IAFF News

Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit/Ernest A. “Buddy” Mass Human Relations Conference 
January 28-31, 2018 • Lake Buena Vista, Florida

IAFF Cancer Summit
February 1, 2018 • Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Legislative Conference 
March 4-7, 2018 • Washington, DC

​​A. Michael Mullane Political Training Academy 
April 3-8, 2018 • Silver Spring, MD

Labor-Management Alliance Conference
April 5-6, 2018 •​ Denver, CO

IAFF 1st District Partnership Education Program
June 26th-27th 2017 • White Plains, NY

IAFF 2018 Convention 
August 6-10, 2018 • Seattle, WA

Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial 
September 15, 2018 • Colorado Springs, CO

IAFF in Action
On three different dates in late October and early November, fire fighters from Cottleville Fire Protection District – part of Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 – delivered brand new coats to 10 different Francis Howell elementary schools for kids in need.
Hundreds of police and fire fighters have rallied at Michigan’s Capitol in a show of force against pending legislation they fear could lead to cuts in retiree benefits. Bills haven't been introduced, and Republican Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders continue to meet. But police officers and fire fighters are in Lansing Wednesday to push lawmakers to not curtail retiree health benefits.
On November 4, Pampa, TX Local 3293, in conjunction with other firefighting agencies, hosted a FIRE OPS 101 event at the Armory where local media, city officials and even state representative Ken King were invited to take part in various simulated firefighting op­erations. This is a first-person perspective of the event by John Lee of The Pampa News.
Amsterdam City Fire Department staffing levels have dropped below six people on duty on five occasions since November 6, according to Amsterdam, NY Local 2825 President Michael Demars. He said the situation could potentially cause delays in responding to situations or missed calls, and is due to a recent directive given by Mayor Michael Villa which prohibits the department from calling in additional staff to fill vacancies due to job related injuries, retirement, sick days, or other time off.
Just when fire fighter-friendly incumbent Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s re-election looked like it was in trouble, the campaign staged a comeback with the help of Cincinnati Local 48.
During the Salt Lake City Fire Department annual awards ceremony, Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Fire Chief Karl Lieb and Professional Fire Fighters of Utah President Jack Tidrow presented Salt Lake City Utah Local 81 member Tony Allred with the Medal of Gallantry for his life-saving actions during an active shooter situation.
The Peoria Fire Department, tasked with cutting $1 million from its budget, now says a reduction in staff or services will be detrimental to both its fire fighters and your safety. Peoria Local 50 held a press conference Monday responding to the proposal to decommission a fire truck and cut 11 vacant fire fighter positions. It says the national standard recommends 4 people per truck. Peoria Fire only has 3.
Vice President of Little Rock, AR Local 34 Joe Cuffel has been trying to convince lawmakers fire isn’t the only thing they are battling. “We would like to see our legislature move towards a line of disability benefit for our members,” said Cuffel. Cuffel believes more support needs to be given to fire fighters and their families while they’re face to face with their ultimate battle.
In September 2012, Columbus, OH Local 67 member Mark Rine learned that he had terminal stage 4 melanoma. He was given about a 5 percent chance of surviving five years. Doctors also told Rine that his cancer likely was caused by his job, that the cancerous spots covering his body and a tumor in his lower back were a result of exposure to the carcinogens, flame retardants and toxic chemicals contained in uncounted burning objects inside homes, other buildings and vehicles. Now, at 36, Rine is using the strength he has left to try and save thousands of other fire fighters in the United States from his fate.
Efforts by the Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters (RISAFF), along with support from state Representative Michael Morin, helped pass legislation banning organohalogens, a flame retardant in upholstered furniture and other consumer products. Morin, who is also a member of Woonsocket, RI Local 732, was the chief sponsor of the bill.
San Francisco is expected to ban the sale of upholstered furniture with flame retardant chemicals. These flame retardant chemicals, which come in the form of foams, like those found in sofas, are linked to cancer and increase risks of birth defects and learning disabilities, according to studies.
Coinciding with the beginning of Fire Prevention Week, Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D–East Lansing) and Representative Winnie Brinks (D–Grand Rapids) have introduced legislation to include breast cancer as an eligible condition under the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund – a fund that currently recognizes and covers medical benefits for 10 other cancers that fire fighters may develop.
This hurricane season has left a lasting impact on IAFF members and citizens in the storm zones in Texas and Florida. To help offset the financial burden of recovering after the storms, White Plains, NY Local 274 has raised $11,500 to benefit the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund and the American Red Cross.
The Ventura Fire Foundation in California is raising money to support retired Ventura City Local 3431 member John Van Mannekes, who is diagnosed with ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Legislation that bans the sale of certain types of bedding and furniture treated with a controversial flame retardant chemical became law in Rhode Island at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, making its way into the General Laws without the signature of Governor Gina Raimondo.
Stamford, CT Local 786 members stood in the city’s busiest intersections September 24 to raise money for three hurricane relief charities: the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund, the Salvation Army and AmeriCares.
Columbia, MO Local 1055 has negotiated its first contract, thanks to its support of a labor-friendly candidate for mayor, Brian Treece.
After finding success in a PTSD recovery centre in the United States – the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery –  a New Brunswick fire fighter is hoping to see similar facilities created in Canada. Moncton, NB Local 999 member Brad Calhoun spent nearly 20 years as a fire fighter and paramedic, responding to some of the most difficult situations one can experience.
Members of Spokane County Fire District 8 Local 3711, Spokane Valley Local 876, Spokane Local 29 Spokane Valley Chiefs Association Local 3701 were called to an active shooter scene after a Freeman High School student shot and killed another student and seriously injured three others.
True to tradition, Fairfax County, VA Local 2068 members filled the boot for MDA at intersections across Fairfax County throughout the Labor Day weekend. But this year, members also collected for the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund to provide assistance to members affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. By the end of the holiday weekend, Local 2068 had raised $500,000 for MDA and more than $126,000 to help their brothers and sisters in need.
The state's plan to cut the size of the city's fire department would compromise the safety of residents and visitors, Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez ruled Friday. The state had sought to cut the size of the fire department to 148 as a cost-saving measure. The department currently has 198 members, according to court documents.
The Chula Vista Fire Department will be able to bolster its force through a federal grant and additional money from the city. The $2.3 million SAFER grant from the Department of Homeland Security, combined with $1.4 million in city funding, will be used to hire 12 fire fighters over the next three years. Chula Vista, CA Local 2180 President Darrell Roberts called receipt of the SAFER grant “a tremendous win for our community and our fire fighters.”
After a divided appeals court sided with Florida Governor Rick Scott, a battle about his 2015 veto of pay raises for state fire fighters could be decided by the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Professional Firefighters filed a notice this week as a first step in asking the Supreme Court to take up the case.
Hawaii Fire Fighters Association President Bobby Lee says he has gotten a number of complaints from fire fighters who say they did not have proper resources to respond to a five-alarm blaze that killed three, injured a dozen more and damaged hundreds of units earlier this month at a Hawaii high-rise apartment complex.
A law to help emergency responders with post-traumatic stress disorder in Maine has received Governor Paul LePage’s signature. Under the bill, if an emergency responder is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder it’s now presumed that the diagnosis is work-related.
Discovery Channel’s new series “Darkness” – which airs its first episode on Wednesday, August 2 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time – is described as “one of the most advanced and comprehensive tests of mental and physical survival ever captured on television.” So it comes as no surprise that three of the six contestants are fire fighters – and IAFF members.
The second annual Bowl a Strike Against Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser has proved to be a success, with close to $20,000 raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island by Foxborough, MA Local 2252. The fundraiser also featured 25 raffle and 10 silent auction prizes, with a football autographed by New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman donated by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.
Eight of the 10 Oak Bluffs fire fighters and paramedics took an oath that would make them charter members of Oak Bluffs, MA Local 5137, the first IAFF local on Martha’s Vineyard. “This is a big step for us,” said founding member Chris Flanders. “We all want change, we all want this department to start going in a more positive direction.”
The city of Grand Island’s proposed public safety personnel cuts would increase response time, increase the city’s crime rate and make the city less safe, fire, police and union officials say. Grand Island, NE Local 647 President Phil Thomas said the department needs six additional fire fighters/EMTs, not six less. “Just to even talk about making cuts, we are worried about safety,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to believe we would lose six fire fighters when we are at this tipping point where we may not be able to respond to a fire.”
Just a little more than one week into July and thousands of CAL FIRE Local 2881 members and members of other IAFF locals around the state are working around-the-clock to bring wildfires under control and to keep enough fire fighters available to respond to other emergencies.
A new law in Vermont aims to better protect those who put themselves in harm’s way or deal with tragedy’s aftermath. The law covers therapy for first responders traumatized on the job as Vermont begins to treat mental injury like it does physical. “Every day, we could get the worst call of our lives,” said Williston, VT Local 4611 President Prescott Nadeau.
Hialeah, FL Local 1102 member Michael Wright lost his battle with cancer six months ago. Monday, West 25th Street – the one he used daily to get to Fire Station #6 and to get to saving lives – is now named after him. Wright was the first African American fire fighter hired by the city in 1986, serving the community he grew up in for 25 years before retiring.
After the towers fell on 9/11, search and rescue teams from across the country descended on New York, including 62 members of Utah Task Force One. For 10 days after the terrorist attacks, the crews clawed across the smoldering pile of skyscraper rubble the size of Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park. As many as 40 of the 62 members of the Utah search and rescue team from 9/11 are suffering serious health effects due to their exposure, and others cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and other lingering digestive and respiratory ailments, according to Assistant Salt Lake City Fire Chief Clair Baldwin, who was on the team.
Chattanooga Fire Department officials recently spoke to council members about how wearing dirty and wet gear can increase the risks of absorbing carcinogenic contaminants. “The gear is heavy, it is cumbersome,” said Chattanooga, TN Local 820 President Jack Thompson. “It also does the one thing that it is designed to, [which] is protect us from heat. In doing that, our core temperature rises. As our core temperature rises, we start to pull in these cancers a lot faster. Think of a sponge.”
Tired of responding to frequent 9-1-1 calls related to the influx of opioids into town, the Nashua Fire Department, like many around the country, is trying to intervene in the lives of people with addiction outside of chaotic, scary emergency situations.
The San Antonio Fire Department released a medical update Friday on one of the fire fighters critically injured in a fatal fire at the Ingram Square Shopping Center that took the life of San Antonio, TX Local 624 member Scott Deem. Local 624 member Brad Phipps continues to recover at the Burn Intensive Care Unit at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center at SAMMC. SAFD spokesman Joe Arrington said Phipps is receiving the best care available.
Holyoke, MA Local 1693 fire fighters gathered at the entrance to an event for Mayor Alex B. Morse on Monday to protest what they said is a reduction in services and public safety. “We're standing out here protesting the mayor's fundraiser because he continues to support Chief Pond's reduction in services and plans of closing Engine 2. This is a safety issue for both fire fighters and the citizens," Lt. Chad Cunningham, said president of Holyoke Local 1693.
Fire fighters and residents in Muskegon are upset over a proposed $600,000 cut to the local fire department. Some fire fighters are afraid of losing their jobs, saying there is no way they can provide better and safer services with that big of a cut. “We believe a rush decision in this case could cost lives,” said Muskegon, MI Local 370 member Christopher Drake.
Chula Vista residents will see a boost in public safety spending in the next year with the hiring of five police officers and a dozen fire fighters, as well as funding for two new fire stations from a voter-approved sales-tax hike.
The Ocean City Council deadlocked this week on when to schedule the referendum on whether Ocean City, MD Local 4269 should have binding interest arbitration as part of its contract. Meanwhile, time is running short for much future discussion.
Four members of San Bernardino County, CA Local 935 are making an incredible journey – bicycling 3,000 miles over seven days – from California to Maryland, all in the name of occupational cancer.
The jobs of 10 Bristol, VA Local 2499 members are off the chopping block, thanks to the local’s efforts to warn city leaders of the serious threat the staffing cuts would pose to public safety.
Thanks to a focused lobbying effort, the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters (TSAFF) successfully passed legislation to improve workers’ compensation coverage for Texas first responders diagnosed with line-of-duty-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Los Angeles City, CA Local 112 member Kelly Wong died Monday morning, two days after he fell from an aerial ladder during a training exercise in downtown Los Angeles. The 29-year-old fire fighter was participating in an exercise Saturday morning. “It is always a tragedy to lose one of our own, especially an accomplished individual who was still at the beginning of what was certainly going to be a promising career,” said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.
Bangor, ME Local 772 is fighting back against staffing cuts. The city said it needs to eliminate four positions, bringing staff down from 88 fire fighters to 84. This as the department receives more calls each year. It responded to approximately 10,000 calls last year alone. Local 722 President John York said he fears it could lead to inadequate staffing all around. “If we lose these four positions, it’s going to be a lot harder to get the extra positions down the road.”
Former Beachwood, OH Local 2388 member Michael Palumbo, who crusaded for the passage of a law to enable fire fighters in the state of Ohio to file a workers’ compensation claim for presumptive occupational cancer, has lost his own battle with cancer. The Micheal Louis Palumbo Jr. Act became law in January and essentially classifies cancer as an occupational disease for fire fighters.
West Licking, OH Local 3025 member Seth Coakley found out he had a rare kidney disease nearly 13 years ago and he struggled to talk about it. When his health took a turn for the worst he finally told the brothers at the firehouse. Their quick response was overwhelming and it ultimately landed him the kidney he needed.
Bristol, VA Local 2499 stood in solidarity on Tuesday, trying to send a clear message to council members that cutting the proposed ten jobs could result in a serious public safety risk. “These citizens are going to die. These citizens will die if you reduce our staffing, our personnel, our guys will die,” said Local 2499 President Mike Wise. IAFF 4th District President Andrew Pantelis urged city council members to make first responders off-limits as they consider where to cut funding for the city budget.
The Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA) hit a major legislative goal this week when Governor Doug Ducey signed two pieces of presumptive legislation into law – one (HB 2410) covers cardiac disease and one (HB 2161) expands cancer workers’ compensation coverage.
West Chester, OH Local 3518 member Tim Burns died Wednesday after a long battle with renal cancer he developed through his job, fire and township officials said. “Tim was proud to be a fire fighter. It was his lifelong dream,” said Cincinnati Local 48 member Doug Stern. A new Ohio law recognizes cancer as a work-related illness for fire fighters, giving them the ability to claim workers’ compensation and have their medical bills covered.
A toy firetruck adorned with red flowers sat at the foot of a collection of balloons, stuffed animals and bouquets Saturday at Ingram Square Shopping Center – an impromptu memorial to San Antonio, TX Local 624 member Scott Deem, the 31-year-old fire fighter who died while fighting a blaze that engulfed the Northwest Side shopping center late last Thursday night. There will be a rosary for Deem on Thursday, officials said, with funeral services on Friday; no other details about time or place have been made public.
Lubbock, TX – The Lubbock Fire Department is trying to change things to prevent their fire fighters from getting what is now the deadliest and most common job-related disease – cancer.  “It used to be a badge of honor, the dirtier your bunker gear, the more you'd fought fire, the more respect you'd earned,” said Lubbock Division Chief Steve Holland. “We're now learning that was a terrible thing to do.” The department has adopted new rules for extra protection, including an additional Nomex hood and a second set of bunker gear.
Members of the Orlando Fire Department honored their colleagues for their hard work the morning of the Pulse tragedy as well as during the days, weeks and months afterward. “June 12, 2016, was a morning unlike any other,” said Deputy Chief Ian Davis. “It was the initial response and the subsequent [work] ... that brought this city back together.”
One San Antonio fire fighter was killed and two others were injured Thursday night while fighting a massive blaze at a shopping center on the city's northwest side. San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood confirmed the death of San Antonio, TX Local 624 member Scott Deem, a six-year veteran of the department. “[It was a] very rough decision to leave a fire fighter behind. That’s not what we do, but we had the risk of losing an additional 15 to 20 fire fighters if we did not go defensive on this fire,” said Hood.
Orlando, FL Local 1365 is proud of one of its own for her commitment to the Orlando Fire Department. Assistant Chief Dawn Sumter's innovative design for women's uniforms was awarded first place in a national design contest.
Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Local 4224 Treasurer Steve Shetsky, a 2015 IAFF Political Training Academy, enrolled in American University’s Public Administration and Policy’s Master Degree program with the goal of taking what he learned and using it to better assist his fellow IAFF members. And it is already paying off.
Washington state just took another step in leveraging pre-hospital providers to be part of the healthcare solution. Following the initial launch of community paramedic programs, the issue of sustainability quickly emerged. A new law passed this week is a step toward creating sustainable funding for community paramedic/ mobile-integrated healthcare (MIH) programs.
Lexington, KY Local 526 says it is asking council to include money in the city’s upcoming budget to pay for another ambulance, as well as 12-15 people to staff it. Union officials say not having the ambulance creates a ripple effect that takes away from the city's fire and EMS protection. More and more, says President of Local 526 Chris Bartley, all of the city’s ambulances are out on calls at the same time.
Oklahoma City, OK Local 157 member Bryon Cass was just a few months out of rookie school when the Oklahoma City bombing happened. In total, 168 people died, hundreds more were injured and Cass was right in the heart of it. He spent weeks sifting through the rubble, at first looking for survivors, but finding mostly victims. After 20 years, Cass is battling skin cancer. He knows he’s not alone. When asked, he thought of 15 to 20 other fire fighters he knew who fought cancer and lost.
Memphis City Council members are closer to giving all city employees raises. Following the hearing on the police department last week, the fire department had its turn Tuesday before City Council. Memphis, TN Local 1784 said it's glad council members are at least listening to some of the concerns fire fighters have about not receiving a raise in several years. “It makes us feel good that we do have an ear of the council,” Local 1784 President Thomas Malone said. “The fact that they think everybody deserves a little something.”
The Fairbanks City Council voted to award Fairbanks, AK Local 1324 its arbitration package, but now the council must figure out how to fund it. Fire fighters and members of the community urged the council to pass the contract.
West Palm Beach, FL Local 727 member Diana Matty joined the fire service fresh out of high school, in October 1994. She was 18. Work hard and someday you’ll be chief, they told her. “I took that to heart. I’ve been a hard worker all of my career,” Matty said. “I’m sure it was no surprise to people that it was something I always wanted to do.”
Former Columbia, MO Local 1055 member Jeff Strawn, now a fire captain, was shocked to learn how often fire fighters were getting diagnosed with cancer. “It became clear to me that this was an epidemic,” Strawn says. “That’s what it is, an epidemic within the fire service.” Fire fighters are have a 14 percent higher risk than the general population of dying from cancer. And more than 60 percent of line-of-duty deaths of fire fighters are attributed to cancer.
Eleven-year veteran of the Dallas Fire Department and member of Dallas, TX Local 58 William An is slowly recovering after being shot in the arm and the leg while responding to a call May 1.
The Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association has been working with state legislators on the “Public Safety Employee Behavioral Health Act” bill. The bill aims to help fire fighters and EMS workers dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
Vermont legislation calling for workers’ compensation coverage for behavioral health conditions resulting from on-the-job stresses – such as post-traumatic stress – awaits Governor Phil Scott’s signature to become law.
The bruising battles over legislative fixes to failing pension systems in Dallas and Houston could eventually evolve into a statewide war over the kind of retirement funds public employees should be offered. State Senator Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, authored Senate Bill 1752, which would allow voters in Texas cities to decide whether to switch new public employees to defined contribution plans. But officials, police officers and fire fighters in both Houston and Dallas say defined contribution plans will only exacerbate current problems.
Fire fighters see trauma every day. Over time, these events weigh heavily and can lead to behavioral health issues, including substance abuse and post-traumatic stress. The Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters (RISAFF) has made help for behavioral health issues a top priority, developing a peer support program available statewide.
Ocean City, MD Local 4269 began its campaign last summer to alter the city charter to give the local binding interest arbitration, which would allow its members and the city to call on a third party to settle labor disputes. Required by Maryland law to obtain 20 percent of Ocean City’s registered voters’ signatures to force a referendum, Local 4269’s petition exceeded that mark by 201 voters.
The family, friends and colleagues of FDNY fire fighter William Tolley, who fell to his death at the scene of a fire in Ridgewood on April 20, gathered Thursday to pay their final respects to the 14-year veteran. Thousands of fire fighters – from New York City and Long Island and as far away as Chicago, Detroit and Louisiana – stood at attention, side-by-side in their dress uniforms, as the funeral procession for Tolley made its way up the street.
A five-alarm fire swept through an apartment house being built in Prince George’s County, Maryland, on Monday, causing an estimated $39 million in damage and saturating part of College Park with so much smoke that a nearby apartment with many seniors was evacuated and the University of Maryland closed. The fire brought a historic response for the county and involved more than 200 fire fighters from across the region.
Fire fighters are dealing with new hazards impacting their safety. Hazards fueled by the fast-growing marijuana industry. Some pot producers are constantly rewiring and remodeling homes, putting fire fighters in vulnerable situations. “We end up with maze-like construction [and] some substandard construction,” said Denver, CO Local 858 member Mark Rudolph. Another concern facing fire crews: locked doors at pot production facilities. “That’s one of our constant watch-outs during an inspection – making sure that all the doors that need to open in an emergency can,” said Rudolph.
Uniformed Fire Fighters Association of New York Local 94 member William Tolley died on Thursday after falling from the roof of an apartment building while battling a fire in Queens, officials said.​ Tolley, a 14-year veteran of the department, was part of a group of fire fighters combating a blaze that started in a second-floor apartment in a five-story building in the Ridgewood neighborhood about 2:20 p.m. “His death is a grim reminder of the dangerous work New York City fire fighters do on behalf of our city every single day,” said 1st ​District Vice President James Slevin.
After a years-long battle, Greenburgh, NY Local 1586 member Robert “Bubba Bert” Menstrasti passed away from 9/11-related cancer. His rescue team arrived to Ground Zero within two hours of the first plane hitting the towers. It has been said that Menstrasti was happiest when covered in baseball infield dirt and helping young children and teenagers with muscular dystrophy. “Bert was one of those guys who would’ve driven a 1,000 miles for you. He wasn't just a great fire fighter, he was a great person and we’re definitely going to miss him,” said Fire Chief Howard Reiss.
Although the clock is running out on the legislative session, those fighting for a bill that would provide workers’ comp for PTSD-suffering first responders aren’t deterred. “We’re not going to stop," said Cocoa, FL Local 2416 member Josh Vandegrift, who is heading to Tallahassee this weekend to share his story during Monday’s hearing. “I was stunned, because I can sprain my pinkie on a call and be covered through workmans’ comp. But, seeing my little brother dead in the middle of the street isn’t covered.”
Cincinnati, OH Local 48 is asking for $250,000 in the upcoming city budget to equip all fire fighters with custom-fitted bulletproof vests. The city purchased some at the end of the year, but that only covered 187 fire fighters. Another 660 are needed to cover all fire fighters. The proposal comes after a March incident where a Northside man fired shots at fire fighters who were doing a welfare check at this home. He told police he thought someone was trying to break-in.
The IAFF thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale for funding a Public Safety Officer Award to support the families of public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Budget 2017 announced $80 million, starting in 2018-2019, and $20 million thereafter, to support the establishment of this tax-free benefit. It fulfills an election promise and the mandate Prime Minister Trudeau assigned Minister Goodale. General President Harold Schaitberger expressed the IAFF's gratitude at a ceremony on Parliament Hill, flanked by fire fighters and fire trucks.
The Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut (UPFFA of CT) held its FIRE OPS 101 at the Hartford Fire Department Training Center Monday morning. State representatives, town councilors and other officials were teamed up with career fire fighters for a hands-on experience. UPFFA of CT described it as a day in the life “understanding a fraction of the physical and mental stress, importance of what we do, as well as the purpose of our actions and requests.” Representative Stephanie Cummings of Waterbury said it was an “incredible experience.”
The IAFF is saddened to report the passing of Jim Fisher. Fisher was one of the co-founders of the Professional Fire Fighters of Utah and paved the way to collective bargaining rights for many Utah members.
Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland (PFFMD) leaders achieved two longstanding legislative priorities on behalf of its membership during the state legislative session, passing bills to modify the pension income tax subtraction and winning collective bargaining rights for Martin State Airport Local 5044 and Charles County Paramedics Local 4658.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn welcomed the Boston Fire Department’s newest members.​ “I’m proud that today 49 new members will join the Massachusetts fire fighting family, and I’m confident this new class of recruits will carry on the Boston Fire Department tradition of excellence,” Walsh said. “Every one of these recruits is a veteran. We thank your families for supporting you, and we thank you for your service,” Walsh added.
Months after the Ghost Ship blaze rocked Oakland, Alameda is grappling with whether to reinstate its fire safety inspection team.
The Town of Ocean City and Ocean City, MD Local 4269 now have a formal deal. But just because the ink is on the document, it doesn’t mean the union has to like everything in it, which it doesn’t. “The boots on the ground do not feel that the schedule is in the right direction. Nevertheless, we are committed to make this work in the interest of public safety,” Local 4269 President Ryan Whittington said during Monday’s session. “You will hear from me as necessary on the pros and cons, and we will keep you informed of what’s going on in the fire department.”
A proposal to merge Liberty and Girard’s fire departments was dead on arrival after community backlash Wednesday night. Liberty Township, OH Local 2075 President Justin Graham told 21 News earlier that roughly half of his members would probably lose their jobs with a consolidation. Girard, OH Local 1220 President Luke Grunder has expressed concern that having one, central fire station could impact response time by fire and rescue crews.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Allentown fire fighters, finding that Local 302 can negotiate the minimum number of fire fighters on a shift because it has a direct impact on safety. “The testimony and documentary evidence from the arbitration proceedings ... clearly establishes an unambiguous and powerful link between shift staffing and fire fighter health and safety,” Justice Debra McCloskey Todd wrote for the court.
Jacksonville, FL Local 122 has approved a tentative agreement with the city by a vote of 77 percent for and 23 percent against, said Local 122 President Randy Wyse in an email to the city.
Georgia lawmakers passed a bill Thursday to give fire fighters special insurance in case they get cancer from the job. The bill’s main sponsor said it will honor Frank Martinez, an Atlanta fire fighter who died of cancer last year.
The president of Danville, IL Local 429 is calling the mayor’s proposal to cut 16 fire fighters “risky.” “This is a drastic cut to services and a drastic risk for not only our citizenship but for the city’s pocketbook,” Local 429 President Jerry Sparks said Wednesday, a day after Mayor Scott Eisenhauer proposed the layoffs during a budget discussion with city aldermen.
Members of Albany, NY Local 2007 spent time at the Capitol last week pressing for the “Fair Share for Albany” campaign, launched last month by Mayor Kathy Sheehan to push for an increase in annual state aid received by the city.