International Association of Fire Fighters - Official Position on Smoke Alarms - October, 2008 | Politics | Government




ON THEGOVER: IAFF49th Convention
Embracing Tradition, Respecting " "'..20 the Future,...,......,.....,..,....

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General President's Message

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IAFF GuardianPolicydefendsStephenZachar'.""""""""24

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Candidate Friendly A FireFighter Letters to the Editor Local Scene Always On the Frontline Across the IAFF Fulfy Involved Retirees. ln Memoriam/LastAlarm


Resolutions Gonvention

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On The Gover
IAFF 49th Convention Las Vegas,Nevada 10-15 August -story page 20

JulylAugust 2008


Local Scene

Edgerton Fire Fighters Settle Suit

ollowing a five-yearlegalbattle,three Edgertonfire fightersand Edgerton, WiLocal 580havesettleda union the discriminationlawsuitagainst EdgertonFire ProtectionDistrict (EFPD)' Fire fightersKennethCrandall,Arnold wereterminated Lund Jr]and Mark Backes in Juneof 2003afterjoining Local580and demandingcollectivebargainingwith the termination Onlhe heelsof EFPD's EFPD. Local580brought suit under decision, MuniciPal EmPloYment Wisconsin's Act. The IAFF quickly took on Relations DisputeFund under its Emergency the case (EDF) policY,which ProvidesIAFF memberswith legalrepresentation' The WisconsinEmploymentRelations Commission(WERC),the stateagency of with enforcement the Municipal charged Act, concludedthe EmpioymentRelations nfpp actedunlawfully when it refusedto hours and conditions negotiateover wages, of"employmentfor its fire fightersand, instead,unlawfully relied on anti-union hostility to terminatethem. the The nppp appealed WERC'sdecision to the RockCblnty Circuit Court, wherethe wasupheld.The EFPDthen WERCdecision the WisconsinCourt of Appeals' to appealed the *hi.h alsosustained WERC'sdecision' held The WisconsinCourt of Appeals "substantial to evidence" was that there that the supportthe WERC'sconclusion declslonto terminate the three fire fighters "hostility was motivated in part by EFPD's to union activities." Court denied The WisconsinSupreme for review. EFPD's the Petition the Bringingthe matterto a close, three a fire fi{nters and Local 580 haveaccepted in of nearly$600,000 backpay settlement fees. and attorneYs "It took five yearsto bring justiceto the Edgertonthree,and we haverighted a very 5th I.AFF District Field ,.rttt wrongi'says and Representative Local580member Service "This is a significantwin for PatrickKilbutt.. thesethreefire fightersand the entireIAFF what an membershipasit demonstrates union can do to enforcelegd' effective justicefor members"' and protections secure

Martin raisedmore than $2 million' Additionally, three medical organizations haveagreedto match everydollar Martin collecti,bringing his total amount raised to at least$4 million. Martin saysthe journey waswell worth "I about the it. wantedto raiseawareness the plight of the peopleI call true heroes' and hri t.tpottders and the rescue ,".ou.r| workerswho worked unselfishly peopleand to find the remains to help save "They didn't think twice hi of others," says. about helpingus.Thkingthis journey was me doing mYPart to helPthem"' At the finish line celebrationin Park,Martin wasjoined by Embarcadero

some of his former teammates and colleaguesfrom the National Football local government officials and Leagu-e, ,poirorr. Fire fighters, EMT personnel and police also attended. A seriesof medical studies show exposure to Ground Zero has led to serious, long-term medical problems in thousands of rescue workers. George Martin was a star defensive end and colcaptain of the SuPer Bowl . Champion NewYork Giants (1986)' He is also a former president of the NFL PlayersAssociation. r

RetiredNFL Great Raises Millionsfor 9-11 Rescuers
etiredNewYork Giantsfootball Fl player GeorgeMartin finished his H the fune lwalk across United States I Villagein 21,2008,atNorth Embarcadero ")ourney for SanDiego,California.For his 9-11;'Martinwalkedmorethan 3,200 miles to raisemoney to help provide health carefor surviving Ground Zero workers' rescueand recoverY SCENE 1OI LOCAL

200 JulylAugust

RFSOLUTION NO. 13 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT: POLICY Re Confidentiality of Members' Identities and SocialSecurity Numbers WHEREAS,there is a growing problem of private information and SocialSecurity numbersbeing usedfor identity theft; and WHEREAS,the International Associationof Firefighters(IAFF) is believedto currently send out rostersthat include member'sSocial Securitynumbers which constitute a potential identity theft hazard;and WHEREAS,private information obtained from the IAFF and usedcriminally could result in significant damageto a member and could result in a lawsuit resulting in a large monetary award;and WHEREAS,the IAFF is believedto also currently require member'ssocialsecurity to number for initial access its website; thereforebe it at assembled That the delegates RESOLVED, do the 2008 IAFF Convention in LasVegas herebyrequire that the International Associationof Fire Fightersimplement the in as following procedures soon aspossible regardsto the protection of member'sidentity and SocialSecuritynumber; and be it further: That no member'sSocial RESOLVED, Securitynumber shall be sent out or provided to any local member or local officer other than the individual member himself/herself;unless member'sindividual permission is obtained first: and be it further it That if the IAFF believes is RESOLVED, necessary continueto collectSocialSecurity to numbers,it will do so by sendinga form requestingsuch directly to the IAFF member,to be returned directly to the IAFF main office in and be it Washington,DC, via a supplied SASE; further the That the IAFF will investigate RESOLVED, feasibility of using somethingother than a member'sSocialSecuritynumber to register and log onto its websitefor the first time; and be it further That the IAFF will review its RESOLVED, policiesconcerning protectionof member's the private information including their Social Securitynumbers to ensurethat member information is not at risk of being compromised. This shall include making sure have that the leastnumber of IAFF employees to access private member information, it is and that memberinformation on IAFF secure, computersis appropriatelyencrlpted and protectedby contemporary security standards. Submittedby: Local 2}4},Elizabeth, NJ Cost Estimate:r/z cent COMMITTEE RECOMMENDAIION: CONVENTION ACTION: RESOTUTION NO. 14 COMMITTEEASSIGNMENT: POLICY Re:Revision of GASB45 has healthcare becomea major WHEREAS, nationalproblem;and WHEREAS,increasingnumbers of retirees with reducedor absenthealthcarecoverage portion of that constitutesa considerable problem;and WHEREAS,GASBadopteda standard requiring the pre-funding of retireehealthcare 38 I RESOLUTIONS

and benefitsfor private sectoremployees; of WHEREAS,the unintended consequence that standardhasbeen increasingnumbers of retireesleft with little or no healthcare;and WHEREAS,GASB45 has now becomea requirementthat affectsfirefightersacrossthe nation; and WHEREAS,GASB45 is having an adverse effecton the bond ratings for firefighter employers;and WHEREAS, bond rating issueis the perpetuatingthe samehealthcaredilemma createdby GASBcausingretired firefighters to and other local governmentalemployees lose or havetheir healthcarebenefitssubstantially reduced;and WHEREAS.thesestandardsmandate requirementsfor retireehealthcareplans similar to standardsrequired for funding and retirement systems; WHEREAS,healthcareplans are not the same as retirement plans due to their adaptability to changingfinancial conditions through the co-pays, adjustmentof premiums,deductibles, and program options;and the WHEREAS, adoption of similar accountingstandardsfor retirement and planshasprovento be counterhealthcare productive; thereforebe it That a top priority of the RESOLVED, of InternationalAssociation Fire Fightersis to reform of work toward comprehensive healthcarebenefitsfor retired Firefightersto to includeappropriaterevisions GASB45. Fire Submittedby: Virginia Professional Fighters None Cost Estimate: COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: CON\TENTION ACTION: RESOLUTIONNO. 15 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT: POLICY Re: PhotoelectricSmokeAlarms WHEREAS, over 3,000citizensperishin and the structural fires across United States Canadaeveryyear;and of WHEREAS,in at least300/o thesefires, it that the smokealarms hasbeendocumented of and in 20o/o thesefires,the smoke operated and alarmsweredisabled; WHEREAS,there are two principle types of smokealarmsthat are intended to alert of occupants building fires: ionizationand photoelectric smokealarms.Ionizationsmoke of alarmspredominantlydetectthe presence extremelysmall particlesof smoke- often invisible - typical of flaming fires,while photoelectricsmokealarmspredominantly detectlarger smokeparticles- alwaysvisible typical conditions found at smoldering fires; and indicatesthat both WHEREAS,research smokealarmsare ionizationand photoelectric time to escaPe. intendedto provideoccupants However,ionization smokealarms may not operatein time to alert occupantsearly enough from smoldering fires; and to escape indicatesthat WHEREAS,current research ionization smokealarms detectflaming fires smoke. marginallyearlierthan photoelectric However.ionization smokealarmsare far more prone to nuisancealarms increasingthe probability that they will be disabledby and building occupants;

WHEREAS, photoelectric smoke alarms detect smoldering fires and fires starting in areasremote from smokealarmssignificantly earlier than ionization smokealarms;and WHEREAS,dual alarms,also called combination alarms,that contain both technologiesare availablebut the benefit over to photoelectric the response firesis in marginal. They are more costly,and they will the experience samenuisanceproblem as ionization smokealarms;and WHEREAS,asmany fires in residential begin assmolderingfires' occupancies particularly when occupantsare sleeping, photoelectricsmokealarmsprovide more effectiveall-around detection and alarm than ionizationalarms;and WHEREAS,failure to detecta fire and provide an early alarm placesbuilding fire; occupantsat risk from an ever-escalating and fires placethe WHEREAS,such escalating lives of firefightersrespondingto an increasing fire; and risk from such an escalating in WHEREAS,the increase the use of photoelectrictechnologyhas the potential to savehundreds of lives eachyear and should be promoted asthe technologyof choiceby membersof the IAFF in their homes;and WHEREAS,IAFF membersshould advocate for their mandatory requirementfor placement and use of photoelectricalarms in fire and in building codes, a manner similar to recent and legislationin Vermont and Massachusetts; Fire Fightersof WHEREAS,the Professional and Vermont, with the assistance technical experttestimonyfrom IAFF Local718 member and BostonFire DepartmentDeputy Chief |ay lobbied for such Fleming successfully legislation that on May 29,2008,Governorfim Douglassignedinto law asthe first in the nation legislationmandating the installation of in photoelectric smokedetectors all new construction and at the time of saleof property in Vermont; thereforebe it That the IAFF proposeand RESOLVED, support the mandateof only photoelectric and Canadian smokedetectorsin United States federallaw, in all state,provincial and local legislation,and in all standarddevelopment fire organizations'building, and life safety and be it further codesand standards; That this official LAFFposition RESOLVED, Fire be presentedto the United States National Administration, the United States the and Technology, Institute of Standards Institute, the Fire Services Congressional the National Fire ProtectionAssociation, International Code Council, the International Associationof Fire Chiefs,the National Associationof StateFire Marshals,the Council of CanadianFire Marshalsand Fire the Health Canada, Standards Commissioners Council of Canada,the United States ConsumerProduct SafetyCommission,and the of Association Canada. Consumers Fire Fightersof Submittedby: Professional Vermont MA Boston, Local718, None Cost Estimate: COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: CO\IVENTION ACTION:

JulylAugust 2008

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