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 (1918)
Members 300,000 (2012)[1]
Affiliation AFL–CIO, CLC
Key people Harold A. Schaitberger, president
Office location Washington, D.C.
Country United States, Canada
Website www.iaff.org

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is a labor union representing professional fire fighters and emergency medical services personnel 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 has more than 300,000 members in more than 3,200 affiliates in every U.S. state and in Canada. IAFF members 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.[2]

IAFF Mission and History[edit]

The IAFF was formed in 1918 when fire fighters worked 24-hour shifts on continuous duty and received salaries as low 29 cents an hour. The IAFF has fought for better wages, benefits and working conditions and improved safety for its members, as well as greater public safety services for the communities they serve.

IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery[edit]

The IAFF has announced plans to open the Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery in 2017 located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland (outside Washington, DC). The IAFF Center of Excellence is intended for IAFF members only and will offer treatment for recovery from post-traumatic stress and co-occurring addictions in hopes to help IAFF members return to the job. The center also will serve to train and educate peer support members in the treatment of post-traumatic stress and substance abuse in the fire fighter population. The ultimate goal is to develop protocols for fire departments to use to help fire fighters. .

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 Republicans 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 Charitable Foundation[edit]

The IAFF Charitable Foundation was formed in 2011 to assist IAFF members and their families if affected by natural disaster (including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods) promotes fire and burn prevention, advocates for fire fighter health and safety, and provides public education on how to prevent and recover from burn trauma.

IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial[edit]

The IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial is a permanent remembrance of IAFF members and emergency personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty. An annual memorial observance is held each year in September in Colorado Springs, Colorado. More than 7,400 names of fallen IAFF members are etched on the wall.

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 raise funds to support the MDA primarily through the 'Fill the Boot' campaign to help eradicate over 40 neuromuscular diseases. The contributions of fire fighters go towards MDA's summer camps for children, professional and public health education and other programs. IAFF members have donated nearly $558 million to MDA since 1954.

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