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Reading Smoke - Behavioral Health Seminar

This information is being sent on behalf of Jason Mims, Health and Safety Officer for the Milwaukee Fire Department.

I thank you in advance for the next five, valuable, minutes to address this very important subject of firefighter behavioral health and the opportunity that is available to us in Wisconsin. According to the American Addiction Centers, the incidence of substance abuse in the fire service is upwards of 25-30%, compared to 7-9% within the general population. Substance abuse is commonly known as a co-morbidity to a number of the mental health conditions that are inherent to firefighting, such as depression or PTSD. This probably comes as no surprise to you; we can all acknowledge that substance abuse has always existed in the fire service. In today’s fire service, taking care of a member in need now means getting the firefighter professional help and peer support, vs just covering for them. We know that without the appropriate treatment and preventive programs, firefighters in need will continue to face loss of family, job, and life, it does not have to be this way.

Implementing a, substance abuse program is still a very new concept for departments. What factors, inherent to the fire service, lead to substance abuse, how does substance abuse impact the fire departments, what are the available resources to departments and how to take advantage of them? All these questions and more are going to be addressed, from leaders in the substance abuse arena for the fire service, in Reading Smoke, Taking Care of Our Own in the Fire Service. No matter where your current substance abuse and behavioral health program is you will be able to gain great resources from this event. We encourage each department to have a joint labor management representation attend this seminar in Milwaukee on September 16th. Please review the attached brochure and pass it on to those responsible for the behavioral health of your department and anyone else you think would be interested. Continue to be safe, and Guard Your Health.

Jason Mims
Health and Safety Officer
Milwaukee Fire Department

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MFD Supports Susan G. Komen of SE WI

The Milwaukee Fire Department not only fights fires, but also fights breast cancer. How? By selling t-shirts. This simple act helped people like Milwaukee native Tiffany Dotson, 35. Due to her rigorous treatment, she was unable to work for six months, which meant she would not have a steady income to help pay the bills.

It is because of people like these firefighters who raise money for Susan G. Komen that Tiffany was able to get help on her copays and other payments so she could focus on winning the fight with breast cancer rather than worrying about how she will pay for it all financially.

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Assistance To Firefighters Grants Success Stories

Read the story of how the Milwaukee Fire Department successfully applied for a 2012 AFG Grant for Wellness & Fitness activities.

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Brothers and sisters,

Over the course of the last two weeks we have engaged the city of Milwaukee in discussion regarding the Appellate Court decision. We have reached an agreement with the city of Milwaukee that entails the following:

The Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association and the City have agreed that the City will NOT enforce its Residency Rule during the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association appeal to the Supreme Court as follows:

1. Unless and until the Supreme Court refuses to take the case; or
2. If the Supreme Court does take the case, unless and until the Court rules in the City’s favor.

In summation, this puts Local 215 members in the exact same place as they were throughout the Circuit Court and Court of Appeals Litigation.

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Super Bowl / Pro Bowl Raffle Tickets

Tickets for Sale at the Union Hall.





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Two (2) Raffles That You Want To Know About

Tickets are now on sale for a chance to win Super Bowl Tickets!

Winner gets 2 tickets, airfare, 4 days and 3 nights’ hotel accommodations plus $3,000 in spending money to Super Bowl 50 to be played February 7th 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. This raffle is brought to you by the AFCA National Child ID Program and the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters. Winner to contact within 24hrs: Kenny Hansmire, Executive Director of the National Child ID Program kenny@childidprogram.com

* Proceeds to provide Child ID Kits to Wisconsin schools children.

Tickets to be sold from August 1st – September 15th
$20 PER TICKET - 3 FOR $50 OR 7 FOR $100
Tickets can be purchased at the union hall.
Tickets will also be coming to the fire house.

Wait! There's more!

To celebrate a NEW partnership with the PFFW, the Green Bay Packers, the AFCA National Child ID Program, and the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters,

ONE lucky winner and a guest will win an expense paid trip to the 2016 Pro Bowl!

Winner gets round trip air fare, tickets to the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. 5 days and 4 nights on Oahu, 2 tickets to The Pro Bowl Experience, and $2500 cash!

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Response To Residency Repeal

In the event that you haven't heard, the 1st district court of appeals has rendered their decision in the residency case.

As anticipated, they have reversed the decision of the honorable judge Van Grunsen.

We fully expected this decision by the appellate court and ultimately knew that this would most certainly end up being argued in front of the Supreme Court of the state of Wisconsin.

Furthermore, the injunction agreed upon in July of 2013 regarding an injunction of the requirement between Fire, Police, and the City of Milwaukee still is in place and will remain so until the Supreme Court hears the case and renders their decision.


As most of you are aware, the 1st district court of appeals recently overturned the residency ruling. The city of Milwaukee, in reaction, posted an ominous and threatening statement warning of the potential repercussions of living outside the city. Up to this point, L215 has been party to an agreement to suspend any action that is adverse to the State law as passed pending appeal. We are of the opinion that this stay should extend through the appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the paperwork for which is being worked on right now. The City held a closed session Steering and Rules committee meeting this morning, Friday July 24th. It is our assumption that the city Fathers were made well aware of the legal challenges to trying to re-implement residency before all appeals are satisfied. No pronouncements or press releases were made after the closed session meeting, and there did not appear to be any file that was moved forward for council consideration. The statement on the DER website has not changed. When, and/or if, the City attempts to re-enforce the residency requirement it is our expectation that there would be an injunction filed against that action to prevent that action from being implemented.
We appreciate your patience, as difficult as this may be for everyone.


DER Website now has the following Residency Update

"On July 21st the Wisconsin Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Milwaukee's 75 year old residency requirement. The Court found that the statute enacted in the 2013-2015 state budget does not preempt the City's home rule authority as it relates to residency. This decision means that the City can resume enforcement of the residency requirement."

"The City is currently assessing implementation options. In light of this decision and the City's ability to resume enforcement of the residency requirement, employees are reminded of the risks associated with establishing residency outside of the City of Milwaukee limits."

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July 23, 2015 Press Release

Milwaukee Fire Fighters Team with Packers and the PFFW to Protect Children
It was announced today that the Milwaukee Firefighters will join the Green Bay Packers and the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin in what will be called the Fill-the-Helmet campaign which will provide child ID kits to all K-12 children across the state. Green Bay Packer Great, Jerry Kramer, will be helping to kick the program off at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at Harley-Davidson Roadhouse – Summerfest Grounds.

The Packers were looking for a teammate who could help raise funds, safety awareness, and distribute child ID kits in their communities. They selected their first round draft choice in the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. “Fire Fighters are highly respected in our communities and their help is always just a phone call away,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy.

“The PFFW is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Green Bay Packers on this important initiative to protect Wisconsin's children,” said Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. “Our members are committed to protecting our communities and our citizens from harm, and this effort is an important step in doing so.”

"I'd like to thank the Milwaukee Fire Fighters for going above and beyond the call of duty to help keep Milwaukee families prepared and safe," said Mayor Tom Barrett. " With their tremendous philanthropic spirit, The Green Bay Packers make us proud to be fans both on and off the field. I'm grateful to the Packer organization leadership and players, the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Firefighters for their efforts."

“We are exceptionally proud to be partnered with the AFCA and the Green Bay Packers in this effort. On a daily basis, we are always there for our community and we could not be more engaged with the investment of safety in our greatest resource, all of our children.“ – David R. Seager, Jr., President, Milwaukee Professional Fire Fighters Assn. Local 215

Milwaukee will join over 4,000 professional fire fighters across Wisconsin to help Fill-the-Helmet this summer and fall. All funds received in this campaign will be donated to the Safety Blitz Foundation in order to provide child ID kits.

The PFFW represents the professional interests of over 4,000 members serving more than 60 local affiliates that protect nearly 100 local communities across the state of Wisconsin.

The Child ID Kit includes an inkless fingerprint card, a DNA collection swab, and a cut-out wallet card. It will allow parents and guardians to easily record pertinent personal information about their child. The kit is stored at home in a safe place and would be handed over and used by law enforcement authorities in the case of a missing child.

"From our family to yours, a gift of safety," is the motto of this program. Please consider being a part of the Green Bay Packer and Firefighter family in this effort.

The Green Bay Packers are the first NFL team, and the first professional athletic organization to partner in this endeavor. We are the benchmark for the rest of the country.

Help us make a difference. Thank you for your consideration. Any questions at all, please call me at 414-510-0442 or you can email me at seager6@gmail.com. Again, thank you.

David R. Seager, Jr., President
Milwaukee Professional FireFighters

DRS/amz opeiu #9

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July 6, 2015 Press Release

Last evening, members of the Milwaukee Fire Department and a private ambulance provider came under fire at approximately 0130 hours. The private ambulance was struck twice and a fire fighter was injured as a result of this incident.

I am here today, not to blame anyone, because that does not solve the issue/issues at hand. Our city is in crisis. When the Fire Department responds to any incident, it is to mitigate any emergency at hand or to render medical assistance to all who need it. We are not trained to respond to “shots fired” or “fight in progress.” That is not our scope. We are ALWAYS on the front line ready and willing for all citizens. I am here today to simply ask that our Mayor and Common Council understand the severity of the situation at hand. Over the course of the last decade, the Milwaukee Fire Department has been systematically dismantled. We have lost critically needed staffing and front line apparatus necessary to meet the needs of our constituents. We daily provide these services professionally, seamlessly and with extreme timeliness. During a budget cycle some 4 years ago, the late Alderman Dudzik, prior to casting his vote for the continuous cuts to the Milwaukee Fire Department, he predicated his vote by stating, “I don’t want to cut the Fire Department just to cut and then come back years later realizing that we had cut too far”. His words were prophetic. The cuts HAVE gone too far. We are currently running with two brownouts as we speak. The City administration took 4 engines off the front line in the 2013 budget cycle.

Today, as I stand before you, this is not just a city issue. The metropolitan community of Milwaukee is also feeling these adverse effects. Due to the diligence of our organization, the leadership of the MFD Administration and our brothers and sisters of the communities that surround Milwaukee, we have joined efforts to provide services to all of our communities commonly referred to as “shared services.” This has been extremely beneficial and quite frankly, unprecedented. The issue at hand is, due to the budget cuts to the Milwaukee Fire Department, the shared services agenda has been extremely difficult for our partners in the metropolitan community. Their run volumes have been exponentially increased sometimes as high as 20% as a result of the numerous holes in the city of Milwaukee Fire Department. We are using suburban tax dollars to meet the obligations of our very own Fire Department.

I am here to plead with the Common Council and our Mayor to reconvene and take up funding the Milwaukee Fire Department fully. We do not have time to sit and wait. Our call volume is through the roof, our metropolitan partners are exiting their communities to render assistance to Milwaukee because of the gaps created by the budget cuts. This incident is a wake up call. This is NOT a scare tactic. This actually happened. I urge my elected officials to restore these brownouts and the decommissions from 2 years ago. Our constituents, our community and our protective service providers are directly in the line of fire.

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Badger Gear for Burn Camp Now Available!

Updated info on the Burn Camp Media Day..
So far we have about 55 children signed up for camp!!

Media Day is Set for August 13th, 2015
Time: 10:30 am Parade starts (arrive by 10 am)
Lunch is at 12 noon.
12:30 pm Check Presentation
Where: The Timber-lee Christian Center (East Troy, WI) 1-800-315-0911
Web Site: www.wafs.org

This event is open to the public. I would greatly appreciate if you have supported the Burn Camp clothing to PLEASE wear it!! We are set to have each camper receive a MFD Burn Camp Shirt and are planning a HUGE PHOTO with All the kids and ALL the individuals wearing the Burn Camp Clothing!!-


MFD Retiree Scott Van Roo now has Badger Gear Available for purchase!
This is the newest addition to the Burn Camp Gear!!!

Sizes of T-Shirts - XXXL thru Small $15

Sizes of Sweatshirts - XXL thru small $40 (same Quality as Harley Gear)

Ball Caps will be available soon (NOT due in until late Next week - NO PICTURES YET) CAMO pattern with distressed look with WI / MFD logo across front and Burn Camp across back One size fits ALL: $20

Order Via E-Mail ONLY: vanrooscott@aol.com

Scott will be presenting a check to the WAFS Burn Camp this summer. The 2015 Camp is scheduled August 9-15, 2015. For more information on the Burn Camp, please go to Web Sites: WAFS.org and pffwcf.org

To view back of the shirts, please click on the link below.

The money is being raised for the Burn Center / Burn Camp. He has been raising money to help send kids to a summer camp. The center helps children that have been adversely affected by any fire related indecent. Scott would like to present them with a check this April. If you are interested in any items or would just like to donate, contact Scott Van Roo at vanrooscott@aol.com Thanks in advance for your support!

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Legal Opinion on Privacy and Smoking Rules

The Legal review of the Privacy and Smoking regulations in the new Rule Book and Code of Conduct can be viewed in the Resource Library under Legal Issues and Grievances after you log in as a member.

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Letter of Appreciation from Chief Rohlfing

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Revision to NFPA 1710 Passed

At today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, the revision to NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments, passed overwhelmingly despite an attempt by an ill-advised chief from Montreal to gut a key provision in the standard.

The NFPA 1710 standard revision was based on the recent ground-breaking studies conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that scientifically measured risk and fire response. The new standard will include new objectives on medium and high-hazard structure fire response, in addition to the existing low-hazard objectives that address travel time, assembly numbers for the initial full alarm assignment and crew size for fire departments in communities with dense high-hazard structures and other geographic challenges.

Other objectives in the revised standard include call processing and dispatch times (also found in NFPA 1221) and firefighting training specific to the risk in the community.

Gordon Routley, an assistant chief of the Montreal Fire Department, attempted to gut part of the standard by claiming that there is no science in the 610-second travel time for high-rise response. His amendment was met by strong, science-based objections from representatives of both the IAFF (including General President Harold Schaitberger) and the Metro Chiefs.

The report from the NIST High-Rise Field Experiments directly contributed to the revised objectives in the 1710 Standard. In addition to the study, GIS analysis was conducted by the IAFF’s Technical Assistance Division on multiple metropolitan fire departments throughout the United States and Canada and clearly confirmed that the fire departments in these areas can meet the travel time objective for assembling 43 fire fighters on the scene, particularly in the urban core where they have the greatest concentration of high-rise structures.

The Technical Committee voted 27-0 earlier this year to support the travel time and other objectives added to the revised standard.The vote on the amendment to remove the 610-second travel time was soundly defeated 230-33. IAFF senior staff members Dr. Lori Moore Merrell, Pat Morrison and Jim Brinkley contributed significantly to the successful passage of the revised standard.

The 2016 revision of the 1710 Standard will be released in September following final confirmation of the NFPA Standards Council.

The NFPA Technical Meeting is the annual business conference where NFPA members consider amending motions to various NFPA standards. In all, eights standards will be considered this week during the meeting.

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The Latest News

We cannot take credit card for Great America tickets as that amount goes
solely to them. So it has to be cash or check.

Please make sure you are updating your beneficiary forms (union, Relief
Association, Benefit and Contingency Fund) when make life changes.

Please log in, click on the Members dropdown tab, and in the Resource Library you will find a new folder titled Call To Action, MPSO Decision, and Donovan Announcement.
Please read the Call To Action statement from your union leadership. Also in this folder you will find an Announcement for the Bob Donovan for Mayor Kick-Off Rally and a sign-up sheet. The sign up sheet is to be solicited by the Stewards and must be turned in to the Union office by next Thursday, May 7th.
The MPSO award has been issued, and the file can be found in the same folder as stated above. In summary, the arbiter did not rule in either one’s favor but instead, wrote his own ruling, which he can do under state statute that governs line item arbitration. Under that statute he can do that vs. whole package arbitration, the arbiter is bound to choose one package vs another.

In short, the ruling was

2.5% increase in 2013 starting July 1st, 2013
2.5% increase in 2014 starting July 1st, 2014

Ruled against the city changing age of retirement request.

Originally, MPSO was seeking 2.9% for each year Across the Board

City was asking 2% in 13 and 1% Pay period 1 of 14, 1% in Pay Period 14 in 14 and .5% in the last pay period of 14.

The ruling actually is in favor of the MPSO according to Tom Klussman of the MPSO.
If you are a Local 215 Union Steward, you are to make sure that everyone in your house receives and reads the Call To Action and the Flyer announcing Bob Donovan's Mayoral Campaign Kick Off and Rally. Local 215 will be conducting a Lit Drop on May 9th at McKiernan's Bar, 2066 S 37th St at 0930 hrs. You are to solicit your members using the sign up sheet and submit your tally by May 7th. We need for you to get as many members as possible to this Lit Drop.

To get the documents, please go to Local215.com, log in, click on the Members dropdown tab, and in the Resource Library you will find a new folder titled Call To Action, MPSO Decision, and Donovan Announcement.
Local 215 members; The recent (2014) year end Member Account Statements send out regarding your City of Milwaukee Pension contained some inaccurate information. On the top of page 2 (Back of page 1) The Maximum Monthly Benefit estimate for year end 2014 is incorrect. Some members have noticed that that number was less than the 2013 number, when in fact it should be larger. An old computer program was erroneously used that used a 95% factor (that was not identified). This had been used in the past to provide for a smoothing of estimates. This in no way affects your actual earned benefit! Anyone that would like a new estimate can call the ERS office at 414.286.3557. Also note, that with any potential contract settlement that might include pay raises for 2013-2014 would enhance the estimated benefit up to 12/31/14. I am also always available to answer any questions @ 690.8000. ~ John Barmore, VP L215
A lot of items are in stock at Local 215, mostly t-shirts, sweatpants, mesh shorts and hats. Titled items are here also - depends on the sizes and rank. If you are not sure of the size you should order and would like try something on, please feel free to stop at Local 215. We have all sizes - might not be the right title, but we will get you in the item that fits. This will save on re-stocking and future fees. We will not accept returns once something has been washed unless there is an obvious manufacturing irregularity or imperfection. Please follow label directions carefully. Thank you. Local 215 Uniform and Recreation Committee
The written legal opinion of our counsel pertaining to travel from one location to another while “on duty” has been posted in our Resource Library under Legal Issues and Grievances. This was requested at our last union meeting.
Even though "tax season" is over, members are encouraged to continue paying close attention to the status of your tax filing. If you are due a return, follow the status of your filing on the IRS "Where's My Refund" web site. Given that almost $5 billion dollars was garnered last year in false, stolen identification filings, it seems that in today’s world this is the norm rather than unusual. Please be vigilant and aware of your personal identity security.
The IAFF has created the Frontline App, which is a means for each Local to provide timely information to and from the membership. Download it today! The Frontline App is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Search for IAFF Frontline and download the app for your mobile device. As we learn how to best use this new tool, members are encouraged to submit news ideas or information to share with the membership by using the Contact Us link.
Reminder about the upcoming Bosanko Brothers for Charity outing to be held on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at Sportsman's Landing on Wind Lake. This year's Fish-o-ree benefits the Lt Scott Schumacher Memorial Fund.
Please keep your account information up-to-date on our web site. You can update your own contact information and email preferences! Just log in on our home page, then click on Edit My Profile.
Our new Organizational Chart, found under the About Us drop-down tab, provides you with complete contact information for everyone in Local 215 positions. Just follow the flowchart from the President to the Stewards and everyone in between.
The Constitution and By-Laws change to Article III-Section 7 was voted on and approved by the membership during the two March regular union meetings. The Change states that any vacancy occuring during the term of an office shall be filled by having a special election by the membership. The updated version will be posted to the Resource Library as soon as it is available.
Information on the Worker's Compensation "disclosure of health care information" form was distributed to the Stewards.
Attorney Chuck Blumenfield gave a presentation and handouts to the Stewards about OWI and how he represents our members in legal issues.
----------------------------------------Your Executive Board Members and their assigned engine houses for 2015

Al Jansen - Engines 1, 2, 28, Administration

Tim Trumble - Engines 3, 14, 23, 31

Scott Hall - Engines 4, 9, 30, 37, BIT

Robert Delgadillo – Engines 7, 26, 29, 33

Carl Carstens – Engines 6, 18, 21, 27

Mike Torpy – Engines 8, 16, 38, 39

Steve Pokora – Engines 5, 13, 32, 36

Aaron Kreil – Engines 17, 22, 24, 34

Michael Olinger – Engines 10, 11, 12, 25, 35
Not sure who your Union Steward is?
You can check the list in the Resource Library under EAP, PST, and other Help

The Financial Audit for 2014 is also posted there. You must log in to view this information.
Please stay informed about the latest Upcoming Events and Fundraisers
Please visit the Professional FireFighters of Wisconsin web site. What is the PFFW all about?

The welcome message from PFFW State President Mahlon Mitchell, taken directly from their web site, says...

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MFD Harley Merchandise for Burn Camp

MFD Retiree Scott Van Roo
is trying to reduce his inventory of MFD Harley merchandise!
He has $35 sweatshirts in sizes XXL,XL,L,M, and S.
The $15 T-shirts are available in sizes XXXL, XXL, XL, L, M and S.
$15 Baseball hats are sizes S-M and L-XL.
To view the items, please click on the link below.

The money is being raised for the Burn Center / Burn Camp. He has been raising money to help send kids to a summer camp. The center helps children that have been adversely affected by any fire related indecent. Scott would like to present them with a check at this summer's Burn Camp. The 2015 Camp is scheduled August 9-15, 2015. If you are interested in any items or would just like to donate, contact Scott Van Roo at either vanrooscott@aol.com or call 414.333.4196. Thanks in advance for your support!

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New video warns firefighters of cancer dangers

Published on May 3, 2015

Three city firefighters painted a grim portrait as they sat in front of a wall plastered with images of their fallen comrades. These colleagues did not perish in a raging fire or after falling into a collapsing building. They all succumbed to cancer.

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Paramedic units to reach out to repeat emergency callers

From the Journal Sentinel files;

The Milwaukee Fire Department is expected to launch a special paramedic unit in the fall to help reduce the number of repeat emergency calls from chronically ill people.

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Solar Panels and Firefighter Safety

In an article from IAFF Frontline Blog titled "Solar Panel Rooftops and Firefighters", Jim Brinkley writes "It is no secret that the solar industry is booming. Photovoltaic (PV) systems are reportedly being installed every four minutes. The number is only expected to increase with experts predicting that a system will be installed every minute and 28 seconds by 2016. In addition, the U.S. is expected to reach one million cumulative residential solar installations by that time. States like Arizona, California and New Jersey have seen rapid growth in solar energy in recent years. But what does all this mean to fire fighters?"

To read the rest of the article, copy and paste this url into your browser:

There is also a ton of information available from this site:

Here are two very informative videos that you need to watch:

Do yourself a favor and read up on this real danger to you, especially if you're on a truck crew.

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Cellular Antennas - Officer Safety

Subject: Cellular Antennas - Officer Safety
Importance: High


We were advised of the warning regarding antennas for Verizon on our Safety Building in downtown Milwaukee and the risk they pose to anyone on our roof. What is being warned to us is that anyone standing in front of or in certain proximity to them run the risk of having their internal organs super heated like food in a microwave. I also know that many private buildings in downtown Milwaukee have these antennas as well by Verizon or other cellular companies. I've attached photos of the antennas on our rooftop and the related signage.

This is not something I was really aware of until someone involved with this took the initiative to pass along the concern. I'm sure many of you have these antennas in your areas and the same hazard exists. Whether conducting surveillance from a sniper standpoint or perhaps for a protest, you may have officer that see these rooftops as a tactical vantage point. They should be aware of the hazard. I may be the minority, but the warning sign sure doesn't give me the same response/warning as someone telling me my organs may be microwaved and die.

It was an education piece for me (particularly because I haven't been on our rooftop here in probably 10 years), so I'm either sharing my ignorance or passing along something worthy of sharing that may save an officer from an unintended consequence.

By Federal law all transmitting, receiving and signal boosting antennas are to have the proper signage. This however may not be the case due to weather or lack of oversight on the host building.

The general rule of thumb is that if you are worried that the equipment may harm you and there are no signs to indicate a warning; then treat the area as if it is highly dangerous.

Tobie Weberg, Deputy Inspector
Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office
SWAT Commander

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Ebola Preparedness

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history and has spread to multiple countries in West Africa. The first confirmed case in North America was recently reported in Dallas, Texas, where the 9-1-1 system was used to treat and transport the patient to the hospital. The patient has since died. The ambulance crew - all members of Dallas, TX Local 58 - have been taken off duty with pay and are under continuous medical observation at their homes. For more information on what you need to know about Ebola, click here.

It is highly likely that more individuals infected with Ebola will seek assistance from emergency response personnel as the disease spreads. The IAFF is urging every affiliate to conduct a "safety stand down" with their employer and review all infectious exposure policies, procedures and guidelines. You should assess your department's preparedness for responding to and caring for patients with possible symptoms of the Ebola virus and whether you have the equipment and training needed for safely responding to worst-case scenarios in potential Ebola exposures should this virus spread in the United States and Canada.

All policies, procedures and guidelines should at a minimum address the following:
•Use standard precautions, including fluid resistant and or impermeable long-sleeved gowns, single or double gloves, eye protections, leg coverings, and disposable shoe covers. The IAFF recommends N95 respirators for all patients with respiratory symptoms.

•If there is a potential exposure, or the crew thinks they have been affected, DO NOT return to the firehouse. After transport, remove the unit from service while at the hospital. If an engine and EMS unit both respond, they should stay together throughout the call to keep other fire fighters from potential contamination. Exposure reporting should be activated from the hospital or while in route to the hospital with the patient.

•Establish follow-up and reporting measures after caring for a suspected or confirmed Ebola patient.

•Develop policies for monitoring and management of EMS personnel potentially exposed to Ebola. Policies should be flexible in terms of the amount of time required for monitoring and potential isolation of exposed personnel.

•Establish sick leave policies for personnel that are non-punitive, flexible and consistent with public health guidance.

•Ensure that all personnel, including staff who are not directly employed to provide patient care but provide essential daily services, are also aware of the sick leave policies.

•Ensure that fire and EMS personnel exposed to blood, bodily fluid, secretions or excretions from a patientwith a suspected or confirmed Ebola virus immediately:
1) Stop working and wash the affected skin surfaces with soap and water and irrigate with a large amount of water or eyewash solution.
2) Contact an occupational health supervisor for assessment and access to post-exposure management services.
3) Receive medical evaluation and follow-up care as appropriate. Medical evaluations should include fever monitoring twice daily throughout the Ebola incubation period, which is two to 21 days.

•Establish return-to-work protocols according to EMS agency policy and discussions with local, state and federal public health authorities.

•Fire and EMS personnel who develop sudden onset of fever, intense weakness or muscle pains, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains or any other symptoms after an unprotected exposure should NOT report to work or, if at work, immediately stop working, isolate themselves, notify their supervisor (who should notify local and state health departments as appropriate), contact an occupational health supervisor for assessment and post-exposure management service and comply with work exclusions until they are considered no longer infectious to others.

•Identify a single occupational health representative for reporting exposures.

•Fit test all personnel for use of N95 masks and provide them, as well as appropriate eye protection.

The transmission of the Ebola virus occurs through direct contact with blood and bodily fluids of an infected person. It can also be transmitted through exposure to objects that are contaminated by the bodily fluids, such as needles. Healthcare workers, including fire fighters and EMS personnel, are at the highest risk of becoming sick because they are exposed daily to many patients with common symptoms of Ebola and other infectious diseases.

The IAFF stresses the importance of consistently using standard precautions during every patient encounter and having the proper training and equipment to safely respond to and care for individuals exhibiting signs of Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides important guidance documents, most notably the Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for Management of Patients With Known or Suspected Ebola Virus Disease and EMS Checklist for Ebola Preparedness. For more CDC infection control guidelines, click here.

For more information on what you need to know about Ebola, click here.

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Top 5 Fire Safe Metros in the Midwest

Homeowners in certain areas are just more conscientious about fire-safety than others. We’ve ranked the Midwest region’s biggest metros by their residential fire risk, preparedness and response time to fires.

From lightning to old electrical wiring, fires can start anywhere, making fire safety important in any region. When it comes to fiery threats, these Midwestern cities are the least prone to, and the most prepared for, residential home fires.

Check them out and see why they topped our list! (See the Rankings chart at the end for more information).

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Frontline News Alert

Study to Collect Data for Monitoring Health of Female Fire Fighters

The IAFF is assisting the Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research in its efforts to collect data from as many female fire fighters in the country as possible.

While there are considerable advances in information related to fire fighter health, most are focused exclusively on male fire fighters. This project will collect data specific to the health, perceptions and experiences of women in the career fire service.

Click here to participate in the study.

Funded by the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute at National Institutes of Health, the findings will be used to help monitor the health of female fire fighters and identify areas of need for future research.

The IAFF encourages you to forward this email to any female career fire fighters. Participation in the study is completely voluntary.

For more information, contact the project lead, Dr. Sara Jahnke, at Jahnke@ndri.org or (913) 681-0300.

Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

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IAFF: The Solution to America's Retirement Crisis

Please follow the link below to view the IAFF Pension Resources Department, which provides assistance, tools and resources to help affiliates in the continuing battle to defend and protect IAFF members' hard-earned and well-deserved pension benefits.

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Classified Ads

Did you know that we have a Classified Ads page? You can use it to buy, sell, trade, request, almost anything you can think of! For instance, Melissa Floryance just posted a practically new snow blower for sale. Go there now to check it out! This tool could be a great benefit for our members... if we would just use it! Spread the word.

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Cancer Rates Among Firefighters Are Skyrocketing

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The Latest From The President's Desk

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Questions about our Health Insurance?

If you have questions regarding your benefits, unpaid bills, or problems with service, please call your health or dental plan. DO NOT call Employee Benefits until you have contacted your health or dental plan and are unable to arrive at a resolution. Employee Benefits will attempt to assist you to resolve your problem, but in no case will Employee Benefits attempt to change, question or provide a medical opinion. Remember to document all your conversations with dates, times and names. We will ask you for this information when you call our office.

If you are an ACTIVE employee, please contact the Employee Benefits Division at 286-3184, or click here to send an E-Mail message.
If you are a RETIRED employees, please contact the Employes' Retirement System at (414) 286-3689, or go to http://www.cmers.com/Benefits/Health-Insurance.htm.

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Attention: Local 215 is not handing out copies of the Engine 32 Board of Investigation. If you have any questions, please contact a principle

ALL MEMBERS: Per President Seager; Please log in and check your profile to make sure that your telephone numbers (with area codes) home address, and email address are all current. DO NOT USE YOUR DEPARTMENT EMAIL ACCOUNT! If you have that listed, please remove it and replace it with your personal email address. Also, make sure that your appointment date is entered and accurate as well as your rank, shift assignment and location is current.

If you stopped receiving your Local 215 emails, simply log in to your account, click Edit My Profile, and update your email preferences.

CLOTHING STORE: * 5.11 has made some changes to their pants and therefore changed the part numbers. 74399 is the new Company Cargo pant that replaces the 74311 Cargo. 74398 is the new Company Pant (straight leg station pant) that replaces the 74302 station pant. These are strictly part number changes, the style of the pant and materials remain the same.

*A greater supply of optional clothing is available at Local 215.

We have sweatpants, mesh shorts, long and short sleeve t-shirts, red t-shirts in long and short sleeve, cotton and wicking polos in short sleeve for firefighters. We also stock baseball hats, knit hats and skull caps. In addition I have inside and outside auto decals for Local 215 and MFD. I have limited stock of other items, if you're looking for a workshirt or sweatshirt, call ahead first. Most officer items have to be ordered but we do have some exchange items here. If you can pay by cash or check, call us.

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