The California Fire Service March-April 2023

Published since 1927 by California State Firefighters’ Association MARCH/APRIL 2023 INSIDE: Celebrating Women in Fire Service Understanding flammable refrigerant gases Shedding light on human trafficking

18 CSFA News 4 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 March/April 2019 • Volume 30, No. 2 CSFA News Benefits Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Benefits Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 By the numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 CSFA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Executive Director’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Fire Service Databank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Hubie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 The California Fire Service published by CSFA since 1927 1232 Q Street, 2nd Floor Sacramento, CA. 95811 800-451-2732 • Become a fan of CSFA on Facebook Executive Editor, Mike Shrout [email protected] Editor, Gary Giacomo [email protected] Artist, Dave Hubert [email protected] Design and Layout Editorial deadline 1st of the month preceding publication date (916) 410-1394 For advertising rates and deadlines call Gary Giacomo at (916) 410-1394 The California Fire Service ISSN: 1048-5074 (USPS 083920) is published bi-monthly by the California State Firefighters’ Association, Inc., 1232 Q Street, 2nd Floor Sacramento, CA. 95811, a non-profit organization formed in 1922 by firefighters to serve firefighters. Periodicals postage paid at Sacramento, CA and an additional mailing office. Copyright 2019 California State Firefighters’ Association. No material can be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: The California Fire Service, 1232 Q Street, 2nd Floor Sacramento, CA. 95811. Address editorial contributions to the above address, attention editor. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent CSFA policies or positions. CSFA awarded SAFER Grant By Kate Mewes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 New insurance programs now available By Robert Hamilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 After 61 years, Larry Huffman hangs up his helmet By Gary Giacomo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 ON THE COVER: Cadets from the Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy practice their ice rescue skills at Lake Baron in Meyers, near South Lake Tahoe. Photo by Leona Allen 20 March/April 2023 • Volume 35, No. 2 2021 6 P.O. Box 189187, 1P8. O2 6. BCoaxp 1i t8o9l 1 A8 7v,e n u e , Benefits Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Benefits Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 By the numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 CSFA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Executive Director’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Fire Service Databank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Hubie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 The California Fire Service ISSN: 1048-5074 (USPS 083920) is published bi-monthly by the California State Firefighters’ Association, Inc., 1232 Q Street, 2nd Floor Sacramento, CA. 95811, a non-profit organization formed in 1922 by firefighters to serve firefighters. Periodicals postage paid at Sacramento, CA and an additional mailing office. Copyright 2019 California State Firefighters’ Association. No material can be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: The California Fire Service, 1232 Q Street, 2nd Floor Sacramento, CA. 95811. Address editorial contributions to the above address, attention editor. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent CSFA policies or positions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Published since 1927 by California State Firefighters’ Association MARCH/APRIL 2023 INSIDE: Celebrating Women in Fire Service Understanding flammable refrigerant gases Shedding light on human trafficking ON THE COVER: Beverly Hills Fire Engineer Melissa Hillis instructing forcible entry techniques for El Segundo Fire Department Girls Camp 2022 along with El Segundo FD Fire Captain Tony Del Castillo. See related story beginning on page 6. 2023 P.O. Box 189187, 1826 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95818 non-profit organization Eddie Sell [email protected] Sacramento, CA 95818. Address editorial contributions P.O. Box 189187, P.O. Box 189187 Sacramento, CA 95818 Women’s Fire Alliance offers mentoring and so much more By Chief Deena Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 “Injured” after retirement By Richard Elder, CSFA recommended attorney . . . . . . . . . 10 Understanding flammable refrigerant gases By Kevin H. Scott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Bythenumbers....................22 CSFALeadership...................23 Executive Director’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 FireServiceDatabank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

President’s Message By Eddie Sell, Hemet Fire Department, CSFA President Are we leaving it better than we found it? he phrase and rhetorical question in the headline is one many of us have heard regarding the responsibility of paying it forward, paying homage to the fire service, and remembering those who came before us. When I heard that as a kid in high school starting off as a volunteer firefighter and Fire Explorer, I took it to heart, and fortunately I had career firefighters who took me under their wing to teach me the fundamentals that made the fire service thrive for decades. There are so many examples we have hopefully witnessed over the years of people who truly did leave it better than they found it. Can we say the same thing about our current era? Are we ensuring that firefighters who are early in their careers understand the importance of keeping this fundamental principle alive? It’s important to recognize that our workforce, both career and volunteer, come from many different backgrounds and customs. We cannot assume that everyone understands the concept of paying it forward, and why mentorship at all levels is critical. We have an opportunity to educate and mentor our workforce regarding the importance of being engaged, having a voice, and paying it forward. There are several examples of making assumptions about our new generation without context, or an understanding of people’s perspectives. Instead of mocking those members that don’t possess certain skills or abilities, why don’t we teach them? Instead of spreading rumors or engaging in hazing, why don’t we ask our members about their upbringing and to what they were or weren’t exposed? I never thought I’d see a time when the fire service was struggling to recruit and fill vacancies. This is not unique to one type of agency, but instead is impacting small rural areas, mid-sized departments, and metro departments. Most of us don’t have the time to study why this is happening. We are tasked with the duty of ensuring we staff our departments and meet the mission, and expectations of our residents. CSFA is taking an active role in hosting statewide recruitment and retention workshops, and collaborating with organizations on short term and long term solutions to address this new phenomenon. Part of “leaving it better than we found it” is taking a leadership role in education, training, and mentorship for the entire California fire service. Since January of 2023 CSFA has hit the ground running with hosting and participating in many events throughout the state. I have worked with our CSFA leadership and marketing team to participate at the CSFA Training Academy in Williams, CFPI in Santa Barbara, FDAC in Napa, Training Officer’s Symposium in Fresno, California Mutual Aid Summit and FIRESCOPE in Ventura, and of course we’re preparing for CTEX at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula. We can’t do it alone and I appreciate all of you who are mentoring, coaching, and inspiring current and future fire service professionals. Our membership will continue to grow one member at a time by sharing with people the positive direction CSFA is heading, and lowering the price of training and educational opportunities. Our CTEX event is one example of our passion and commitment to leave it better than we found it. We will continue to move forward as a team of engaged professionals that represent fire service agencies across our vast state. Stay well, and take the time to pass on fire service traditions that support positive growth, enhanced culture, and a sustainable future. T THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 5 Follow us on Twitter at @CSFAFIRE and on Instagram at csfafire. Like The California State Firefighters’ Association on Facebook. Engage online with YOUR association

6 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 By Deena Lee Women’s Fire Alliance Women’s Fire Alliance offers mentoring and so much more Southern California-based support group hopes to expand statewide Continued on page 9 am currently the Fire Chief of the El Segundo Fire Department where I have proudly served the past 20 years. I am passionate about creating opportunities for women in the fire service, and I am one of the founding members of the Women’s Fire Alliance. The Women’s Fire Alliance (WFA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and empowerment of Southern California women in all aspects of the fire service by promoting an equitable work environment. This organization was born in response to the ARISE Summit (A Reason to Include and Support Everyone) in March of 2018. The Los Angeles County Fire Department, with support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors hosted the event with the theme “Women in the Fire Service: Courage to Lead the Way.” This was the first time in Region 1 history that so many women firefighters were gathered under one roof. Following ARISE, a core group of tenacious women firefighters kept pushing forward with the idea of having an organization that would offer support from recruitment to retirement. The executive board co-chairs are Battalion Chief Linda Cessor (Los Angeles Fire Department) and Firefighter Paramedic Erin Regan (Los Angeles County Fire Department), Myself as Vice-Chair (El Segundo Fire Department), Secretary Captain Tamara Chick (Los Angeles Fire Department) and Treasurer Engineer Melissa Hillis (Beverly Hills Fire I Fired Up! Girls Empowerment Camp at El Segundo Fire Department in 2022.

he success and contributions of women should be celebrated every day of the year; however, March has been designated as the month that women are recognized around the globe. In that spirit, this article highlights some amazing accomplishments that remarkable women have made over the years. Women in the fire service trace back to 1818 when Mollie Williams served Oceanus 11 in New York City making her the first known woman and African-American woman to serve as a firefighter. Several decades later in 1858, Lillie Hitchcock Coit from San Francisco “at 15 years old, began her famous career with Knickerbocker Engine Company #5.”1 According to Women In Fire, “By the mid-1970’s, women were becoming career firefighters throughout the country. Among them were a number of African American women, including Genois Wilson of Fort Wayne, Indiana who was hired in 1975 and Toni McIntosh who started a year later in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”2 History shows women who have served with honor and bravery throughout the country in various roles throughout the fire service. As a woman in the fire service, I can honestly say growing up in northern California I never saw a female firefighter nor even knew that women could be firefighters. Frankly, I didn’t think that women couldn’t be firefighters; I just never thought of women serving as “firefighters.” I grew up operating heavy equipment with my dad (mostly shovels for me), riding motorcycles, fishing, and hunting. Pretty much, any and everything that my dad did. In essence, I was the son that he didn’t have (as of T THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 7 Some of Oakland Fire Department’s women firefighters. yet anyway). Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to go to college because I didn’t like being in the sun and dirt anymore. I went to college and earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. I spent a little over a year in an office setting when I realized that I needed and wanted something more in life. I had a couple of buddies who had enrolled into Emergency Medical Technician class (EMT) and convinced me to register for another semester of college which was by far the most difficult class I had ever taken, especially while working two jobs. After completing my EMT, I went to the California Fire Rescue Training Authority Firefighter 1 Academy that was hosted by Sacramento Metro Fire. The fire academy was 21 weeks long. This training was the most physically and mentally challenging thing that I had ever experienced. When I started the academy, there were five women in the program. After the first week, that number dropped down to 2. Being a firefighter was challenging and depending on who is leading the Academy, it can be very Cover Feature A peek into women in the fire service and one personal journey By Nicole McCall

8 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 Continued on page 17 paramilitary. Although some view this as unnecessary, I believe it is essential in preparing candidates mentally for things that firefighters encounter on a daily basis. Every woman in the process realizes the fire service is a male dominated profession, and we are reminded of this every time we go to a written or physical agility test, proficiency or certification class or even an out-of-county deployment for a mutual aid response. I have been employed with the Oakland Fire Department for nine years and will speak of my experiences, but recognizing that every woman, every minority, and every person has had a different and unique experience during their pursuit to becoming a career firefighter. After graduating from my FF1 Academy I applied to work for Cameron Park Fire/ Cal Fire AEU as a resident firefighter. I worked there for $40 a shift for a minimum of 2 shifts a week where we trained daily, and I got to apply what I learned in Academy to real life experiences. What was nice was that I was not the only woman, and felt I was treated fairly. As I started this residency, I also applied to work for the California Fire Rescue Training Authority as a Logistics Specialist where I worked under CAL OES Chiefs and was in charge of helping facilitate classroom classes as well as rescue, water, USAR classes, etc. This experience allowed me to network, learn and stay sharp with many specialized tools and equipment. I did this for a little over 2 years before I accepted an employment opportunity with the Oakland Fire Department. When I started Oakland’s process, the department had approximately 5 percent sworn women including a female fire chief. This wasn’t something I was considering when I applied. Like everyone else, I knew that this was my dream department and would do anything to work for the city! I ended up taking the first job offer that I received which happened to be with the City of Oakland. Was I lucky? Did I get the job because I was a woman? I didn’t care what everyone else said nor what their opinion was. I knew that I could perform the job and “holding my own” amongst all of my peers. I knew that I had prepared for the position, and had passed all the same requirements as everyone else who was standing next to me on the first day of the Academy. In my Academy there were 25 recruits, 4 of us being women and 1 non-binary firefighter. All 25 were sworn in as probationary firefighters on July of 2014. Oakland currently has about 32 sworn women across all ranks. We have had a female in every rank from fire chief to probationary firefighter. We have also had some of our female firefighters move on to other departments. My experience with Oakland has not been easy, and I cannot compare it to other departments that have no females or departments where you may have been the first female hired for your department. Oakland Fire Department has had women since the late 1970’s. These women were subjected to unwarranted comments, hazing, and unrealistic expectations but survived and endured and helped pave the way for future women such as myself. My probation was 18 months long. During these 18 months I worked across the city spending a month at the various stations in each of the 3 battalions. In hindsight, I would say that I was fortunate. For the most part, I was treated like my male counterparts. I never felt singled out nor pushed beyond unacceptable limits of behavior; however, I know that many women have experiences vastly different Oakland FD Engineer Koshman checking in on the author on her first multi alarm fire as an Engineer. History shows women who have served with honor and bravery throughout the country in various roles throughout the fire service.

THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 9 Department). The formation of the organization would not have been possible without matching donations from Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors: Hilda Solis, Holly J. Mitchell, Sheila Kuehl, Janice Hahn, Kathryn Barger. And Los Angeles City Council Members : Nithya Raman, Nury Martinez, Monica Rodriguez, and Joe Buscaino. Once we established a board of directors and bylaws, we eventually achieved our non-profit status. The six key areas we focus on are: 1) Identify current issues that need to be addressed through internal culture change. 2) Assist agencies in addressing issues that inhibit equity and consistency in hiring and training. 3) Promote community awareness for acceptance and respect of women in the fire service. 4) Establish internal networks and processes for mentoring and growth. 5) Identify ways to ensure that fire service work environments are welcoming and conducive to supporting parenting for all members. 6) Identify current areas where women may be negatively impacted. The mentorship program is the fastest growing area of our organization. WFA has over 80 women being supported through the academy, probation, and promotions. We have “text groups” set up. Women firefighters can answer questions and give advice, and everyone benefits from the information. We talk about everything from ladders to chainsaws to which wildland boots are best to many questions that male firefighters don’t have the answers to, like the best way to secure your hair. WFA has recently expanded our board of directors to include women and men of various departments and ranks. We are active in supporting girls empowerment camps and women’s fire preparation academies. We are working with the Los Angeles Area Regional Training Group to establish Q & A with potential future women firefighters and panel from WFA at Long Beach Women’s Fire Prep Academy 2022. Continued on page 16 Women’s Fire Alliance - Continued from page 6

10 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 oe” dedicated 30 years to the fire service, and retired in 2014 as a Fire Captain. For the last eight years of his work, he was on one medication for high blood pressure, but he did not make any claim for workers’ compensation benefits. No doctor told him his high blood pressure was related to his work. In 2020, Joe was on two blood pressure medicines, but he suffered a major stroke. He was not working in any capacity at that time. He filed no workers’ compensation claim. No one told him his stroke was related to any job. He was then confined to a wheelchair, and he could not speak. On November 15, 2021 a colleague suggested to Joe’s wife that she call me. I learned that Joe also suffered from different forms of “heart trouble.” We filed workers’ compensation claims alleging “date of injury” years through November 15, 2021. The workers’ compensation claims adjuster scoffed at the claim filed about seven years after Joe retired from all work, and they offered “nuisance value settlement of $2,500”. We rejected their offer. We began litigation. Recently, the employer’s comp carrier agreed to pay for past and future medical care, including home nursing care, and compensation for Joe’s wife for the care she provided. In addition, Joe receives more than $1,200 per week for workers’ compensation total disability benefits. The defendants will pay several million dollars in medical and disability benefits even though Joe’s “date-ofinjury” was long after he retired. (This extraordinary situation is a real claim, with name and some facts altered for identity protection. No lawyer, can promise these sorts of results, but it is “J “Injured” after retirement Legal Corner By Richard E. Elder, Jr. first “injury” but you probably give defendants a built-in “time limit” defense if you focus upon an old claim as you have only one year from “the date of injury” to file for comp. Time limits kill comp cases. It is not a defense to a time limit to claim “I didn’t think it was serious enough” or “I didn’t file because I was on the Captain’s list”. Time limits kill comp cases, so there is lots of litigation on time limits and lots of exceptions. For example, one major extension of the time limit provides if you receive any workers’ compensation benefit on an injury you probably have five years from the date of injury to file for comp. But there are complications that deserve professional advice on any serious claim. This article cannot cover all problems, injuries or exceptions. Seek counsel. In “Joe’s” case, defendants argued “Joe must have realized that his high blood pressure was job related years before the claim was filed so his claims must be barred by time limits.” We common for claims adjusters to “lowball” settlement offers). How can you win a claim long after retirement? You need help. “The date of injury in cases of occupational diseases or cumulative injuries is that date upon which the employee first suffered disability therefrom and either knew, or… should have known, that such disability was caused by his present or prior employment.” (California Labor Code 5412). “Date of injury” can be long after retirement, and it can be long after the worker suffers symptoms or time loss. What the employee knows and when they know it is crucial in these “cumulative” or “occupational disease” claims. Sometimes an under-represented worker files a claim alleging their firsttime loss as “the date of injury”. This may be a mistake. Often firefighters suffer aches and pains. Sometimes years intervene between time loss. You may feel tough or dedicated by filing five or twenty years after your

answered “If he knew it was job related, he would have filed” and “He didn’t even know he had heart trouble until 2021” and, finally, we asserted “You have the burden to prove when he knew his conditions were job related. He cannot speak now due to his stroke. You cannot prove his knowledge.” They never did prove when he knew the industrial nature of his conditions. Defendants shifted their attack to “His heart trouble was discovered more than five years after he retired which is beyond the statutory five-year extension of the “heart presumption”. Also, “he was not working in 2021 so his compensation is at the minimum rate, which means he cannot receive more than $150 per week.” We showed that his heart condition was certainly “developing” long before it was discovered in 2021, which activates the heart presumption and which also gives Joe “maximum earnings” by statute. There are several lessons to be learned. Valid workers’ compensation claims may arise long after you stop working. You may not want to assert old date of injury simply because you had symptoms or even time lost years ago. But even if you file on an ancient claim, you may also have a perfectly valid cumulative (wear-andtear) claim. Firefighters suffer any number of cumulative or occupational injuries-heart, cancer, back, knee, any joint, almost any internal condition, emotional illness including PTSD. Cumulative/occupational claims often are discovered after retirement and can be valid if properly presented. Beware of time limits. Help your colleagues or their family. When you learn of a retired firefighter who dies or is disabled due to some condition that might be job related, recommend that they consult counsel. Often spouses are less likely to “tough it out”. If a firefighter friend had not mentioned comp to Joe’s wife, they never would have pursued their rights. Claims adjusters are not your friend. Many adjusters are honest, but their job is to properly adjust your claim, follow the internal procedure of their employer (insurance company or adjusting agency) and ultimately save money for taxpayers. Some adjusters seem to delight in denying benefits. Serious conditions deserve serious representation. CSFA recommends THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 11 serious attorneys to represent you in workers’ compensation and disability retirement matters. About the author: For more than 50 years Richard Elder has represented firefighters and other safety officers in workers’ compensation and disability retirement matters. He is among the few such lawyers recommended by CSFA. He may be reached at 925-676-7991. Inland Empire (951) 276-1199 San Diego & Inland Empire

12 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 CSFA News irefighters are considered by the Department of Homeland Security as the first line of defense in the structure of our security matrix, and we serve as “sensors” in society. With the rare and unique benefit of being keepers of the public trust, firefighters and EMS professionals have a privileged position of seeing things others do not. Human trafficking, which may be forced labor trafficking, or sexual exploitation of both children and adults is happening all around us, in our cities, in suburbs and in rural areas. Firefighters and EMS professionals may be contacting and treating these victims without realizing the danger they are in or the torture they face. Human trafficking has long been exclusively in the hands of law enforcement, but it is time fire agencies empower their personnel to recognize and report suspicious activity. Human trafficking has emerged as one of the more significant political, legal, and social issues in the present era. While legislative and academic interest in trafficking has long been focused on social support programs and modernizing the criminal justice system to hold traffickers more accountable for their crimes (specifically commercial sexual exploitation), less attention has been paid to how to fully integrate fellow “first identifiers” into the national anti-trafficking response framework. First identifiers have been defined as those community partners that are likely to come into contact with signs or victims of modern-day slavery. The American fire and emergency medical services sit at a critical juncture of public health and homeland security and could serve as an innovative addition to local and state anti-trafficking task forces. As community-based first responders, they have unique access to environments which would be otherwise inaccessible to law enforcement or social services. Fire/EMS personnel enjoy a level of trust law enforcement generally does not. The public commonly sees fire and EMS as “helpers” and not “incarcerators.” This social equity allows them interpersonal contact and access to information disclosure police and federal agencies rarely enjoy. Keeping in line with their obligation and mission to protect vulnerable populations, first responders should be knowledgeable on predatory behavior they are likely to encounter including commercial sexual exploitation and forced/exploited labor trafficking. While quantifying the scope of trafficking has proven a difficult challenge, California has a significant problem. Funded by the Department of Health and Human F By Benjamin Thomas Greer and Heather Marques Illuminating the unseen: How fire and EMS professionals can assist in combatting human trafficking

THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 13 Services, the Polaris Project began operating the National Human Trafficking Hotline and Resource Center (NHTRC) in 2007 to assist victims of trafficking. Since its inception, the hotline has received more than 54,000 calls and has played a central role in the U.S. national strategy to combat trafficking. California has consistently ranked first in reporting states with 15.76 percent of the hotline’s incoming calls. In 2020, law enforcement arrested over 300 people for human trafficking from 33 of 58 counties across California indicating a pervasive statewide threat, impacting more than 57 percent of Californians. As anti-trafficking related awareness training is being widely adopted among public safety professionals, few specialized training options for Fire/EMS personnel exist. A majority of trafficking intervention training was designed for and focused on law enforcement and social service agencies. As sensors in the community, working 24-hours a day, first responders are exposed to immense amounts of information and are likely to encounter suspected human trafficking victims. Numerous research studies have demonstrated the fire and EMS professionals are under-utilized and under trained to identify and engage this crime. Beginning in 2020, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office partnered with the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association, the San Miguel, Rincon and San Diego fire departments and American Medical Response to provide the specialized training to an estimated 3,000 first responders. Starting in 2024, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (CalEMSA) will be requiring a modicum of training for paramedics and other first responders. This will be the first statewide mandate for emergency medical services in the state of California. Enacted in 2022, commencing July 1, 2024, Assembly Bill 2130 requires EMT-I, EMT-II, and EMT-P, upon initial licensure, to complete at least 20 minutes of training on issues relating to human trafficking. A jurisdiction’s criminal law reflects the values and morals of that community. The ability to refine and perfect a response defines its commitment to the cause. As our trafficking knowledge matures, decision-makers must look for creative strategic and tactical methods to illuminate exploitation. The California Training & Education Expo (CTEX) provides the perfect venue to start this conversation. At the 2023 CTEX conference we will instruct on the criminal elements of human trafficking, future anti-trafficking training requirements, and how CSFA members can engage and support the fight against modern-day slavery. About the authors: Heather Marques is an Alameda County Fire Department BC with 17 years in the fire service. She has served as a Firefighter/Paramedic/HazMat Specialist, a Fire Captain/Paramedic/Water Rescue Specialist, an operational Battalion Chief, and now Division Chief of Medical Services. She is a State Certified Instructor and skills evaluator, as well as serving as preceptor and proctor for the department and teaches with the Fire Academy Cadre. She is a member of the East Bay Incident Management Team, and a chairperson for the California State Firefighter’s Association. Marques is the author of the history book, Alameda County Fire Department and serves as the historian for the ACFD. Marques holds an A.S. in Paramedicine, a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and has completed her coursework for the Master of Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Department of Homeland Security in Monterey. Her thesis is called Working Fire: Recruitment and Retention of Women Firefighters. She is passionate about finding pathways to promote growth and innovation in the California Fire Service. Heather is married to a retired Fire Captain/Paramedic, and they have two little girls together. Benjamin Thomas Greer, J.D., M.A. is an Emergency Management Instructor, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Mr. Greer’s role at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is as a subject matter expert in the field of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation; specifically instructing and developing human trafficking courses for law enforcement and emergency management personnel. Before joining Cal OES, he served as a Special Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General. He led a team of attorneys and non-attorneys in a comprehensive report for the California Attorney General entitled, “The State of Human Trafficking in California 2012” and published extensively on various aspects of trafficking. Aside from his work with CalOES, he recently graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security Master’s Degree Program and is a Research Associate for the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking (CCARHT). At the 2023 CTEX conference Benjamin Thomas Greer and Chief Heather Marques will instruct on the criminal elements of human trafficking, future anti-trafficking training requirements, and how CSFA members can engage and support the fight against modern-day slavery.

14 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 mentioned in my last message that CSFA would be visible across the state in 2023, and I am happy to report that we are living up to that commitment. I met many of you at the Fire District’s Association meeting in Napa and at the Training Officer’s Symposium in Fresno. Closer to home I was able to meet with our mechanic members at the Fire Equipment Showcase in Rancho Cordova. Our RV 1 team has also been making station visits throughout Riverside County in anticipation of CTEX. I hope to meet many of you personally at CTEX. CTEX offers great training, but also excellent networking opportunities. In addition, the CSFA President’s Dinner on Tuesday night and the screening of the film Florian’s Knights on Wednesday evening (with a question and answer session with the film makers and cast members) are designed to be both fun and informative. Remember if you cannot attend for the full week, single day registrations are still available, and as a CSFA member you can attend the vendor show on Wednesday at no cost. A new charity focused on first responder training and support Building upon CSFA’s rich history of support for the entire California fire service, I am happy to announce the formation of CSFA’s affiliated 501c3 nonprofit charity, California First Responder Support Team (CFRST). The mission of CFRST is to provide training, equipment and other needed services to volunteer, combination and small paid fire departments. In addition to training and equipment, CFRST will provide support services for first I responders experiencing PTSD. “Often these smaller California fire departments barely have enough revenue to keep the lights on,” notes CFRST President Eddie Sell. “Things like training and new equipment to keep first responders safe are often not even an option for these departments. At CFRST we believe it is our duty to support those who risk their lives to serve their communities with little or no compensation.” In support of CFRST, the 5 Alarm 5k and Chili Cookoff will be held on May 13 at Black Miner’s State Park in Folsom. Get a team together from your department, and cook some great chili for a great cause. CFRST membership is open to all who have an interest in supporting California’s first responders. CFRST accepts one-time donations, corporate and group donations, and offers individual memberships at several levels. For donation and membership information contact me at [email protected] Executive Director Message By Marty Creel, CSFA Executive Director CSFA is on the move; new charity will help fund training CSFA Executive Director Marty Creel (left) and CSFA Education Committee Chair Jason Hosea make an informational presentation on firefighter personal protective equipment to the Daughters of the American Revolution. CSFA’s Marketing Team members Richard and Marty Gonzales, Christy Forward, and CSFA Executive Director Marty Creel at the California Emergency Equipment Showcase in Rancho Cordova.

Top cash prize to the charity of your choice is $1000! Second Place $500 and Third Place $250 Trophies and bragging rights too! Bring your team of up to 5 to Black Miners Bar State Park in Folsom May 13 and get cooking! Contact [email protected] for rules and to register. So you make a great firehouse chili? Prove it!

16 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 Beverly Hills Fire Department Girls Empowerment Camp 2022. Back row: Tanya Crabbe Firefighter Paramedic Los Angeles Fire Department, Sequoia Barrera San Bernardino County Fire Hand Crew, Katya Oneill Firefighter Orange County Fire Authority, Missy Forret Firefighter Orange County Fire Authority, Cinnamon Basco Fire Engineer Costa Mesa Fire Department, Carly Gire Firefighter Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department, Naomi Forgay Probationary Firefighter West Covina Fire Department, Lauren Andrade Fire Captain/Bagpipes Orange County Fire Authority. Front row: Samantha Harper Firefighter Hemet Fire Department, Melissa Hillis Fire Engineer Beverly Hills Fire Department, Andrea Binley Fire Captain San Bernardino County Fire Department a facility where firefighters will be afforded training and educational opportunities in a setting that promotes equity for women and all members of the fire service. This facility will also address the childcare needs of women interested in fire service careers who are hindered by the availability of childcare while they train. LAFD Fire Chief Kristin Crowley has committed to developing a strategic plan with the Women’s Fire Alliance. The vision is to have the Women’s Fire Alliance as the umbrella over the other women firefighter organizations like LAFD’s Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service (LAWFS) and LA County Fire’s Women’s Fire League (WFL). Ultimately, WFA would like to expand to include women firefighters in northern and central California. A partnership with CSFA is the way to make that happen. CSFA shares our values of supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and service. CSFA is the only statewide fire service organization that serves the needs of all of the state’s firefighters-paid career, paid call, volunteer, municipal, private and military and from all ranks - from fire science students to fire chiefs. WFA and CSFA are dedicated to giving back to the fire service - the brotherhood and sisterhood that has given us so much. Deena Lee is the fire chief of the El Segundo Fire Department. She may be reached at Dlee@elsegundo. org. For more information about the Women’s Fire Alliance visit https:// Women’s Fire Alliance - Continued from page 9

THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 17 Cover Feature - Continued from page 8 than mine. There are still times to this day where men will not acknowledge me. It has happened in my department, and a few in neighboring departments when taking classes or on strike teams. Unfortunately, I expect it from the older generation of firefighters who still perceive the job as one being for “men only.” Furthermore, there are some who still refuse to admit that women are just as capable if not more capable than them to do the job. They do not know me or my work ethic, or the path that I took to be where I am today. I never expect that sort of mistreatment from men around my age or members who have 5-15 years on the job. Whatever their reason, it doesn’t matter to me. I go on with my day knowing that I never want anyone to feel what that feels like. Working with and listening to one another, we can make the future better regardless of the “fireman” holding people back. Again, I must acknowledge and profusely thank the women who came before me at the Oakland Fire Department who made my path less emotionally painful and treacherous. I think it is safe to say most men are slow to welcome women into “their” department and even more hesitant to invite them on their crew. A lot of departments claim to be diverse, and their application process is open to everyone. Equality and Equity are always buzz words. Yet, after reading many definitions online, I believe that my city gives everyone the same resources and opportunities to succeed as well as being treated fair and impartial. Next is inclusion; According to IAFC, “people being accepted, having positive interactions with one’s peers and being valued for who they are”3. Every administration can claim their department is inclusive, but only the boots on the ground can speak to validating that assertion. Inclusive and belonging have yet to take root in a lot of agencies. Women are still referred to as “firemen or hosemen. Terminology is important to the fight for inclusion and belonging in the fire service. Fire Chiefs in many agencies still use the term fireman. My department still struggles with having every station have a locker room or bathroom specific for women. They get labeled as non-gender specific bathrooms, allowing anyone in the firehouse to use them. Because of this, in some instances, there are not any specific accommodations for women and the nongender specific locker rooms or restrooms are dirty and or in poor condition. Many women still struggle and fight for PPE that are properly fitted and designed for women which include but are not limited to turnouts, boots, wool pants, and wildland PPE. As women, we know the struggles that our fellow women face, and we do our best to help one another succeed, fight the odds and make the fire service better for everyone. We understand what those before us have endured and what others still go through today in 2023. Unity is critically important and as human beings, we have to band together to make the fire service better for all members, and not just women. We understand some of the issues that fire service members experience due to their size, ethnicity or orientation. There have been many women firefighter mentor groups that have introduced to the public and young girls the extraordinary career opportunity of being a firefighter. These camps allow young girls the opportunity to see that they too can grow up and become a firefighter. Another aspect of mentoring is to encourage career firefighters to test for promotions and climb up the organizational ladder. There are programs like Women in Fire, NorCal First Alarm Girls Fire Camp, Golden State Women in the Fire Service and Women’s Fire Alliance to name a few. These programs foster positive relationships among women interested in the fire service. No matter what stage that one may be in, there are resources and women who have paved the way to assist you in becoming successful. Unfortunately, there are still men in the profession who cringe when they hear about these life changing opportunities or think that it is just women complaining or conspiring to figurative take out men. In today’s time, it’s disappointing that this is the thought processes of some of my fire service family members. We know these same members probably said in an interview that they would do anything to make the department better! Another unfortunate fact is that in 2023, we are still celebrating the FIRST as it pertains to women. The first female hire, the first African American hire or promoted for that matter. While these may be joyful moments we must ask ourselves, WHY and as female firefighters we must commit to one another that this is something that we all will strive to change. Departments should represent the diverse communities that they serve. As I mentioned above, these were my personal experiences. I know that I strive every day to make the fire service better for all, and especially the women. SOURCES 1: 2: been%20firefighters%20for,Company%20%2311%20in%20 about%201815. 3: service,heard%20and%20respected.(1) About the author: Nicole McCall is a lieutenant with Oakland Fire Department assigned to Station 12B serving downtown and Chinatown. She also serves as the chair of the CSFA Leadership Equity Diversity Service (LEDS) Committee and is Vice President of The Oakland Women & Nonbinary firefighters (TOWN).

18 • THE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 here is a vast array of gases available for use in mechanical refrigeration systems and air-conditioning equipment. The California Mechanical Code recognizes over 150 different materials used as refrigerants. Some of these gases are classified as highly flammable; some are classified as highly toxic; and some are neither flammable nor toxic. See Table 1 for a breakdown of refrigerant classifications. The classification of hazard will dictate the type of refrigeration system, and the type of occupancy where each of these different refrigerants can be used. While each refrigerant has different characteristics with regard to flammability and toxicity, they also have different characteristics when considering environmental impacts and global warming. We have seen in the past, environmental restrictions affecting the use of Halon as a fireextinguishing agent, we are now experiencing restrictions of certain refrigerant gases because of their impact on global warming. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established limits on the use of refrigerants based on their global warming potential (GWP). The end result, is that traditional refrigerants linked to ozone layer depletion and global warming are no longer allowed for use in new refrigeration or cooling systems. As the refrigeration industry develops new refrigerants to comply with the EPA rules, some of these new refrigerants present a low level of flammability. Refrigerants with a lower flammability have resulted in the new classification of Safety Group A2L (shown in Table 1). Several new refrigerants that meet the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) T criteria and guidelines for protection of the environment fall into the Group A2L classification. Group A2L refrigerants present a higher flammability than the traditional Group A1 refrigerants which have been used in residential systems for years. To comply with the EPA, and more importantly in California, the CARB requirements new installations of air conditioning systems in residential occupancies and homes could involve the use of these lower flammability refrigerants, referred to as Group A2L refrigerants. The reality is that Group A2L refrigerants are in use today. They can be found in window mount air-conditioners, the air-conditioning system in automobiles and other refrigeration systems. The change is that they will soon be used in residential buildings, including dwellings. Currently, over 80% of new vehicles sold in the United States contain Group A2L refrigerants. In 2018, over 26 million Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) units were sold and installed across the globe containing Group A2L refrigerants. Group A2L has been chosen as the next best solution to address the global warming issues where refrigerants are used. Some Group A1 refrigerants currently or previously utilized in air-conditioning systems can burn under the right conditions. R-410A refrigerant has been the primary choice for air-conditioning systems for several years. Even though it is classified as Group A1, under elevated temperatures it can ignite and burn. The description for Group A2L refrigerants in Table 1 indicates they are hard to ignite. This means that a strong ignition Fire Prevention by Kevin H. Scott Understanding flammable refrigerant gases

source is needed, such as an open flame. Whereas Group A3 refrigerants can be ignited by a smaller ignition source, such as the spark from operation of a standard light switch. Additionally, the velocity of flame propagation must be less than 3.9 inches per second for a refrigerant to be classified as Group A2L. Flame propagation is the speed at which the flame front will move through a cloud of refrigerant gas. This means, that with a flame propagation of less than 3.9 inches per second, ignition of a gas cloud will not result in an explosion—you can literally walk faster than the speed of the flame front. Since these refrigerants will be moving into new residential air-conditioning systems, research was conducted to determine the risks to firefighters. Underwriters Laboratories teamed with the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and fire safety professionals to research and document the actual hazards presented. The fire safety professionals included representatives from California State Fire Marshal’s Office, National Association of State Fire Marshals, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and International Association of Fire Fighters among others. The fire testing and research concluded in early 2021, and the final report “A2L Refrigeration and Firefighter Tactical Considerations” was published in March 2021. The report can be obtained at A series of fire tests were performed at UL to simulate Group A2L refrigerant release during a fire situation in a dwelling. The question being…Will the Group A2L refrigerants make a significant impact to the fire hazards or the life hazards to the occupants or responding firefighters? Group A2L refrigerants were compared to Group A1 refrigerants which have been utilized in residential air-conditioning systems for many years. What was learned Group A2L refrigerants will produce hydrogen fluoride when the refrigerant is burned. However, it also became evident that even the Group A1 refrigerants produce hydrogen fluoride when burned. The Group A2L tests produced approximately 1-2% more hydrogen fluoride than the Group A1 tests. Hydrogen fluoride is an acid and toxic, however it is readily diluted with water. Normally, there is plenty of water at a fire. As far as the flammability, the results of the testing showed Group A2L to be very similar to Group A1 refrigerants. Table 1 indicates that Group A1 does not ignite at normal temperatures, but may ignite at elevated temperatures. In a dwelling fire, the temperatures are adequate for some Group A1 refrigerants to ignite. However, the flame spread and heat release rate from Group A2L refrigerants is only slightly higher the Group A1 refrigerants. Group A1 refrigerants, which are described as having “no flame propagation at normal temperatures” can ignite at elevated temperatures and can produce hydrogen fluoride when they burn. The UL testing concluded that the hazard of Group A2L refrigerants is very similar to Group A1 refrigerants. What do firefighters need to know Upon arrival at the scene, you will most likely not know if the refrigerant used is flammable or not. Therefore, always assume that the refrigerant is flammable. The temperatures of a fire can damage refrigerant piping and fittings, releasing the contents. A release will most likely not be visible because the refrigerant will vaporize immediately upon release from the system. Most refrigerants produce hazardous substances when burned. Combustible byproducts can be toxic, possibly creating hydrogen fluoride. Both Group A1 and Group A2L refrigerants can result in the formation of hydrogen fluoride. Hydrogen fluoride is toxic, but can be easily diluted with water. Providing pressure ventilation will also move the byproducts outside. Standard personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus will offer protection against these hazardous byproducts. Conclusion The research and testing regarding Group A2L refrigerTHE CALIFORNIA FIRE SERVICE MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2023 • 19 Continued on page 21