Giving Back This Holiday Season
As fire fighters, we have
always played an active role in our communities. This holiday season there are
some great ways to give back to those who are less fortunate and could benefit
from our help and holiday cheer. There are three events we would like to bring
to your attention. Please check your calendars and consider attending any or
all of these events. Please wear your black and red Portland Fire Fighters
T-Shirt for all of these events. If you do not have one, they will be provided.
Hospital Tree Decorating - November 21st 8:00am-1:00pm
We have a great
opportunity to give back to a group of kids that will be spending Thanksgiving
and Christmas in the hospital away from home. Randall Children's Hospital tries
to decorate every floor of the pediatric hospital with lively Christmas trees
in hopes of bringing a little holiday spirit and joy to their young patients.
Not only will it brighten the spirits of the little kids, it will also bring a
little cheer to parents and family members visiting during the holidays. For
more information please see the email sent from the Union on November 17th
titled "Charitable Event Opportunity". Facebook Event
Fire Fighters for
Operation Warm - December 5th 9:00am-12:00pm
This is a new event that
we participated in last year for the first time. Fire Fighters for Operation
Warm (formally known as Fire Fighters Coats for Kids) is a charity embraced by
the IAFF and gives brand new coats to children in need all across the country.
All of the coats are made in the USA and are sized for each child in advance.
Our task is to bring each child their new coat and write their name on the
inside. This year, the event will be at Creston Head Start (4620 SE Powell Blvd,
Portland, OR 97206). Facebook
Caroling at the Oregon
Burn Center/Randall Children's Hospital - December 16th in the evening (Time TBA)
Fire Fighter Dominic
Fredrickson created this event last year with a huge success and the Union is
helping to make this an annual event and gather up willing carolers. Portland
Fire Fighters bring cheer to people in the burn unit this holiday season and
also visit children at Randall Children's Hospital. Don't worry if you don't
have the best singing voice, just stand next to one of our many talented fire
Please do not assume that others will step up
and attend. These events are worthy of your time and your presence would be
greatly appreciated. For more information please contact Nicole at the Union Hall.
2014 Portland Starlight Parade Video
Every year Portland Fire Fighters kick off the Portland Stairlight Parade with their flying acrobatics from a hand drawn ladder cart. This tradition has been many years in the making. Check out this highlight video from the 2014 Starlight Parade.
100 PFFA Members Pack City Hall
WATCH: Nearly 100 Portland Fire Fighters pack City Hall last night with their families, friends and neighbors.
Portland Firefighters Association, The International Association of Fire Fighters and Portland Fire & Rescue helped secure a two-year grant called the SAFER Grant that currently funds 26 fire fighters in Portland. When that funding runs out, those positions will be cut unless The City takes over funding. Not funding those positions will close fire engines, trucks and possibly neighborhood fire stations. The Mayor states this year's budget will not fund any of those positions.
KOIN 6 News, Jessica Morkert (@jmorkert), reported the story last night.
Read the full story
2014 IAFF Legislative Convention
Local 43 Officers and the Oregon State Fire Fighters Council (OSFFC) attended the 2014 IAFF Legislative Convention in Washington D.C. This year we lobbied five (5) issues on Capitol Hill all of which directly affect fire fighters right here in Oregon. It was a slightly different year as Congress was out of session. Fortunately we were able to meet with senior staff from all of our Senator's and Representative's offices. Through the work of the OSFFC we have developed good working relationships with our congressmen and woman their staff was very receptive to our issues.
2014 IAFF Legislative Issues:
- Funding for SAFER and FIRE Grants
- Protecting Public Sector Pensions: PEPTA
- Protecting Public Sector Pensions: SAFE Act
- Eliminating the Healthcare Reinsurance Fee
- Federal Fire Fighter Trade Time
If you'd like more information on any of these issues we discussed you can find them on the IAFF Website under their Politics and Legislation page. Also, during our general session many political leaders spoke to us and you can watch these videos online.
From left to right: Isaac McLennan, Mike Wight, Harold Schaitberger, Greg Espinosa, Mike Schultz
Firefighters Coats for Kids
Twenty members of the Portland Firefighters Association participated in our first Firefighters Coats for Kids program. We helped distribute 230 new coats to children in need at Sacajawea Head Start in NE Portland. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) partnered with Operation Warm and created the program now known as Firefighters Coats for Kids. This program purchases coats that are made in the USA. With funding from Tripwire, Inc. and help from Portland Public Schools we were able to help keep these children warm and dry this winter. A big thank you to the Tripwire volunteers and Sacajawea Head Start faculty members of for helping to make this event a big success. We'd also like to recognize our members who volunteered their time off-duty and individually attended to each child to make sure they got the coat size and color that fit them best. Firefighters then wrote the children's name in their coat so they would know it was theirs to keep.
Thank you PFFA Members:
Web Slavens, Mark Tilden, Nate Hall, Ryan Evans, Rich Neighorn, Brady Donahue, Mark Held, Mike Schultz, Greg Espinosa, Jason Lehman, Isaac McLennan, Chris Fukai, Time O'Donnell, Scott Berni, Ritch Espin, Kerry Kilner, Bill Schimel, Aaron Waldier, Elliot Dasler and Greg Rose
KGW Channel 8's News Story on the Event
Please enjoy the slide show below of our Firefighters Coats for Kids Event on December 19th, 2013.
Portland Firefighters' Association helps city secure SAFER Grant
Firefighters avoid lay-offs and communities should see the benefit
(Portland, Ore.) Portland Firefighters' Association is pleased to announce a $4.5 million dollar Federal SAFER Grant has been awarded to the City of Portland. "We are pleased to inform our 26 union members in danger of losing their jobs, they will keep their positions and be able to care for their families for at least the next two years because of the SAFER Grant," said Alan Ferschweiler, President of Portland Firefighters Association, Local 43, IAFF. "This is a great holiday gift to our firefighters, their families and the communities they serve every day."
The Federal SAFER Grant, is free federal funding awarded to the City of Portland after the union, fire chief, mayor, and city commissioners collaborated to apply for the grant. Union leaders and members brought this idea to apply for the free federal funding to city officials and the fire chief and they accepted the challenge.
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, known as the SAFER Grant, was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighters organizations to help increase or maintain the number of trained front line firefighters available to communities. "Knowing our city was facing tough budget times, firefighters were given pink slips and staffing at two of our fire stations were cut in half. I knew our firefighters and the communities they serve were in danger," said Ferschweiler. "Applying for the grant was a logical step to for our union to propose to the fire chief, city commissioners and Mayor Hales."
Ferschweiler also says one of the fears that he had with last year's city budget was the question of what would happen if the city didn't receive the grant. "Bridge funding was provided to allow for the grant process to be completed, but if the City of Portland had not received the SAFER Grant, two more 4 person engine or truck companies would need to be eliminated somewhere in our communities to balance our budget. We have already lost resources in North and Northeast Portland fire stations during budget cuts last year and our resources are stretched thin. I'm sure no one wants fewer firefighters in their neighborhood," said Ferschweiler.
Ferschweiler's goal is to see Northeast and North Portland fire stations that had staffing cut in half, fully restored with highly trained front line firefighters. "If we have another fire like either of the 5 alarm fires we fought on MLK or the Red Lion Hotel on Janzen Beach, we need to be able respond in force to ensure our communities are protected during a fire emergency. Having the full crew of front line fighters, which is four person companies is paramount in these situations," said Ferschweiler.
Portland Firefighters Association would like to thank Mayor Hales and city commissioners who voted to approve the fire chief applying for the Federal SAFER grant. Ferschweiler also says the grant which is only good for two years will help bridge the funding gap and permanent funding is needed after this two year time period to avoid future lay-offs and endangering public safety.
Media note: Portland Firefighter's Association President, Alan Ferschweiler will be attending 3pm press conference at Fire Station One, 55 SW Ash Street.
Download Press Release
Portland Area Fire Fighters Golf Association Schedule
The Portland Area Fire Fighters Golf Association schedule is available here. Click the link below to download the schedule (PDF).
2014 Golf Schedule
PFFA on the go with GoMobile!
If you havn't already found this on your own, you can access the Portland Firefighters Association website while on the go with the GoMobile version of our website. It has many useful features that are formated for your smart phone or tablet computer.
Not only are you able to access our Homepage Highlights but you can use our on-line calendar, see member alerts, download meeting minutes and other documents from our document library, and much more. Try it out for yourself! Just visit iaff43.org from any smart mobile device and be redirected to the GoMobile version of our website. For quick access, you can save an icon on your phone's home screen.
For your best experience, it is recommened to login once you have navigated to our website. This will give you access to member's only areas, highlights, and documents.
Click the link below from any mobile device or just navigate to iaff43.org
If you have any comments or suggestion about things we can add to our mobile site you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the on-line discussion.
Local 43 is developing new ways and improving our old ways to better communicate with our members. One way we want to reach our members is through a new tool called the PFFA E-Newsletter. This newsletter will be delivered to your personal email that you used when you signed up for our website. You will only get this if you have selected the check box next to the PFFA Monthly E-Newsletter E-Mail list in your profile. You can edit your profile at any time on the left side of the website where you sign in with you username and password or click here. You may unsubscribe from this email list at any time.
The E-Newsletter will have all the current topics and happenings at the Union Hall. It will have a list of upcomming events, communication tools, a section on union rights, member forum topics, contact information and more will be added as time goes on. Please give us your feedback by sending an email to email@example.com.
Past issues will be available to download via the document library. This e-newsletter is not meant to replace any current means of communication (i.e. The Straight Stream, station visits). It is only meant to further connect our members to accurate and current information.
PFFA E-Newsletter in the Document Library