Moving Forward
By Tom O'Connor
Promotional Exam

While criticism has been heaped upon this administration from the rank and file, the Union and the various employee groups, one very significant development just occurred; the H-30 Captains exam has just come closer to resolution.

The Civil Service Commission recently ruled against the assortment of protests filed against the exam, the Department of Human Resources adopted the list, and almost all eligible candidates have been selected in rank order.

It has been a rather long and arduous path to reach this point, in fact the department has gone over a decade without a promotive exam, but now the SFFD seems to have reached a turning point.

If all goes as planned in the next few weeks, be prepared to see exams in the ranks of H-40 Battalion Chief and H-20 Lieutenant. And if those exams go well, look for a pattern of regular promotional opportunities. Congratulations to the Administration for moving the department forward…

Cancer in the Workplace

As mentioned in previous articles, the department has done a more than commendable job in testing of almost all active members, and a multitude of retirees, for cancers of the kidney and bladder. The results thus far show numerous “positive” results, but the actual number of cancer cases is unknown at this point. We hope that this testing continues on a yearly basis.

Thank you to all of the members who showed up for our press conference highlighting the terrible toll cancer has taken on our profession. Nearly 300 SFFD members stood on the steps of City Hall next to hundreds of empty turnout boots … to honor all of our brothers and sisters who have “died with their boots off.”

Spearheaded by retired Capt. Tony Stefani, the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation hosted the press conference and is now looking forward to raise funds to keep moving forward with testing our members, seeking methods to prevent cancer in our profession and eventually, conducting testing over the course of a firefighter’s career in order to keep ahead of job-related cancers. Any members wishing to contribute to the non-profit foundation can send checks to the Union office, made payable to the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation. Any little bit would help.


As of our publication deadline, it appears as if the department is again woefully under-funded for facilities maintenance. Traditionally, the department received nearly a million dollars yearly for facilities repair. When the dot-com bubble burst, that was cut to only $400,000 for all of the department’s structures. What that amounts to is less than $8,000 per station … and if any of you have done any remodeling lately, you know that won’t take you very far.

The Fire Commission recently introduced a resolution calling for more funding, but the outlook appears to be grim at this point in the budget cycle… if only the administration could get a supplemental for much needed repairs…


Your Union is still in heated negotiations over our next contract, and our frustration level is rising over some rather stubborn items that keep appearing every negotiation cycle. While the confidentiality of the process prevents us from disclosing these issues, rest assured that we are not going to take any more steps backward when it comes to our contract.

We will not end the process until we can come back to you with a fair contract … one that you can be proud of … one that tells you that the City values your service. Just like San Franciscans overwhelmingly did when the voted to end the brownouts…


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