2019 FDIC National Fire Department Honor Guard Competition
CAL FIRE Local 2881 Honor Guard members performed in the  FDIC 2019  National Fire Department Honor Guard Competition in Indianapolis, IN.

They practiced all week and competed against many talented Honor Guards from around the country. There were a total of four tasks during the competition:
Flag Posting
Sentinel Duty
Casket Carry with Flag Folding

We are proud to inform our members CAL FIRE Local 2881 Honor Guard placed 1st overall in the competition. Dominic Pulsipher won the Commander Saber for leadership, attitude and military bearing. Chris Crandall took 2nd place for Individual Drill.

Honor Guard members competing were:
Fernie Guzman - RRU
Luis Jimenez - BEU
Mario Aviles - BDU
Chris Crandall - RRU
Jesse Gomez - VIP 
Garrett Holiday - CZU
Dominic Pulsipher - RRU (Competition Commander)
Christopher Bruno - FKU (CAL FIRE Local 2881 Honor Guard Commander)

Great job! We are very proud of you all!
2019 ALA Stair Climb
Last weekend, a few CAL FIRE Local 2881 members participated in the 2019 American Lung Association Stair Climb in Downtown LA. The climb to the top was 63 floors, equal to 1393 steps and helped raise awareness to those affected by lung disease as well as raise funds to support AMA in its mission to " save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. "  

Pictures and decals were placed on the cylinders memorializing Sara Thomas, Cory Iverson, Steve Casados, Braden Varney, Chris Douglas and Julie Freeman just to name a few. The members decided to use their air cylinders as a way to ensure our fallen are never forgotten.

The event is open to the public; you can climb as an individual or join a team. It would be great to get a large CAL FIRE group together for next year's climb! If you are interested in participating please contact CAL FIRE Captain & Local 2881 Honor Guard Deputy Commander Johnny Garcia at hggarcia.john@gmail.com
CAL FIRE Captain Johnny Garcia paying tribute to our fallen during the climb.
Selma firefighter Jesse Gomez & CAL FIRE Fire Captain Johnny Garcia before the climb.
Before the climb!
Bracelets of our fallen at the top.
CPF Legislative Conference
Last week, CAL FIRE Local 2881 leadership attended the CPF Legislative Conference where they heard from your elected officials as well as CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost who gave an update on the state of CalPERS.

Members were able speak to representatives from both parties about things that matter to you such as AB 1116 which creates the Firefighters Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program; SB 438 regarding public agencies use of private EMS resources; and AB 932 which expands the scope of workers' compensation if a firefighter gets hurt while engaged in fire suppression or rescue while off-duty out of state.

It was a great opportunity to stand together for you, our members.
39th Annual CAL FIRE Softball Tournament
This past weekend the 39th Annual CAL FIRE Softball Tournament was held in Concord. First place went to the Santa Clara Unit - SCU Diablos , second place went to the San Benito-Monterey Unit - BEU Get N Dirty.

The last time SCU won the championship was in 1994. SCU District VP Chuck Carroll wants to thank everyone who participated in this annual tradition.
The trophy displaying the winners.
SCU Diablos
MVU Death Row
SLU Bombers
CZU Zoo Crew
BEU Get-N-Dirty
CPF 6th District Report
"Leadership Values At CAL FIRE Local 2881"
This has been a year of transition for CAL FIRE Local 2881. The leadership at the top changed without any negative impacts to the membership as the presidents collaborated with the executive board to handle the new faces and the bold ideas being proposed.

The legacy of Mike Lopez as a member of CAL FIRE Local 2881 is the story of our union over the past three decades. Mike comes from a union family, and he joined Local 2881 on the same day that he was hired as a firefighter. Over the next three decades, his involvement in the union would change the lives of his brothers and sisters in small ways – active service at the local level – and in a profound manner – as the President of Local 2881 for ten years.

Mike is now part of the leadership team of the California Professional Firefighters (CPF). The broader community of firefighters will benefit greatly from his innate decency, love of his profession, deep caring for his peers, and the intelligent manner with which he does his job.

Cliff made his bones fighting fires from a helicopter. A tough guy, he got involved with union activities because he thought the same cooperative efforts in the field should be reflected when we are battling for wages, benefits and conditions.

Cliff took over as President of Local 2881 on the departure of Mike Lopez. He led the battle for increased disability benefits and was the lynchpin when working directly with the governor’s office to re-instate firefighters who were unfairly dismissed.

The work he did on behalf of firefighters was done with a backdrop of two grandchildren being born prematurely and fighting for a strong start in life. Cliff finished Mike’s term and retired to Washington to be close to his family.

Tim was elected in January to lead CAL FIRE Local 2881 into the future. He distinguished himself as a firefighter in the Riverside region and has a reputation for courage and commitment. In his first action as the new president, Tim sat down for a quiet conversation with the new Governor and discussed ideas for his statewide fire department to have a more comprehensive approach to battling the impacts of the "New Normal."

Tim is pleased Governor Newsom has already shown a genuine regard for the needs incumbent with public safety. The 2019 Budget includes more engines, increased personnel, enhanced infrastructure, and funds earmarked for the mental health of firefighters who are confronted with challenges that can’t be put aside when the task is completed.

The world is very different than what it was just a couple of years ago. Consider that 2017 was the most devastating fire season in California history, until it was overtaken by the conflagrations of 2018. Although 2018 saw fewer fires, the number of acres burned increased by more than 70%. Entire communities were destroyed and, as Tim mentioned in his first speech as president, more than 60 CAL FIRE firefighters lost their homes.

Tim intends to be an activist president. The fires that burn with such ferocity in California have to be beaten back by someone. He understands that while 21st Century technology helps us do our job, the simple fact remains that fires are ultimately defeated by boots on the ground. President Edwards accepts the challenges, but he also believes it is the job of the union to make sure our men and women work hours that are reasonable and they are not separated from their families for months.

California cops, firefighters with PTSD seek workers’ comp coverage for mental health trauma
Recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, Sacramento firefighter Joshua Katz isn’t ready to give up on what he calls a ‘dream job.’

He still loves his “fire family,” exciting workdays and having a job that lets him help others. He’d rather take time off to treat his post-traumatic stress with financial support from workers’ compensation than allow his injury to cause an early end to his career.

“If I came to work so consumed with my anxiety or depressed and was so consumed and can’t do the bare minimum, I shouldn’t be there,” Katz, 34, said. “Because the public trusts us to provide a service for them without question. Without fail, I need to be able to do that.”

After consecutive  record-breaking fire seasons  and a deluge of  mass shootings , California firefighters and police organizations are pushing for a new law that would help first responders by giving them opportunities to receive compensation for psychological injuries they sustain over their careers.

They’re backing  Senate Bill 542 , sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters and the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, which would compel government agencies to grant police and firefighter workers’ compensation claims post-traumatic stress.

Health & Wellness: Firehouse Gyms: Exercise & Equipment
M ajor changes have been made in the fire service the last few years to improve firefighter health and wellness. Fire apparatus now carry SCBAs and contaminated gear outside of the cab, gear and PPE are now designed to flex and move with efficiency, and firehouses are now being designed with firefighter health in mind—or at least, they should be.

When looking at the typical firehouse fitness facility, it is important to recognize that this area is not just a home for fitness equipment; it’s also an area for crews to work on improving their performance. As such, it’s important to provide firefighters access to strength and cardio equipment that will build a solid foundation for functional strength and endurance.

Functional exercise equipment
The premise of functional training is to focus on improving overall body movements rather than just individual muscles. For example, deadlifts utilize multiple muscles and are a better exercise than leg extensions in developing the body's ability to move heavy hoselines and patients. Firefighters need fitness equipment and facilities that will help them improve performance, reduce injuries and promote longevity of their career. 

Choosing the right equipment for a fire department exercise facility can be a challenging process. Key factors include the space available, numbers of users, and budget. The goal is to select a good cross-section of equipment that will enhance functional strength and endurance and promote usage. Let’s look at the essential equipment needed within a fire department fitness facility and what exercises should be done with them. 

Have you signed up for IAFF SMART?

If you have trouble registering, contact Danielle Kelsch
On duty for Easter Sunday? Check out this recipe to make the BEST HAM EVER!
Baked ham is an impressive main dish for pretty much any holiday feast— Christmas Easter , even  Thanksgiving . It may look intimidating (mainly due its massive size), but it's actually insanely easy to make. First and foremost,  because it's already cooked ! All what you're doing is doctoring it to make it better.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

The Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is a benefit to ensure your value of money at retirement keeps up with the rate of inflation. Typically, this benefit begins the second calendar year of retirement, although the annual rate of inflation and retirement law could affect the onset of your COLA. Under existing retirement law, retirees receive an annual COLA paid in the May 1 warrant each year.

COLA is dependent on three factors: Click here to read more
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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 February 28th. 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.