Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has agreed to pay the mortgage of Worcester Local 1009 Lt. Jason Menard, relieving his wife of that burden. IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer Edward Kelly and 3rd District Vice President Jay Colbert joined Worcester, MA Local 1009 President Mike Papagni, Cindy Chesna, (wife of Weymouth Police Sgt. Mike Chesna who was killed in the line of duty), and Foundation beneficiary, Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation for the announcement on Friday. ... See MoreSee Less
Court Rules EPA Must Regulate Legacy Toxic ChemicalsThe 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the federal government must conduct safety reviews of millions of tons of dangerous substances, including lead and asbestos, that are no longer manufactured but still in public use.
The three-judge panel said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unlawfully excluded asbestos and other toxic substances from review simply because they are no longer manufactured, even though these materials are known health hazards.
“The ruling marks a major victory for the IAFF, which has fought hard make sure the EPA monitors and regulates these legacy toxic materials,” says General President Harold Schaitberger.
Fire fighters are particularly susceptible to exposure to these toxic substances added over decades to common products, such as home insulation, fire retardant and plumbing materials, until they were pulled from production. These chemicals may not currently be manufactured in those consumer products, but legacy products remain a concern and exposure source for fire fighters.
In 2016, Congress passed, and President Obama signed a law updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), mandating that all chemicals be reviewed by the EPA. The Trump administration, at the urging of the chemical industry, has sought to limit the scope of TSCA and to exempt legacy activities from EPA review materials as they are no longer manufactured – such as asbestos.
The IAFF in 2017 joined labor and environmental groups in a lawsuit to block the EPA from watering down TSCA. The IAFF has worked tirelessly urging Congress to make sure the EPA is doing all that it can to keep the public and fire fighters safe from dangerous chemicals.
“Fire fighters, like other Americans, have put our trust in the EPA to regulate these toxic chemicals, but unfortunately, we have witnessed only modest efforts by the current administration to protect the health and well-being of workers exposed to such chemicals,” said Assistant to the General President for Health and Safety Patrick Morrison in a March 2019 testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change.
Research supports the need to closely monitor older toxic substances. A massive cohort study of 30,000 fire fighters conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found malignant mesothelioma is directly linked to asbestos, and that fire fighters were twice as likely to develop the deadly disease than the general population.
Asbestos becomes airborne when disturbed or damaged by fire. Fire fighters can inhale large amounts of these microscopic fibers, increasing their risk of developing an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
This ruling would require the EPA to go back and evaluate the legacy use for numerous chemicals they’ve evaluated through the TSCA process. This is a victory for labor organizations, despite what happens next. The 9th Circuit Court ruling may be appealed; the EPA has said the agency will review the decision.... See MoreSee Less
IAFF members from New Jersey and New York are in Atlantic City, NJ attending the 1st District Caucus and PEP Event this week. 1st District Vice President James Slevin discussed issues affecting IAFF members in the region. Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small welcomed fire fighters to the city. ... See MoreSee Less
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In Tampa, as with other major American cities, the evolution from all volunteer to career fire companies occurred due to the arrival of steam technology. Tampa’s first organized volunteer fire department was founded in1884. Seven “bucket brigades” were organized to serve the city. On May 10, 1895, the city council passed ordinance #307 authorizing Tampa’s first professional, paid fire department. A. J. Harris was named chief to preside over 22 fire fighters in five stations at an annual budget of $18,000. The paid firefighters worked in the stations for ten to twelve days at a time. Most of the firefighters lived near their duty stations and were permitted to go home for meals, provided they could return within one hour. Their salary was equivalent to that of police patrol officers, about $600 a year. From May 10, 1895, forward the fire department began to evolve. First the “bucket brigades” were slowly replaced by hand operated pumpers pulled to the scene by the firefighters. Fire hydrants and steam engines were introduced to do the work of pumping water to firefighter’s hoses. With the introduction of steam engines came the requirement of horses to pull the extremely heavy apparatus. read more
We Do More Than Save Lives!
Tampa Fire Fighters would like to thank everyone who has supported our donation drives throughout the years. With the generosity of our friends, we have been able to provide the community throughout the Tampa Bay area with programs designed to educate the public about the many aspects of fire prevention and safety. Through our non-profit (501c3) charity, Tampa Fire Fighters continue to support local area programs and services which have included but are not limited to the following: