By Jim Vannucchi, Director
Since our last printing, the membership has been faced with a substantial amount of changes; some good, some not so good. The most profound being the selection of a new Chief of the Department. After an exhaustive nationwide search, the Fire Commission proffered to the Mayor the candidate who ranked number one for appointment, Chief Mario Trevino of Las Vegas, Nevada. (What a fascinating and fair concept, hiring in rank order). Congratulations Chief! Local 798 looks forward to working with you.


Once again, with total disregard for the membership, Chief Shortall and Dr. Isaacs unveiled their latest efforts to resuscitate a deteriorating merger. While Local 798 has been assertive on all fronts to protect the interests of our medics, a proposal of “1 and 1” ambulances and ALS Engine Companies by the Presidio Cartel will be implemented July 1, 2001 without benefit of a “Meet and Confer.”

In addition to the opposition voiced by 2532s’, H-1s’, H-3s’, Locals 790 & 798, and the San Francisco Labor Council to the “Pilot Program”, as an Executive Board Member, I am personally offended by the presentation of this band-aid tactic for the following reason. At the Fire Commission meeting on April 12, 2001, Secretary Francis Kelley made an articulate and heartfelt plea for intervention by the Commission into the antics of the EMS Division. Recognizing a true need for culpability, Commission Norman requested that a “round-table” meeting be held to identify and remedy the numerous detrimental issues EMS is facing. When Shortall and Isaacs were queried at that very meeting if they would openly participate, rather than divulging their impending Rapid Paramedic Response System to stabilize EMS and encouraging input from Local 798 so the plan could benefit all, they chose to nod, smile smugly, and remain silent. Further to the insult of the membership, at the April 26, 2001 Fire Commission meeting, the “Pilot Program” was introduced and apparently rubber-stamped by the Commission. To date, there has been no “round-table.”

Please, make no mistake. Local 798 is a proponent of ALS Engine Companies so that we can better assist the public that we are sworn to serve, however, we are firm in our position that ambulances are staffed with two paramedics. To take it one step further, perhaps you Princes of the Presidio should take a lesson in morale. Be heroes. Staff the ALS Engines at 1-4. The reasoning is two pronged. Initially, you will have increased the effectiveness of that Company by 50%. Secondly, the dwindling spirit of this Department will be re-kindled.


By approval of the membership at the May 2001 Regular Meeting, it is with great excitement we look forward to the revamping of the MAIN LINE. The decision to revitalize this venerable publication was not an easy one, yet we feel we are favorably forging ahead.

Many factors influenced our direction with time and money being in the forefront. Quite simply, the MAIN LINE is no longer cost effective for its’ primary purpose which is an effective communication tool with the membership. With a myriad of indicators all pointing to the financial reality of the situation, the following are some of the highlights that have been adopted by the membership as it pertains to the MAIN LINE:

  • The MAIN LINE will become a bi-monthly publication.
  • A newsletter will be produced and mailed first class in the alternating months that you do not receive the MAIN LINE.
  • The MAIN LINE website (yes, we do have one, it’s will be upgraded to present itself as a primary and timely source of information for the membership.
  • The MAIN LINE will be mailed to retirees only. Station Stewards will deliver the publication to active members at worksites.

Change never comes easy and we know that with any new venture, we will experience growing pains. We ask for your patience and support in allowing us this opportunity to better serve the membership.


In honor of former SAN FRANCISCO FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 798 President and current IAFF District 10 Vice-President Jim Ferguson, the JAMES T. FERGUSON SCHOLARSHIP drawing was held at the May 2001 Regular Meeting. The winners were selected by random drawing. The recipients are: Henri Revel, son of Captain Rene Revel, E-44. Elizabeth Hartmann, daughter of Chief’s Aide Richard Hartman, CD-1. Jessica Arzave, daughter of Robert Arzave, Bi-Lingual Apparatus Operator, E-2. We extend to each winner our warmest congratulations and wish them the very best as they continue their quest for academic excellence.


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