Members from Riverside Participate in Demolition Derby
E ach year, the department is involved in many community events throughout the State, such as the Fire and Safety Expo at the Del Mar Fair. Last month, Station 76 took the initiative to further our community involvement by participating in the Expo's Demolition Derby to raise money for the Burn Institute. The road to building the derby car was challenging, but fun. It started with an idea of "why not us, why not CAL FIRE Riverside?" Fire Apparatus Engineer Eric Sauerwein took the lead and got us all the information we needed to begin this venture.

We started with figuring out how we were going to get the perfect car for the derby. Firefighter II Chad Burns had just donated his Buick Century to the Explorer Post at Station 76 to use for auto extrication training. The Explorer Post agreed to donate it to our station for the demolition derby. Thank you to Explorer Post for helping us out.

The next task was to prepare the car and acquire donations for the Burn Institute. I was tasked as the donation coordinator. Firefighter II Paramedic Bryce Wagner was the lead on welding and the mechanical side of things, and we decided he would also be the driver. We had to weld all the doors, hood, and trunk shut, take out the whole interior, and leave just the driver seat with a solid brace from B post to B post (the center post between the driver and rear passenger door). We also had to add a fuel cell and fire extinguisher. Over the last two months, the entire staff of Station 76 worked on the car and raised donations. By working together, we raised over $8,000! And, we put together a pretty solid derby car. We took 4 th place out of 16 teams, and were one of the top three fundraising teams! Not too shabby for first-timers.

Firefighters from San Diego (MVU) brought out a Type 3 engine and did a hoselay demonstration for the crowd. It was great to have the support of our brothers and sisters from the neighboring unit. 

We couldn't have done it without the help of all the station staff involved – CAL FIRE Riverside Executive Staff, Fire Chief Sean Newman, and our Battalion Chief Josh Bischof. Also, the contract city of Menifee was a huge supporter and one of our biggest contributors. This was a tremendous community effort to support a meaningful cause. We are happy to have participated in this great event, and for the opportunity to represent CAL FIRE within the community.

A big thank you to everyone who supported us along the way, especially our families, and to those who came out to cheer us on!

Written by Firefighter II Paramedic Mike Myers
Removing everything but the driver's seat, adding a fuel cell, bracing & other things to make the car safe and strong.
Fresh paint and sponsor stickers, ready for the derby!
Firefighter II Paramedic Bryce Wagner not only drove the car in the derby, he also was the lead mechanic and welder too.
The team working on the car in between heats.
NIFC Predicts Another BIG Fire Season in Northern California
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has released its  Fire Potential Outlook  for the 2019 fire season and it outlines another year of significant risk for wildfires in Northern California.

The NIFC provides an outline for wildfire risk for the entire United States every year and includes the various factors when determining the risk – past weather, drought and climate outlooks. The agency found that NorCal is once again at above normal risk during the months of June through August. The agency didn’t provide outlooks beyond August.

Although the North State saw historic precipitation during the winter of 2018/19, the prediction is no surprise for anyone who was unlucky to witness the past few fire seasons in NorCal up close. The massive precipitation and low-elevation snow during the winter actually hurt the situation, bringing down trees and brush to the ground to provide more fuels to worry about during the dry months.

Since October of 2017, Northern California has fallen victim to the two most destructive fires in California history (Tubbs Fire, Camp Fire), with one also being the most deadly (Camp Fire).

CalFire estimates that over 15 million acres of land in California is susceptible to wildfire, so these projects are just a start. But with the national media giving attention to the 2018 fires and federal government officials urging California to thin its forests, the projects show a new enthusiasm for fuel reduction.

Click a map below to view it larger
Wildland Fire Foundation Family Weekend in Boise, Idaho
O ver the weekend of May 17-19, families of four CAL FIRE firefighters whom we lost in the line of duty attended the Wildland Firefighters Foundation Family Weekend in Boise, Idaho. The weekend allows for the families of fallen wildland firefighters from around the country to come together to share stories about their loved ones and do some healing while also building relationships with families who have also lost a loved one.

Honor Guard members from various agencies also attended to support the families get to introduce themselves and speak about why they are part of the Honor Guard and what it means to them. The memorial weekend concluded with the release of butterflies and a brief ceremony at the Wildland Firefighter Memorial Garden located on the grounds of the National Interagency Fire Center.

Attendees were from the families of Cory Iverson, Braden Varney, Jerry Bonner and Edward Clayton.

Support for the families was provided by CAL FIRE Local 2881, CAL FIRE Local 2881 Honor Guard and the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation.
SF Giants Firefighter Appreciation Night
Thursday, June 27th vs. Diamondbacks 6:45pm

The Giants are proud to invite all fans to join together in saying, "thank you" to the brave firefighters who keep us safe every day! Whether you are a firefighter yourself, a family or friend of one, or simply want to show your appreciation, we encourage you to join us on June 27th! Your Firefighter Appreciation Night special event ticket package includes a ticket to the Thursday evening game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, access to the pre-game Firefighter party in Lot A from 4:30-6:30pm, as well as a firefighter-themed Giants Expandable Backpack, only available with the purchase of this Special Event ticket! Additionally, firefighters will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on-field, and proceeds from every special event ticket sold will be donated to The California Fire Foundation and the SFFD Toy Program. Buy your ticket now and show your support of these brave men and women!

Did You Know?
Stop complaining about being 'too busy'—manage your stress today with these 5 tiny practices
People who often complain about how stressful their lives are also happen to be the ones who don't prioritize stress management.  "I'm too busy,"  they'll say. Or, "My life is too fast-paced to think about anything else."

While a fast-paced life can be extremely challenging, it isn't the pace of life that  determines how high your stress levels are , it's what you do every day to prevent stress from occurring.

The simple solution is to cultivate an anti-stress regimen that you enjoy and can keep up with. Here are some science-backed practices that require very little shift in your daily routine:

Click here to read the 5 easy steps.
P.S. You can do most of them on duty!
P.P.S. Watch the video to learn other tips for dealing with stress.

Photo by  Max van den Oetelaar  on  Unsplash
Fire Fighters Better Able to Track On-The-Job Exposures to Deadly Carcinogens and Other Toxins
WASHINGTON, DC --  Fire fighters on the front lines protecting their communities now have a valuable tool for recording and providing evidence of work-related exposures to help protect them against deadly cancers and other occupational hazards in the fire service.

The new National Fire Operations Reporting System  (NFORS) Exposure Tracker  is now available as an app for fire fighters, paramedics or officers to create a personal diary for logging exposure and incident details in a private, encrypted and secure online environment.

“This valuable tool will help provide fire fighters with the documentation they need to show on-the-job exposure to a toxic soup of carcinogens and ensure they have the resources to get healthy and return to work,” says Harold A. Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

The NFORS Fire Fighter Exposure Tracker was developed through a partnership with the IAFF, the International Associations of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) and other fire service experts and is funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters grant program and the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation.

“The information gathered in the NFORS Exposure Tracker will provide essential data to help researchers better understand toxic exposures on the fire scene and develop new treatments and prevention protocols for occupational diseases, including cancer – now the leading cause of death among fire fighters,” says Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, president and CEO of IPSDI.

Richard J. Ernest Scholarship
There will be eight (8) $1000 scholarship awards given this year to members or their dependents. Information and application forms can be accessed on our members website at  www.calfirelocal2881.org  under the "Info - RJ Ernest Scholarship" tab or by calling headquarters at 916-609-8700.

The postmark deadline for all who wish to apply is  June 15th  for the 2019-2020 Richard J. Ernest Scholarship .
In The News
The REAL Cancer In Your Gear
My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer 27 months ago. The shock and awe of hearing, “yes, it is cancer” is the most powerful, helpless feeling we’ve ever had. Paul’s cancer was a Gleason 7 score on a scale of 1-10. For forty-five minutes the doctor talked about options, and what he would do if it were him, what comes next, etc.,. We didn’t hear a word. We were in shock. Paul’s too strong, too healthy, too big for cancer. This can’t happen to us.

Paul had robotic radical prostatectomy surgery by the best. Dr. Tuerk at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston. We knew there most likely would be side effects of the surgery, but all we wanted to hear was that he got it all. The surgery was successful, but he requires blood work every 3 months and is unable to perform the duties of a firefighter due to the effects of the surgery. When the realization of his not being able to return to the job he loved so much began to set in, it was a heart-wrenching chapter in our lives. This was not the way Paul was supposed to leave the job. He lived for this job. His crew from Worcester (MA) Fire Department, Rescue 1 gave him the best retirement party possible. Full of skits, awards, and his ax. But it was ten years too early.

I couldn’t understand how a guy like my husband, who was so fit at 55 that he boasted about being “only one of two guys on the job that can climb ‘UP’ the 3 story fire pole”. With two brothers and multiple male first cousins, with no prostate cancer history, how could someone so healthy get cancer? I started researching firefighter cancer. This was around the same time the Boston Fire Department came out ( here ) with their video about guys they had lost to cancer. It was shocking how prevalent it was. We’ve been in this for twenty-eight years. We knew a lot of guys with cancer. That video led me to start researching the gear itself. I guess that’s where the rabbit hole opened.

Not Talking About Mental Health Is Literally Killing Men
Y our mental health is inseparable from your physical health. Not a revolutionary concept, but what is astounding is the stigmatization that still surrounds men who dare to talk about their mental struggles. As we move into Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we hope to change that.

Men who are vocal about any kind of mental issues can be dismissed as weak. As inferior. As flawed, broken guys who are more likely to be ostracized for their honesty, instead of rewarded for their bravery. Instead of affording a fellow man compassion, we mock, belittle, and turn a blind eye. We freely spit the phrase, “Man up,” as though your gender alone should suffice to guide you through your darkest times.
Or worse: we nonchalantly respond, “Well, that sucks,” then change the subject because talking about feelings is just too real.

What’s real is the fact that 9 percent of men experience depression  on a daily basis . That’s more than 6 million men. Even if we understand  what depression feels like , we rarely admit that’s the culprit. We lie and say we’re tired or just cranky. More than  3 million men struggle with anxiety daily . Of the 3.5 million people diagnosed as schizophrenic by the age of 30, more than 90 percent are men. An estimated  10 million men in the U.S. will suffer from an eating disorder  in their lifetime. (Our own Style and Grooming Editor Louis Baragona  eloquently and touchingly shared his battle with bulimia .) We retreat from friends and instead drown sorrows in numbing substances.  One out of every five men will develop an alcohol dependency during his life.
Male suicide is rising at such an alarming rate that it’s been classified as a “silent epidemic.” It’s the seventh leading cause of death for males. That’s a staggering statistic. Drill down into the numbers and  suicide is the second most common cause of death for every age group for men 10 through 39.

In Case You Missed It
PFAS Exposure Testing Closer to Becoming Law
IAFF priority legislation for testing Department of Defense (DoD) fire fighters for PFAS is one step closer to becoming law as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The bill, advanced by the Senate Armed Services Committee, includes the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act, introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on behalf of the IAFF earlier this year. The bill directs the DoD to capture PFAS exposures for federal fire fighters through a non-invasive blood test administered as part of routine medical examinations. 

Test results could be used to document exposures while also providing medical guidance to fire fighters on PFAS exposure. In addition, information gathered from testing would allow occupational health physicians to better track exposure trends while establishing engineering controls to reduce or prevent future contact with toxic PFAS-laden foams.  

“The IAFF is committed to protecting the health and safety of our federal fire fighters who face increased health risks specifically tied to the DoD’s reliance on toxic PFAS-laden foams,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “Inclusion of language directing the DoD to test fire fighters’ blood for the presence of PFAS and prohibiting future purchases of PFAS-laden foams by DoD is a move in the right direction.” 

The draft bill also includes a provision prohibiting DoD from procuring new firefighting foam containing PFAS after October 1, 2022.

CAL FIRE Local 2881 Executive Board CalPERS Board Member Endorsement

We at CAL FIRE Local 2881 recommend our Retiree Members vote for:
JJ Jelincic for CalPERS Board

As your State Retiree / Disability Director I have had the opportunity to work with advocates at CalPERS, people that have stood on our behalf to enhance and protect our pension investments, strengthen retirement income, and improve healthcare quality and access. JJ Jelincic is the person we want to have representing our Brothers and Sisters both retired and currently employed.

This is a call to action for all CAL FIRE Local 2881 retired members to vote for JJ Jelincic in the upcoming CalPERS Board Member Election. Ballots will be mailed out on August 30, 2019, and voting is open until September 30.

If you have any questions regarding this endorsement please feel free to contact me.

Sam Davis,
State Retiree / Disability Director
CAL FIRE Local 2881
(916) 747-0194
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JULY 23-25

AUGUST 19-22





Provides funds for immediate life sustaining assistance to firefighters and their families who have suffered debilitating injury or loss of life.

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CAL FIRE Local 2881 likes to stay connected with our membership. We want to make sure every member has an updated mailing address.

Below is a list of both Active and Retired members that have bad addresses as of May 1 . If your name is on the list or you have recently moved, please contact Danielle at (916) 277-9885 or  dkelsch@L2881.org  to update your address.