International Association of Fire Fighters

International Association of Fire Fighters

Infobox Union|
name= IAFF
country= United States, Canada
affiliation= AFL-CIO, CLC
members= 272,000 (2006)ref|members
full_name= International Association of Fire Fighters

founded= 1918
office= Washington, DC
people= Harold A. Schaitberger, president
website= []

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is a labor union representing professional fire fighters in the United States and Canada. The IAFF was formed in 1918 and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO in the United States and the Canadian Labour Congress in Canada. Currently, the IAFF has 280,000 members in 3,100 locals.

Recently the IAFF began talks with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) of the United Kingdom, the United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA), and the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) that could eventually result in a global alliance of fire fighting unions to further the cause of their members around the world. ref|international

The nation's paid, professional fire fighters and paramedics protect 85 percent of the U.S. population.

The IAFF is one of the most active lobbying organizations in Washington. Its Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, is among the top 25 federal PACs among the more than 4,000 in the country.

On March 14, 2007, the IAFF held a bipartisan presidential forum in Washington, D.C., that included all major Republican and Democratic candidates for president except former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani was invited March 5, accepted the invitation and subsequently declined to appear before the IAFF.

Democrats who attended were Sen. Joe Biden (DE), Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Sen. Chris Dodd (CT), former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama (IL) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Republicans who attended were Sen. Sam Brownback (KS), Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE), former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) and Sen. John McCain (AZ).

On Monday, August 27, 2007, the IAFF decided to endorse Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) for president in 2008. [cite web
] On January 3, 2008, the evening of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, 2008, Sen. Dodd withdrew from the Presidential contest. On January 4, 2008, the IAFF said that it would wait until March to endorse another candidate. ["The Hill" "With Dodd out, Fire fighters say they will wait until March"]

Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

About 100 IAFF members die in the line of duty each year. They are honored at the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where their names are etched in a wall. On September 16, 2006, fire fighters paid tribute to 122 fallen members who died in the line of duty between June 2005 and June 2006.The memorial service which was held on September 20, 2008 honoured 137 line of duty deaths which occurred between June 2007 to June 2008. This was the largest number of names added to the wall in a single year with the exemption of 2002 (due to the number of casualties from the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001).

IAFF and Muscular Dystrophy Association

Fire fighters across the nation collect millions of dollars each year in hopes of finding a cure to defeat muscular dystrophy.

What has become a nationwide effort by fire fighters to collect donations started in Boston, Mass.

In 1954 a South Boston fire fighter named George Graney convinced the International Association of Fire Fighters to embrace the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The IAFF began raising money for research in hopes of eliminating neuromuscular diseases and has collected more than $270 million to date.

Partisan questions

The organization is non-partisan. While it endorsed John F. Kerry for president in 2004, it has endorsed several Republicans. It endorsed the successful gubernatorial candidacies of Charlie Crist (Florida) and Jim Douglas (Vermont), and it endorsed several Republican candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. [Rachel Kapochunas, July 12, 2007 "Firefighters’ Union Takes Ax to Giuliani’s 9/11 Acclaim"] Examples of the IAFF's endorsement of Republican incumbents in 2006 include Representatives Curt Weldon (Pennsylvania) and John Sweeney (New York). [ABC News report of July 11, 2007 referred to, in]

Relations with Rudy Giuliani

In February 2007, the International Association of Fire Fighters issued a letter accusing Giuliani of "egregious acts" against the 343 New York City firemen who had died in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The letter asserted that Giuliani rushed to conclude the recovery effort once gold and silver had been recovered from World Trade Center vaults and thereby prevented the remains of many victims from being recovered: "Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill," it said, adding: "Hundreds remained entombed in Ground Zero when Giuliani gave up on them." [] Lawyers for the International Association of Fire Fighters seek to interview Giuliani under oath as part of a federal legal action alleging that New York City negligently dumped body parts and other human remains in the Fresh Kills Landfill. [ [,0,2321840,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines Giuliani foes plan to use 9/11 against him - Los Angeles Times ] ]

2008 presidential campaign

After Giuliani agreed, and then declined to attend the IAFF's March 2007 presidential forum, union president Harold Schaitberger, distributed a biting three-page letter laying out what he termed Giuliani's "disgraceful" treatment of firefighters following Sept. 11. [Harold A. Schaitberger, [ "Letter to IAFF affiliates,"] March 9, 2007. Accessed July 6, 2007.] [ Firefighters Blast Giuliani ] ]

The union announced that they will criticize decisions Giuliani made as mayor before and after the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to an April 9, 2007 report in ""The article added, "Among other complaints, they say that Giuliani failed to support modernized radios that might have spared the lives of more firefighters at the World Trade Center and that he located the city's main emergency command center in the complex even though it had been targeted by terrorists eight years earlier."

Members with the association have been organizing protests against Giuliani during his appearances. Deputy Chief Jim Riches, who lost his firefighter son during September 11, disagrees that Giuliani deserves hero status. “He’s making a million dollars a month with his speeches.” Referring to the money that he makes from speeches on 9/11, Riches said June 16, 2007, “It’s blood money.” [ [ Among Firefighters in New York, Mixed Views on Giuliani - New York Times ] ] "If we have to go to California, to Des Moines, Iowa, or wherever we have to go to let the American people know how arrogant he is and how he distorts the truth --yes, we will," said Riches, on July 12, 2007. [Celeste Katz, "Fire Union Plans to Dog Rudy on Prez Trail," "New York Daily News," July 13, 2007, p. 6.]

"Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend"

On July 11, 2007, the union released a 13 minute video, "" to fire departments across the U.S. The DVD outlines its complaints against Giuliani. The video rebroadcasts images of the collapsing Twin Towers. In the video, New York City Uniformed Firefighters Association president Stephen Cassidy said, "The things that we needed to do our jobs even better, we didn't have, because of his administration." He added, "On the heroic memory of 343 dead firefighters, he wants to run for president of the United States. It's a disgrace." Deputy Chief Riches added, “We have the remains of dead heroes at the garbage dump because of Giuliani and his administration and they’re still there today and they won’t remove them." Several other present and former IAFF leaders and firefighters from New York City appear in the video. As the video has been issued on a website, and not just DVD, it is classifiable as a viral video. [ [ ABC News: Giuliani Faces Firefighters' Wrath ] ] [ [ BBC NEWS | Americas | NY firefighters attack Giuliani ] ] [ [] ] [ [ New Video Critical of Giuliani's 9/11 Leadership - Channel '08: The 2008 Election on Video ] ] [Ari Paul, "Real 9/11 Heroes Speak Out Against Rudy: New York City firefighters are out to set the record straight on Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 legacy," "American Prospect" online ed., July 10, 2007]



* - [ Membership information from IAFF website] .
* - [ IAFF 48th Convention resolutions] , retrieved 16 November, 2006.

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Updated listing of IAFF Locals Online]
* [ Monroe Fire Fighters]
* [ Pittsburgh IAFF Local #1]
* [ Sanford, Maine Firefighters Association- IAFF Local 1624]
* [ Walter Reed Army Medical Center Firefighters Washington D.C. IAFF F151]
* [ Waukegan (Illinois) Firefighters - IAFF Local 473]
* [ Robbinsville Professional Firefighters - IAFF Local 3786]
* [ City of Beacon Professional Firefighters - Local 3490]
*Sandusky Fire Department Firefighters flex their political power, Teddy Davis,, March 12, 2007 * []
* [ IAFF's video on Giuliani and his 9/11 record]
* [ Web page for IAFF's video, "Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend"]
* [ Chris Matthew's interview of Harold Schaitberger about "Urban Legend" video]

LETTER FROM WASHINGTON Giuliani won't have support of firefighters' union, by Steven Thomma, March 12, 2007, McClatchy News Service * []

Firefighters gain favored spot with 2008 hopefuls, by Dan Balz and Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post, March 15, 2007, * []

Firefighters group in rift with Giuliani, by Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times, March 14, 2007 * []

Firefighters slam Giuliani, by John Riley, Newsday, March 9, 2007 * [,0,3411632.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print]

Firefighters union blasts Giuliani on post-Sept. 11 cleanup, Fox News, March 8, 2007 * [,2933,257901,00.html]

Firefighters unsent letter blasts Giuliani, by Sam Youngman, The Hill, March 9, 2007 * []

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