Captain Shawn Condit Named Firefighter Employee of the Year

Sac Metro Fire Special Release, By Deputy Chief Eric Bridge  |  2017-04-20
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Captain Shawn Condit began his fire service career with American River Fire Department on August 4, 1990. In 2000, American River Fire District and Sacramento County Fire Protection District merged to become the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, also known as Metro Fire. Shawn is the Truck Captain at Fire Station 109 where he oversees a truck crew of three firefighters. Station 109 is located in the Carmichael community and is unique in that this is where the Hazardous Materials unit is housed. Captain Condit coordinates the Hazardous Materials program for our department.

Throughout his career, Captain Condit has demonstrated leadership on multiple levels. Aside from being an excellent company officer, he has been a leader in the Hazardous Materials Program. His tenure in the program provides the stability needed while offering training opportunities for his crew. Captain Condit and his crew willingly take on new employees and are often called upon by the training cadre to work with academies and probationary employees. When these new individuals spend time with his crew, they are provided with a positive experience and given information that will hopefully move them down the road through the process. In addition to all his regular responsibilities at the station, Captain Condit must maintain his Hazardous Materials certification, putting added responsibility upon himself.

In addition to his hard work at Metro Fire, Captain Condit serves as a Metro Director with the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 union. This is an elected position by his peers. Shawn has held a position within the Union for over 10 years. He is an acknowledged leader within the union, and over the last 10 years he has moved up the ranks, starting out as a shift representative and eventually moving into the elected position he currently holds. He continues to do an outstanding job of representing the union members of our organization.

As Metro Director, Captain Condit represents the membership in many different ways. During our last contract negotiation, Captain Condit demonstrated calm, consistent leadership during the negotiation and confirmation process, acting as the facilitator for these meetings. He allowed for spirited but respectful debate. During these meetings, he is often involved in matters that are sensitive in nature and does not violate confidence. It is this trustworthiness that makes him an excellent Union officer and, by extension, Company Officer.

As a Union leader he takes a positive role in a needed position. Often times, employees are referred to him by management. His ability to listen fully to their problems and then calmly and positively advise them on a course of action tends to benefit both the department and the member. He acts in the best traditions of Union leadership and through this process, the matter is often resolved at the lowest level.

To be a leader, particularly as a firefighter, your work ethic must be self-evident. Since an outstanding work ethic is common at Metro Fire it is difficult to point out where one employee’s efforts are better than another, however in the case of Captain Condit he stands out each and every day. Many excellent company officers come to work and do their assignments and perform admirably, but taking a leadership position in the Union and Haz Mat program shows that Captain Shawn Condit is willing to give of himself to this department and its members. He is well respected within the Department, the Union and his crew.

Fire Chief Todd Harms was honored to name Captain Shawn Condit as Metro Fire’s 2016 Suppression Employee of the Year.


Fire Camp Lets Kids Be Firefighters for a Week

Sac Metro Fire Special Release  |  2017-04-06

To attend Fire Camp, applicants must be 11, 12 or 13 years of age, with preference given to those living within Metro Fire’s boundaries.

Metro Fire recently opened the application period for Fire Camp, a day camp that takes place from July 11-14, 2017.  Fire Camp provides local children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience today’s fire service, first hand.  The program is designed to instill self-confidence, teamwork, teach life safety skills and provide a basic understanding of the firefighting profession, in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Campers are grouped in “strike teams” of eight campers, and each strike team is mentored by two Metro Firefighters. Campers learn valuable life safety skills, while discovering what it means to be a firefighter.

To attend Fire Camp, applicants must be 11, 12 or 13 years of age, with preference given to those living within Metro Fire’s boundaries.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, so apply early for a better chance of securing a spot. Deadline to apply is June 5, 2017.

For applications and more information, visit our website: www.metrofire.ca.gov.


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Senator Gaines Introduces Fire Tax Repeal

From the Office of Ted Gaines  |  2017-03-09

Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado)

In his continued efforts to fight against the illegal fire tax, Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) announced on March 2nd  Senate Bill 9, a measure to repeal the tax.

‘This fire tax is illegal and unfair – plain and simple,” said Senator Gaines. “Many rural property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection so it is clearly double-taxation and it is being dumped on the backs of rural Californians when parts of my district still have a more than 10-percent unemployment rate and families are struggling to make ends meet.”

Senate Bill 9 would reverse the annual $152.33 “fee” for fire prevention services charged to rural property owners located in “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with CAL FIRE.

The fire tax is imposed on more than 800,000 properties in the state that are within the boundaries of SRA. According to census and CAL FIRE data, Senator Gaines’ largely rural district includes roughly 20-percent or approximately 160,000 of the properties whose owners are subject to the fee.

Senator Gaines contends that the fire tax attempts to sidestep Proposition 26, the initiative passed in 2010 that prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as “fees” and circumventing constitutional requirements for passing higher taxes. He has been a leading critic of the tax and has introduced numerous pieces of legislation in previous years that attempted to provide relief for rural Californians. Senator Gaines also strongly supports the lawsuit filed against the state by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the fee on constitutional grounds.

“I have fought this illegal tax at every turn and I encourage everyone who is stuck paying this phony fee to get in the arena and fight it too,” said Senator Gaines. “The answer to fire protection in California is not illegal taxes, but budgets that invest in core government services that protect every citizen in the state – rural, urban and suburban.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


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Wrong Way Driver Kills Oncoming Driver and Self

California Highway Patrol Special Report  |  2017-02-09

On February 7, 2017, at 9:55 p.m. the CHP received a call of a wrong way driver going westbound in the eastbound lane of I-80 at Watt Ave. The driver was a female driving a dark Ford Mustang. CHP officers immediately began responding to the wrong way driver in an attempt to prevent a head on collision from happening. Shortly thereafter the Ford sideswiped a Chevrolet Impala near Raley Blvd. and continued going the wrong way on I-80.

As the Ford approached Northgate Blvd in the #1 lane it struck head on with a white Dodge Challenger driven by a male. The collision killed both drivers upon impact. A toxicology report is being taken by the Sacramento County Coroner to determine if alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in this collision.

The eastbound lanes of I-80 were closed for a little over 2 hours due to extraction and investigation and all traffic was diverted off to Northgate Blvd.

Any additional information about this news release should be directed to Officer Chad Hertzell who will be available at the CHP North Sacramento Area business phone number: (916) 348-2317, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Convoy Shows Giving Spirit

By Elise Spleiss  |  2017-01-12

Nine year old Julian looks on with delight as Sgt.Wes Herman of the CHPD points out features on his police cruiser during the annual police Holiday Toy Drop-off on December 20. 
--Photo by Elise Spleiss

A police convoy of over a dozen Citrus Heights Police Department marked and unmarked vehicles, lights flashing and sirens wailing, made their way through the streets of Citrus Heights to five very special neighborhoods on the afternoon of December 20, 2016.

Residents living along parts of Centurion Circle, Terrell Drive, Stanford Avenue, and Villa Oak Drive were understandably uneasy at first, but then pleasantly surprised as the occupants of the vehicles emerged bearing gifts and much more for one special family at each address.

Nearly two dozen police officers, along with police volunteers, Mayor Jeff Slowey and other city council members, Boy Scouts of troop 635, and of course, Santa Claus executed one “flash gift and toy drop” in each of the four neighborhoods.

The four families chosen to receive the special delivery of toys, food, clothes and other necessities were selected from community referrals to the city’s Holiday Referral Program overseen by the police department. Each family had experienced unusual hardship in 2016 placing them in extreme financial or other difficult situation. Items for these and 30 other needy families helped this year by the program, were donated by the police department, non-profit service organizations, churches, schools, private businesses and individuals.

At the first stop, Elizabeth, whose son was celebrating his 5th birthday, was overwhelmed when Santa, accompanied by half a dozen officers ascended to their second-floor apartment bearing a shiny green bike, toys, games, food and many other items for the family. The officers were then joined by more police personnel and their own children of all ages in singing “Happy Birthday” to her son. Elizabeth, who has no family and no parents to help her thanked everybody and vowed to “pay it forward”

At another address, nine-year-old Julian was also greeted by Santa who handed him a bright red present. Julian’s mother passed away after Halloween following heart surgery. Julian said, “I loved my mom, and I’m very thankful for everyone that came he said.” His father, Tony Bernardino, said, “Julian is doing very well with everything considering the situation.” But the highlight of Julian’s day was when Sgt. Wes Herman let him sit in and inspect the interior of his police cruiser and turn on the lights and siren.

Finally, no Citrus Heights Holiday Toy Drop-off would be complete without a stop on Sayonara Drive. Previously the ‘sore spot’ of Citrus Heights, Sayonara is now a much safer place for families to live. As the caravan pulled up to the Sayonara Community Center it took only seconds for dozens of children to appear and descend upon and eagerly surround the officers and volunteers handing out the rest of the over 300 stuffed animals donated this year.

This was Police Chief Ron Lawrence’s first Holiday Toy Drop-off. At the end of the day he spoke of how impressed he is with all the hard work of his officers. He commented that “today we make magic and create special moments these kids will remember the rest of their lives… It’s a gift for us as much as it is for them.”


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Four Families Displaced by Fire in Multiple Units of Four-plex

Source: Michelle Eidam, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2017-01-12

Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire.

Just after 7:00 am on January 7th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire coming from a four-plex and immediately initiated fire attack. While firefighting operations were occurring in the unit of origin, additional firefighters initiated fire attack in a second involved unit and began searching for trapped residents.

A common attic throughout the four-plex allowed the fire to spread quickly. With a coordinated fire attack, the thirty-five firefighters on scene extinguished the fire, containing it to the attic and two units. Two units sustained major fire damage. The other two had fire damage in the attic, but only smoke damage inside; firefighters were able to salvage all of the personal belongings from these units. Residents from all four units were displaced; Red Cross was requested to assist the ten adults and four children with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damage is estimated at $250,000; no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.


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Christmas Morning Fire in Vacant Home

Source: Michelle Eidam, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-12-29

Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 5000 block of Walnut Avenue in North Highlands.

Shortly before 3:00 am on December 25th,  Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 5000 block of Walnut Avenue in North Highlands for a report of flames coming from the roof and rear window of a vacant house. First arriving crews reported a working fire and immediately initiated fire attack.

The fire, which had started on the outside of the boarded-up house, had quickly spread inside. Firefighters forced entry and extinguished the fire, deploying multiple hoselines to different areas of the house to quickly contain the fire. The roof and attic sustained significant fire damage, with total damage estimated at $75,000. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Firefighters were on scene less than five minutes after being dispatched, and the fire was already well-involved and had spread from the exterior to the attic and living quarters. Fire doubles in size every minute… if you see smoke, call 9-1-1 early!


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