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International Association of Fire Fighters

1750 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 737-8484





300,000 members





International Firefighter Unions Alliance



icon_structureThe IAFF Executive Board is chaired by the General President and consists of the General Secretary-Treasurer and the 16 District Vice Presidents. The board is responsible for all policy decisions and is influential in providing beneficial services to members of the union.

Has a federal political action committee called FIREPAC. FIREPAC is a central part of the IAFF’s efforts to promote the legislative and political interests of all professional fire fighters and paramedics at the federal level. FIREPAC’s mission is to educate Members of Congress about issues important to fire fighters and emergency medical personnel and to help elect candidates to office that support those issues.



  • Fire Fighters
  • Emergency Medical Personnel
  • State Employees
  • Federal Workers
  • Fire and emergency medical personnel employed at certain industrial facilities



Key Officers

Harold A. Schaitberger, General President, Re-elected 2012

Harold A. Schaitberger is General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, representing more than 300,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel in every state in the U.S. and in Canada.

President Schaitberger is the ninth president in the IAFF’s 94-year history, and was the first to have been elected by acclamation in 2000. He was re-elected to another four-year term in July 2012.

Under President Schaitberger’s leadership, the IAFF’s Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, has grown to more than $4.6 million and ranks among the top one percent of PACs in the nation. His commitment to ensuring that the IAFF supports candidates and lawmakers who are friendly to fire fighters and their issues, regardless of political party, has significantly enhanced the union’s power and influence at all levels of politics.

President Schaitberger also serves as a vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The IAFF’s partnership with MDA has spanned nearly 55 years, and with a renewed commitment to a comprehensive fundraising process under President Schaitberger’s leadership, the IAFF has raised its support for MDA every year he has been president, including a record-breaking $28 million contribution to Jerry’s Kids in 2009.

During Schaitberger’s tenure, the IAFF also raised and distributed more than $160 million for the families of the 343 fire fighters killed in the line of duty on September 11, 2001, and the IAFF raised and provided financial assistance to the fire fighters who suffered losses at the hands of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, as well as provided significant food, clothing, water, shelter and medical and psychological assistance to its more than 8,000 members in the hurricane zones.

The IAFF Financial Corporation, an innovative for-profit corporation whose only shareholder is the International Association of Fire Fighters, was also created and launched under Schaitberger’s leadership. The IAFF-FC offers deferred compensation plans for fire fighter supplemental retirement assets, a quality mortgage and refinance program and a full range of insurance protection, all with competitive pricing for IAFF members. The IAFF-FC deferred compensation program has $1.78 billion in 457 plan retirement assets. IAFF members have registered $274 million in loans with its home mortgage program, and more than 12,500 members have taken advantage of the auto and home insurance program.

Schaitberger also serves on the AFL-CIO Executive Council and its Executive Committee, is a vice president of the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council, and was a co-chair of Labor 2004, the AFL-CIO’s election steering committee. He is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IAFF Burn Foundation and a board member of the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial and the National Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial.

Schaitberger began his career as a professional fire fighter in Fairfax County, Virginia, and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was one of the leaders who originally organized what was then a 500-member department as an IAFF affiliate. In 1970, he was elected the first President of Fairfax County Local 2068. In 1973, Schaitberger was elected President of the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters.

Prior to his election as General President, Schaitberger served as a top advisor to three IAFF presidents. He came to the IAFF headquarters in 1976 to create, establish and head the union’s national political and legislative programs. He played a key role in the creation of the Public Safety Officers Benefit, the enactment of the FLSA overtime law, and spearheaded the passing of the NFPA 1710 Standard which governs the deployment and staffing of professional departments – a breakthrough measure that will benefit every man, woman and child protected by professional fire fighters and paramedics. Schaitberger also worked for decades to protect fire fighter pensions and secured federal funds to create the IAFF Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Programs.


Thomas H. Miller, General Secretary-Treasurer, Elected 2010

General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Miller was confirmed by delegates at the IAFF 51st Convention in Philadelphia, who re-elected him by acclamation. Since taking office in 2010, Mr. Miller has focused on providing IAFF members the level of service, accountability, and financial stability that members expect and deserve.

In addition to his duties as General Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Miller sits on several IAFF executive committees. He serves as chair of both the Staff and Employee Pension Trustees Committee and he serves as vice chair of the IAFF Charitable Foundation, Employee Benefits & Human Resources Committee, and the Scholarship Funds Trustees Committee. Mr. Miller is Chief Financial Officer for the IAFF Financial Corporation.

Mr. Miller began his career in the fire service in 1968 with the Indianapolis Fire Department, retiring in December 2005 at the rank of captain. After just three years on the job, in 1971 he was elected a trustee of Indianapolis, IN Local 416, becoming vice president in 1974 and serving in that capacity until 1999.

Mr. Miller was also president of the Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana from 1978-2002. The hallmark of his tenure as state president was his work at the statehouse, where he lobbied for pension benefits, among other issues, for members.

He was appointed by Indiana Governor Robert Orr – and reappointed by four successive Indiana governors – to the Police Officers and Fire Fighters Pension and Disability Fund Advisory Board, and has served as chair since 1990. In 2000, Mr. Miller was elected 8th District Vice President of the IAFF, and was re-elected in 2002, 2004, and 2008 without opposition. With more than 700 locals, the 8th District is the second-largest district in the IAFF. He also served as an advisor to numerous Indianapolis mayors and governors and other legislators on matters of public safety, pensions, labor contracts, and other fire service and union issues. Mr. Miller is chair of the Advisory Committee to the 1977 Police Officers and Fire Fighters Pension and Disability Fund and is on the Board of the Indianapolis Fire Department Merit Board.



Green Contacts


Patrick J. MorrisonAssistant to the General President for Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine


Jim BrinkleyDirector of Occupational Health and Safety

Sustainability Profile


IAFF leadership has yet to engage in any way with climate issues. The Fire Fighters are one of few unions that do not publicly advocate for green jobs. The IAFF is, however, deeply concerned with the increasing frequency and severity of droughts, fires, floods and other national disasters. The first two months of 2009 are the driest start of any year since the USA began keeping records over a century ago, leading to severe drought in Texas, dipping reservoir levels in Florida and a surge in wildfires across the nation. Although they do not talk about climate change, the effects of climate change are directly impacting IAFF membership.

While IAFF has a very strong political body of influence, the FIREPAC, the IAFF’s political action committee has a very rigid endorsement policy that states that the “IAFF FIREPAC does not and will not base its decisions on issues such as Second Amendment rights, reproductive rights, the environment, or other social issues that many of our members hold firm beliefs about. Therefore, the union is unlikely to be outspoken on the environment in the legislative arena in the future.

The FIREPAC also centralizes decision-making. IAFF has a record of supporting players on both sides of the political spectrum as it only votes on whose policies directly impact its membership. Thus, there is the potential that the union could support candidates with poor environmental policies. However, there is some recognition of carbon offsets on the union local level. In 2008, NJ Local 3786 became the “first public safety entity in the United States to participate in the TerraPass carbon offset program. The local purchased two TerraPass carbon offsets for its frontline emergency response vehicles – Engine 40 and Ambulance 140-10 – to spark community awareness about the dangers of global warming and climate change.” (See appendixes for more information)

Green Employment Prospects


No evident prospects




Additional Comments/ Analysis

icon_commentIt is important to note that the IAFF has major power brokers in D.C. on both sides of the aisle, so their support for climate change legislation would be significant. IAFF is deeply concerned that the economic crisis is forcing cities and states to drastically cut budgets and threatening IAFF members’ jobs. Outreach to the union should reflect these concerns.

IAFF members are active in the Union Sportsman Association. Hunters and fishermen have at times supported environmentalists around conservation issues. There may be some sportsmen IAFF members that will be sympathetic to climate issues.


Appendix 1: District Vice Presidents

William Romaka

1st District Vice President

Represents: New Jersey, New York

(631) 893-9116 (Office)

(917) 834-1414 (Cell)


Mark Woolbright

2nd District Vice President

Represents: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

(314) 393-9755 (Cell)

(636) 397-1572 (Office)


A. Michael Mullane

3rd District Vice President

Represents: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

(617) 328-7202 (Home)

(617) 288-2100 (Office)


Thomas Thornberg

5th District Vice President

Represents: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin

(612) 290-8015 (Cell)


Lorne West

6th District Vice President

Represents: Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territory, Saskatchewan, Yukon

(604) 574-5785 (Office)

(604) 868-8730 (Cell)


Ricky Walsh

7th District Vice President

Represents: Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Washington

(509) 627-2872 (Office)

(509) 999-3090 (Cell)


Paul Hufnagel

8th District Vice President

Represents: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio

(517) 484-7744 (Home)

(517) 281-2832 (Cell)


Randall (Randy) Atkinson

9th District Vice President

Represents: Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming



James T. Ferguson

10th District Vice President

Represents: Arizona, California, Hawaii and New Mexico

(415) 760-8063 (Cell)

(415) 346-7919 (Home)


Roy L. “Sandy” McGhee

11th District Vice President

Represents: Canal Zone, Oklahoma, Texas

(918) 599-8176 (Office)

(918) 855-8228 (Cell)


Larry Osborne

12th District Vice President

Represents: Caribbean Area, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

(904) 641-5407 (Home)

(904) 219-8656


Fred LeBlanc

13th District Vice President

Represents: Manitoba and Ontario

(613) 328-2195 (Cell)


Danny Todd

14th District Vice President

Represents: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee

(901) 377-6549 (Home)


David Burry

15th District Vice President

Represents: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec

(709) 744-2709 (Home)

(709) 689-7574 (Cell)


James B. Johnson

16th District Vice President

Represents: All federal fire fighters of the United States and Canada

(937) 470-4340 (Cell)


Appendix 2: Robbinsville Fire Fighters Go Green


Robbinsville Fire Fighters Go Green

March 13, 2008 – Robbinsville, NJ Local 3786 is the first public safety entity in the United States to participate in the TerraPass carbon offset program. The local purchased two TerraPass carbon offsets for its frontline emergency response vehicles – Engine 40 and Ambulance 140-10 – to spark community awareness about the dangers of global warming and climate change.

TerraPass evaluated each piece of apparatus for its carbon output/footprint, including distance driven per year, weight, and miles per gallon. Using this information, TerraPass determined the cost relative to the carbon output and invested the amount directly into clean, renewable energy wind farms, animal farm power and carbon dioxide capturing at landfills.

“These carbon offsets the footprint of our two pieces of equipment, so they have essentially been removed from the roadways,” explains Local 3786 member Edmund Haemmerle. “The goal is to encourage other emergency service departments, towns, residents, and communities to consider this short-term option, as well as make other long-lasting changes to help stop the global crisis affecting our planet.”

The total cost of both offsets for two emergency vehicles was $558 dollars. An offset for a standard passenger vehicle is $60 to $100.

TerraPass was founded by a University of Pennsylvania professor and his students, and is a reputable company which is third-party verified. All carbon offsets purchased are invested in the same year they are purchased.

For more information about TerraPass, click here, or visit the Local 3786 web site for more information.

Click here to watch the IAFF Local 3786 “go green” public service announcement.


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