The Union ... and More

From the time they’re hired on for their first job, firefighters are committing to something more than just their own careers.  Firefighters are making a commitment to their communities. To their families. To each other.

The nature of this commitment can be seen in actions from firefighters that go above and beyond the call of duty. 

The commitment to something greater at the heart of the profession also guides the heart of the unions that proudly stand for them.

Behavioral Health in the Fire Service

Firefighters must do their jobs in the midst of unimaginable stress, and are exposed to horrific scenes that some can only imagine. While they try to let go of these experiences, often the experiences won't let go of them.

With more and more suicides and risk factors being exposed, behavioral health has become the health and safety issue of the fire service for the 21st Century. 

United Fire Service Urges Oct. 15 Stand Down for CA Firefighters Memorial Ceremony

The California fire service — management and labor — is asking all California firefighters and their families to take some time on October 15th — in person or online at the fire station — to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cal-OES, California Professional Firefighters and the California Fire Chiefs Association are urging any available personnel to attend and participate in the Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento. 

For those working, management and labor are urging all personnel to participate in a Safety Stand Down in fire stations on October 15th from 11:30am to 1:00pm to view the ceremony online via live stream from Cal-OES.

San Diego Firefighter, Local 145 Member Receives Governor's Medal of Valor

Governor Brown and Attorney General Harris with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Firefighter Alexander Wallbrett. Photo Credit: Dionne Grubbs, California Department of Justice.

Governor Brown and Attorney General Harris with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Firefighter Alexander Wallbrett. Photo Credit: Dionne Grubbs, California Department of Justice.

San Diego firefighter and Local 145 member Alex Wallbrett was awarded the Governor's Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in recognition of the heroic actions he took to stop a life-threatening assault on a colleague.

Wallbrett's actions took place on June 24, 2015, when his crew was providing medical treatment to a sick and intoxicated patient at San Diego's downtown trolley station. A bystander, who refused orders to back away from the patient, began swinging a knife at firefighter Ben Vernon. The attacker stabbed Firefighter Vernon twice in the torso.

Without hesitation and regard for his own safety,  Wallbrett jumped a metal fence and rushed to Firefighter Vernon's aid, placing himself between his partner and the knife wielding suspect.

Wallbrett wrestled with the attacker, preventing further injury to his partner. During the struggle, he was stabbed three times, including a stab wound close to his spine. The suspect was eventually subdued by other fire department personnel and officers from the Metropolitan Transit System. Firefighter Vernon suffered a broken rib and collapsed lung.  

Both Vernon Wallbrett have made full recoveries and returned to duty.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2003 gives the Governor the authority to award a Medal of Valor to public safety officers who are cited by the Attorney General for extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. The Attorney General's Office receives nominations from public safety agencies. These nominations are reviewed by the Medal of Valor Review Board, which makes a recommendation to the Attorney General.


Proud Union Firefighters Represent on Labor Day

Firefighters stepped up and gave back this Labor Day weekend, showing their solidarity with our proud movement and reminding everyone that the union is all of us.

Labor Day events around the state featured firefighters doing everything from cooking at Labor Day barbecues to participating in Labor Day parades and picnics.

Was your local standing strong for all working families? Tweet us your images from Labor Day to @CAFirefighters and #TheUnionIsUs.