2016 Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial
Captain James O. Rodgers Made the Ultimate Sacrifice Protecting His Community
Sedgwick County Fire District #1 Fire Fighter’s Name Added to Thousands of Others Etched into Granite Memorial Honoring Those Who Have Died in the Line of Duty Since 1918
2016 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 11:00 am MT
Memorial Park, Colorado Springs, CO
James (J.O.) Rodgers joined the fire service with a commitment to put his life on the line in order to keep Sedgwick County, KS safe. Now his name has been added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado, honoring those who have died in the line of duty since 1918. The names include those who died on the job, as well as the alarming number who died from toxic exposures, including more than 120 who succumbed after being exposed to deadly carcinogens while searching for survivors at Ground Zero. Etched on granite slabs forming concentric circles, the names tell a bigger story, a century of sacrifice and service, a fire service that has given so much but become stronger and made communities safer.
September 17, 2016
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, located in the shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, honors the sacrifice made by IAFF members who have given their lives in the line of duty.
The annual ceremony remains an uplifting service for the families, friends and loved ones, celebrating the lives, heroism and accomplishments of our union’s bravest of the brave.
Loss of Accreditation thru the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).
- Threatened to throw out written test for Promotion in 2014 for Lt to Capt based upon an investigated and unfounded claim of discrimination by a member of SCFD.
- Arbitrarily changed testing year and education required to test for Division Chief in 2014. Testing for Division Chief is held in odd years opposite LT/Capt testing in even years.
- Failed to monitor and equally administer promotion testing in 2016 for LT & Capt. Testing resulted in a complete RETEST of all Candidates.
- Implemented a Management Contract against the principles and integrity surrounding Bargaining in Good Faith and published language that requires the Promotional Lists for BOTH Lt & Capt to expire effective May 1, 2016. Enforcement of the INVOKED MANAGEMENT CONTRACT requires another RETEST in 2016 based upon this language.
- Arbitrarily changed education required to test for Division Chief AGAIN in 2016; contradicting current Job Description as published as well as SOP 1.5.7.
- Promoted a firefighter to the position of Deputy Fire Marshal after testing and selection process; later to advise firefighter this would not be a job classification change and/or promotion. This became a lateral transfer with 56 hour pay as an OPS firefighter being converted to 40 hour pay.
- Promoted 2 OPS firefighters to Lt with no compensation for promotion under the terms and conditions of the expired MOA and past practices of SCFD. No Acting Lt pay for this same time was compensated in place of minimum promotion pay increase as well.
- Promoted 2 OPS Lt’s to Capt and pay compensation for promotion was not followed under the terms and conditions of the expired MOA and past practices of SCFD. No Acting Capt pay for this same time was compensated in place of minimum promotion pay increase as well.
- Administration continues to be compensated under PFP at an above average rate when continuous errors and problems occur within structure.
- Fire Chief proclaims he has been unfairly/unjustly measured and blamed for things that a previous Fire Chief had 20 years’ experience at performing. Has stated to multiple crews that no mentoring/training was provided or given and learning curve is LIVE and on the fly. The question then, why is the current Fire Chief making more in Compensation than the previous Fire Chief with 20 years’ experience?
- Top 3 Executive exempt Chief Officers have access to collect and/or have collected EDP compensation for hours worked over 40 in a week. No other department head or exempt staff in Sedgwick County/Public Safety have this ability. Wichita Fire Department & Wichita Police Department do not offer this either.
- See #7 under PROMOTIONS.
- See #8 under PROMOTIONS.
- 2014 immediate change of department t-shirt was ordered and authorized by the Fire Chief and carried out by Division Chief in Fire Prevention with assistance from member’s downtown.
- Immediate termination of station t-shirt wear and purchase was ordered and authorized by the Fire Chief.
- 2016 Labor/Management negotiations resulted in a Tentative Agreement by both parties for return of approved design station t-shirts for wear and purchase; Management invoked Contract excluded this agreement.
- 2016 polyester/polyester blend articles of uniform clothing are made available for members of SCFD to purchase and wear while on-duty. This violates NFPA 1975 and also violates the longstanding past practice of SCFD Labor and Management priorities on members’ Safety, Health, and Wellness.
- Hiring Standards of a minimum written test score of a 75 adopted by a joint Labor Management Committee and implemented by previous Fire Chief to increase SCFD quality of applicants was arbitrarily LOWERED to a score of 70.
- Lifting weight requirements during pre-employment testing were lowered from the upper limits allowed to the LOWEST limit permitted under the published standard. (I.E. Easier to pass).
- Recruit Academy Instructors were micro-managed and threatened with discipline up to and including termination related to Recruit Academy Policies that they were told had been approved and were enforceable.
- Fire Chief station talks involve continual threats of termination related to accusations of hurt feelings, picking on someone, singling out an individual, or the impression of harassment related to job description and requirements.
- A firefighter while on-duty and after MULTIPLE requests to use personal sick leave was given a direct order to take an EMS Ambulance ride to a local ER for evaluation by a Chief Officer and referred for further testing by a specialist. Upon release for return to work, and AFTER Risk Management member emailed that all bills related to the event should be forwarded for payment---payment was DENIED. Firefighter was made to pay co-pays and deductibles on personal insurance after collections letters were mailed and Management refused to accept responsibility for their direct order for transport.
- A firefighter had a "near-miss" incident while attending training certification on his days off. When he inquired whether or not he was "covered" in the event of injury/death while performing off-duty training as it relates to taking care of his family financially he was advised by Risk Management members NO COVERAGE. This firefighter was then ridiculed and harassed by members of SCFD due to refusing to participate in off-duty/uncompensated training from this point forward.
- SCFD Administration continues to show they no longer put the safety of our members as one of their top priorities. They have proven this by continually running stations short on a daily basis. It is now not uncommon to have a 5 person station running with 3 personnel and being backed up by a station running with 2 personnel on an Engine.
- Instead of maintaining a well-trained and highly skilled full time Fire District, our Administration continues to lower the standards and reduce the quality of service of SCFD by promoting the hiring of part-time personnel and recruiting volunteers to fill full time vacancies.
- For the first time in Fire District history we are seeing early retirements and resignations by members directly related to the poor leadership by SCFD Administration.
LABOR / MANAGEMENT RELATIONS –
- Non-existent due to Management feels attacked by Labor at every turn. (Refer to above issues and justify accordingly).
- Labor continues to try and dialog and resolve issues thru Chain of Command before filing Grievances; plausible deniability happens due to Management breaks in communication/"nobody ever talked to me directly" answers.
- Decisions are made outside the Chain of Command related to department and Accountability, Responsibility, Ethics, Integrity, and Morality are used as punching bag words with no depth of meaning.
- Members of Management have such hatred towards Labor that they will take personal attacks and initiate unfounded investigations on members of Labor. They have also tried to coerce members of Labor and Management to “make friends” with Labor Executives and “try to get them to incriminate themselves and document it” all in an effort to terminate the employment of specific members of Labor.
- Even with Labor going above and beyond in trying to repair/initiate good Labor/Management relations, Labor is continually met with defiance and immediate lack of cooperation by members of SCFD Administration.
In conclusion, the items listed above and multiple others are what have put our once Fully Accredited and cutting edge Fire District into the unfortunate state it is now in, thanks to the current Administration and Leadership we are currently suffering from.
IAFF Local 2612 Secretary/TreasurerDownload: SCFD Facts since 2014.pdf
Firefighter Bo Whelchel
Message from IAFF 2nd District Vice President Mark Woolbright:
Brothers and Sisters of the IAFF 2nd District,
This past week has seen several events unfold at a national and local level that could potentially impact our lives . Between the announcement that Hillary Clinton will not face criminal charges, the very recent police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded in Dallas resulting in the loss of at least five of our brother law enforcement officers…. and just yesterday the police officer being ambushed and shot in St. Louis County who remains in critical condition. The national news and in particular social media have exploded with people from all walks of life expressing very strong opinions on these situations.
I ask that you keep the fallen, their families, and their co-worker in your thoughts and prayers, and I encourage you to see that these events represent a very real reason for us as first responders to remind ourselves that we are the government, and to people who feel oppressed and disenfranchised by the government, we represent the forces they believe are treating them unfairly. Across the country, Fire and EMS workers have increasingly become victims of violence, and events such as those that occurred this week only heighten the potential for that to occur.
Many of our members have been expressing concerns and opinions on social media and in the firehouses/ambulance bases amongst our sisters and brothers. We all have a right to do that. It’s called freedom of speech – and it’s a right that every single one of us takes seriously. As we move forward, to make sure we all stay strong for each other and continue to display our professionalism, we want you to keep some things in mind.
Remember that the IAFF is a family. Everyone we work with and everyone in our respective communities – the people who pay our salaries and who we put our lives on the line to protect – are also a part of our extended family.
This broader family is made up of people of many races, colors, creeds, national origins, genders, sexual orientations, income levels and religions.
And just as important as our right to free speech, every single one of us has the right to a safe and respectful workplace, and to be treated with respect.
We also have a responsibility to be respectful to others at all times. It is crucial that, as leaders and as trusted protectors of our community, we make our display of respect universal. Nothing less is acceptable.
Every single one of us has a role in this.
Before you speak; before you talk to others in the community or to someone on the side during a call; before you post a comment or share a link on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram; think about the message you are sending (intentional or not). Because the photos, the cartoons and news articles with the political opinions, the info graphics you send around, are a reflection on not only you but on all of those with whom you serve.
And as we all know too well, those who work against us, those who don’t like what we stand for, it takes just one mistake, one slip up, for them to grab hold and make a big deal out of something, no matter how small, unfair or out of context it may be. Yes, we are held at a higher standard.
It’s a tough spot to be in, but it’s what every single one of us chose willingly when we signed up for this job.
Because of the work all of you do every day, we have a very high standing within our communities. Overwhelmingly, the public holds us in high regard.
To continue to be effective, to continue to hold the trust, to continue to be able to work to improve our lives and safety on the job, we need to maintain that standing.
At the end of the day, we all share one thing in common – to ensure the safety of the public (and each other) we so proudly serve while doing the job we love. That’s what unites us. That’s what makes us strong. We all work side-by-side, everyday in life and death situations. And we all have a role in keeping our union and our ranks strong. Please stay alert, familiar with your surroundings and lets continue to have each other’s back.
IAFF 2nd District Vice President
Members of Local 2612:
1st: If ever there were a time to "engage for change" in local politics it begins NOW. We must change the landscape of support as citizens and taxpayers of the communities we deliver services within.
2nd: We as firefighters HAVE SUPPORT. While the media has stated this Union is fighting over wages---we are really fighting for the careers of our members and the laws and rights that our employer has and continues to violate. We are the service providers, we are the people that get the work done, and finally we are the rubber that meets the road.
3rd: the comments on this Kansas.com Editorial RESONATE and SUPPORT the issues at hand, as well as lend some credibility to the Relations model that has been trashed and replaced with disrespect and common goals by multiple layers of elected as well as appointed management positions.
The words of our former Public Safety Director are on point. The outcry from a widow of one of our FALLEN are enough to give this fight the BOOST and ADRENALINE needed to fight and Do The Right Thing!
IAFF Local 2612 has reached out to WPD, WFD, SCEMS, as well as Sheriff Department regarding Executive Management making "extra duty pay" for hours worked over 40 hours a week... ALL stated that Executive Management are SALARY and get COMP TIME (time off) for hours worked / assigned over 40 hours.
After filing an Open Records Request related to Fire District Executive Management it has been discovered that money is being paid IN ADDITION to the generous salaries, uniform allowances, comp time, and dept vehicles that are assigned to these 2 members of Executive Management. As seen on the calendar charts, a lot of times on weekdays after working their assigned 8 hour days in the office...
While these Chief Officers have managed to have their SUBORDINATES that report to them ENTER this extra pay into our payroll system---these same SUBORDINATES on most occasions APPROVE the extra pay as well. It's well documented---these same Chief Officers approved their own extra pay a few times as well.
Where are the checks and balances within this payroll system? Who is responsible for the uniform implementation and enforcement of EXEMPT MANAGEMENT PAY and its definition according to the law? Where is the Integrity in a system that allows Exempt Management to not staff Firehouses with the NFPA1710 standard of personnel yet claim extra pay for themselves at the same time?
Double Standards that challenge the ethics and integrity of Management and those that allow this type of action to persist need to be held ACCOUNTABLE! Firefighters and Lieutenants have not seen a pay compensation raise since 2011---following the money we can see that Management continues to help themselves to the $$$ with no regard for those that provide the actual service to OUR CITIZENS.
It's time for change; it's time for ACCOUNTABILITY.Download: Fire KORA report (with Roll Call Items).pdf , Wegner EDP 2015.pdf , Wegner EDP 2016.pdf , Tangney EDP 2015.pdf , Tangney EDP 2016.pdf
Members of Local 2612,
Please take time to visit the Member Resouces Page and sign-up / register yourself for access to this website. Information will be in the "Members Only" section that will require log-in to be seen and read. If you are not a member of Local 2612---enjoy the rest of the site and feel free to sign the Guestbook.
- Threatened to throw out written test for Promotion in 2014 for Lt to Capt based upon an investigated and unfounded claim of discrimination by a member of SCFD.