Member News

Jun
19

IAFF/EHRC Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

IAFF/EHRC Statement on the Murder of George Floyd


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Sisters and Brothers,

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May
07

Are You Ready for the 52nd IAFF Convention?

We are just 66 days away before the IAFF arrives in Cincinnati, Ohio, for its biennial Convention July 14-18.

Approximately 2,500 delegates are expected to travel to Cincinnati for the Convention to chart the course of the IAFF over the next two years, as well as help the local economy. The Cincinnati Business Courier reported the Convention could bring upwards to $2.6 million to the City. 

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May
07

National Arson Awareness Week

What is your local doing to raise awareness about vehicle arsons in your community?

Over the last decade, an average of 14,737 vehicle arsons have been reported, accounting for 26.5 percent of total arson fires annually.

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Apr
30

Koch Brothers Spread Negative Influence

Time Magazine made a splash recently with the release of its 100 most influential people in the world - a list that also includes the billionaire Koch Brothers. 

The brothers, David and Charles, who are enemies to workers everywhere, are featured as titans of business.

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Apr
29

Should Our Department Hire a Grant Writer?

Recently there has been an increase in the number of solicitations from private grant writers and grant writing companies looking to establish grant writing services for fire departments.  These solicitations are often in the form of an email, cold call, or attendance at a conference or other event.  While there is nothing preventing a grant company from contacting you or members of your department (and perhaps there may be something to gain), there are many considerations when hiring any outside vendor that will provide services for your department. 

The first question should be whether your department needs to hire a grant writer.  Researching and writing grants is time consuming and requires some level of research and writing skills.  Experience with grants and grant writing can make the odds better for landing a grant, but that shouldn’t scare you off, as much of the research needed is already familiar to department members, and comes in the form of department annual reports, strategic plans, NFIRS data, CAD data, etc.  

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Apr
28

Lobbyists Deny Flame Retardant Links to Fire Fighters and Cancer

Fire fighters are being exposed to toxins and diagnosed with cancer in high numbers, but representatives of the chemical industry want you to think otherwise.

There is significant scientific evidence that demonstrates fire fighters have higher incidents of cancer compared to other occupational illnesses. These studies clearly indicate that such cancers are related to the job of fire-fighting. In fact, contrary to the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) distortion of the facts and science, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in its most recent report, reinforced this grim fact and supported the link between the exposures to toxins that fire fighters face with the increased risk of occupational cancers.

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Apr
25

Update: Missouri Right to Work

Right to Work should be called the ‘right to divide’ as legislation continues to be pushed in Missouri.

The Missouri House of Representatives agreed upon language and are now waiting on a handful of lawmakers to bring it to a final vote.

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Apr
23

The Buying and Reselling of America

The American Legislative Exchange Council is at it again.  Late last week, the shadowy organization released its annual publication “Rich States Poor States” billed as a way to “identify the states that have policies that can lead a state to economic prosperity and those that are stuck on the path to a lackluster economy.”

The report also says it measures how each state can expect to perform economically based on 15 policy areas that have proven to determine economic success.

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Apr
22

Answering the Call for Change

It has come to the IAFF’s attention that several bills are now appearing in state legislatures relating to the Mobile Integrated Healthcare (Community Paramedic) and EMS.  Some provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set up opportunities for EMS providers to participate in delivering various aspects of healthcare outside the hospital in an effort to cut overall cost of care.  For example, EMS personnel may be involved in follow-up services with patients once they have been discharged from the hospital to assure the patient is compliant with prescription regime and post wound care. 

Under the ACA, key objectives are to decrease the number of uninsured while increasing quality of care.  Over the years, fire-based EMS has undergone changes that have effectively broadened the work of EMTs and paramedics to meet the needs that previously were not provided or provided in other arenas. But in today’s environment of increased responsibilities and decreasing budgets, fire department leaders must constantly evaluate and justify current systems and be prepared to propose changes to protect the quality of publicly funded fire-based EMS systems and add value to services provided to the community.

The ACA is the latest driver of these changes, causing fire departments to rethink how EMS services and perhaps mobile integrated healthcare (or community paramedic services) will be delivered and how to remain economically viable. Fire-based community paramedicine is a concept that could change existing EMS systems by coordinating with other health care providers to improve patient care, reduce expenses and be self-sustaining.

The IAFF is involved and is monitoring the political debate in state legislatures and encourages our affiliates to do the same.

For more information, read the fall 2013 edition of the Fire Fighter Quarterly’s “Answering the Call for Change” or contact the Fire/EMS Operations and GIS Department at (202) 737-8484.

Original author: Lori Moore
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Apr
01

There's Only One Official Fundraiser for Our Boston Brothers

Donations and heartfelt sympathies have been pouring in for the families of two fallen Boston Local 718 members who died in the nine alarm Beacon Street fire. As people continue to pay their respects, there are multiple online scammers ready and willing to take advantage of those who are genuine and want to offer their support during this difficult time.

The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts and Boston Fire Local 718 are warning the public via social media about those groups who are trying to make a “quick buck” off of last week’s fire tragedy.

One disgraceful group is the Boston’s Fallen Fireman Fundraiser. The group says it is collecting proceeds from T-shirt sales that will be given to the families of Lt. Edward J. Walsh and fire fighter Michael Kennedy. In its advertisement, the scammers stole the logo from the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts website. Ironically, the group can’t even spell fundraiser correctly on its own promotion!

It is easy to sit back and set up a bogus (501c3) organization and collect money online in the good name of fire fighters who take an oath to serve the citizens of their communities with compassion, courage and integrity.

Fire fighters are willing to give you the shirts off their backs -- that is if you really want a fire T-shirt that badly you can stop by any fire station.

We find the acts of those who are trying to take advantage of fire fighters in the wake of a tragedy immoral and deceitful. The families who have lost their loved ones don’t need to deal with individuals trying to get rich off their pain.

Please be advised that there is only one official Memorial Fund for the Walsh and Kennedy families through the Boston Firefighters Credit Union. One hundred percent of donations will be given to the families through this fund. You can make a donation here: https://www.bosfirecu.com/

In the future, if you have questions on whether an organization is legitimate, please look them up on the Charity Navigator website.

Original author: Mark Treglio
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Mar
26

Aurora City Council Tables Un-American “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” Measure

Aurora, CO fire fighters are grateful the City Council wisely postponed a decision that would have wrongfully changed the disciplinary appeals process for first responders.

Although pleased with the victory, fire fighters aren’t sitting still. They are continuing to educate members of the Aurora City Council and news media on why the initiative should not be brought up again.

The 11-member Aurora City Council backed off the proposal after hearing from concerned first responders on how they thought the appeals process would be harmed by the proposed measure.

Dan Pollet, vice president of Aurora Local 1290, told Denver Fox 31 that it’s important for fire fighters to have a level playing field. The proposed initiative would have caused Aurora members to operate under a theory of being “guilty until proven innocent” in cases brought up before the city’s Civil Service Commission. In every city in America, the burden of proof is on the city to prove disciplinary charges are appropriate.  The now tabled proposal would have shifted the burden to our members – forcing them to prove that discipline was inappropriate in civil cases.

Aurora Local 1290 also believed fire recruiting and retention would have negatively been affected because of the potential difficulty in defending the charges that could have been brought against members.

The Aurora City Council made a responsible decision to table the legislation because the proposal was un-American, over-reaching and unconstitutional.

Aurora members are looking to the future and working with members of the Aurora City Council on issues that will make the community safe.

You can see more news coverage of the issue here.

You can also read more on the issue on the IAFF’s Frontline Blog.

Original author: Mark Treglio
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Mar
24

Christie puts retiree earnings in the hands of supporters

We’ve all heard of the Bridge Gate scandal in New Jersey where top Chris Christie staffers closed the George Washington Bridge in alleged political retaliation from the governor. But more attention should be focused on a scandal that’s hurting New Jersey retirees’ pensions.

We all know that Christie is no friend to unions and has publicly bullied public workers in efforts to gain more power. He has tried to increase the retirement age of workers, cut benefits and make employees pay more into state plans.  What’s more egregious is that he has quietly steered the money of New Jersey workers to be managed by friends and billionaires who have boosted his political career.

New Jersey now has the second-largest allocation in the country of state retiree money being managed by hedge funds with estimates of outside money managers earning at least $1.2 billion in management and performance fees.

One of those benefiting is New York billionaire Dan Loeb, who ranks 974th on Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s richest billionaires. Loeb’s fortune is estimated at $1.5 billion. He also ranks as one of the worst offenders for selling out public workers – soliciting the retirement money of public workers and then lobbying for the same workers to lose their benefits. In New Jersey, Loeb’s fund collected nearly $5.2 million in fees. Loeb and other billionaire financiers were a part of a group that urged Christie to run for president of the United States.

Meantime, while the rich get richer -- workers get poorer. Last year, the New Jersey pension program delivered a return of 11.79 percent – lower than the pension median of 16.1 percent.

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Mar
21

Aurora City Council Pushes Un-American “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” Measure

On March 24, 2014, the 11-member City Council in Aurora, Colorado will be taking up an initiative on the November ballot that would change the disciplinary appeals process so that fire fighters would be considered “guilty until proven innocent.”

If you think that this initiative being pushed by some on the Council is over the top and is in direct conflict with provisions set forth in the United States Constitution regarding due process, then you agree with Aurora Local 1290 and just about every other American citizen.

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Mar
19

Protect Your Cities and Towns

As companies continue to flee the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy organization is searching for new sources of revenue.

According to this Guardian report, ALEC plans to target city and local governments for potential new revenue streams in efforts to replicate its influence within state legislatures.

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Mar
11

Fundraising in the Name of Fire Fighters

The IAFF has been made aware of individuals claiming to represent the best interests of fire fighters. However, in the past these same individuals have failed to pass on their charitable solicitations to the groups they were intended to benefit.

Ralph and Barbara Mroz operate the “Foundation for First Responders and Firefighters” and the "Firefighters Support Foundation." The organization describes itself as a 501©(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization dedicated to assisting fire fighters and rescue personnel perform their jobs effectively and safely through free training. The group says it also tries to mitigate the causes and effects of life-threatening on-scene dangers with equipment grants to under-funded agencies and through assistance to families with children of fallen fire fighters. They perform fundraising efforts across the United States.

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Mar
11

Update: Right to Work Stopped in Oregon

Right to Work efforts have been dropped in Oregon after the state’s governor announced plans for tax reform.

Anti-union forces targeted Oregon in hopes of getting a ballot initiative before voters in November.

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Feb
27

Watch Your Cable Dollars!

If you are a Comcast or Time Warner subscriber then you should be aware of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Comcast and Time Warner are funders of ALEC, a Washington, DC-based politically ultra-conservative non-profit that thrives on operating in the shadows of American government to push anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country. Founded in 1973, ALEC supports free market principles and courts financial support from various foundations, including those controlled by the billionaire Koch Brothers.

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Feb
25

How Money is Shaping Politics and Your Rights

If you’ve been following the Koch Brothers and their attempts to push legislation that is harmful to workers and their wages, you may know they are not alone in their efforts to shape politics and policies in their own best interests to the detriment of public workers.

The biggest political fights are happening in state legislatures across the country. In Michigan, for example, how do you think right to work was passed? The effort was well coordinated, organized and financed by the wealthy Devos family. For years, the family bided its time before striking in 2012 to get right to work legislation passed, and helped formulate a political strategy – blitzing the media, crafting talking points to lawmakers (including Governor Rick Snyder who recited points verbatim) and kept protesters away from the Michigan state Capitol.

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Feb
19

PBS falls to pension reform myth

Enron billionaire John Arnold doesn’t have PBS to push his anti- worker pension message anymore. Amid strong public criticism, PBS says it has returned a multi-million dollar donation to the John and Laura Arnold Foundation putting the news series “Pension Peril” on hiatus. Hundreds of PBS stations across the country aired “Pension Peril,” that echoes the same pension cutting themes that the Arnold Foundation is promoting legislatively which advocates cutting retirement benefits to fire fighters, police, teachers and other public workers. The Arnolds financed the series for $3.5 million without it being disclosed to PBS viewers.

PBS ombudsman says the decision to return the donation was a positive development. 
 “One is that the decision to accept a grant of $3.5 million from the Arnold Foundation, with a stated interest in "public employee benefits reform," flunks PBS's own "perception test," which is part of the service's Funding Standards and Practices.”

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