Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane FEMA Team Update from Chief Schaeffer

Our first 3 teams (HAUGHTON/WILLITS, TURPEN/GONZALEZ, ARCHER/ BAECHLER) have been removed from working in the Pass Christian, Mississippi community due to the impending storm. They are sheltering in place in Gulf Shores, Alabama and have been requested from their FEMA strike team leader to possibly cover Career Fire Stations in the interim. Similar requests from FEMA have been made to Fire Service teams from the West Side (Burien and Pierce) due to their level of training, adaptability and the true dire crisis situation. After discussing it with Local 29, we agreed to allow this action providing their supervisors were qualified and they were provided with appropriate PPE. As of 1430 today they are just getting situated to receive some of the effects of the storm as it is entering their geographical area.

I attached a photo to this email that FEMA featured on its website of Tim Archer. The caption below the picture reads “September 19, 2005 -- FEMA representative Tim Archer helps a resident at the Pass Christian Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). DRC's are set up to help guide residents through the FEMA recovery process. FEMA/Mark Wolfe.” (

Our second two teams (FRASER/ TIBBLES, SANDERS/ BRUNER) were sent from Orlando, FL to Baton Rouge, LA after attending more in-depth training on the new FEMA computers for speeding assistance to victims. While enroute, FEMA contacted them and had them immediately shelter in Ft. Walton Beach, FL (about 40 miles East of Pensacola) to ride out the storm. The storm’s devastation will determine their next assignment.

As before, I will continue to update everyone as the soon as new information on our members occurs. Remember to check with Francie Archer if you are available to help out the families of our members that are deployed.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Our FEMA Folks are on the move

Gonzo called tonight to say that they are moving away from the coast to a place near Mobile, Alabama (a city named Gulf Shores- with a name like that, it can't be that far from the coast/shore). He said as soon as Rita gets done, they will be moving back.

Bob Ladd found this piece of advice in Fire Engineering and it's probably worth following...

The following is an excerpt from a July 2005 Fire Engineering “round table” article regarding what the fire service will look like in 20 years. This is one paragraph from a response by Leigh T Hollins, a BC from Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, Manatee County FL.

“Most urban areas (small and larger cities) will continue to struggle with staffing and services. Historically, proper staffing and the services provided by the fire department in our cities have been directly tied to the politics of each particular city. What you see is what you get. It is what it is. Until a major change occurs at city hall, the only time you see a drastic change, good or bad, is when the politicians change. I see no reason to expect that the next 20 years will be any different from the past 50. If urban (and metro) firefighters want increases in staffing or services, they had better look for candidates who support their views, or 2025 will look the same as 2005.”

While there are other issues, specifically budgetary, that are affecting our staffing, we need to get more friendly faces on the City Council and State Legislature. Please help support the candidates Local 29 endorses.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mazatlan Anyone?

Hi Bill,

My name is Chris Wetherell I'm sec/tre for local 1789 Spokane Airport. I've got a condo for rent in Mazatlan for 2006, I'm not going to use it this year and I thought I would see if any of the Local members in the area would be interested. I'll make them a hell of a deal for a week stay at a gold crown resort Called Pueblo Bonito at Emerald Bay Resort it's in New Mazatlan.

Anyone interested they can give me a call at 509-435-2600. or email me at