Letter From The President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The subject for this month is the new American La France fire engines.

It is clear to me that the product that the Fire Department purchased is not exactly in 100% working condition. Specifically, engines have been dropped off at firehouses with no manual, no pump time that I am aware of, and we’ve had many problems. These deficiencies should have been worked out at the factory. Or perhaps, these problems could have been prevented by following the San Francisco Fire Department’s rigid specifications that were used with previous fire engines.

Fire engines that spend more time with a mechanic are a danger for us and for the citizens of San Francisco. To say as some have said in the Administration, that these are the normal problems with new fire engines is reflecting one’s ignorance of firefighting. It’s not normal for pumps to break down at fires; it’s not normal for windows to break while driving down the street and it’s not normal to use a bolt cutter to cut the supply of electricity to stop sirens from blaring … but let me tell you, these new engines are a cool color!

We have asked the Fire Department and Fire Commission to petition American La France to extend the warranty from one year to three years; with so many initial problems, that would only be fair to San Francisco taxpayers. Why should expenses come out of our budget?

All positions on the Executive Board of Local 798 are up for re-election. Check the Bulletin that’s been sent to all worksite locations for information.

For those studying for the upcoming captain’s test – I am reminded of a line from the movie “Hoosiers” ………… “run the picket fence – and don’t let the paint dry on you”.

John F. Hanley
President, Local 798


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