FDAC F I R E D I S T R I C T S A S S O C I AT I O N O F C A L I F O R N I A
W I N T E R
2 0 1 9
FDAC F I R E D I S T R I C T S A S S O C I AT I O N O F C A L I F O R N I A
2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Steve Hall 1st Vice President Steve Kovacs 2nd Vice President Jim Comisky Immediate Past President Richard Pearce Treasure Eric Walder FDAC STAFF Catherine Smith, Executive Director Carmen Berry, Administrative Director David Blue Garrison, Creative Director Audie Whitt, Communications Director Angelique Grellus, Coordinator PHOTOGRAPHY Pexels, Pixabay and Stocksnap
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Liebig, Lakeside Fire Protection District The purpose of this Association shall be: 1) to present a united position on fire protection issues; 2) to coordinate with other associations with similar views on fire protection including legislation; 3) to provide advisory services and any other services deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors that may benefit member agencies; 4) to keep member agencies informed on laws relating to fire suppression, emergency medical and other related services provided by member agencies; 5) to take an active role in the legislative process affecting public agencies providing fire suppression, emergency medical and related services. Thank you to all the authors in this issue for sharing with us their time and expertise. If you have an idea for a future article, please contact Carmen Berry at the FDAC office at email@example.com. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FDAC. For more information on FDAC or this magazine, please contact the FDAC office at 916.231.2137 or visit the website at www.fdac.org.
Trusted Legal Advisors to
California Fire Districts Since 1980
FBOR | Wage & Hour | Litigation | Investigations | Negotiations | Retirement
S T E V E N
H A L L
To Our Members:
s we reflect on everything 2018 had to offer, I can only imagine what 2019 will bring. This year, as with years past, enhancing relationships with our State Legislatures will be the priority for FDAC. As we heard in early January during Governor Newsom’s first address, he is committed to helping the fire service in California – to ensure we have the ability and the resources to combat the unprecedented events which ravished our state over the past 18 months. With that in mind, FDAC’s Board of Directors are committed now more than ever in developing new relationships with our legislatures, and strengthen those already formed. Embracing the New Year, we’ve already hit the ground running with new legislation being presented. With our continued partnership with Cal Chiefs and the legislative task force – working side-by-side with Russ, Tony, Julie, and the entire PPA staff, this legislative session is going to be an extremely busy one. From DRiSC and EMS, to cannabis and revenue options, your legislative committee is engaged!
If I could ask each of you – our leaders – to do one thing, and that’s to get involved. Everything this association does is based on teamwork. No one individual can do it alone, and the ability for FDAC to strive – to forage ahead requires your help. With upcoming vacancies on the Board of Directors, Zone Directors, and various committees, there’s no better time to step up and lead FDAC into the future. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming annual conference in Napa, and would like to thank Catherine, Carmen, Angelique, Chief Kovacs, and the entire conference committee for planning another great event. On behalf of FDAC’s leadership, I wish each of you a very happy and healthy 2019!. Respectfully,
STEVEN HALL, Fire Chief President, FDAC
As my presidential term draws to a close in April, I want to thank each and every one of you for your support over the past two years. It has been an honor to work with such a dedicated and inspiring group of individuals. The FDAC Board has always embraced vision – a vision for the ongoing success of our fire districts. I have no doubt this vision will continue well into the future with the changing of the guard.
A MESSAGE FROM FAIRA
Susan Blankenburg, General Manager
’d like to express our gratitude and bid a fond farewell to outgoing FAIRA board Directors Brannon Blue, Tim Isbell and Peter Liebig. Please join me in welcoming our new Directors; David Fulcher, Mike Sims, and Don Butz, who are already demonstrating their enthusiasm and dedication. 2018 Highlights: • Continued FDAC sponsorship of $15,000 • Conducted Drive to Survive courses at six locations, with over 120 attendees from FAIRA and five non-FAIRA Districts • Hosted free one-on-one District meetings to identify the full scope of coverages provided and additional services that are available. Our Loss Control Manager, Marco Guardi, has an aggressive plan for 2019 that includes: • Reducing exposure to employment practice liability incidents by completing human resource policies and procedures audits. • Supporting district compliance with AB 1825 that requires Supervisors and Directors receive 2 hours of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation training. • Preparing for AB 1343 which will require all employees have at least 2 hours of AntiSexual Harassment training in 2020. Morin I. Jacob of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore will be presenting What Your Fire Department Should Know About the “Me Too” Movement, following FAIRA’s Annual Meeting on June 17, 2019 at 1:00pm.
Fire Agencies Insurance Risk Authority Susan Blankenburg, General Manager 1255 Battery Street, Suite 450 San Francisco, ca 94111 Office 415.536.4005 Toll Free 855.350-7617
Lowest Stable Premiums Available Exclusively Fire & Emergency Service Agencies Broadest Insurance Coverage Available Risk Management Assistance In 1987, one of the largest insurers of California Fire Districts informed the fire industry that they would not be renewing their insurance. FAIRA's first year of operation resulted in an immediate premium reduction of 30%, and that was just the start! Since then we’ve continued to see favorable outcomes for our members including a combined additional savings of over 10% in the past 7 years alone. Not only did we create a solution that guaranteed continuous coverage and reduced premiums, FAIRA is the largest and only multi-state Fire District pool in the United States and has saved millions of dollars. Our members pay less in premium than they did in 1988 for exposures that have quadrupled. We provide our members with risk management and loss control services including contract review, live & online training and we provide insurance rates that lead the marketplace when it comes to coverage terms and pricing for Property, Vehicle & Liability coverage for Fire Districts and Emergency Service Agencies.
FIRE DISTRICTS ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA
Russell W. Noack, Public Policy Advocates, LLC
ew Legislature / New Governor/ New Budget As the New Year’s celebrations were concluding, the California Legislature convened the 2019-2020 Session. Both houses of the Legislature returned to town with a pronounced Democratic Party flavor. The Senate now has 28 Democrats and 10 Republicans, with Senators Gaines and Lara resigning to take statewide offices. Special elections will be held for both offices in late March. The Democrats won 60 out of the 80 seats in the Assembly and added one more when Brian Maienschein from San Diego changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. January also saw the swearing in of Gavin Newsom as the 40th Governor of California. The Democratic former Lieutenant Governor and Mayor of San Francisco waisted little time in identifying wildfire preparedness and response to be a top priority. On his second day in office, the Governor held a press conference in Colfax, California alongside officials from CalOES, CAL FIRE and local government fire chiefs, where he committed to a program that will ensure increased funding levels for emergency preparedness and response. 6
“... committed to a program that will ensure increased funding levels for emergency preparedness and response.” Governor Newsom was true to his word when he released is first State Budget on January 10th. The total Budget is roughly $209 Billion, which is about $8 Billion more than Governor Brown’s final budget. The 2019-20 Budget includes an increase of $172.3 Million to improve state emergency services and includes an additional $25 Million from the General Fund to support the pre-positioning of local government fire department resources that are a crucial part of the Master Mutual Aid System. The Budget reflects a new emphasis on adding state-of-the-art technology to prepare for and be deployed in disaster situations and a renewed commitment to build out the State Emergency Telephone Number Account (SETNA) next generation system. Governor Newsom took the unprecedented step of establishing a Senior Advisor on Emergency Preparedness and Management position in the Governor’s Office and appointed Rhys Williams, his former Chief of Staff when he was Lieutenant Governor, to the post. Mr. Williams has already reached
out and met with FDAC and CFCA leaders and has vowed to maintain an open and active line of communication with the fire service. Bankruptcy Part Deux Another wildfire-related matter confronting stakeholders concerned the announcement by PG&E of their intent to file for bankruptcy protection due, in part, to the potential extensive liabilities associated with the recent major wildfires. Developments surrounding the bankruptcy event will undoubtedly underline legislative activity all Session long. Legislation/Budget Hearings On the legislative front, although policy committees have been organized, to date the committees have not begun the process of hearing bills. Most legislative measures will be introduced shortly before the deadline of February 22nd, which means committees will not commence in earnest until late March.
However, a few wildfire bills of note have been introduced. Assembly Bill 38 by Jim Wood, Democrat from Santa Rosa, would require the State Fire Marshal to develop building standards for buildings in very high fire hazard zones by July 1, 2020, and require all newly constructed buildings to comply with these new standards. Assembly Bill 191 by Jim Patterson, Republican from Fresno, would exempt homes being rebuilt after wildfires from meeting certain building standards including sprinklers until January 1, 2030. Senator Dodd, a Democrat from Napa, introduced Senate Bill 209 to establish the California Wildfire Warning Center to provide a statewide network of automated weather and environmental monitoring stations conducting fire-weather forecasting and threat assessments. Budget subcommittees have begun to dissect the various nuances of the Governorâ€™s 2019-20 State Budget. On January 31st, the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee conducted a lengthy hearing on wildfire preparedness and response. FDAC and CFCA leaders were there to support prepositioning and promoted increased overall funding for local government fire departments.
A joint powers authority formed to enable fire protection districts to protect the communities they serve. www.fasisjpa.org FDAC
LOOKING FOR LOCAL OR REGIONAL TRAINING FOR YOUR AREA?
Look no further! FDAC Certificate of Achievement Program
DAC offers a “mobile” training program specifically designed for fire protection district board members and professional fire leadership. Governing a fire protection district has similar aspects to other special districts but yet unique requirements which is why FDAC offers the Certificate of Achievement (COA) program. Hosting a COA is easy! FDAC needs 25-30 committed attendees for the four-module training. A local district to provide a meeting room and AV as well as provide on-site assistance with registration and logistics. FDAC will provide instructors, oversee marketing efforts, coordinate registration, send all necessary materials as well as arrange for coffee service and lunches if needed. Registration fees are kept as low as possible to allow attendees from small districts and larger district to participate. The COA program offers four four-hour module training on: District Legal Aspects – How Not to Get Burned! • Health and Safety Code: Fire District Law • Ballot Measures • Workers’ Compensation and Labor Code • Ethics
“Registration fees are kept as low as possible to allow attendees from small districts and larger district to participate.” • • • •
Collective Bargaining Fire Code Adoption EMS: Title 22 Overlapping Jurisdiction with Cal Fire /SRA • LAFCO, Consolidations and Annexations Fire District Leadership Avoiding the backdraft • Finance: budgets/property tax • Audits • Financial Reserves • Open Meetings and the Ralph M. Brown Act • GASB 34 and GASB 45 • Prop 13, AB 8 and Property Tax Distribution • Board Meeting Dynamics • Effective Governance, Board Roles & Responsibilities • Agendas Fire District Planning Response route to success • Strategic Planning • Standards of Cover • Business Planning • Succession Planning • Risk Analysis • Technology
Fire District Trends & Issues Latest Hot Stuff! • Current Events and Pending Legislation • Hiring a Fire Chief • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) • Recruitment/Retention • Generational Diversity • Firefighter Bill of Rights • Fire Fighter Safety • “Your District Issues” • Associations and Fire Service Affiliation FDAC’s COA was designed by experienced fire service professionals for today’s fire district leaders. Years of collective fire district experience was tapped to develop each module to ensure important issues are covered and attendees walk away better prepared to serve their communities. Contact FDAC (Carmen or Catherine) at (916) 231-2941 or firstname.lastname@example.org and casmith@ fdac.org to start coordinating a COA in your area. FDAC comes to you!
REGISTER TODAY! 2019 FDAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE April 3-5, 2019 Napa, CA
es, we are cautiously appreciative. Though there have been some negative effects from the rain throughout the region, it has brought some much-needed relief and will positively impact our fuel moisture situation later in the year.
NEWS BREAK FROM SUNNY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAâ€Ś WE ARE WET, WET, WET! Mark T. Baker, Director, Lakeside Fire Protection District FDAC Zone 6 Director
In San Diego County, the new year ushered in two new fire chiefs as two chiefs retired in December. From Rancho Santa Fe FPD, Tony Michel has retired and Rancho promoted Fred Cox to fill his boots. Another long-time firefighter from Bonita-Sunnyside FPD, Mike Sims was promoted to fire chief behind retiring Tim Isabell. Both new chiefs are looking forward to becoming active participants with FDAC. San Diego LAFCO just approved the annexation of all the remaining unserved islands with San Diego county to the appropriate fire service agency. Some of the islands were annexed by adjacent fire protection districts and the remaining islands or portions of islands were annexed by CSA135, the San Diego County Fire Authority. It has taken the county fire services ten years to resolve the issue of unserved acreage within the County, but now there are NO parcels that do not have a fire agency that is responsible for them now. The wheels of bureaucracy and politics might move slow, but they kept moving and the County of San Diego under the leadership of Supervisor Dianne Jacob along with the County Fire Chiefs Association/Fire District Association in cooperation with San Diego LAFCO stayed the course and have accomplished a very good thing. The last thing that is occurring here in Southern California is that a cottage industry has begun using the language in the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (California
Elections Code, Division 14; Election Day Procedures [14000-14443], Chapt. 1.5. Rights of Voters [14025 - 14032]). One or more legal firms have figured out how to use this legislation to extort funds from local governments by threatening them with further legal action, if one, they do not eliminate the practice of at large elections and institute electoral districting and demanding payment of up to $30,000 for just noticing the agency. This has occurred here in San Diego County with several cities and at least one fire protection district (Bonita-Sunnyside Fire Protection District). Also, this issue is unfolding in Santa Monica right now and is being played out in the California Appellate courts. (https://www.surfsantamonica.com/
â€œThough there have been some negative effects from the rain throughout the region, it has brought some much-needed relief...â€? ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News2018/November-2018/11_13_2018_ City_to_Appeal_Decision_in_Voting_ Rights_Case.html) Thus, we here in the Lakeside Fire Protection District have begun the process to divide the FPD into electoral districts in preparation for the 2020 election cycle. This alone is not an easy task. A local governmental entity will need to employ consultants and demographers to assist with the appropriate division into electoral districts, followed by public hearings
and further legal steps to institute this provision of the California Voting Rights Act. It will have a significant cost factor to implement, and every ten years, a study will need to be performed to ensure the appropriate district divisions are maintained as population and demographics change. I encourage each agency to, at a minimum, contact your legal counsel for advice on this issue.
Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6
SAVE THE DATE! 2019 FDAC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY October 21-23, 2019 Sacramento, CA
FDAC Report offers an insight to the Fire Districts of California and their success.