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Updated: Nov. 26 (23:00)

Heros and Helpers
IAFF Local 21
Happy Thanksgiving
IAFF Local 3472
November 26, 2014: New London Fire Fighters, Local 1522 Returns to a Defined Benefit Pension Plan
Happy Thanksgiving
Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters
Happy Thanksgiving
Boston Fire Fighters
Happy Thanksgiving
IAFF Local 1014

  LODD Notices  
Nov 20, 2014: Samir Ashmar, Fire Marshal - Allenton, PA
Nov 19, 2014: Arthur Treon, County Fire Coordinator / Deputy OEM Coordinator - Cape May Court House, NJ
Nov 18, 2014: James Foote, Firefighter - Summit, NY
Nov 16, 2014: Alejandro Castro, Pump Operator/Paramedic - Brownsville, TX
Nov 15, 2014: Christopher Hunter, Lieutenant - Cinnaminson, NJ
Nov 15, 2014: Richard Weisse, Sr., Firefighter - St. James, NY
Nov 12, 2014: James Bethea, Lieutenant - Baltimore, MD
Nov 01, 2014: Kellen Fleming, Firefighter - Spartanburg, SC
Oct 30, 2014: Malcolm Jenkins, Major - Louisville, KY
Oct 30, 2014: Donald Martin, Firefighter - Sanborn, NY
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Promotions and Awards
click on picture to view article
Propane Emergencies Training
Local 4074 Members Participating in the 2010 Fire Fishing Charity
High Angle Rescue Training
Ready for Anything
Supporting Cancer Awareness at the Pink Fire Truck Tour
click on picture to view article
Local 4074 Members Training New Members for Wildland Operations

Web-Cast Link

Here is the web-cast link for Local 4074.   http://www.ustream.

Special Thanks

On behalf of Local 4074 I would like to take this opportunity to thank members Bob Mikulski, Kyle Taylor, Kim Chevalier, Eric Hoying, and Fred Young for their service and support of our Union. All of these individuals have sacrificed a lot of time and energy to make our Union not only better but stronger.

F.O.O.L.S Need Your Help

Download: Pipes_&_Drums[1][1]-1.doc

Ryan is Home

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank those of you who donated money to my friend Steve's brother Ryan who just completed a tour in Afghanistan. Ryan came home last week and is doing great. He wanted me to thank those of you who donated money for the care package we sent him a few months ago.

Fire Charity Fishing Tournament is Huge Success

Click here for the link to the story from the Bradenton Times. 

Lt. Rick Wren

L-4074 Retirement

Lt. Rick Wren (B-Shift) retired (medically) from East Manatee May 30, 2011. Lt. Wren started with East Manatee, as a volunteer, in 1996. In 2001 he was hired as a full time employee. Rick was the past President of the Braden River Volunteer Assoc. and a valuable member of L-4074. Lt. Wren will be missed and L-4074 wishes him well in his retirement.   

A retirement celebration is in the works and information will be sent out when it become available.

MDA Fill the Boot

L-4074 raised over $4000.00

This year L-4074 raised, with the help of the community, over $4000.00 for Jerry's Kids. In May L-4074 members "beat the street's" at local supermarkets to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. Since participating in the "Fill the Boot" campaign L-4074 has raised tens of thousands of dollars.

L-4074 would like to thank Lt. Chad Gamble for his time and dedication as L-4074's MDA coordinator for 2011.

See this link, for more information on the MDA and the IAFF.  

2011 Fire Fishing Charity


2011 Fire Fishing Charity Tournament

June 17th - 19th 

Florida House and Senate Agree on FRS Reform!

April 30, 2011

Story from: FRS Options, 


It appears we have a Final Agreement between the House and Senate on changes to the Florida Retirement System.  The changes are substantial, but not nearly as dire as Governor Scott wanted.  There will be NO changes for those already retired, or those already in the DROP, your benefits remain the same. Many of the more radical changes only affect those hired after July 1, 2011.  Changes for new hires only are:

For members after July 1, AFC become the highest 8 fiscal years.

Increases retirement age for all new hires after July 1:


Regular Members normal retirement age will go from age 62 to age 65, or from 30 years of service up to 33 years of service.

For Special Risk Members the normal retirement age will jump from age 55 up to age 60, and the years of service to retire goes from 25 years up to 30 years.

Vesting requirements will go from 6 years of service up to 8 years (new hires)


Changes the will affect current members in FRS are as follows:

First, there is good news and bad news for the Deferred Retirement Option Program.  The DROP program is maintained, but the interest rate paid on the DROP accounts will go from 6.5% to 1.3% for those who enroll after July 1, 2011.

While this is a significant rate decrease, for Regular Members it probably doesn’t eliminate DROP as a viable program.  As an example, a Regular Member with an AFC of $50,000, the DROP amount at 6.5% would have been approximately $150,000. (Under the new rate, that benefit would have decreased to around $132,000if the COLA remained).  If the COLA is eliminated on DROP ( but we believe it will not be eliminated for DROP payments, as you will be entitled to the pro-rated pension payments that are deposited into your DROP account) the DROP benefit will be reduced to about $124,000.  While the loss of $26,000 is significant, it remains an option that will allow you to have a nice lump sum.

All members will be required to make a 3% Contribution for all members on gross compensation.   There will be NO contribution for members who in the DROP.

In what we believe to be the most devastating change, members will no longer receive the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on service after July 1, 2011. The initial language implies the COLA will return to 3% after July 1, 2016 (but we would be very leery of that actually occurring.  This could well be a seemingly soft introduction of the benefit reduction).  The formula for a members COLA will be –  ( service years prior to July 1, divided by total service years, multiplied by 3%).  For instance, if you have 25 years in as of July 1, and continue to work for another 5 years, your COLA calculation will be;   25/30 times 3%, or .83333 times 3%, or a COLA of 2.5% for your retirement.

COLA is a huge factor, not only in members ongoing Pension payments, but as it reduces the pension significantly over time, it will have a serious negative effect on the Lump Sum value that members could transfer to the Investment Plan.  For a member retiring at age 60 (the FRS average) and living to 84, the COLA allows a members pension to double in that time frame.

It appears this is the final proposal, and has been agreed upon by both the House and the Senate.  It will go to the Governor for his signature by May 31, which would make it officially become law and effective with the start of the fiscal year beginning July 1.  The other option the Governor has would be to veto any or all of the proposals.  Governor Scott has indicated if he doesn’t get the budget cuts he wants, he will veto the bill – so it will be interesting to see what happens.  If he veto’s the changes, they will not become effective until the legislature can come to an agreement with the Governor.  Last year you might remember the legislature wanted to cut the interest rate on DROP from 6.5% to 3%, and Governor Crist vetoed it, so no change took place.

We will be posting situations and scenarios over the next few weeks to assist FRS members in making choices as to which FRS Options would be the optimal choice for them.  There is time to plan and implement any changes you may deem attractive before the law and changes take place. 

Workers Memorial Day Is April 28

IAFF affiliates and members are encouraged to observe Workers Memorial Day on April 28 by honoring those who have been killed or injured on the job. The AFL-CIO is using this year’s observance to renew the fight for strong health and safety protections.

The theme of this year’s Workers Memorial Day is “Safe Jobs Save Lives. Our Work’s Not Done.” Although Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act 40 years ago, many workers – fire fighters and others – experience unnecessary job hazards on a daily basis.

The IAFF and the AFL-CIO encourages union members to get involved and organize actions, activities, or observances in the workplace or the community to highlight the toll of job injuries and deaths, and demand better job safety protections.

Click here for Workers Memorial Day ideas and materials. 

From: iaff.org 

Orlando FF goes up against former RNC Chairman Michael

Garrett Lamp, a member of Orlando Local 1365, goes up against former RNC Chairman Michael Steele on MSNBC's The Ed Show. 

Click here for the video link. 

Unions pulling money from banks backing Florida Chamber

An article in the Orlando Sentinel.

Click here for the link. 



20 Most Dangerous Jobs: Firefighter ranked 2nd

The Daily Beast has released the 20 riskiest jobs in America and fire fighters ranked second.

Fire Fighters Respond to Wisconsin Governor’s Testimony on the Hill

    Fire Fighters Respond to Wisconsin Governor’s Testimony on the Hill April 15, 2011 – The IAFF responded forcefully to the April 14 testimony on Capitol Hill by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is engaged in a politically motivated attack to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of workers in that state.

IAFF Keeps Up the Fight

From: April 9, 2011 – From collective bargaining, dues check-off and wages, pensions, union security, benefits and worker rights, the political attacks on IAFF members and other public employee unions continue in state after state. The IAFF and its affiliates have worked hard to identify these threats and fight back like never before.

Florida Professional Firefighters Attack Chamber of Commerce Ads

Click on the following link to view the video:

Firefighters Attack Chamber of Commerce Ads   




Pension Reform Stalemate goes to Conference!

FROM: FRS Options - 

Things will start to get crazy now.  The Senate has passed SB 2100, which is their version of pension reform.  The House, however,  presented  HB 1405, with language that does not coincide with SB 2100.  In order to become law, the same bill must pass both houses in identical language – which they have not.  Since both Houses (the Senate and House of Representatives) sent each other their differing versions of pension reform, and refused to accept either, it appears the matter will now go to a Conference Committee, probably next week.

This is a quote from the Senate Website in regard to the Conference Committee: “For a bill to become an act it must be passed by both houses in precisely the same words and figures. The second house frequently amends and returns the bill to the house of origin.  In the case of bills with substantial differences, the shortcut of a conference committee likely will be taken almost immediately.”  The Conference Committee is really just a horse trading forum; where members from both houses participate in a negotiation process.  According to the Senate site “Conference committees are intended to reconcile differences. This suggests a give-and-take process because if a majority of the conferees from either house refuses to budge, the conference would be stalemated and the bill could fail. However, this rarely happens”.

Ultimately, a group of legislators go into a room, and come out with an agreement.  The process could be either good or bad, as the group doesn’t have to conform to the original bills, and can come up with their own version.  The Speaker of the House, Dean Cannon, and President of the Senate, Mike Haradopolos, have indicated they think they will be ready to go to Conference next week.


Some key differences that will need to be worked out:

  • The Senate allows the continuation of DROP until 2016; the House would eliminate it after 7/1/2011.
  • The Senate has a stepped employee contribution level, 2% on the first $25k, 4% on the next $50k, 6% on compensation over $ 50, The House version is a flat 3% of gross compensation.
  • The House increases the retirement age for Special Risk to age 60 or 30 years of service, the Senate leaves it at age 55 or 25 years of service, but increases  the retirement age for regular members from 30 years of service and age 62, to 33 years of service and age 65.
  • The Senate does away with future COLA credit after July 1 on a pro-rata calculation, the House keeps it intact.  It would be the opinion of FRS Options that this is by far the most important issue.  Doing away with the COLA will have a significant impact on both your future pension, as well as a decreasing affect on you potential Lump Sum value.

As it heads to conference, it is anyone’s guess as to what will stay and what will go.  There are significant issues for the Conference Committee to try and work out, and will have a significant impact on your retirement.  It is more essential now more than ever to contact Speaker Cannon, President Haradopolos, and Budget Chairman Senator J. D.  Alexander. 

Schaitberger at FDIC: ‘This Is Our Moment to Fight Back’

March 24, 2011 –The world’s largest fire fighter training conference and exhibition – the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) – is being held this week in Indianapolis, Indiana. IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, who spoke this morning to more than 5,000 attendees, addressed the many threats currently facing America’s fire fighters.

Fire Fighters, Family and Friends Say Goodbye to Vincent J. Bollon

      April 4, 2011 - With a perfect blend of fire fighter and Catholic traditions, IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Vincent J. Bollon was laid to rest at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.


From Adam Chevailer with SMFR and Local 2546

Fundraiser notification for FF Pietsch's step daughter who was viciously attacked last Thanksgiving almost taking her life.  FF Pietsch is one of our brothers at Southern Manatee.  Please post this at your stations or place of work to get the word out and if possible attend.

Volunteer Association Meeting

The March Volunteer Association meeting will be Monday the 28th.  The time will be 1900 at central station 1.  The main item on the agenda will be adopting the proposed amendments to the bylaws that have been posted at each station.  Please come and show your support.  Also three nominations for Don's life membership have been turned in and will be presented at the meeting. 

Refuting the Misleading Statements

The Florida Professional Firefighters and the IAFF are launching this video to refute the misleading statements and commercials being spread by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida. The video will start airing in Tallahassee on Thursday March 10 and will gradually progress throughout the state.

Legislative analysts say Florida’s retirement fund is ‘fiscally sound’

Click here for the article 

IAFF Fights Back as States Push Against Labor Unions

Click  here for the article 

General President Schaitberger Says New York Times Story Misses Pension Point

March 4, 2011 – General President Schaitberger submitted the following letter to the New York Times today. Let's see if they print it.

Dear Editor:

Steven Greenhouse’s article on the rush by states to move workers from guaranteed pension plans to 401(k) accounts explains how the move shifts risk to employees and will likely add new burdens to states and localities as retirees run out of money and are forced to rely on welfare for food and basic health care.

But it missed a major flaw that legislators don’t say out loud: Traditional defined benefit plans provide real retirement at nearly half the cost of 401(k) plans, says the National Institute on Retirement Security. The Journal of Economic Perspectives says two-thirds of Americans have next to no stock market investments—meaning they have little experience assessing risk, will churn trades and rack up much higher fees versus the trading expertise and low fees associated with defined benefit plans run by institutional investors.

401(k)-style plans are only good for the Wall Street firms that will reap billions in fees as these risky plans grow.


Harold A. Schaitberger
General President,
International Association of Fire Fighters



Article From:

Florida Retirement System Compared to Other Southeastern US Retirement Systems

Click here for the video 

General President Schaitberger challenges editorial published in WSJ

March 1, 2011 – General President Schaitberger submitted the following letter to the Wall Street Journal today. Let's see if they print it.

Dear Editor:

Robert Barro’s scorched-earth broadside against unions (“Unions vs. the Right to Work,” WSJ, Feb. 28, 2011) has all the intellectual vigor of petty larceny, ignoring the political motivations of those inflaming public debate by assailing the rights of public employees. It is clear that Barro has his own political ax to grind.

First and foremost, public employees did not create the budgetary crisis facing states; the reckless behavior of Wall Street and the mortgage finance industry did.

As president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, I can assure your readers that the No. 1 goal for fire fighters and paramedics is to provide the best public safety possible. We save lives and property. Fire fighters and paramedics work long hours – often without overtime pay – and most are not eligible for Social Security. Our pensions are the savings we have earned, the deferred wages that we have bargained for with a deep regard for what is fair and reasonable in every community we serve.

Public employee unions were created to protect workers from public officials – otherwise known as politicians – whose decisions we are subjected to from one election to the next. They are not always good employers.

Collective bargaining has often been our life preserver in the raging waters of partisan debate in which fair play is routinely thrown overboard by political opportunists looking for scapegoats.

Like democracy itself, collective bargaining is a process, not a combat zone like the current situation. Where we have bargaining rights, we have had the opportunity to improve the safety of our communities and our working conditions, pay and benefits through the give and take of the negotiating table. Both sides can and do win through this process. Eliminating worker rights will only result in losers all around.


Harold A. Schaitberger
General President,
International Association of Fire Fighters

Acticle from: 

Merv Kennell Testifies for the Florida House Sub-Committee on FRS 2/23/11

Merv Kennell, our DVP for the FPF, testifies about FRS and changes that might be detrimental.

Click here for the video. 

President John McNamara of Metro Browardtestifies about FRS  testifies about FRS  testifies about FRS     of of Met    

Click here for the video. 

Florida PBA Lobbyist Emeritus Ed Hoffman on the FRS System. 


Click here for the video. 

Amendments to SB 1130 FRS Reform

From: Today the Florida Senate returned a “Strike-All” Amendment to Senate Bill 1130 which is meant to reform the Florida Retirement System.  The purpose of the “Strike-All” was to amend the language and stipulations of the original bill, filed by Senator Jeremy Ring.

Don't get fired for Facebook: 10 ways to use social media safely

From: Fire Rescue 1 - Click here for the article 

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