–From the IAFF. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is a labor union representing professional fire fighters and emergency medical services personnel in the United States and Canada (including Sooke).
Sixteen years ago on September 11, in the greatest tragedy in the history of the fire service, 343 FDNY members died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
“We will always remember their service, their dedication and their courage in the face of one of the most horrific moments in our union’s history,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “We will never forget the supreme sacrifice made by our New York fire fighters who risked their lives to save others on that fateful day.”
“Today, we once again remember the fire fighters who faced down unspeakable horror that ill-fated day,” says General Secretary-Treasurer Edward Kelly. “We remember them and we honor their service. We will never forget their sacrifice.”
In the tragic aftermath, the IAFF was on the ground to support our New York locals – the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) Local 94 and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) Local 854, raising and distributing more than $167 million to the families of the fallen, bringing members from across North America to dig on the pile to search for their lost brothers and providing counseling support services.
In the days, weeks and years since, the IAFF has made every effort to always remember and never forget. The IAFF continues to make it a top priority to ensure safer and healthier working conditions and to advocate through the political process for benefits and protections for members and their families.
In 2010, after nearly a decade of lobbying, the IAFF, along with Local 94 and Local 854, won passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides funding to monitor and treat members who become ill from exposure to toxins at ground zero. And, in 2015, the IAFF and its affiliates across the country helped to make sure the Act was permanently reauthorized so that fire fighters and others who responded after 9/11 will always receive the health care they need. In addition, as part of the Zadroga Act, survivors of fire fighters who died from a 9/11-related illness and who applied for federal Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) will now receive those benefits.
Less than a week after the anniversary of 9/11, at the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial observance on September 16 in Colorado Springs, we will honor members who succumbed to respiratory illnesses linked to the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero and etched onto the Wall of Honor.