Brothers and Sisters in the 8th,
Well we've almost made it through another blistering hot summer in the panhandle, I'm sure you're ready for some relief but we all know there's none in sight. I just returned from some sand and sun with my family in South Walton and can tell you that there are times I regret not being a member of Local 3516 instead of 2339. One of my goals through the first several months in this position is to learn more about each Local and the area you serve. One way to do that is for me to get in the truck and make the drive over.
Well I haven't wasted any time, I started with a couple visits last month to Okaloosa County to North Bay, Niceville, Okaloosa Island, and Fort Walton Beach. I appreciate the hospitality and enjoyed the station visits. I was also invited to come over to Walton County for the day to sit in on the final (hopefully) negotiations session. I also have a trip planned to Escambia on August 27 and 28 for an MDA event and plan to catch up with Pensacola and Escambia Locals.
My plan is to send out an 8th DVP report bimonthly and include information on politics, service, events and any other important news. I'll reach out to the Locals a couple of weeks before to see if you would like to include any information in my report. Also, please feel free to pass along any information or dates on events at anytime for me to send out. I would also like to feature a Local President or E-board member from a different Local each time so that we can all get to know each other.
I will also be sending out a survey via email to help me get to know your needs and develop an idea of which direction to head and develop a road map to get there for our district. I am also planning a multi-day union leadership symposium in the western portion of the district for sometime in mid to late October, more info to follow on that soon.
Remember to fill in the 8th Benefits Comparable Survey for your local online: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oG1ENxHch5eSEOH_vT_-u2qAvwOCxg83Lw7hZqIUPa0
Florida Division of Retirement Update:
I sent this out earlier but wanted to include it again in this letter. The Division of Retirement has sent out a "Q&A" on the new changes to Chapters 175/185 of the Florida Statutes (see attached). They have also scheduled 2 webinars that we encourage you to participate in. Do not hesitate to contact President Tolley, Vice President Salvatori, Secretary/Treasurer Marsh, or myself with any questions or for guidance on the new laws. As you know, the FPF was heavily involved in the negotiations over these changes and they are eager to assist your locals with the implementation of the new provisions. Please forward the link to the information to your interested local officers, pension board trustees, etc.
175 Informational Documents: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7qLpUIbuI7kSmFjSEhLQmV0am8&usp=sharing
Around the 8th District:
Feel free to shoot me any news or info on the happenings of your Local
Tallahassee/Wakulla Local 2339:
Children’s Burn Camp of North Florida (Camp Amigo) celebrated its 15th year in Nantahala, NC this past June with over 100 kids/FF/Volunteers. Camp President and L2339 President Rusty Roberts reports that camp was a huge success. Video of camp - http://bit.ly/1M9fPyf
Wakulla County Fire Rescue (27 members) have signed cards and amalgamated under Tallahassee L2339 and are IAFF members. We are awaiting action from PERC since filing the RC Petition last month. We have a hearing date set for mid-September.
Fire Station Dedication for Station 16 marks new growth for the TFD and the first station in 14 years. Video of ceremony- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfF2L6Hp-0g
Escambia Local 4131:
Report from Escambia L4131 President Nick Gradia-
Our last run with the commissioners went well. Escambia County will be hiring 24 full time personnel in the near future. We stand a good chance at adding an additional 12-24 more next year. Anyone looking to be apart of an aggressive department, this is a great place to be.
Walton County Local 4413:
Walton County finalizing CBA with the Walton County.
Niceville (Northbay) Local 3505:
Contract negotiations beginning in Niceville. Manly Bolin will be Negotiating the contract as an IAFF Field Service Rep.
Ft. Walton Beach Local 2601:
New fire engine arrives and placed into service in traditional fashion. http://bit.ly/1HnYQ3e
Jackson County Local 3043:
Fire and Iron donated $1,000 to Camp Amigo Burn Camp
The FPF New Office Groundbreaking:
The FPF new office groundbreaking event was held on July 13 and was a huge success. Firefighters from TFD Station 1 responded to the smoke(fake of course) filled office and executed a fire response demo for more than 3 dozen onlookers including politicians and community partners. Also in attendance IAFF 12th District Vice President Larry Osborne, Jacksonville Firefighters Local 122 members including President Randy Wyse, FPF principal officers and staff. The event even included a rescue of our very own Kinsey. The demolition on the building began Tuesday, August 4. FPF staff will capture time lapse of the demo and construction. News link- http://bit.ly/1DnlcXT
Supreme Court ruling
In June, the Supreme Court handed down the Affordable Care Act decision. In the case of King v. Burwell, the court was charged with determining if individuals purchasing health care through the federal exchange were permitted to receive tax subsidies. The IAFF created a Q&A for our members although generally speaking there is no immediate effect on IAFF members or their plans.
Local Firefighter Runs for Office in St. Pete
Brother Will Newton (2nd District Vice-President of FPF) is running for St. Petersburg City Council and could use our support. Consider a small contribution to his campaign to help elect our good Brother. Link to contribute: http://iwillnewton.com/
Call to Action:
Osceola County L3284 Brother Randall Donaldson call for assistance - http://www.gofundme.com/z4vg4v8k
Tallahassee L2339 Brother Chris Thurman - Prayers needed for Brother Chris was diagnosed with cancer early this summer and continues to fight the fight. The good Brothers and Sisters in Tallahassee have donated enough time to keep him on the roster through February. Chris loves to read and even a short message of support from a Brother in another department would raise his spirits.
Chris Thurman 5291 Maddox Rd. (32303)
Meet a Member of the 8th- Tallahassee Local 2339 President Rusty Roberts
Rusty Roberts began his fire career in 1989 with the Tallahassee Fire Department, rising through the ranks to his current position as Lieutenant. Working in conjunction with the Tallahassee and other Departments throughout the state, Rusty Roberts developed “Camp Amigo,” a week long summer camp for children who are burn survivors, helping them to understand that they are not alone in their experience. During his twenty-six years of service, Rusty Roberts has been involved in a number of fire service events, including forestry firefighting in Central Florida, and participation in the championship extrication team in international firefighting competition from 2001 through 2007.
Rusty was recognized as Professional Firefighter of the Year by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office in 2014. Rusty Roberts is the District 12 Burn Coordinator for the International Association of Firefighters, supporting the IAFF in burn prevention, fire safety, burn care and survivor support activities. Rusty has been active in the Local for the entirety of his career and has served as Union President for the past 3 years.
8th District Vice President
Florida Professional FireFighters
345 West Madison Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301