capain Rob Welch, Engineer Kris Leon, Firefighter Jordan Simpson, Firefighter Alvin Luedtke, Firefighter Travis LaRue, Firefighter John Dunbar, Captain Kevin Honaker, Engineer Martin Guzman, and Firefighter Annette Garcia.
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.
It's not everyday that a City Of Yuma Firefighter makes National News but on Tuesday December 10th, Local 1234 member Ladd Elwood did just that!
While on duty at Fire Station 4, a concernced citizen stopped by the station to report that she had found a cat with its head stuck inside of a can of dog food. The cat had been spotted by the citizen walking in the street and was nearly hit by several vehicles. Firefighter Elwood was able to safely cut the can open and remove the cat without causing injury to himself or the feline.
The conference committee was created as part of the recent compromise to end the government shutdown and increase America’s debt ceiling. The committee, which met for the first time this week, is tasked with determining a top-line spending level for the federal government, but is also anticipated to consider entitlement and tax reform. Consequently, important programs and policies affecting IAFF members could be on the table as the group works towards an agreement.
Schaitberger sent a letter to members of the conference, outlining policies vital to our nation’s domestic defenders and urging members to protect such policies. Specifically, Schaitberger calls upon Congress to:
• Protect current tax exclusions for employer-provided health care and pension contributions that protect the unique retirement and health care demands of fire fighters • Protect municipal bonds and the state and local tax deductions that allow local governments to meet their most fundamental public safety obligations • Protect fire fighters’ exemption from mandatory Social Security coverage • Protect federal fire fighters from additional budget cuts, understanding that they have already sacrificed enough in the name of deficit reduction.
The conference committee is tasked with producing a final bill by December 13, 2013. The IAFF will continue to advocate for the needs of its members as the conference proceeds.
The Arizona State Forestry Division has released the Serious Accident Investigation report of the Yarnell Hill Fire, which on June 30, 2013, killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was produced by a very large cast of characters, 18 core Team Members, 17 Support Team Members, and 19 Subject Matter Experts, for a total of 54 people.
Although some may say that certain questions are still unanswered, let us not forget about the tragedy of losing 19 men that day. The report is quite lengthy but if you can take some time to read, it may be of benefit and may save lives in the future.
Back problems are among the most expensive of musculoskeletal disorders in industrialized nations, and one of the most common work related ailments affecting adults in the United States. In any given year, 50% of the working population will experience back pain, with 80% reporting low back pain (LBP) at some time during their lifetime. Although the vast majority of individuals suffering from back pain will fully recover within 1 month (90%), low back pain may also be a cause of chronic pain and long term disability.
As might be expected, fire fighters are at increased risk of back injury compared to other professions secondary to rigorous physical requirements of the occupation. The International Association of Fire Fighters' annual Death and Injury Survey reveals that sprains and strains routinely account for approximately 50% of all line-of-duty injuries and back injuries account for approximately 50% of all line-of-duty injury retirements each year. These injuries may result in significant lost time and medical expense.
This article will discuss the anatomy of the lower back, common causes of LBP, measures for preventing LBP, and treatment of minor LBP. Given the fact, however, that back pain has a number of causes with more severe implications, it is recommended that LBP always be treated in consultation with a health care provider. Click hereto continue.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a federal statute signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. The law is widely viewed as the most historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid.
While the law’s primary goal is to increase the number of insured Americans, there are other provisions within the law that also have implications for IAFF members.
In order to help IAFF members better understand the law the IAFF has developed a What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Actonline resource of information, including an overview of the Affordable Care Act, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), an educational video about the ACA, strategies on negotiating health care and links to both government and industry sources such Healthcare.gov, the AFL-CIO and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Diesel Engine Exhaust Classified As Known Carcinogen
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World HealthOrganization (WHO), has classified diesel engine exhaust as a Group 1 carcinogen based on new evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. An IARC Group 1 classification means there is sufficient evidence that a substance causes cancer in humans. Diesel engine exhaust was previously classified as a Group 2A carcinogen, which means it was probably carcinogenic to humans. However, new large-scale epidemiological studies on occupational exposures to diesel exhaust show sufficient evidence for an increased risk of lung cancer; therefore, theIARChas changed the carcinogenic classification from Group 2A to Group 1.
City Of Yuma Fire Department and Rural/Metro Announce Partnership and Transition Plan for Emergency Ambulance Transportation in the City of Yuma.
The agreement follows the decision by the Arizona Department of Health Services to allow the Yuma FireDepartment to transport patients who require emergency 911, Advanced Life Support level services delivered by certified paramedics within the City. Click here to continue reading.
The National Fallen Firefighter's Foundation "Everyone Goes Home". A film by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in cooperation with the Chicago Fire Department. Directed by Rob Maloney. http://www.everyonegoeshome.com
Interesting article written in fireengineering.comPlease take the time to read the following link because we are ALL affected by today's staffing.
The saying “Do more with less” seems to have been the unofficial motto of the fire service for more than 200 years. The fire service has continued to be a very talented and resourceful group of individuals. No problem is too big or too small for us to solve; if for some reason we get stumped, we use...
NEW “Limited Edition” Yuma Fire Department shirts are grey and are available in sizes Medium through 3XL. Limited quantity available. Cost is $20.00 each & they are First come, First served. Shirts are ONLY available from Steve Legros at City of Yuma Fire Station 6-B or Lee Stoermer at Station 5-C.
The retired firefighter stopped in Yuma on his “Firefighter Special Edition” Harley Davidson motorcycle as part of a 49-state tour. A tour with two goals: to raise awareness about prostate cancer and remember those firefighters killed in the Sept.11 terrorist attacks. Bob Damron has long identified himself as a firefighter, but in 2006 he became much more than that.
"I'm a prostate cancer survivor," said Damron.
Damron was diagnosed with prostate cancer after a routine annual medical evaluation at the Austin Fire Department Health Center in 2006.“I got the call from the health center while I was at the golf course” Damron said, “They told me I should call my doctor so I did”. Damron’s Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test was off the chart. “Normal range for a PSA is between 0-4 over your lifetime” Damron explained, “I’m 60 years old and mine jumped from 2 to 4.29 in one year”.
Damron just recently retired from the Austin Fire Department, Austin, Texas."I decided after I retired I'd go around and visit fire stations all over the county and heighten their awareness to this disease," said Damron. That's exactly what he is doing. He is one month into his tour that aims to educate as many men as possible. "Eight to 10 months," said Damron when asked how long it will take. "That's a long time but we'll get it done that way." Damron plans to meet with at least 343 fire crews. "The 343 number comes from the names of the front of the bike," said Damron. The names are of those firefighters who were killed in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001. Five years later, to the day, Damron underwent a surgery that saved his life. "I dodged a bullet, a major bullet," said Damron. "I had a radical prostectomy. I was back to work Nov. 8 (2006)." Damron said education about prostate cancer is different coming from a fellow firefighter. Firefighters trust other firefighters," he said. "It gets it just a little bit closer to them. (It's) just close enough to where they do pay attention." "One firefighter to another you say, 'Hey dude, I got this problem and I got it taken care of.' You talk amongst each other, around the table," Damron said.
While Damron is not fighting fires anymore, he said he is fighting for what he calls his extended family. "Firefighters are basically indestructible," he said. "The quality of life they've earned while they've been firefighters, they deserve to get."
While in Yuma, Damron stayed the night at City of Yuma Fire Station 6 and was taken to several City Of Yuma Fire Stations by Engine 6 to speak with the crews and pass on valuable information about Prostate Cancer and other types of cancers firefighters are at risk for, as well as valuable resources like http://www.livestrong.org
Damron's next stops on the tour include San Diego, Palm Springs, Monterey and San Francisco.
There is no other call more challenging to fire ground operations than a MAYDAY call — the unthinkable moment when a fire fighter’s personal safety is in imminent danger. Fire fighter fatality data compiled by the United States Fire Administration have shown that fire fighters “becoming trapped and disoriented represent the largest portion of structural fire ground fatalities.” The incidents in which fire fighters have lost their lives, or lived to tell about it, have a consistent theme — inadequate situational awareness put them at risk.
Fire fighters don’t plan to be lost, disoriented, injured or trapped during a structure fire or emergency incident. But fires are unpredictable, volatile and ruthless – and they will not go according to your plans. What a fire fighter knows about a fire before entering a blazing building may radically change within minutes once inside the structure. Smoke, low visibility, lack of oxygen, structural instability and an unpredictable fire ground can cause even the most seasoned fire fighter to be overwhelmed in an instant. It’s not a matter of IF the MAYDAY happens, it’s WHEN!
New Residential Fire Study Shows Effects of Crew Size on Fire Fighting Operations
WASHINGTON D.C.--A landmark study issued today by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shows that the size of firefighting crews has a substantial effect on the fire service's ability to protect lives and property in residential fires.
Performed by a broad coalition in the scientific, firefighting and public-safety communities, the study found that four-person firefighting crews were able to complete 22 essential firefighting and rescue tasks in a typical residential structure 30 percent faster than two-person crews and 25 percent faster than three-person crews.