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President's Message

Participate in the 92nd annual CSFA Conference and help be part of the solution

The annual CSFA Conference is less than 60 days away and counting. The CSFA Board, conference planning committee and staff have worked very hard this year to make the annual conference experience even better than before. We are ramping up vendor sponsorships, and our program and activities after membership input from the past few years. Now all we need is you, the membership to show up and participate. Yes, participate! I know we are all busy, but so are those that want to cut our benefits, cut staffing, don't think it's a big deal to increase response times, make our job a little more dangerous to save a few dollars, and the list goes on. So come to the conference and be part of the solution!

One of the main reasons I ran for President 10 years ago is that CSFA has a very successful legislative track record of making a difference for the California fire service. I am humbled and honored to part of that process as a CSFA member for the past 34 years. While President of the L.A. City Firefighters Association from 1995-2004, LAFFA authored Bills demanding safer overhead storage in retail facilities, priority cellular access for public safety (SB1311), and probably the most important, legislation to allow those exposed to a patient's blood to know if the patient had a communicable disease that could infect us or our families (AB2423). Beverly Hills FFA, L.A City FFA along with long time CSFA delegate Captain Harry Rich (Ret.) from the LAFD Medical Liaison Unit and Afrack Vargas made AB2423 transform into law. It took three years, but we did it together. The idea came from Beverly Hills and L.A. City FD members who saw a problem, came up with a solution and saw it through.

home runs with SB-183 mandating carbon monoxide detectors in homes and apartments, supporting AB946 allowing procurement law changes to allow a $400M communications project move forward in L.A. County, and AB1486 allowing environmental exemptions further allowing the project to move forward. This will develop emergency communications in L.A. County to one the most advanced systems in the country.

We were also happy to support SB 1035 that was signed into law and allows up to 420 weeks from the date of injury for a firefighter to file for workers' compensation benefits. This CPF-sponsored bill shows quite tangibly how CSFA has been working cooperatively with CPF and other fire organizations for the betterment of the entire California fire service.

You can do the same thing and protect your profession and help the public. Come to Conference, submit a Resolution and make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of firefighters and their families. That's what CSFA is all about, making a difference!

Afrack Vargas has led the Legislative Charge for CSFA for over 12 years. He has taken our CSFA Conference resolutions and had them made into law, and amended laws to benefit our membership. Afrack and his team have been proactive and ramrodded legislation before we knew it was a problem, and he has asked for input at conference for our needs in the form of Resolutions.

I want to compliment the K Street Staff, which is our CSFA staff, on the year's accomplishments. Only through the generosity of K Street extending tens of thousands dollars of funding to CSFA while we worked to sell the 2701 K Street property and evolve into new IT systems and a new management model are we in the good shape we are in today. CSFA has survived, and will continue to survive because of the Board's courage to change, which we know is very difficult in the Fire Service. It takes a team to make anything successful, and CSFA has a great management team.

Let's continue to see it through, and I'll see you at Conference in September!

Kevin R. Nida, President
California State Firefighters' Association

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