A lot has happened over the past month(s) with the OFA and Fire Department such as, OFA board elections, implementation of an additional engine during the fire academy, the fire academy, approval of the 2016 budget, new fiscal year and much more. As your OFA board we have placed a high priority on improving communication by standardizing the release of information to the membership through several types of media. The goal with this to update is to catch you up as much as possible without boring you with all the details, however if you ever want or need more details please call a board member directly.
Board elections are complete with Keener, Overton, and McGee being re-elected. Captain Ayala received several votes and accepted a board appointment as Captain McNally stepped down. Our thanks go out to Captain McNally for the many hours he has sacrificed and for his depth of commitment to the membership and board. Although the board has changed the executive board has remained the same and consists of:
Captain D. Overton, President
Captain L. Keener, Vice President
Captain W. McGee, PAC
Captain T. Scott, Treasurer
Firefighter Howell, Secretary
Engineer Harshman, Community Relations
Captain Ayala, Member Relations
As a board we realize the importance of membership participation and it has been amazing. Our public approval rating has improved and is currently rated as “excellent” based on a study performed last year by a profession firm. We have improved our relationships with the City Council, Community Outreach groups, the Business Community, City Manager and Fire Administration and others. Although that is important it is the way we have pulled together as a group to help each other out in difficult times, from family hardship or tragedy to the simple support of a retiring member, that is most impressive.
2117 update: The labor/Management agreement has 2117 operating until July 24th. After the 24th the squad will return to fire station 7, and station 6 will have four personnel on each truck. There was an opportunity to extend the additional engine concept but would have required a long term acting agreement which is not supported by this board.
Squad/Truck update: The SAFER grant for Oceanside Fire has a significant amount of money remaining past the anticipated closing date of October 1, 2016. An extension was requested to secure that money for retention of the (11) SAFER positions. It is anticipated that it will be approved and that the squad/truck will continue until March 2016.
5th Ambulance (2193): With the SAFER funding extension and the Council’s additional funding for the additional (6) firefighters a trial a 5th ambulance becomes a viable option. The anticipated start date is the beginning of August, 2016. The length of time is estimated at (6) months, but is dependent on funding. The unit will be staffed through overtime positions during the trial with will incorporate the “draft” as necessary. The board will monitor this staffing closely for the potential or real negative impact to our members. If the mandatory staffing becomes too taxing we can request to modify the (30) shift overtime rule for new hires to reduce the negative impact with closing the unit down as a last resort. This is an opportunity to evaluate benefit of a (5) ALS ambulance delivery system balancing the workload of the estimated 20,000 calls. The goals are to reduce ALS response times, demonstrate the potential for additional revenue generation, and provide additional personnel for fire ground operations. As we keep in mind the goals of the “Trial” ambulance program, we ask each member take the extra step needed to demonstrate to our public and community leaders the need for a permanent solution. This can be done by doing what's right; transport the citizens we serve to the hospital they request or are affiliated, treat them with dignity, show patience, and promote transport over AMA as appropriate. Ensure the turnover is complete and paperwork finished before leaving the hospital.
Administration Restructuring: With the retirement of the Deputy Chief, Fire Administration is evaluating administrative roles and responsibilities, promotional candidates, and an overall organizational chart remodel. The specifics of the restructure is, and communications thereof shall be handled through administration with an anticipated time of early August.
Communication: With all that has happened recently the board realized the need to improve communication with our membership. We have already taken steps to do so by committing to send out monthly updates on the OFA website on bigger issues, inter-department emails on routine issues and events. We are also in the process of developing a brief survey, for members who are interested, to get feedback on how you feel we can improve on keeping you informed. Currently the OFA Website has all of our events listed in the calendar and logon is not required to view that area. On the social media side, our Facebook page also has events and information
Events: We are in the process of trying something new by hosting events meant to engage the entire family. We started out with the UFC fights, but quickly realized that not all wives are as excited about the fights as we are, so we are branching out. Here is a list of OFA hosted Events in the near future:
July 17th, Family “Date Night” (Contact Beth Klopfenstein)
Chili Cook-off (Contact Jonathon Regner)
July 27th, OFA Golf Tournament (Contact Tony Valentine)
August 1st, 6pm; PPV/UFC Fight Night: Rousey vs Coreia
August 23-25, (3 nights) Del Mar Beach Camp out
Campsites 71 & 74 secured
September 5th, 6pm; UFC 191, TBA
October 3rd, 6pm; UFC 192, TBA
We hope this summary of the more prevalent issues facing the board and membership answers the questions you may have had. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the board with any questions or concerns.
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