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Welcome to Local 1234 of the IAFF

Attention Local 1234 General Members:

The next General Membership Meeting will be at 10am Monday, March 9th.   City Of Yuma Main Library, South 21st Drive.


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Calling ALL Softball players:

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"New" shirts are now available in the "Union Store" locker at City Of Yuma Fire Station 1. Sizes are Med thru 2XL

 $15.00 ea.                                                                               New hats and stickers (car & helmet) are on order


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For more information regarding Ebola click on the following link:


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A message from our Local President, Kris Leon;

     Your United Yuma Firefighters Honor Guard is currently recruiting members for the Pipe Band. As you know, one half of the Honor Guard is a full ensemble of Pipers and Drummers. We are currently accepting applications for individuals interested in learning to play the bagpipes. Drum inquiries are currently limited to individuals wanting to learn tenor drum (the flourishing drum). We are pretty heavy on drummers at the moment so current interest for drums will be considered with an emphasis on moving one or two drummers to specialize in tenor drums.

     What does it take to learn bagpipes? Well mostly time and patience. I can get a starting piper from the beginning steps to playing bagpipes at a relatively decent pace. The amount of time it takes to learn is up to the student. You don’t need to know how to read music and I can teach you. It is easier to learn to read it than it sounds. The requirements for joining the Honor Guard are easy to meet. You must be a member in good standing with the Local and off of firefighter probation. If you are currently on probation you may join the pipe band with your Captain’s permission and after you have spoken to me either on the phone or in person. If interested please send an interest email to or call / text me at 928-246-2145. Joining the pipe band is very rewarding. I know that like myself, there may be individuals wondering if they can even attempt to learn this instrument. There are a few simple ways to find out without too much out of pocket cost. Thank you for your time and I hope to see some interested people!


Kris Leon, Pipe Major

United Yuma Firefighters Honor Guard

Pipes and Drums

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On Wednesday August 14th, members of your United Yuma Firefighters Honor Guard traveled to Peoria Arizona to honor and pay tribute to a fallen brother firefighter from the Phoenix Fire Department. RIP Engineer Gary Johnstone.

Pictured from left to right are FF Gary Welch, FF Juan Ortiz, Capt Steve Legros, FF Eric Parr, FF John Rundle, Engineer Kris Leon, FF David Zanovitch, FF Jeremy Tyree, FF Robert Smith, and Capt William Unterseh.

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The City Of Yuma Fire Department has a New Fire Chief.   Fire

Chief Steve Irr, a 28-year YFD veteran, was officially proclaimed

the new fire chief during the regular city council worksession

held Wednesday evening at City Hall.  Chief Irr has served in

various positions within the City Of Yuma Fire Department for

the past 28 years.  Most recently, Chief Irr served

the department as the Interim Fire Chief after the position was

vacated by Jack McArthur. 

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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!

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IAFF Burn Fund and International Burn Camp

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!

We congratulate Firefighter Andrea Moreno!

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Date: April 16, 2014

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.

Submitted by Mike Erfert

City Of Yuma Fire Department

Public Information Officer. 


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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. 

 Thank You!

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For Sale:

1952 Mack LS85, all original, Mack Thermodyne 707B engine.  Five speed, new tires on front and rears are very good used. 

Asking $15,900 complete AS IS. 

Only thing that will be removed is the wooden attic ladder.  Wooden extension ladder to go with it. 

Contact Steve Legros for more information (928)246-8559


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Members of Eastside Fire Local 2878 recently contacted The United Yuma Firefighters Association for 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. 


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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.

Fraternally yours,

Kris E. Leon

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Tuesday, October 22nd we said good bye to one of our very own.  Fire Captain Jeff Green. 

Captain Green served 24 years with the City Of Yuma Fire Department.  He was a mentor to many and a proven leader to all that had the pleasure of working with him.  

We already miss him and will always remember him.


Rest In Peace Captain Green.  


"Time heals what reason cannot."  Author Unknown 

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 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.

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The IAFF has added a new online resource:  "How to become a professional firefighter." 

 Click on the picture for a link to the IAFF  resource page. 

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Back Injuries and the Firefighter

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
here to continue.

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Diesel Engine Exhaust Classified As Known Carcinogen

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (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, the IARC has changed the carcinogenic classification from Group 2A to Group 1.

To continue reading click *here*

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Everyone Goes Home

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.


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     Interesting article written in   Please 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...


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We Will Never Forget 9-11


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IAFF Fireground Survival Program

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!


Click <here> for further reading......

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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.

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Our Firefighter's are proud members of the International Association of Firefighter's and the Professional Firefighter's of Arizona. 



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Firefighter's Prayer

The Firefighter's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;

Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child before it is too late

Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,

And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,

To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.

And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;

Please bless with your protecting hand

my children and my wife.


Author Unknown

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