IAFF Local 244 membership,
I will be stepping down from my role as Sergeant at Arms today for many reasons. Reasons that place my family and my personal health as a priority. I no longer fit into the direction of this executive board and feel that separation from it is best for the entire body.
It has been the highlight of my fire service career to serve the membership for the past 8 years on the Executive Board of the IAFF Local 244. Looking back at some of the things we were able to accomplish is truly amazing and I will treasure those memories and value those lessons for the rest of my life. I feel truly blessed to have been able to play a role in many 244 initiatives that will benefit our members for generations. Initiatives like lobbying at the NM State Capitol and helping secure millions of dollars worth of capital outlay (apparatus, equipment and facilities), directly impacting our ability to provide the highest level of customer service possible. Initiatives like making sure US Congress men and woman, US Senators, NM State Senators and NM Representatives understand how certain bills and laws impact Firefighters so that every decision they make and every vote they cast has consideration to our health and safety, the solvency of our retirement, and our right to collectively bargain.
What will be missed most is the many times we as a Local gathered in solidarity for a common purpose under the guidance and direction of the Executive Board. Whether campaigning for a seat at the table or organizing and participating in numerous fundraising and memorial events. Over the years we raised money for 244 benefits like the Firefighter Survivors Fund through golfing tournaments, basketball tournaments, FF Muster/5K, Fight for Air Stair Climb and The Rumble in the Rio (1-0 undefeated heavyweight champ), just to name a few. We gathered and honored the fallen by attending the Fallen FF Memorial in Colorado Springs every September, and we climb 110 flights of stairs every September 11th to honor the immortal 343. All of these events will forever be remembered because they were done in solidarity.
My hope for the future of this Local is that collectively, our members become more engaged with the business of our Union. It took me too long to recognize the importance of Union engagement and I hope many of my brothers and sisters don’t make that same mistake as I personally know so many of you have what it takes to make a real impact on the fire service. It took leadership to engage me, and I thank former IAFF Local 244 President Diego Arencón for sparking that engagement in me and so many more. We have more leaders like him amongst our membership and I can only hope they find the same passion to engage in this important mission. I hope this for all of us as we owe it to the generation that came before us for bestowing upon us all the benefits that we have. And we are responsible to the generation that will come after to leave this great profession better than we found it.
It was once told to me that the most important mission of a good Union leaders is simple, SHOW UP! Start by going to a meeting, then another. Have the courage to voice your opinion and ideas to make this local better. And then sacrifice some time to follow through with your words and ideas.
Brother Miguel Tittmann