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2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Steve Kovacs 1st Vice President Jim Comisky 2nd Vice President Frank Frievalt Immediate Past President Steve Hall 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 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



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s I start my first months as your new President, FDAC is committed to continuing the progress and support our members have come accustomed to receiving. I would personally like to thank our outgoing President, Fire Chief Steven Hall for his vision, mentoring and leadership of FDAC for the past two years. This Association is more engaged than ever, working diligently for our members and the California Fire Service.

The FDAC Education Committee members are well on their way to placing the finishing touches on the second annual Leadership Academy being held again at the Courtyard by Marriot Sacramento Cal Expo on October 21-23, 2019. Last year was a huge success and there will be another powerful program this year. Please send your “up and comers”, seeking future promotions and leadership positions. If your district needs anything, please don’t hesitate to contact our office by phone or email. Through our networks, FDAC can get you going in the right direction. We encourage you to get involved in FDAC and the good work we are doing. Become part of the change. Together, we are strong and will make a difference in fire service!

We are coming off another great Annual Conference held at the Napa Marriot in April. Our attendance was up this year by 63% and Respectfully, included a larger amount of Fire District Board Members than we have had in previous years. Their commitment and engagement is paramount to the success of our fire districts. Thank you to all that attended and especially to the Education STEVE M. KOVACS, Fire Chief Committee, presenters and staff for the great President, FDAC program presented this year! We have great things happening with FDAC. Our Joint Legislative Task Force between Fire Districts Association of California and the California Fire Chief’s Association is moving full steam ahead on many pieces of legislation affecting the fire service. There have been countless hours spent at the State Capital lobbying and testifying in support or opposition of legislation. We definitely appreciate those that have been able to join us in Sacramento. Please assist us with letters of support when the e-blasts are received. These are imperative to the support or opposition to Bills and truly do make a huge difference. The letters are already written and just require your letterhead and signature. Thank you in advance for your assistance.



A MESSAGE FROM FASIS Partner Highlight: Fire Agencies Self Insurance System Jennifer Jobe, FASIS Executive Director By: Jennifer Jobe, FASIS Executive Director


019 marks AgenciesSelf SelfInsurance Insurance System’s • Comprehensive With the on-going year as a risk-sharing joint powers 2019 marks the the FireFire Agencies (FASIS) 35th Coverage: System’s (FASIS) 35th year as a riskchanges to workers’ compensation structure and legislation, authority providing workers’ compensation coverage exclusively to fire protection and community sharing joint powers authority providing FASIS continually strives to ensure comprehensive and services throughout California. FASIS of nearly two-hundred Member Districts with workers’districts compensation coverage exclusively to is comprised reasonable coverage for Member District’s career and afire majority of the having participated and volunteer shared instaff. the program since inception. protection andmembers community services districts • Low Administrative Costs: Administrative costs are

throughout California. FASIS is comprised of

nearly two-hundred Member Districts with a a minimumand by focusing uponinclaim We provide first dollar coverage, self-insuring upkept to to$750,000, participate the oversight Local Agency majority of the members having participated and management which is supported by our control Workers’ Compensation Excess Joint Powers Authority (LAWCX) for excess coverage up risk to statutory and shared in the program since inception. services include claim file reviews, general limits. The FASIS eleven-member, representative services. Board ofThese Directors, works collaboratively to ensure workers’ compensation educational trainings, targeted exceptional services are provided to Member Districts through: We provide coverage first dollarand coverage, self-insuring injury scenario trainings, on-site safety reviews, subsidized

up to $750,000, and participate in the Local pre-placement and annual physical examinations, and Agency Workers’ Compensation Excess Jointthe on-going health and wellness resources. These services aid in and  Comprehensive Coverage: With changes to workers’ compensation structure Powers Authority (LAWCX) for excess coverage controlling losses and reducing overall administrative legislation, FASIS continually strives to ensure comprehensive and reasonable coveragecosts, for up to statutory limits. The FASIS eleven-member, which ultimately, result in positive impacts on member Member District’s careerworks and volunteer staff. representative Board of Directors, premiums and the welfare of staff.  Low Administrative Costs: coverage Administrative costs are kept FASIS to a minimum focusingrates upon collaboratively to ensure exceptional • Stable Rates: safety andby non-safety areclaim and services are provided to Member Districts oversight and management which is supported by over our year, risk and control services. These services stable year are offered to Member Districts through:include claim file reviews, general workers’atcompensation a lower cost than commercialtrainings, insurance.targeted injury educational

scenario trainings, on-site safety reviews, subsidized pre-placement and annual physical For additional information, please visit or examinations, and health and wellnesscontact resources. These services aid in controlling losses and reducing overall administrative costs, which ultimately, result in positive impacts on member premiums and the welfare of staff. Stable Rates: FASIS safety and non-safety rates are stable year over year, and are offered to Member Districts at a lower cost than commercial insurance.

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Legislative Article

Russell W. Noack, Public Policy Advocates, LLC


he California Legislature has burst into hyper-active form during the last two months. Various policy committees have begun the process of hearing the 200+ bills of interest to the fire service. Additionally, Budget Subcommittees continue to scrutinize the details of Governor Newsom’s first State Budget. Budget consultants are waiting anxiously for the “May Revise”, which updates all financial information underlying the multitude of projections for allocation of funds for programs contained in the proposed State Budget. Governor Newsom will release his May Revise on May 9, 2019. To date, the Governor’s top priority of establishing robust funding goals for wildfire preparedness and disaster relief have been maintained in full. The State Budget continues to contain a $25 Million allocation from the General Fund to OES to provide for the pre-positioning of local government fire department resources in support of the Mutual Aid System. Importantly, despite the reality that only a small portion of last year’s allocation has been expended, the Governor’s proposal would fulfill a mission of ours to ingrain pre-positioning as an ongoing program within CalOES. FDAC and CFCA leaders have testified at each step in the 6

“...the Governor’s top priority of establishing robust funding goals for wildfire preparedness and disaster relief have been maintained in full.” legislative process. As reported in the last article, the State Budget also includes start-up funding for the long-anticipated build out of the State Emergency Telephone Number Account (SETNA) next generation 9-1-1 system. The plan to place SETNA language, including a new funding source from cellular phone technology, into budget trailer bills will be heard in both Houses this week. After several exhaustive Fire Task Force meetings, nearly 200 legislative measures have been identified for tracking purposes. The FDAC Board has established priority positions on several bills, which have now been heard in policy committees. Senate Bill 438 by Senator Bob Hertzberg is a bill we are co-sponsoring with the California Professional Firefighters (CPF) to ensure that local public agencies are in control of the EMS dispatching function. The bill has received two policy committee hearings and passed both committees without a dissenting vote. Over 30 fire chiefs from throughout the state appeared before the Senate Health Committee in support of the bill.

Assembly Bill 1705 (Bonta) is another bill the Association is sponsoring this Session. The bill will exempt public Medi-Cal transport providers from the existing QAF program and replace it with an intergovernmental transfer program for public providers only. AB 1705 has passed two committees and is currently pending on the Assembly Floor. Another important EMS measure we are supporting is Assembly Bill 1544 (Gipson). This bill is patterned after legislation vetoed by Governor Brown last year, which would establish a Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act. The bill is moving despite the consistent opposition of the California Nurses Association. The search for mechanisms to promote affordable housing in California continues to be a major focus for the Legislature. Many pieces of legislation have been introduced designed to increase development by expanding the marketable stock of accessory dwelling units and streamlining the permitting and inspection process. We remain actively involved with


these efforts to make sure life and fire safety issues are not diminished. Further, we have been successful in heading off an effort to eliminate impact fees to support fire services, which was amended out of Senate Bill 4 (McGuire). ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) would provide a positive approach to improving local funding opportunities for housing and infrastructure projects by reducing the vote for local bond measures from a 2/3rds vote to a 55% vote. We have joined a broad coalition of governmental agencies working to pass this Constitutional Amendment and qualify it for the 2020 Ballot.

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. 7


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 and casmith@ to start coordinating a COA in your area. FDAC comes to you!


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LEADERSHIP AND SELF-REFLECTION Steve Hall, Central Fire Protection District of Santa Cruz County



e know there are so many great mentors, coaches, leadership consultants, and authors out there: Captain Michael Abrashoff, Jocko Willlink and Leif Babin, Dr. Kimberly Alyn, Steven Covey, Drew Dudley, Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky, and the list goes on. And I’m sure your personal libraries are as extensive as mine. Through all the reading, lectures, classes, conferences, and seminars I’ve attended, it’s taken me years to “fine-tune” my personal leadership philosophy – which is based on my core values; respect, authenticity, integrity, passion, humor, and consistency – the value that envelopes all the others. No one can take these values away from me – and no one can take your values away from you. Values are what should matter most to all of us, which reflect our character and our moral compass. It may be easy for someone to recite their philosophy, and their values. But at the end of the day one has to believe their stated values are genuine and sincere; that they’re not just rehearsed for an interview, or written down for a class assignment. For our values to matter – to show who we are to others – one must be able to walk the talk, and demonstrate by doing what one truly believes in. When was the last time you had an opportunity to reflect on your personal leadership philosophy – your core values? Is it time for a tune-up, or perhaps a complete overhaul. The only person that knows, is you.

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CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS Sean Grinnell, Fire Chief, Bodega Bay Fire Protection District


want to thank the FDAC for this opportunity to provide my thoughts on the most recent Annual conference held in Napa, April 3-5, 2019. First, I want to mention that I am a believer in continuing education. In this ever-changing world it is simply impossible to keep up without keeping track of what is going on. I am certain this is nothing new to most who will read this. As a small district chief with limited resources, events such as the FDAC Annual Conference becomes invaluable for the information that is provided.

Chief Jeff Meston’s Crisis Under Fire: Dealing with Significant Events was an eye-opening presentation, one that makes a person question their desire to promote. From a LODD to the felony arrest of an employee. Significant events happen, the good news is there is help out there, but the best option is be prepared for it. As a CISM Team member I was glad to see another program that discusses our mental health needs and the impacts of the job on our lives and on our mental health, wellbeing, and more importantly, what we can do to help our employees.

It was a year of first time evers (if such a word exists) most The conference this year was the most attended attended, most supported, most board members, and most ever willing to volunteer for the various seats on the FDAC Board conference I have been too in many years, if of Directors. I’ll be blunt, most of the time when the call for not the most attended ever. I would add that I have never seen as many vendors in attendance nominations is made, everyone looks around at everyone else, to see who is willing to stand up. This year was very different. either, or so much support from them for the various programs, events, prizes, or eats offered. Not a single seat was left without willing participants to fill them and some seats had multiple nominees willing. What a The usual updates, such as what is going on and great organization to be involved with. what to expect with the various state agencies, D-RiSC, the annual FDAC BOD meeting, and legislative updates are always beneficial. I was impressed with the fire service of tomorrow discussion. Remember all the great companies, from 100 years to internet startups? Are they all still here? Now the fire service, how many years of tradition unimpeded by progress? That was not the message I received, far from it, but we do need to continue to make changes to tradition and to keep up and embrace change.

WORDS FROM AN EXHIBITOR John Buchanan, Marketing Director, Statewide Fire Restoration


ur company is in three different states and my team exhibits at Fire related conferences in all three states. We all feel that our experience at the FDAC Napa was the absolute best. The companies that exhibit at the FDAC are primarily agency service companies rather that equipment sales. The participants are primarily the decision makers for the agencies they represent and our experience with these representamen was extremely good. We hope to participate in future FDAC conferences.

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ZONE 4 REPORT Mike Urquides Monterey County Regional Fire District


ire Districts in Monterey County are in a political war with our County EMS agency, with the recent Ambulance RFP release. Many of the same issues that were seen in Solano County were replicated in Monterey County; fortunately, the Solano Board of Supervisors stopped the RFP process after the Fire Service demanded public input. Key deficiencies and concerns all Fire Districts throughout the State should be aware of: 1. The Ambulance RFP was developed without adequate input from the public or from stakeholders. The EMS agency Director said the Fire Service was a potential bidder so we could not have input. 2. The RFP places unrealistic and unreasonable material and monetary demands on bidders and will invariably result in losses for the next provider and higher rates. Current estimates by potential bidders state the County could generate $100/200K a month in fines. 3. The cornerstone of an efficient response model – the policy of closest fire-based ambulance as implemented by automatic aid agreements is prohibited. 4. Changes in response time requirements endanger the public and conflict with existing policy regarding best practices for trauma, stroke, STEMI and sepsis. 5. At the last Emergency Medical Care Committee (EMCC) meeting, members voted unanimously to suspend the RFP until serious, unresolved issues could be addressed. The EMS Director stated that the process could not be stopped, nor could the RFP be altered.


This a complex issue, and there are legal battles occurring at the state level intended to clarify the basic question of EMS agency authority. What is occurring here in Monterey County is a microcosm of the bigger picture. The Monterey County Fire Chiefs continue to support SB 438 and encourage all Fire Districts to send a letter of support. Monterey County LAFCO just hired Mike McMurry, former Scotts Valley Fire Chief and a FDAC legend. He will commission a Fire Service Study to document service challenges, low tax base increment and other fire district demands. Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6


ZONE 5 REPORT Frank L. Frievalt, Chief Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District • Mono County starting up a CICCS Committee – first session is May 1st. • Two additional Fire Chiefs (Dave Doonan – White Mountain FPD, Mike Curti Antelope Valley FPD) recruited as CalOES Alternate Operational Area Coordinators. • Annual Operating Plan (AOP) meeting with local (Mono-Inyo County), state, federal partners completed April 20th in Bishop, CA. • White Mountain FPD to begin County supported EMT-Intermediate ambulance service. • Mammoth Lakes FPD working with WFCA as part of a Wildland Fire Policy Committee (WFPC). The WFPC has five Divisions: Pre-Event, Event, Post-Event, Technology, and Insurance/Finance; MLFPD is assisting with the Insurance/ Finance Division • Chief Frievalt assigned as FDAC Liaison to the WFCA.

A joint powers authority formed to enable fire protection districts to protect the communities they serve.



FIRE DISTRICTS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY Fire Districts Association of California

2nd ANNUAL FDAC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY October 21-23, 2019 Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo Sacramento, CA A leadership conference designed for aspiring designed chief officers to develop essential skills and A leadership conference for aspiring gain knowledge be successful in the field. chief officers toneeded developtoessential skills and gain knowledge needed to be successful in the field

REGISTER TODAY! Topics for the 2019 Leadership Academy So, You Want to Be SCHEDULE a Fire Chief? PRELIMINARY Hiring theLeadership Best: How to Recruit, event Hire and Promote thethe Right People for YourSchedule Organization Visit the Academy page to view latest Preliminary for a sneak peak of this year’s session topics. Please stay tuned as more information becomes New Developments in FLSA Litigation: What Fire Command Staff Need to Know available in the coming weeks. Dos and Don’ts for Effective Performance Evaluations SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNTIES Wellness for the Tactical Athlete To discuss available sponsorship opportunities, please contact Angelique Grellus at Social Media for Fire Districts: An Exploration or visit our website for more information. The A-Z of Fire District Finance-Part 1 HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS The A-Z of Fire District Finance-Part 2 Accommodations are available at the Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo at a rate of $135/night. Hotel reservation cut-off is September 30, 2019.


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Profile for FDAC

FDAC Report Spring 2019  

As I start my first months as your new President, FDAC is committed to continuing the progress and support our members have come accustomed...

FDAC Report Spring 2019  

As I start my first months as your new President, FDAC is committed to continuing the progress and support our members have come accustomed...

Profile for firedac