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
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
2017 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, Account Coordinator David Blue Garrison, Communications Specialist Angelique Grellus, Account Assistant ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY Pexels, Pixabay and Stocksnap 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
S T E V E N
H A L L
It has been overwhelming these past few months for our emergency service providers – fire, law, and EMS have all encountered unprecedented situations that have left a mark forever on our respective industries. From the Canyon-2 fire in Orange County to the Railroad Fire in Madera County; from the Bear Fire in Santa Cruz County, to the State’s most devastating blazes in history – including the Central LNU and Southern LNU Complexes, charring over 110,000 acres, destroying approximately 7,000 structures (damaging 486 others), with 42 fatalities – each incident taxing our resources to their limits. With this fire season coming to an end (hopefully), please don’t let these catastrophic incidents fade away. We need to work harder this coming year, and every year beyond in preventing these type of incidents from occurring. Although we can’t “tame” Mother Nature, we can predict her every move. Although we have high-standards for building construction, we can always improve them. Although California has the best mutual-aid system in the world, we can all respond better. And lastly, we can work with our OES partners, our legislators, and our allied agencies on implementing a better, more robust early warning system to help alert our communities in time of disaster – not just from devastating wildfires, but from all types of disasters. This will be my focus this coming year – but I’ll need your help in reaching out to your respective legislators. As the holiday’s approach, please think about those who have lost everything, including our brothers and sisters who walked away from their families, their homes, their fire stations to help others – because that’s what we do. Please keep those who lost family members in your thoughts and prayers as we gather with ours. I wish each of you and your families a joyous holiday season. Please keep those who lost family members in your thoughts and prayers as we gather with ours.
“The hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” - Andrew Bernstein
You serve others and LCW is honored to serve you. At LCW we are not solely lawyers. We are your trusted partners, helping you avoid legal problems and navigate issues. Fire Districts serve others, and we are honored to serve them for over 35 years in all areas, including: • Employment Law • Negotiations/ Labor Relations • FBOR • Investigations
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Discipline Litigation Long-Term Leaves Wage & Hour Retirement
To learn how we can help your District stop by our booth, or visit: www.lcwlegal.com/expertise/public-safety FDAC
FIRE DISTRICTS ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA 2017 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP ARTICLE
Russell W. Noack, Public Policy Advocates, LLC October 16, 2017
ith the conclusion of the first year of the 2017-18 Session, we now see what can happen when one party holds a super-majority of both Houses and the Governor’s Office. The Democratic leadership has hailed this year as one of the most productive legislative sessions in California history. And few would argue that they did address significant issues that have been tabled in recent times, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, housing, air quality and flood control. Many of the statewide topics were on the Joint CFCA/FDAC Legislative Task Force radar, as well. This year we tracked an unprecedented 177 measures and were actively engaged in more pieces of legislation than ever before. To deal with the massive number of bills, we modified the monitoring system placing bills in subject matter categories for easier reference, and reinstituted our weekly legislative update to keep members fully informed. I would like to highlight a few areas of major emphasis for us this year.
CAP-AND-TRADE The Governor’s number one priority was to extend the State’s Cap-and-Trade Program to continue the planned process of funding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Included in Assembly Bill 398 (E. Garcia), was a provision suspending the State Responsibility Area (“SRA”) Fire Prevention Fee until January 1, 2031, whereupon it is expressly repealed. As you all know, the SRA has been seen to stand in the way of funding appropriate local fire prevention programs. The SRA funding source, which is in Assembly Bill 109 (Ting), will now come from Cap-andTrade fund expenditures rather than from citizens in rural areas. Also in that bill, at our leaders’ request, funds were amended into AB 109 to allow a funding source for OES to support the Mutual Aid System. Although the $25 Million allocation fell short of expectations, the hope is that by obtaining some funding out of the Cap-andTrade structure now, we will be able to build upon this to better support local government engaged in mutual aid in the future.
TRANSPORTATION The enactment of Senate Bill 1 (Beall) is a significant landmark for all California citizens. By increasing the gas tax and imposing some other fees, SB 1 will generate $52.4 Billion over the next 10 years to repair our roads and bridges. Passage of this bill early in the year signaled that the Democratic majority was prepared to use tax dollars to fund their legislative objectives. HOUSING In the last week of Session, legislative leaders and Governor Brown agreed on a housing package that will place a $4 Billion general obligation bond on the November 2018 Ballot (Senate Bill 3 (Beall)), which includes $1 Billion to extend the CalVET Home Program; create a permanent funding source for affordable housing (Senate Bill 2 (Atkins)), and regulatory reform to accelerate construction of new housing (Senate Bill 35 (Wiener)). All told, 15 measures make up the housing package sent to the Governor. ...CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE
FIRE DISTRICTS ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA 2017 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP ARTICLE - CONT. At the beginning of 2017, over 100 bills were introduced attempting to increase the supply of affordable housing in California. Many of these measures included provisions to streamline the building permit review process. Other than two bills, Senate Bill 35 (Wiener) dealing with ministerial review of affordable housing and Senate Bill 229 (Wieckowski) making a small change in the accessory dwelling unit law, we were successful in stalling or amending all the bills with serious defects. Additional housing bills of note: Assembly Bill 190 (Steinorth) – Local Government: development permits; design review | Status: 2-year bill | FIRE Position: Oppose Assembly Bill 352 (Santiago) – State Housing Law: efficiency units | Status: Signed | FIRE Position: Watch after amendments were accepted Assembly Bill 494 (Bloom) – Land Use: accessory dwelling units | Status: Signed | FIRE Position: Watch after amendments were accepted Assembly Bill 549 (Quirk) – Local Government: building permit: electrified security fence: notice | Status: Signed | FIRE Position: Watch Assembly Bill 565 (Bloom) – Building standards: alternative building regulations: artists’ housing | Status: 2-year bill | FIRE Position: Oppose 6
Assembly Bill 886 (Bloom) – Safe Creative Work and Live Act | Status: 2-year bill | FIRE Position: Oppose Assembly Bill 1242 (Grayson) – Rental property: owner/owner’s agent: contact information | Status: 2-year bill | FIRE Position: Watch EMS Most of the bills, including the two major community paramedicine bills, were held over for further discussion next year. We devoted a lot of time to Senate Bill 523 (Hernandez), the Quality Assurance Fee (“QAF”) bill, which applies to both public and private medical transport providers. SB 523 passed the Legislature and, unlike last year (Senate Bill 1300 (Hernandez)), was signed by Governor Brown. CANNABIS REGULATION Throughout the Session, we worked aggressively to promote the interests of local government enforcement in light of the passage of Proposition 64 on the ballot last year. I am pleased to report that we have been successful in preventing an erosion of Proposition 64 with the passage of Assembly Bill 133 (Committee on Budget) in the last days of the Session. HOLD OVER ITEMS As always, many bills will be under discussion when the Legislature reconvenes in January 2018. These include: Assembly Bill 708 (QuirkSilva): Would streamline Cal/ OSHA accident reporting for
emergency services responders. The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration. | FIRE Position: SUPPORT Assembly Bill 1116 (Grayson): Would create the Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Act for emergency service providers. The bill has been placed on the Senate Inactive File and will not be taken up again this year. | FIRE POSITION: SUPPORT. Assembly Bill 1283 (Rodriguez): Would provide for fire departments with volunteer firefighters that receive federal reimbursement for costs associated with firefighting to pass through a portion of the amount that would otherwise be received to hire an employee for those services. The bill has been placed on the Senate Inactive File and will not be taken up again this year. | FIRE POSITION: SUPPORT. And the truly landmark Senate Bill 562 (Lara), which would establish a government-run single payer health care system in California. | FIRE POSITION: WATCH. CONCLUSION I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to all members of the Task Force. There were a multitude of measures to wade through in 2017 and it was your diligence, intelligence and tenacity that contributed to us hitting the mark again this year.
SAVE THE DATE
FDAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE
APRIL 10-13, 2018
MONTEREY TIDES HOTEL MONTEREY, CA
etworking and training with an ocean view! Don’t miss out on this year’s annual conference in scenic Monterey, California. New preconference includes AB1234 training and sexual harassment prevention session.
NUGGETS FOR LEADERSHIP: CHARACTER Steve Kovacs, First Vice President Fire Chief – Scotts Valley Fire Protection District
uestion: Does that badge make you the
People in leadership positions, often times get this one wrong. The answer to the above question is simply that it is the person and NOT the position. The badge only gives you Position Power. What truly makes you the boss (aka: Leader) is the fact that your subordinates will want to follow you. If you have no one to follow you, then you are not a Leader. Your Leadership as a badge wearing person is defined by your character. The traits that make up your character are defined by your Values. All decisions are based on your Values. Values drive behavior and define character. So, one may say these are all connected, and they are! Your character is developed through your level of ethics, integrity, compassion, humility, selfawareness, passion, vision and sense of humor. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf said: “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.” This quote is something worth pondering. Character is what you are and it is your ethics and values in action. Everyone has character, but the challenge is to have good character. Set the example for others to follow. Maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Insist on excellence from your personnel and team. Treat everyone with respect and building your positive character attributes will take care of itself.
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 • 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 email@example.com and casmith@ fdac.org to start coordinating a COA in your area. FDAC comes to you!
HEALTH CARE REFORM: WHITE HOUSE ISSUES NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON ACA
n October 12, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order with the stated purpose of promoting health care choice and competition. The order seeks to achieve these goals by expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHPs), bolstering shortterm insurance coverage, and easing restrictions on the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The order does not repeal any portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but it does reiterate the Administration’s view that the law has “failed to provide meaningful choice or competition.” WHAT DOES THE EXECUTIVE ORDER DO? The order directs the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and Treasury to consider making changes to current regulatory guidance in three areas: 1. It directs the DOL to consider within 60 days proposing regulations or revising guidance “to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form AHPs.” 14
2. It directs all three agencies to consider within 60 days proposing regulations or revising guidance to expand the availability and length of short-term coverage, including making it renewable by the consumer. 3. It directs all three agencies to consider within 120 days proposing regulations or revising guidance “to increase the usability of HRAs, to expand employers’ ability to offer HRAs to their employees, and to allow HRAs to be used in conjunction with nongroup coverage.” The order also directs HHS, in consultation with the DOL, Treasury and the Federal Trade Commission, to report to the President within 180 days and every two years thereafter on steps that can be taken to expand competition and choice in the health care markets. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The order does not change any law or regulation. It only directs the agencies to consider drafting
rules but it does not direct them to adopt any specific rules. Any proposed rules will need to go through a formal rulemaking process that includes a public comment period, which can take several months. In the meantime, all statutory and regulatory provisions of the ACA remain in full force. Employers should continue to administer their plans in full compliance with existing law. Keenan continues to monitor ongoing developments and will keep you updated. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO THE FDAC? At this point, we will have to wait and see as the guidelines develop. It is thought that the development of AHPs, will provide the ability of health plans to cross state borders. If this occurs, the FDAC EBA would be in a position to consider offering its coverage in other states. For more information please contact the FDAC EBA’s Consultant, Bordan Darm from Keenan & Associates at (916) 859-7160 ext. 4180.
Keenan & Associates is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Clients are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the clients’ business activities.
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NORTHERN ZONE 3 - OCTOBER REPORT
s I write this article, I reflect back three months ago at the beginning of summer and the start of Californiaâ€™s Wildland Firefighting season; Zone 3 Fire Districts were deployed across the state fighting wildland fires. As the summer went on there were many fires and a few deployments and as we got closer to November and the rainy season as Fire Chiefs we got anxious. Historically the early fall months bring cooler weather and the chance of North Winds without precipitation and can be the worst months for wildland fires across the state. October 2017 and the fires in the Wine Country, Butte County, and Nevada County are among the worst that any of us in the fire service has ever seen and again the Fire Districts in Zone 3 are deployed helping our neighbors in their time of need. The California State Mutual Aid system is one of the most dynamic and important parts of our states ability to protect our citizens from hazards of all types. Just knowing as a Fire Chief, I can put in the request and get help from all over the state when my community is in distress is a relief. As of the writing of this article the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) Region IV which predominantly mirrors FDAC Region 3 has deployed 20 Strike Teams/Task Forces to the fires in Northern California thatâ€™s over 400 personnel and 100 fire apparatus. From all of us in Zone 3 our thoughts and best wishes go out to those who lost loved ones and to all those that have been affected by these devastating fires. On the business side of the fire Districts in Zone 3 there are many agencies that are looking into contracts for administrative services, joint power authorities, and consolidation. With the increased costs of employee benefits, apparatus, equipment, and facilities Districts are looking for common areas between agencies to find efficiencies that can lead to increased services to the communities we serve. Some of these processes can take a long time as in a full consolidation which can be quite political while others such as sharing prevention or training resources can be accomplished with a contract between agencies. I thank you for the opportunity to serve as the FDAC North Zone 3 Representative, and as the Treasurer on the FDAC Board, please do not hesitate to contact me with your FDAC North Zone 3 questions. Eric Walder, EFO Fire Chief, South Placer Fire District FDAC, Treasurer & Northern Zone 3 Director
SAVE THE DATE NEW!
2018 FIRE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY OCTOBER 22-23, 2018 SACRAMENTO, CA
ew opportunity for emerging leaders! Enjoy exclusive access to training sessions for up and coming fire chiefs.
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FDAC Report offers an insight to the Fire Districts of California and their success.