CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department hosted 10 professional firefighters from all over Japan
Firefighters from the Butte Unit hosted the Japanese firefighters and instructed them on the strategy and tactics of fighting residential structure fires in the United States. The Japanese firefighters had one day of classroom instruction, and the following four days were skills-oriented. The Japanese firefighters' hands-on experience included search and rescue in smoke environment, ventilation over live fire, fire attack, and culminated on the final day with simulated structure live-fire exercises utilizing all their skills learned.  The Japanese firefighters made the trip because residential building construction in Japan is becoming very similar to the United States.

Takhiro Sato, who was the liaison/interpreter for the Japanese firefighters, had met and established a relationship with Battalion Chief Tony Brownell. Takahiro was excited about how this training will benefit the Japanese firefighters and the citizens of Japan. "Building construction in Japanese homes is starting to reflect the types of materials used here in California and the United States," Sato stated. "Learning firefighting strategy and tactics from US firefighters will help back in Japan." Chief Brownell jumped at the opportunity to instruct international firefighters and share the skills of all CAL FIRE firefighters. "To have international firefighters here at our training facility is an honor. To provide them with valuable training to take back to their country is extraordinary," Brownell stated.

It was a wonderful week of sharing the top-notch skills of CAL FIRE firefighters and learning new cultures and traditions. The Japanese firefighters will take these new skills home and share with their sisters and brothers to help save lives and property in their hometowns.
T he coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives.

Exercise, good nutrition and stress management are all critical for fire fighters and emergency medical personnel to stay well and continue responding in their communities.

Given the added stress during this time, we continue to provide resources to support the health and resilience of our members.

Because health and resilience are at the forefront with increased demands both on duty and at home, we are expanding the campaign in May to include movement, nutrition, wellness, resilience, sleep and many other topics, collaborating with other health and wellness subject matter experts, including an  IAFF Peer Fitness master instructor , a  Behavioral Health Specialist , the  founder of Performance Redefined  and a  preventative medical physician  from one of our Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI) Task Force cities.

What You Can Expect beginning May 1:
• Daily posts on a wide range of topics to support your health and resilience.
• Weekly interviews with experts in fire fighter wellness and resilience.
• Real-life strategies and tips to support you right now.

How to Participate
To participate in the Fire Fighter Resilience – For Health, For Life, For Real campaign in May, you must join the  IAFF Nutrition Facebook group .

Please invite other IAFF members to join this group. Together, we can begin sharing the importance of fire fighter health, nutrition, movement and resilience.
National Drowning Prevention Month is Here
D rowning is fast, silent, and usually happens when it is not swim time. It's the #1 KILLER of children ages 1-4. How can this be?! It's because we have let our guard down as a society, and unfortunately, our access to education and information on this topic is not ever made a point of discussion during well-child visits to our pediatrician or among first responders. We see only limited media coverage for a maximum of 6-8 weeks out of the year, and our view of water and swimming as a society is beyond outdated. Drowning does not discriminate. Drowning deaths happen to real families â€“ families with good, attentive parents who had absolutely no idea what the risks even were, and families who have dedicated their career to helping others.

Riverside County Fire Captain Joe Papandrea and his wife Nicole, lost their son, Everett, at 23 months old less than a year ago. Everett drowned in the family pool only 11 days after moving into their new home.

The Papandrea family is one of the driving forces in advocating for water safety and drowning prevention on a very personal level through the One Baby at a Time Foundation. CAL FIRE Local 2881 is helping to distribute information and assist in executing the non-profit's goals in Drowning Prevention education.
"In a career where prevention is our middle name and being progressive is what we strive for, I ask for our department to get involved. It all starts where I can make the smallest or largest difference. I do not know if having such a short time on this earth was my son Everett's reason or destiny. What I do know is his beautiful soul drives me to find ways to make a difference. He may not be here physically, but he is not gone. Something needs to happen now, changing these growing statistics by educating as many families as possible, starting with our very own fire families … One Baby at a Time. My family and I thank you, CAL FIRE, Riverside County Fire, Local 2881, for all of your support." - Captain Joe Papandrea

Please help us in supporting the Papandrea Family and the One Baby at a Time Foundation in coming together to make a change that will help save the lives of thousands of children.

Above and below are videos demonstrating the survival method taught by the  Infant Aquatic  Instructors.  "The Infant Aquatics Network is comprised of more than 100 certified survival swim instructors from around the world, teaching self-rescue swim lesson to infants, toddlers and young children using the swim-float-swim method." To find an instructor near you visit
Make a BIG difference in 24 hours! The CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation invites you to give from your heart during Giving Tuesday on May 5, 2020.

Now more than ever, giving virtually is a heartfelt way for people to support us in carrying out our mission.

Your support during Giving Tuesday will make a difference in supporting your brothers, sisters ,  and their families during their time of need. Taking care of our own is something the Foundation is so passionate about ,  and we thank you for your continued support.
Introducing the CAL FIRE Wellness Unit
CAL FIRE’s 2019 Strategic Plan features employee Health and Safety as one of the top four goals for the Department. “Ensure Health and Safety - The health and effectiveness of the Department is dependent on the overall health and well-being of our employees.” CAL FIRE demonstrates its commitment to the optimal health of its workforce through the growth and development of the ESS and Wellness Programs, which are designed to support our personnel in Behavioral Health, Physical Fitness, and Nutrition.

The CAL FIRE Wellness Unit, in collaboration with the CAL FIRE Training Center (CFTC), focuses on physical wellness: fitness and nutrition of our employees. The Wellness Unit is composed of Wellness Manager, Ryan Burns, and Wellness Analysts Katelyn Gilliam Mark and Katy Luetke.
Katelyn Gilliam comes to the CAL FIRE family after serving First-Responders throughout California for 8 years. She has led wellness programs, physical fitness trainings, challenges, and health screening projects at multiple departments, agencies, and in the private sector. She completed a Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in Exercise Science at Fresno State University. 

Katy Luetke was a seasonal firefighter with CAL FIRE and Fire Fighter 1 (FFI) Academy graduate from College of the Siskiyous. She completed a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Exercise Physiology while focusing research on Firefighter Health, Women's Health, and Athletic Performance. Katy worked as a college coach and taught classes in Health, Fitness, and Kinesiology at Shasta College and Simpson University before returning to the CAL FIRE family. 

Ryan Burns was CAL FIRE’s Physical Fitness Coordinator from 2013 to 2018 and continues to work collaboratively with CAL FIRE Training Center staff and subject matter experts (SME) from multiple Units to achieve department goals. Through these actions, 10 grant-funded physical fitness/nutrition trainings were delivered to Unit Physical Fitness Coordinators (UPFC) along with multiple PT trainings at the Unit level. The Wellness Unit also facilitates in-class wellness components at the Fire Fighter Academy (FFA), Company Officer Academy (COA), and Emergency Command Center (ECC) Academy. With the development and growth of the Wellness team we are excited to offer additional wellness services in PT, Health and Wellness to the field.

Look for more info about the CAL FIRE Wellness Unit in next month's edition!
An Update From the Discovery Channel
N ext week, the Discovery Channel will be attaching cameras to engines in the Riverside Unit to begin capturing footage for a docuseries. This 15-month project is in cooperation with CAL FIRE Local 2881, the Department, and the Discovery Channel. We are looking forward to sharing an inside look at the variety of calls our members answer and showing that CAL FIRE is more than wildland, CAL FIRE is ALL RISK!

We are also looking for footage of new-hire and rehire training, helmet cam, GoPro and cell phone footage. If you have footage you'd like to submit please reach out to Communications Officer, DeeDee Garcia,  at (916) 202-0553 or .
Have you received the single-layer pant yet? Share your thoughts with us via the survey link below.

Special offer from PHI Air Medical
PHI Air Medical works with the local first responders. When there is an emergency, you are always there for us. Because of this, PHI Air Medical offers first responders a special rate to join the National Air Ambulance program to take care of Firefighters and their families for just $35 a year per household.
Interested? Click the image above and fill out the attached form and send it to Jillian Manley at

Questions? Reach out to Jillian by email or phone (209) 768-4160.


In their latest episode, Doug and Mark talk with members of the IAFF's Health and Safety Division about their behavioral health initiatives during COVID-19.

It's time to apply for the Richard J. Ernest Scholarship
Do you have a child headed to college? Are you headed back to school for higher education? There will be eight (8) $1,000 scholarship awards given this year to members of CAL FIRE Local 2881 or their dependents. 

Information and application forms can be accessed on our members website at under the “Info – RJ Ernest Scholarship” tab.

The postmark deadline for all who wish to apply is June 15th  for the 2020-2021 Richard J. Ernest Scholarship applications.
CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation Raffle
The CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation raffle was held yesterday and the winners are listed below:

  • Condo in Bend, OR - Nick Mikulsky
  • Condo in Northstar - Tom Beary
  • Springfield XD 9mm - Christa Covert
  • Limo Service - Cale Lopez
  • Mossberg Patriot 22" - Marty Wattenburger
  • Cabin in Lake Tahoe - Jeff DelaHunty
Congratulations and thank you to EVERYONE who participated in the raffle. The money raised is vital to provide support to our brothers and sisters when they need it most. We look forward to seeing you at our golf tournaments and others fundraisers next year!
Click the images above and below to read the second pages
Did you just recently retire? Congratulations! Make sure to sign up to be a CAL FIRE Local 2881 Retired Member and stay in the know!

Reach out to Danielle
AAA is now offering free roadside assistance* to those heroes on the frontlines of helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic, whether they’re a AAA Member or not. 

All first responders and healthcare workers—including those that may not be AAA Members—can call   1-800-AAA-HELP   (1-800-222-4357) if and when they need roadside service. Simply identify yourself as such, and answer the brief health pre-screener questions, so that our service can roll out to help.
AAA Roadside Assistance operates as an essential service during shelter-in-place orders, and is available 24/7.
With  Personal Exposure Reporting from California Professional Firefighters, firefighters can document exposures to toxins that can produce job-related illness.
Don't forget Mother's Day is a week away! May 10
Wondering what to get your mom or spouse to celebrate her for Mother's Day?

Here are a few links to give you some gift ideas:
Firehouse Favorites
RRU Glen Avon Station 17 Firefighter/Paramedic Derek Lanssens shares his Tomato Basil Chicken recipe.
Visit The North Face website to verify your First Responder status.
Member Support 101 in May has been postponed. We will reschedule the training when the State’s directives regarding COVID-19 change.
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NBC Nightly News for Kids!
New Episodes Every Tuesday & Thursday
Lester Holt discusses hard news with a softer touch.

The “ NBC Nightly News”  anchor will lead an experimental version of NBC’s flagship newscast aimed specifically at children and teens. The first edition of  “Nightly News Kids Edition ” streams on YouTube and the show, and viewed as a test within  NBC News , is likely to appear at least twice per week and potentially with greater frequency.
It’s not easy being the spouse of a paramedic. While the traits that drew your spouse to their calling — bravery, compassion and selflessness — may be the same traits that drew you to them as well, the daily realities of the profession can wear on even the most stable of relationships.

Having a spouse who works as a paramedic can seem like a sacrifice, but can also be immensely rewarding. By coming to terms with their lifestyle, you can help cultivate a more harmonious, supportive relationship. But to do so, you’ll have to face some important realities.

1. Loneliness is to be expected. 
A paramedic’s schedule is very different from that of a typical 9-5 job. On many days, you may be the only one taking care of your children, preparing food and attending to household chores. Your spouse may miss weekend plans with friends, holidays and other family events because of their work hours. It can be difficult to keep a household in order and maintain a positive mood when your spouse isn’t around to help and support you. If you start to feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to other people who care about you. Friends and family members can lift you up, relieve some of the burden of your responsibilities and remind you that you’re not alone.

2. Sometimes, you’ll feel like you take a backseat to your spouse’s crew. 
It can be difficult to understand the close bond that your spouse likely has with their co-workers. Over the course of long shifts inherent in emergency response work, it’s only natural that your spouse will connect with the men and women who whom they work. Sharing your spouse is never easy, but the bond that your loved one has with their co-workers doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Instead of attempting to compete with this camaraderie, try to embrace it and appreciate the value that it brings to your spouse’s life. This social support system is critical to your spouse’s emotional health, especially after they come back from difficult calls.

3. The biggest threats to your spouse’s health are invisible.
The physical injuries associated with life as a paramedic are widely known, but because paramedics face a variety of unique occupational stressors, they’re also at risk for other kinds of damage that may be less visible. Saving lives gives paramedics a front row seat to trauma on a regular basis. Without proper support and self-care, the emotional turmoil of the job may lead to  anxiety depression post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  and  addiction  for some

4. It’s okay to ask for help.
Being the spouse of a paramedic isn’t always easy. Between the lonely nights and the close calls, you may feel like you’re alone with your troubles. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are countless other spouses who share in the same struggle, and online resources are available to help you connect with them.
Is your physical/mailing address updated with us?

Did you get the Fire Front mailed to your home last month? 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 /
From Our Friends


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The BSI Body Scan Program:
The BSI Body Scan program combines thousands of dollars’ worth of medical imaging with a full physician consultation and review. Our proprietary technology utilizing Mobile Telemedicine Vans allows us to provide our program to patients virtually anywhere, with convenient on-site scanning followed by the comprehensive and confidential consultation/scan review into the patients’ home (or workplace, if permissible and appropriate) utilizing our HIPAA-compliant WebEx portal. 

We screen for many diseases of greatest concern to public safety â€“ heart/cardiovascular diseases, lower back and neck pathologies, over 20 different types of cancer, chronic lung disease, and many others. Our personalized service is designed to provide patients with a healthcare experience unlike any other they have previously encountered, which is both highly educational and motivating. Our primary goal is to provide individuals with a preventive examination that will improve the quality and length of their life, while enhancing their productivity and vigor both inside and outside of the workplace. We have numerous success stories on file, and we take great pride in the fact that our main referral source (both individually and organizationally) is our satisfied clientele.

See firefighter testimonials:

Has your marital status changed? Update your L2881 beneficiary information with us today. Fill out this form and send it to Danielle @
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What does your CAL FIRE look like? Help up show the #AllRisk CAL FIRE. Send us a DM on social media or reach out to DeeDee, your Communications Officer at (916) 202-0553

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JULY 14-16

AUGUST 10-14




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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