Frederic Larson/San Francisco Chronicle
On behalf of the 1,765 Uniformed Firefighters and Paramedics of San Francisco Firefighters IAFF Local 798, it is my honor to present the Fourth Annual San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) Year in Review photo book. In 2017, our SFFD Firefighters and Paramedics responded to more than 148,000 emergency calls for service â€“ the highest number of calls in the history of our proud department. On a daily basis, our First Responders are called upon to extinguish structure fires, extricate victims of automobile accidents, provide Advanced Life Support (ALS), rescue individuals from the San Francisco Bay, and so much more. Our Firefighters and Paramedics are ready to answer the call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day when we are needed the most. 2017 was also an extraordinary year for mutual aid as we saw natural disasters rip through communities throughout California and the nation. Our Crews spent weeks battling large fires in Santa Rosa and the surrounding North Bay communities. Additionally, our Firefighters were deployed to assist with recovery efforts for both Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. Last year, we continued to see the expansion of our San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program as we distributed hundreds of thousands of toys to underprivileged Bay Area children. We were thrilled to start the process of moving into our new Local 798 Headquarters located in the India Basin neighborhood that will house the Johnny V. Toy Hall. We saw groundbreaking progress and expanded services from the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, which has served cancer-stricken Firefighters and their families since 2006. It is truly my honor to serve as the President of Local 798 and work side by side with the most committed, dedicated Firefighters in all of California right here in the SFFD. On behalf of the Executive Board of Local 798 and the members who we are honored to represent, I hope that you enjoy our 2017 SFFD Year in Review photo book and I thank you for your support of our Firefighters. Sincerely,
Tom Oâ€™Connor President San Francisco Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters Local 798
FIRE STATION LOCATIONS
INCIDENT BREAKDOWN 148,333
80,697 40,628 27,008
SAN FRANCISCO CITY POPULATION 900,000
CALLS FOR SERVICE 155,000
145,000 135,000 125,000 115,000 105,000 95,000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
RESCUE OPERATION January 8 GOLDEN GATE PARK - Shortly before 9:00AM, in the midst of heavy rains and wind, Crews performed an extraordinary rescue of a homeless man who was pinned under a tree near the Beach Chalet at the park's west end. The 50-year-old patient was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN TWO-ALARM FIRE January 13 INNER RICHMOND - Firefighters responded to a morning house fire across the street from Golden Gate Park on Fulton Street. The blaze started around 9:00AM in the basement of the two-story home and quickly went to a two-alarm as it ripped through the structure. The blaze was contained in about an hour. One Firefighter suffered burns to his face and ears and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital.
LOS BOMBEROS LEAD NICARAGUA TRAINING MISSION ESTELÍ - 11 San Francisco Firefighters traveled to Nicaragua to conduct essential firefighting training in several fire stations in Northern Nicaragua. During the one-week visit, our Firefighters volunteered their time to train Nicaraguan Firefighters from six different fire stations in the northern state of Estelí. They conducted vehicle extrication, trauma assessment, and swift water rescue training. This training is vital in the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” where tropical storms, flooding, and other disasters occur on a regular basis, oftentimes causing fatalities and devastating injuries. The fire stations in Nicaragua have limited resources; therefore, the expert training from professional Firefighters continues to be critical for local Nicaraguan Firefighters to perform these lifesaving duties. This was the fourth training mission that was led by Los Bomberos de San Francisco and was made possible through the financial support of San Francisco Firefighters IAFF Local 798, the San Francisco Fire Department, United Fire Service Women, ERSLA, and donations from Oakland-based L&N Curtis and Sons.
CHINATOWN FIRE RESCUE February 3 CHINATOWN - Firefighters rushed to a smoke-filled, two-story commercial building in the 1100 block of Stockton Street at 7:45AM to battle a fire that started in the basement of a grocery market. Fire Crews arrived at the building where they searched for potential victims and rescued one adult who sustained minor injuries. The fire was contained in two hours. Mayor Ed Lee also arrived on the scene to meet with senior citizens affected by the fire and to acknowledge the strong work of the Firefighters.
FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN HOUSE FIRE February 16 BAYVIEW - At approximately 1:00PM, Firefighters responded to flames erupting from a large, three-story home in the 100 block of Apollo Street. One Firefighter was injured after falling down a flight of stairs, but was taken to a local hospital and expected to make a full recovery. The flames caused extensive damage to the structure and were knocked down in under an hour after one occupant of the home was rescued from the third floor. Four children and seven adults were displaced in the blaze and received assistance from the American Red Cross at the scene.
Filipa A. Ioannou/SF Chronicle
Filipa A. Ioannou/SF Chronicle
GARBAGE TRUCK ACCIDENT February 20 PIER 96 - At 6:30AM, Firefighters rescued a middle-aged man amongst a pile of recycling material at a processing plant. The man was likely trapped inside of garbage that accumulated from 30 to 40 dumpsters that had been picked up from commercial businesses earlier that morning. The individual was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
ANIMAL RESCUE February 22
FORT FUNSTON - Firefighters rushed to rescue a dog who fell down a cliff at Fort Funston in the Golden Gate State Recreational Area and was stranded on a ledge. Firefighters used ropes and a harness to secure the dog and bring him to safety.
VAN FIRE March 9 Pam O'Connor
CHINATOWN - Firefighters quickly doused a vehicle fire that was parked on Grant Avenue between Pine and Bush Streets. The fire was contained and no injuries were reported.
PETS RESCUED FROM APARTMENT BLAZE April 6
FAIRMOUNT - Seven cats and two women were rescued from a blaze that broke out on the top floor of a three-story residential building in the Fairmount neighborhood shortly after 8:30AM. Firefighters contained the fire in about 30 minutes and transported the two women to an area hospital with non-lifethreatening injuries. Animal Care and Control were called to care for the seven cats, who were all in stable condition.
FOUR HOSPITALIZED, 25 DISPLACED IN APARTMENT FIRE April 7 RICHMOND DISTRICT - Just before 2:00AM in the 400 block of 24th Avenue, four three-story apartment buildings were involved in a blaze that left four people hospitalized. Two men, ages 62 and 75, were transported to a local hospital with smoke inhalation and another man suffered burns to his hands and treated at the scene. One child was hospitalized with minor injuries and one Firefighter was hospitalized with lacerations to his hands. A cat was also rescued from the fire that was discovered to be caused by a candle that ignited a blanket. The fire was under control within 75 minutes, but sadly displaced 25 people.
Carlos Avila Gonzalez/SF Chronicle
HOTEL BLAZE April 11 FINANCIAL DISTRICT - Fire Crews responded to a fire that broke out at a residential hotel around 8:40PM near the 600 block of Clay Street. 70 Firefighters were called to fight the blaze that originated in the basement of the building and contained the smoke and flames in a little over an hour. Six dozen people were escorted out of the building without injury and workers from the Red Cross assisted the displaced individuals at the scene.
Carlos Avila Gonzalez/SF Chronicle
FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN SCHOOL FIRE April 22 PORTOLA - At 10:53AM, Firefighters responded to a one-alarm fire at 456 Cambridge Street, an abandoned school. The blaze at the two-story concrete building was extinguished within approximately 20 minutes. One Firefighter sustained injuries, but was in stable condition.
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
FATAL WAREHOUSE SHOOTING June 14
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
POTRERO HILL - Gunfire erupted at 8:55AM at a UPS distribution warehouse that left three people dead. The gunman, later determined as a disgruntled employee, opened fire inside the building located at 320 San Bruno Avenue, killing two people and wounding two others before taking his own life. The victims were transported to local hospitals with gunshot wounds and three others were injured in the stampede while fleeing from the building.
WAREHOUSE BLAZE June 16 CANDLESTICK POINT- A warehouse blaze brought more than 120 Firefighters and 40 apparatus to the 1300 block of Donner Street at approximately 1:09PM. Crews faced several hazards, including sparking electrical wires and toxic materials, before knocking down the fire in three and a half hours. Due to the smoke and hazardous materials that poured from the building, a shelter in place order was given to surrounding residences and businesses in the area.
FIRE DISRUPTS PRIDE FESTIVITIES June 24 CASTRO DISTRICT - Just before 4:00PM, a fire broke out on the deck of a commercial and residential building along the route of the Pride Parade. Fire Crews extinguished the blaze at 495 Castro Street in about 40 minutes.
MISSION FIRE DISPLACES FOUR June 26 MISSION DISTRICT - At 5:22AM, Fire Crews responded to reports of a fire at a single room occupancy hotel located at 2084 Mission Street. The fire originated from the top floor of the Frances Hotel in one of the rooms and Firefighters had the blaze under control by 5:31AM. Four people were displaced and the American Red Cross was on hand to assist those impacted.
2-ALARM BUILDING FIRE July 14
POLK GULCH - Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze reported around 7:00PM at a two-story building located at 1831 Polk Street near Jackson Street that damaged multiple businesses on the first level and residences above. The fire was under control just before 9:00PM after a faulty electrical wire was determined to be the cause. No injuries were reported, but two occupants were displaced.
HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT FIRE July 19 MISSION BAY - Just before 7:00AM, a fire broke out at a homeless encampment at 7th and Berry Streets that burned tents and debris, leaving a large plume of smoke in the area. Thankfully, no injuries were reported and Firefighters swiftly extinguished the blaze.
Chris Preovolos/SF Chronicle
FIRE IGNITES TWO RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES August 2 TENDERLOIN - Firefighters responded to a residential building located at 125 Mason Street around 1:00PM to find black smoke billowing from the rear of the building. It was quickly determined that the blaze was also impacting a neighboring SRO located at 130 Eddy Street. Firefighters limited the damage to the exterior of the Mason Street building, achieving containment in around 30 minutes, and controlled the fire at the Eddy Street building shortly before 2:00PM.
GARBAGE TRUCK CRASH August 10 I-280 - A garbage truck crash along Interstate 280 near the Alemany Boulevard exit blocked multiple lanes and caused massive traffic delays around 5:45PM. Emergency vehicles arrived to clean up the fuel spill and remove the large truck that straddled the center divider. Two other vehicles were involved in the accident and Paramedics reported only minor injuries at the scene. All lanes were reopened at 9:00PM.
HURRICANE IRMA DEPLOYMENT September 8 The team of more than 80 Emergency Responders from 18 agencies, including the SFFD, who were originally deployed as part of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force in Texas during Hurricane Harvey arrived home to the Bay Area only to be redeployed to the Florida-Georgia border to prepare for Hurricane Irma relief efforts. Known as FEMAâ€™s California Task Force 3, the San Francisco Firefighters joined medical doctors, K-9 handlers, engineers, and a ground support crew to conduct water rescue, urban search and rescue, and hazardous materials response.
122 ND FIREFIGHTER ACADEMY GRADUATION September 8 TREASURE ISLAND - The Oath of Allegiance was administered to 43 Entry Level Firefighters at the Graduation Ceremony held at the SFFD Treasure Island Training Facility. Of the 43 graduates, 11 are Firefighter Paramedics who were added to the Departmentâ€™s EMS Division. These men and women come from diverse backgrounds, including former military personnel, EMS responders, and Firefighters, and all have completed a rigorous 20-week training curriculum to prepare them for a successful career with the SFFD. The swearing-in ceremony was followed by a comprehensive fire ground demonstration by the members of the 122nd Academy Class to showcase some of the skills learned during their training. Local 798 welcomes our newest Firefighters into the San Francisco Firefighter family!
SAN FRANCISCO FIRST RESPONDERS STAIR CLIMB September 9 Financial District - Local 798 Firefighters participated in the inaugural San Francisco First Responders Stair Climb, an event to bring awareness and support to Firefighters, Police, Paramedics, and Dispatchers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries. The event raised more than $140,000 to pay for First Responders from around the State of California to attend PTSD programs. The Journal of Occupational Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of Firefighters and Paramedics experience PTSD compared to the general population at a rate of 3.5 percent. Several treatment options are now available to PTSD sufferers, but many are still not covered by health insurance. This is one of the reasons why individuals braved the 1,197 steps up the skyscraper in support of the First Responder community.
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
9/11 TRIBUTE September 11 SFFD held its annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony to pay tribute to the brave Firefighters and First Responders who lost their lives while saving others on this tragic day. The remembrance takes place at Fire Stations throughout the City, beginning at 6:59AM with the ringing of three bells, symbolizing the falling of the South World Trade Center Tower. It is followed by a moment of silence and the reading of the names of all 343 New York Firefighters who perished in the attack and rescue effort. We shall Never Forget. Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
Gabrielle Lurie/SF Chronicle
ONE-ALARM FIRE September 18
MISSION DISTRICT - Firefighters tackled a one-alarm fire at 125 San Carlos Street. The blaze was quickly contained with no injuries reported.
APARTMENT FIRE September 20
PORTOLA HEIGHTS - Shortly before 2:00AM, Firefighters rushed to a blaze on the second floor of a two-story apartment building in the 300 block of Harvard Street. One teenager managed to exit the structure unassisted, while Firefighters rescued two adults trapped inside the residence. One woman was carried to the first floor of the building and suffered moderate burns and Crews rescued an unconscious male who was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. The fire was contained within 15 minutes and the Red Cross assisted six displaced residents.
CALLS BY BATTALION B01
11,777 845 5,000
BUS CRASH INJURES THREE September 27 THE EAST CUT - At 9:22AM, an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit bus jumped the curb and collided with another bus near the intersection of Fremont Street and Howard Streets, leaving three people injured.
Alice Hwang/SF Chronicle
Christie Hemm Klok
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF WOMEN IN THE SFFD Fall of 2017 marked the 30th Anniversary of women joining the ranks of the SFFD. The first group of women entered the Department in 1987, four in August and three in October. Known as “Feinstein’s Finest” because former Mayor Dianne Feinstein urged their entrance into the SFFD, these trailblazers were honored at a celebration in September with the U.S. Senator. San Francisco holds the distinction of being one of the greatest and most diverse fire organizations in the entire United States. Women account for approximately 15 percent of uniformed members in the SFFD with roles as diverse as Entry Level Firefighter all the way up to the current Fire Chief. This is a significant milestone and one that continues to showcase the powerful impact that women have had on the Department. United Fire Service Women (UFSW) is a non-profit organization founded to advocate for the welfare of women in the SFFD. UFSW provides support, mentoring, training, and education, and works to create an atmosphere of professionalism and community within the Department. UFSW has expanded over the years to provide training and education for both men and women to help develop their careers as professionals in the fire service. We applaud the impact that the UFSW has made on the Department and how they have inspired countless females over the past three decades to become San Francisco Firefighters.
Christie Hemm Klok
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES October 8-31 San Francisco Firefighters banded together with Firefighters from across the State to aid fire-ravaged communities in Napa County, Lake County, Mendocino County, Sonoma County, and Yuba County to halt the devastating wildfires that collectively scorched more than 245,000 acres and claimed the lives of at least 44 people. In what started as a series of blazes that broke out during a windstorm on October 8th, the inferno spread to burn an estimated 8,900 structures and displace thousands of people over the course of 23 days. Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency for the region which allowed California to receive disaster assistance for victims impacted by the fires.
Michael Macor/SF Chronicle
Leah Millis/SF Chronicle
Members of SFFD Station 49 came together to support one of our own when his home was destroyed in the Tubbs Fire, which eliminated approximately 5% of the total housing stock in the City of Santa Rosa alone.
2017 FIRE LOSS INJURIES
LOSS IN $
FIVE OCCUPANTS DISPLACED FROM RESIDENCE October 18 EXCELSIOR DISTRICT - Just after midnight, a fire broke out in a single-family home, reaching two alarms before it was contained by 12:40AM. Two adjacent buildings sustained damage and five occupants were displaced from the residence located at 475 Vienna Street. The American Red Cross arrived on scene to provide assistance.
PETER ANTONINI GOLF TOURNAMENT October 20 The Peter Patrick Madigan Antonini Foundation (PPMA) was established in memory of Peter Antonini, a member of the 108th Academy Class of the SFFD, who suffered from an undetected genetic heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The Annual PPMA Golf Tournament helps to raise funds in support of research, legislation, and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest related to HCM. The funds also serve to provide academic scholarships to deserving students and assist local charities throughout San Francisco.
DEADLY HOUSE FIRE October 29 MIRALOMA PARK - Firefighters responded to flames coming from a two-story house fire at 44 Molimo Drive at 4:30AM. For 90 minutes, Fire Crews prevented the blaze from spreading to nearby homes and declared a knockdown by 6:00AM. Sadly, one person perished in the fire and another sustained an injury and was taken to a local hospital.
LAUNDROMAT BLAZE DISPLACES RESIDENTS November 3 NOB HILL - At 5:56PM, Firefighters responded to a blaze in the 1200 block of Mason Street that started in a laundromat on the lower level of a residential building. The flames spread through the walls of the building as Fire Crews began their rescue and fire suppression efforts. 12 elderly residents were assisted out of the building and approximately 30 residents were temporarily displaced. A 10-year-old girl was sent to the hospital for evaluation. The fire was contained within 30 minutes.
Annie Ma/SF Chronicle
2017 AWARDS LOCAL 798 PEREZ-VALERIO AWARD Firefighters Jamie Boyle and Steve Metz won the Local 798 PerezValerio Award for rescuing their fellow Firefighters after a Rescue Boat capsized during a drill in 2016. The Perez-Valerio award is named in honor of Lieutenant Vincent Perez and Firefighter/Paramedic Anthony Valerio and is awarded by the members of Local 798 to the individual or individuals who perform the most heroic act during the award period. FIREFIGHTERS OF THE YEAR Local 798 congratulates the 2017 SFFD Firefighters of the Year who were honored by American Legion Police-Fire Post 456. Lieutenant Brice Peoples (Valor) and Firefighter Paul Barry (Community Service) were honored with this prestigious award.
TWO-ALARM FIRE IGNITES TWO BUILDINGS November 29 MISSION DISTRICT - 70 Firefighters and 22 emergency vehicles responded to a blaze at 1007 Shotwell Street around 6:33PM. The fire quickly grew and spread to an adjacent building, displacing a total of 11 people. The flames were contained in under an hour and the American Red Cross offered relocation assistance to the affected residents.
MERITORIOUS AWARDS Local 798 also congratulates all of our Firefighters who were honored with the SFFD Meritorious Awards for going above and beyond the call of duty. Special congratulations are in order for Local 798 Executive Board Member Adam Wood, who was bestowed with the Rainey Award â€“ the bravest act performed by a member of the Department while saving a human life and risking their own wellbeing in the performance of duty.
TWO-ALARM FIRE AT SENIOR HOUSING COMPLEX November 30 MISSION DISTRICT - A two-alarm fire that broke out on the seventh floor of a senior apartment building located at 1855 15th Street was reported shortly after 1:20PM. Firefighters contained the blaze in less than 30 minutes and assisted one person out of the building. Five people sustained non-lifethreatening injuries. This was the second two-alarm fire in the neighborhood in less than 24 hours. Liz Hafalia/SF Chronicle
Liz Hafalia/SF Chronicle
THOMAS FIRE December 4, 2017 January 12, 2018
VENTURA COUNTY - San Francisco Firefighters travelled south to provide mutual aid for one of the most destructive wildfires in California history. The Thomas Fire burned nearly 282,000 acres, destroyed 1,063 structures, and forced the evacuation of over 100,000 people across parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The fireâ€™s rapid expansion was due to strong winds combined with hot, dry air in the region. Strike Teams valiantly came to the aid of thousands of people, but sadly lost one of their own, Cal Fire San Diego Engineer Corey Iverson, who died of thermal injuries and smoke inhalation while performing fire suppression operations near Fillmore. One other Firefighter suffered non-life-threatening injuries and a 70-year-old woman died in a car accident during evacuations. The heavy rains and subsequent flash floods led to massive mudslides that destroyed 129 homes and damaged 307 more in the Montecito area. In total, 21 deaths were attributed to the debris flow in the wake of the fire and ensuing mudslides.
TWO HOMES DAMAGED IN FIRE December 7 SUNSET DISTRICT - Firefighters responded to a one-alarm fire shortly after 8:00AM which spread to a pair of adjacent two-story homes on 31st Avenue. The fire displaced four residents, including two children who were evaluated at the scene.
CHARTER BUS ACCIDENT December 9 HOSPITAL CURVE - Just after 8:00PM, Firefighters responded to reports of an overturned private charter bus in the southbound lanes of Highway 101, just north of Cesar Chavez street. The crash resulted in the bus skidding and coming to a stop on its side. All southbound lanes were closed while Firefighters helped rescue two passengers trapped inside the bus using the Jaws of Life. The other passengers were able to crawl out of the bus on their own. All 29 passengers and the driver were taken to hospitals with four reported to have serious injuries. SFFD
TOP 10 BUSIEST ENGINE COMPANIES
TOP 10 BUSIEST TRUCK COMPANIES
8% Subject Unconsc io
ulty 8% Diffic thing Brea
us 4% T 4% raf fic Col Ch lisi es on tP ain
MEDICAL INCIDENTS BY TYPE
ure Nat l a dic Me
n now Unk
Abdominal Pain 2% Sick Call 13%
Other Incident 21%
Santiago Mejia/SF Chronicle
COMMERCIAL FIRE December 23 TENDERLOIN DISTRICT - At 11:19AM, Firefighters rushed to a two-alarm blaze that broke out on the third and fourth floors of a building under construction at 83 Eddy Street. The fire was initially a one-alarm, but a second-alarm was called at 11:24AM, which allowed for additional aid in rescue and fire suppression efforts. A full knockdown was declared at 12:40PM and all occupants were able to escape without injury.
Paul Chinn/SF Chronicle
STATION 49 The proud men and women of Station 49 had another busy year while serving as the first line of defense in San Franciscoâ€™s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. In 2017, the EMTs and Paramedics of Station 49 responded to more than 100,000 emergency medical calls in San Francisco that continue to increase year after year. Even while working at one of the busiest assignments in the entire city, the EMTs and Paramedics of Station 49 continue to take the time to volunteer in community efforts. From speaking at local high school Career Days, to participating in food drives, and hosting station visits and ambulance ridealongs, the members of Station 49 are a critical part of the fabric of the San Francisco community. In December of 2017, Station 49 EMTs and Paramedics embarked on one of their most ambitious and important community service projects -locating and safely disposing of used needles in the Civic Center area. With drug usage and overdoses at alarmingly high levels in our city, the men and women of Station 49 are doing what they can to save lives and prevent the spreading of deadly diseases and infections. As happens each year to meet the growing demand on our EMS system, dozens of new H-3 L1 EMTs were added to Station 49 and several others were promoted to H-3 L2 Paramedics. In addition, a large number of H-8 Paramedics were welcomed in 2017 to serve as a critical part of the overall EMS safety net that the SFFD provides the people of San Francisco.
SFFD SURF RESCUE Founded in 1986, the SFFD Marine Unit began with the acquisition of two jet skis that were donated from a local business. Since that time, the SFFD has made significant progress in preparing for fires, emergencies, and natural disasters on the water. Currently, the 64 square mile jurisdiction includes 25 miles of coastline within the City and County of San Francisco. This territory also includes the San Francisco Port which has over 500 tenants: pilot, tug, barge, ship repair, warehousing and cargo facilities, along with Foreign Trade Zone #3. Additionally, the Port houses Fisherman’s Wharf, the center of Northern California’s commercial and sport fishing fleets, and Pier 45, the West Coast’s largest concentration of commercial fish processors and distributors. Marine operations serve a key role in deploying SFFD medical response capabilities on the Bay by providing medical triage, treatment, and transport. The SFFD provides the primary response to such emergencies and is the only Advanced Life Support (ALS) resource with a Paramedic in San Francisco County waters. Stations 14, 16, 18, 19, 23, 34, and 51 are considered ‘Surf Rescue Stations.’ The members that work at these stations must be surf and cliff rescue qualified. Surf and cliff rescue calls have increased an astonishing 400% in the past 10 years as the popularity of the San Francisco waterfront increases. As this number continues to grow, the SFFD must have the dedicated resources and capacity to keep the Bay and those who use it safe at all times. Local 798 is currently advocating for the creation of a Dedicated SFFD Marine Rescue Unit that will allow our Department to address the growing demand for aquatic rescue services in a timely, professional manner without pulling resources from other local SFFD Fire Stations. This Marine Rescue Unit will have the capability to provide the same medical care, ALS, on the water as we do on land.
DIVE TEAM The SFFD provides one of the only immediate response dive teams in the San Francisco Bay Area. Divers on the Department's two Rescue Squads respond to calls for underwater rescues and recoveries in all of the bodies of water in and around San Francisco, from Lake Merced to the San Francisco Bay. The Rescue Squad dive teams also respond to calls for assistance from neighboring communities. On November 26, 2017, a SFFD Dive Team provided mutual aid to Oakland when a truck drove into the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.
CANCER PREVENTION FOUNDATION The San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation (SFFCPF), founded in 2006 by Tony Stefani, was formed for the purpose of early detection and prevention of cancer in both active and retired members of the San Francisco Fire Department. Firefighters are at a significantly greater risk than the general public of developing certain cancers and more than 250 San Francisco Firefighters have died from this disease since the SFFCPF was founded. This volunteer based nonprofit has grown to become the preeminent organization for the early detection, treatment, and support of Firefighters with cancer. At any given time, numerous active and retired members of the Department being treated for various types of cancer receive assistance from the SFFCPF. The SFFCPF offers early detection screenings and has helped many Firefighters catch various forms of cancer while they can still be treated. The SFFCPF has also been directly involved in legislation and advocacy efforts, including implementing Cancer Presumption legislation, overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the banning of flame retardant chemicals. In 2017, the SFFCPF committed $100,000 for a research project to study Firefighters’ exposure to toxins during the devastating North Bay Fires to examine the impacts of major fire events on the health of our First Responders. We applaud the tremendous work of the SFFCPF as we all hope for the day that no Firefighters are lost to this deadly disease.
FIRE VELO “FIRE SERVICE CANCER AWARENESS” RIDE August 20 – August 26 Approximately 25 cyclists completed a six-day journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles with a purpose - to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer in the Fire Service. The riders started their trek across the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge with an opening ceremony at SFFD Fire Station 51 that included Assemblymember David Chiu and were escorted by Santa Monica police motorcycles and fire trucks to their final destination at the Santa Monica Pier and Lifeguard Headquarters six days later. The riders, some of whom are also cancer survivors, are active duty or retired Firefighters from several fire departments in California, including LA County Fire, LA City Fire, San Francisco Fire, and various others. Over the past 11 years, the SF to LA Ride has raised more than $300,000 to support cancer prevention efforts and organizations including: Fire Family Foundation • Firefighter Cancer Support Network • Code 3 for a Cure San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation • Retired Professional Fire Fighters Cancer Fund This year's ride was dedicated in memory of 14 Firefighters who recently lost their lives to job-related cancer, including Denise Elarms, a veteran San Francisco Firefighter who acquired breast cancer in 2011 and was the motivation for the County of San Francisco to support Cancer Presumption legislation at the local level, allowing full benefits for Firefighters who acquire cancer in the line of duty.
THE ART OF FIRE GALA March 4 Thanks to generous sponsors and supporters, the inaugural Art of Fire Gala to benefit the SFFCPF was completely sold out. The event featured opening remarks from Dr. Jennifer Brokaw and keynote speeches by actors Evan Handler and B.D. Wong. THE HONOREES INCLUDED: Dr. Marshall Stoller UCSF Department of Urology
Peggy Sugarman City and County of San Francisco Workers' Compensation Director James Redford and Kirby Walker Toxic Hot Seat Directors & Producers Rich Elb Retired SFFD Battalion Chief The Art of Fire Gala was an incredible event that honored community leaders and raised awareness and funds for the SFFCPF.
SAN FRANCISCO FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 798 TOY PROGRAM Founded in 1949 by a handful of Firefighters, the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program operated by Local 798 is a 501(c)(3) charity that has evolved into the City's largest and the nation's oldest year-round toy program of its kind. Driven by hundreds of local Firefighters, community volunteers, and businesses that donate their time and resources, each year the Toy Program distributes more than 200,000 toys to local children. In addition to helping individual families in need, the Toy Program also responds to displaced victims of fires, floods, and other disasters, such as the North Bay Fires. Held at the Atwater Tavern and featuring our own Firefighter bands, 92 South and Deep 6, the Christmas in July event is a signature fundraiser and car show that benefits the Toy Program and brings early awareness of the organization’s impact and scope. This year’s kickoff event in November marked the first year that the Toy Program began operations from its new headquarters, aptly named the Johnny V. Memorial Hall. The new Toy Hall was named in honor of John Voelker, a San Francisco Firefighter who was affectionately known as the “Toy King” after he resurrected, expanded, and successfully operated the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program for many years. John sadly passed away on December 4, 2005 after a long battle with injuries sustained when riding his motorcycle to a meeting for the Toy Program. Events are held throughout the month of December, including the annual City Hall Toy Giveaway where approximately 1,300 local school children visited San Francisco City Hall to receive a new, unwrapped toy along with a book and took photos with SF Firefighters and Santa Claus. This year also marked another incredible Bike Giveaway on December 23rd where kids wrote essays explaining why they wanted a bicycle for the holidays and the Toy Program was able to donate brand new bikes to more than 400 kids. One of the most heartfelt ways the Toy Program helped this year was through the toy and supply distribution that took place during the North Bay fires this past October. With thousands of families occupying shelters after being evacuated, San Francisco Firefighters came to the aid of these fire victims by delivering toys, board games, gift cards, and toiletries, and other supplies to provide a small amount of relief for the families (and especially the children) who lost their homes. We thank everyone who continues to make the San Francisco Toy Program a resounding success each and every year.
HONORING OUR FALLEN EARL J. GAGE JR. July 30
EDWIN M. LEE December 12
San Francisco Firefighters lost one of their true pioneers when Earl J. Gage passed away at the age of 90 in Sacramento County. Earl became the first African American Firefighter in the SFFD when he began his career in 1955 and served in a variety of capacities until his retirement in 1983. His advocacy and resilience inspired many in the Department and served as a pathway to other opportunities, including the hiring of San Franciscoâ€™s first African American Fire Chief decades later. Earl served the Department for 28 years, spending several years as the Director of Community Services where he helped to recruit and integrate the SFFD. Earl was born in Texas and moved to San Francisco in 1945. He graduated from UC Berkeley and enlisted in the U.S. Army before marrying his wife of 62 years, Blondell Wright. He is survived by his daughter, two siblings, and numerous grandchildren, cousins, and nephews. We are forever grateful for the decades of contributions of Earl J. Gage to the San Francisco Firefighters.
Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the first Asian American mayor of San Francisco, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 65. Mayor Lee was an activist lawyer before he served in a variety of capacities within San Francisco government, including the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Public Works. He was first appointed Mayor in 2011 after Gavin Newsom left to become Lieutenant Governor of California and was later elected in both 2011 and 2015. He is survived by his wife, Anita, and two daughters, Tania and Brianna.
Michael Macor/SF Chronicle
CALIFORNIA FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL September 30 The California Fire Foundation hosted the 15th Annual California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento's Capitol Park. This year's ceremony honored the memory of 31 Firefighters who died in the line of duty, adding their names to the more than 1,300 currently etched into the California Firefighters Memorial. Two SFFD members were added to the Memorial Wall:
Firefighter Jalal Aineb Station 19, succumbed to the effects of job-related cancer on March 8, 2017 at the age of 54. Jalal began his career with the SFFD on May 9, 2005 and served with pride for nearly 12 years.
Firefighter Denise Elarms Retired, Station 48, succumbed to the effects of job-related cancer on April 14, 2016 at the age of 57. Denise began her career with the SFFD on June 10, 2002 and retired from the Department on January 14, 2014 following her 2011 diagnosis.
LAST ALARM ACTIVE MEMBERS JALAL AINEB March 8 Firefighter Jalal Aineb passed away from stomach cancer at the age of 54. Brother Aineb was a Moroccan immigrant who served as a San Francisco Firefighter for 12 years. Tragically, Jalal’s passing left behind his beloved wife and two young children. Jalal’s optimism was an inspiration to all San Francisco Firefighters who had the honor of working with him. He will be missed by the Local 798 family and the City that he served. PERRY CHOY August 23 Firefighter Perry Choy passed away as a result of a stroke at the age of 47. Perry was a graduate of Washington High School and San Francisco State University and proudly served in the SFFD for 20 years. He leaves behind his partner, Aletha, and their baby, Jeremy. TERRY SMERDEL September 10 Battalion Chief Terry Smerdel passed away at the age of 59 while on duty at Battalion 1. He was a 26-year veteran of the SFFD and provided aid during the September 11th terrorist attack in New York. When he entered the fire department, following in his father and brother's footsteps, he embarked on a 26-year long journey of service. He spent the majority of his career at Station 17, then as Captain of Truck 2 in Chinatown, and lastly at Station 15. He is survived by his wife, Cyndy, and his two children, Danica and Jack. Santiago Mejia/SF Chronicle
RETIRED MEMBERS FRANK KUNST January 5, 2017
LAWRENCE CONRAD July 12, 2017
PETER ACKENHEIL January 13, 2017
JOHN BOSCACCI July 18, 2017
MASSIE VAHANIAN January 18, 2017
EARL GAGE JR. July 30, 2017
DAVID DYC February 19, 2017
DUILIO TRAVERSARO August 3, 2017
ROBERT BRADY February 27, 2017
CLARENCE ADAMS August 21, 2017
PAUL SHEEHAN March 1, 2017
MANUEL VASQUEZ August 27, 2017
JOE POLICH March 14, 2017
FRANCIS WILLIAMS September 3, 2017
LELIO CALCAGNO March 29, 2017
FRANK SCARPULLA September 7, 2017
HUGH CALVIN April 4, 2017
TERRY SMERDEL September 10, 2017
WESLEY DAHL April 11, 2017
THOMAS DUNN September 12, 2017
LUCIEN LANGLOIS April 14, 2017
JAMES GIORVAS September 14, 2017
RAYMOND McGRATH April 25, 2017
BILL PARRY September 26, 2017
WILLIAM SHAUGHNESSY April 29, 2017
DONALD LYONS October 20, 2017
DENNIS CALLAHAN May 20, 2017
ROBERT CALLAGHAN October 24, 2017
LeROY CARACTER May 23, 2017
ALFRED McCARTHY November 2, 2017
RAYMOND TOLAND May 24, 2017
JAMES KEANE November 23, 2017
VINCENT SULLIVAN June 5, 2017
GEORGE BAUR November 24, 2017
JAMES MANCUSO June 7, 2017
BERNARD BECKER November 25, 2017
WILLIAM HACKMEIER June 9, 2017
JAMES McCARTHY November 28, 2017
DAVID HABERLIN June 18, 2017
ROBERT POSTEL December 7, 2017
ROBERT MATLACK June 20, 2017
JOEL PERA December 17, 2017
JOSEPH WARD July 12, 2017
AL FIORESI December 19, 2017
RECOGNITION San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 would like to recognize and express our gratitude to all of the contributors who make this publication possible. We extend a special thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle for their ongoing support.
CONTRIBUTORS Drew Altizer
Filipa A. Ioannou
San Francisco Fire Department
Christie Hemm Klok
Carlos Avila Gonzalez
SAN FRANCISCO FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 798 EXECUTIVE BOARD President Thomas O’Connor Vice-President Danny Gracia
Treasurer Shon Buford
Director Adrienne Sims
Director Adam Wood
Secretary Floyd Rollins II
Director Stephen Giacalone
Director Tom Fogle
Director Dan Casey
Paid for by San Francisco Firefighters Local 798. Not printed at taxpayer expense.
Photo Book by SF Firefighters Local 798