65-2 #35 December 17, 2002

Union & Health Issues, Events, Fundraisers & Benefits

UFA Letter to Mayor Bloomberg re Marc Shaw’s Comments Firehouse Closings UFA Political Action Committee Officers Needed For Important Info & Updates UFA Faxes to Firehouses Tillerman Take a Mark Probie CFR-D Certification Required, or Risk Termination Getting Your Problems Resolved Use Your New GHI Card Effective January First

Events, Fundraisers & Benefits:

Blood Donors for Lt. Stephen Halliday, L-165 Putnam & Westchester Blood Drive Staten Island Burn Center Needs Blood Body Scans Widows and Children's Ski Trip Buy One, Get One Free at Radio City St. George Association Scholarship Exam

UFA Letter to Mayor Bloomberg re Marc Shaw’s Comments
Members can read the below letter, dated December 10th, and media reports of UFA response on the UFA website at www.UFAlocal94.org. See Home page and UFA In the Media. Also see enclosed attachments with excerpts from UFA responses in the Media.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

This past weekend Deputy Mayor Shaw was quoted saying highly inappropriate and incendiary remarks about the work New York City's Firefighters do every day. Mr. Shaw then reaffirmed those remarks in an article in Monday's New York Times.

With the City facing numerous serious problems, this does not seem like the appropriate time to heighten tensions and promote acrimony. The Uniformed Firefighters Association would like to maintain the professional relationship that we have enjoyed thus far. So while your deputy may have his opinions, I write today to ask your official position on the matter, in hopes that you will distance yourself from the highly inflammatory remarks of your First Deputy Mayor.

To correct his inaccurate comments, the normal day of a New York City Firefighter involves responding to fires, gas leaks, water leaks, building and scaffolding collapses, water rescues, car accidents, medical and trauma calls, domestic disputes, crime scenes, false alarms, and elevator emergencies to name a few things. In addition firefighters have been performing fire safety education classes, building inspections, and hydrant inspections. While these incidents may not reflect actual time spent at fires, they are nevertheless time spent serving the citizens of this great city. In addition firefighters spend several hours each day maintaining both the apparatus and the quarters of the New York City Fire Department.

All of these productivity measures have resulted in an overall decrease in the number of fires from the peak in the 1970's. However the number of emergencies that we respond to has increased almost ten-fold. Firefighters now respond to medical calls that have resulted in countless lives being saved. This has also saved the City millions of dollars in lawsuits from families that are no longer suing, due to city ambulances that in years past were notoriously late showing up to emergency medical scenes.

In between responding to all of these calls firefighters go through hours of state mandated training both in and out of the firehouse. This training ensures that firefighters stay in peak mental and physical condition so that they can ensure the safety of every person in New York City. While we would seek not to add further to the acrimony of this situation, we do request you make clear if Mr. Shaw's remarks and reaffirmation of his comments is, a direct reflection of your official position or if he was simply speaking out of line. This question is of vital importance to all of our firefighters.

On behalf of all New York's Bravest I eagerly await your reply. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss this matter further.

Sincerely,
Stephen Cassidy
President

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Firehouse Closings
The latest comments to come out of the Mayor’s office regarding its intention to close firehouses so soon after the Mayor agreed to create a Blue Ribbon panel to study the safety impact of closings, have called into question the City’s sincerity, and understanding of the potential dangers involved to New Yorkers. The City has not made additional announcements about targeted houses, though it is common knowledge which houses it originally intended to close. Do not react to rumors and unconfirmed info. You can stay prepared by maintaining positive relations with local community members, businesses, community boards and politicians. The UFA is in continuous communication with involved public officials and will keep you advised. Also, please insure your Battalion has selected a member for the Advisory Committee for Political Action and submitted it to Jim Slevin. See Below.

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UFA Political Action Committee Officers Needed
We have seen how effective working with our local politicians and community has been in keeping our firehouses open. They remain open--for now. The City still wants to reduce manning, take away Marshals and make other cuts. We must always be prepared to address important issues the moment they arise. We are asking each Battalion Delegate to provide our Legislative Chairman, Jim Slevin’s office with at least one interested person. Call or fax the member’s name, company & phone numbers. Tele: 212-683-4832; Fax: 212-683-0710. Interested members can also call us directly after informing your Company Delegate. Help us to make a difference for you! See 65-2 #30, paragraph #4 if you need additional info.

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For Important Info & Updates
Assign one member EACH TOUR to:

Check fax machine

Call UFA Hotline at 212-545-6972.

Check UFA Website at www.UFALocal94.org, if computer is available.

Insure all members assigned to your house are immediately notified of important info, especially your Delegate. Call members at home if necessary.

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UFA Faxes to Firehouses

65-2 Faxes are the quickest way to get urgent info to your firehouse. Please insure your machine is working properly.

Delegates, please see attached Fax/E-mail Broadcast report. It lists all unsuccessful transmissions and explanations.If broadcasts are not making it to your firehouse bulletin board, or if your company # or email address is listed on the attached Broadcast report, please investigate. Corrections can be e-mailed to 652@UFANYC.org or faxed to 212-683-0710, ATTN: Joe Miccio.

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Tillerman Take a Mark
Due to the Tiller Differential in the tentative contract, insure you ask your officer to note the Tillerperson in your company journal at the beginning of each tour.

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Probie CFR-D Certification Required, or Risk Termination
Probie FFs from the class of January 27, 2002 must submit proof of completed CFR-D or College requirements to FDNY's Bureau of Personnel Resources by December 30, 2002 in order to be granted tenure. Members unable to submit proof of completion, may have up to 6 months extension if they provide proof of enrollment in CFR-D or college classes to either Assistant Commissioner Sherry Ann Kavaler or Chief Edward Moriarty at 718-999-2165/2161. Failure to meet these requirements or provide proof of enrollment in classes may result in termination, effective January 27, 2003.

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Getting Your Problems Resolved
Issues with the Medical Office, Health & Safety at work, Quartermaster, violations of the City’s contractual obligations or any other problems must be effectively addressed by the UFA. However, written documentation is -- without question -- a key ingredient to getting your problems solved. The best way to help us achieve this is to mail, email or fax us a description of the issue, then call to verify that we’ve received it. If it is a more complex issue, a call prior to sending the info will allow us to direct you as to how to prepare your documentation and what needs to be described. It all starts with providing us the necessary documentation we need to go to bat for you!

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Use Your New GHI Card Effective January First
You will be receiving shortly, a new GHI medical identification card. This card has been re-designed to make it easier for you and your health care providers to identify your plan, type of coverage, co-payments, etc. when you utilize covered services and has no affect on your Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield hospital identification card. Since no changes are being made to your Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield hospital coverage, you may continue to use your current hospital identification card. Do not destroy it. Beginning Jan. 1, 2003 you must use your new card and destroy any previously issued GHI medical identification card.

Members who are non-Medicare will continue to be covered by GHI for diabetes medications filled at a participating network pharmacy. When purchasing these medications on or after Jan. 1, 2003 be sure to present the new GHI card to the pharmacist so that the prescription for diabetes medication can be processed through Express Scripts Inc. ESI has a national network of participating pharmacies that include most major drug store chains, except Walgreen. If you currently have your diabetes prescriptions filled at Walgreen, call ESI toll-free at 1-877-534-3682 to obtain the name of a participating pharmacy. Or, you can review the ESI pharmacy locator at http://www.express-scripts.com to get a complete list of pharmacies in your area. Any questions regarding your GHI benefits should be directed to GHI Customer Service at (212) 501-4444.

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Blood Donors for Lt. Stephen Halliday, L-165
Due to the overwhelming response of blood donors, the New York Presbyterian Directed Blood Coordinator has opened up a new phone number. The hospital is looking for AB positive or AB negative right now for an exact match. In the last week, Lt. Halliday had more surgery to his back, head, and legs. He is still critically ill and will require more major surgeries. Please keep Lt. Halliday and his family in your prayers. The new number is 1-800-439-6876. When you call listen for the options and press 2. Give the file number, which is 23830, and patient number, 54666, and you will make an appointment.

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Putnam & Westchester Blood Drive
NYC FFs from Putnam & Westchester are hosting a blood drive at Daniel O'Brian V.F.W. Hall. Holiday demand is high & supply is low. All who can are encouraged to give. Walk-ins welcome. Food & refreshments. Friday, 12/27 at Gleneida Ave. (Rt. 52), Carmel, NY (btwn. Georges Restaurant & Drew Methodist Church). For info contact: UFA Bronx Trustee Bob Straub (212-683-4832), Paul Zenir L-37 (718-430-0279), Tom Burke/Paul DeLeo L-41 (718-430-0290)

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Staten Island Burn Center Needs Blood
Let's get a drive going to ensure the blood supply is adequate during the long winter months. A blood drive took place on Dec. 11 and members participated. Additional donations are needed. The push for the drive is being made by retiree, William D. Ketelsen, of Ladder 79. Call Beatrice Ketelsen at 718-226-9428 to give blood to the Staten Island Hospital Burn Center.

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Body Scans
A group of members took advantage of a full body scan recently. This non evasive procedure is the newest and latest method for detecting long term health problems that may arise. Your health coverage will not cover this procedure. Dr. Eric Schnipper will give a 50% discount to any FF (active or retired) that makes an appointment and can produce proper FDNY ID. Typical cost $ 990.00. Your cost is under $500. Call 212-949-7226. Location:125 Park Avenue, corner of 41st Street.

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Widows and Children's Ski Trip
Triday, Jan. 24, 2003 at Sterling Forest, Tuxedo, NY for our widows and children. Engine 53/Ladder 43 are asking members in each firehouse to contact any family they think might need assistance to attend this event. All hands are appreciated to make this day a memorable one. Also, Sterling Forest offers half-price lift tickets and rentals for Firefighters with FDNY identification Mondays -- Friday. For any information or if you would like to ski with the children that day, call Dave Rowan of L-43 or Louis Giaconelli of E-53 at 212-570-4253.

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Buy One, Get One Free at Radio City
The 2002 Edition of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Rockettes, returns for its 70th season at Radio City Music Hall. Radio City is offering friends and family "Buy One Get One Free" tickets with every non-VIP, non prime time ticket purchased. To purchase tickets you may: 1) Call (212) 307-1000 and ask for the "JUNION" offer, or 2) Log onto www.radiocity.com. Click on a valid performance and input the code "JUNION" in the promotion code box on the purchase page. For general information call (212) 247-4777 or for group discounts (25 or more) call (212) 465-6100.

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St. George Association Scholarship Exam
The scholarship exam will be held on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 10 a.m. at Bethel United Methodist Church, 7033 Amboy Road, Staten Island, N.Y. Open to the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of St. George Association members. Less than 30 children apply annually. Awards in varying amounts starting at $200 are made directly to the winners at the Spring Annual Scholarship Dinner Dance. Four categories: ages 12 - 13; ages 14 - 15; ages 16 - 17; and ages 18 - 19. Call Chairman George S. Belnavis for applications and further info, (718) 966-0165. Applications will be mailed to you.

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Fraternally,

Joseph A. Miccio
Recording Secretary,

Stephen J. Cassidy
President