IABPFF Jul-Aug 2014


IABPFF Jul-Aug 2014
International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
1200 G Street, NW • Suite 800 • Washington, D.C. 20005 • www.iabpf.org
July/August 2014
Female Fire Chief Beats Breast Cancer
San Diego’s Deputy Fire Chief Lorraine Hutchinson shares
her story.
It’s 10:30 on a late-May morning, and Lorraine Hutchinson
has pulled her car to the side of the road to talk to EBONY.
com. She’s on her way to prepare chicken and waffles at the
request of a co-worker’s wife, a breast cancer patient who’s
just undergone a difficult first round of chemotherapy.
Days before, Hutchinson, Deputy Fire Chief and third–incommand for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, was
leading a slate of seven battalion chiefs as wildfires threatened
the Southern California coastline. “I’ve always had a servant
mentality,” says Hutchinson, 49. “There’s no better feeling
than to have helped someone in their worst time.”
Selected from a pool of 8,000 applicants when she was hired
in 1990, Hutchinson is one of only two African-American
women working in San Diego’s 1,100 member fire-rescue
unit. Though she has spent the bulk of her adult life extinguishing physical and emotional blazes for others (first as a
medical assistant in the mid-1980s), she was stunned to learn
that she would be on the receiving end of care when she was
diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012. “I usually
took care of people, and now I had something that could
possibly kill me,” she says.
Second to lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common
cancer among African-American women. And while incidences of breast cancer occur at a higher rate for Caucasian
women, Black women are 41 percent more likely to die from
the disease than their White counterparts. While barriers to health care access are among the culprits for this gap,
researchers count health behaviors (such as getting yearly
mammograms and clinical breast exams) as central to curbing
the spread of breast cancer before it becomes aggressive and
Online Summer Edition
A Quick View of What’s Inside:
Page 3 IABPFF Scholarship Application
Page 4 Hero’s Oratorical Contest
Page 7 Barbados Fire Service Program
Page 7 Nationwide Insurance Discount Offer
Page 8 F.I.R.E. Retiree’s Scholarship Fund
Page 10 Stop Fire/No Child Left Behind Photos
Page 11 EDI Class of 2014/F.I.R.E. BBQ Photos
Page 12 EDI Class of 2014 Photos
Page 13 IABPFF Convention/Conference Schedule
Page 14 2014 IABPFF Convention Application
Page 16 Dave Pamah Retires from London Brigade
Page 17 Saving Firefighters from Themselves Series
Page 18 CBC/ALC Braintrust Symposium
Page 19 Street Renamed in Honor of 8-year old
Page 19 Chief Lloyd Ayers Retirement Celebration
Page 20 IABPFF Calendar of Upcoming Events
fatal. When Hutchinson received a mammogram reminder
from her health plan months prior to her diagnosis, she
added the appointment to an already bustling to-do list.
“At that time, I was the Deputy Chief of Logistics. It was
a busy job, and on top of that, I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. There were a lot
of dynamics at that time that made my life stressful,” she
says, noting that when asked to schedule a follow-up after
her mammogram, she waited several months to make the
appointment. “[The doctor] left me a message and wanted
me to come in for a follow-up and said, ‘There’s nothing to
worry about.’ I thought that since there was nothing to worry
about, I would call them back when I had the time.”
continued on page 2
Female Fire Chief Beats Breast Cancer
(continued from page 1)
Several months later, after she’d graduated and moved into
a less-demanding position at work, Hutchinson went in for
the requested follow-up. After an ultrasound and biopsy, she
was diagnosed with Stage 1B breast cancer, which is said to
have a 100 percent survival rate. What stunned Hutchinson
was that she did not have a family history of breast cancer. “I
had in my mind that because I didn’t have a family history of
cancer, I was not at risk. But I’ve since discovered that most
women who are diagnosed do not have a family history, and
I basically started my family history,” says Hutchinson, a
married mother, step-mother and grandmother. “I’m embarrassed to admit this now,” she says of the months that lapsed
between her initial mammogram and the diagnosis. “Had
this been an aggressive cancer, it would not have been good
for me to wait as long as I did. We caught my cancer at an
early stage, but I don’t want other women to have the false
sense of security that they can wait as long as I did.”
Hutchinson and her medical team were proactive about
getting rid of the known cancer cells (“I had three breast
lumps instead of one,” she says – none of which she could
feel) and eliminating cells that may have been lying dormant
in other areas of her body. After undergoing a left breast
mastectomy six weeks after diagnosis, Hutchinson began her
first of four chemotherapy treatments. Though there were
several days during her recovery that she could not get out of
bed – “It took me a year before I felt normal,” she admits –
she maintained the exercise program she began four months
earlier when she learned that she was diabetic. At that time,
she entered a medically-supervised weight loss program and
dropped 35 pounds in six weeks. But during her chemotherapy, she took a hiatus from the calorically-sparse diet and
instead committed to walking through her neighborhood
for an hour a day. “I exercised through my chemo, and that
was a push. But the lifestyle changes I’d made because of my
diabetes helped me beat breast cancer as well.”
Today, she is breast cancer- and diabetes-free!
In April, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s
San Diego chapter named Hutchinson its 2014 Honorary
Breast Cancer Survivor, and she will serve as its spokesperson in the months leading to the city’s 18th annual Race
for the Cure on Nov. 2. Komen’s seven California affiliates
2 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
Lorraine Hutchinson with her daughter (left) and Lorraine in her
official fire gear (right).
have launched an initiative to address the institutional and
individualized survival disparities between Black and White
breast cancer patients, pumping nearly $400,000 into alleviating systemic barriers in health care and ensuring better
outcomes for patients in underserved communities. While
a number of cancer researchers charge the disproportion to
limited access to quality screenings and effective treatment
for African Americans, Hutchinson is spreading a message
of personal advocacy. “For all the reasons women put off
getting a mammogram, not one of them is worth dying for,”
she says. “I hear probably every week of someone I know or
someone who knows someone who has breast cancer. I don’t
anyone else to have to go through this, but if it’s going to
happen I want to be a positive influence.”
As Hutchinson ends her call with EBONY.com, she speaks
to her desire to help in any capacity, including driving 1.5
hours to prepare a meal at the home of another breast cancer
survivor. “A lot of people supported me through my journey,
and there’s nothing I won’t do to pay it forward.”
This article was prepared by Houston native Mame M.
Kwayie, who is a communications professional and freelance
writer. Her work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, on
EBONY.com, Clutch Magazine and Madame Noire Magazine. She recently earned an M.A. in writing and publishing
from DePaul University, where she served as the Editor-inChief of Crook & Folly, the university’s literary and arts
journal. She lives in Chicago.
You can read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/wellness-empowerment/survivor-story-female-fire-chief-beatsbreast-cancer-243#ixzz36R1EGzOC.
Thursday, August 7, 2014 in Nassau, Bahamas.
James F. Hill, II
3 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
4 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
5 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
6 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) Hosts the 2014 Junior Fire Cadet Program
Junior Fire Cadet program participants.
Barbados Fire Service instructor at work!
Courses will be taught during a five-week program including first aid, water survival and rescue, squad drill, knots
and lines, hose and hydrant drill and the use of extinguishers.
Space was available for 25 students between the ages of 12 and 15 from all schools across Barbados. The program is
being held at Harrison College, Crumpton Street, St. Michael and began Sunday, July 13, 2014.
For more information please contact Fire Officers Tremelle Perch or Ernle Fields at 426.3504 or 426.3509.
Information can also be found at
Nationwide Insurance Offers Discount for IABPFF Members
Nationwide Insurance is offering all IABPFF members, active and retired, exclusive
discounts of 5% off their normal auto insurance rate. All you have to do is get a quote
and make sure you are comparing their insurance to exactly what you have now. In
return they will support us in our efforts internationally.
If you are a military veteran and have USAA insurance, keep it, because Nationwide
cannot compete with them, but anybody else it is on!
Addington Stewart
Director - SCR
30 Jost Manor Ct
Florissant, MO 63034
(314) 369-7935
7 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
Captain George Baker Scholarship Fund
F.I.R.E. Retiree’s Captain George Baker Scholarship Fund
In support of F.I.R.E. Retiree’s mission, we are being supported by Better
Family Life Inc. c/o The Captain George Baker Scholarship Fund which is
awarding several members of the community with a scholarship to complete
an EMT course. An EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician-Basic) license
is a critical link in the chain of the health care team in the form of prehospital emergency care. This is also a prerequisite for jobs such as Fire
Eligible Criteria:
o Minimum of a GED or High School Diploma
o Agree to achieve and maintain a CPR license
o Agree to give 20 hours of community service to the F.I.R.E.
o Agree to the EMT schedule and make the minimum number of classes
necessary to complete the course
o Please state between 200 and 500 words, “Why do you want to be an
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and what are your career
o You must be 18 to 35 years of age to apply
o Application completely filled out
o Recent Job History
o Valid Driver’s License - COPY
o Record Check – St. Louis City & County
o Official transcripts must be included from the most recent attended
high school or college
o Signed Agreement
o Completed essay
o The deadline for receiving this Application is JULY 14, 2014
Captain George Baker Scholarship Fund
PO Box 56517
St. Louis, M0 63156
P. O. BOX 56517 St. Louis, Missouri 63156
8 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
Project Purpose
The Firefighters’ Institute of Racial Equality (F.I.R.E.) Retirees have established the CAPTAIN
GEORGE BAKER SCHOLARSHIP FUND for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). This training
will prepare candidates for a career in the fire service or in the health sciences and services
industry. The St. Louis Fire Department and departments throughout the nation will require
firefighter candidates to be certified EMTs before being eligible to take the entry examination.
It is imperative that anyone looking for a career as a firefighter have the appropriate
educational prerequisites. Most Missouri counties and fire departments and districts across the
nation require applicants to be Paramedics just to apply and many already have an EMT
requirement. Consequently, the need to assist African Americans to get their EMT licenses and
national certifications is of great importance to continue to have racial diversity in the fire
Our initial efforts are to raise $40,000.00 dollars in 2014 to fund a minimum of 40 individuals
into one of three functioning EMT courses/programs in the City of St. Louis. We are seeking
additional funding through grants and individual donors to help us reach that goal and continue
to support as many individuals as possible for years to come.
Mission and History of F.I.R.E. RETIREES
To create a liaison between our Black Brothers and Sisters across the nation, to collect and
evaluate data on all deleterious conditions incumbent in all areas where minorities exist, and to
compile information concerning the injustices that exist in the working conditions in the Fire
Service and implement action to correct them.
To promote interracial progress throughout the Fire Service, and to see that competent Black s
are recruited and employed as firefighters, where ever they reside and to aid in motivating our
Black Brothers and Sisters to seek advancement to elevated ranks throughout the Fire Service.
Captain Baker was the first Chairman of F.I.R.E., among the first blacks promoted to captain and
was the catalyst to negotiating 50/50 hiring, promotions and the beginning of the emergence of
F.I.R.E. in fighting discrimination in hiring and promotions in the fire service.
Relevant Experience
In 1975, the St. Louis Fire Department was issued a consent decree specifying that 50% of all
new hires must be African Americans. F.I.R.E. began a process of recruiting and training
potential firefighters. We recruited at colleges and schools, set up classes to train candidates
on entry level testing processes and physical ability tests. We were successful. In 2002, the
department reached the goal of the consent decree: 42.8% of the department workforce was
9 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
Stop Fire Campaign and No Child Left Alone Presentation
Photos on this page courtesy of Freddie Jackson
Stop Fire Campaign
Stop Fire Campaign
Stop Fire Campaign
Stop Fire Campaign
Stop Fire Campaign
No Child Left Behind Presentation
10 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
EDI Class of 2014 and F.I.R.E. Retiree’s Annual BBQ
Photos on this page courtesy of Freddie Brooks
EDI Class of 2014
EDI Class of 2014
EDI Class of 2014
EDI Class of 2014 Ann Hall and Vida Amoh from Ghana
F.I.R.E. Retiree’s Annual BBQ.
Former South Central Regional Director Robert “Bob” Anderson and
guest at the F.I.R.E. Retiree’s Annual BBQ - June 8, 2014.
11 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
EDI Class of 2014
Photos on this page courtesy of Freddie Brooks
C.H.I.E.F.S.—“Changing History In The Entire Fire Service”
The Big Three!
Having fun before classes start.
Group picture at Dillard University.
My gift from the greatest class ever—EDI Class of 2014!
Fire Director Fateen Ziyad with First Lady Michelle Obama.
12 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
2014 Convention/Conference Tentative Schedule
Subject to Change
Sunday, August 3, 2014
(Noon – 5 pm) Registration and Welcome Reception
Monday, August 4, 2014
(9:00 am - 9:30 am) Opening Ceremony
(10:00 am – Noon) General Session
(1:30 pm -5:00 pm) Regional Meetings
(6:00 – 8:00 pm) IABPFF Host Night Reception
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
(9:00 am – 5:00 pm) General Session
(Noon – 3:00 pm) Elections of Officers
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
(9:00 am-10:00 am) Memorial March
(11:00 am - 12:00 am) Memorial Program
(12:30 pm - 3: 00 pm) Mid Week Luncheon
(4:30 pm – 6:30 pm) Members Town Hall Discussion
Thursday August 7, 2014
(9:00 am - 5:00 pm) Professional Development Workshop:
Company Officer – Leadership and Influence
Chief Reggie Freeman and Chief Kwame Cooper
(6 pm – midnight) International Awards Banquet
Friday, August 8, 2014
(9:00 am - 5:00 pm) Professional Development Workshop:
Chief Officer – Emotional Intelligence
Chief Reggie Freeman and Chief Kwame Cooper
13 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
14 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
15 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
Dave Pamah Retires from London Fire Brigade
Dave Pamah recently retired (June 19, 2014) as a firefighter at
the London Fire Brigade. He has served in some of the busiest
stations in London. His career also included a six year stint in
the Fire Safety Department which involved enforcing the new
fire safety regulations (which came into force in 2006).
Dave was the Fire Service European Champion in the 400m
and 800mm (in 1993 and 1996). He took part in
the 1996 British Olympic trails and reached the semi-finals
of the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia.
My Book
Author and firefighter Dave Pamah turns a wealth of personal
experience into practical advice in his new self-help book,
“Firefighting from Within: How to Master the Tools of Life
Even During Tough Times” (published by Balboa Press) and
co-written by Heide Hargreaves.
“After successfully standing against bullying at school and in
the workplace and going through tough times in the face of
adversity, I felt inspired to make a difference,” writes Pamah.
“As a working firefighter, I thought it would be useful to use
my profession as an analogy for the content of my book.”
Written for readers from all walks of life, “Firefighting from
Within” guides readers through dealing with tough times.
Pamah and Hargreaves stress the importance of taking action
and remaining in control of difficult situations. Their advice
helps readers cultivate a positive attitude and see their problems from new, challenging points of view.
Pamah details some of his most trying times facing bullies,
racism and dyslexia to showcase how a positive attitude can
overcome even the hardest of times. He and Hargreaves hope
“Firefighting from Within” will encourage readers to take
control of their lives.
“When the reader puts the book down,” Pamah says, “we want
them to feel they’ve got a clear path for personal growth.”
“Firefighting from Within”, by Dave Pamah and Heide Hargreaves is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
16 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
About the Author
Dave Pamah is a former athlete and has been a firefighter
for over 24 years. His passion is to help people by providing
advice and support to union members and the general public
about training, educational and developmental needs. He has
found a way to overcome the personal battles that life has put
in his path, from racism, equality, bullying and his struggle
with dyslexia.
Saving Firefighters From Themselves Series: Big Data & Medical Hotspotting In
An Effort To Enhance Community Health & Prosperity
During election season at all levels of government here in the
United States, we as constituents are inundated with ideas
from incumbents and their opponents on how to uplift the
communities we live and work in. Job creation, government
transparency, accountability and smaller federal intervention represent a snapshot of ideas posited by those seeking to
lead us. In crime ridden cities, we also here the proverbial
statement, “If I am hired, I will expand the number of police
officers on the streets to thwart crime.” These so-called great
ideas are ostensible strategies for enhancing the overall welfare
of members in a given community.
One area of public safety that is rarely mentioned during the
campaign season is the fire department. Some of us will opine
that this is a good thing—“no news is good news right?” Very
few communities in the 21st century have a fire problem; however, many cities do in fact have an enormous crime problem.
The author takes the position that the assumption is that we
are really not that important and have no true value in actively
enhancing the overall well being of the community and its
population. If you ask any firefighter in the United States
what his/her role is, you will routinely hear, “to protect life
and property.” True but what does that really mean? If we start
with the why of our existence, you will better appreciate the
below strategy as a way to highlight the value of our existence.
Protecting life and property is what we do—we exist to ensure
that individuals in our respective communities have a high
quality of life (subjective)—we attempt to return it to a degree
of normalcy when that high quality of life is interrupted for
whatever reason (fire, ems, etc.).
Of the many variables that make for a vibrant community, the
health of its citizens is the most essential. Sans a healthy community, it cannot realize its highest potential. Sick people cannot work and be productive contributors to the overall global
economy—equally devastating, they use precious resources that
could be better allocated in other areas such as our public school
systems. The result is a high degree of inequality, destituteness,
blight and a feeling of hopelessness. Those who study public
health lament that these are some of the critical factors that lead
to high crime rates in many areas of the country. In our world
as fire service personnel, this often leads to an overuse of the
911-system for assistance that is not truly life threatening in
many instances—another example of misallocation of resources.
When is the fire service going to move from reactionary agents
to prevention agents in the realm of EMS?
With the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, now is the
most opportune time for us to realign our service delivery model
based on “consumer demand.” The author is not advocating for
17 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
the reduction of fire service personnel or purporting that we will
never have major fires here in the United States. It is all about
remodeling our service to affect community prosperity and save
firefighters from preventable injuries and death. Since 2003,
over 200 firefighters have died in vehicle accidents.
Starting in the fall of 2014, the Merritt College (Oakland) EMT
Program will introduce a concept similar to hotspotting strategies used in law enforcement organizations across the United
States. Using “big data” collected from 911 response runs by
the Oakland Fire Department, five clusters were identified using
a machine-learning algorithm from an open source software
program (WEKA). The attributes that comprise the five clusters
are medical call type, frequency and apparatus responding.
Merritt students will canvas neighborhoods in East and West
Oakland educating citizens on prevention/care of diabetic,
cardiac and respiratory ailments. The end goal is to prevent
common ailments from spreading in the community, provide
those with preexisting medical conditions with strategies for
reducing the side effects of their condition(s) and to reduce the
reliance on the 911-system as the primary health care provider
in these identified areas of Oakland. Due to a multitude of
reasons, individuals in poorer communities commonly use 911
first responders as their primary healthcare providers—this is
not what the 911-system was designed for.
Several fire departments across the United States are usually a
similar approach in an effort to reduce the frequent activation
of the 911-system for ailments that are best dealt with aggressive
proactive education strategies and collaborations between fire
service organizations, hospitals and private insurance organizations. In the 21st century, fire service organizations should
recognize that the use of big data is a now required tool for
strategic planning—Peter Drucker once stated, “one cannot
manage what it cannot measure.” Your organization collects an
enormous amount of data. What is your organization doing
with that data? Last, lets all get on par and recognize that the
fire service plays a vital role in community prosperity. A sick
community cannot prosper effectively!
Demond Simmons, Company Officer
Oakland Fire Department
IABPFF SWR Regional Director
IAFC Company Officer Leadership Committee Adjunct Member
Click on the article link from the New Yorker for more
information on medical hotspotting: mailto:http://www.
To the Members of the IABPFF:
The date has been set for the Congressional Black Caucus/ Annual Legislative
Conference (CBC/ALC) BRAINTRUST (symposium) this year in Washington DC.
The session is entitled: Recruitment, Retention, and Legal Redress: Policy and
Action for Black First Responders and will be held on Wednesday, September 24,
2014 at 2:00pm until 4:00 pm.
In the session last year we held the braintrust titled; The Retention and Promotion of
Black First Responders. It was a success on many levels in particular, the symposium
allowed us to showcase the reduction of Black First Responders in America’s fire
service through an intelligent and productive dialogue.
We are now poised to set a new direction for the IABPFF politically and to those issues
that impact Blacks in the fire service today. We will provide additional information as it
becomes available.
For information on how to register for this year’s CBC/ALC go to http://www.cbcfinc.org
and click on what we do - Annual Legislative Conference and you can register for the
meeting to attend all of the symposiums being offered. It is a three day event if you have
the time and the money to stay for the entire conference. If not we pray that you can be
at the session during the discussion on policy issues that impact Blacks in the fire
Addington Stewart
Director - SCR
(314) 369-7935
18 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
Street Renamed in Honor of 8-Year-Old Who Died Saving Siblings
Family, firefighters and neighbors gather to hold a vigil in honor of 8-year old Decerio Coley, who died while trying to save the lives of his siblings.
A West Baltimore street where two brothers perished in a fire was named after the brother who died trying to
save his two siblings. A ceremonial street sign was installed at the end of the 300 block of North Bruce Street at
Mulberry Street in memory of 8-year-old Decerio Coley. Decerio and his brother Sean McCullough Jr. died in the
fire on June 16.
The street is named Decerio Coley Way and the sign was placed on Friday June 27 at 6 p.m.
A vigil was held that following Friday. Family, firefighters and neighbors say Decerio rescued his 4-year-old sister
from their burning row home by dropping her from an upstairs window to waiting arms below. He then returned
to try and save his brother Sean, who died in the fire. Decerio died later at the hospital.
Retirement Celebration for Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers
19 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
IAPBFF Calendar of Upcoming Events
For information about upcoming IABPFF events please
visit these websites:
2014 IABPFF Convention
August 4-8, 2014
North East Region: http://www.iabpffner.org/
Southeast Region: http://www.iabpff.org/iabpffser.htm
North Central Region: http://www.iabpffncr.org
South Central Region: http://www.iabpffscr.org
North West Region: http://www.iabpff.org/iabpffnwr.htm
South West Region: http://www.iabpffswr.org/
Caribbean Region: http://www.iabpffcar.org/
Black Chief Officer’s Committee: http://www.bcoc.us/
Hotel Information
Wyndham Nassau Resort
West Bay Street Cable Beach
Nassau, Bahamas
Executive Development Institute: http://www.edionline.net
Attendees may call 800.633.0043 and refer to International
Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters or GROUP
CODE: 0801813IN
2014 South East Region Fall Conference
St. Petersburg/Tampa, FL
October 1-5, 2014
Northeast Region Fall 2014 meeting
New Haven Connecticut
October 3-5, 2014 (tentative-based on availability)
Black Women in the Fire Service: http://www.bwfs.org
Tradewinds Island Resort
5500 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, FL
Hotel Room Rates:
S/D: $149.00
Tropical View: $169.00
Gulf Front Parlor: $179.00
One Bedroom Suites: $214.00
TBD–2015 South East Region Fall Conference to be held in
Miami, Florida.
Johnny Brewington
Design & Layout
Danita Love
If you have comments or would like to contribute to the
next issue of the IABPFF SMOKE, please contact your
Regional Director or visit our website www.iabpf.org.
20 — International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters

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