Ironman Dedicated To Our Fallen
Congratulations to Fire Captain Kari Thompson on finishing her 7th Ironman Triathlon. Captain Thompson dedicated the triathlon to fallen Fire Captain Ryan Mitchell and Engineer Cory Iverson. A huge accomplishment and fitting tribute. Way to represent!  
Today is Giving Tuesday
Cal Fire eyes close of 2019 wildfire season, upgrades to air fleet
A succession of winter storms and December’s arrival are allowing much of California’s wildland firefighting apparatus to ramp down, including Cal Fire air attack bases, where work is already underway to upgrade the state’s aerial firefighting fleet for next year.

The air base next to Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport — one of 13 across the state — was fully staffed early this week as one of three still open to cover all of Northern California in case of a wildland fire.

But active operations were largely at a standstill, a sharp contrast from a month ago, when the Kincade fire in Sonoma County was churning through rural acreage outside Windsor and Healdsburg, on its way to becoming the largest California wildfire of the year, at 77,758 acres. It destroyed 374 structures, including 174 homes.

On Monday, crew members sat around a coffee table inside a break room at the Sonoma base, some scanning their cellphones as they awaited their next assignment. After lunch, they were scheduled to test repairs on the landing gear of two small 1960s-era air tankers housed at the base for fire retardant drops.

“This might be our last hurrah for a little bit,” said Cal Fire Capt. Nick Welch, who leads the local base. “It’s winding down, but you never know what Mother Nature has in store.”

In the fire service, alcohol can play a central role in social activities and tradition. Fire fighters will offer a variety of reasons for  drinking alcohol  — it builds camaraderie, enhances celebrations or eases the transition home after a long shift.

For fire fighters in recovery from  alcohol  or substance abuse, the season between Thanksgiving and New Years can be an especially challenging time. To protect your sobriety throughout the holidays, stay vigilant by planning for these common relapse pitfalls.

  1. Changes in Normal Routine. During the holidays, your normal shift schedule may be impacted in some way. You decide to take a day off to attend your family’s holiday gathering or pick up a friend’s shift so they can do the same. This means established times for recovery behaviors that support your sobriety — attending A.A. meetings, getting adequate sleep, exercise or enjoying relaxing hobbies — are likely to be disrupted. Skipping just one of these activities can have a big impact. If you know your routine will be thrown off this holiday season, plan to schedule time for critical self-care.
  2. Access to Alcohol and Substances. An alcohol and drug-free environment may be essential to your recovery. But during the season of holiday parties and house gatherings, alcohol is often accessible and readily enjoyed by those around you. Plan for both anticipated and unanticipated opportunities for alcohol or drug use. For example, an innocent trip to use the bathroom at a friend’s party could mean an unintentional encounter with a bottle of prescription medication. For gatherings you feel obligated to attend, consider reminding the organizer ahead of time you are not drinking or commit to bringing a friend who can double as an accountability partner.
  3. Holiday Blues. Regardless of what you celebrate, for many, the holiday season symbolizes fellowship, rituals and connection with loved ones. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, divorce or recent major life transition, the holidays can reopen unresolved wounds. While the physiological cravings of your addiction may be gone, intense emotions such as griefdepression or anger can trigger psychological cravings at any time. Be vigilant by anticipating what specific days or situations are likely to trigger your blues.
  4. Family Stressors. Your self-care throughout the year probably relies on surrounding yourself with positive support, while limiting time with individuals who cause you unnecessary stress. For some, family get-togethers can trigger unhappy memories of seasons past or an unpleasant encounter with a toxic relative. Setting personal boundaries is essential to your recovery 12 months out of the year, and the holidays are no different. If seeing family is stressful for you, have a plan for how you will cope before, during and after the encounter.
  5. Disruption in Treatment. If you’re struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues, you deserve access to consistent quality mental health care throughout the year. However, you may find that it’s more difficult to get a timely appointment or a phone call back from your provider during the holiday season. Missing routine appointments or medications that help regulate your mood is an unfortunate, common and preventable relapse trap. Plan by ensuring you have an adequate medication supply and consider attending a support group if your counselor or therapist is unavailable.

While the holidays can present a vulnerable time, a proactive approach to self-care will help you start a safe and healthy 2020. If you have already experienced a setback in your recovery or feel you need more intensive support, don’t wait until the new year. Get help today.
IAFF Team 10th Strong!
DVP Mike Morlan presenting Firefighter Kevin Waldvogel with a check from the IAFF on behalf of Local 2881 and Team 10th to support him as he recovers from a burn injury received in BEU. Also pictured are Fire Captain Angela Kilmer and HFEO Ryan Duke.
BEU Chapter Director Sean Edwards and DVP Mike Morlan presented Fire Captain Paul Tardiff with a check from the IAFF on behalf of Local 2881 and Team 10th to support him as he recovers from a burn injury received in BEU. Also present was Assistant Chief Fred Lopez.
Get To Know Your DVP
Click article to read more.
Community Shout Out
"We would like to thank and congratulate Cal Fire on the excellent, outstanding job they did on the last large fire -- the Kincade Fire.

To mobilize and deploy over 5,000 personnel, together with hundreds of fire engines, bulldozers, water tenders and air support on literally a moment's notice is in many ways beyond a normal person's comprehension. The U.S. Army could not have done a better job!

Not only did Cal Fire instantly mobilize but they had a definite plan as to how to protect the thousands of homes and people. Without the amazing planning and deployment, it is not unreasonable to suggest that without the incredible effort of Cal Fire over the past few years, there might not be a Calistoga, maybe St. Helena, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Windsor, greater parts of Napa, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and the communities around Clear Lake as we know them.

Not only did Cal Fire mobilize the needed resources and execute the plan of attack and suppression, but all the personnel had to be fed, hopefully rested after long shifts and strategically deployed as conditions (including wind) dictated.

The equipment had to be fueled and maintained. The aircraft had to have access to aviation fuel and the tankers had to have close and reliable water sources. The list goes on and on!
We are very grateful and thankful for Cal Fire and will gladly pay taxes, fees, etc., that we know will go directly to Cal Fire, nothing else, that maintains the high level of efficiency that Cal Fire over and over again demonstrates. Truly, they are the finest and most effective agency in the state of California. Many thanks!"

Paula and Bill
St. Helena

As seen in the Napa Valley Register
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At the end of a call, what fire fighters experience on the job can stick with them long after their shift ends.

As a fire fighter, you may encounter a potentially traumatic event (PTE) more than once during your career. A potentially traumatic event is any event that threatens injury, violence or the loss of life. You might directly experience the event, see the event happen to someone else or have direct exposure to aversive details of the event in its aftermath. Examples of a PTE may include:

  • A fatal fire
  • Caring for an assault victim
  • A pediatric drowning
  • Responding to the address of family or friends
  • A mass fatality/casualty event
  • A close call of another crew member
  • A line-of-duty death 

Responding to a call that involves one or more PTE factors can impact how you store and process that memory in your brain. During the fight or flight response, memories are encoded into vivid pieces, such as sights, smells, sounds or feelings experienced during the traumatic event. These fragments can be re-experienced as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or nightmares long after the event has ended. 

Other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) can include dissociation, distorted beliefs about your role in the event, feeling detached from others, inability to experience positive emotions, irritability, sleep disturbance and exaggerated startle response. When these symptoms persist for longer than one month, they can wreak havoc on your quality of life.

Is your physical/mailing address updated with us?

Did you get the Fire Front mailed to your home in late August? If not, then we don't have your current address.

It's important for us to have it in case you are impacted or may be impacted by a wildfire or other emergency. Use the link below, call or email us to update it today!

(916) 609-8711 /
Safety, EMS, and R&D
From Staff Chief Curtis Brown
36 Christmas Mains That Aren't Ham
Your Christmas main course doesn't have to be routine, so pull out the stops with an unexpected twist on a holiday meal. Whether your family (or crew) loves meat, poultry—or no meat at all!—set a truly dazzling dish in the center of the table this year. Check them out here !
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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 Dec 1 . If your name is on the list or you have recently moved, please contact Danielle at (916) 277-9885 or  to update your address.