2023 February President’s Message – Chris Tubbs
US Fire Administration
At the CALIFORNIA FIRE PREVENTION INSTITUTE conference in Santa Barbara, California Fire Service Leadership had the opportunity to meet with US Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell and Deputy US Fire Administrator Tonya Hoover. Executive leaders from the California Fire Chiefs Association, California Professional Firefighters Association, California State Firefighters’ Association and CALOES were able to discuss issues impacting the national fire service, provide an update on California’s Fire Service, listen to the latest from USFA leadership, and provide recommendations on collaborating on pertinent action items. Recruitment and Retention, EMS, CRR, Behavioral Health, Wildfires, and many more topics were discussed.
On April 20, 2023 at 1000 hours at the California State Operations Center, US Fire Administrator Dr Lori Moore-Merrell and Deputy Administrator Tonya Hoover will be attending a Press Event as part of their cross country Climate Driver Wildfire Across America Tour. The event is open to all California Fire Service Personnel and CalChiefs is asking for those who can attend, to be present in their Class A Uniform.
The event will highlight the recent release of the Proceedings Report from the 2022 USFA Summit on Fire Prevention and Control. It will further address the fact that America is still burning and facing varied challenges such as:
- The growing threat and incidence of wildfire due to climate change
- The need to improve, implement and enforce existing codes and standards to protect our most vulnerable communities.
- The need to develop or enhance recruitment programs to address pending staffing
- challenges and for a diverse and well-trained American fire service
- The need to reduce the exposure of firefighters to cancer-causing chemicals.
- The imperative to provide mental resilience training and support the mental health of our first responders.
National Fire Leadership will also be in attendance for this event, and attendees include:
- General President of the International Association of Fire Firefighters, Ed Kelly
- International Association of Fire Chiefs President Chief Donna Black
- National Fire Protection Association, President/CEO Jim Pauley
- National Volunteer Fire Council representative Chief Kevin Quinn
- UL’s Vice President, Executive Director of UL Research, Steve Kerber
CalChiefs Legislative Planning & Priorities
At the March Board Meeting, the Executive Board approved a request to set the legislative priorities for this year. The legislative priorities for CalChiefs this year include:
- SB 577 (Hurtado) This bill would provide a wider scope of sources to fund requisite firefighter training programs to provide essential workforce development and expand opportunities for increased diversity in the fire service.
- AB 296 (Rodriguez) This bill would establish a 9-1-1 campaign to educate the public when it is appropriate to call 9-1-1.
- AB767 (Gipson) This bill would expand community paramedicine services to include short-term follow-up for persons discharged from the hospital.
- AB1180 (Rodriguez) This bill would remove the requirement that the Cal EMSA Director be a licensed physician or surgeon and would instead require the director to have substantial experience in the practice of emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
- AB297 (Fong) This bill would extend the sunset date on the local assistance grant program for fire prevention and home hardening until January 1, 2034.
- SB 504 (Dodd) This bill would require CalFire to give priority to grants for local governmental agencies that are qualified to provide defensible space assessments in high and very high severity hazard severity zones and who report that information using the common reporting platform.
- SB 374 (Ashby) This bill would increase the fee paid by firefighters when renewing a license by $5 with the increase being used by the California Fire Foundation to renovate the California Firefighters Memorial at the Capitol Park.
The E-Board adopted a resolution in February to oppose Initiative 21-0042A1, which has qualified for the November 2024 Ballot. The initiative would broaden the imposition of a 2/3 vote requirement on local governments going to the voters to raise revenues on the local level. For more information about this initiative, visit:
We continue to work on strengthening our relationship with EMDAC. The leadership from EMDAC will be participating in a panel discussion at this year’s CFED conference and we are excited to partner with them. We have also been working with the EMDAC leadership on jointly learning and discussing the legislation that the Oxnard Fire Department is working on.
WildFire Risk Reduction / Insurance Premiums
Nothing to report this month.
Quarterly President and Section Presidents Meeting
A meeting was held on March 1, 2023. The primary focus of the meeting was an update on the Reorganization Task Force. Past-President Gayk reported that most sections responded to his request for information. The information requested includes tax status, due’s structure, and bylaws. The compilation of the information will allow the Task Force to look for opportunities to streamline processes and improve communication and coordination.
It was also reported that we are in the process of implementing a new Association Management software system which will include a new website controlled by CalChiefs, as well as a new dues payment system, replacing the existing Wild Apricot system which has been extremely problematic for our membership.
It is recognized that the work of the Task Force will likely be a multi-year project that results in sections retaining their autonomy while streamlining the tax reporting, bylaws and dues payment system and processes.
Nothing to Report this month.
Wildfire Alert Cameras
We are near a draft of an MOU, and the strategy will be to create a shared data platform. Not sure yet how we will establish and support it, but that should be a solvable problem. Thanks for checking in and happy to provide updates…sorry that progress is a bit slow.
CalOSHA Respiratory Protection Regulations
Nothing to report this month.
CFED will again be hosted in Indian Wells. We are excited to share that the California Fire Chiefs Association will be providing two days of pre-conference program content beginning May 21. On Sunday the program will be focused on wildfire, and on Monday on EMS issues. Program details can be found on the CFED website. We are very excited about the pre-conference lineup and hope that you can attend.
Registration is now open, and more information can be found on the conference website: https://www.cfedwest.com/.
Nothing to report this month.
CalChiefs Counsel produced a legal analysis memo regarding the PRA and potential response exemptions. CalChiefs Counsel has made himself available to agencies interested in the analysis.
CALEMSA Strategic Plan
No updates at this time.
As reported last month, the leadership at the Emergency Medical Administrators Association (EMSAAC) reached out to CalChiefs leadership requesting a meeting. The meeting was scheduled and held. The purpose of the request was to work to build a stronger relationship between the two Associations. It is recognized that the two Associations have been at odds over various EMS issues, but both leadership teams agreed that working towards a collaborative relationship, at least on the issues we can agree upon, would be beneficial. We are currently working to schedule our next meeting and establish an agenda.
Cybersecurity is a critical element of our business systems. All too often we read stories of businesses and government agencies that have been hacked or hit with ransomware. Cybersecurity is also a priority for FEMA and has been added as a National Priority Area (NPA) to grant programs such as SHSGP & UASI.
Did you know that CISA offers free cybersecurity assessments? There are six different audits they can perform including:
- Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability (CyHy)
- Web Application Scanning (WAS. this is a sub test of CyHy)
- Remote Penetration Test (RPT)
- Phishing Campaign Assessment (PCA)
- Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA)
- Validated Architecture Design Review (VADR)
If you are interested in signing up for any or all of these audits, the link to initiate the process is:
https://www.cisa.gov/topics/cyber-threats-and-advisories/cyber-hygiene-services. The webpage provides a link to request those services: [email protected].
We are your Association, and your participation and feedback are critical to our effectiveness and value.
Chris Tubbs, President