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New Research Report on First Responder Suicides Released

The mental and physical well-being of first responders is now considered a top priority by police and fire departments across the nation. The Association has made coping with trauma-related impacts a priority for its members. A new research report that analyzes suicide among first responders was published in the Journal of Safety Research this Spring.

The study provides comparisons of first-responder and non-first-responder suicides, including prevalence and issues preceding suicide. You can read the study by clicking here.

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SJFD Honor Guard Services Available to Retirees

We want to remind our members of the services available to you as a retired member of the San Jose Fire or Police Department. The San Jose Fire Department Honor Guard honors the service and sacrifice of active and retired SJFD members upon their passing. The Honor Guard works in cooperation with churches and clergy, funeral home services, military honor guards and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Honor Guard services are free of charge; the only request is a “Letter/Email of Appreciation” to the Fire Chief.

Honor Guard services include:

  • Presentation of Colors (flags and tools).
  • Bell rung in accordance to last engine/truck assignment.
  • Bagpiper to march with the procession.
  • If available, the SJFD fire station closest to the service may provide an engine or truck company to stage outside at the start service.

For more information or to make arrangements, please contact F.E. Darryl Poblete, Director of Honor Guard services at (510) 304-4795 or via email at darrel.poblete@sanjoseca.gov. Alternatively, you may also contact F.E. (Retired) Jeff Una’Dia at (408) 461-6463 or via email at jeff1day@charter.net.

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New Association Shirts! Order Now!

The new Association polo shirts are in, and we are ready for your orders!  The polos feature the Association logo over a front pocket. They come in four colors (Ash, Black, Navy, and Red), and we have sizes from Small to XXXL.  Sizes Small, Medium, Large, and XL cost $27 each, the XXL is $30, and XXXL is $32. These costs include shipping. We also have an Association hat that comes in black and is $15.

While we cannot accept electronic payment at this time, you can fill out our online form to place your order. Once you submit your order, we will check to make sure we have everything in inventory and then follow up with you on payment and shipping timeline.  If you are interested in buying more than one shirt, please complete a separate section for each shirt. If you need more than three shirts, please order your first three, then write what additional shirts you need in the text below where indicated.

Thanks for your support!

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USING THE ALL CLEAR FOUNDATION AS A RESOURCE

The All Clear Foundation searches hundreds of resources to find what’s most relevant to you as first responders and their families. Much of the information provided can help and assist retirees also. Below are two of videos found through All Clear that can be helpful to you.

The All Clear Foundation has access to classes, services, wellness advice, and more. You can learn more about the All Clear Foundation by visiting their website.

DEEP BREATHING EXERCISE VIDEO

The Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness (IAFF) in partnership with Resounding Joy brings you a deep breathing exercise video from their music resiliency program to help manage and relieve stress. You can access the video here.

BRINING THE DARKNESS INTO THE LIGHT VIDEO

The second is a video by Ashley Iverson – ‘Bringing the Darkness Into the Light’, sheds light on how ONE incident can change the life of a Firefighter or Police Officer as well as their families. You can watch that video here.

The one important item that I learned thru our many hours of training was that ‘the mental pictures never go away.’ Know that you can always change the words to the pictures. Also, know that there is help and assistance out there.

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Open Enrollment Changes for Retirees

This year there are relatively modest rate changes and few adjustments to benefits as we enter Open Enrollment for retirees November 1st through 30th. The changes are as follows: 

• Kaiser non-Medicare rates for 2021 will increase 6.28 percent.

• Kaiser Medicare plan rates will decrease 9.1 percent. 

• Anthem non-Medicare plan rates will increase 8.0 percent, while its Medicare Advantage rate will decrease 5.6 percent. It will continue to be a no-cost plan for retirees. 

• Anthem Advantage PPO rate will decrease 6.1 percent. This plan will for the first time also be a no-cost plan for retirees. 

• There are no changes to the plans or the rates for vision insurance or dental insurance. 

• We have one significant benefit modification to report that is a response to the COVID pandemic. Kaiser Sr. Advantage California plan is replacing the Silver & Fit free gym membership with a Meals and Transportation Benefit instead. This applies only to Kaiser Senior Advantage members who are in California plans.

Get the full Retirement Services Newsletter here.

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Firefighter Liability Suit Regarding PFAS Materials

Previously, we informed you on the effort to potentially litigate on the issue of cancer-causing chemicals contained in manufactured products including firefighting foams and firefighter turnouts among others. A civil suit has now been filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. You can view the lawsuit here. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe you have been exposed to these chemicals in your career, and are interested in potentially joining the suit, you can contact retired SJFD Battalion Chief Richard Seal, Esq., who is Of Counsel to Pritzker Levine, at 408-623-3519, or firm partner, Elizabeth Pritzker, at 415-805-8532.  

Click to view lawsuit
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