International Association of Fire Fighters

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IAFF
International Association of Fire Fighters logo.jpg
Full name International Association of Fire Fighters
Founded 1918
Members 300,000 (2012)[1]
Country United States, Canada
Affiliation AFL–CIO, CLC
Key people Harold A. Schaitberger, president
Office location Washington, D.C.
Website iaff.org

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is a labor union representing professional firefighters 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. The IAFF is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has some 300,000 members in more than 3,200 locals and affiliates in every U.S. state and in Canada.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration professional fire fighters protect about 85 percent of the United States' 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.[2] The IAFF recently 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.[3]

Mission[edit]

The IAFF is the driving force behind nearly every advance in the fire and emergency services in the 20th century—from the introduction of shift schedules early in the last century to the enactment of SAFER in 2003. With extremely active political and legislative programs, and with recognized experts in the fields of occupational health and safety, fire-based emergency medical services and hazardous materials training, the IAFF has established professional standards for the North American fire service. Today, the IAFF is the primary advocate for providing fire fighters and paramedics with the tools they need to perform their jobs. The IAFF provides a strong voice in the development and implementation of new training and equipment, and has worked hard to ensure the proper staffing of fire and EMS departments. The IAFF is a member driven organization—for fire fighters, by fire fighters.

History[edit]

The IAFF was formed in 1918 to unite fire fighters—for better wages, improved safety, and greater service for their communities. At the start of the IAFF, fire fighters worked 24 hour shifts on continuous duty and received salaries as low as 29 cents an hour.

Leadership[edit]

President Harold A. Schaitberger is the ninth president in the IAFF’s 95-year history, and was the first to have been elected by acclamation in 2000. He was re-elected to another four-year term in July 2012. Under President Schaitberger’s leadership, the IAFF’s Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, has grown to more than $4.6 million and ranks among the top one percent of PACs in the nation. His commitment to ensuring that the IAFF supports candidates and lawmakers who are friendly to fire fighters and their issues, regardless of political party, has significantly enhanced the union’s power and influence at all levels of politics.

IAFF Districts[edit]

The IAFF is divided into sixteen Representational Districts (1 through 16) based on geographical locations that are overseen by the IAFF’s 16 District Vice Presidents, that make up the IAFF Executive Board along with the General President and General Secretary/Treasurer. The Districts are composed of various States within the United States, Canada and Territories of the U.S. The 16th District is composed of Federal Fire Fighters working for Federal Governments at Federal Installations in the U.S. Canada and Guam.

Partisan questions[edit]

The organization is non-partisan. It endorsed the successful gubernatorial candidacies of Rick Perry (Texas), Terry McAuliffe (Virginia), and Mitch Daniels (Indiana), and has endorsed several Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Examples of the IAFF’s endorsement of Republican in 2010 include Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa); and Representatives Sam Graves (MO/6), John Shimkus (IL/19), Geoff Davis (KY/4) and Peter King (NY/3).

IAFF Legislative Conference[edit]

Each year the IAFF hosts a national legislative conference in Washington, DC that is open to any IAFF member who wishes to register. The IAFF legislative conference is the largest legislative conference of any union in the country. Over the years attendees have heard from President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, members of the Cabinet of both Republican and Democratic administrations and numerous members of Congress, including the Leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives and key congressional staff.

IAFF Fire Fighters Interested in Registration and Education Political Action Committee[edit]

FIREPAC (Fire Fighters Interested in Registration and Education Political Action Committee) is the federally registered political action committee of the IAFF. FIREPAC was established in 1978 and has grown into the top one percent of all federally registered PACs. During the 2009 – 2010 election cycle FIREPAC raised $5.3 million and was the tenth largest PAC in terms of donations to federal candidates. Within organized labor, FIREPAC has been the most bi-partisan PAC during the last decade, contributing a larger percent of its donations to Republican candidates than any other union. The IAFF follows a simple philosophy when it supporting candidates – they support those who support them, regardless of party affiliation or one’s political leanings.

IAFF Political Training Academy[edit]

The IAFF hosts an annual Political Training Academy (PTA) for any member who either aspires to run for public elective office, serve as their local’s political director or become a campaign activists. The PTA is a week-long program that is taught by nationally recognized campaign operatives who cover all aspects of a political campaign. During the past sixteen years the PTA has trained nearly 800 members. Today, throughout the United States and Canada the IAFF has nearly 350 members or family members who hold public elective office at all levels of federal, state and local office. From a Member of Parliament in Canada, to numerous state legislators, county and municipal officers in both the United States and Canada, the IAFF has been successful in helping to elect many of its own to office.

IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial[edit]

The mission of the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, located in the shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is to honor the sacrifice made by IAFF members as professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel who have given their lives in the line of duty. Their names are etched on this Wall of Honor and tribute is paid each year to those who died between June 1 and May 31.

IAFF and Muscular Dystrophy Association[edit]

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is the largest national sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The 300,000 members of the IAFF in the United States and Canada are pledged to saving lives, both as fire fighters and paramedics and as the strongest campaigners for the worldwide research efforts of MDA to eradicate 40 neuromuscular diseases. The contributions of the fire fighters also go toward MDA’s summer camps for children, professional and public health education, and other programs. As the greatest contributor to MDA, fire fighters are everywhere in the efforts of MDA to raise money. The IAFF is the biggest sponsor of MDA’s Labor Day Telethon, and it contributed a remarkable $27.6 million in year 2010 as a consequence of the overwhelming enthusiasm and contribution of tens and thousands of fire fighters and paramedics across the U.S. and Canada. IAFF members have donated nearly $450 million to MDA since 1954.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Firefighters flex their political power, Teddy Davis, ABCnews.com, March 12, 2007 *[4]