CFAA Agreement

#1

Here we go again. Wonder when the Feds, usually non-fire Feds, iare going to get over the pay issue. It’s the cost of doing business in Cali. You don’t like it fill out your Fed teams with Feds. Oh that’s right.

Mhb

3 Likes
#2

Can u provide some more background for us not in the know?

2 Likes
#3

Standard. Nothing changes. Try to do the best you can with what you can, at the station level for most of us.

1 Like
#4

Any more info on this ???

#5

Seriously? Why are we going here. Is there a problem? Are feds cutting LG people off the teams? If your gonna post something like this perhaps some background?

4 Likes
#6

Maybe this?

Email Blast from CalChiefs 4/19/19
CalChiefs has been informed that there may be some changes to the method by which the United States Forest Service (USFS) reimburses departments for mutual aid deployments to federal incidents coming into this next peak fire season. Should this proposed change occur, CalChiefs is very concerned about what impacts this potential change may have on our members and on the availability of resources for mutual aid deployment in our upcoming peak fire season.

1 Like
#7

The part of the letter about proof of reimbursement to the employee occurred before the FS will pay, will be implemented.

#8

Also, sounds like the Feds only want to reimburse for personnel on scene and not reimburse for the backfill at stations. OES and USFS are currently working out details according to some of the back and forth letters. Not many LG strike teams end up at Fed fires so this mostly impacts those LG personnel who are currently on Fed Teams. I’m sure things will get worked out. I believe they are currently in the 30 day period for the USFS to respond back to OES.

#9

LG strike teams go to plenty of fed incidents under CFAA. This makes no sense at all if there is any truth to it.

#10

Yeah, looking back, you’re right. I forget because I live in the type 1 world but forget about all the type 3, 6 etc LG strike teams. Would also impact CalFire too if this were to go thru. Just have to hope it all gets worked out because would hate to see the ramifications of no state or LG resources on Fed fires.

#11

One small department who mobs a large number of IMT members has shutdown. Responders received an email saying they can no longer participate. Another department may shutdown within a couple weeks.

Word is two large departments in the state have said they’re considering pulling all IMT members off fed teams in solidarity with the smaller departments. If this occurs it will be almost a complete collapse of fed IMTs in California.

2 Likes
#12

CFAA is effect until December 31,2019. Not sure what way the agreement can be changed before the expiration.

#13

The federal government is playing a dangerous game right now. If they keep with their current mindset unfortunately the general public will suffer tremendously.

2 Likes
#14

Does anyone know what the forest service is specially asking for to be changed or implemented this fire season with the agreement and billing?

Is OES working with the forest service to get this solved?

I’ve had 4 fellow teammates/friends on my team say they might not be able to go out with there small department. They also said more may have to drop soon.

#15

The USFS is asking to change quite a bit of the CFAA reimbursement process. Long story short, it will cause Local Gov to burden the cost of fighting Federal fires until the Local Gov Entity proves how much it cost their agency to assist.

#16

Unfortunately, this has been brewing since the Rim Fire and it has now reached a flashpoint. It is very disappointing that it has come to this. The real pain point is going to be for those diminishing but still valuable personnel who are either volunteers or reserve personnel who are, in most cases, leaving their jobs to provide assistance. Most LG counties do not have the cash to pay the fire personnel while the agency fights to prove the costs to the Feds. This will absolutely lead to a reduced willingness for LG to provide equipment and staffing for CFAA requests for Federal fires. This is certainly going to be a situation of the law of unintended consequences.

2 Likes
#17

My understanding is this is really about portal to portal in CA. As Federal team members retired, they sought out local FD’s would be willing to bring them on, say at a Fire Captain or Battalion Chief or above so those newly hired bodies would get a higher P-to-P rate and they would kick back part of the monies to that Volunteer FD who was “sponsoring” them. It was a sweet deal for all. But Feds and CAL OES finley said “no more”. There were retired federal employees using the system to make money. All those years only getting paid for 16’s and they thought they saw an opening to get paid the same as those LG personnel were.

I don’t believe CAL OES and Feds had any problem with paying a local govenment P-to-P for a true 24hr FD and reimbursing them for cover behind that person, but there were sure a lot of ex federal employees team members who found Chief Officer jobs with certain local volunteer FD’s or small paid departments, right after retirement. Some of those agencies had 2 times the amount of chief officers than fire fighters. CAL OES has been ringing the alarm bell for several years now to dead ears, but looks like now the feds are putting their foot down.

Maybe its time for the federal teams to put more federal employees back on their teams. If you look at some of the type 2 teams in CA, there is almost more LG bodies on those teams than federal personnel. I have heard many federal employees say why does a LG guy get to be be on a team when I’ve been trying for 3 plus years to get on a team. It is a honest question. There are tons of LG team members on Federal Teams, CAL FIRE Teams, and local Type 3 teams. And it’s not that there is a shortage of federal employees volunteering. They want to be on teams, they are fighting with LG folks to get those spots.

Maybe it’s time for the feds to rethink their team makeup???

7 Likes
#18

Okay, just a couple of points of correction. Many of the former Fed retirees’ who signed on with a small LG department are NOT portal to portal, they work up to 16, as they did before. Also, many of these retirees’ who now work hourly up to 16, were LG before, and did work PtoP before retiring. Because these departments have a limited budget, retirees agree to defer payment for their service until the department is reimbursed from the responsible agency. The FS is now requiring these departments to front the money to the member, or they will not reimburse for those expenses. It’s not financially feasible, that’s why small departments are pulling out of responding to FS incidents.

As for Fed team members, the priority for team selection has been established by CWCG. Local government retirees are the LAST priority during team selection. There are many reasons why the Fed teams need to be supported by LG members. There are simply NOT enough Fed personnel willing, or available (from their supervisor’s perspective), to fully roster the teams.

Bottom line, if the FS does not work this out, the R5 Fed IIMTs will be gutted. Type I, and Type II teams are currently using retirees’ as Deputy ICs, as well as filling many positions in all sections. Let’s hope this gets worked out before another record setting fire season emerges.

Anyone with more specific information, please reply to clarify!?!

2 Likes
#19

The p-p is one of the issues that was brought up by the Feds. The folks in Washington call the CFAA antiquated when presenting their case for breaching a contract that they have signed on to and in the same sentence quote a law that is 70 years old as to why they are “only reimbursing cost incurred”.

#20

I keep hearing about a Feb or March letter that was passed out at the team meetings from the Forest Service to OES that listed the immediate changes needed to the billing process under CFAA. Does anyone have that letter?