Cal-JAC 14th Biennial Conference


For more than three decades, the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) has been on the cutting edge of apprenticeship, training and recruitment efforts, helping make California’s fire service the envy of the nation.

This past November, Cal-JAC once again, solidified its role as a leader within California’s fire service at its 14th Biennial Conference in Rancho Mirage, California. More than 300 fire chiefs, labor presidents, training officers and sub-JAC members participated in the conference – all united in the Cal-JAC’s ongoing mission to create excellence in the fire service.

Co-sponsored by California Professional Firefighters and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Cal-JAC is the nation’s model labor-management firefighter training partnership.

“For more than three decades, the Cal-JAC has remained focused on building a better California fire service,” said CPF President Lou Paulson. “The conference also offers an opportunity to forge the critical labor management collaboration that is so vital to our profession.”

Over the course of the three-day conference, attendees from both management and labor had an opportunity to come together, set aside rank, and work toward turning the challenges of the present into opportunities for the future. This year’s conference featured workshops on issues ranging from addressing Post Traumatic Stress in the fire service to building comprehensive recruitment campaigns back home.

A major focus of the conference was also the ongoing success of Cal-JAC’s Firefighter Candidate Testing Centers, which offer physical and written testing, as well as recruitment services, for participating departments. Since the FCTC’s launch roughly two years ago, more than 60 departments have come on board, hiring qualified, vetted candidates from FCTC’s Statewide Eligibility List.

Featured speakers during the event included leadership speaker Gregg Ward, who highlighted strategies for implementing “respectful leadership” in the fire service. Participants also heard updates from California Fire Marshal Dennis Mathisen, CalChiefs Immediate Past President Mike DuRee and Cal-JAC Chair Dan Terry.

Another highlight of the conference was the presentation of the “Partnership for Success” award to the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Los Angeles County Firefighters, Local 1014. The award is presented at every Cal-JAC conference to honor departments that demonstrate a special commitment to the labor-management partnership at the heart of the Cal-JAC’s mission.

Attendees ultimately gained insight and useful tools to help them in their profession and learn more about the Cal-JAC program. The conference also featured the Cal-JAC’s signature golf tournament, silent auction and dinner reception, all benefiting the California Fire Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to see labor and management come together in such numbers, to collaborate on issues that are important to all of us in the fire service,” said Cal-JAC Chair Dan Terry. “It is a tribute to the commitment of all in our profession to the mission that has driven the Cal-JAC’s long history of success – creating excellence in the fire service.”