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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  May 9, 2019 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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all electronic devices. the time is 9:00. item one, roll call. president stephen a. nakajo. vice president francee covington. >> commissioner joe alioto verone
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veronese, chief of department janine nicholson. >> members of the public may address the commission for up to 3 minutes on any matter within the jurisdiction and does not appear in the agenda. speakers shall address the remarks as a whole and not to any personnel. commissioners are not to enter into debate with the speaker. a lack of response by the commissioners or department personnel does not constitute agreement with statements made during public comment. >> thank you madam secretary. in terms of general public comments, is there any member of the public that wishes to give a public comment at this time? seeing none, the item is closed madam secretary. >> discussion of the minutes, approving minutes of the regular
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meeting on april 24th, 2019. >> is there any member of the public that wish to give public comment at this time, in terms of the approval of the minutes, please approach the podium. seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioners any questions or comments on the minutes? if not, i'm going to need a motion and second. >> so moved mr. president. >> thank you very much. i need a second please. >> second. >> thank you very much commissioner veronese. all in favor say aye, thank you very much. >> an update from the department of management, director mary ellen, to provide an update on the department of emergency management. >> thank you very much.
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congratulations within your position. >> thank you. >> i appreciate, we commissioner appreciate this opportunity to meet you as well and to give an update and status in the department of emergency management. please proceed. >> good morning, thank you commissioners. so, the department of emergency management leaves the preparedness, communication response and recovery for daily emergencies, large scale city events, and major disasters. our job really is to manage the everyday and not so everyday emergencies in our city. thank you. examples of everyday emergencies include our police, fire, and medical emergencies for which we
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provide the 9-1-1 dispatch. we'll talk a little bit more about that. your traffic disruptions, power outages, examples of not so everyday emergencies include of course the big ones, earthquakes, tsunamis, human made emergencies like terrorism or communicable diseases, and most recently we've been experiencing sort of extreme weather emergencies, so extreme heat and last year during when we had our hazardous air quality, extended air quality event due to the fires in different parts of our state. so, one of the ways that we accomplish our commission is through emergency communications. our 9-1-1 dispatch operation is the combined dispatch for police, fire, and emergency medical services. last year, our public safety dispatchers answered and
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responded to over 1.4 million calls, and non-emergency calls, so those are emergency and non-emergency in more than 170 different languages. in general, statistically, about 55% of our calls are emergency 9-1-1 and 45% are non-emergency. of our emergency calls, 80% are law enforcement, 16% medical, and 4% fire. we're proud of our diversity in the 9-1-1 staff and to provide these services in a competent matter. last year, as i said, 170 different languages that we fielded with the calls, and-- can you go back to that slide? i want to point out our diversity. we're one of the most diverse staff within the city and so
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that chart shows that. one in four of our dispatchers are certified bilingual. we also provide 24/7 language interpretation through the state, through a state contract. so, we are -- sorry, i lost my place here. okay, so the other thing is that not all of the 9-1-1 calls that we get are actual emergencies. 40% of the calls we get either should not be coming in to 9-1-1 at all, they should be going to 3-1-1 or police emergency, or we have accidental calls, or people just calling about wildly inappropriate things. so that's our 9-1-1. i'm going to get back to a little more on 9-1-1 in a minute. the other way we accomplish our missions is through our
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emergency division. it's where the city's central brokerage and coordination location for information for any special event or emergency. we're having a meeting this week for beta breakers, and those things. it's also for larger events where we coordinate local, state, and federal assets, as well as we have representation from our community and private sector partners. in addition, we develop and asim nate emergency information to the public and i'll get into more detail about that shortly. in january of this year, we launched our watch center. this is a new initiative out of d.m. it's a centralized hub where we are monitoring all major incidents taking place in the city and that helps us to coordinate emergency response
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more quickly and issue public alerts more effectively and quickly. in addition, through our division of emergency services, we are responsible for developing the city's emergency plans. we conduct trainings and exercises and coordinate city wide mutual aids in event of an emergency. we're updating our emergency response plan. this has to be updated every five years, so our five years is up. this is the city's master plan for emergency response. we're working closely with your staff on that. it guides all the emergency support functions and annexes for the city, so with that e.r.p., there's an umbrella plan and then we work with all the different city departments and community organizations to detail out the specific support function areas, like medical,
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that sort of thing. plans are important, but most importantly they sit on the shelf. it's rare that you bring a plant out. the two important parts is the process of developing them, and then exercising them. so we lead the city on developing exercises. last year we did a full scale exercise of our care and shelter plan, and our emergency fuel plan, and emergency communications. we did this during our yellow command. finally, we coordinate as i mentioned, mutual assistance and unfortunately last year during fire season, there was a lot of that needed, if you're well aware that your folks were out there, both north and south, but it was the first time that san francisco sent a number of civilian mutual aid teams to support emergency operation
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centers in the noh. so, now i'm going to talk to you a little bit about emergency public information, so this is one of our key responsibilities and i think probably one of the most important ones that we have, is to provide emergency public information, so info to the public. we have a number of redundant systems to do this, and to get to different people where they are. so, we have alert s.f., which i will speak about in a moment, wireless emergency alerts, like the amber alert system, we can use that. i'm sure you're all aware of the outdoor public warning system and our sirens that go off every tuesday at noon. we use social media, traditional media, and we also use and will coordinate with our first responders and community partners to get information to the public. a few weeks ago on the anniversary of the 1906
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earthquake, we did a test of our s.f. alert system that went out to -- which is a text and e-mail system that went out to 18,000 subscribers of that system. we also maintain the website, which has city now map, and we're able to provide realtime information on that website during special events or emergencies. then finally, we do community preparedness, and education programs in which we are striving to create more of a culture of preparedness within san francisco. diving more deeper into alert s.f., as i mentioned, we have over 118,000 subscribers. that represents about 13% of our population, which is actually in comparison to other big cities,
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really great. most are between 2% and 5%. we love for that percentage to be higher so i talk about it wherever i go and i'm going to talk about it more today. all people need to do to sign up, go to alertsf.org, or text your zip code in and you're done. the program really helps us get information out quickly to a lot of people. there are many folks that aren't going to subscribe to this or we aren't able to get to them for many reasons. for folks that can sign up, it's helpful because then we don't have to worry about them and we can do the work we need to do to get to the more vulnerable populations that take more time to reach out to. sf-72 is our community preparedness program. there's been a shift in how to
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think about preparedness for the general public and it use to be very scary and you know, you have to have all these things in a closet, or you know, in a bunker under your house or you're not prepared. we try to think about it differently because i don't think it's very effective for most humans. if you try to scare them, they're more likely to back off. sf72 is a great website, it's very user friendly, and folks on think about what you have already, get yourself organized, and most importantly, connect with your community. last year we also worked with the san francisco unified school district, so right now every seventh grade, every seventh grader goes through an earth sciences course on earthquake science, but also preparedness. part of their assignment is to take some of that home and come back with a preparedness plan.
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i love this program because i think you know, getting to the kids is such a great way to build awareness. it's very equitable because we're hitting every kid in seventh grade and they go home and harass their parents to get prepared. i think that's also very effective. finally, getting back to 9-1-1 and our public information, we make the right call campaign, and i spoke to you about 40% of our calls are -- that shouldn't be coming in, and it's taking time away from our emergency distap -- dispatchers, so we have campaigns on how to prevent that and how to educate folks when to call 9-1-1, and what 3-1-1 is for. so this has been a very successful campaign for us, and
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hopefully you see this when you're out and about in the city. we're hoping to continue this as we move forward. so, that is really the very general overview of our department. i'm happy to answer any questions you might have. >> thank you very much. what we'll do at this particular time is ask for public comment on your presentation first before we ask the commissioners to give comments or ask questions. is there any member of the public that wishes to give public comment on this presentation? seeing none, public comment is closed, commissioners? >> yeah, i see they needed to change your name up here chief. [laughter] >> someone needs to step it up. still has the old chief's name up here. welcome, thank you so much for your presentation, i really do
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appreciate it and congratulations on your appointment, although it's probably been 8 to 9 months now. >> yes. >> but congratulations. your predecessor was a wonderful person. >> yes. >> but, you're doing a fantastic job as well. a couple quick questions, the big deal for us here at the fire department is response times, right? >> uh-huh. >> and the last time your department came and presented to us, one of the questions was if uber knows where you are at all time, why doesn't d.m. know when you call 9-1-1. i heard there is a partnership between you and uber. if you could tell us a little bit about that. also, if you could maybe explain why it is that -- how it is that we could be doing a better job of making these uber and google,
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all of these companies that operate in san francisco, that operate to the detriment of san francisco, in some cases, especially with uber. how can we force these companies to give us this information? can you tell us about the deal you have with google? >> yeah, we're currently piloting a program with s.o.s., they're allowing us to utilize some of that technology. so some of the tech companies have come in and actually are working with us, we're collaborating, and so far it's going incredibly well. you're absolutely right. you know, there are a million things you can do that the average citizen can do, order a pizza, or you know, get an uber, and they know exactly where you are. so, with this new technology, we've been able to partner with a number of firms who are providing us with that and we're
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piloting it right now. and it's, you know, i think we're already, we're getting there very quickly. the other issue that we're looking at is not only because san francisco is a densely populated city, and we have so many high-rises, and multi-level buildings, that's also the next step, to be able to get -- i can't remember the technical term, but vertical information. not only will you know where the address is, but what floor it's on. so, i feel really confident that we're well down the road on successfully piloting that information. we're also -- it's taken a little while to get there, but we're -- as i said, we're actively in that pilot right now. >> one of the other issues that's important to us, as you may know because you received the calls at least once a week
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now, and i have listened to the radio dispatches about how hard it is sometimes to find somebody out of the cliffs. so along these same lines, really important to know, i had about a year ago, i initiated a conversation with some developers at google to see if we could perhaps put digital markers on the google map, so if you pulled up your google map, you know where you were. if that's something that's interesting to you, i can pass on that information and give you an update on what we were doing. >> yeah, absolutely, i would love that. i haven't heard that before, and i know that would be great. these folks behind me would appreciate that too, because they're really the ones out there trying to figure out where to show up. >> right, right. the other question i had was about opting in. i know that we received about
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six months ago, a presidential alert on our cell phones. why is it that, if you can explain to me, why is it that citizens of san francisco have to opt in, and is there a program in a case of an emergency, like the tubs fire, or the campfire, where we can send out a message to people that haven't opted in. >> as i understand it, you don't have to opt in. you can opt out of that program. so, there are some issues with it. so when it was tested, we know that not everyone's phone got it. that wasn't necessarily because they didn't opt in, it's because they didn't opt out. it's a critical function, i think that we need to make sure works correctly. it's a hard one to test because you know, we considered back and
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forth using it during the air quality event that we had in november, and you know, we chose not to. it's really in a way, a nuclear option because it is disruptive and also we want people, if they get it, to actually understand it. do you have any more information on that? >> just to clarify, what you're talking about is different than the text your zip code. >> yeah, we're talking about two different systems here. the one that director carroll is talking about is the wireless emergency alert. there's the amber alert, however the one that was tested a few months ago was the presidential alert. with wireless emergency alerts, the way they work, you don't have to opt in. the way it hits you, if your cell phone is pinged, then you will get a message, and you will
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receive that wireless emergency alert if there is some type of emergency going on. as director carol mentioned, it's not perfect. i could be in daily city, and my phone is pinging a tower in san francisco. we also seen instances where you heard of light trucks and say they're deployed in san francisco, but they since moved to arizona. that may get our emergency wireless alert because it's configured to our system here in san francisco. that's not an opt in system, you can opt out of it. the only wireless emergency alert you can't opt out of is the presidential alert. now alert s.f. is a subscriber based system. so, you actually have to sign up for that. you know, in the recent years, we made it easy to sign up by just being able to text your zip code. we seen a lot of success in the
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last three years. we seen a 136% increase in registration. three years ago we had 50,000 and now we have 118,000. yes, you still have to opt into it. what's important to remember about warning systems is that it's important to have a healthy redundancy because say some system doesn't work, or not everybody is getting it, so that's why we have multiple layers of warning systems to get information out to the public. so it could be the sirens, it could be wireless emergency alerts, it could be social media, or alert s.f., or you could be firefighters or police officers going out there with their p.a. systems. it's really important to have an integrated and redundant system. >> we have that capability, the only difference is the level of importance of the message. >> right, i mean i would say that you would probably want to
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use a wireless emergency alert or the sirens for something that is absolutely critical where you need to take immediate action right now. >> right. great, thank you for your presentation. thanks for stepping up. >> thank francis, he's our communication external affairs director. >> thank you very much commissioner veronese. chief nicholson. >> good morning president, vice president, commissioners, the department, and maureen as well. thank you so much for being here. it's good to see you my sister, and thanks for your presentation. just so the commissioners know, assistant deputy chief has been working hand in hand with mary ellen's staff on disaster preparedness and we're working on getting some training
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exercises together and deputy chief jose and victor are going to be heavily involved in that in our management team training, and we will also bring our e.m.s. side in with our new assistant deputy chief and i know that s.f.p.d. wants to be involved and d.p.h. and all that. we are legreally looking to ramp our training and exercises, so thank you so much with your help with that. you know, together we're so much stronger. i learned something new today. i didn't know about the earthquake science, and preparedness class for every seventh grader. that's awesome. strong work. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much chief nicholson. commissioners any more questions or comment? vice president covington. >> thank you. thank you mr. president.
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i had a couple of questions for you. now you said that there are 1.4 million calls into the center every year. >> uh-huh. >> okay, but only 4% of those are fire related? >> correct. >> okay. so, most of the calls are for the police department? >> yes. >> okay. >> thank you commissioner verone veronese. all right, he said welcome to san francisco. all right. this is hard for me to wrap my head around, why only 4% are fire related. is it that there are actual
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fires, but not to the fire department? >> i think it's to the good work of your fire prevention team. it's just the number of incidents. >> of actual fires. >> that are coming in, there is a higher percentage of medical related calls. >> 16%. >> yeah. >> so adding those two together because we're medical and fire, that's only 20% of the calls. >> that's right. >> okay. all right, thank you for that clarification. the ability to communicate with people in 170 different languages, you said there's a state contract for that? >> yes. >> can you tell us a little bit more about that? >> sure there's basically only two options for the translation type services within san francisco, so we use the contract we have is voyance and
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the way it works is that we are a prioritize -- our -- their services are prioritized for us. essentially the way it works is someone calls and they say spanish, or they're speaking in spanish and we don't have a spanish speaking caller -- i'm sorry, call taker available, it's really a push of the button and within a number of seconds, we will have an interpreter online. so the phone interpreter will interpret for our call taker to complete the call in that language. >> and the state supplies the funds for that? >> it's actually a free service, yes. >> very good, that's good to know. our tax dollars at work. >> yes. >> i also wanted to know a little bit about the civilian teams that were sent north. >> uh-huh, many of them were
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from our staff, but also city departments. in the case of the city of paradise in particular and chico were the two operation center jurisdictions we went to. as you're well aware, the fires were so devastating, the majority of the staff for those cities were affected by the fire, so there was a state request to have emergency management teams deployed to run the operation centers and everything. they were in the areas of public information, francis deployed for us, finance, and administration, the controller and general service agency sent staff, planning, operations, and so we were able to send -- we had people up there rotating teams, probably for over a month. currently right now, a number of -- a large number of city staff is going through
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certification training so they will have the certificates that the state indicated in order for us to redeploy and this is part of a mayoral directive, that we as a city would have these civilian teams ready and available to provide mutual aid. it has the added benefit of building our own capability, should an emergency happen here. >> that sounds like an excellent program, more people should know about that. >> yes, we are building those teams without the city departments, really now as we speak. >> very good. and how does your department interface with nert, which is the fire department. >> yeah, so we provide -- so nert actually has been part of our team in different deployments, especially during care and shelter exercises.
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>> what is that? >> when we are exercising our ability to execute mass sheltering that may be needed after an emergency. >> shelter in place? >> not shelter in place, but where folks are displaced from their homes due to flooding or an earthquake, and they would need a place to be sheltered after fires and that sort of thing. nert is a key partner in not only community preparedness but community response. so, we really depend on the nert teams to be those boots on the ground within neighborhoods, to be able to provide first response before the first responders can get there. >> okay. well, thank you very much. >> you're welcome, and just to put it out there, we are
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constantly, and i would now say encouraging everyone who can to sign up for nert and go through the training. building that team of nert volunteers is so important, so we definitely encourage folks to look into the program. >> i also encourage everyone to do it. i'm nert-certified, so it's the least i can do. thanks. >> yeah. >> thank you very much vice president covington. >> yes. >> thank you very much director, i have a few questions. is there a way you can bring up that page with emergency services? please. i'm very pleased that we are able to get you to give us an update in terms of department emergency management, and for this commission to be able to
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have an interaction with you as >> okay, is that number 168 sufficient for you?
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>> no. [laughter] >> okay, it is right now. we actually are working with the city and budget office
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there use to be issues of retention. there use to be issues of examinations and such. all of that pertains to us as the department. i know again that there is police and fire, that's why again vice president covington's question on what is suppression and what is emergency medical is
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very important to us because from our department point of view, this seems to be a point of information that we do more work towards emergency than suppression, in terms of calls. do you have any comments on that? >> that we do more work within your department? >> right. >> on suppression. >> right, i know that's a departmental question that i can ask chief nicholson, but i'm just curious as to how that interprets within yourself. the interpretation is if they have a fire, they call 9-1-1, is that accurate? >> yes. >> and when someone has a medical emergency, they equally call 9-1-1. >> correct. >> so those percentage of numbers seem a little low according to what we produce out there, so i'm trying to get a more accurate picture on how that coordination occurs.
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>> right, also to address your comments, and to assure you, really my number one priority is 9-1-1. this is a 24/7 operation that has to function. there have been issues in the past since i came on. we have been hitting all our standards. i don't feel that i can take credit for that. that was a lot of work that came in before me. it is my responsibility to ensure that we maintain those standards. >> okay. >> i think that morale is improving. it's a very difficult job. it's super stressful environment, and you know, it's challenging to find those supports to make sure that folks do feel supportive that it is a safe environment, that they are getting the training. thankfully now that our staffing is back on track, we will be able to get back more to basics to increase our training.
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i think we -- my observation is that we have a very good relationship with the fire department. the fire department staff that are signed are topnotch. we work very closely with the as far as what the numbers reflect, i think they reflect the reality of the calls coming in. >> okay. >> the other area we didn't talk about in our presentation, but is -- and that we should add in is what we do around homeless and street condition issues. many of the calls that come in, not only to us, to non-emergency, to 9-1-1, but certainly medical calls are related to folks that are either living in the street or experiencing distressinget even in the street. so as part of that, we operate the healthy streets operation center out of our e.o.c.
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that's something that i know chief nicholson and i, and her staff will be working -- will continue to work closely on, because more than fires i would say, the street conditions and the environment is probably the biggest burden on the system, both e.m.s., hospital, and emergency systems. >> okay, thank you for that. in terms of our department down at emergency management, we have some staff that's there. could you refresh this commission on who is staffing there? i remember a battalion chief, but what other personnel would be from the department of emergency management? >> so we have suppression members, lieutenants, staffing down there, and we have medical rescue captain staffing as well. as i can say in response to the healthy streets operation
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center, we have our e.m.s. 6, rescue captain pang is there on mondays, and former chief assistant chief, and myself have gone to many of the other meetings, the planning meetings they have, and i'm involve in the policy group meetings. so we're really involved in the healthy streets operation center because you know how impacted our department is as well by the homelessness and opioid crisis in the city. we also have and ask through the healthy streets operation center budget for personnel, for e.m.s. 6. >> okay, chief. healthy streets, director carol, is that the 3-1-1 number? >> so 3-1-1 is where many of the
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street, what we say street condition issues. we encourage those -- for instance, if there's a tent on your street, or trash, or encampments, those are not necessarily 9-1-1, unless there's illegal activity or a true urgent public safety issue. those should go through 3-1-1. the healthy operations center actually is a collection point for any and all homeless or street related issues. so whereas before they would go to 3-1-1 and get dispatched to d.p.w. or to public health, or p.d., now we're all in the same room. all of those calls are dispatched together out of this operation center. >> okay, i think it's really important that there is a continuing effort to educate the public, for example, i'm a
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member of the japanese american community, and there's a tendency previous that anything that's an emergency, you call 9-1-1. for anything. now we know there's a differentiation between 9-1-1 and 3-1-1, yet one has to be educated on what constitutes a 3-1-1 call and what constitutes a 9-1-1 call. many of our residents, whether it's a mental health issue, sometimes they're calling the 9-1-1, and there's a certain amount of frustration that occurs because they don't know who's responding to what. i understand there's a coordination between your department, but that message has to go to the public as well. i'm commenting because i see it everyday. we're trying to educate our members on not calling 9-1-1 if it's not a police or fire emergency because for us in the
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department, or in the fire department, generally the public comes up to me on different occasions and says why didn't you respond? i'm basically -- there has to be an education process of it doesn't just go to the department and the fire department rolls, but it goes to the dispatch center, and then they communicate with members in our administrative coordination. so am i accurate with that description? >> yeah, absolutely, and that's part of why we were talking about our 9-1-1 call campaign. i'll have francis respond to that in a second, but i think the other -- there is -- you know, we want people to call 9-1-1 when it's appropriate to do so. >> right. >> so i think it's both things. so, francis, did you want to add anything? >> about two years ago, we launched the make the right call program which aimed to educate
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not only our residents and businesses, but also our city staff on when it's appropriate to call 9-1-1, when it's appropriate to call 3-1-1 and when it's appropriate to call a non-emergency number. we did see a lot of success with the campaign initially. it included funding from the board that we were able to do bus ads, we were able to do mobile ads, social ads, and i'm a statistics guy, so i think we reached about 25 million impressions throughout that campaign period, in terms of engagement rate, it was double than what you would see. so in a normal type of advert e advertising campaign, it was highly successful. it was a one time funding, so we did what we could with it, and we're continuing the program through community presentations and community fairs, so we certainly proactively go out to the community, but if there are other groups, we're happy to
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work with the fire department to go out and do a make the right call presentation with our dispatchers, with our staff to talk about when it's appropriate to call 9-1-1. you know, one of the things i kind of mentioned previously is that it's important that our city staff and our first responders also know which number to call when, because it doesn't matter if my team goes out and tells people hey, you should really call 3-1-1 for this. if they hear it from a police officer or a firefighter, they will believe them over anyone on my team. so it's important that we have over 30,000 city employees, that we all get the message on when it's appropriate to call 9-1-1, when it's appropriate to call 3-1-1 and when it's appropriate to call non-emergency. we have a number of educational materials that help reinforce this. >> what did you say the campaign was called? >> make the right call. >> you said you were defunded,
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is that what you are telling me? >> yes, we were funded two years ago. now we do the best we can. >> it seems like a worthwhile campaign. >> yes. >> a couple more questions director carol. now when you talk about the translation services, very often do police officer or firefighters call your service when there's a patient or a client that doesn't speak english and needs some necessity of language services? >> so responders have a totally different system. it's not the same system. we do coordinate more with police, but also we can do it with medical to indicate that we shared that information and it's a monolingual speaking, whatever they're speaking so the first responders can try to get a responder that speaks that language. >> okay. i think that's really important.
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>> yeah. >> the last question is that you talked a lot about the joint emergency plan and training and preparati preparation. is there such an exercise by which all components of the city, police, fire, sheriff, have a joint exercise on some annual basis? >> yeah, so fleet week, which happens in the fall in october, most people aren't aware of fleet week and the blue angels, and other activities that are going on. it is a really important week for us when it comes to exercising. we do full scale, meaning we're taking out the trucks and the equipment, and the folks, and we're actually practicing some capability with the folks that are here from fleet week. so with the navy, the marines, some of the state reserve folks. so that's just one time of year.
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we work really closely and plan on that all year long. throughout the year, we have different types of exercises on different parts of our function. we do have a training and exercise plan, and you know, one of the things i would like to see and i know that chief nicholson feels this way, as of chief scott from the police department, is really getting back to exercising together and really building those capabilities so that we can respond. the other thing is that we have plenty of opportunities throughout the year. thankfully, we have not been challenged with anything catastrophic. as i always say, if it doesn't happen, that's totally okay with me. we can practice all we need to. we have the fire, you know, we had a fire earlier this year at gary and parker that once the
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investigation is over, we'll have a good opportunity to really look at that. other events that go on throughout the year, it gives us an opportunity to sit back and say, you know, what went well, what didn't, what do we need to work on. >> all right, i for one as a commissioner, really feel that there should be a joint exercise beyond fleet week. part of this is that you made a comment on emergency plan, the plan is only as good besides sitting on the shelf. i rather have that plan come off the shelf and go through the practice through the police department, fire department, all other entities. i as the president was recently intir viewed by the grand jury, and the question was is the fire department ready for the big one? that's where nert comes in as well. i like to say we're ready, but
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this commissioner would really like to know when we're ready. if you coordinate yourself through an emergency exercise, i think this commissioner would like to know when that occurs so we can be a part of that as well. at this time, i will conclude, but is there more comment cheer nicholson? >> yes, briefly, we are working towards that president nakajo, and we have been working with director carol for the past year, and now that we have them on board, we're absolutely moving in that direction. >> i appreciate that very much. when we went through our interview with potential candida candidates, that question came up a couple of times. it was a great education piece and therefore we would like to move towards some implementation of that.
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commissioner hardeman. >> thank you president nakajo. i'll be real brief director carol. i love watching the disaster council meetings. i caught the end of it the other day. we ordered supplies out to the western part of the city and i notice one of the speakers here is a community activist, and we had a retired firefighter speaking, amend they -- and they had good ideas, but that seems to be a controversy that's ongoing. so you have quite a large disaster council, quite a large group. we meet again in june, i think it was announced. that's something that's very informative. i just picked it up because at night i have time, being retired, to do that. >> i'm thrilled to hear that you watched it. that's wonderful. >> yeah, i forced myself to watch it. my wife thinks i'm crazy.
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she reads late at night and i like to watch that stuff. i watched something on disaster that was very interesting in iceland. we worry about our earthquakes, cities like us that have vaults close by. those two volcanos that are very active, one of them is expected to go off within 30 years. the expected deaths from that could be a million people. there's only 350,000 people that live in iceland. it delivers to the rest of the world, going towards europe, ash and everything. it's very scary. that's something if i live in iceland, i would be worried about. i was born and raised here, so earthquakes don't bother me. i worry as a commissioner.
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i worry as much as i'm supposed to. you mentioned uber and lyft, and just over 40,000. what's the situation for your council? do people tie in to be available when there's going to be a disaster emergency? do you have a certain way of reaching people, sort of like the communication the president has with his contacts, making us listen, or how does that work? >> right, so we have -- so uber and uber for sure, i'm not sure about lyft. that's what i was asking francis here. have a program for emergency response, so they will provide rides post emergency, different jurisdictions have agreements with them. we are working on those, and also the same with airbnb and
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some of these others where they provide in the north county fires. airbnb was very involved in providing assistance to folks who were displaced. so, yeah, they are part of our, you know, part of our community branch. so as i mentioned, it's not just city representatives, our our emergency operation centers, we have community based organizations and private sector partners. that's an area we're looking to expand, not only for response, but for recovery. so, the city is also embarking on a recovery planning process right now. city administrator and i are co-chairing that initiative because you know, recovery really starts at the beginning, right when the response happens, and so our connection to our private sector partners and our community based folks, you know, the city has 30,000 employees
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and number of buildings and assets, but the city of san francisco is everyone. so one of the things that is important for me is that as we think of response and recovery, we're thinking of the whole community and not just government and what we can do, but how do we engage everyone here to be part of the response and also the recovery. >> okay, thank you. they were supposed to have a strike or whatever this morning, but it's going eastbound out of there, a dozen people are still waiting, there's probably 50 or 60 this morning. that leads me to believe that a lot of people are taking streetcars, which they normally would use other transportation. that is an example of how many people are using it. that was pretty amazing.
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so, when commissioner veronese and i toured, it was quite educational. that was when you first came on the commission, i think. yeah, so the big problem then was that there was a training program and people were leaving for a higher paid job in the bay area. has that been -- it's been satisfied where if they sign up and commit to training, they have to commitme for a certain amount of time? >> you can leave if it doesn't work out, but things have been pretty steady, i would say, since i've been there. you know, part of it is that we have -- you know, we're going to have 50% of our staff, dispatch staff having under five years.
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we have a lot of new dispatchers on the team. there's positives to that and also challenges. it means we need increase -- we need to pay more attention to supervision, so we have less experienced dispatchers and training. although i will say that we do dispatcher of the month and we do accommodations all the time, and we seen some amazing, io iowa -- amazing work by our rookie dispatchers. there is the new group that's coming in or just started on monday, our new academy class is just an amazing group of people. over half of them are native from san francisco. i thought that was interesting, and coming from a lot of backgrounds. i feel very optimistic about where we're going and you know, our ability to both encourage
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people to consider this field as a very worthy worthwhile, hard but rewarding career and also to be able to support -- and to me the most important thing, and that will keep people in those seats is being able to support them in their jobs. so that marieans training, recognition, and appreciate the fire department coming in and you're all welcome there, you know, whenever you like to come. they are not on the street, you know, they're just on the phone, and any contact they have with their partners in uniform, who they are working with and for is so appreciated. so i encourage folks to come whenever you can. >> thank you, i was very impressed with the attitude that everybody had over there, and how smooth operation it seemed from an outside perspective. thank you.
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>> yeah, they're a great group of people. >> the fire people seemed to know what they were doing especially. >> of course. [laughter] >> thank you. >> commissioner veronese. >> i had a quick question, you remind reminded me of this. you have a small department compared to our, and it can get bad there because of the job. i'm curious, you don't have to say now, but if i know that our department is putting together what we're creating, what should be or could be a state of the art stress unit, but i'm curious to what you guys are doing. when you lose three our four people to stress, it's a big deal number-wise to you. i'm curious if you could share that information with us. we can learn from what you guys are doing and maybe some member of our stress unit can get together with your stress person, or the person that's dealing with it on your end and they can collaborate, because
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i'm sure they both have a lot to learn from each other. >> we would love to do that. >> thank you. >> thank you very much commissioner, thank you very much director, and anyone in the public that wishes to have a career in terms of a 3-1-1 dispatcher, we encourage you and thank you for your public service as well. thank you very much. >> thank you so much for having us. >> madam secretary. >> item 5, chief of department report. report from chief of department on current issues, activities, and events within the department since the fire commission meeting on april 24th, 2019, including budget academy, essential events, communications, and outreach to other agencies in the public and reports from operations, deputy chief, report on overall field operations, including alarm fires, medical services, bureau of fire and