President’s Message – January 2020

Happy New Year!

I write this first message after having the honor of being elected as the new President of LAFRA for the calendar year 2020. I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their vote of confidence and to let you all know that I will work hard to continue the amazing work of my predecessors. Additionally, I want to thank Chris Stine for stepping up and taking the role of Vice President. I look forward to working with you in the New Year. Your knowledge of LAFRA and our Medical Plan will be relied upon by all involved as we continue into the future.

If our paths haven’t crossed in the last 33 years, I would like to formally introduce myself. For the past 26 years, I have been married to my beautiful wife Gina. Together, we share two amazing children; Kyle, who is 25 and assigned to Fire Station 15, and Cindy, 21, a recent graduate of Cosmetology School. We are very proud of them both. My Department experience includes the 25 years working as an engineer at Fire Stations 9 and 10. The last 5 years, I have been assigned to Fire Station 49, spending 3 1/2 years on Boat 4. Although I will not miss our 9-minute line-ups on the C-shift, I want to say a big thank you to everyone at 49’s.

Beginning in 2016, it has been a pleasure to serve as Vice President under our outgoing president, Bob Steinbacher.  Bob, you should feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment for all the hard work and long hours you have spent working for LAFRA and its membership, both active and retired. Bob led negotiations with LAPRA and UFLAC on the current 5-year contract we have with LAFPP, and he continues to fight to keep our medical plan available into our Medicare years. Under Bob’s watch, our Family Support Group was launched and continues to gain strength. Val and Diane were great additions on his part and do an amazing job! I realize these are just a few of the highlights, but when members speak of the Relief Association, they speak in high regard because Bob continued to further the great reputation of this Association with his leadership. THANK YOU!

On November 2, 2019, LAFRA celebrated one of our own at our Annual Open House. Trustee, Chaplain, Chairman, Captain, Gangreener, Rick Godinez was our unanimous honoree. In attendance were Rick’s wife, Terri, and daughter, Marisa. Unfortunately, his son, Nick, wasn’t able to attend as he is currently serving our country in the United States Air Force. Thank you, Nick, for your service. Additionally, Rick had plenty of immediate and fire family (FS 2) in attendance to celebrate the event. The Fire Hogs showed up in force to again support the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighters Fund with two checks totaling $29,500.00. The first check for $22,000.00 was raised from their annual ride; the second check for $7,500.00 was from the proceeds of an auctioned 2004 Harley Davidson owned by the late Pete Goff. Pete’s son, Brian, donated the bike for the auction, continuing the Goff family and Fire Hogs’ history of support to Widows and Orphans. THANK YOU! Around 300 active and retired members attended the event. Please come join us next year on November 7, 2020.

On December 7, 2019, LAFRA and its members celebrated 113 years of the Relief’s existence at the Holiday Dinner Dance held in downtown Los Angeles.  There was plenty of camaraderie, food, spirits, and dancing well into the night with live music provided by DW3. I want to thank Juliet Brandolino and our volunteers for all the hard work and dedication in making these events possible for all of us. Please keep an eye out for all future events. We hope to see you there!

As you know, EFFECTIVE January 1, 2020, Healthcomp will be LAFRA’s new Third Party Administrator adjudicating your medical claims. You should have received your welcome kit with new medical cards from Healthcomp, as they were mailed out in late December. Every member of your family will have a new medical card with their individual name on it. ACTIONS YOU NEED TO TAKE:

  1. Register online at if you would like online access to claims, plan information, or a digital ID card.
  2. When a member of your family visits the doctor, give them the new ID card for the person/patient receiving services.
  3. Destroy your old ID card; they will not work anymore!

Please follow the instructions in your open enrollment materials, and let us know if you have any questions by contacting Healthcomp’s customer service team by phone at (866) 995-2372 or (866-99LAFRA), or email at

I would like to personally thank Wayne Sherman and Angie Herrera for their years of hard work and dedication to the Association. On behalf of our Board and membership, we would like to thank you and wish you both luck while continuing to work with Healthscope!

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

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Jeff Cawdrey

Upcoming event: Buzzard Bait – Jan 17-20

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