7TH DISTRICT REPORT | DAVE GILLOTTE
Local 1014 Meeting the Challenge
From the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County’s history to losing members to tragedies both on and off the job, the past few months have been difficult for our Local 1014 members. Through all of these challenges, we have pulled together to not only support each other, but also to continue the fight for better working conditions for all our members.
During the Woolsey Fire, the largest fire in LA County history scorching nearly 100,000 acres, we deployed 450 fire engines, 40 water tankers, 22 helicopters flying day and night and 50 bulldozers to fight back this fire, while we continued to fully staff our stations to protect the rest of the 2,307 square miles of the LA County Fire District. We pulled rigs from everywhere to fill 27 strike teams while at the same time covering our vast area of LA County with fire and paramedic services. We moved Orange County Fire Department rigs into our stations to help. Local 1014 dispatchers, forestry and health, HazMat, FSA’s, and heavy equipment all pulled hard to help get it done.
Additionally, for the first time ever, we formed 'Occupancy Support Strike Teams.' These teams went out into the communities devastated by the loss of homes to help them repopulate and look for lost treasures, records and photos, etc. There were many small victories in the middle of this tragedy such as the strike team that helped a woman find antiques and heirloom rings from her grandmother amidst the rubble of her home. Our strike team members were humbled to restore a little piece of her life amidst the ashes.
We would like to thank Governor Gavin Newsom and State Senator Henry Stern for taking time to join our first responders on the front line and shadow our peer support teams. We thank them both for their commitment to getting our members more resources and more behavioral health support not only on this incident but long term. We embedded peer teams at both the Woolsey Fire and the Camp Fire. Our Peer Support Teams fought the fire on the front lines while offering support for our fellow brothers and sisters.
In December, Local 1014 joined Los Angeles County Lifeguards Association (LACOLA) in voicing our support for the motion by LA County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger to analyze our Los Angeles County Fire Department's current and future needs including infrastructure, equipment and staffing.
Our needs as a department are changing and we need the resources to support these changes. Of the over 400,000 responses last year, over 80% of them were EMS calls. While fires make up a smaller percentage of our call load, the fires we are experiencing are more intense and longer in duration than ever before and are now combined with a yearlong fire season up and down the state. Just in the past few months, we’ve had thousands of recalls for our members. We know this causes family stress, physical stress, and mental stress. Fatigue can also cause injuries and illness. As we saw in the Woolsey Fire, we need every single member of our department healthy and able in order to protect our county.
Local 1014 is working hard and has set a goal of four-person staffing on all of our apparatus. This study is the first step to getting the data we need to assess our current needs and plan for our future growth. This was a big win for our members as we work with our Board of Supervisors and county partners to better serve our communities.
NEW LOCAL 1014 EXECUTIVE BOARD / CONTRACT RATIFICATION
This January, our newly elected Executive Board was sworn in at the Local 1014 union hall. Special thank you to IAFF President Emeritus Alfred K. Whitehead for swearing in our new board and for his lifelong commitment to our members and their families. Mr. Whitehead is a true legend in our organization and for unions across the nation. Without his leadership we would not have basic protections like the right to know, two-in-two-out, cancer presumptions, and line-of-duty death investigations. We would also like to thank IAFF 10th District Vice President Frank Lima for welcoming our board and voicing the support of our international union for our Local 1014 members.
On behalf of all our Executive Board members, we are honored to carry on the legacy of Local 1014 and the mission of advocacy for our members who selflessly serve over four million residents throughout the unincorporated communities of Los Angeles County and 59 contract cities. We have a lot of work to do and we are looking forward to the next two years continuing to better our members’ wages, hours, and working conditions.