Letter From The President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Congratulations to all of those members who marched in the Chinese New Year’s Parade “Year of the Boar”. It was a fine showing by the AFA and Local 798 and the credit goes to the AFA President Patricia Yuen. Thanks for all your hard work.

On March 17th, Local 798 celebrated the 155th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. As has been past practice, members of Stations 8 and 11 were up at 4am cooking for 300 marchers in the parade. Ramon (Mr. Harley) Serrano, John Rocco, Jerry Keohane, Bob Cappa, Con Lucey and Sally Casazza all worked tirelessly to ensure the parade was a success. We were also fortunate to have the California Division of Forestry (CDF) Pipe Band lead us in the parade. Thanks to them and their president, Bob Wolf.

We are currently in the process of contract negotiations with the City. We have a package we feel is fair to the City and to firefighters that will ensure safe working conditions, an honest salary, and safety for the citizens of San Francisco. I am sure the City has a package reflecting their views on the above mentioned criteria. Updates will be given at monthly membership meetings. We anticipate the contract negotiations to go through the summer and into September and October.

On March 19, 2007, the City’s Civil Service Commission heard discussions on the H-30 Captain’s test. The interesting point of the dialog is that no uniformed member from Headquarters appeared before the Commission to defend the decisions that they made on the testing process. The unusual point is that the “uniformed” members of Headquarters never miss a photo opportunity, but in this critical juncture they were not there. The Civil Service Commission voted 3 to 2 to continue discussions on the Captain’s Test until May which puts a delay in both the Chief’s test and the Lieutenant’s test. As we are all aware, the Chief stated in a meeting with the candidates that the results of the test would be posted April 1. April 1!! … couldn’t she have picked another date?” Even though Sunday April 1st has come and gone and I’m sure (I hope) we will have a list soon.

It has come to the attention of the Union that the Fire Department is doing an investigation of an alleged incident occurring off duty at a banquet. If the Fire Department truly wants to do an investigation, my feeling is that they could spend their time more wisely investigating why Engine 35 is closed, what processes are in place in terms of the plans for the rebuilding of Engine 35, where did the Bond money go for Engine 35, why it is that firehouses haven’t had heat for a year, why it is that firefighters don’t have 2 pairs of turnouts, and who okayed the order to place new engines in service that would break down? Just a start if you want to be Inspector Jacques Clouseau. In addition to investigations at said firehouse, it just so happens that the Captain of same wrote a letter about the poor conditions of this firehouse and the Fire Commission became interested. Can you say that Fire Department Administration retaliated against this house because the Captain stood up for the men and women and, as we all know, not even some high profile off-duty incidents have been thoroughly investigated by the Fire Department.

Congratulations are in order on the effective manner that we are fighting fires. I was at the Plumber’s union and had the opportunity to leave the building and view, from street level, the effectiveness of the men and women of our fire department aggressively fighting a fire. The bravery and expertise as I watched made me proud to be affiliated with members of Local 798. Firefighters escaped serious injuries. Thank God and the voters for Prop F. Brother John Shanley of Rescue 1 (with a Scott) jumped out of a window twelve feet to a roof below. John’s aggressive behavior looking for possibly trapped residents in the building is very commendable. He was not seriously injured. John can credit his walk away from this potential disaster to his active involvement in cheerleading. John was a cheerleader at Sacred Heart High School and continues as a staff director at a cheerleading summer camp. In all seriousness John, God bless you and your family.

Members of the Executive Board recently attended the IAFF Legislative Conference in Washington DC. We met with our own Senator Feinstein, our dear friend Senator Boxer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as well as Congressman Lantos and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. The position we took is one we have taken previously which is for their thorough support. We reflected the need that homeland security funding MUST go to those cities or jurisdictions that are at greatest risk for terrorist attack.

At a date yet to be determined, we will have a press conference announcing results of the cancer survey (all are invited) outlining our position as it relates to firefighters/paramedics with cancer. As all of you know, cancer spreading throughout the fire department is our flu.

One of the great Fire Department athletes from Station 7 (gold medal in softball, baseball, and football) has now taken up bowling. Duane now has plans to enter the Professional Bowlers Tour. Good luck to Duane Curry!

In conclusion, have a happy Spring. Go Giants!!

John F. Hanley


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