PRESIDENT`S MESSAGE - Retired Fire & Police Association

President’s Message
Police Beat
Fire News
Retired Fireman’s Club
News You Can Use
Members News & Info
Retired Fire & Police
4926 La Cuenta Dr.
(760) 753-7462
Tony Hancock
Jim Caster
[email protected]
Lamp Post Inc.
Ron Moskowitz
I would like to thank our outgoing board
members for their dedication and service
to our organization. Dave Hall, President
2013-2015. Dave has done an outstanding
job these last two years, (big shoes to fill).
He was directly involved in the success
of continued city funding of the Supplemental COLA benefit for the pre-1982
retirees, which was set to run out in 2013.
Dave was the chair of the Retiree Issues
Task Force, which includes members from
the RFPA, Retired Employees Association
(REA) and SDCERS. He most recently has
been working with the REA as co-chair of
the Pension Reform Committee (more on
that as it develops throughout the year0.
Dave can now sit back and take a muchneeded rest as the Past President, a position still on the board to guide and advise
the new President. Tony Hancock just
completed two years as the Past President.
He was very busy being the lead on the
team to restore the Supplemental COLA.
Without his dedication and countless
hours of meetings and letter-writing, it
was quite possible that we would not have
achieved success. Tony has been elected to
fill a vacancy as a Director that was created
when JJ Hunter decided to retire, again,
from the board. This was his second time
around. JJ filled many shoes: he stepped
up and took the position of treasurer when
Mike Robert was out of the country –
which was frequently. He was also responsible for numerous donations to the many
charities we sponsor. JJ has been a valued
member of our board. I also would like to
welcome our newest Director, Gary Hill,
retired from the SDPD. Now, a little about
your new President: SDFD 1965-2001;
RFPA Director 2003-2005; VP 20052007; President 2007-2009; Past President
2009-2011; Director 2011-2013; and VP
2013 to the present. Enough about me.
Be prepared. Hey, we are Firefighters and
Police Officers, and we are always prepared.
But have we prepared our spouse for our
eventual “Last Call?” Let’s say your retirement allowance is $3000 a month. You
die on the 10th of the month (1/3 of the
month). Within 1-2 business days after
SDCERS is notified, it will remove $2000 –
or 2/3 – from the account where your retirement allowance is deposited. SDCERS will
make every effort to contact your survivor
prior to withdrawal, but be forewarned:
the funds will be taken out, regardless of
contact. It will take approximately 4-6
weeks for your beneficiary to
receive the first monthly retirement allowance. The waiting
time can be shortened by getting the Death Certificate to SDCERS
in a timely manner. SDCERS has a Death Benefits booklet
that is very helpful; you can have one mailed to you by calling
619-525-3600. Another great resource is Hand-in-Hand, and it will
assist your survivor in dealing with SDCERS. For Fire/Lifeguard,
contact Cherie Olaveson at 619-561-5985; for Police, contact Mike
and Liz Miller at 858-672-2728.
In May, you will be receiving the SDCERS Health Care booklet.
If you aren’t making any changes, you don’t need to do anything. I
strongly recommend that you keep this book handy throughout the
year, as it has a lot of excellent information, especially for those of
you that are – or will be – entitled to receive Medicare benefits, either
your own or through your spouse. In closing, I would like to remind
you of our quarterly luncheons in January, April, July, and October.
The first three are free; the October luncheon is for members and
their significant others, and there is a small charge. Our luncheons
are a great opportunity to connect or reconnect with friends and
former coworkers. We ordinarily have a featured speaker and a recap
of what your directors have done and what we are currently involved
in. Hope to see you all in April.
Kathy Healey
Kathy had some personal business to attend to, so her column will
not be included in this issue. We look forward to the return of her
column in the Summer 2015 newsletter. In the meantime, she has
asked me to remind everyone to keep their contact information
current with both SDCERS and the RFPA. It becomes quite difficult
keeping our members informed of important issues if we don’t have
your contact information (i.e. address, email and phone number).
Kathy reports that the following retired police officers have answered
their “last call” since publication of the last newsletter: Detective
Sandra “Sandy” Kirkendall, Lt. Ray Sigwalt, Detective Ron Knuth,
and Detective Frank Martinez. Please keep their families and loved
ones in your thoughts.
Kathy also mentions that, if you’ve never attended one of our annual
Remembrance Day services, you will have an opportunity to do so
on Sunday, March 22, at 1:30 PM. More information can be found
elsewhere in this newsletter. We will be honoring 27 Police Officers
and 13 Firefighters who passed in 2014.
A California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation: Tax ID 33-0847533
Your tax deductible contributions help us
to continue the charitable work we do
within our community. Almost all of the
donations we make go to support Police,
Fire and Lifeguard causes and to help our
brothers and sisters in their time of need.
For a list of “Frequently Asked
Questions,” go to the website and
click on the FOUNDATION tab.
Total Membership - 1,716
RFPA WEBSITE: is continually
updated and is much easier to navigate.
We have recently added an area to post
announcements, business ads and items
for sale. Regularly check for new postings
on the homepage calendar.
You will be asked to enter a “new”
User Name and Password the first time
you access this site. Or, access the
roster from the website.
Jim Caster at [email protected]
Go to the RFPA Website (click: Contact Us)
or contact Tom Rouse, Secretary,
at [email protected]
- or - 760-753-7462
Please contact Tony Hancock at
[email protected]
- or - 760-943-7351.
Due to other commitments, I have
been unable to attend these functions on a regular basis. They still
meet at 10 AM on the first and third
Monday of each month, except on
major holidays. When I showed up
on February 16, I was surprised to
see that Joe Pirronello was there. Jim
Miller picked him up and brought
him down. As you probably know,
Joe is recovering from a stroke, and
he is still using a walker. Larry Bauer
is doing his best to keep this group
going, and he has had to fight an
uphill battle as the facility at NTC
becomes more rundown. The “clubhouse” is the property of San Diego
Fire-Rescue; it has, on occasion,
loaned the facility to other groups,
and it has fallen into disrepair. The
Retired Fireman’s Club is the only
group that gives this place a regular
cleaning. And, when Rocky decides
to cook lunch for just the guys and
occasionally the spouses and significant others, more clean-up work
is required to make it usable. They
can always use help with this task.
Speaking of Rocky, he and his little
band of “celebrity chefs” prepared
a post-Valentine’s Day meal on
Saturday, February 28. Attendance
was smaller than usual due to altered
planning, but, as usual, those in
attendance had a great time...especially the women, since Rocky
provided Valentine candy.
The North County breakfast
group is still getting together at
the Potato Shack in Encinitas. We
Tony Hancock
meet for breakfast at 9 AM on the
first Wednesday of the month. The
crowds seem to be getting larger, but
a lot of that is due to the fact that
the restaurant reduced its size by half
a few months ago. There’s usually 15
- 30 in attendance, including groups
from East County, and occasionally some OB guys show up. There
are regular out-of-town visitors that
join us when they’re here, and every
once in awhile, someone who’s not
retired will try to sneak in – but
we aren’t that picky. If you’d like to
be notified or reminded about this
event, contact Bob Vignato. A little
suggestion here: the next time you
come up, order a large breakfast,
because Bobby divides the total bill
up equally.
Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm
El Camino Memorial Park
Firefighters & Police Officers’ Lawn
5600 Carroll Canyon Rd., Sorrento Valley
I’m thinking about renaming this
article from Fire News to Drop
Off. Fire News sounds so boring.
Drop Off by Tom Rouse. Now that
would ring a bell with fire retirees.
Wait a minute. That gives me an
idea. How does “The Bell Ringer”
sound? That’s it. The Bell Ringer by
Tom Rouse. Get all the latest info in
“The Bell Ringer.” Let’s see how that
flies next issue. Oh, no, not again.
How about “Up The Fly” with Tom
Rouse? Now wait a second. I know
what you’re thinking. Get that out
of your mind. Remember the old
ladder commands? For you cops
and widows, “up the fly” was the
command to extend the fly of the
ladder. Extend? I better stop before
I get into more trouble than I’ve
already gotten myself into. I will
have to work on this some more.
If you have any suggestions, let me
know. I can’t believe I asked that.
Let’s just get back to the news.
Sometimes news travels slowly.
That’s the case with Fire Captain
Paul Ingledew. We were informed
of his passing in January. Captain
Ingledew answered his last alarm
on October 19, 2014. Paul was a
Lifeguard before joining the Fire
Department in 1948. He retired
in January of 1977 with almost 29
years of service. Services were held in
Retired Firefighter Roger Stinson
answered his last alarm on December
11, 2014. Roger was 70 years old.
He joined the Fire Department in
Tom Rouse
August of 1968 and retired in January
of 1987 with more than 18 years of
service. Roger served his brother
Firefighters by serving on the Executive Board of Local 145. Those were
tough years when we were under the
thumb of Pete Wilson. He was also
a veteran who served his country in
the Air Force.
show up, some from as far away as
Washington. A date that should be
circled is Saturday, July 25. This will
be a day that will be special for all
who worked at old Station 6. I will
give more information on this date
in our next newsletter as the details
are worked out, but I wanted to give
you a heads up now.
The last Firefighter to answer his last
alarm at this writing was Captain
Norman “Rick” Nelson. Rick passed
away on December 4, 2014. He
retired in April of 2011 with 27
years of service.
My wife, Judy, and I go up to Lake
Tahoe often. There are a number
of retired San Diego Fire Department people who have vacation
homes there or have moved to the
area as their permanent residence.
We always try to get together with
some of them when we are there.
We had a great visit with Gary and
Bonnie Easton, who have recently
moved back to Truckee Donner
from San Marcos. We also had a
chance to go down to Gardnerville
and see Bill and Mary Ann Middleton’s new “Ranch.” I live at the
beach, so anything larger than an
eighth of an acre is a ranch. We got
talking about things and how fortunate we were to have ended up on
the Fire Department. Some people
were raised in a “Fire” family and
knew they wanted to become Firefighters as their dads had done. This
was true for Bill, whose dad was an
L.A. fireman. This could be said
about my son, Tim, now on the San
Diego Fire Department. It could
not be said about me.
At this time I must mention the
passing of a part of our Fire Family.
Kathy Lee, wife of Ronnie Lee,
passed away suddenly on December
24. Our thoughts and prayers go out
to all the families that have lost loved
Now let’s move on to some dates
that should be highlighted on your
calendar. The first date is April 13,
2015. That’s the second Monday of
the second quarter, which means it’s
time for our General Membership
Meeting and FREE lunch. That’s
correct, free lunch. It is held at the
Police Pistol Range at 11 AM. Every
member should try to make these
meetings. See some old friends,
get some good information and, if
you’re lucky, win some cash. The
second date is May 13. That’s when
“Vacation Draw” will be held at the
Off Shore Bar and Grill in Bay Park.
Last year, we had about 40 people
The last thing on my mind when
I left college was to become a firefighter. I did a four-year hitch in
FIRE NEWS (cont.)
the U.S. Navy as an ADJ (jet engine
mechanic) and wanted to pursue
that line of work when I got out. In
1969, I went to Northrop Institute
and got my Federal Airframe and
Power Plant license and then started
looking for a job. I wanted to leave
the L.A. area, so I headed to San
Diego, where I had spent some time
in the service. No luck. I was about
to head home when I got the idea
to stop by the city personnel office
to see if the city had any aircraft
mechanic jobs. Los Angeles does, as
it had a fleet of helicopters and fixedwing aircraft. After the lady behind
the desk stopped laughing, she said
they were giving a test for the Fire
Department in four weeks. I figured
if I didn’t have a job by then, I would
take anything, so I signed up. The
next week, I got a job in Burbank
at Pacific Airmotive. When the date
came up to take the San Diego test
I was off, so I took the test just to
see how I would do. Two weeks after
taking the test, Pacific Airmotive
went on strike, and I was out of
work again. I found out that I had
passed the Fire Department test, so I
got my brother-in-law to school me
on my oral interview (he was a Santa
Monica Firefighter). When the list
came out, I was number 4 and was
hired on October 1, 1971. I never
looked back.
Do you have an interesting story on
how you became a San Diego Firefighter? Let me know by email or
letter. I would love to tell your story.
A list of all board members appears on the website. Under the ASSOCIATION tab, click Board of Directors to see their
email address and phone number.
EMAIL UPDATES: If you have email access and you aren’t receiving email notification of SDCERS/City issues,
retirement and party announcements, death and funeral notices, etc., you can get on the email list by contacting:
Ron Moskowitz for FD & Lifeguards at [email protected] or Kathy Healey for PD at [email protected]
Family Support Services: A group of dedicated, compassionate volunteers that came together out of mutual respect
and concern for Fire and Police families. Hand-in-Hand works directly with the spouses and families of retired Safety
Officers after the loss of a loved one. We provide spouses and families in crisis with empathy, support and practical
resources to ease the bereavement process and the transition to independence.
Contact: Cherie Olaveson • [email protected] • 619-561-5985
CARE-COUNSEL is a health care assistance program providing health care education, information, advocacy, and coaching
in an independent and confidential manner. Services are available to all retirees at no cost. They can be reached at
888-227-3334 or on the web at
THE BADGE & THE BOTTLE: In need of help? The Public Safety Fellowship can help. San Diego County public safety
agencies created a fellowship in the hope of assisting our professional community in the area of alcohol dependence.
Our fellowship is free of charge and independent of any other agency. Hiding or ignoring the problem will not make
it disappear. Our meetings are available to all sworn Fire, Police and Lifeguards - active, retired, or former. We meet
on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM. For more information and confidential assistance, please contact Mike @ 858-672-2728.
Another year has passed and, at the
quarterly luncheon held in January,
a new RFPA Board of Directors was
seated. I must say that the work we
do to advocate for our members is
sometimes very time consuming,
especially where retiree benefits
are concerned. That being said,
our efforts, though often taken
for granted, are very rewarding
to us. That is why we do what we
do. Lately, we have had one or two
members attend our monthly board
meetings at the Firefighters Credit
Union and, in several cases, they
have approached me and thanked
us for the work we are doing. In
other words, they were surprised by
the work we accomplished. I would
suggest that you consider attending
one of these monthly meetings to
see for yourself what we do. Immediately after each board meeting, we
reconvene to discuss matters that
are brought before the RFPA Foundation, our 501(c)3 charitable organization. Money that is donated
here is used to support issues that
the board deems appropriate and,
at times, help the families of firefighters and police officers. The
Foundation also supports Cherie
Olaveson and the activities of
Hand-in-Hand. Donations by our
membership are our chief funding
As mentioned before, the RFPA,
represented by Dave Hall (Chair),
Ron Moskowitz and me, participates in the Retiree Issues Task Force
(RITF) by regularly meeting with
Cynthia Queen and Mark Hovey
from SDCERS. Many of the retiree
issues we have been successful in
resolving have been initiated at
these meetings. One of our biggest
concerns has always been healthcare
for our retirees. Hopefully, before
next year’s open enrollment, we will
be able to meet with the city of San
Diego “prior to” the negotiating
process for healthcare. This process
generally begins in January of each
year. The city is the sole provider
of the healthcare plans offered to
active and retired city employees.
SDCERS has no input in this
process. It only manages the benefits
for retirees. Mostly, it is the unions
that negotiate for these benefits.
Since the Medicare plans offered
by the city only include Medicareeligible (over 65) participants, you
can imagine that the unions don’t
put much effort into negotiating for
plans that serve that demographic (I
doubt there are more than a handful
of plus-65 active city employees).
We will keep you informed as we
work to resolve this.
Another retiree healthcare issue we
have been tracking (it was brought
up during one of our RITF meetings a few years ago) is the manner
in which retiree healthcare reimbursements are processed...namely,
COBRA and Medicare benefits. We
hope to report soon that the process
for handling these reimbursements
has been simplified for our retirees.
Stay tuned.
Tony Hancock
I recently heard of a benefit that
may be available to Medicareeligible retirees who are enrolled in
Health Net Seniority Plus health
plan offered by the city. There is a
program called Silver Sneakers that
provides highly discounted or free
gym memberships to participants
throughout California. Some of
the local gyms that honor the Silver
Sneakers memberships include 24
Hr. Fitness, LA Fitness and Pure
Fitness. Since I don’t have all the
facts (I am a Kaiser Senior Advantage participant), I would encourage
you to do your own research by
contacting Silver Sneakers by phone
at 866-584-7389 or on their website:
Health Net Medicare plans may also
be eligible for this benefit.
There are some Kaiser Senior Advantage Medicare plans that participate
in a similar program called Silver &
Fit, but this is not covered under
the Kaiser Medicare plan currently
being offered by the City. It is our
hope that, as the City begins negotiating with the various healthcare
providers for next year, the city may
allow a second Kaiser Medicare plan
to be included for retirees. Kaiser
Senior Advantage PLUS is currently
only $20 more per month, and it
would include access to the Silver
& Fit program. We are hopeful
that members of the RITF will be
allowed to give input prior to the
City’s negotiations with healthcare
Donald Swanson (PD)
Charles Alvarez (FD)
Wendy Reno (PD)
Joseph Steffen (PD)
Robert Bilz (FD)
Michael Sylvester (PD)
Clifford Joralmon (FD)
Christopher Bach (PD)
Karen Carnahan (FD)
Melissa McVicar (PD)
James Culligan (PD)
Lloyd Sentinella (PD)
Paul Libassi (PD)
Kenneth Nelson (PD)
Henry Delgadillo (FD)
Timothy Wilson (FD)
Bryan Young (PD)
Robert Meisner (PD)
John Stadler (PD)
Mark Van Abel (PD)
Gregory Jebb (PD)
August Ghio (FD)
Margaret Wiegand (PD)
Brett Dudley (PD)
Robin Rose (PD)
Pete Cohen (PD)
It is extremely important that you
keep your beneficiary information
current with SDCERS to avoid delays in
receiving benefits intended for spouses
and family members.
Updated information (as of November
2013) regarding “Death Benefits for
Survivors and Beneficiaries” is now
available on the SDCERS website @
January 12, 2015
11:00 AM @ San Diego Police Pistol Range
Dave Hall, President Garry Collins, Director
Ron Moskowitz, Vice President Mike May, Director
Tom Rouse, Secretary Kathy Healey, Director
Mike Robert, Treasurer Larry Moratto, Director (excused)
J.J. Hunter, Director Bill Farrar, Director
Tony Hancock, President Ex-Officio
Chuck Ellison
President (HALL): Thanks was given to JJ Hunter for his service
on the Board for the past year. Special thanks and recognition was
given to Board member Mike Robert for his work and dedication in the Dellemann case. It was noted that one reason for the
successful outcome was the detailed records that were kept by the
Dellemann’s. There will be a health insurance seminar sometime
in February or March. The annual election for Board of Directors
was held, and Gary Hill was elected to a two-year term. The gavel
was passed to Moskowitz as the new President, and Garry Collins
moved to Vice President.
Vice-President (MOSKOWITZ): A plaque was presented to
Dave Hall for his outstanding term as President of the Association.
Treasurer: No Report
Secretary: No Report
Tom Simonds – A presentation was given on what PORAC is
and what services are offered for its members.
There were 13 prizewinners
6 - Fire and 7 - Police
Monday, April 13, 2015, 11:00 AM
at the Police Pistol Range
Winston Salem, NC
Monday, April 13 @ 11:00 am
Home Avenue & Hwy. 94
Lunch: Mexican food provided by Guillermo’s Catering
RSVP is mandatory - not later than April 8th to:
Ron Moskowitz • [email protected] • (619-990-6596)
Guest Speaker: TBA
50/50 Drawing
Luncheon is for MEMBERS ONLY, please - no guests (unless the guest is eligible to join, and does so at the luncheon).
*Food is ordered according to how many people RSVP...don’t miss out. If you RSVP and later change your mind, please contact Ron.