CAL FIRE Local 2881 represents the 6,500 firefighters of CAL FIRE. They answer more than 400,000 calls per year with professionalism and integrity. However, CAL FIRE firefighters are in crisis.

“Today (August 16th) I did the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do as a firefighter,” said CAL FIRE firefighter Steve Mueller. “While I look forward to protecting my neighbors and working hard with my colleagues, I didn’t enjoy talking publically about how our pay lags drastically behind other departments.”

California’s independent Human Resources Salary Report reveals that CAL FIRE firefighters make 30-90% less than firefighters from California’s top twenty-five fire departments. A fifteen-year veteran of CAL FIRE can make more money, and with less responsibilities, as an entry-level firefighter at a local department. Three months ago, CAL FIRE had a 50% no-show for the promotional Fire Captain test.

Entry-level firefighters make only minimum wage. In five years, due to compaction within the Department, they will make as much as mid-level firefighters. The compaction and overlapping of pay negatively impacts morale among firefighters and robs our men and women the incentive to promote.

“I love fighting fires and the camaraderie on the job but, it is important that our pay at least be competitive with other fire departments,” said Mueller.

Mueller mentioned that firefighters will be at the State Capitol at 11AM on Monday, August 22nd to protest the pay disparities.

The men and women of CAL FIRE will always answer the call and it is an honor to protect our neighbors. We hope to work cooperatively with the Administration to find a viable solution.

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New Fire Chief Selected for Metro Fire

Source: Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-08-12

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District announced on August 5th their selec-tion of Todd Harms as the next Fire Chief.

The Board of Directors for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) announced on August 5th their selection of Todd Harms as the next Fire Chief.

After Fire Chief Mark Wells announced earlier in the year that he planned to retire later this year, the Board launched a nationwide search in May to recruit his successor. Given that Metro Fire is the largest fire agency in the Sacramento region and the 7th largest in California, the Board was seeking a dynamic and visionary leader in the fire service, with a passion for public safety, who would be energized by Metro Fire’s fast pace and the diversity of service demands.

“We are pleased to have Todd Harms take the lead as our new Fire Chief,” stated Board President Jack Scheidegger. “His expertise and leadership experience will add greatly to the existing excellent Metro Fire staff and provide expanded vision and perspective as we move into the future.  We are fortunate to have this opportunity to build on the fine leadership provided by Chief Wells.”

Harms has 35 years of public safety service, of which nine were spent serving as an Executive Staff member for the Phoenix Fire Department. He is currently the Assistant Chief of Operations and has also been their Assistant Chief of Personnel and the Training Division, with oversight of the Training Academy, Command Training Center, Special Operations, Emergency Medical Services, Technical Services, dispatch and the Regional 9-1-1 services.

Harms began his fire service career in 1981 as a Firefighter Paramedic in Peotone, Illinois, and in 1987, became a member of the Phoenix Fire Department. He has progressed through the ranks as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Shift Commander. He has been an Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) team member, with deployments to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Harms holds a Bachelor's degree in Fire Service Management and is a past adjunct instructor at Phoenix College in the Fire Science Program.

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FBI Warns of Phone Scam Targeting Northern and Central California Residents

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2016-08-12

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento field office has received numerous reports of individuals impersonating government agencies in an effort to scam the public. Currently, these unsolicited calls are placed by criminals who claim to be representatives of the FBI or other government agency and make demands for money. Several call recipients stated that Caller ID information falsely displayed the call as originating from an FBI office and the caller told the victim to check the internet to verify the number.

Federal agencies do not call or e-mail individuals to collect money. Government impersonation scams vary but most use intimidation tactics to coerce victims to hastily provide personal information or money. During calls, scammers often tell victims that charges have or will soon be filed against them and arrest or confiscation of property is imminent unless payment is made immediately by prepaid credit card or gift card. Often, if a call recipient questions the caller about the authenticity of the call, the caller becomes increasingly more aggressive. In some cases, Caller ID information was replicated to make calls appear to originate from a federal agency’s legitimate phone number.

The FBI advises the public to always exercise caution when receiving unsolicited calls and never give personal information when such calls are received. Recipients of scam calls should hang up immediately and report the call. All types of telephone fraud schemes and scams can be reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/splash.aspx.

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CHP to Host “Coffee with a Cop” August 17th

Source: California Highway Patrol  |  2016-08-11

Officers from the California Highway Patrol Valley Division Office and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, have coffee, and build relationships.

All community members are invited to attend. The event will be held from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at Old Soul @ 40 Acres. Please contact Officer Guillermo Garcia with questions: (916) 731-6300, or email 201pio@chp.ca.gov.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the Department’s work in Sacramento’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope community members will welcome the opportunity to ask questions, bring concerns forward, or simply get to know our officers,” said Chief Janice Mulanix. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the country as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

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FBI Seeking “Bandaged Bandit”

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2016-07-21

Suspect Wanted for Series of Four Bank Robberies in Nevada and Northern California

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking information to aid in the identification and apprehension of an individual suspected of robbing four banks. The young Caucasian male is suspected of the following robberies:

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016
    U.S. Bank located at 229 Kingsbury Grade Rd., Stateline, NV 89449
  • Friday, July 1, 2016
    Chase Bank located at 2215 Francisco Dr., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
  • Thursday, July 14, 2016
    Wells Fargo located at 3935 Park Dr., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
  • Friday, July 15, 2016
    U.S. Bank located at 1850 Prairie City Rd., Folsom, CA 95630.

The suspect—believed to be in his 20s or 30s—has blonde hair and stands 5’8”-5’10” tall with a large build. He has made an effort to conceal his face by affixing bandages to his nose, chin, and other areas of his face and arms. During the commission of the robberies, the man approached the tellers and either presented a demand note or made a verbal demand for cash while threatening that he had a weapon. After receiving undisclosed amounts of money, the subject fled the locations on foot. Photos of the suspect are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robber website: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2016-07-15.6450756429.

The robberies are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, and Folsom Police Department.

Individuals with information about this man may call their local FBI office or 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-885-5984). Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. If the subject is spotted in the community, the public is urged to call 911 and not approach the individual. For more information about individuals wanted for bank robberies in your area, please visit https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov

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Illegal Pharma, Counterfeit Goods Seized in Search

Source: Board of Equalization  |  2016-07-01

The California Attorney General’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force served seven search warrants in the capital region turning up hundreds of boxes of foreign pharmaceuticals and thousands of articles of suspected counterfeit clothing.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the California Department of Public Health’s Food and Drug Branch, Franchise Tax Board, and Department of Justice eCrime Unit assisted in the June 21, 2016 operation that involved more than 50 agents and investigators.

“The trafficking of counterfeit goods poses a triple threat,” said Ryan Spradlin, the special agent in charge who oversees HSI operations throughout northern California. “Such activities deliver shoddy and often dangerous goods into the economy, rob Americans of good-paying jobs, and generate proceeds that are often funneled back into other criminal enterprises. HSI will continue to work with its enforcement partners to combat the distribution of counterfeit products, like those seized in Sacramento yesterday, that could put unwitting consumers at risk.”

“This action was a big blow to the underground economy in Northern California, and that makes yesterday’s raid a win for our whole state,” said Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma, whose district includes West Sacramento, one of the communities where the raids occurred. “I want to thank the hardworking agents and investigators who spent months of painstaking work in shutting down these illegal operations.”

“Illegal activities hurt legitimate businesses and inflict unfair costs on law-abiding Californians,” said Board of Equalization Member George Runner.  “Law enforcement deserves a huge thank you for their ongoing efforts to fight the underground economy.”

This warrant follows months of investigation into the sale of illegal foreign prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and counterfeit clothing by a couple and their adult son. Inside the family’s homes and three area businesses – Fashion Moda in North Highlands, Victoria’s Health Products in Citrus Heights, and Elena’s Health Products in West Sacramento – investigators discovered and confiscated the foreign pharmaceuticals, clothing, and more than $10,000 in cash.

The Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force (TRaCE) is comprised of public officials from the California Department of Justice, Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Employment Development Department, Department of Motor Vehicles, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Santa Ana Police Department.

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Trailhead Fire Sparks Air Quality Advisory for Placer County

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2016-06-30

A joint air quality advisory issued by the Placer County Department of Public Health and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District - advisory for June 30, 2016 through July 4, 2016

The Placer County Department of Public Health and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of poor air quality conditions primarily due to smoke from the Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties. The joint air quality advisory is in effect from June 30 through July 4.

Areas of smoke may affect Placer County from the valley to the North Lake Tahoe area, dependent upon wind direction, until the fire is extinguished. In the evenings, smoke tends to move downhill becoming more concentrated in lower elevation areas including the foothills and the Lake Tahoe Basin. In the afternoon and early evening hours, conditions may improve as smoke rises.

Smoke contains very tiny particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. While all people may experience varying degrees of symptoms, the more sensitive individuals, such as young, aged and those with respiratory conditions, are of greatest risk of experiencing more aggravated symptoms. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, coughing, watery and itchy eyes, scratchy throat and difficulty breathing.

Intermittent smoke is likely to affect different parts of the county at different times of the day until the fire is extinguished. Because of this, it is possible for smoke to affect both indoor and outdoor activities. If you can see or smell smoke, avoid all unnecessary outdoor activities, especially if you are in an area where visibility is greatly reduced.

Here are recommended ways to reduce your smoke exposure:

  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; if possible run the air conditioner on the recirculation setting;
  • Limit outdoor exertion and physical activity;
  • Leave the smoke-impacted areas until conditions improve, if possible;
  • Reduce unnecessary driving. If traveling through smoke-impacted areas, be sure that your vehicle’s ventilation system is on recirculate;
  • Avoid the use of non‐HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering out extra fine particulates.

Anyone experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their doctor if they have any questions.

Keep in mind that air quality can change rapidly at different times during the day due to wind shifts; therefore, it is important to monitor the smoke throughout the day in your area and make outdoor plans accordingly.

Information on air quality and smoke can be found at www.placer.ca.gov/apcd.

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