Posts Tagged ‘san francisco fire department’

Can Homeless People Use Firehouse Bathrooms? YES, from 9A to 6P – Here are the Official Rules from the SFFD

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Get up-to-speed here.

Hey, look at this – an official SFFD operations memo. Just a draft, but nobody’s really working on hammering out the exact wording of detailed Fire Code sections here. No, this is more what you call “guidelines.”

Now arguably, this program is actual SFFD policy now and it’s has been policy since well before 2015, but of course most people in town don’t know about it. The new wrinkle, AFAIK, is that only ground floor bathrooms are covered. That means that a lot of stations won’t be able to help you.

I’ll bet a lot of firefighters don’t want to deal with these issues. I mean, if there’s a big call and a homeless person / anybody else from the general public doesn’t want to leave the bathroom just yet, the official SFFD bathroom escort might not know the best course of action.
Anyway, here it is:

“SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT

DEPUTY CHIEF – OPERATIONS MEMORANDUM

CD2-15-XX

TO: Divisions 2 and 3, Battalions 1-10
FROM: Deputy Chief Gonzales, Operations
DATE: June 19th, 2015
SUBJECT: General Public Usage of Fire Station Restroom Facilities

To all Members:

Fire Station Restrooms: San Francisco Fire Stations with ground floor restroom facilities are available for public use. Members of the general public may use the ground floor restroom facilities between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

If the Fire units within said Stations are called out for any emergency, the member of the public must also leave the facility immediately. Members of the public shall not be left behind alone in the Firehouse. Signs shall be posted by Station Captains on the doors of the facilities stating, “If there is an emergency dispatch and units must leave, anyone using this restroom facility must also leave immediately.”

The Fire Department employee that guides the member of the public to the bathroom facility shall also verbally inform the member of the public that they will have to leave the facility immediately, if an emergency call comes in and no units are available to stay behind.

The Fire Department employee that guides the member of the public into the facility is also responsible for escorting the member of the public back out of the Firehouse.

It is up to the Officer’s discretion if a member of the public is allowed to use the ground floor restroom facility. If the member of the public requesting to use the facility is inebriated or altered in any way, they shall not be allowed to use the restroom facility. The health and safety of our members and the security of the Firehouse shall also factor into the Officer’s discretion/decision.

Regarding visitors to the Firehouse, article 3950 still applies:

3950. VISITORS

Members shall not invite or allow visitors not on Department business to enter Department facilities before 1000 hours or after 2100 hours. Members shall only allow visitors into public areas of a Department station or facility. Members shall not invite or allow intoxicated persons in or about Department property, except for purposes of providing medical care.”

Little-Known Fact: From 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, the Bathrooms at Most SFFD Stations are Public – Anyone May Use Them

Monday, June 8th, 2015

You know, I thought we were done hearing about area blogger/gadfly Michael Petrelis and the bathrooms of SFGov, but we’re not.

Here it is:

SF Fire Dept: Homeless Can Now Use Our Toilets to Poop

And here’s a list of stations.

Hey, wasn’t this policy, or whatever you want to call it, in effect before gadfly Mike Petrelis took wing? I think so.

All the deets, from last month:

“Thank you for your advocacy to increased toilet access for San Franciscans. We are pleased to update you on the following efforts to increase bathroom availability:

Fire Station Restrooms: Nearly all of the San Francisco Fire Stations are open for public restroom use. Any member of the public may ring the Fire Station doorbell and will be let in to use the toilet between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Automatic Public Toilet Program: There are 25 self-cleaning public toilets in San Francisco. Here is a list of the locations:

“1. Fisherman’s Wharf: Jefferson & Powell Sts. 2. Fisherman’s Wharf: Jefferson & Powell Sts. 3. Bay & Taylor Sts. 4. Coit Tower, Pioneer Park 5. Washington Square: Union St. & Columbus Ave 6. Pier 7 7. Justin Herman Plaza 8. Market & California Sts. 9. Transbay Terminal: Mission & 1st Sts. 10. St. Mary’s Square: Pine & Quincy Sts. 11. Union Square: Geary & Powell Sts. 12. MacCauley Park: Larkin & O’Farrell Sts. 13. Boedecker Park: Eddy & Jones Sts. 14. Market & Powell Sts. 15. Civic Center: Grove & Larkin Sts. 16. UN Plaza: Market & 7th Sts. 17. Embarcadero & Harrison Sts. 18. Stanyan & Waller Sts. 19. Market & Church Sts. 20. Market & 17th Sts. 21. Mission & 16th Sts. 22. Twin Peaks 23. Mission & 24th Sts. 24. South Van Ness Ave & Cesar Chavez St. 25. Drumm & Clay Sts.

“Pit Stop Program: San Francisco Department of Public Works has expanded their toilet access program from six toilets in three locations in the Tenderloin to include two toilets in the South of Market and to the Mission District where the Pit Stop program has taken over a JCDecaux public toilet.

“Outreach: To ensure that homeless individuals are aware of the bathroom options, flyers will be distributed at homeless shelters, via SFHOT, and at the Project Homeless Connect Every Day Connect office. Thank you again for your advocacy on this issue.

“Signed,
Chief Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Fire Department Director
Barbara Garcia, San Francisco Department of Public Health Director
Bevan Dufty, Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE)”

The Feds Spank Our San Francisco Fire Department Over the Deaths of Vincent Perez and Anthony Valerio in June 2011

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

If you want, you can compare what the SFFD has said about last year’s disaster with what independent federal investigators have recently said:

A Career Lieutenant and Fire Fighter/Paramedic Die in a Hillside Residential House Fire – California

“Occupational injuries and fatalities are often the result of one or more contributing factors or key events in a larger sequence of events. NIOSH investigators identified the following items as key contributing factors in this incident that ultimately led to the fatalities:

  • Construction features of the house built into a steep sloping hillside
  • Natural and operational horizontal ventilation
  • Ineffective size-up
  • Fire fighters operating above the fire
  • Ineffective fire command communications and progress reporting
  • Lack of a personnel accountability system.”
The report is pretty detailed:
And here are some recommendations from the Feds:

“Recommendation #1: Fire departments should ensure that standard operating guidelines (SOGs) are developed and implemented for hillside structures.

During this incident, the E26 officer knew the fire was below him but he was unaware of just how many floors.  If an adequate size-up had been conducted, or had the E26 officer obtained more intelligence information from the resident of the home that he spoke to briefly upon arrival, it may have facilitated a more rapid determination of the location of the fire floor. 

Recommendation #2: Fire departments should ensure that an adequate size-up of the fire structure is conducted prior to crews making entry.

In this incident, if an effective size-up would have been conducted several factors may have changed the first arriving companies’ tactics.  The B side door would have been an option for initial entry. If the small window below the front door would have been noticed perhaps the fire could have been seen on the basement floor; or if more intelligence information would have been gathered from the occupant initially they could have identified that the fire was on the basement floor and how to access the floor.

Recommendation #3: Fire departments should ensure staffing levels are maintained.

During this incident, E32 was originally assigned as RIC then re-assigned fire fighting duties to back up E11.  E20 was dispatched as RIC but did not arrived on scene until after the victims were recovered.

Recommendation #4: Fire departments should ensure that a personnel accountability system is established early and utilized at all incidents.

In this incident, BC6 and the IC tried to radio E26 with no response and it was assumed they were with BC9 or that BC9 knew what they were doing.  An additional supporting component to fireground accountability is frequent progress reporting.  When the IC fails to get a response after 3 attempts, or he receives a garbled response, action must be taken to determine the crew’s status.  A worst case scenario must be assumed until their status can be confirmed. 

Recommendation #5: Fire departments should ensure that fireground operations are coordinated with consideration given to the effect horizontal ventilation has on the air flow, smoke, and heat flow through the structure.

At this incident, the officer on E26 realized that they had a fire somewhere in the structure, probably underneath them.  The victims from E26 had deployed a 1¾” hoseline to the ground floor of the structure attempting to locate the fire. BC9 came into the structure and met them during their investigation of the ground floor. Victim #1 advised BC9 that the fire was underneath them.  BC9 agreed to this and decided to take a crew down side B and attack the fire through the exterior doorway on side B at the basement level.  BC9 and the IC discussed and agreed on this tactic.  E26 did not receive any further instructions and did not leave the structure but attempted to go to the basement via the interior stairs.  E26 did not provide any radio reports to the fire attack group supervisor (BC9) or the IC of their location or actions.  

When an incident transitions from an investigation mode to an offensive fire attack mode, the IC should ensure that all companies have and understand their assignments, and are accounted for in the Personnel Accountability System.  This information should be collected on a tactical worksheet to ensure that all companies have an assignment and are accounted for.

Recommendation #6: Fire departments should ensure that the Incident Commander is provided a chief’s aide at all structure fires.

In this incident, a chief’s aide may have helped the IC to establish and manage the tactical worksheet early in the incident, track the deployment location of the E26 crew, and monitor transmissions on the fireground channels.

Recommendation #7: Fire departments should ensure that an incident safety officer is assigned to all working structure fires.

In this incident, for the size of the fire department and responsible coverage area, there is an insufficient number of incident safety officers (ISO) and/or qualified personnel (certified to NFPA 1521) to act as an ISO within the fire department. The ISO should be of a rank worthy of the significant responsibility.”