CPF Fire Wire

By California Professional Firefighters

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Welcome to CPF Fire Wire. This is a monthly podcast brought to you by California Professional Firefighters to discuss a wide range of issues affecting firefighters, their unions, their families and the communities they serve.

Episode Date
CPF Fire Wire -- A Firefighter's Journey

Every day, firefighters are exposed to events and scenes few can imagine, and sometimes they can push men and women to the brink ... and beyond. In 2021, firefighters are more likely to die from suicide than from traumatic line of duty death.

In this edition of CPF Fire Wire, we hear the story of one firefighter's struggle, in his own words. Anaheim Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Fiorenza's story of how he came close to ending it all, and how he came back, will resonate with many. 

If you are struggling, you don't have to struggle alone. Help is available. HealingOurOwn.org

Jun 07, 2021
CPF Fire Wire - Senate President Toni Atkins

The challenges facing California remain as daunting as ever, from catastrophic wildfire to housing to COVID-19. The California Legislature is at the center of these challenges.

In the latest edition of CPF Fire Wire, President Brian Rice talks with the top leader in the California State Senate -- Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins. Senator Atkins serves the 39th District, located in San Diego, and has been a staunch ally and advocate for firefighters during her time as a legislator and before, as a member of the San Diego City Council. 


Background, information about Senator Atkins: sd39.senate.ca.gov

Apr 05, 2021
CPF Fire Wire - San Diego Pension Victory

A January California Superior Court ruling will, if upheld, permanently strike down the most draconian pension-slashing initiative in California history: San Diego’s Proposition B. The 2012 pension grab in San Diego, which wiped out secure pensions for all city workers except police officers, has been the subject of an eight-year court fight.

In the latest edition of CPF Fire Wire, President Brian Rice talks with San Diego City Firefighters Local 145 President Jesse Conner about the long legal fight, what the court decision means for retirement security, and the impact the San Diego fight will have on the ongoing effort to provide secure retirement for firefighters.


Feb 19, 2021
CPF Fire Wire - Gov. Gavin Newsom

In the past 12 months, California has experienced the teeth of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as record-shattering wildfires. The man charged with guiding the state through the crises of 2020 is Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

As he did a year ago, Gov. Newsom again sits down for a conversation with CPF President Brian Rice to talk about issues affecting the state, including COVID-19 and the promise of the vaccines, forest management, the economy and what it’s like to navigate a year like no other.


Dec 29, 2020
CPF Fire Wire - The COVID Vaccines

The first ray of hope in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has come with the release of two vaccines for emergency use. The remarkable and highly effective vaccines are being distributed beginning this month, with frontline health care workers – including firefighter-paramedics and firefighter-EMTs – are on the priority list to receive it.

On the premiere of the second season of CPF Fire Wire, CPF President Brian Rice and his guests discuss the promise of the vaccine, its safety and the impact firefighters can have in ensuring that critical health and safety measures -- like vaccination, PPE and ongoing safety protocols – are employed to help get us all back to normal. 


Dec 22, 2020
Surviving COVID-19: Firefighters and Families Share Their Stories

Anaheim Fire Captains David Baker and Joe Aldecoa experienced the real risks of COVID-19 the hard way.

Both men -- healthy, experienced firefighters -- spent close to a month in the hospital fighting for their every breath after contracting the deadly virus. Baker spent 11 days on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma.

On a special Fire Wire, CPF President Brian Rice and Health and Safety and EMS Director Mike Feyh talk with Brothers Baker and Aldecoa, and their partners -- Stacey Baker and Nikki Jackson -- who who are also COVID-19 survivors. 

The families discuss their fight against the disease, the physical and mental toll it took, and the devastating impact it had on their lives and families. They also have a powerful message about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jul 21, 2020
COVID19: The Hidden Toll on Firefighters and Families

The outbreak of SARS-Cov 2 (COVID-19) has once again placed firefighters on the front lines of a disaster. But unlike a wildfire or a normal EMS call, the pandemic has created unique stresses on firefighters and, more importantly, their families.

On a special CPF Fire Wire, President Brian Rice discusses the behavioral health effects of the outbreak on our members and their families, the importance of managing the overwhelming stress associated with the outbreak, and the resources available to help.

Joining Brian is Dr. Steve Froehlich, behavioral health director for United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112.

Resources and information: healingourown.org/covid19

May 12, 2020
San Jose Firefighters: First In on COVID-19

When the coronavirus COVID-19 hit the shores of the U.S, one of its first landing spots was San Jose. It's now clear that the members of San Jose Firefighters Local 230 were being exposed to COCID-19 on calls for weeks without knowing, and they were the first to feel its effects.

On this episode of CPF Fire Wire, we tell the story of San Jose Firefighters and their position at the leading edge of the pandemic, CPF President Brian Rice is joined by San Jose Firefighters Local 230 President Sean Kaldor.

The two leaders discuss the experience of San Jose firefighters in the early stages of the pandemic, how the department and the local responded, and what lessons their experiences offer for all California firefighters.

May 07, 2020
COVID-19: Fire and EMS Update

The outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 has become a major public health issue worldwide. Fire and EMS personnel are on the front lines of the epidemic, and exposures of our personnel have already had an impact.

On a special CPF Fire Wire, CPF President Brian Rice is joined by CPF's Health and Safety Director Mike Feyh to discuss the details of COVID-19 and the precautions firefighters can take in the field and in their homes, including Personal Exposure Reporting.


Mar 11, 2020
Protecting You and Your Family: CPF Personal Exposure Reporting

On this edition of CPF Fire Wire, CPF President Brian Rice talks with two firefighters who have faced death from illnesses caused by their jobs.  

Contra Costa Fire Captain Michael Lacy and Alameda Co. Firefighter Alex Mengell talk with President Rice about their life-and-death experiences dealing with job-related illness, their challenges getting treatment and recognition and how CPF's Personal Exposure Reporting can be as important in protecting firefighters and their families. 

"If there's one episode of this program every firefighter should hear, it is this one." -- CPF President Brian Rice

Sign up for CPF Personal Exposure Reporting: peronline.org

Mar 03, 2020
The Power of Solidarity: Firefighters Unite to Fight Back

In this episode, CPF President, Brian K. Rice is joined by Stockton Firefighters Local 456 President, Mario Gardea and Tracy City Firefighters Local 3355 President, Paul O’Neal to discuss their EMS dispatch and ALS services battle in San Joaquin County.

Emergency medical response is a central focus for first responders. When our ability to save lives is compromised – we fight back. Listen in as Brian, Mario and Paul discuss how locals united to stop an unprecedented power grab and what this means to other agencies around the state.

Jan 27, 2020
Governor Newsom & Fire Service Priorities

Brian and Governor Newsom discuss the Governor's first year in office and his commitment to firefighters across the state. As his first act in office, Governor Newsom invested over $400 million in wildfire response and preparedness. He created the California Rises benefit concert and raised millions in relief funds for the survivors of wildfires. Most signficantly, he recognized the need to address firefighter behavioral health and kept his campaign promise by signing AB 1116, confidential peer support, and SB 542, PTSI presumption. 

Listen to this candid conversation with Governor Newsom and CPF President Brian Rice.

Dec 23, 2019
Do you know JAC?

This episode features CPF President Brian K. Rice and California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee(Cal-JAC) Executive Director Yvonne de la Peña. 

The careers of all California firefighters have been impacted by the Cal-JAC, from apprenticeship to journeylevel training and safety improvements. The Cal-JAC is a partnership between labor and management with a mission to bring diversity to the fire service, standardize firefighter training, innovate recruitment processes, provide resources to locals and departments, and much more. Brian and Yvonne talk about the positive impact of the Cal-JAC on the fire service and the work ahead. 

Nov 06, 2019
Historic Legislative Wins

This was a historic legislative session for California firefighters. Listen in as CPF President Brian K. Rice shares testimony from members across the state that helped CPF-sponsored bills become law. 

Governor Newsom signed the landmark behavioral health bill package, an important step towards breaking the stigma around mental health that will save firefighter lives. The governor also signed the EMS dispatch services bill, keeping dispatch in the hands of public agencies.

The following new laws will go into effect in January 2020:

  • AB1116 - Moves forward important confidentiality and peer support training to help ensure that firefighters are able to address their behavioral wellness.
  • SB 542 - Creates a rebuttable post-traumatic stress injury presumption for firefighters in the state's workers' compensation system.
  • SB 438 - Prohibits a public agency from outsourcing its local emergency dispatch services to a private, for profit industry.
Oct 23, 2019
Special Episode: Loss and Healing ft. Ashley Iverson

This episode features CPF President Brian K. Rice and Ashley Iverson.

Ashley's husband Cory was a CAL FIRE engineer and member of CAL Fire Local 2881. On December 14, 2017 Cory lost his life battling the Thomas Fire. Cory's sacrifice was honored at last year's California Firefighters Memorial. Brian and Ashley discuss the loss, the pathway to healing and the work Ashley is doing to honor Cory's memory. 

Ashley Iverson will be speaking at the 17th Annual California Firefighters Memorial on September 28, 2019. You can watch the livestream of the memorial at cafirefoundation.org/memorial

Sep 26, 2019
Suicide Awareness and Prevention in the Fire Service

This episode features CPF President Brian K. Rice and Assistant Chief, Oxnard Fire Department and Suicide Intervention Counselor Alex Hamilton. They discuss the impacts of the job on behavioral health, the need to break the stigma and the vital role peer support plays in getting firefighters the help they need. Tune into this podcast to learn the signs and resources that are available. If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1.800.273.8255

Sep 04, 2019
Personal Politics and Union Values

This episode features CPF President Brian K. Rice, Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 Mike Feyh, LA County Firefighters Local 1014 Jason Cervantes and Kurt Kobler. All four come from very different points of view on the political spectrum and each are actively involved in their union.

Brian, Mike, Jason and Kurt discuss how personal politics and union involvement can coexist no matter where you are on the political spectrum.

Aug 07, 2019
Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

CPF President Brian K. Rice and Secretary – Treasurer Mike Lopez discuss the accomplishments of their first year in office and their vision for the future. From directly connecting to members in the field, to prioritizing Post-Traumatic Stress Injury legislation and providing trainings to locals. 


Moderator: CPF Communications Director Carroll Wills.

Jul 03, 2019
Legislative Priorities 2019

President Brian K. Rice and CPF Director of Governmental Affairs Christy Bouma discuss legislative priorities. 

Jun 05, 2019
Communications Strategy

President Brian K. Rice is joined by CPF Communications Director, Carroll Wills, and Deputy Communications Director, Fera Dayani to discuss the future of labor and tips to activate your membership.

May 01, 2019
Union Activism

Episode one is hosted by CPF President Brian Rice with special guests Nick Gracia, President of Daly City Firefighters Local 1879, and Brian Ursettie, President of Arcadia Firefighters Local 3440. The three leaders will discuss why each CPF member made the choice to get active in our union and the power of standing together to make the firefighter voice heard.

Apr 03, 2019