Question: What is an LAFD Staff Assistant?

Sunday, October 03, 2010 |

What is an LAFD Staff Assistant? Become informed on a topical issue by watching this video about Los Angeles Fire Department Command Teams:



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

16 comments:

redcup56 said...

Brian,

Great video. Explains about SA's in great detail. Thanks for making it available for viewing.

It was also nice to match up faces with names that I have seen in previous blog posts.

Hope you can put up more videos, and maybe get back to some of your posts that gave explanations like you did a few years ago when you weren't so busy.

Stay safe,

Mark
Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Ashley Rogers said...

I agree with Mark's statements.

Thanks for sharing.

Ashley Rogers
Arkansas

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Mark and Ashley,

Thank you for viewing the video, and sharing your personal viewpoints.

Anonymous 3:01,

People are indeed welcome to watch the video (we suggest HD mode and full-screen) - or not.

Like so many things in life, we believe an informed opinion is best formed after considering the viewpoints and thoughts of others.

Thanks for succinctly sharing yours!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

KEEP THE SA's in service. When someone dies due to some mistake or overload at the command level at an incident, they are gonna be looking at the single chief trying to manage Accountability, and all the other million things that has to be done to run an incident. Its safer, and smarter.

Anonymous said...

For over a year, the Chief Officers' Association was silent when the City lost 85 firefighters and paramedics everyday. Now they Chief Officers are losing their rides, public safety is suddenly at risk.

The public and street firefighters and paramedics have been at risk for over a year because of eliminated positions and for the COA to now stand up as the champions of public safety brings their motives into question. To say the least.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brian,
Where was all the information you posted about the brown outs????????

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 6:59,

We don't pretend to (nor should we) speak for the Chief Officer's Association.

Those wishing to learn the COA's position on labor and management issues are encouraged to visit their website at: lacitychiefs.net

Similarly, those wishing to learn the formal labor position of uniformed Los Angeles Firefighters at and below the rank of Captain should visit: uflac.org

Thanks for writing.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 4:51,

I don't recall writing (nor can I presently find any) specific information about the Fire Chief's Modified Coverage Plan.

I do recall on several occasions however, both citing and linking to UFLAC's interactive MCP mapping application, as it provided an accurate overview of what was happening where and when in a non-political manner (kudos to the UFLAC webteam!)

That was what most visitor's were looking for, and I sadly had neither the time nor interest in trying to replicate their fine on-line tool.

I hope this information helps.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

This video is just a "insurance poilcy". Shame on the Cheif officers association for wanting to bring back the MCP just so they can have their drivers back. Putting the lives of firefighters and the constituents they serve just so they can "have a ride" is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

As firefighters we do not disagree that the position at the command post to assist a chief is very important at emergency incidents.

However a permanent funded position such as a staff assistant can be performed by another Chief officer, EMS Captain or a trained BLS rescue.

There are major city fire departments throughout the country that have managed to do this without a permanent staff assistant position for decades, and have a good safety record.

A few years ago the LAFD dispatch increased an A assignment with another company, the same can be done here. Dispatch an additional Battalion Chief to assist at the command post. The average Battalion commands call load may be 3 to 4 calls or less, while Fire/ Ems companies can average 6 to 15 calls per day.

The issue of accountability comes up through out the video, yet tragically and being honest with the public, we have lost firefighters through out the last decades. Staff assistants were on scene at all these command posts assisting the Chief officers and yes accountability was a factor at some of this incidents. This is not a criticism of anyone, simply stating a fact that sometimes gets overlooked.

Lastly a factor that influences firefighters is "some" staff assistance that feel entitled to the benefits of being a Battalion Chief. (PS: a Battalion Chief went thru the ranks and has decades of doing firefighter duties and has earned their benefits)

Unfortunately , crews have seen and heard, "we don't do house work", we don't fix anything", we"re to busy to cook" we don't participate in drills', yet you can find these same S/A's watching TV for hours, washing their cars or running personal errands.
This attitude has a huge contributing factor why they do not get much support from the rank and file.

Hopefully a good comprise can be reach that addresses the financial and safety aspects of this issue.

Brian keep up the good job.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 7:54 and 8:52,

Thanks for sharing your personal opinions in a polite yet passionate manner.

I think we can agree that concerns of actual or perceieved inequities can be attributed to (as you clearly infer) a barely discernable fraction of the nearly 4,000 men and women who proudly serve our City as uniformed and civilian members of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

In reviewing our proud (and sometimes not so proud) 124 year history, I trust my colleagues and those we serve will come to the obvious conclusion that we have weathered stronger storms - and have always emerged more capable and committed to the challenges of our life's work.

Fraternally Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

I am a retired Battalion Chief with the Atlanta Fire Rescue Dept. During and prior to my 33 year career with Dept we always had what we call now Command Techs assisting the BC. Without an assistant the BC is handicapped. The BC can not properly manage the incident command system without that assistant. That assistant also assist the BC with daily administrative duties.

Anonymous said...

As stated so eloquently, the staff assistant position is highly overrated. Chief officers have had to work alone before and managed to get the job done. Don't forget the addition of the command post company if and when the incident escalated.

We as firefighters of the LAFD have always been forced to adjust when it was needed, just once can the chief officers adjust for the welfare of all members. The Fire Prevention Bureau has had to endure unprecedented shortages of manpower. These are the people that oversee compliance in buildings that "kill firefighters."

These are weary economic times and all are asked to contribute. I have yet to see a chief put out a fire - that task is taken on by the foot soldiers - Firefighters.

James Cleary said...

There are plenty of opinions out there. Note that firefighters will express the opinion that Chief's don't put out fires, don't need staff assistants, etc.

This goes back to the old saying of, "you know what you know, and you don't know what you don't know." Ask any staff assistant: Did you know how important this job was before you took it on? The answer will nearly always be, "I had no idea."

The Staff Assistant position should be reinvented. The LAFD should consider making it a promotional position and with a different title. Perhaps something like "command team specialist."

Firefighting and disaster responses are dangerous. A command post company is one possible alternative, but those members are likely to be in a district they're unfamiliar with, with commanders they don't work with daily, etc.

And for those firefighters who would pass judgment on Chief Officers, don't forget they were firefighters at one time. Firefighters have not been Chief Officers (yet) and should retain some level of respect for the fact they do NOT know what the job entails. Just like any safety officer in the military, or commander, there are ALWAYS teams at work. The AirBoss on an aircraft carrier always has his MINI BOSS with him. Any US Army General has a multiple person staff, but his personal assistant, is part of his/her team.

When you put the back room deals and politics aside, there is no doubt that a Staff Assistant is essential to firefighter safety. Any review of LODD incidents will reveal the good will and intentions of the firefighter (who was putting the fire out), but in the process missed something that led to his/her death. Let's not risk FF LODD incidents by eliminating the individuals who work diligently (in most cases) to protect their brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

I hope all of you stick to your opinions now that they are gone. The savings is closer to $5 million. How much staff does LAPD have? What about the mayor? Tracking will now be handled by different people, every time a fire is dispatched LAFD will roll the dice. The Captain tracking may have had training in addition to his other functions. HAZMAT / FIRE / USAR / TERRORISM / AIRPORT / BRUSH / & many more...plus add STAFF AIDE? "Jack of all trades...master of none". Wait till a citizen or firefighter dies! The fingerpointing will begin. Pipes will play, tears will roll and the mayor will say I did not know this would happen. Lets bring those guys back. Short memories...Remember Capt. Joe Dupee?

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