Thousands of Fire Fighter Union Leaders to Gather in Philadelphia

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51st IAFF Convention at the Philadelphia Convention Center, July 21-27. Vice President Joe Biden will address the Convention on Wednesday, July 25 at 1 p.m.

As the fight for public safety funding throughout North America continues, more than 3,000 International Association of Fire Fighters union leaders from across two countries will convene in Philadelphia for the 51st IAFF Convention to discuss strategies to protect the public and defend the rights and security of fire fighters. Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime advocate for fire fighters and first responders, will address the convention on Wednesday, July 25 at 1:00 PM.

Over the past two years, communities across North America have suffered from those looking to close fire stations, reduce the number of firefighters on the job and cut the public safety budgets that keep fire fighters alive when they run into burning buildings. The attempts to undermine the work of public safety and first responders – and to take on their rights and their pensions – have occurred in dozens of states, most notably Ohio and Wisconsin.

“Creating and maintaining systems of personnel and equipment to protect the public is one of the most critical functions of government. Having one of the most comprehensive emergency response systems in the world is what has kept this nation safe. That there is an attack on that basic protection system in North America is unfathomable, but at the moment that attack by some is unrelenting and we cannot let them destroy the protection systems that have made this country great,” International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger said.

At the 51st IAFF Convention, IAFF officers and affiliate leaders from across the United States and Canada will develop plans to defend themselves from efforts to undermine their ability to protect civilians and share stories about taking on the strategies of those who continue to undermine fire fighters and workers and threaten public safety.

The IAFF is the leading advocate for fire fighter and paramedic health and safety, and is one of the strongest voices in North America for maintaining the safety of our neighborhoods and communities, especially during tough times. The IAFF is very active politically, supporting candidates who support public safety and fire fighter safety and standards. The IAFF works against those – regardless of political party – who fail to support its members or ensure that fire fighters have the proper resources to protect our homeland.

The Philadelphia Fire Fighters and Paramedics Union Local 22 will host the event. “We are honored to host the 51st IAFF Convention. This is a great opportunity for Local 22 to show our city what our great union is all about,” Local 22 President Bill Gault said.

The 51st IAFF Convention will be held July 21-27 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The Vice President’s remarks are open to the press; further media details are forthcoming.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, the largest union of fire fighters in the world, is headquartered in Washington, DC, and represents more than 300,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the population in North America.

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