April 16, 2020
Message from UFLAC President Freddy Escobar
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
First and foremost, your UFLAC Executive Board would like to thank all of our members for stepping up and serving on the front lines day in and day out, risking your own safety during this global pandemic. From staffing stations to working at the COVID-19 testing sites, your work is saving lives in the City of Los Angeles and you are all demonstrating once again why you are the most dedicated, well-trained, and all-around best Firefighters and Paramedics. It is truly my honor to serve as your President of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112.
COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives, including our work and how we go about protecting ourselves and all Angelenos. These last few weeks have been very difficult and filled with a lot of uncertainty as we all work to try to slow the spread of the virus. Now more than ever, UFLAC remains committed to our mission to lead the way in protecting the health and safety of our members as we fight for better working conditions and constantly advocate for top wages, benefits and a secure retirement for our members and your families.
Last week, I attended the LAFD Recruit Academy Graduation Ceremony and was proud to welcome 49 new recruits to our Department. As you know, in an effort to increase overall Department resources, the recruits graduated four weeks early and are now serving alongside our members in preparation for the potential surge of coronavirus patients in the days and weeks to come. The Department also launched a new telemedicine program at its emergency dispatch center using specially trained physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to screen potential COVID-19 patients and other individuals calling 911 with non-life-threatening issues. This new program will help to minimize exposure within our ranks while still delivering exceptional care to those most in need.
UFLAC continues to have a seat at the table during the Department Operations Center’s (DOC) daily briefings in order to remain informed and give critical input from the field and the nearly 3,500 members that we represent. As of April 15th, the LAFD had a total of 19 employees who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Nine LAFD employees have recovered from this virus and returned to duty. The remaining ten employees are isolated and recovering at home. We have been monitoring our members’ progress and wish all LAFD employees a full recovery from this global pandemic.
COVID-19 is having an impact on people throughout the world, despite age, gender, or occupation. This virus is hitting our first responders especially hard, regardless of the precautions that our men and women are taking to be as safe as possible. With that said, UFLAC would like to extend our deepest condolences to our 5 IAFF brothers who have died due to complications from COVID-19. Our prayers are with their families and loved ones. May they Rest In Peace.
We know that these are stressful times, so please take a moment (if you haven’t already done so), to view the “Family Webinar” that took place on April 14th. The “Family Webinar” was designed to create and find supportive resources to maintain a first line of defense on the home front for our first responder families and their relationships. The goal is to build a community of Firefighter families to support, guide, inform, and provide resources in the fire life. Behavioral health resources are available to you and your families, 24 hours a day, seven days a week! To view the “Family Webinar” video click HERE and for additional resources log onto UFLAC’s Peer Support page.
TRADES AND CTO UPDATE
On April 20th, the use of trades (360) will be reinstated. Additionally, beginning April 24th, all other CTO (VC, TS, HO) will be approved. The Planning Section is currently working on updating NSS to allow members to enter trades and CTO – a notice will be issued to members when NSS has been updated.
For those members who have been inquiring about the next promotion, promotions have been posted on the LAFD Portal and will be effective April 26, 2020.
One other important note, although it may not always be on the top of your mind, please remember to confirm and update your current dependent and beneficiary information on all of your personal documents. Should there ever be a need to use this information, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones are covered in case of an emergency.
UFLAC MONTHLY GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING & OFFICE OPERATIONS
Continuing with the Mayor’s directive of canceling all public gatherings within the City of Los Angeles, UFLAC’s General Membership Meeting for the month of April will be held electronically on April 29th via the live stream webinar. Please click HERE for more information and to register for the April 29th General Membership Webinar.
UFLAC Offices remain closed to the public, but we are available via telephone and email during normal business hours, 7:00am to 4:00pm, excluding holidays.
TOLL-FREE: (800) 252-8352
PHONE: (213) 895-4006
FAX: (213) 250-5678 (DO NOT send any medical personal health information/PHI)
ONGOING COVID-19 TESTING
As announced by the DOC, the Department will provide COVID-19 testing for all LAFD members who exhibit signs and symptoms of COVID-19 illness.
The testing will be conducted by appointment for members who are on or off duty and display any of the following symptoms:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) symptoms
Please click HERE for instructions on how to get tested for COVID-19.
Please remember to be safe out there and do everything possible to look out for your fellow Firefighters on the front lines. If you have questions regarding COVID-19, please contact the LAFD Emergency Medical Services Bureau at (213) 978-3885. You can also direct your questions to UFLAC’s Health & Safety Committee by sending an email to [email protected].
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City