Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/31/2015 09:00 AM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCS HB 56(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SB 24 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 HB 56-ALASKA FIREFIGHTERS' DAY                                                                             
9:01:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of HB 56.                                                                             
9:02:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau,                                                                      
Alaska, provided a sponsor statement as follows:                                                                                
     There's a special group of  people who help us survive.                                                                    
     At  the  federal  level,  of  course,  it's  American's                                                                    
     military.  At the  state and  local  levels it's  first                                                                    
     responders and  that includes our  Alaska firefighters.                                                                    
     When you're  trying to escape a  fire, firefighters run                                                                    
     into  burning buildings  to help  us  escape. When  you                                                                    
     suffer a heart attack  or some other medical emergency,                                                                    
     it's our  firefighters who rush  into our home  to save                                                                    
     our  lives. When  you are  trapped in  a car  from some                                                                    
     horrible accident,  it's firefighters  who rush  to the                                                                    
     scene  to  rescue  us  with Jaws  of  Life.  Unless  we                                                                    
     survive,  all of  the other  issues and  challenges and                                                                    
     opportunities are  moot. Alaska's  firefighters deserve                                                                    
     their own special day of  recognition and I urge you to                                                                    
     pass this  bill out  of committee.  This good  bill has                                                                    
     become  a  better  bill   when  the  Chairman  included                                                                    
     volunteer firefighters. I urge you to pass the bill.                                                                       
9:03:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE   noted  that  the   committee  has   a  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  that Representative Lynn referenced.  He pointed                                                               
out that  the CS does  not change any  substance of the  bill. He                                                               
added  that the  CS  has  a Findings  Section  that  will not  be                                                               
included in the statutes, but  does reflect the contribution of a                                                               
large number of folks.                                                                                                          
SENATOR MCGUIRE moved  to adopt the Senate  State Affairs version                                                               
for HB 56, [29-LS0241\W] as the working document.                                                                               
CHAIR STOLTZE objected and explained  that he worked closely with                                                               
the bill  sponsor with the  desire to recognize the  large number                                                               
of people that are not paid professionals.                                                                                      
9:04:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  commented that Chairman Stoltze  made a good                                                               
bill much better.                                                                                                               
CHAIR STOLTZE detailed  that the bill's Findings  Section is only                                                               
reflected in the  legislative record that the  volunteers will be                                                               
recognized.  He pointed  out  that  service includes  non-police,                                                               
public safety, dispatchers, wild firefighters and so forth.                                                                     
9:05:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE  asked if  there  were  any other  objections.  He                                                               
announced that the CS is before the committee.                                                                                  
9:05:29 AM                                                                                                                    
JEFF TUCKER,  Fire Chief, Kenai  Fire Department,  Kenai, Alaska,                                                               
revealed that  he is also the  2nd Vice President for  the Alaska                                                               
Fire   Chiefs  Association.   He  said   HB  56   recognizes  the                                                               
contributions of  firefighters across the state,  both career and                                                               
volunteer firefighters.  He pointed out  that the bill  gives the                                                               
state a date  to pause, reflect, and celebrate  the services that                                                               
the men and women firefighters  provide for their communities. He                                                               
said the  Alaska Fire Chiefs Association  supports and encourages                                                               
the adoption of HB 56.                                                                                                          
9:06:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK HALL,  Fire Chief, Hilcorp Alaska,  LLC, Alaska-North Slope,                                                               
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, said  HB 56 is a great thing  for all of the                                                               
fire-people  in the  fire-service,  including professionals  that                                                               
volunteers  or  paid  that  put  their  lives  on  the  line.  He                                                               
concurred with  Chief Tucker  that HB 56  will establish  a great                                                               
day for  people to  just think about  what the  fire-service does                                                               
for their community  and what the community does  for the service                                                               
9:07:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  pointed out  that firefighting  personnel includes                                                               
both men  and women. He  noted that the  fire chief at  his local                                                               
fire department is a woman.                                                                                                     
MR. HALL agreed with Chair Stoltze.                                                                                             
9:08:02 AM                                                                                                                    
KELLY NICOLELLO,  Alaska State  Fire Marshal,  Director, Division                                                               
of  Fire and  Life Safety,  Alaska Department  of Public  Safety,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, pointed out that  there are approximately 1500                                                               
firefighters  across  the state  made  up  of career,  municipal,                                                               
borough, wildland, and airport firefighters.  He added that there                                                               
are  approximately 6000  volunteer  municipal, borough,  village,                                                               
and wildland  firefighters that are all  considered professionals                                                               
for serving communities with their  heart, soul, pocketbooks, and                                                               
sometimes  their  lives. He  stated  that  the vast  majority  of                                                               
firefighters are  volunteers who have other  fulltime careers. He                                                               
said all firefighters dedicate many  extra hours to learn, train,                                                               
equip, and respond to local emergency situations.                                                                               
He stated that  recognition of Alaska Firefighter Day  is a great                                                               
way to demonstrate that  firefighters' personal involvement means                                                               
more  than  what  happens  locally.  He  said  that  the  service                                                               
firefighters perform has  a direct impact on the  quality of life                                                               
of  those   around  them   and  is   recognized  as   a  positive                                                               
contribution  to  Alaska  as  a whole.  He  summarized  that  the                                                               
recognition  of Alaska  Firefighter  Day  during Fire  Prevention                                                               
Week  is   appropriate  when  remembrance   is  given   to  those                                                               
firefighters  who have  lost their  lives in  the performance  of                                                               
their duties.                                                                                                                   
9:10:31 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  stated  that  she had  one  amendment  for  the                                                               
committee to consider.                                                                                                          
9:11:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE asked  if there was any other  public testimony. He                                                               
announced that public testimony was closed.                                                                                     
SENATOR  MCGUIRE noted  that  she  serves on  the  board for  the                                                               
Alaska  Police and  Fire Chaplains'  Ministries. She  pointed out                                                               
that chaplains are an amazing part  of the fire service. She said                                                               
chaplains are people  that go on the frontlines  and help comfort                                                               
families that lost their loved ones.                                                                                            
SENATOR MCGUIRE  moved and  asked for  unanimous consent  that on                                                               
line 13, after "search and rescue  personnel" put a comma and add                                                               
CHAIR  STOLTZE asked  Senator McGuire  to  repeat her  conceptual                                                               
SENATOR MCGUIRE restated  that on page 1, line  13, after "search                                                               
and  rescue personnel"  insert a  comma and  add "chaplains,  and                                                               
countless others beyond the field."                                                                                             
9:12:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  found no objection  and announced  that [Amendment                                                               
1] is adopted.                                                                                                                  
He  said he  would  like to  make a  personal  dedication to  two                                                               
individuals that  put three to  four decades in  their respective                                                               
fire departments near  the area where he lives.  He cited Charles                                                               
Von Gunten  from the  Butte Volunteer  Fire Department  and Cliff                                                               
Gilmore from the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department.                                                                             
9:13:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS moved to report the  Senate CS for HB 56, version                                                               
\W as amended,  be moved from committee  with individual comments                                                               
and zero fiscal note.                                                                                                           
9:13:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced that hearing  no objection SCS HB 56(STA)                                                               
is reported from Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.