CSFA President's Message

Prevention and planning are keys to success

As we head into fall and the height of what used to be the high fire season, it is great to see that we have so far not experienced the large and destructive wildfires that have been a California mainstay the last two summers. Part of this is the result of better prevention and planning strategies – including disabling power to areas under red flag warnings. We still have several months before the end of the year, but let’s hope that we don’t see the major conflagrations that we have seen in recent years.

While on the topic of prevention and planning, this is something that we need to take seriously as firefighters. We are exposed to so many carcinogens at fire scenes and other emergency incidents, that it is vitally important that we always record exposures soon after an incident. Work-related presumptions are made stronger by a solid record, and as a CSFA member you can record your exposures for free either through the CSFA website or through the CSFA smartphone app. As CSFA-recommended workers’ comp attorney Scott O’Mara notes in his article this month, solid evidence of cumulative work exposures are an important component of any successful workers’ comp case.

On a more personal level, those of you attending the 97th annual CSFA Conference in Visalia later this month, will have the opportunity to learn from experts in cancer prevention and treatment. I do hope to see many of you there.

Please take note of the free live fire training that is being offered in Visalia prior to the CSFA Conference and in Palm Springs, November 2 and 3. CSFA is able to sponsor these training events through a federal SAFER grant. I urge you to take advantage of these opportunities to hone your firefighting skills.

Finally, we will be rolling out a new life insurance benefit in the coming weeks. Watch your weekly CSFA Connection for more details about this new benefit and how you can protect your family.

Until next time, stay safe, and I look forward to meeting  many of you in Visalia.

Mike Shrout
CSFA President