Legislation to Renew Zadroga Act Introduced in Congress
After nearly a decade long fight to stand by first responders who answered the call of duty on September 11, Congress finally fulfilled its moral obligation in late 2010 and provided our 9/11 heroes with the health care and financial compensation they deserved by passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
IAFF In Action: Tennessee Legislature Passes Hepatitis C Presumption for Fire Fighters
By a unanimous vote in the Tennessee state House and Senate, HB 20, which designates Hepatitis C as a presumptive disease for fire fighters and EMS personnel, has passed.
"The passage of this bill is a huge victory for our members who put their health on the line every day to protect our citizens," says Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association (TPFFA) President Eddie Mitchell. "Now if any of our members are exposed to this deadly disease, they can get the medical attention they need."
Seven years ago, the TPFFA made passing an infectious disease presumptive law for fire fighters one of its top priorities. The state legislature was resistant to passing a law to encompass all infectious diseases, but agreed to make HIV presumptive in 2012.
The language that protects Tennessee fire fighters in case of HIV - and now Hepatitis C - requires fire fighters to have a baseline test documenting that they did not previously have the disease. After the baseline test, if a fire fighter tests positive for one of the diseases, it would then be presumed job-related and covered by workers compensation.
With the Republican Party holding a supermajority in both the House and Senate, HB 20 was not the easiest sell.
"They key to our success is our long-term political strategy," says President Mitchell. "We endorse candidates, not political parties. Because of that, we have been able to build positive working relationships with both Republican and Democraticc state legislators."
Governor Bill Haslam is expected to sign HB 20 in the coming days.
Seattle Times: Approve King County Prop. 1 to upgrade aging public-safety radio network
King County voters should protect public safety by approving Proposition 1 on the April 28 special election ballot. Replace an antiquated radio network used by first responders.
By Seattle Times editorial board The Seattle Times
IN emergency situations, people's lives depend on first responders being able to communicate with each other. That's why voters should pass King County Proposition 1, which would replace the county's aging public-safety radio network with a modern system capable of serving a rapidly growing population and covering a much larger area. The levy would raise $246 million over nine years. The last thing anyone in a crisis wants is for a dispatcher to struggle coordinating details with a police officer or medic stuck in a location with spotty or no reception. Yet that happens in King County, where emergency workers and government officials are reliant on a radio network designed back in 1992. Over the years, the system has begun experiencing more failures and gaps in coverage.
Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.
At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labor from and after May 1, 1886." The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations.
On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike.
May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.
LODD Fire Fighter/EMT Raymond Thomas, April 13, 2015
It is with deepest regret and sorrow to report the line-of-duty death of Fire Fighter/EMT Raymond Thomas of IAFF Local 1657 - Hull, Massachusetts. Brother Thomas, 61, passed away on Monday, April 13, 2015 from lung cancer. The Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 19, 2015 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel, 21 Pond Street, Hingham, Massachusetts 02043, (781) 749-0340. The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Ann's Church, 208 Samoset Avenue, Hull, Massachusetts 02045, (781) 925-0680. Interment will be held at the Hull Village Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to: Raymond Thomas Scholarship Fund, c/o Hull Fire Department, P.O. Box 388, Hull, MA 02045-388. Other expressions of sympathy or condolences for the family or the local can be sent to IAFF Local 1657 at the same address.
It is with deepest regret and sorrow to report the line-of-duty death of Fire Fighter Timothy M. Hoday of IAFF Local 528 - Niagara Falls, Ontario. Brother Hoday, 55, passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2015 from leukemia. The Funeral Service will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at the Morse & Son Funeral Home, 5917 Main Street, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 5Z7, (905) 356-3550. Expressions of sympathy or condolences for the family or local can be sent to IAFF Local 528, 5815 Morrison Street, Niagara Falls, ON L2E E28 or emailed to email@example.com.
Brothers and Sisters, Local 27 is fully engaged in the political process to protect and support you, your family, and public safety. Our American democratic process relies on citizens and organizations for elections and for governance. Local 27 informs and supports candidates and elected officials on all issues related to fire fighters and public safety including: health and safety, training, equipment, department policies, compensation, benefits, retirement, staffing, response times, service levels, hazards, etc. Local 27, the WSCFF, and the IAFF rely on your voluntary financial contributions to fund these efforts. Many members already do their part and contribute, but many still do not. If you have not yet signed up for the Local 27 SAFEPAC or the WSCFF Fastpac, or the IAFF Firepac, please follow the link below to get started now. Thank you.
Kenny Stuart President Seattle Fire Fighters Union IAFF Local 27