Richard J. Ernest
Scholarship Winners
Congratulations students!
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Community has more surprises for CAL FIRE captain given new home on 'Extreme Makeover'
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With all the cheering, Nick Reeder felt like it was all a dream.

After six days of work, the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" team and 2,000 volunteers presented Nick and his family with a brand new Clovis home.

"I was completely blown away. When they said 'Move that bus,' and this home behind me appeared, I couldn't believe that it was ours. It's beautiful," he said.

Nick Reeder moved in with his daughters. 4-year-old Layla and one-year-olds Kelce and Kaia. Their mother Amanda died after the twins were born.

De Young Properties, the city of Clovis, CAL FIRE and countless businesses responded by giving the family a fresh start. The Reeders have moved out of their apartment.

"Everybody grinned ear to ear. I couldn't sleep last night. So much full of excitement," Nick said.

Local businesses helped raise $20,000 for the family.

The generosity hasn't stopped with the home. Brighten Academy offered free Preschool for the girls. Little Gym offered free gymnastics training.

"To see why our community poured their love and support into this community-wide effort, that's the most heart-warming part," said De Young Properties president, Ryan De Young.

"Extreme Makeover" designers fed off everyone's energy.

"We just wanted to say how grateful we are for this community rallying around us," said designer Carrie Locklyn. "It was our very first episode and there is no other place we would want to be."

IAFF Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial
Get To Know Your DVP
B rad Niven is your District III Vice President. Brad is responsible for the Amador-El Dorado, Tuolumne-Calaveras, and Madera-Mariposa-Merced Units. In addition to holding the position of DVP, Brad ambitiously took on several roles to help serve his fellow Local 2881 brothers and sisters. He is the CAL FIRE Local 2881 Training cadre lead for New Officer, Advanced Leadership, and Member Support classes. Additionally, Brad is the Chair of the L2881 Legislative Committee, L2881 member of the Department’s Statewide Training Committee, SubJAC review Committee, and CPFs EMS Committee.

Brad first became involved in Local 2881 in 2008. The outgoing TCU Chapter Director challenged the younger members to get involved to see change. Brad started as a Union Rep then became the TCU chapter Rank & File Representative. Brad also served as the Alternate Chapter Director and Chapter Director in TCU. He is currently in his second term as the District III VP. When Brad first became a union representative, the union had a tumultuous relationship with unit management and numerous grievances were filed. After some time, as new management came into the unit, Brad and the other L2881 representatives were beginning to resolve grievances at the lowest level. Brad is extremely proud of how far the union’s relationship with management has evolved since 2008.

Brad feels it is important to be involved in Local 2881 because it’s our future, we have the chance to continue to shape our department for the better for years to come. He feels everything we have that we hold dear, was fought and won because of OUR UNION. Brad states, “The State of California (CalHR) has never and will never give us anything because they “like” us. We fight, we bleed, and we die to protect these things and we must continue the good fight.”

One of the accomplishments Brad is most proud of when it comes to what Local 2881 has achieved is our union Honor Guard. He is continually impressed by the dedication and care that our Honor Guard members show our fallen and the families of our fallen sisters and brothers. The next accomplishment would be the move to change our department name to CAL FIRE. This change has helped to get us to the forefront of local, state, national and international issues.

Looking forward, Brad expresses how important it is for our members to continue to fight for better staffing throughout the state. Our pensions and our retirement benefits will continue to be under attack. We need to stand fast and fight off these attacks. When looking at things from a politic perspective, Brad believes the union must continue to express the importance of fighting for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. According to Brad, “Our enemies aren’t afraid to get into the trenches of local and state politics, and we cannot be afraid either.”
Yoga for First Responders
The IAFF has partnered with Yoga for First Responders to bring this introductory one-hour yoga module. Yoga is a safe and effective training tool to address occupational stress and gain mastery over the mind and body. Anyone can benefit - we challenge you to give this a try at the fire station or at home.

via IAFF
How firefighters should handle First Amendment Audits
M any firefighters have never heard of First Amendment audits (also known as 1A audits), although they may have already been the subject of one. The term refers to a movement led by self-proclaimed “auditors” to test constitutional rights. These auditors photograph or record public officials at work, often in a deliberately provocative manner, all to test the boundaries of the First Amendment and report on the results to an online following.


Two 1A audits of firefighters have been in the news recently – in New York City and in Stockton, California. The  New York City incident  concluded with a tense confrontation between firefighters and the man with the camera. The Stockton incident is being held up as an example of  how to handle such events in a professional and non-confrontational manner .

Comparing the two incidents is not entirely fair, however. It is clear from the audio of the Stockton encounter that the man with the camera approached the fire station with positive feelings about firefighters and never did anything to provoke those he was filming. In fact, at least some of the firefighters seemed to have no idea that the man filming was anything other than a citizen interested in seeing the fire trucks.

The New York City incident went very differently. In that case, the firefighters saw a man hanging around their personal vehicles at night (the Stockton 1A audit occurred during the day). When they questioned him, he was immediately confrontational, rude and threatening. Things escalated from there.

Light your station in red to honor fallen firefighters
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Did you know that you get MORE health plan options through PORAC?

  • CalPERS PORAC Medical plans access availability through Insurance Trust and Retiree Medical Trust, which adds a new way to protect you and your families. This PORAC plan offers better reach to rural and out of state areas. This is a new option for members if they so choose.

  • By choosing the PERS PORAC Medical Plan, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of their free body scanning/screening every 36 months.

  • Other membership benefits and discounts.

Signing up gives you the opportunity to see what health care plans are available through PORAC enable you can make changes during open enrollment.

CalPERS Announces Health Care Premiums for 2020
Check out the new rates below!
On June 18, 2019, the CalPERS Pension and Health Benefits Committee (PHBC) approved the health plan rates for 2020, at an overall average premium increase of 4.65 percent. The action also included two health plan changes. The full board will vote on final approval of the rates on Wednesday.

"We negotiate aggressively because we know that many of our members must pay the entire cost of any premium increase entirely out of their own pocket," said Rob Feckner, PHBC chair. "While these rates reflect the current state of the health care market, we expect the health plans that do business with us to also take strong actions to keep costs down. We'll continue to hold them accountable and to be more transparent as we work on behalf of our 1.5 million members in our program."

Health care costs are rising due to a number of factors, including increases in hospital admissions, outpatient surgical procedures, and pharmacy costs. CalPERS uses innovation to keep costs low while upholding quality health care.  

Members enrolled in CalPERS' Basic (non-Medicare) Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) health plans will see a 5.98 percent average premium increase. Members enrolled in Basic Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans will see an overall average increase of 3.28 percent. CalPERS Medicare plan enrollees will see their premiums increase by an average 1.52 percent.
In May the board voted to spend down the premium increase for the PERSCare Basic PPO plan, from a projected average increase of 23.9 percent to a final increase of 6.45 percent for 2020. The board allocated these funds using $44 million in excess reserves from the health care reserve fund. The reserve fund helps protect CalPERS and its members in years where medical and/or pharmacy claims are higher than expected among the system's self-funded PPO plans.

The new premiums will take effect January 1, 2020. Detailed information on 2020 rates for  HMO (PDF) PPO (PDF) , and  association (PDF)  plans are available on the CalPERS website.

Besides the premiums, the board approved these health plan changes for 2020:
  • Blue Shield will introduce a new, narrow-network health plan called Trio for the following six counties: El Dorado, Los Angeles, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo.
  • Anthem will introduce a new HMO Medicare Advantage plan for combination enrollment members in Monterey County.

There are no copay, benefit, or coinsurance changes for 2020, excepting association plans which do not fall under CalPERS purview.

CalPERS will continue to develop its other successful benefits and programs that contain costs without sacrificing quality. In 2019,  CalPERS introduced a value-based insurance design (PDF)  to its PERS Select Basic PPO plan. PERS Select plan membership increased from 55,675 members in December 2018 to 72,351 members in January 2019. CalPERS will also continue to optimize its reference-pricing program for value-based procedures to include pharmaceuticals. Since 2011, the program has saved more than $8 million per year.

CalPERS members can change health plans during the annual Open Enrollment period, September 9 to October 4, 2019. Open Enrollment materials, information on health plan options, and custom search tools will be available through members'  my|CalPERS  accounts beginning August 26, 2019. Access the mobile version at
Meet Richard Stack, a 27-year fire captain and member of North Attleboro, Massachusetts Local 1992. Stack struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) for years, becoming suicidal before seeking  treatment at the IAFF Center of Excellence  for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery for 45 days in October 2017. This is his story of recovery.

IAFF: How were your behavioral health problems interfering with your ability to function on and off the job?

Stack: I noticed I was having problems related to my PTSD at home with my family. I was always hypervigilant and was not able to turn off that common response of always waiting for the next crisis. I was constantly on guard 24/7. 

IAFF: When did you know that you absolutely needed to seek help?

Stack: I was quite surprised when greeted at my door by a group of fellow fire fighters and their spouses. My first thought was, “Oh, this can’t be good.” They sat me down and talked with me and shared that they were concerned for my safety.

CAL FIRE/USFS Aerial Firefighting Drop
Safety Bulletin
From Staff Chief Curtis Brown
The use of aerial firefighting resources are becoming more frequent, especially Large Air Tankers (LAT’s), Very Large Air Tankers (VLAT’s) and helicopters with increased capacities. While these resources have the ability to safely and significantly mitigate wildfire damage to life and property, they also require an increased awareness from the very ground firefighting crews they are tasked with assisting and protecting. Please review the attached CAL FIRE and US Forest Service (USFS) Joint Aviation Safety Bulletin. Embedded in the bulletin is an accurate Low Drop demonstration video; the video is also accessible by clicking the following link -  CAL FIRE/USFS Aerial Firefighting Drop Safety Video.
Please reference the document during training and safety briefings. The document and associated link will be uploaded to the Target Solutions Enterprise within the next 24-48 hours, please provide appropriate documentation of your review there.
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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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 July 31 . If your name is on the list or you have recently moved, please contact Danielle at (916) 277-9885 or  to update your address.