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November 24, 2014
What's New at IAFF 244
IAFF Local 244 Christmas Party

The Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters Christmas Party will be held on December 19, 2014 at Hotel Albuquerque. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased at the union hall Monday through Thursday from 10am to 4pm. For more information call Kelly @ 505-288-2313.

Please submit nominations for Fire Fighter of the Year to: iafflocal244@hotmail.com or in person at the General Meeting on December 11, 2013 for the Executive Board to consider. We will honor one member from each chapter with the Fire Fighter/Paramedic of the year and one general member for the Outstanding Leadership award.

The Children's Christmas Party will be held on December 13, 2014 at ITZ starting at 10am please call Kelly for your family's reservation, an RSVP is required.

Veteran's Day and Remembrance Day Message From the IAFF

This year on November 11, our union thanks and honors the strength and courage of those who serve in the Armed Forces. 

WATCH VIDEO

Win this Bike!!!!
Proceeds go to the IAFF Local 244 Firefighters' Survivor Fund
LOCAL 244 2014 GENERAL ELECTION

2014 GENERAL ELECTION

DECEMBER 9, 2014

FROM 7AM-7PM

POLL SITES:

UNION HALL - AFD Stations 8 & 17 - BCFD Stations 33 & 40

THIS VOTE WILL INCLUDE BYLAW CHANGES WHICH CAN BE VIEWED ONLINE AT IAFF244.ORG

(VIEW PROPOSED BYLAW CHANGE UNDER CONST/BYLAW TAB)

NOTE:  Early Voting will be held December 1, 2014--December 3, 2014

From 9:00am-3:00pm at the Union Hall

IAFF Poised to Work With Both Parties

A Republican wave swept the country in yesterday’s midterm elections. With several key races still undecided, and a December 6 run-off in Louisiana’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race, the GOP picked up eight Senate seats, a net gain of 14 seats (as of now) in the U.S. House of Representatives and three governorships. Several other races have yet to be called. Additionally, Republicans won control of several state legislative chambers. 

The GOP wave propelled successes on the gubernatorial level in the traditionally blue states of Maryland, Illinois and Massachusetts. Several members of the Republican class of 2010, including Governors Scott Walker (R-WI), Rick Scott (R-FL), Paul LePage (R-ME) and Rick Snyder (R-MI) also benefited from national tide and won re-election.

Democrats lost eight legislative chambers this election cycle. In Oregon, Democrats bolstered their majorities in both chambers. Fire Fighters fought successfully to maintain Democratic control in the Maine, Kentucky and Washington state Houses and the Iowa Senate, where two IAFF members serve -- Chris Brase from Muscatine Local 608 and Jeff Danielson from Cedar Falls Local 1366.

In New York, IAFF affiliates have partnered with the minority Republican Caucus in the Senate to thwart anti-fire fighter proposals from Governor Andre Cuomo. The elections produced a clear majority for our GOP allies and will provide a vital backstop against further attacks.   

In the Senate, Republican candidates prevailed in both red and blue states, unseating Democrats in North Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa, Colorado, South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana. Ballots are still being tallied in the Alaska race between Senator Mark Begich and challenger Dan Sullivan. IAFF-backed Democrat incumbents Ed Markey (MA), Cory Booker (NJ), Chris Coons (DE), Dick Durbin (IL), Al Franken (MN), Jeff Merkley (OR), Jack Reed (RI), Tom Udall (NM) and Brian Schatz (HI) all won re-election, and Representative Gary Peters won the Michigan seat replacing retiring Senator Carl Levin. Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME), Thad Cochran (MI) and John Cornyn (TX) were also victorious and had the IAFF’s support.           

The IAFF and its affiliates worked to elect fire fighter- and union-friendly candidates in federal, state and local races, with mixed success. In Pennsylvania, our friend Tom Wolf unseated anti-union Governor Tom Corbett. Fire fighters in Connecticut and Colorado protected incumbent Governors Dan Malloy and John Hickenlooper, respectively. In New Hampshire, both incumbent U.S. Senator Jean Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassen won close races with the strong support of the IAFF gold and black.

In West Virginia and Oklahoma, IAFF-backed candidates Shelley Moore Capito and Jim Lankford coasted to victory in their respective bids for the U.S. Senate.

Unfortunately, many longstanding IAFF allies were also swept out of office. 

“The IAFF proudly adhered to our principle of supporting our friends, regardless of party affiliation,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “We will never run from a fight or desert those who have stood with our union and its members regardless of the odds or political climate.” 

There were also some significant victories for IAFF affiliates in referenda elections. 

Three of the highest profile were in Phoenix, Arizona, Pueblo, Colorado and Anchorage, Alaska.

In Phoenix, a ballot initiative to replace the city’s defined benefit pension plan with a 401(k)-style program was rejected by the voters. Local 493 led the coalition of public employees and labor in defeating this attack. 

In Pueblo, voters supported their fire fighters and approved a referendum to provide collective bargaining rights to the members of Pueblo Rural Fire District Local 3319.

And Anchorage voters rejected a proposal to strip bargaining rights from the city’s public employees.  Anchorage Local 1264 was in the forefront of this battle.

Some of our own also won their own races for legislative posts. Mike Bost, a retired IAFF member from Murphysboro, IL Local 3042, unseated freshman Representative Bill Enyart (D-IL) and will become the first professional fire fighter elected to Congress.

On the federal level, many pundits are tying the Republican victories to President Obama’s unpopularity. The president will now be tested as Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who won re-election in a hotly contested race, will become the Senate Majority Leader in the 114th Congress. House Speaker John Boehner, who has long enjoyed IAFF backing, easily won re-election in his Ohio congressional district and will preside over the largest Republican House majority since 1928.

“While the IAFF is proud of our bi-partisan political and legislative posture, we expect significant challenges with respect to pension, health care, labor and employment rights-related issues,” says Schaitberger. “Our union has always worked well with Republicans. But, we recognize that many in the Tea Party wing of the GOP are out to destroy labor and workers’ rights. We will work with our friends in the GOP and our Democratic allies to beat back these impending attacks.”

He adds, “The voters have spoken. Whether in Washington, or at the state and local levels, the IAFF and our leaders will work with our elected officials or battle with them, when necessary, to protect the health and safety and rights of our membership and this union as we have done for nearly a century.”

Elections Have Consequences, A Message from General President Harold Schaitberger

On November 4, voters will be heading to the polls to elect or re-elect candidates at the local, state and federal levels … and the stakes are high for our members and our profession.             WATCH VIDEO ... 


Download: 2014 IAFF Endorsements.pdf
Special Thanks-From IAFF-MG NM Chapter

On behalf of the District 10 NM Chapter of the IAFF-MG, we would like to thank IAFF Local 244 and the NMPFFA for helping sponsor our recent trip to the IAFF-MG Motorcycle Rally in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was an honor to represent our state chapter at this annual event.

                We would also like to extend a special thanks to Brother Michael Palmer for providing refreshments and hospitality at his restaurant, Einstein Bagels!!

                We are extremely grateful for all who all played a significant roll in making this ride a success. We are looking forward to next year’s rally which will be held in Illinois. 

Help Local Brother raise money for IAFF Charitable Foundation

Brothers & Sisters,

Please help support Brother Angel Alvarado in his quest to raise money for the IAFF Charitable Foundation. He will be running the 39th Marine Corp Marathon in our Nation's Capital on Oct. 26, 2014.  Please visit the link below to donate.

Angel Alvarado's Marathon fundraising page

Special Meeting Announcement for October 3, 2014

On Friday, October 3, 2014 the IAFF Local 244 Executive Board has called for a Special Meeting to discuss options and receive direction from the County Chapter membership in reference to the Fire Marshall’s Office MOU. This meeting is called pursuant to Article V, Section 6, Special Meetings of the IAFF Local 244 Constitution & Bylaws. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00pm.

Staffing Challenges

The IAFF Local 244 Executive Board would like to acknowledge the City Chapter Labor/Management & Safety Committee personnel for their leadership in confronting the current staffing challenges. We are working with AFD Fire Administration and pulling all resources together to prevent any future staffing reductions. We will also continue to work on funding for critical staffing for BCFD in the best interest of our County Chapter members and the public we all serve. 

Message from City Chapter Safety Committee appointees Paul Dow and Justin Staley: 

IAFF Local 244 Brothers and Sisters,

During difficult times, such as these, it is imperative that we educate ourselves and the public regarding the importance of properly staffed fire apparatus. Inadequate staffing will delay or at times even prevent the performance of critical tasks, increases the physiological stress on fire fighters, and increases the actual physical risk to both firefighters and the civilians we are attempting to save. Please take the time to download and read the following information so that you are better prepared to articulate our message of public safety. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Report on Residential Fire Ground Field Experiments, April 2010.  

  • This is a study on staffing levels for residential structures. During this study it was determined that the four-person crews completed the same number of fire ground tasks (on average) 5.1 minutes faster — nearly 25 % — than the three-person crew.
  • Download the complete document by clicking on the link below: http://www.nist.gov/el/fire_research/residential-fire-report_042810.cfm
  • Other staffing studies from Boston, Dallas, Seattle, Austin and Minneapolis Fire Department concluded that firefighters were not only more efficient in the performance of their tasks on the fire ground but they also had fewer injuries and fatalities among the firefighters. All of these studies showed increased stress to firefighters as staffing is reduced which led to greater risk of death, injury and overall safety. The Austin Study concluded that fewer injuries/deaths for civilians and Firefighters as a benefit to increasing staffing levels from three to four persons. The Boston study demonstrated that there is a disproportionate increase in risk to firefighters that attempt to complete routine task when staffing decreases. The NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY reports on the Dallas study stated: A smaller workforce doing the same, as a larger workforce will result in increased injuries to the back and knees. The cost to the city and department are heavy.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA 1710, 1410 and 1500 all recommend a minimum staffing of no less than 4-person Engine Co.’s. These recommendations by the NFPA have grown out of experience and are empirically grounded in results from study after study showing the causal relationship of deficient fire ground staffing and increased firefighters’ safety.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Ensure that at least four firefighters are on the scene before initiating interior firefighting operations at a structural fire - OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.134 (two-in and two-out).

Time

During a fire response, time is our enemy. The faster we can complete our fire ground tasks, the faster we can provide a safer environment for ourselves and the community we’ve sworn to protect. The faster the fire goes out, the faster the danger to occupants goes away and the more property we are able to save. The silver bullet to defeating the issue of time: We must sufficiently staff our Engines so they can quickly and effectively accomplish their mission. Time becomes a stronger enemy to us if we must wait for additional companies to arrive before there are adequate levels of staffing necessary to mounting an offensive operation.

Safety

Reducing our staffing levels compromises the safety of the public by diminishing our efficiency on the emergency scene. This could be a medical call, motor vehicle accident, wild land fire or a structure fire. Four firefighters are 25% more efficient than three firefighters are (NIST, 2010). With one less Firefighter, the Company Officer of the Engine Co. will have to perform more hands-on tasks rather than communicate with the Incident Commander or other units on the emergency scene. At a fire scene, this also reduces his ability to watch for scene safety, changes in fire behavior or the structure collapsing on the firefighters inside. Firefighters operating in understaffed environments are too often expected to perform beyond their capabilities. Lowering the staffing levels compromises the safety of the citizens and our firefighters.

All members should remember and stress to the public that a reduction in staffing will result in a reduction in the amount of work that can be performed when lives and property hang in the balance.

Additional PDF documents are available to download below.

Paul Dow and Justin Staley

IAFF Local 244

Safety Committee Members


Download: NIST FF Staffing Report.pdf , Staffing_Tactics_FF_Survival.pdf , 4 Person Stafffing Fact.pdf , Landmark High-Rise Fire Study Evaluates Effectiveness of Crew Sizes , Elevator Use.pdf , Contributing Factors to FF Line-of-Duty Death_IAFFand USFA.pdf
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Upcoming Events

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Next General Meeting 

November 13, 2014 @ 10:00 a.m.

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