By Jim Vannucchi, Director
EMS. To the SFFD, three letters that have come to mean much more than Emergency Medical Services. The very utterance of this acronym conjures the deepest of fears in the bravest of souls, which has been personified, with the introduction of the “Rapid Paramedic Response System” by the High Command at the Presidio. The following are just a few of the faux pas the membership had to endure courtesy of the Shortall-McCallion-Issacs Master Plan:

• A disastrous BLS program
• A top-heavy management structure (has anyone pulled up the daily roster at the Presidio lately?).
• An excessive run volume that has become detrimental to the health of our H-1s, H-3s, and the 2532s.
• Misrepresentation to new hires (do the Gallagher and Rambo retirement issues ring a bell?).
• Continual schedule changes.
• Unrealistic budget projections that have been far out-distanced by the actual cost.

• Running companies “short” to cross-train H-3s.
• The lowest morale I have ever encountered in my 20 years with the SFFD at all ranks (well, maybe except for a certain few who wear gold).

And the news gets worse. I am saddened to report that Local 798 is not the culprit. Sorry. And for you “Kojaks” out there who choose to point that accusatory finger, aim west to the waters edge. The buck started there. Maybe that’s where it should stop.

Power is a funny thing. When an order is generated, that order suddenly becomes very soft in content and application when the author unwillingly assumes the role of the provider or the recipient of that order.


For the past few months, this has been the hottest topic around the firehouse. Sadly, negotiations are still on going because the Executive Board of Local 798 has but one goal; what is in the best interest of the membership.

We are bound by oath to protect the welfare of the Local that we serve and regardless of the issue, we will do that. Once again, we ask for your patience and support.


We look forward to the full implementation of paramedics on Engine Companies, as it is a viable and productive direction. However, Local 798 is adamant that all members on the “rig” are properly trained for the apparent and paramount reason: safety of our members and the public.

It seems redundant that the administration will readily place individuals on fire suppression units who have little training in fire ground practice and exceptionally limited exposure to fires for the sole purpose of meeting a goal. Yet, I am perplexed why they mandate that any member who has been absent in excess of 6 months, i.e. DP, SP, etc., return to the DOT for re-training before that member is allowed back to fire suppression. It would appear to us non-rocket scientists that we have 2 sets of rules.


As of August 01, 2001, Chief Mario Trevino will assume the role of CD1. He has stated his preliminary position on the following issues:

  • EMS – 100% ALS engines.
  • CPAT – Chief Trevino is a proponent of CPAT, as it does not exclude applicants, only those who can’t do the job.
  • COMMUNICATION – Chief Trevino indicated his desire to establish and maintain a good line of communication with the rank and file.
  • 1 & 1 AMBULANCES – They are on the horizon along with assignment and tour changes.
  • EEOC – The Chief will review the effectiveness of this process.

As with any new employee, we extend to Chief Trevino the best of luck and the invitation to work productively with Local 798 in an effort to restore what once was.


Briefly, due to a conflict of interest, Local 798 has delayed the arbitration for H-51 until October 2001.


Although our Blood Drives are under the direction of Brother Arzave, I feel compelled to comment.

Our membership exceeds 1,700. Yet, we barely reach 10% of that number at the Blood Drives that are so well orchestrated by Bob Arzave, Romy Scott and Mark Sikora. I implore you, engage in the very short hour that it will take to donate a pint of the red at our upcoming Christmas Blood Drive and enjoy the refreshments, and more importantly, the friendship of your co-workers. I can assure you, it is an act of selfless compassion that will not go unrewarded in the eyes of God.

In closing, trust funds have been established for the children of Paramedic / Firefighters Dennis Gallagher and Mike Rambo at the SFFCU. I ask that you take just a moment to reflect on how fortunate your life has been and to donate to these worthwhile causes accordingly. Contribution information can be found in the Main Line.


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