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Schaitberger Speech at FDIC

Well over 5,000 fire fighters and fire officers, the great majority were IAFF members, listened to General President Schaitberger during the opening of the 2010 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis this morning.


He spoke for about 30 minutes and took issue with public officials who close down or brown out companies and lay off fire fighters because it jeopardizes public and fire fighter safety. But Schaitberger also called out those in our own fire service family for standing by while these cuts are made. He said:


“This is life and death, and I take exception to anyone in our fire fighter family who is willing to put fire fighters in peril by letting a rig roll out the fire station when it isn’t fully staffed. Staffing cuts might save money, but they also cost lives! I know that those in Command as well as those of us on the Labor side of the house make it clear that we both are pursuing the same goals on behalf of our crews. But how can you willingly participate in cutting your crews, potentially placing them in jeopardy, without some attempt to take a strong principled stand?”


The speech content was unexpected by most in the audience, but very well received.


A detailed story can be found at www.iaff.org and the General President’s speech can be viewed by clicking here.

Comments (4) -

  • Tim Poulsen L1999

    4/21/2010 10:54:31 PM |

    Harold is absolutely correct.  I hope those attending FDIC give a strong message to the vendors.  We like your products.  We are happy with your innovation.  But, we cannot recommend purchases while we are losing our manpower.

  • Troy Poynton L1339

    4/24/2010 3:51:12 PM |

    I would love to see video of the speech. Will there one available?

  • Scott Golde L2987

    4/26/2010 11:58:29 AM |

    The quote about a rig rolling when not fully staffed is right on in my book. I only wish I could get my local union leadership on board with Harold!

  • Craig Freeman L1684

    4/28/2010 11:57:26 AM |

    It’s absolutely deplorable what some communities are doing to their citizens and the safety of our brothers and sisters on the front lines across America.  My agency does the “Brown Outs” no one has lost their careers, but it was threatened.  I know that the community has lost property that would have been saved and I believe that a few citizens may have lost their lives because of a delayed response.  Another thing that my Community has done to suppress our Local was to push a 6 year contract on us with little to no movement in terms of future salary or benefits, all in the name of an uncertain future.  There is a program offered by Firecareers.com called “Return to Work Program”  Firecareers will give away to any displaced IAFF firefighter a full year free subscription to help return firefighters to the fire house.  Every effort helps and the best thing we can do is stay organized, stay united, help each other out and offer a helping hand where you can.   Fraternally, Craig

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