We are America’s First responders: The International Association of Fire Fighters is the AFL-CIO affiliated labor union representing more than 267,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel in the United States and Canada. IAFF members protect more than 85 percent of the lives and property and are the largest providers of pre-hospital emergency medical care in the U.S.
In addition to city and county fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, the IAFF represents state employees (such as the California Forestry fire fighters), federal workers (such as fire fighters on military installations), and fire and emergency medical workers employed at certain industrial facilities.
We have a rich history: One of the oldest public employee unions in America, the IAFF was formed in 1918, at a time when many fire fighters were required to live in firehouses and be on duty 24 hours a day every day, with only the occasional day off. Back then, civil service laws were few and almost all pay, promotions and other benefits came and went at the whim of local patronage.
We get results: The IAFF has been the leading force behind numerous advances for the fire and emergency services, including:
Passing heart, lung and other disability laws to protect fire fighters who become ill from on-the-job hazards
Enacting federal benefits for the survivors of fire fighters killed or totally disabled in the line of duty
Establishing progressive civil service laws in the U.S. and Canada
Enhancing public safety through national standards ensuring professionalism and high standards of training and education for fire and emergency personnel
Establishing training programs for hazardous materials emergencies
Establishing minimum staffing requirements for fire fighting
We’re ready for the future: Fire fighting is still one of the most dangerous occupations in North America: one in three fire fighters is injured in the line of duty every year. As a result, the IAFF is extremely active in promoting occupational health and safety, working to include all fire fighters under federal OSHA protection, and supporting national standards for safe apparatus, equipment and practices. Fire fighters are extremely active politically, fighting for better public safety at every level of government – local, state and federal. IAFF members live in every congressional district in the U.S. and all across Canada.
We help others off the job: The IAFF supports numerous charitable activities. It is the largest national sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, underwrites scholarships for the children of members killed in the line of duty, and supports research into the treatment of and rehabilitation from burn injuries through the IAFF Burn Foundation.