Friday, September 02, 2005

Thanks for House Save...

Hi there!

Just wanted to pass along a "THANK YOU" from local rental property owner Mr. Danny Robles. He lives in California and spends time here occasionally to handle his properties. I have worked with him for several years in the west and north central neighborhoods on some of his more "challenging" properties.

He said, "Tell everyone in the Fire Department THANK YOU for saving my house on Madelia and Desmet! If you all wouldn't have shown up when you did, the house would be lost." He went on to rave about the need for our services and spoke to the news about not cutting the fire department any more. He went on along the same lines for quite some time, but you get the gist. So thank you for all you do! People really appreciate it and it's nice to hear once in a while.

Take care!

*Lisa Jones, Fire Marshal
Spokane Fire Department

SFD Response to Katrina


Our Nation is faced with the most catastrophic natural disaster in modern times and FEMA has called upon the Nation's fire service to aid the affected citizens and communities. The United States Fire Administration has contacted the nation's career fire departments in order to mobilize our available and willing members within Federal guidelines. Local 29 and Administration have agreed to support this activity with the understanding that personnel participating shall arrange their individual shift trades.

The current need is for the deployment of 1,000 two-person teams. A department may offer more than one two-person team, however since these people will be deployed as a team they must know one another prior to deployment. This initial request is for full-time career firefighters that are employed by municipal government and sponsored by that municipality because of the way that salaries and expenses will be reimbursed. They must be: Physically capable of performing manual tasks under severe conditions; Experienced in working with minimum supervision; Capable of living in austere, severe living conditions with minimal or no creature comforts for a period of at least 30 days; Free of medical condition(s) that would prevent them from working in these conditions for this period of time; and, Able to work within the ICS, provide basic first aid, and follow orders.

The work is non-operational community relations focused activities that consist of direct outreach to persons in the affected areas. They will assist victims in understanding how they will go about the process of getting Federal assistance, distributing information, providing minimal first-aid, and taking reports. The work will be outside, exposed to the elements and will require significant walking.

FEMA will notify the Chief of Department, and selected applicants will be notified by their Chief of Department that they have been selected. NO ONE SHOULD DEPLOY WITHOUT NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE FROM FEMA. Selected applicants will report to a central location in the Atlanta, Georgia area for training and further deployment. Travel to the Atlanta, Georgia area will be per government authorization in a manner specified upon acceptance. Acceptance information will also cover lodging and other related expense reimbursement information.


The application process is the exact same process as applying for a National Fire Academy resident course. Applicants will complete FEMA Form 75-5A (short form) general application which can be found at:

In box 12a. "Course Code and Title" the applicant should enter "COMMUNITY RELATIONS DEPLOYMENT" and "L282". In Box #21, please fill in the names of BOTH team members. No other course information is required on the application, but everything else must be completed. This is the form that will be used for reimbursement to the department or jurisdiction. Additional salary / personnel information will be required upon acceptance. The application must be fully completed and signed by the Chief of the Department or the Chief's designee. The application should be faxed to 301-447-1234. A scanned completed/signed application can be emailed to:

The department must submit two applications (one team). Single individual applications will not be accepted.

We will notify the first 1000 teams of their acceptance and process any additional applications in the event that they are needed in the future.

Submission of an application DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE TEAM HAS BEEN ACCEPTED. Acceptance is a second, separate process. The Chief of the Department or designee will be notified of the teams' acceptance, and provided deployment information.


· If you are accepted, you will be given specific further directions from the Chief of Department.

· Each team should bring a basic medical jump kit (bandages, BP set) to provide minimal first aid. You will be provided government ID in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

· You will be deployed with another member of your organization as a team and will be working with that person for the duration.

Following are items which you must bring with you:

· sleeping bag

· personal hygiene necessities

· medications

· insect repellent

· sun screen

· rain gear

· Flashlight and batteries.

We cannot guarantee that you will have a vehicle or a means to transport or store gear. FEMA will provide you with FEMA shirts. Remember that you may have to carry with you everything that you bring for the entire time. Finally, please ensure that members of your family can function without your presence for at least 30 days.

Please contact me if you have any question or are interested in applying.

Brian Schaeffer

City of Spokane Fire Department
Assistant Fire Chief
44 West Riverside Ave
Spokane WA, 99201
Office: 509-625-7002

IAFF Disaster Relief Fund for Katrina victims...

Sorry, it's taken so long to post anything about Katrina, but it's been pretty hard to come up with anything adequate to say. And I'm certain this won't even come close.

After criticizing the priorities of our current administration and the way they spend our money, all that's left is the reality of the biggest catastrophe our country has ever experienced. The breakdown of a prosperous city into an immense cauldron of floating corpses, murder, rape and destruction was something I never expected to see in our own country. As families in attics, hospitals and churches lose hope, realizing that there will be no rescue, I feel angry and frustrated. You probably feel the same way too, because of our shared profession.

In Spokane, it's been a figurative "open season" on rescuers - due to layoffs and lack of funding from the city. We are severely hampered in doing our job. We all have stories of buildings we would have saved, people that would still be alive, if we had not lost 20% of our staffing.

But in New Orleans, it's a literal "open season" on rescuers. Even the remnants of the National Guard, those not deployed in Iraq, find themselves under fire.

I'm sure we're all going to give something to help, whether it's through the IAFF link above, or through some other avenue. But, when you read the news and hear the stories, giving money almost seems like a meaningless empty gesture. But, sometimes, that's all you've got.

If anyone has news about actually going down there to help in rescue efforts, let me know and I will post it.

Sorry about the morose tone of this letter. And thank you very much for reading it.