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You Won’t Believe This

All month long, the Frontline Blog has warned IAFF affiliates to be skeptical of data compiled by ICMA-based consultant Leonard Matarese encouraging the merger of fire and police services.

Now, you’ll understand why after you listen to this audio recording that the IAFF has obtained of a 2005 presentation coordinated by Matarese and the International City/County Management (ICMA).

Fire fighters said they are concerned over the “anti-fire and anti-union” nature of Matarese’s presentations. (Around the 1:01:40 mark you will hear a swipe/compliment directed towards the IAFF).

Most importantly, fire fighters are concerned about skewed data that the consultant has used to persuade city councils to approve changes to fire departments.

IAFF members who read the Frontline Blog said they were successful in fighting against Matarese’s recommendations for their fire departments. However, they worry for their brothers and sisters who aren’t in a good political position to push back on the consultant’s work.

Don’t be blindsided by what’s happening in your City Hall and City Council Chambers. Pay careful attention to the firms/consultants that your City Council plans to use for projects pertaining to the fire department.  After our blog postings, several members shared their fire department’s experience when their municipality turned to the consultant for services. Matarese is a former police officer and serves as the director of Research and Public Safety Programs at the ICMA. 

Keep up to date on the IAFF’s campaign against negative attacks on fire fighters’ pensions and other benefits by visiting IAFF Fighting Back.

And one more thing. Please share the ICMA audio with other IAFF members to help expose the attitudes of those people who claim to know fire fighting better than career fire fighters.

The professionals can teach them a thing or two.


Comments (4) -

  • Anthony Goode (Wilmington)

    2/18/2011 11:26:21 AM |

    Not a dangerous job! This guy is nothing more than a fraud!

  • Thomas Raines (Saginaw)

    2/20/2011 10:50:51 AM |

    These are the people and organization's that are being hired to review your fire department. Their service is being sold as "an independent review and look from the outside" of your operation. After listening to this how can anyone believe that this is an unbiased review?

    At this point ICMA looks to be well organized and effective in getting out their view of public safety. I would like to see the IAFF send in "our consulting team" to every city that hires ICMA as a consultant!

    Here in Michigan just in the last few weeks I've read about Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, and Jackson hiring the ICMA consultants. Can anyone guess what the outcome of their study will be?

  • Gary Stapleton (Toronto Professional Fire Fighters)

    2/25/2011 3:47:03 PM |

    As a 14 yr Metro Toronto police officer and 20 yr veteran of Toronto Fire I am blown away by some of the opinions of this Matrese character.He was injecting his so called expert opinions between his powerpoint screens.If they think that the two professions have anything in common with each other,I'd love to talk to him.He must have been in a very small town?The mere fact he is spouting off "Firefighters don't save lives,Police do".That is a total falsehood.
    The response to calls is also false.In Toronto Fire always arrive first,then EMS,then maybe Police.The Police don't even go to med calls anymore due to call volume.
    Is this the best they got??
    The Cities and Towns would be better saving there money instead of wasting it on this bunch.(In my humble opinion)  

  • Jeremy Connell (Benton Harbor)

    2/28/2011 7:51:46 PM |

    You guessed it...we got the same canned report that they to sell everyone; the only thing they did was scratch off another municipalities name and put Benton Harbor on it.  I don’t know the total cost of the report, but I saw at least one payment of $38,000.00 to ICMA.

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