From the President

As we enter a new decade, we can proudly look back at the many accomplishments in the long history of CAL FIRE Local 2881. I look forward to new opportunities and we are prepared to meet any challenges that this new year will bring.

I am proud to be your CAL FIRE Local 2881 President and serve the over 5,500 men and women of CAL FIRE - California's Fire Department.

My wish for you and your family is a happy, healthy and safe 2020.
Stay strong, stay proud, stay union.

Stay the course,
President Tim Edwards
The 54th Annual Convention is next week! We look forward to seeing all members, delegates, and guests in Sacramento.
CAL FIRE/Butte County Swift Water Team Achieves Cal OES Type I Status
Way to go Chief Norman and team!
16 Tricks to Stay Warm Fighting Winter Fires
Many firefighters will tell you that they prefer to fight fire on a hot summer day rather than in the dead of winter. Temperatures near or below zero are brutal on equipment and body.

We asked readers how they stay warm on scene. Here are some of the more interesting – and funny – responses. What tricks do you use to keep warm on the fireground during winter?

1. "As an engineer, I am always right next to the pump panel and get some warmth from the engine. Of course, the other side of the coin is the heat of the summer. The engineer doesn't usually get rehab until the event is over. But, still, it's not as bad as making runs. This comes with age. My days of making runs are over, paid my dues." — Mark Rossnagel

2. "I always carry extra wool socks in my bunker pants, and spare gloves, but always avoided anything cotton. You sweat, and it's absorbed, then you're colder, unless it's moisture-wicking." — Steve Warren 

3. "Keep moving, never take your jacket off; it will freeze, and you will, also." — David Reynolds

4. "Boot inserts, cotton sweater and double hood." — Jared Tessier

5. "I kept a bag of extras handy – dry mitts, wool liners, balaclava, warm socks and hand warmer packs, and left them in the apparatus. A sweatshirt was handy, too, if it was a drown out or long-duration incident." — Ian Campbell

6. "Cold weather bag is a must, have dry socks, T-shirt, sweatshirt, skull cap, gloves, a towel to dry off, heat packs for your gloves and boots and a plastic bag to put the wet stuff in. I can remember being out at fires for 10 straight hours in the cold, that bag saved me plenty if times." — Carlton R. Crawley

7. "Headlights are good for warming hands." — John Klem

8. "A wise firefighter told me to find a hole in the ground, twist an ankle in it, and ride the first medic to the hospital. Joking." — Randy Anderson

9. "In Wisconsin, we get a layer of ice built up on us; it's windproof, too. Just don't thaw out until you're ready to head back to the station." — Steve Rist

10. "I keep  pocket warmers  in my gear rack." — Elijah Gonzalez Gray

Check out FirePhotoGirl's Year End Video for 2019. You may see some familiar faces.
7 truths about fire service retirement
If you think it is hard to get into the fire service, wait until you try to get out; here are things you can do now to navigate that end-of-career change

Retirement from a life-long career can be a stressful event, regardless of the field. Research conducted in the military and law enforcement fields shows that retirement from a career in public safety can be more stressful than retirement from the civilian workforce.

Most firefighters I've ever had the pleasure to know have worked hard to get their first job. For many of us, that journey started in the volunteer ranks where we cut our teeth in the business.

Many others worked for two or three paid-on-call services or comboed a fire department job with an EMS gig before getting that one job that paid enough to make it their sole fire service endeavor.

Then once we were in, we immersed ourselves in the fire service culture. Our fellow firefighters became our  second family ; truth be known, we spent more time with that family than we did with our spouses and children.

Here are a few things that you can expect to experience once you hang up your turnout gear for the last time.
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
Physical injuries such as broken bones or sprains are often easily seen, so you can identify them, receive treatment and get back to work. It’s the unseen injuries that may keep you from returning to the job.  Behavioral health disorders , including post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ), aren’t always as visible as a physical injury.

If you’re struggling with PTSD, you may often wish your mind could forget what your eyes have seen. The  onset of PTSD  can bring back memories of traumatic calls or a single traumatic event that causes nightmares or recurring flashbacks during the day. Behavioral health disorders can remain hidden from supervisors, peers, family, loved ones and possibly even yourself. You may not share when a call is particularly traumatic or troubling; you may choose to keep the details buried inside in the hopes of protecting your family and friends from what you experience during your career.

One of the biggest problems of an unseen occupational injury such as PTSD is that it’s hard to  recognize  unless you are aware of the signs and symptoms, which can include:

  • Reliving the trauma
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Negative changes in thoughts and mood
  • Experiencing hyperarousal and reactivity

It’s important that you, your family, loved ones and supervisors recognize the signs and symptoms of PTSD, among other behavioral health disorders.

Well Represented

Over the last few months, CAL FIRE Local 2881 members were invited to attend a Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers games as part of their First Responders Appreciation day.

At the Warriors game, the firefighters were able to meet Coach Kerr and talk about what it's like being a CAL FIRE firefighter.

At the 49ers game, they were able to represent both firefighters and law enforcement officers on the field.

During both events, firefighters stood shoulder to shoulder with other first responders holding the American flag during the National Anthem.

CAL FIRE was the most represented agency at both games.

Second generation BTU Fire Captain Jason Dyer was invited to a Warriors game for his heroic actions during the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. He and his family were able to meet Glenn Robinson III after the game.

Way to represent CAL FIRE Local 2881 firefighters!

Firefighters were also invited to attend the PAC12 game at Levi's Stadium. They watched the game alongside firefighters from nearby agencies. MEU Firefighter Eli DeVita was invited to participate in the coin toss prior to the start of the game.
10 fire service incidents that defined the decade
From dangerous structure fires to active shooter events, firefighters faced many significant incidents in the 2010s

The 2010s were  difficult years for public safety , with active shooter events, the opioid crisis and budget cuts amplifying risks to first responders and straining agency resources.

The decade saw several major fire incidents, from devastating structural fires to sweeping wildfires, as well as the deaths of many first responders from Ground Zero-related illnesses.

As we head into 2020, we reflect on the past 10 years of historic fire service incidents that defined the decade, in the United States and abroad, and share some of FireRescue1’s coverage of the events.

A massive fire devastated large parts of the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15-16, 2019. Approximately 400 firefighters battled the blaze for two days, saving the structure of the gothic cathedral after a fire gutted the roof and destroyed the spire. Despite the enormity of the fire, no lives were lost.

Damage to an electrical transmission line on Camp Creek Road sparked mammoth fires in Northern California on Nov. 8, 2018. When the Camp Fire was contained on Nov. 25, 2018, it had burned 153,336 acres and destroyed nearly 14,000 residences in the town of Paradise, with 85 civilian fatalities, making it the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. But fire destruction for the entire year was much greater, making  2018 California’s worst ever year  for fire events.

Read about the other incidents here .
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Five Signs That Stigma Is Subsiding in the Fire Service in 2019
While occupational health programs in the fire service have historically focused on cancer, heart disease and musculoskeletal injury, the risks of  behavioral health problems  have been long ignored.

This disconnect has led to a deeply ingrained  stigma  that has thrived in the profession for many people. If you are struggling emotionally to cope with the job, the stigma is that you are weak, ineffective, different or just not cut out to be a fire fighter.

As 2019 draws to a close, there is good news: We are making progress. As we continue to evolve beyond the suck-it-up-buttercup mentality, many would argue that no area of occupational health has flourished more rapidly than behavioral health in the past decade. Never have this many fire fighters talked so openly about the challenges of occupational stress, mental illness and substance abuse among their ranks.

The truth is clear — fire fighters are ready to tackle the stigma around mental health issues head on. Consider these important signs that stigma in the fire services is finally lifting:

  1. Behavioral health education and training has exploded.
  2. Presumptive legislation for PTSD continues to expand.
  3. More than 1,000 fire fighters have been treated at the IAFF Center of Excellence.
  4. Fire fighters who seek treatment report improved work outcomes.
  5. Fire departments are investing in behavioral health insurance and treatment like never before.

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 /
From Our Friends
100+ Great Retail Discounts for First Responders - An Online Guide

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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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 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.