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President's Message
Jan 02, 2024

January 2, 2024

Local 3631 Members,

As we begin 2024, I want to thank the membership for their unwavering dedication to the residents of Orange County. Together we have been able to accomplish so much over the past twelve months, none of which would be possible without the support of our membership and the hard work and dedication of our Executive Board. A special thank you to outgoing Treasurer Jason Fleenor and to JD Baranger III for stepping up to fill the role.

As we begin a new year, I am excited about the opportunity to engage on the only battleground we have. This year we will see an election for the President of the United States and an election of seventy elected officials in our jurisdiction at the county and municipal level. Many of our members expressed a desire to fight over the past year for more wages, hours, and better working conditions. This is our opportunity to put our time and money into action in support of those words. This year is strategically important to set us up for success as we go back into negotiations in 2026. This union will need every one of its members to step up with time and money to ensure we elect officials who understand the importance of public safety.

Last year, this board promised to deliver better communication with the membership, the Board of Directors, Executive Management, and the communities we serve. We have delivered on every promise, and we have sent out more video and written communications than any previous year. We hosted the first electronic voting process that netted the highest turnout in our history. We successfully hosted quarterly field general membership meetings to bring the message and the union to you. We were successful in delivering the most lucrative MOU our membership has seen in the past ten years and secured our HCT MOU for years to come with expanded services for our members.

After a tremendous amount of work by your political action team, we now have strong working relationships with every Board of Director on the OCFA and their counterparts at the various city councils they serve on.  We meet regularly with executive management to ensure good working relationships for our membership, outlined by some positive changes implemented with their collaboration. These changes include members now will be paid their paramedic bonus for in county strike team assignments and get to return home after seven days on a strike team. We successfully reimplemented the ability for our members to plug in electric vehicles. These are just some of the accomplishments we were able to achieve while working collaboratively with Executive Management.

Over the past twelve months, with the support of the newly revamped steward program, we were able to host a multitude of community events across OC showcasing the value we bring both on and off duty.  While we have been able to accomplish many great things, this is just the beginning. We will continue to fight for increased pay and benefits for our members. As we look toward the new year, I want to remind our members we will be hosting quarterly meetings in the field, and we will now host monthly informational meetings via Zoom. With the success of member and community events from last year, we are looking for ways to expand those opportunities this year. We look forward to seeing all our members and their families at every event this year.

The strength of our local stands with its members. As we move forward, the engagement of every member is needed. Let’s remember the hard work of those before us. I look forward to seeing you at the fallen firefighter relief fund event in San Clemente on January 6.

Stay safe and take care of each other,

Chris Hamm, President
OC Firefighters, L3631

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IAFF Local 3631
1342 Bell Ave #3A
Tustin, CA 92780

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