|April 16: COVID-19 Member Update|
April 16, 2020
Local 3631 Brothers and Sisters:
In our continuing effort to keep you up to date during this unprecedented global pandemic, I wanted to reach out to all of our members on behalf of our Executive Board to let you know what is happening with the Orange County Fire Authority, the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, and all other efforts that are being taken on YOUR behalf to protect you and your families during these uncertain times.
First off, I want for all of our members to know that Local 3631 Vice President Reid Gibson and Treasurer Rich Tantuvanich have been on full release from their duties in the fire station in order to focus 100% on making sure that our members are safe and receiving the resources that you need to get you through this global pandemic. Vice President Gibson and Treasurer Tantuvanich are working day and night FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES and the results have started to show for our members throughout the Fire Authority.
It is a fact that Orange County Firefighters are the best cared for in the region – if not the entire State of California – when it comes to COVID-19 related illness and care for both our members and your families. When diagnosed with possible COVID-19-related symptoms, our members are not being forced to use their precious sick leave accruals and you don’t have to pay for alternative lodging including hotels or other accommodations. Our Firefighters in this situation are being put on paid Fire Authority leave and they are receiving reimbursement from the OCFA administration for alternative lodging that allows them to keep their families safe and healthy without being exposed to potentially sick spouses who have acquired work-related illnesses. In addition, our impacted members in good standing are receiving up to $2,000 from the OCPFA Fallen Firefighter Relief Fund to cover additional costs from being away from your homes and your families.
While we are working closely with OCFA management on this pandemic that is impacting families throughout our country, we are proud of the fact that our union – which doesn’t have a highly paid, full time professional department of Public Affairs and Public Information Officers – is getting out information that is important to protect our members in real time, usually faster than the Fire Authority is able to get information out on their end.
Most of the credit for the success that we have had thus far in caring for our members is due to Vice President Gibson and Treasurer Tantuvanich who have worked tirelessly around the clock to keep our members informed and answer your questions. If you have ANY questions about this global pandemic and how it can impact you and your families, please contact brothers Gibson and Tantuvanich at any time via email or cell phone. They are here FOR YOU and can be reached at:
Vice President Reid Gibson, (949) 280-2154
Treasurer Rich Tantuvanich, (949) 702-2318
In addition, as the President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 3631, you should always feel free to reach out to me directly at:
We are proud to announce that by following best practices, maintaining social distancing, and using common sense, we have not had a member become symptomatic and test positive since March 25th. This is remarkable in a fire department with more than 1,000 members living in close quarters with one another on a daily basis, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
Finally, let me just state the obvious so that everyone can hear this message loud and clear in today’s uncertain, divided, and quite frankly scary environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a legitimate threat to our membership’s safety. It has no political party affiliation and it will not spare anyone in its path. As of Wednesday, April 15th, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in America alone has surpassed 600,000, with more than 24,000 Americans dying from this disease. That’s why all of us need to stay vigilant, look out for one another and our families, and lean on our brothers and sisters in the fire station and in our union to get through this all.
For more information on anything related to the Coronavirus, options available to our members and your families, and answers to any questions that you might have, feel free to reach out to Vice President Gibson, Treasurer Tantuvanich, or myself for answers.
Your union is here for you during these trying times and we will get through this TOGETHER.
Tim Steging, President
2020-4-16 Membership_Board re Covid Update.pdf