tv Fire Commission SFGTV April 17, 2021 10:00am-1:01pm PDT
>> clerk: the time is 9:03. this meeting is being held by webex pursuant to the governor's and mayoral orders declaring the existence of a local emergency. during covid-19 emergency, the fire commission's regular meeting at city hall is closed, and meeting of the fire commission will convene remotely. you may watch live -- i'm going to mute. you may watch live at sfgovtv.org, and to participate during public comment by phone,
please call 1-415-655-0001 and use access code 187-161-6344. comments will be addressed in the order that they are received. when the commission announces that they are taking public comment, members of the public may raise their hand by pressing star, three, where you will be moved into the queue to speak. when prompted, callers will have the standard three minutes to provide comment. please ensure that you are in a quiet location, speak clearly, and turnoff any t.v.s or radios around you. item one, roll call. [roll call]
>> clerk: item 2, general public comment. members of the public may address the commission for up to three minutes on any matter within the commission's jurisdiction that does not appear on the agenda. speakers shall address their remarks to the commission as a whole and not to individual commissioners or department personnel. commissioners are not to enter into debate or discussion with a speaker. the lack of a response by the commissioners or department personnel does not necessarily constitute agreement with or
support of statements made during public comment, and i will check the public comment line. >> president feinstein: thank you. >> clerk: and we do not have anybody on the public comment line. >> president feinstein: all right. public comment shall be closed. next item, please. >> clerk: item 3, approval of the minutes, discussion and possible action to approve the meeting minutes from the regular meeting on march 24, 2021, and there's nobody on the public comment. >> president feinstein: okay. public comment will be closed. i see commissioner covington wishes to address this topic, am i right? >> commissioner covington: yes, please. >> president feinstein: okay. >> commissioner covington: thank you. madam president, there's a section of the minutes that has to do with the short interchange between me and the
chief of the department regarding my questions about the ethnic breakdown of the current recruit class. i think there needs to be a more robust encapsulation of that conversation, when i ask her what the breakdown is of the class. she said, with her check in of human resources, she cannot give that information. i would like to have all of that included in the minutes, please. >> president feinstein: well, i think i have to turn to our secretary in terms of amending the minutes. i mean, anything that was said
or discussed can be included in the minutes, but miss conofre, what can be included in there? >> clerk: so you want the discussion about the check in with human resources? >> commissioner covington: okay. i want the discussion. i want the information from the human resources department because i asked for that previously, and i would like all of that included, please.
>> clerk: okay. >> commissioner covington: and with that, i would like to move acceptance of the minutes as amended. >> commissioner cleaveland: i will second that, madam president. >> president feinstein: all right. thank you, commissioner cleaveland. is there any further comment on that from the commissioners on that request -- on the motion? i'm sorry. commissioner nakajo, please. >> commissioner nakajo: i need a point of clarification, madam president. commissioner covington, in terms of your remarks, is there a motion required in terms of your inclusion of your remarks or since that meeting occurred and you're identifying your comments, can that be amended within the amendments? >> commissioner covington: yes, uh-huh, and that's what i was asking -- that's what i was asking for, and then, i moved that the minutes be accepted as
amended. >> commissioner nakajo: okay. thank you for that clarification. i thought i heard commissioner cleaveland second the motion to -- >> president feinstein: you're correct. >> commissioner nakajo: so i know understand that we're talking about the minutes that just occurred. thank you, madam president and commissioner covington and commissioner cleaveland. >> president feinstein: okay. thank you, commissioner nakajo. i think we would need a roll call vote on that. >> clerk: okay. [roll call] >> clerk: it's unanimous. item 4, chief of department's report, report from chief of department, jeanine nicholson, on current issues, activities,
and events within the department since the fire commission meeting on march 24, 2021, including budget, academies, special events, communications, and outreach to other government agencies and the public and update from chief parks and tony boone of the health, safety, and wellness division, and introduction of the dr. jeremy lacucque, medical director. >> good morning, president feinstein, commissioners, command staff, and dr. lacocque, and mr. boone. our covid vaccination rate has
been going up. there is a 72% first-dose rate, and we are finding that there is a delay between the doses administered and getting entered into the system. so we are doing well in terms of people getting vaccinated, and we are supplying members that are vaccinating folks, whether it be at treasure island, which we did a big push the last couple of weeks, and i want to thank chief articeros for working with the department so hard on that. so that's our vaccination update for today. in terms of the budget, we are still working with m.b.o., mayor's budget office, and having conversations with the budget, and again, we'll continue to keep you updated
when we know more, but really, we are -- i have been making the case to keep us whole because any cuts would be even more damaging and would impact our operations. so i believe that i have definitely been heard by the mayor's office, but we are just waiting for the mayor's office budget to come out, so i will advise you when that -- when that happens. since our last commission meeting, i participated in a couple of interesting meetings -- well, a lot of interesting meetings, but one was women at work that was run by the head of d.h.r., carol eisen, and it featured speakers such as city administrator carmen chu and the commission on the status of women, kimberly ellis. they gave a one-hour sort of
panel. i also participated in firescope board of directors meetings, which is a very intensive meeting, and it's a group that does a ton of great work for the fire service throughout the state of california in terms of policies for large incidents such as wild lands and other things to make sure that when everybody comes to the incident and comes to the table, we are all speaking the same language, and understands the systems that we set up and how to work collaboratively together. i visited station 35, the fireboat, our new floating station. i'm excited to see the progress of that, and chief dewitt has done incredible work down there. if you would like to visit, please let me know, and we can
work with chief dewitt to set it up for you, but we are waiting on the electrical connections is basically the issue there. they're really close to finishing the interior. i had a really productive shield visit out at the cliff house -- not inside the restaurant, outside, with supervisor for district one, connie chan. we gave her a display of not just our cliff rescue but our surf rescue and all the different components involved there as well as our medical response, and it was really very enlightening for her to be able to see that. i think it's really important for us to run through to see what we are doing so they understand when we are working on our budget with them, they
understand what we are doing. and we are going to continue this with other supervisors, hold drills in their districts, you know, to show them all the different services that we provide, how we all handle the department, and i think this can help future budget discussions. this sunday marks the commemoration of the 1906 earthquake. there won't be a large event due to covid, but i will be there to mark this important day in our history and remind the public please stay vigilant and be prepared, so i will be there at 5:00 p.m. on sunday. i do have a mayor's department head meeting at 9:30.
happens every month during this meeting at 9:30, so i will be going to that. you may also have noticed that a general order has gone out for a new fire marshal. fire marshal dicosio, my beloved fire marshal, will be leaving at the end of this fiscal year. i know i'm going to miss him terribly because he is so great at his job, but he is here for us during the transition. he's really putting some policies and some other stuff in place in writing and will be here to ensure a smooth transition because we know how important the -- his position is not just for the fire department but for the entire city. the street crisis response team
and e.m.s. 6 are still doing incredible, incredible work housing people. they even got one of their highest user conserved and into a facility outside of san francisco. the people that we are still staffing residents for for our -- the folks that we put their during covid, some of them have severe alcohol and drug use and mental health issues, we put them in a hotel with our staff, and they have reduced the calls by working with our individuals by 97%, and those were some of our top,
top, top users of 911. so we can see when we put our resources in the right places, the good work that comes out of it. and i'm happy that chief parks, our health, safety, and wellness chief, and tony boone, they will be giving you a report, but i'd first like to introduce. i would just like him to introduce himself. dr. lacocque?
>> thank you, chief nicholson. it's a privilege to be able to work for the fire department and advocate for all the men and women that work for the fire department, so i'm very glad to be here. i'm always open for communications, so let me know how i can support you. >> thanks, doc. and he's supporting -- he's supporting our members, you know, and working with chief tong and others to ensure that we continue to provide great care to people in san francisco and address any issues that may come up. we take pride in the medical work that we do, and we just want to continue to do better every day, so thank you, doc. and i know chief parks and our friend, tony boone, are here,
as well to give their report. >> president feinstein: chief nicholson? >> yes. >> president feinstein: may i -- i know you need to depart quite shortly for your next meeting or what we call a meeting now, teams, zoom, webex, so -- but i would like you to be present. i would just like to ask dr. lacocque a question, if i might. doctor, you have an incredibly impressive c.v., and i read it quite carefully, and we feel very lucky to have you, so i want to thank you for that, and, you know, given what your background is, and the chief's
absolutely accurate comment that this is not your first rodeo, i still remain concerned by the covid vaccination rate among members, that it's 72%, and i don't know why that is. and if this is an unfair question as you just arrived, please tell me that, but i wonder if you have any thoughts on steps that the department might be able to take to convince those who can safely receive a vaccine to --
could introduce himself and i thought the president would be the first to ask a question and say hello. i just thought we could do a common courtesy of the commissioners to the doctor. >> commissioner rodriguez: i think that's very courteous, that idea. i would like to welcome the doctor, and i look forward in the future to when we can work together, and that's about. i think i'm going to leave here and get back on again because something happened to this thing here. >> commissioner covington: we can see you, commissioner rodriguez, and we can hear you. >> commissioner rodriguez: okay. thank you. >> commissioner nakajo: commissioner covington, would you like to go after that, then myself? >> commissioner covington: surely, thank you. well, definitely good to meet you, dr. lacocque, and to have
you with us. i hope you will have a long tenure in the department. >> president feinstein: all right. commissioner cleaveland? >> commissioner cleaveland: just want to just say good morning and welcome, dr. la la -- dr. lacocque. welcome to the best fire department in the country, and i think you've made a wise choice. >> president feinstein: thank you. commissioner nakajo. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you. i didn't want to hijack the meeting. i wanted to get a pronunciation on your name. >> lacocque. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you. it's better for me to hear
that. you're following in some very big shoes. simon was a very giving doctor, and very efficient, and just really regret that he didn't have an opportunity to thank him properly for the service that he gave, as well. i've reviewed your resume, so we know that you're very well qualified. thank you for coming to our department and supporting us, and thank you, madam president and the chief of the department. >> president feinstein: thank you, commissioner nakajo, and again, i'm just exercising the prerogative of the chair here before chief nicholson departs. i'm not sure that there's anything that says that h.r.
needs to process fire marshal dicosio's retirement papers. i would ask that you consult with them, and i will consult with our city attorney, too. we don't always get what we want. you know, it's such a big loss for the department because i sure have learned, in a short amount of time, your portfolio is huge, and you are leaving gigantic shoes that i don't know how they're going to be filled, unless we stop you from leaving, and then, you can wear your own shoes to work. i know we'll be seeing you again -- we better be.
you know, i guess i'm happy for you, but not so happy for the department, and want to make sure that before you disappear, like, on vacation or something, that you know how much everything you do is appreciated. that's it. >> madam president, i'm going to take my leave now for the mayor's department head meeting. >> president feinstein: all right. have fun, chief. okay. are we now ready to move onto hear all about our health, safety, and wellness department? >> yes.
>> president feinstein: i'm sorry. i'm looking at very little squares on a very small laptop, so i'm sorry here. >> cl . >> okay. thank you, everyone. my name is acting batallion chief natasha parks. i am the health, safety, and wellness chief. i will be presenting with tony boone who's our industrial [inaudible]. >> good morning, everyone. >> what is the health, safety, and wellness office do? it was created in september of
2019 to develop and organize the health, wellness, and safety initiatives of all uniformed members. our goals are cancer prevention and coordination with the san francisco firefighters cancer prevention foundation, to improve members' behavioral health and their overall health and coordination with the physician's office. i supervise the behavioral health unit, the critical incident response team called cert, and the beer response team. i also supervise the industrial hygienist and attend and represent san francisco fire department at various meetings including the safety and health round tape for the city and county of supervision, the covid question-and-answer meeting, the women's firefighter cancer cohort
meeting, which i'll get into in a little bit. i also chair the health and safety committee. >> good morning. and my name is tony boone. for those of you who don't know me, i've been in the department since 2017. as you can see, there are a lot of letters behind my name. i'm a certified safety professional, a certified hazard materials manager, and a certified fire inspector. i bring close to 30 years of health and safety to the department. my role as the industrial hygienist is to review and update the plans, such as the workplace violence prevention and environmental plan called the spill and counter measures
prevention plan and other measures related to health and safety and environmental to keep us in compliance with the cal-osha and the california department of environment control, otherwise known as the cal-epa. i recommend counter measures to try to prevent injuries in the future. i've also developed and delivered and recorded training that included, so far, in the department, hearing conservation, bloodborne pathogens and others. one of the roles that i've taken on is to update the california health and environmental wellness at the fire stations and taken that
off of chief dewitt and assist with the facility inspections, the hazmat inspections for all fire stations, and lastly, provide health and safety and industrial hygiene support as necessary. >> i'm just going to get into our behavioral health unit. our behavioral health unit has two full-time san francisco fire department members. they're available 24-7 to the members of the department for them and their families. we also have the critical incident response team, which we started last year, and they're available for incidents such as light duty, deaths or serious injury of a member. currently, there's eight members of four to nine members on a team, and they rotate on a weekly basis. we have the peer support team,
and we have the critical response team and peer support team are located on the portico ave. for all the members to see, and they also have their cell phone -- cordico app for all the members to see, and they also have their cell phone, so they can talk to them at any time. we had a mental health first aid classes on march 18 and 19. that was through the health
services system. it was free to all members. we asked all peer support team members to attend. we had a pretty good showing. i think it was a maximum of 15 to 20 people per class, and we had about 20 the first-class and maybe 15 the second class. we also had the stanford university peace officer studies. [inaudible] and we can find those in the fire protective turnouts and firefighter [inaudible] and pfas is what they're called. there's evidence that exposure can have adverse health effects, low birth weight,
cancer, and other effects. so the pfas came and they collected samples from volunteers. they'll be doing that for a couple of months. i think we have a few pictures. so they videotaped and took blood and urine samples of people in the department, and that'll be on going, so hopefully, we can see how much pfas are in the systems of firefighters. there's pfas in san francisco currently right now. we have it in the firefighting foam, but we're hoping to get it out of the foam and also in the fire department gear, but that'll be more in the future as more demand happened.
march was nutrition awareness month, so we had fruit boxes distributed to station, and these are nurse phelps and the doctor showing what the fruit boxes were. we work closely with physician's office to provide members information about cardiovascular health, weight, stress, and nutrition. we've got some upcoming classes, suicide prevention classes on may 5 and 6. that's sponsored by the national first responders fund, so you don't have to put any resources into that. and then, we've got upcoming peer support classes may 24 and 26 as well as into july. they're sponsored by the national first responders fund. they'll be taught by the national first responders network. and then, we have our upcoming
departments participate in the [inaudible] study. there's a women's firefighter study studying stress, cancer risk, and reproductive toxicity. we do an incumbent women firefighters and recruits for the current class and then develop effective strategies to mitigate these conditions, so that'll be in may before they start their live fire training. and then lastly, we will be getting a peer support dog and handling hopefully in the next month or two, a certified peer support dog to help members responding to fire incidents to help members to decompress as well as visit stations, to
interact with members, lowering their stress levels. tony? >> okay. and so what we're also working on is a couple of other plans that are required by cal-osha, and the first one is the aerosol transmissible disease, and i highlighted who was covered by this standard. you can see where paramedics and those responders who respond to the public are also covered by this standard. some of the other aerosol transmissible diseases that are covered by this
standard are listed here. i've written a draft for each of these programs that are being you haditied for comment and going through the chain -- being edited for comment and going through the chain to be implemented in the department. next slide, chief. what i've done in the not-too-distant past is during the covid pandemic, we've increased and upped the n95 fit testing for all members. i've even got train the trainers, so i do all that fit testing to get all involved personnel, and due to the shortages at the start of the pandemic, we've had to kind of
shuffle around to get all personnel tests on different types and different manufacturers of n95. one type of n95 mask isn't the same as another. i personally have done scba fit testing for several e.m.t. and the 126 firefighter academy classes to make sure they have the right scba mask when they get out into the field. one of those things that cover the other as necessary, station 7 had some tile damage on the ceiling, and so we sampled those tiles, and the glue that kept the tiles to the roof sampled for asbestos. i'm happy to say that all of it came back nondetectable for asbestos, so there was no
asbestos at station 7. this slide and the next slide are just examples of what we talked about about analyzing trends to implement intervention strategies. i don't expect you to read all of that, but the high tent pole is over exertion and strains, and we've seen that over the last few years, the biggest cause of injury for many of our members is over exertion and strain, so we have to work on development and intervention strategies to get those down. one of the things that we did, we found out a lot of these injuries were happening on the -- on the vehicles, and so we implemented a three points of contact video to try to reduce the -- the level of injuries and the intervention
in terms of [inaudible] personnel to have three people on the vehicle at all times. next slide, chief. you can see the difference in the next slide between 2019 and 2020. 2021, the gray part, is only the first quarter, but we're seeing where we can implement other strategies and other tactics to try to reduce the injuries going through our members. next slide, chief. and last but not least, i perform -- assist with the underground storage tanks inspection. many are stored underground, and you have to inspect them monthly. and i also perform the inspection of the above-ground tanks that are located at station 49.
the purpose of all of this is to make sure that the fire department does and remains good environmental stewarted as well as keeping the city stave so with the materials that we use that -- stewards as well as keeping the city safe so with the materials that we use, and that's what i've done over the last couple of years. so i'm done, chief. >> yeah. is there any questions? >> clerk: president feinstein went to go get water. >> commissioner nakajo: i have a question, but i'll wait until she gets back, i guess. >> clerk: okay.
>> clerk: and there's nobody on the public comment line. >>. >> president feinstein: commissioners? as i said, commissioner rodriguez, you're a little tiny square, so my apologies. >> commissioner rodriguez: okay. any way, i'd like to thank parks and boone for the report. it's really nice to hear what
different departments are doing and to be -- to have it explained in the manner that you explain it so even i can understand it, and to have hazardous materials training for members. the question i have, you mentioned pfas foam. i'm not sure what that is. is that the same stuff that they use at the airports for the -- you know, plane -- >> yes. >> commissioner rodriguez: yeah? okay. good. that's what i wanted to know. thank you. >> president feinstein: commissioner covington. >> commissioner covington: thank you, madam president, and
thank you so much for your report. i wanted to have this discussion, and i've been asking for chief parks and mr. boone to come because i think it's very important for those of you who have been here for a while to be updated on the good work that they're doing, and also for the new commissioners to get an idea of how extensive their portfolio is. they are out all the time, working with members of the department and, of course, civilian staff, as well, so i think you have a -- can
everybody hear me? >> president feinstein: yes. >> commissioner covington: so i think everybody has an idea of what the work is and how broad the topics are. so i wanted to just ask just a couple of questions and also, you know, to get a little more information. chief parks, can you talk more about the safety and health roundtable meetings that you attend? >> yeah. so those are meetings with other departments in the city, and we talk about what we've been doing with covid, and it's really been covid, you know, since covid started. and we talk about what we're -- what safety issue we come up with, what new procedures and policies the department -- the city comes up with, and how we
implement it in our department. >> commissioner covington: and chief parks, how long have you been with the department? >> i've been with the department for 23 years. >> commissioner covington: thank you. and i know that mr. boone has been with the department since 2017, so yeah, it... i had another question for you, and that was the -- there was one question i had about the study. somehow, i can't seem to find it here in my notes -- oh, can you talk about the peer support dog. is this going to be the answer to edna the cat? just so that people understand
the reference, we got -- i think, madam secretary, it's, like, 93 letters and e-mail from all over the world, asking us to keep edna the cat at the deployment facility for our medical responders, and it was 93, right, or something like that. >> president feinstein: yeah, something like that. >> commissioner covington: yeah. i think i counted them at one point, and it was pretty wild, so now, we're going to have a dog. so can you talk about that? >> yeah. so the dog is coming from the thor k9 performance group, and they agreed to donate a dog. they will be training our handler, who we haven't decided on yet, training the handler, going down to southern
california, getting maybe three to four days of training, and then once the dog -- the dogs are actually in the process of being neutered right now, so we're hoping to get the dog within the next maybe two months. >> commissioner covington: okay. great. so you don't have the dog yet? >> no, no, the dog is still in training. >> commissioner covington: okay. and so what breed of dog is it? >> i don't know because they have three dogs right now, and they're going to have the handler go down and see which dog fits them. >> commissioner covington: i see. so the dog hasn't been selected but is in training. >> yes. they have three dogs in training. >> commissioner covington: and the national first responders fund, where is that? >> that's in san francisco,
with joe veronese? he's been really helpful and supportive. >> commissioner covington: yes. former commissioner joe alioto-veronese was really vital in his support of firefighters in his short time when he was on the commission. okay. i don't have any other questions, but if i do, i'll come back. >> president feinstein: okay. any other commissioners with questions or comments? ah, commissioner nakajo. thank you. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you, madam president. thank you very much, chief
parks, mr. boone, for your presentation, and thank you, commissioner covington, for asking for this presentation update on this. we've had the pleasure of interacting with chief parks as well as mr. boone. i'm just going to ask some elementary questions in the beginning, so please be patient with me. can you tell me, chief parks, officially what your title is, so that we can all be knowledgeable as to what that is? >> yes. it is the health, safety, and wellness chief. >> commissioner nakajo: and chief parks, thank you very much for that health and wellness. i also wanted to know -- go ahead, chief. >> health, safety, and wellness. >> commissioner nakajo: okay.
chief, where are you stationed? are you at a station or at an office so that we can contact you? how is that done? >> yes, i am at an office at headquarters. >> commissioner nakajo: okay. i just wanted to get clarity on that because as commissioner covington has indicated and commented that you, in your area, have such a large jurisdiction, and that some of us on the commission had large areas before we came on the commission, and now that we know your job description, we have a plan when it comes to health, safety, and wellness, whether it be fair and is
you -- fire and suppression and members needed support or whether we're talking about medical types of insurance, as well. i'm just very appreciative, and again, i think the information to the commissioners are really important so that we can be able to see what the tie-in is. clearly, chief parks. the work that you do within your unit is clearly tied into the physician's office, as well, with the coordination. >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: and is that conducted with a regularity of meetings between yourself and the physician's office? >> yes. so we have health and safety meetings every two weeks, every other week, i should say, and then, the doctor's office is right literally a minute walk from my office, so i am able to talk to him as needed.
>> commissioner nakajo: thank you. also, in your report, you talked about two full-time members that are part of the behavioral health unit. just a point of clarity. are those two members, can you share with the members what their background is? is there a mental health component to their background, to the training? i'm just curious as to what kind of training these two members have to go out there in the field and support the members? >> yeah. so both members have taken peer support training. they've gone to various trainings throughout the state, and one of them has a background in 12-step programs and alcohol and drug addiction programs, and they've both attended, like, three-day -- i believe it's three-day training
to behavioral health unit members. >> commissioner nakajo: i appreciate that. again, you know, through the longevity of my participation in the commission, the commission and the department has come a long way to help members, and it's good we have two full-time members to tackle that and provide you with oversight on that, and all of this is with the physician's office, as well. thank you very much, chief. i'm going to move over to mr. boone. mr. boone, thank you very much for your presentation. again, in terms of the relationship with chief parks, i can see how your area of oversight is clearly associated with chief parks' area, as well. it seems that your area is associated with the physician's
office in terms of support services, is that correct or can you give some insight in terms of that, please? >> that is correct. i work with chief parks in conjunction with the physician's office to provide support and oversight there as well as the environmental side is under the auspices of assistant deputy chief dewitt, and i support her from the facilities and environmental side, that is correct. [please stand by]
you addressed different areas of responsibility. and one of them was i'm going to quote, aerial transmission. because i require when you said that previously, it floated through my brain cells. now with covid, one of the biggest things that came up and you addressed it, the deploy of your position into oversight, in terms of covid and how that affects our department and glad that you made the references in terms of that. let me ask a generalist question to you, chief parks, perhaps this goes all the way up to the command force mop provides the oversight in terms of covid-19 health protocol in the stations among their members? >> i'll let chief parks speak.
>> thank you. >> chief parks. >> so in the stations it would be the captain of the station. we give them the policy. we develop the policy based on what the city and county states and the state says. and we have the captain make sure to enforce those policies to all members. >> okay. so again we're at a state now where members are being vaccinated. some of the members have, some of the members haven't. i know the numbers have been given to us. previous to that -- the commissioners have been sheltered and we haven't been to the stations as well, which is our protocol to be able to visit the members. my imagination i went to one station, station 10. immediately when i walked in there, even though i was a commissioner, that's not saying anything, but i'm a member of the public.
the member immediately gave up to me and gave me a temperature gauge. i was pleased that that the member did that protocol right off the bat, no matter who i am or who i could have been. the other question is because of lack of knowledge from my side, i'm imagining that asking the question, how can we do the oversight of these members who eat together, in the same kind of facility, go out on runs, you know, how do you practice safe distance. you know, do you wear a mask constantly in the station? and now with vaccines, how's that interpreted among the station and the members. can you comment on that, chief? >> yes. of course. so members are still wearing masks, because that's what the ordinance says. not all of them are vaccinated
what was the other question? >> i think you answered that in the sense that the captain is -- the boss -- that's what i'm hearing. a requirement to wear a mask. again i noticed a different and challenge of the distance, 6 feet or whatever the protocol is. i understand if you get two vaccines, it's a shorter distance. but i was just trying to find out for the commission how this is practicing oversight to the station, to the members. down to the nitty gritty. >> yeah. you know, it's basically the captains that are -- and the officers that are enforcing the policy. as far as social distancing, we've been not eating together -- you know, not eating lunch and dinner together. but maybe having them spread out in two groups of two, so that everyone is not eating at the
table at the same time. >> appreciate that. because again if you didn't tell me that, i wouldn't have known it and wouldn't have known how that's practiced. again for us commissioners, one of the joys of going to the stations and the members is sitting there all together having lunch, dinner and interacting. so again i appreciate it. thank you very much, chief parks. thank you, madam president. that's all my questions and comments. >> president feinstein: thank you very much, commissioner nakajo. any further questions or comments from the commissioners? oh, sorry, commissioner cleaveland, please. >> commissioner cleaveland: some reports and updates. i'd like to publicly again thank joe and his national first responders fund. because he really took on the issue of mental health as a --
the mental health of our firefighters as real serious issue i'd like to thank him publicly and his national first responders' fund. thanks again for your update. and keep up the good work. >> thank you. >> president feinstein: all right. any further questions, comments? all right. thank you both for all the effort and your presentation today. and we are going to make our department healthier and stronger and better. so we really -- i know all the commissioners really appreciate it. and i'm sure the members appreciate it even more. so keep up the great work.
>> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> president feinstein: okay. well, we go on to report from operations, deputy chief bryan rubenstein. >> clerk: report on overall field operations, including greater alarm fires, emergency medical services, bureau of fire prevention and investigations. homeland security and airport division. >> president feinstein: good morning, chief rubenstein. >> good morning, president feinstein, vice president rodriguez, commissioners, command staff. thank you for your presentation, chief parks and mr. boon and welcome dr. lacocque. i'm the deputy chief of operations and this is the apri. does that look right to you?
>> president feinstein: yes. >> very good. so i'm going to make it work. there we go. public information office, as always, has been very busy. we're glad to welcome jeremiah o'brien back to the pier, after it was moved for our greater alarm. and they were out with the community delivering information about tsunamis during tsunami preparedness week. i spoke to mission high schoolers about high-rise fires and e.m.s. station 4 was able to go to ucsf and grant a birthday wish for a young girl that was under treatment there. and our p.i.o. supported the fire service woman in the presentation at mission high school.
april was the celebration for us for women's history month and every day we were getting tweets of different firefighters. i thought it was great. and the p.i.o. participated in a national event conducted virtually and went very, very well. we also shared some training in the media event about jaws of life and the chief was interviewed about cancer prevention. emergency medical services division is working as hard as ever. there we see another media opportunity for the response team. we've got 20 new trainees that graduated out of our paramedicine program and we have more units up. the chief took the opportunity to go out for a day and she rode
on on a c.r.t. and got out in the field. had a really good day. our bureau of park and investigations getting busier all the time as bus returns to usual. i echo the chief's and commissioner's sentiment, our fire marshal is unreplaceable. but he is doing the great job of realizing the chief's vision of preparing his replacement. so he's committed to that and it's going very well. you can see, as the president said, they're involved in all kinds of meetings with all sorts of departments. and they've been representing the needs of the community and first responders effectively during the period. everything is going well at the
san francisco international airport. this is a very, very busy week for them. the f.a.a. is in town for a comprehensive inspection. and that takes a lot of their bandwidth during that period. but over the course of the month, there was plenty of training, as is always the case. you can see the mass casualty unit at the airport. and many different pieces of equipment that they're setting up routinely, so on the day they'll be prepared. you can see an image of a unit, airport rescue firefighting equipment. it's very specialized designed. it doesn't look like the fire trucks in the city. the ability to carry --
[inaudible] they've been working hard to bring the different agencies together. this is a drill on the water, chemical, biological and nuclear. we're bringing people together. and part of our responsibility is continuously to be planning, -- coordinating and evaluating with other agencies that bring the skills and deploys together necessary, so that we'll be successful when these things happen in the real world. and working with other agencies we have the sheriffs and great supporter of our nerf program. the operation end of things, some images for you from drills
and incidence on a company level. units are drilling every day and engine drills. and then on the weekends we have divisions 2 and 3 take turns, where saturday and sunday three different battalions will go and conduct a drill. and in the image on the right, you can see supply lines, attack lines. 35-foot, 24-foot ladders, scba. many different disciplines that come into play, that we're practicing over and over and over again. there are more technical rescues. you can see some air bags being worked on here with rescue squad personnel. and we've gotten some new equipment recently for our mutual aid response. we have five epins from the state. -- engines from the state that will be deployed during the wildland fire season. new equipment, new training. we brought some new dispatchers
onboard. you can see the chief here is working with the dispatchers to give them some sense of what's going on in the fire ground. you can see them wearing the equipment, trying to communicate with that equipment on, gives them a sense of what our challenges are while they're supporting our operations. and we were participating in vaccination sites all around the city. on saturday i was able to get out to treasure island. and after a year of fighting this century event of a pandemic, it was just so great to be there and to be participating in a positive response to that. nert was there in support. everybody there was up. it was great to be there putting shots in arms. it was really great to see. this individual is rescued from inside of a garbage truck.
these are not routine. they're always challenging and always different. we had several. another that required a helicopter extrication. and you can see it does take a lot of resources to safely conduct these. and again a lot of drilling to be proficient in it. these teams are experts and again another month, many rescues, no injuries. we have an incident at bart where an individual found themselves in the track way. he was rescued. he did survive the incident. this person had a motor vehicle accident and their car caught fire and had to be extricated from a burning building. again surviving. another vehicle incident. this time no fire, as it was into a hydrant. and i concluded a close-up.
individuals were on the ground. here's a short video clip that was found on social media. you can see a construction worker is running up helping that shopping cart on fire. and they're putting it out with an extinguisher. this is just a reminder to any of our civilians listening, it's safe to do, still very important to call the fire department. dry chemical extinguisher. you can see it knocks down the flames. but those kinds of fuels like that could sustain fire in it for some time. and we've had individuals who put a fire out with a dry chemical and then move that material to another place, thinking it was over and then the fire starts again. so please do call the fire department if there's a fire. several fires. this was a challenging incident as you can see. and one of the reasons i'm showing you this, this is the perspective from social media applications. you can see how many different
contributors there are. so many different perspectives that we're seeing in today's social media environment. also a fire on crescent. you can see that. and on la salle. that's a very old structure there with the ladder up against it. it was successfully fought, limited the amount of damage. we had the one greater alarm fire in this month of april on eureka. it was a complicated incident. we included the facts about it in your report. this one was a police matter. a dangerous individual who threw knives at police and had to be dealt with. the same person is suspected to have started the fire. and with great coordination between police and fire of this incident.
they were able to determine that he had left the scene and created -- we were aware there was a fire. during that time, no time was lost. everything was communicated safely. they set up to effectively protect the exposure and to be ready, when allowed, to aggressively attack the fire. i'll tell you what, they knocked it down very aggressively. you can see the image on your left, how long some of the hose lays are in san francisco. and how difficult some of the laddering shots are in the third image. there was just one spot where the truck could have been. it was perfect. and to get an alternate way down, i don't have an image of it. but a 35-foot ladder, which is a four-person ladder of wood of two pieces was lifted on to the roof over a railing, on to the roof of a garage and then thrown against the right side over the
delta side of the building. great work at this job, at this incident. i was there, the chief of the department was there. and as it's an element with a suspect, we did have paramedics there. these are paramedics who are trained and practice with the police. and they're specially equipped. you can see they have ballistic gear and different kinds of helmets and they'll actually go forward with police to provide them with care. so this is an incident on lawrence avenue. it's a fire that happened in the light of day. so we'll be able to talk a little bit about it. so this is before view of it. it's a great tool that we have in san francisco to be able to use google street view or apple maps to look at these buildings. and sometimes when i was responding in the field, i would be able to see the structures while en route. very powerful tool. you can see here what the building looks like, the one
with the pink garage door. and this is -- this is what it looks like on that day. this is engine 33. and the rig is in the perfect place. you can see the tremendous exposure, vertically expoing up, the second floor is on fire, obviously the car and the garage is on fire. the exposure is on both the bravo and the delta sides are threatened immediately by fire. there are six people in the backyard that require rescue. look at this st-gelais the hose out. that's exactly what you want to see. got his gear on already. lay that hose down like he's been there before. this is an incredible job. a single-alarm fire. and so when you see on your report single alarm, second alarm, third alarm, you can see a lot more fire behavior here than there was in the other one. and this is -- this is what makes us so proud and why the
commissioners are so right, this is the greatest department. here again you can see the pink garage door up there. this is what it looked like once the fire got knocked down. turned into red alert. any time we have six people that we're going to transport, we go and offer up a red alert. and that starts a chain of events. we get some additional resources, but also communication center will talk to the surrounding hospitals and begin triage hog can take our patients, the right place for patients to go. you can see that ambulances are all lined up here. this isn't on the same street. we have corridors planned by the the rescue captains. these ambulances are ready to go, nothing blocking them. in the incident we transported seven people, five from one family. but everyone will recover. so again a single-alarm fire.
you can see all of the resources, all of the damage. and that young man is so anxious to get back in there, they're changing the air bottle on his back, to get back in and go back to work. i want to finish up. we had an opportunity -- april for women's history month, to do a video. it wasn't us. but it is a women's group. and i wanted to share the national anthem, as sung by our assistant deputy chief. >> president feinstein: oh! ♪ what so proudly we hail ♪ ♪ at the twilight's last
gleaming ♪ ♪ through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rockets red glare ♪ ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ ♪ and the land and of the free
and the home of the brave ♪ >> president feinstein: great work, chief. wow! >> a true triple threat. [laughter] so that concludes my report for april 2021. thank you for the opportunity. >> president feinstein: thank you, chief rubenstein. i will first see -- do we have any -- i'm looking. oh, miss confree, there you are. any public comment do we have? >> clerk: there is nobody on the public comment line. >> president feinstein: okay. then we shall close public
comment. and let's move on to the commissioners. i know i have a couple comments and questions. but i will go last. vice president rodriguez. >> commissioner rodriguez: i'd like to thank chief rubenstein for his report, as always. avoid as lot of questions, because it's so clear as to what you're doing. i want to ask chief nicholson something, now that she's back. you know, so much talk has been about budgets over the last, i don't know, couple of months. just out of curiosity. i would assume a baseline here. but when a fire truck or an engine goes out of the building, it could be for a lot of different calls, right.
but to get a truck out of the house, with a crew, is there a baseline cost? just like when you do an ambulance thing. i think the cost was $2,000 something, around that. so is there a base cost for this when -- what i'm asking? >> commissioner, vice president rodriguez, this is chief nicholson. i'm going to turf this to our c.e.o. mark corso. i know there are a lot of different costs that go into getting an engine or a truck or a rescue squad or an ambulance out the door. there's staffing. there's, you know, the overhead from the staffing in terms of benefits. there's actual vehicle itself, the equipment, et cetera, et cetera. but i will let mark corso take it from here. go ahead, mark. thank you. >> thank you, chief. good morning, everyone. good morning, commissioner.
mark corso, finance and planning. yes, to address your question. we don't really itemize it or get down to that level of detail. there are a lot of costs associated with it, also a lot of costs just for the infrastructure to be prepared to respond. so even if, for example, hypothetically there was an engine that went on one run per day, versus, you know, five or seven. just the cost of being prepared, having the training, having the personnel. those costs are kind of -- are baseline in general. our overall staffing. there are costs for being prepared and being ready to respond, not just the response itself. >> commissioner rodriguez: okay. i guess -- and i'm tell you why i asked it, okay. so i'm sure -- the other commissioners have brought it up also. but i was looking at the report about surf rescues. and i think there was 20 of them. and cabinet fires, i don't know how many, right.
and so when we go to the different administrations, to plead our case as to what, you know, why we're trying -- we're facing all of these budget constraints, i would think that, you know, we would be able to counter and say, look, or if we were trying to recover the money like commissioner covington had said last meeting, you know, maybe we get ahold of the -- regarding the surf rescues and stuff. you know, if we had a figure that we said, look, every time we -- we do send out a truck or a fire engine and have a hard figure, i just think it would help when we're tieing -- trying to argue the cost of what we're encountering. when you say the budget for the fire department is so much a
year, that makes an impact. but when you say we are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars when we have to do all of these bay rescues and we're not getting compensated for it or we're having to face all of these encampment fires now, that we weren't before, i just think it helps our case to have those figures. that's my ... >> all right. are you cutting out? >> president feinstein: oh. i'm sorry. did anybody else lose mr. corso there? just me? >> i'm back. >> president feinstein: you're breaking up for me. and nobody else has.
but we know what my level of computer skill is. so i'll do the best i can here to keep up. and, you know, i don't know what to exactly do about that. but you can also tell me later. >> sorry about that. my back on here? >> president feinstein: yes. apologies. absolutely. we do look when we're talking with the mayor's office, it's not only a fiscal impact, but operational impact. so we have kind of baseline staffing every day. and if we're having these, you know, additional calls, those are pulling resources from our preparedness elsewhere throughout the city for a variety of different responses. we are looking closely. we talked to the mayor's office about that for call trends, water-based calls, et cetera. and then we do work with other entities for those reimbursements. so there are some discussions surrounding that in general with the department. but we do -- we don't break it
out on a specific call-by-call basis. we do in some cases for cost recovery claims or things like that. but for the most part our levels of staffing are -- we maintain for the baseline from a cost perspective. >> commissioner rodriguez: okay. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> president feinstein: okay. other comments, questions from commissioners? commissioner cleaveland, thank you. >> commissioner cleaveland: thank you, madam president. and thank you, chief rubenstein, for your report. it's very, very comprehensive. and much appreciated, as well as the sterling performance by the chief.
that was a great performance. thank you. on the fire on eureka street, do you know how it was start. -- started? any information regarding why the suspect started that fire on eureka, that caused incidentally over $1 million worth of damage. >> a common answer you're going to get is that it's under investigation. obviously there's -- you know, a crime involved in this one. investigators are being very deliberate in their investigation. and they're working closely with police and their component of the arson squad. what exactly was used is, you know, probable that a lighter was used to light trash or clothes. that's just a probability. i don't have any information about what specifically what the person was burning.
>> commissioner cleaveland: it would be nice what we get resolution on that, to share that with the commission. i know that many of these arson investigations reach a conclusion, but we never hear about what the conclusion was. we never get any kind of final closure, if you will, on these arson investigations. and i think it would be important for us as commissioners to know what are the reasons and backgrounds on all of these arson investigations. >> to that end -- may i answer? so we'll have a report that will probably talk about where the heat came from and what the fuel was. other human factors, you may may not get a satisfactory answer. when it is printed, i'll provide it. >> commissioner cleaveland: that would be great. thank you. as vice president rodriguez mentioned, we had about 20, 21
bay surf or cliff rescues this past month in march. and it's -- it's the kind of activity that we're -- that tells me that in the future, not in the far future, but in the near future, we're going to need to pull on marine rescue unit. and i guess is that something we need to think about in terms of future budgeting is just how do we deal with these increased numbers of bay and surf rescues that seem to be happening more and more. of course, as the weather gets warmer, we're going to have more of them happening this year as well. so that's something -- i don't know what it costs to have a marine unit. i know that it's been discussed in the past. and it's something that we'll be lucky if we can keep the money we have currently for operations. but it's certainly a figure i think that would be nice to know what would it cost us to
implement and create a fully functional marine unit to deal with these constant cliff, surf and big rescues that we are finding ourselves having to perform. that's something i'd like to ask the chief i guess and maybe our c.f.o. for come up with a figure and present that to us at some future date. >> if i may interject, commissioner cleaveland? >> commissioner cleaveland: absolutely. >> chief nicholson, through the president, we've had discussions on marine rescue units. and we built station 35 larger than what the current crew is right now, in case we could add or expand that station with a dedicated marine unit. there are -- it's a huge, huge
lift to get a full-on marine rescue unit in another place. as we know, getting access to our coastline, in terms of building something or putting something into place is extremely challenging. and we had a lot of hurdles with the new station 35 alone. so we did build it larger, so we could accommodate, you know, a dedicated marine unit. we're also looking at sort of the trends in terms of, you know, there's been a lot of building and sort of new recreation spots on the southeast side of the city. so we also really need to consider where is best, you know. i think the boat at station 16, in the marina, is perfectly placed for a lot of things in that area. but we also need to look to the
other part of the bay. so it's really quite a -- it's a bit of a complicated issue with a lot of different factors. but we are having the conversations and again we did build station 35 tomorrow for that possible expansion. >> commissioner cleaveland: thank you, chief. that's great information. if you were to ballpark the cost of a marine unit, would you pau- ballpark is $5 million a year? how would you ballpark it? >> i do not even -- i couldn't answer that. [laughter] but i can get you some information for our -- for when we have our one-on-one. i don't know. i don't know if mark corso would have any intel on that. i mean, there's just staffing
alone, mark, you can probably speak to temperature there's so many other things involved in a marine unit. mark. >> absolutely, chief. thank you. yes. there's been a variety of different scenarios for staffing that have been discussed, as far as what actually makes up a marine unit. but just on a very basic level, if you're looking at staffing, just strictly staffing and doing something comparable to like an engine company, for example, with four personnel per day. you're looking at approximately between $2.5 million and $3 million for staffing. that's obviously a significant financial outlay that's ongoing. but in addition as the chief mentioned, kind of the infrastructure costs, equipment, things like that to, you know, maintain and support that unit. >> commissioner cleaveland: so $5 million a year. >> could be. absolutely. >> commissioner cleaveland: i think it's important that we understand what we're dealing with here and be prepared for
the future, as this is only going to be a growing threat, not one that's going to go away any time soon, since we're surrounded on three sides by water. >> if i may -- if i may, commissioner cleaveland? >> yes. >> we've been looking at the trends in our water rescues and the like. and, you know, just the department overall -- we had so many needs, as you have seen at some of our fire stations, as well as our training center. so it's really important for us to sort of look long-term with that, in terms of our strategic plan. we don't have another easter bond coming up for at least seven or eight years i believe. and the money in this current easter bond has been targeted for quite a few different things. but we'll see how much we can actually get done with that,
with that funding. so, you know, a lot of -- a lot of things overall to look at from the 30,000-foot level, if you will. >> commissioner cleaveland: of course. thank you, chief. yeah. i'm reading over this report from chief rubenstein. it makes you appreciate how much work our fire department does every single month. and people wonder why they hear so many fire and ambulance vehicles all the time, you know, in the city. the reason is because we get an average of 300 e.m.s. calls a day. and an average of upwards of 80 fire alarms a day. so when people say why do i hear so many fire engines and ambulances all the time. just according to this one month of march, an average of 300 ambulance calls a day and 80
from the fire calls. it makes you appreciate how really busy -- how really busy our fire department, in particular our e.m.s. division is every single day, every single hour. and that's why you hear a lot of -- a lot of fire engines and you hear a lot of alarms and a lot of noise out there. so that's because we are busy, busy, busy. i'm always particularly appreciative of the report when it deals with the challenges we face with our street crisis response team and the people involved there. and some of the stories, personal stories that are written about the people we're trying to help on the street. and the fact that the fire department really is constantly trying to save so many of our citizens from themselves.
and i really appreciate the work that the e.m.s. department does. and i hope that every person in san francisco understands what a continuing challenge it is for our fire department personnel to meet the crisis that we face every single day on the street. so i just wanted to throw out a kudos to our e.m.s. division for the work and the heart that they put into their jobs every single day, because it has to be just an emotionally draining job that they have to perform every single day. i mean, it just baffles me. i saw that this one individual you were dealing with has lived
on the streets of san francisco for 20 years. i just find is incredible that somebody could actually be living on the streets, in san francisco, for 20 years. and i have to wonder why. why are they living on the streets of san francisco for 20 years? and it has to be because it's very easy to get drugs in this town. and we have a very benevolent attitude for people using drugs. and until that changes, to some extent, we're never going to be able to erase our problem of drug addiction and alcohol abuse in our city and primarily from a very small fraction of our population is, you know, is causing us, as a city, to spend an enormous amount of our resources, of time and talent, addressing a very tiny percentage of our people in the
city. it just -- it boggles my mind sometimes to see that kind of disproportionate use of our resources. i'll save any other comments. but thank you for what you do, chief rubenstein, and for everyone in your department for the hard work that they do every day, particularly the e.m.s. division. and that's all i have, madam president. thank you. >> president feinstein: thank you, commissioner cleaveland. any other commissioners wish to question or comment? okay. commissioner covington. yes. >> commissioner covington: thank you, madam president. i am going to beat this drum again about these surf rescues.
you know, they've covered the waterfront, lands, marina green, south beach harbor, ocean beach, the port, the cliff house. and every month we get these reports and i would like an agenda item regarding what the department is doing to get some of these costs covered by other entities, whether it be the national park service or the individuals or whatever. i think we need at this point a robust conversation about this and some suggestions for how to recoup these monies. because if you call an ambulance, you have got a big bill. you know, you get a huge bill. >> i believe chief nicholson wishes to address that, is that right, chief? >> yes, please. thank you.
thank you, commissioner covington for bringing that up. we have m.o.u.s with both the national parks service -- >> chief, i would like to have that item agendaized. i'm happy to, you know, hear what you have to say today, but i would like it to be on the agenda for a robust conversation at some point. okay. go ahead. >> yeah. we have m.o.u.s with the national parks service and with the presidio and with the ports. i know mark corso again can speak to this. >> yes, thank you again, chief. good morning again. mark carso. yes, we have as the chief mentioned, for a variety of the different areas along the waterfront, we do have agreements in place. so we have a cooperative agreement with the national parks service or the golden gate national recreation area for areas of the presidio and the ocean beach and other federal
areas around, surrounding san francisco. we have an agreement with the navy for hunters point area and we have an agreement with the presidio for the inner working area of the presidio. so we do get reimbursement on an annual basis for providing services, both fire and medical to those areas. as the chief mentioned, we also have different type of agreement given their city department with the port of s.f. for providing -- they support our staffing over -- a portion of our staffing over at station 35 and our fire boat operations. >> commissioner covington: thank you, chief of the department and mr. carso. whenever this is on the agenda, all commissioners would like the details as to how much it costs per rescue and how much the department is being compensated for rescue, whether it be from the -- from another another entity or individual persons.
i think we need to really get down to more details about this, because it's -- i think everybody is aware that there are more rescue on water that the department does than on land practically. and most people would be interested to know the details of that. so thank you. >> it may be appropriate for the appointment of a committee. let me take that into consideration. and we will pursue it further. >> commissioner covington: thank you for that consideration, madam president. maybe in advance of that, we can have a report and then form the committee, if you still deem it necessary.
>> president feinstein: all right. we'll determine that. thank you. >> commissioner covington: thank you. yes. >> president feinstein: okay. >> commissioner covington: and there's more, yes. thank you very, very much for your report, chief rubenstein. and i wanted to also compliment the chief's round on her rendition of the national anthem. it is not easy to sing at all. and she did a fabulous job on that. that was very good. so, chief rubenstein, can you talk more about tactical medics. what the distinction is between a tactical medic and a regular medic.
>> yes. thank you for the question, madam commissioner. so the tactical medics are trained paramedics, licensed in san francisco, just like every other paramedic we have. and they go through additional training in collaboration with law enforcement, so that they learn their policies and procedures. and whenever we have s.w.a.t teams that are considering making an entry, we'll bring an on-duty tactical force that will integrate with their team. >> commissioner covington: and what do they do to assist the officers or interact with the officers, if you have that level of detail. if not, it's okay. >> i do. but i also have the subject matter expert on the meeting today. so, chief tong, would you like >> commissioner covington: hello , chief tong. >> good morning, commissioners. madam president, vice president
rodriguez, commissioner covington, staff, chief. assistant deputy chief. our tactical medics when they respond to assist with police and warrant searches and things like that, they're there to provide medical support, should officers get injured. that's their primary mission. if there are suspects also that, you know, that may be injured, they can provide that aid as well. but their primary role is to support law enforcement when they're doing these somewhat dangerous and risky encounters. that's their primary mission. they're specially trained to provide emergency tactical, you know, very life-saving skills, in order to make sure they stop the bleeds, that they get patients out quickly. so that's their emphasis in terms of them being able to work with law enforcement, you know, their equipment that they wear. how to you know safely disable and remove and their gear to
provide emergency care. that's their primary role in these types of searches and requests. >> commissioner covington: so the tactical medics are focused tonight police officers. and our other medics, that are on the scene, are focused on the civilians? >> correct. >> commissioner covington: okay. so that's -- that's really, really good to know. >> president feinstein: i'm sorry, commissioner covington. i have a hope now -- okay. chief rubenstein has his hand up, but chief nicholson has hers up. so i'm going to interrupt you just to have chief nicholson address your question. >> commissioner covington: okay. can i finish with chief tong, who was speaking, please. because chief rubenstein kicked it over to chief tong. and she was still talking. >> president feinstein: chief tong, do you have anything you wish to add? >> not at this time, unless you have another follow-up question.
>> commissioner covington: okay. i did have. i'll circle back with you, chief tong. >> president feinstein: by rank and the way it goes. city one. >> thank you, president feinstein. thanks, chief tong and commissioner covington. in terms of our tactical medics, it depends upon the situation who they are quote/unquote focused on. if we have an active shooter situation, our medics are going in with a support team of police and are focused typically on the folks that have been injured in that active shooter incident. and they are also there to help the police, if one of them goes down. so there are different scenarios that can happen with our tactical medics. they're not simply focused on the police. >> commissioner covington: well, thank you for making that clear and making that distinction. it's hard to see what all of --
it's hard to see that other people are trying to get in and say something. so anyway. okay. does anyone else want to say any more about tactical medics? yes. i see chief rubenstein has his hand up. go ahead. >> just wanted to point out that they're in the ambulance working calls like every other paramedic. when these opportunities come, they're trained and we pull them in for that standby. it's an entirely refined response, it's much improved from years ago how we deal with active shooter incidents, which is different than what we were talking about with this incident. >> president feinstein: okay. all right. thank you very much. the upshot of all of this is i'm glad that we have them. and that i'm sure that the
police officers are very happy that we have tactical medics. i'm mindful of the time. i don't have any other questions, because of the time. all right. thank you, commissioner covington. commissioner nakajo. >> commissioner nakajo: madam president. thank you, chief rubenstein, for your comprehensive report. i'd like to ask some detailed questions or some comments to chief tong, the chief of the department, chief rubenstein. if chief tong could respond to my questions and any other questions i would have would be for the fire marshal. chief tong, good morning. good afternoon at this point. i know that at times you don't have the same docket as the
commissioners. so my reference is that page 16, when it talks about the e.m.s. 6 report, march 1st through march 31st, 2021. is there a way that you can identify what i'm referring to? otherwise i'll verbalize it. >> you'll have to give me a little bit more specifics on what you're referring to. i don't have the numberings. >> commissioner nakajo: basicalt to march 31st. it talks about e.m.s. 6, the population. it breaks it down to 30 days, 365 days. then it follows with a numerical, with percentages in terms of total numbers of high-frequency calls that meet the criteria. >> yes. yes. >> commissioner nakajo: so on the second line, total numbers generated by high-frequency
callers, do you see that? >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: the number 804. >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: my question to you is that in this course of one month of e.m.s. 6 reporting, is that number 804, in terms of total numbers call generated by high-frequency callers, a high number, an average number. can you give me comment on that? >> i believe it's pretty typical. let me look at a couple of other numbers. it's about -- i believe it's usually in that ballpark. last month we had 844 for the same, you know, 28-day, 30-day period. it's around 800-ish. >> commissioner nakajo: yeah. that kind of confirms what i remember as well. but again when that number is large, it jumps out. i just wanted the reinforcement. that is a column, total number.
but i'm referring to percentage of encounters with high-frequency users. same question. are you there, chief? >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: it says 75%. same question. is that a high number, an average number, what's that number? >> that's about the same, too. last month it was 75%. the same. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you, chief. i'm moving on. for me it's page 17. it's a page that has many columns. and it's a utilization change from previous operation period, top users. are you on that page, chief? >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: it has an extensive comment page, all the way from 1-20, chief. >> uh-huh. >> commissioner nakajo: my question is basically, because these comments are pretty detailed. who authors these comments? >> so these summary reports are compiled by one of our -- chief
pang from the e.m.s. 6 division. they look at all of the data and it gets compiled by somebody from our analysis m.i.s. and they summarize all of these numbers for you, so that you can get an overview of what the change in usage is by the top 20, by frequency callers. >> commissioner nakajo: okay. i appreciate that information. because the commissioners read this column, and again i spend most of the time with large areas of our units, with our departments, e.m.s. is one of them. another one is support services and another one is the fire marshal's report. not saying that the other units don't have extensive material and information. but one region is -- it's pretty detailed. >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: it's very descriptive. i'm looking at page 18. [ please stand by ]
>> there's a lot of background work to support the actual work that we do, and even, you know, putting together this report for you all, it takes a considerable amount of time, so those are some of the duties that need to be done in order to make sure that we're successful and are able to make sure we're doing the right thing. >> commissioner nakajo: i appreciate that answer because
i know as a nonprofit administrator and such, and i know the commissioner knows, as well, what we do at the department in terms of public service, there is an administrative component to that, as well. i know it takes time, and even in terms of these comprehensive report, it takes time. it takes time not only in terms of the mechanics of it but also meeting the timeline of these reports, the submissions before our commission meetings, so i just wanted to call that out. above that, there's a paragraph where it talks about a [inaudible], and i think at some point, commissioner cleaveland called out the clientele we service.
this, and my concern is there, as well, budgetarily, that we are a department, as i understand it, as i interpret it, we are there for public service. so as we go out there and respond to these veterans and public service, whether it's alcohol or homelessness or drugs, it's a veteran issue as well as a san francisco issue, so i'm not negating that we need reimbursement in terms of what we need to do, but i think it's also important to understand the conditions at hand, what we need and when we respond. the paragraph of that, it says that a majority of our utilizers are not opioid users. you see that, chief? >> yes. >> commissioner nakajo: i think that's a significant statement
because there might be an understanding that the majority of our clients are opioid users. they're not opioid users but may have some other issues in terms of alcohol or other things or drugs. you want to comment on that, chief? >> yeah. one of the things we want to do is see if there's a comparison between the frequent callers that we have and whether or not they have a history of opioid use and what those numbers look like. it doesn't really look like right now, but that's the case. we also want to identify those we do see as opioid users to prevent them from being high utilizers and looking at them to address that particular subpopulation, and we're still
doing a lot of investigating and looking at what the data looks like, but we are doing that data report right now. >> commissioner nakajo: okay. i think that's important for the commissioners to comprehend. again, looking at the big picture that we've got to deal with those folks on the streets are other issues, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or mental health. i understand that it needs to be reimbursed or to cause coverage, but unless there's some sort of general order to address that, i don't see those issues going down. but i am pleased in terms of
social services and case management that we have units such as the sobering center, alcoholism center, navigation center, so that we can address them at some point. and the other thing i wanted to clarify is when i asked the commissioners to reach out to the doctor, i made some reference in terms of who he's replacing, and i mistakenly put out simon pang's name, but i really meant dr. [inaudible] in terms of the department. thank you very much. i'd like to ask one question to the fire marshal.
>> president feinstein: thank you, commissioner nakajo. chief nicholson, i saw your hand up. would you like to respond now or wait until later? >> if you don't mind, i'd like to respond now. we are making the case this year, as well, that e.m.s. 6 should be funded by fema, as well, and not by our department because there is that next. >> commissioner nakajo: i appreciate that reinforcement and information, chief. also, in terms of the reference to proposition c, as well and to the community crisis team as well as our e.m.s. 6, as we all know, everything is related,
whether it's water, cliff rescue, or necessary services in terms of a budget issue. and i think we started this meeting of the department asking or at least trying to keep us whole over in my mind what i heard is a 10% cut. it is all about money in terms of everything and the funding in our department. some of these societal issues are a greater issue in our department. i know my colleagues all understand it and the command staff, as well. also in terms of water rescue, it's the public that's the part of the entity that we need to deal with, as well. again, i'm not saying that we
don't need reimbursement. whatever we can suggest in terms of a meeting on that discussion, again, i would welcome and plan to identify, but that's my statements. thank you, chief. could i at least ask just one question, madam president? >> president feinstein: of course. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you very much, chief nicasio. again, i don't have a specific question. again, when i go through your report, as always, i look at the enormity of your area and oversight. i appreciate the members of the department that are working in the fire marshal's office. not everybody's names on here, but again, i believe it's captain pallen at this point
the commission [inaudible] my question just generically, if there's a fire on a safe street, how does that affect us as a department? the other day, i saw some folks with a planter box at the end of the street. i mean, if there's a problem, do we get out and move it or go through it? >> thank you, commissioner, for the question. dan dicosio, fire marshal. i'd like to thank everyone for the kind words. it's truly been my pleasure to
serve with the fire department in this great city. i'm here for a few more months, and i will address the commission properly and express my appreciation for the department and this city before i leave. i will just say that to begin with. to your question, commissioner, slow streets, we take a step back and look at how everything kind of developed here. it all began with covid, of course. it's been a year, and there's been a number of programs to address covid. there's been slow streets, there's been safe sleeping sites, and shared spaces to address the need for community open space, etc. all programs have benefits to them. there's always a trade-off, though. there's always a trade-off, and these are all temporary. these were all put forward as temporary programs. we reviewed them through that
lens, and we reviewed them through the lens as what was the traffic volume at the time for the temporary program, and basically, the feedback that i received as the fire marshal's office from m.t.a. was we were running about 50% of precovid. so we take all of that into consideration when we consider all these proposals put forward. specifically with safe streets, we've given our recommendation to approve or approved 34. 27 are approved and five more are coming. with regards to slow streets, to review something as a permanent program, we have to have some benefit in the future because permanent is a long-term plan. we don't know what kind of traffic volume we're going to be facing when all the covid
traffic restrictions are lifted. we started tracking our response times internally, our department. throughout the city, we've identified eight neighborhoods, and we've gone up to a current time. going back to 2016 from current time, there's been a slow creep, an increase to response times. and that's to be expected because at that time, the city was growing, the population was increasing, etc. one would expect when covid hit a year ago, our response times would speed up, but they haven't. wait times have continued to increase. the question is it's a judgment call. what is a reasonable amount of increase for these programs? and just to give you a little insight, we've seen an increase anywhere from just a few seconds to 32 seconds in
response time throughout the city, so moving forward, and if we're running between 50 and 70% traffic viet nam now. what is that going to be when we're at 100%, and that's the question we have to look at and look through the lens when we evaluate a permanent program. we take a little more time to evaluate this data as the volume increases and see how that correlates to our increased response level. getting to your point, how it impacts us. san francisco is unique, and c.v.-2 can probably respond to other things. but what is unique to san francisco is the density and the topography and the site
lines and the lot concerns. you look at san francisco, and we're second only to new york in terms of population density per square mile. and then, you give all of those other considerations. time is critical in san francisco. also, if you look at buildings built before 1942, they're going to have balloon frame, and so timing is critical. we have to have an aggressive fire attack and get to the scene of the fire quickly to limit exposure and limit the spread of fire. so saying all that, time is important to us. and right now, anywhere from 5 to 32 seconds, that's delay time. that puts our people more at risk, it puts the people we serve more at risk. the question is, is it a reasonable risk, and that's a
policy decision. so it delays our amount. it's a policy decision. what's the reasonable delay for the benefit of the trade-offs of these programs? and that's going off and saying too much. i think we need to track this for a greater period of time before we open up before we move into a permanent status of these programs. hopefully that answers your question. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you very much, fire marshal. as always, you have completely comprehensively answered my question, and that's personally one of the things that i'm going to miss about not having you after the retirement date. fiscal comes around in two
months, and when we say fiscal, it means usually at the end of fiscal, and i hope that, again, you will be able to give us enough room to go through your announcement because i think members of our department do so much work and have contributed -- not just you, chief, but i'm going to be a big proponent of proper thank yous and also respect in terms of appreciation. i've been around the block with this department, and i've run into a lot of fire marshals, and this is not disparaging to all of the men and women who have served in that position, but it's been a great pleasure to work with you because you've always been professional, consistent, comprehensive and your reports are really thorough. you're a great asset to this
department. now, to my question. i appreciate your answer. when you say policy, who makes the policy? >> again, i'm going to look into the eyes of the fire marshal, the proposal, who has what jurisdiction, and what is our role? so traffic calm, that lives in the fire code and falls under the chief of the department, however, traffic calm is the m.t.a., so do we have legal standing as a fire department? that's something i can't answer because the provisions in the fire code that allow us to regulate traffic calming, they're not adopted at the state level. they're only adopted at the local level, so if there's a conflict between, let's say the transportation code and the fire code, which one rules the day? and that's a question that i've asked and haven't really gotten a good answer on it and haven't
really pushed it because i haven't had to. m.t.a. has worked with us and they've been a good partner in this. all we can do is give historical data, give current data, and bring that forward with a recommendation. everything is a trade-off, as i said. shared spaces, do the cars stay in that neighborhood or do they go into another neighborhood? any program that slows traffic is probably going to slow down our response time. is it reasonable? that's the question, and then, there's spill-over into slow streets. now, our members don't drive down the slow streets. they'll choose an alternative route. we bring it forward to the chief of the department to speak with the m.t.a. and the head of city hall. >> commissioner nakajo: okay. chief, i've just got one
comment. i wanted to know who -- i'm glad you say we also have a working relationship in terms of our fire department responsibility. i'm concerned about how the fire department responds to [inaudible] and part of that is when the driver gets into a truck, and he's hauling out of the house, does he know what's closed, who's not closed? i remember the discussion with bicycle coalition, then i remember the discussion with h.u.b., then i recommend the discussion with the new street lanes, and now we're talking
about safe streets, closed streets. are the members supposed to know in that jurisdiction what streets are closed, are not closed, when they have to respond in to me, your report on increase in time, which we're responsible for because that's what we do, i'd like to know more about that. that's the end of my comments. thank you, fire marshal, for your comments and your service to my department. >> greetings, president. we can't hear you. we can see you but can't hear you. >> president feinstein: can you hear me now? >> clerk: yes. >> yes. >> president feinstein: okay. i apologize. i didn't -- didn't, like, just
disconnect from the meeting. i got kicked out, and it told me that i wasn't allowed back in, so i had to restart, so i truly apologize and hopefully someone can fill me in. and then i'll have an opportunity at another meeting, when my blood pressure goes down, to talk about webex. i will put that on the agenda. maybe we can get some reimbursement there. that's a good idea, mr. corso. are there further comments, and i'm sorry for what i missed. so any commissioners -- i have a couple questions and comments i'd like to make, but i'd like my fellow commissioners to have the opportunity first. i'm not seeing any hands. okay. okay.
i'm just going to try to keep this short, and i think perhaps i should defer this to later, but i'm really interested in learning more about the f.a.a. investigation at the airport. i don't know, chief, if it's a good time, bad time, perhaps, to have a tutorial because i'm probably behind others in your operations, but going forward, i will ask you for that. i will have to say that mr. corso gave me a budget
tutorial, and i thank him for that because i understand now the financial underpinnings of the department. i want to make a couple comments. i'm going to turn first to you, chief rubenstein, because i have actual suppression questions this time. the fire at 43 lawrence, and the one that had the pictures of before and when it was fully engulfed, as far as i'm concerned it was, there were wires. i don't know if they were delivering power to the house? they look like muni wires. there was a pg&e transformer right in front of -- or it appeared. i couldn't quite tell by the
angle. how -- i mean, how is that dealt with, in terms of what looked like to me, if you have to go with an aerial ladder to what seems to be a dangerous situation? >> thank you for your question, madam president, and it's one of a multitude of challenges that make san francisco home to one of the greatest or the greatest fire departments in the world. you can't put an aerial ladder to that building. that can't happen, and we're trained to recognize what kind of wires are what, but the real answer is the aggressive attack on that fire kept those wires from burning away. so we use ground ladders to get to that fire to stop damaging those wires and transformers.
>> president feinstein: all right. thank you. i also have a question about the greater alarm report, and just reading through it, you know, it seems to -- you know, i guess i need just clarification. it started out being a division two command fire because division two was closer to the fire than was -- whoever was responsible for division three, even though this was in division three's, you know, geographic area. there was a swath -- and i've just got concerns here. then, there was a briefing from division two, and they said
division three is now in command, and division two was assigned to safety, and it just felt to me as if there was some kind of little tussle there or disagreement. you know, i just had a feeling, and i need a greater explanation. i realize i'm limited in my knowledge of how things work, but if stuff was going back and forth, back and forth, and if you could just help us better understand what happened there in terms of the command, quite frankly? >> thank you for the very, madam president. i'll start by saying there is no discord or any kind of disagreement that was going on there. one of the things that i didn't
identify appropriately was on viewing. if you are in a neighborhood, and you observe a car accident or something, you do what's called on viewing. interested in the initial p.b. call to get in the area and when it became a fire, they started engaging with that. division three was assigned to that unit, and so they were dispatched to it. it's in their area. transfers of command are really critical moments for us. we're deliberate about it. we have manuals on how to do it, and that was all followed appropriately. what didn't go as i had hoped was there was an assignment given to division two, for division two to be assigned to safety. i arrived to the location, and
they were reassigned. the fires that we've had in san francisco have had one division chief on them, so we would never assigned two division chiefs to an individual. that was easily corrected, and there was never any dischord or argument about who was what. >> president feinstein: all right. i see. i appreciate that, and my last question, because the fire marshal wants to depart, so i'm going to get him last. are you there, fire marshal? >> yes, madam president. >> president feinstein: oh, i caught you. this is to follow up on a couple of my fellow
commissioners' comments, which are it appears to me and from what i've heard from different community members that the fire department completes an investigation of i don't know how to describe it. in this case, it was a [inaudible] is that correct or not correct? >> it's correct [inaudible] once the investigation's been completed, then, it's public information, and it can be released. the reason we don't do it mid stream is because if we release it too early, we can compromise the investigation. so we wait until it's complete, and then we release it and it
becomes public information. >> president feinstein: okay. is it released in an unredacted form? >> no. it's fully released with public information redacted. >> president feinstein: okay. i thank you very much. i think that, in the interest of time, that that's what i have. >> president feinstein, if i may? >> president feinstein: yes. >> i just had to clarify, in response to commissioner nakajo, the temporary versus permanent, i just want to be clear because i know it's a sensitive subject right now. we as a department would not moved forward on that unless we thought it was reasonable. i just want to make sure it's out there, our support of these programs we thought was reasonable at the time we evaluate it. my concern as the fire marshal
is moving forward, and making some of these programs permanent when we don't have all the data yet, and we don't know what 100% traffic volume will be on these programs, i just want to make that crystal clear. >> president feinstein: i think that's really important, because traffic is increasing, and i think we saw in seattle for the weekend, shared spot, till a car comes around the corner and doesn't quite make the turn, and there go, you know, the diners and the dining areas and it -- sometimes people that are creating hazards where making none need exist as we start to open things more, so thank you.
and commissioner nakajo, please. >> commissioner nakajo: i just wanted to address chief fire marshal's comment in terms of clarity. thank you very much, fire marshal. >> my pleasure. >> president feinstein: yeah, i appreciate that and would second that saying. all right. further comment? okay. next item, madam secretary. >> clerk: okay. item five, commission report. report on commission activities since last meeting on march 24, 2021. >> president feinstein: all right. let me get my agenda. does anybody have anything to report? i'm seeing no hands.
>> clerk: and there's nobody on the public comment line. >> president feinstein: all right. public comment is closed. okay. moving on, did i -- did i fall -- with regard to item six, is there further discussion on item six? >> clerk: do you want me to call the agenda item? >> president feinstein: yes. while i was kicked off, i'm not sure what i missed. so anybody feel free to jump in and say i missed it. >> clerk: item six, communications. letter from robert demens dated april 2, 2021, and there's nobody on the public comment line. >> president feinstein: okay. now public comment is closed.
now, was the discussion already had? >> clerk: there was discussion on slow streets but not on the letter. >> president feinstein: okay. anybody wish to make comment on the letter? it is on for discussion. commissioner covington? >> commissioner covington: thank you. the letter is a short letter, so i would appreciate the commission secretary reading the letter aloud. >> president feinstein: madam secretary, if you would. >> clerk: okay. let me pull it up here. . >> commissioner covington: i think it will help with our discussion.
>> clerk: okay. dear san francisco fire commission. why do fire stations have poles to allow firefighters to arrive at their fire engines and truck faster than by using the standard staircases, responding to a call faster? firefighters keep their helmets and responsive gear on the trucks to reduce times when responding to calls. one alarm fires can progress very quickly to a two, three, or greater alarm fire. with a medical call to a heart attack victim, and many other medical conditions, seconds counts. from my first day working in a fire station, i was told that a quick response is essential. peoples' lives can depend on
how quickly we get to the scene. san francisco slow streets do just what the name implies. they slow or stop traffic on those streets, but they can also slow responses by police cruisers, ambulance services, or fire response. at times, even the intersections are blocked by cross traffic on oak street, resulting in parking enforcement officers issuing many citations for blocking the intersection. making streets like page street a closed street poses a permanent threat on streets like oak street making it impossible for services to respond in a timely frame to
that area. i ask that permanently making page street a slow street be reconsidered. i also suggest that before converting any street to a slow street that the citizens on all of the neighboring streets be consulted. finally, there should be a feasibility study done to find out how the conversion will impact emergency responders and response times. life safety must always be a top priority. your truly, robert l. demmons, chief of the san francisco fire department, retired. >> commissioner covington: thank you, madam secretary, for reading that and refreshing our memories about what's contained in the letter. even though one item was
called, this item was somewhat covered, you know, a little bit, but i just want to point out that, you know, chief demmons, first of all, i greatly appreciate chief demmons for sending this letter to us and to elected officials and to the m.t.a. i just want to just point out one thing that the commission secretary has just read, which is a one-alarm fire, which we have seen in the footage that chief rubenstein showed, that a one-alarm fire can quickly escalate to a two, three, or four alarm, and that's something we must keep in mind because slow streets can slow
down response time. commissioner nakajo just mentioned in his comments that he saw people splitting up, i think he said picnic tables. i'm sorry, commissioner nakajo. i hope you'll speak again on this, so i'm very interested to hear what my other commissioners have to say about this, and then, i can circle back. thank you. thank you, madam president. >> president feinstein: thank you, commissioner covington. commissioner nakajo? >> commissioner nakajo: thank you, madam president. commissioner covington, my reference was off of baker streets, one of those streets that's on the side, and it was flower pots of long wooden flowers, and that's what they were placing behind me. sometimes there's a cape, looks
like a police cape across the horses. and to my fellow commissioners, the remarks weren't to chief demmons' letter when i was addressing the fire marshal, so i just wanted to say that. thank you. >> president feinstein: thank you, commissioner nakajo. commissioner rodriguez? >> commissioner rodriguez: so i don't know what the process is for someone -- if i was a store owner or a restaurant owner, and i wanted to apply for one of these things to be built. you know, i know in construction -- in construction, there's the e.i.r., and there's a study of how [inaudible] is being built is going to affect the
neighborhood that it's being built in, and usually, the public has a chance to comment on that during planning. obviously, with the covid, maybe that impacted that. i don't know what the city's policy is. i would hope that they do do a study, and that more than just city planners -- in other words, i would hope that the neighborhood that these things are being built in, that the people have a voice. i mean, that's always been the argument. you have planners that want to come in and do stuff, but you never hear from people in the neighborhood. i never thought about what chief demmons has said, but i know in fire sprinklers, we used to have -- i remember them
sending out a video to how fast a christmas tree can go up in flames and how fast it can spread. i understand that we need to change because situations can change, but i also believe that the safety factors there, we shouldn't be going backwards, we should be making things as safe as we can, so i'd be interested in knowing what is the criteria for someone who is requesting one from being built. >> president feinstein: i can direct that. i think that is a shared space question versus a slow street question. mr. fire marshal, are you prepared to respond to that?
>> absolutely. >> president feinstein: oh, great. thanks. >> so who's the lead agency? i know we've talked about it before. it's d.p.w., department of public works. we do our review for fire department access, and guidelines have been put forward from the fire department for access considerations, and that's what we look at. slow streets is m.t.a., 100%, and what m.t.a. does, they take input from the residents that live on the streets in the area. they survey the stakeholders. fire department's going to be one of them, the benefit and the cost to the proposal, and with that input, they move forward and put it on the agenda item for task, if they decide to move forward and to vote up or down on it. and again, from what our
input's been to know, evaluating the numbers at 50%, it's been pretty solid. the consideration is moving forward increased in the opening. so shared space is d.p.w. they route the permits, we respond. slow streets is m.t.a. >> president feinstein: all right. is there a follow-up question, commissioner rodriguez? >> clerk: i just want to remind you that we need to be off by noon. >> president feinstein: okay. well -- okay. then, i guess, commissioner rodriguez, ixnay on your follow up question. >> commissioner rodriguez: i can try to get some answers because of the lag time. >> president feinstein: you
can. any other questions for anybody here? >> commissioner covington: if commissioner cleaveland doesn't want to speak because i can't speak, i did ask that i be able to circle back. i wanted to give other -- >> president feinstein: yes. i wanted to ask one follow up question if i might first, and then, you can conclude. >> commissioner covington: thank you. >> president feinstein: fire marshal dicosio, i had occasion to walk the other day and walked up grant avenue, and it was so narrow, i -- i was wondering if a car could get up there, let alone an ambulance coming around a corner, and it was -- it was really disturbing to me. i mean, aside from the parking issues, the access issues,
whether this is what we're going to become, these little streets, which is a life saver for a lot of businesses. but a lot of businesses can't get them because they don't have the store frontage or street frontage. i'm wondering if anything can get up grant avenue, and i'm talking about above broadway, the old north beach grant avenue. is that a fair conclusion on my part or an unfair conclusion? >> well, yes or no. what we have here is standards that we follow. minimum 20-foot fire lane.
there are many areas in san francisco that do not supply with that 20-foot requirement, so what do we do in situations like that? well, you're existing, you're nonconforming. we do not create a more hazardous condition, so if your street's only 14 feet wide, our rule of thumb is we don't encroach any further than what's been existing for decades or 100 years-plus. so grant street, if they want -- if there's a goal to have shared space on grant street, they could not encroach on what's already there with the parked cars, so they would have to share space with parked cars and follow the sheriff's guidelines. >> president feinstein: boy, i was going to say i'm no expert, but it sure seems that it's gone beyond that.
i'll leave it at that, but i just hope we don't lose another grand building in san francisco or that somebody isn't injured. i'll leave it at that, and commissioner covington, and i believe you wish to follow up. >> commissioner covington: okay. well, thank you. i'm glad that we're having this discussion, and i'm glad that we got the letter from former chief demmons because there seems to be a lot of confusion about what the shared streets and the slow streets are. the shared streets are designed for people to be able to walk and get out during the pandemic. i'm very familiar with page street, which was mentioned in
[inaudible] and while it was intended to get out and people to have some place to walk and congregate during the pandemic and do it safely, the novelty has worn off. there is no one on page street walking -- and biking, i don't know if you've ever seen anyone bike up page street. it's very, very steep, so all of that traffic that would ordinarily be on page street has been forced onto the other street, primarily oak street, and i think that safety is the number one priority not just for the fire department but for everyone. we're all trying to be safe, and the surveys that m.t.a. is putting out, i think some of
them need to be revisited because they were -- people were surveyed in my neighborhood -- speaking of my neighborhood, were surveyed during the time that it was scheduled to be returned. people were trying to deal with staying out of the clutches of covid, trying to home school their children, trying to get a job if they didn't have one, trying to keep a job if they had one, so they didn't respond to the survey -- this is me talking to my neighbors. they didn't respond to the survey because it was a temporary thing for covid. but what i've seen a lot, if
you go from stannion all the way to octavia boulevard is there's all of these obstructions to cars, and if there are obstructions to cars, then there are obstructions to firefighters trying to get quickly to a call. that is what chief demmons is highlighting. it's, like, if seconds count, and there is no reinforcement as to what is allowed as a barrier on a so-called slow street, it can be anything, and it's becoming anything, and it's dangerous. in my opinion, it's very dangerous. >> president feinstein: thank you, thank you. >> commissioner covington: and i would like -- i would like for this to be an agenda item so that we can talk about it
because we have talked many, many times about the shared spaces, but we haven't talked as a commission about slow streets and the 13 new slow streets that are being proposed to be made permanent, as well, by the m.t.a. >> president feinstein: all right. thank you. >> commissioner covington: thank you. >> president feinstein: we are pretty much at 12:00, aren't me, madam secretary? >> clerk: we are at five minutes. >> president feinstein: item seven, if you'd call it. >> clerk: item seven, agenda for next and future fire commission meetings. >> president feinstein: okay. paper, paper. all right. do we have anybody on the public comment line?
>> clerk: there is nobody on the public comment line, and we do have chief o'connor reporting on the awss for the next meeting. >> president feinstein: okay. thank you. public comment's closed, by the way, and we will have chief o'connor reporting. and anything else people wish to have considered for the next agenda? i understand slow streets and shared spaces -- sorry. i mix them all up, so those items. and i see commissioner nakajo, you have your hand up. >> commissioner nakajo: thank you, madam president. on the discretion of the chief, and i'll address it to the chief, i would like to see if we can get a new training
director, officer chief paola come up and introduce him, and also if we could get a status on the current class at the academy, and i don't know, chief nichols, if they're not running or if they've been running for a couple of weeks. so if we can have the chief come and make a couple of remarks since we've never had an opportunity [inaudible] chief of the department [inaudible]. >> yes, sir, commissioner. we can certainly make that happen. i believe the next week will be deputy chief of administration report, and he can certainly
update you on any of the goings on in the 127th and chief paola would be happy to say some more words. >> commissioner nakajo: all right. thank you very much, chief. >> president feinstein: all right. are we ready for the next item because we're really down to the last two minutes. >> clerk: item eight, adjournment. >> commissioner covington: i so move. >> president feinstein: commissioner cleaveland seconds. madam secretary, roll call vote. [roll call] >> clerk: it's unanimous. the meeting is adjourned at 11:58.
has been created and planned by our san francisco teachers for our students. >> our premise came about for san francisco families that didn't have access to technology, and that's primarily children preschool to second grade. >> when we started doing this distance learning, everything was geared for third grade and up, and we work with the little once, and it's like how were they still processing the information? how were they supposed to keep learning? >> i thought about reaching the student who didn't have internet, who didn't have computers, and i wanted them to be able to see me on the t.v. and at least get some connection with my kids that way. >> thank you, friends.
see you next time. >> hi, friend. >> today's tuesday, april 28, 2020. it's me, teacher sharon, and i'm back again. >> i got an e-mail saying that i had an opportunity to be on a show. i'm, like, what? >> i actually got an e-mail from the early education department, saying they were saying of doing a t.v. show, and i was selected to be one of the people on it, if i was interested. i was scared, nervous. i don't like public speaking and all the above. but it worked out. >> talk into a camera, waiting for a response, pretending that oh, yeah, i hear you, it's so very weird. i'm used to having a classroom
with 17 students sitting in front of me, where they're all moving around and having to have them, like, oh, sit down, oh, can you hear them? let's listen. >> hi guys. >> i kind of have stage flight when i'm on t.v. because i'm normally quiet? >> she's never quiet. >> no, i'm not quiet. >> my sister was, like, i saw you on t.v. my teacher was, i saw you on youtube. it was exciting, how the community started watching. >> it was a lot of fun. it also pushed me outside of my comfort zone, having to make my own visuals and lesson plans so quickly that ended up being a
lot of fun. >> i want to end today with a thank you. thank you for spending time with us. it was a great pleasure, and see you all in the fall. >> i'm so happy to see you today. today is the last day of the school year, yea! >> it really helped me in my teaching. i'm excited to go back teaching my kids, yeah. >> we received a lot of amazing feedback from kiddos, who have seen their own personal teacher on television. >> when we would watch as a family, my younger son, kai, especially during the filipino episodes, like, wow, like, i'm proud to be a filipino. >> being able to connect with someone they know on television has been really, really powerful for them. and as