Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Community group formed to fight for firefighters

By
From page A1 | April 11, 2013 | 1 Comment

As the debate continues over whether city leaders should approve a recommended change to Davis’ four-person fire crews, some local residents have formed a community group supporting the firefighters.

While there was no specific mention of the proposed reduction to three-person crews in a news release issued earlier this week, Friends of Davis Firefighters say their mission is “to educate the community about the ongoing efforts of the Davis Fire Department to ensure the safety of the city of Davis’ 69,000 residents through its emergency and preventive services.”

At issue is an audit prepared last fall by former Interim Fire Chief Scott Kenley that suggested the cash-strapped city could achieve $360,000 in annual savings by reducing the city’s four-person fire crews to three personnel at each of the fire stations in downtown, West and South Davis, as well as adding a two-person rescue unit downtown that could respond to incidents separately, instead of in tandem with a fire engine.

The firefighters’ union, Local 3494, opposes the recommendation, saying it would reduce public safety and increase property loss by forcing firefighters to wait for a second crew to arrive on scene before entering a burning structure, in keeping with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “two-in, two-out” mandate enacted in 1999.

“Davis firefighters work around the clock to ensure our safety yet they are under attack by a vocal minority in our community,” said member Alan Fernandes, described in the news release as a Wildhorse resident and community volunteer. “As a resident of a neighborhood which is outside the desired 911 response time, it is important that this group educate city officials and other citizens about the value of the firefighters and the level of service they provide to our community.”

Fernandes finished third in the race for two seats on the Davis Board of Education last fall. An attorney, he is a lobbyist for Los Angeles County.

“The last thing these brave men and women need is someone playing Monday morning quarterback about the hard-earned benefits they deserve for being on the front lines of every emergency that comes Davis’ way,” added Gina Nunes, a parent and school volunteer. “The Friends of Davis Firefighters is a group of concerned residents who are willing to say ‘enough is enough’ and show that the overwhelming majority of Davis citizens appreciate the hard work of these public servants.”

Nunes said the group plans to launch a public-awareness campaign using social media, local advertising and a website.

A Google search shows the website’s domain name, friendsofdavisfirefighters.com, was registered to Bobby Weist, the president of Davis Firefighters Local 3494, on Feb. 1.

But Weist said in an interview Wednesday that the union is not a part of the community group, which he said the firefighters learned of as they walked precincts in anticipation of a March council discussion of the staffing issue.

“They’re basically running the show,” Weist said. “Because we have mutual goals, we’re happy to offer them some resources to get their information out. We’re grateful that there’s a grassroots group of folks out there that supports what we support.”

The citizens’ group also has launched an online petition on thepetitionsite.com, titled “Stand Up for Davis Firefighters,” with a 1,000-signature goal.

City staff, meanwhile, have maintained that they support Kenley’s recommendations.

“We have a very good report that (Kenley) put together and now we’re scheduled for the council to make a decision,” City Manager Steve Pinkerton said Tuesday. “We stand by Kenley’s recommendations and if you look in the context of our budget, you can see why.”

“We also see (the change in staffing levels) as an improvement in service, not as a (detriment),” Pinkerton added.

Pinkerton and the city’s negotiating team also have yet to strike deals with the Local 3494 labor group. The union’s contract expired in June.

The city already has locked in new agreements with the Davis Police Officers’ Association and the Program, Administrative and Support Employee Association that make sizable cuts to city pension contributions, health benefits and retiree medical benefits.

Already, the Davis City Council has approved several other changes to Fire Department policy, including a modification of the city’s response-time goal from five minutes to a more “realistic” six (and six minutes, 20 seconds for first-alarm fires), a shared-management plan with the UC Davis Fire Department, and a potential service boundary drop between the city and university.

A decision regarding fire staffing was delayed once in January due to the lateness of that night’s council meeting, and a second time in March when council members voted to consider the matter during their discussions of the proposed 2013-14 budget, which was slated to be unveiled this week.

The council set a June 30 deadline to vote on the issue, with a mandatory “check-in” date of May 14.

— Enterprise staff writer Tom Sakash contributed to this report. Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurenKeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich RifkinApril 11, 2013 - 7:58 am

    "... friendsofdavisfirefighters.com, was registered to Bobby Weist, the president of Davis Firefighters Local 3494, on Feb. 1." ... Not only did Bobbie register the website for his paid "friends," he also used the p.o. box of his union as their mailing location ... "But Weist said in an interview Wednesday that the union is not a part of the community group." ... HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! The problem with dumb guys who are liars is that when they lie, they think you are stupid enough to believe them. ... A footnote to this story is the "citizen" who is associated with Bobbie and his union buddies: Alan Fernandes. Alan's only political tenet seems to be, 'when the public employee union tells me to jump, I say how high!' He ran for school board as a shill for the teachers union; now he is shilling for the firefighters union. And in the latter case, he disingenuously says it is on behalf of public safety, even though everyone with a brain knows that the Bobbie Weist model for fire staffing puts the people and property of Davis in danger compared with the Kenley reform plan.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20