INFORMATION FROM MR. SHIMABNUKURO
REGARDING LUALUALEI FIRE
Subject: Brush Fire (Lualualei)
Dear Mr. Cox,
name is Reid Shimabukuro and I'm the President of the Federal
Firefighters of Hawaii. Local F263 is the Union representing all
Federal Firefighters in the State of Hawaii. I would like to thank you
for your concern for the Leeward Coast Community during this early
brushfire season. I've taken the time to read the article in
yesterday's Star Advertiser and would like to add a little more insight
that may be of greater concern. In July 2011, the Union received an
email from Fire Chief Glenn DeLaura that he would be closing Fire
Station 11 (Lualualei). Immediately after receiving his email
notification, the Union responded with detailed questions as to "why".
Chief DeLaura responded to 80% of our questions stating it was
"non-negotiable". The Union prepared a notice of an Unfair Labor
Practice (ULP) for failing to bargain or consult about these changes.
FFD Management and the Union had a "face to face" meeting on July 28,
In this meeting, Chief DeLaura stated that Naval Magazine
Lualualei was changed from a Category A Installation to a Category B.
What does this mean? Category A requires fire protection 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year. Category B requires no fire protection at all and
can be covered by Mutual Aid. FYI - Chief DeLaura has had no further
meeting with the Union to further elaborate on our questions. He's
"browned out" Fire Station 11 (Lualualei) as a "cost saving" measure and
has completely disregarded our cost saving suggestions by the Union.
On 22 April 2012, the Federal Fire Department officially reassigned all
employees assigned to Fire Station 11 and implemented an SOP on how
Station 11 would be covered. A rotation of crews would be rotated from
their normal response area and relocated to Station 11 between the hours
of 0800 - 1530. From the very beginning the Union objected to this
idea for several crucial reasons:
1. Government Contractor BAE
starts their work day at 0730. FFD starts their work day at 0800. This
means that their would be no fire protection for the first few hours of
the morning. Be advised that BAE is contracted for weapons movement.
Some of these weapons are classified as 1.1 High Explosives.
2. The overlapping work start times will cost more in overtime and fuel consumption.
3. Fire Crews will be required to travel during the heart of traffic periods which poses greater risks during rush hour.
4. The contractors will have no Fire or EMS protection at the start of their workday.
5. BRUSHFIRES would be at greater risk with no Fire Protection.
The Tracking Station at Yokohama Bay will be at greater risk because
the nearest fire company would be traveling from a much longer distance.
Cox, the list goes on and on. We've given our Fire Chief every
opportunity to address these valid concerns and he has simply
disregarded our concerns. Now we are faced with a Brushfire that could
have been prevented or minimized had the original Fire Company been in
Station. Normally, an Engine Company and a Brush Truck would be in
station, now with Chief DeLaura's change, there may be only an Engine
Company on any given day. On Monday, the day the Brushfire started,
only Engine 102 was in station. Had this fire started anytime after
1530 there would be no one in the station.
As for Chief DeLaura's
comments in the Star Advertiser regarding having helicopters available
to assist, the request was made by the Battalion Chief on scene but was
denied by our Deputy Fire Chief of Operations Glenn Kaauwai. I don't
know the exact reasons for denying the request but read in the Star
Advertiser article that "high winds" may have been the reason. The
local news reported that 5 helicopters were assisting to extinguish the
fire on Monday so I would question the excuse of "high winds".
available to answer any questions that you may have and as you are
probably aware, not everything can been covered or addressed in an
email. Thank you for your time and for being ever vigilante to protect
Federal Firefighters of Hawaii - Local F263
(808) 255-9253Date: June 7, 2012 9:49:44 AM HST
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