Welcome to the home page of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3249, a labor organization representing paid professional firefighters, emergency medical, rescue and other related service members. We encourage you to periodically review this site and its contents in order to remain current on all issues facing Camden County's First Responders, those charged with the duty to protect and serve the citizens of Camden County, New Jersey and beyond whenever fires or other emergencies occur and people need help.
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Over the years, researchers have focused on the connection between firefighting and various diseases, including cancer and heart disease, but could firefighters also be more at risk of developingdementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
According to an article on firechief.com, although there has yet to be any official studies into the link between firefighting and dementia, a 2015 article highlights the risks of exposure to certain toxins and their link to dementia. These toxins are familiar to most firefighters and they will have undoubtedly come into contact with them at some point in their careers.
A single firefighter may cost $120,000 in total costs, but saves the community over a half million from fire loss.
Imagine you have two cities, side by side with similar population size, population density, square mileage, and near identical fire departments. The only difference is fire department “A” staffs three people per engine and “B” staffs two people per engine. Could one quantify the added value or cost of the third firefighter on department “A’s” engines? And if so what would the number be?
The U.S. Fire Administration alerted stakeholders about a recent, NIOSH-funded study about whether working conditions of career firefighters are associated with elevated blood pressure and hypertension. The research study by the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine found there is a link between the job demands of career firefighters and HBP.
The study investigated whether working conditions such as the number of 24-hour shifts, number of calls, sedentary work, job strain, and other physical demands are associated with elevated blood pressure and hypertension. It involved 330 career firefighters from Southern California who completed a firefighter-specific occupational health questionnaire and had their blood pressure and hypertension levels clinically assessed.
The study authors found there is a link between high job demands (many additional 24-hour shifts in the past month and increased demands over past years) and high blood pressure among career firefighters. They reported there is a need to optimize the collective and individual workload of firefighters by limiting the number of 24-hour shifts that a firefighter can work and recruiting new firefighters. Half of the hypertensive firefighters (mostly with mild hypertension) had uncontrolled high blood pressure, they found.
The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Allentown firefighters, finding that their union can negotiate the minimum number of firefighters on a shift because it has a direct impact on safety.
In a recent unanimous decision that affects municipalities with professional fire departments across Pennsylvania, the court rejected Allentown's argument that shift staffing was an issue for managers to decide because of its impact on city finances.
The court found that the city had not presented convincing evidence that an arbitrator's award setting the minimum number of firefighters per shift at 25 unduly infringed on its managerial responsibilities.
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are set to reintroduce a series of seven bills that would make Pennsylvania a "right-to-work" state. The bills are part of the Pennsylvania "Open Workforce Initiative" which seeks to eliminate mandatory dues to unions for state employees.
Right-to-work states are increasing in the country, with 28 now. These laws prohibit union security agreements, meaning if an employee does not wish to be part of a union, he or she would not have to pay union dues. The bills are being pitched by advocating for an "end to compulsory unionism," however, by law that is already illegal. Compulsory unionism, or "closed shops" where employees must remain members of a union to retain employment, have been illegal since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. However, in non-right-to work states, non-union employees can still have to pay a fee for receiving union coverage.
Police and firefighters would gain control of their now-state-run pension fund under a measure that won final approval in the Assembly.
The bill (S3040) transfers management of the $26 billion pension fund to an independent panel overseeing investments and benefits. Police and fire union leaders seeking the change said the state wasted their money on costly hedge funds and underfunded the system by billions of dollars.
The Police and Firemen's Retirement System, while healthier than its counterparts, is $11 billion short of what it would cost to pay for promised benefits, according to actuary reports.
The PFANJ & IAFF release video that takes in-depth look at the proposed legislation allowing the "Unions" to take over the New Jersey Police and Fireman's Retirement System (PFRS).
New NFPA 1710 Explainer Video
NFPA 1710 is the internationally accepted standard on minimum crew size and operational staffing for career fire departments.
The IAFF, along with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the International Fire Service Training Association, have updated and released the 3rd Edition of the Fire-Based EMS Toolkit.
Updates to the online toolkit include up-to-date information on Fire-Based Community Healthcare Providers (FBCHP) - or “communityparamedicine” - and a new section on responding to violence, including resources for active shooter response.
Protection Through Prevention:
Your Firefighters Teach Fire Prevention Year Round
Firefighters from Gloucester Township's Chews Landing Fire Station recently visited the summer camp at the Loring Flemming School.
The kids learned what firefighters look like when dressed in protective turnout gear and a breathing apparatus to search a burning building for people who may be trapped. This can be a lifesaving lesson for a child trapped in a fire. Children must know that the firefighter is a friend coming to rescue them, not a monster coming out of the smoke from the fire.
First Responder Guide to Burn Injury Assessment and Treatment
The International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation Burn Fund has partnered with the American Burn Association to develop this manual to provide first responders (Fire Fighters and emergency medical providers) with the basic training and knowledge necessary to effectively assist those who have suffered a burn injury or cold exposure,
This manual provides a comprehensive, general overview of burn and trauma injuries. It takes readers through each step of a response, providing them with simple explanations and classifications of injuries, depictions of the physiological effect these injuries have on the body, initial injury assessment and on-scene management guidelines, as well as basic treatments
to administer during the first minutes of a response.
The ultimate goal of this project is to help ensure that all first responders are more fully capable of assessing and managing a burn injury. When first responders are prepared, those who have sustained a burn injury are provided with the best possible treatment, and the chances for patient
survival and recovery are greatly increased.
Production of this manual was funded through a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Special thanks are given to the Office of Grants and Training at the U.S Department of Homeland Security. To receive your copy/copies free of charge email Tom Flamm at email@example.com or call 202-824-8620.
Important Information on Supreme Court Health Care Decision
As many of you are aware, recently the Supreme Court handed down another landmark decision addressing the president’s controversial health care law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the case of King v. Burwell, the court was charged with determining if individuals purchasing health care through the federal exchange were permitted to receive tax subsidies. Since the court’s ruling, we have received numerous questions regarding the impact of the ruling on our members and their health plans. Generally speaking, there is no immediate effect on IAFF members or their plans. To help our IAFF members to better understand the ruling, we have prepared the following supplemental materials:
Regardless how the Supreme Court ruled, we have a major concern over the portion of the ACA which imposes a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health plans beginning in 2018. The IAFF has taken a leading role in a coalition of labor and corporate interests in trying to repeal the excise tax. Current legislation (H.R. 2050) to repeal the tax has been introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), a bipartisan bill with more than115 co-sponsors. We will continue our fight to repeal this provision of the ACA and work to ensure that the benefits our members and their families enjoy will not be diminished. I hope the information proves helpful. As always, I appreciate your hard work and leadership.
Feb 3, 2015 - It’s the loophole through which New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been flying on private jets.
Christie’s personal travel habits, detailed in a New York Times article include a preference for Cessna Citation X flights, Four Seasons stays and champagne toasts, are all legally consistent with his state’s code of conduct for governors – as long as everything is paid for by friends.
“The governor may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds,” the code reads.
Lately, those friends include King Abdullah of Jordan, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Republican superdonor Sheldon Adelson – all with big pockets and big toys, like the private jet Adelson had him fly with his family on during a 2012 trip to Israel, at the same time Adelson was trying to defeat a measure to legalize online gambling in New Jersey (Christie later signed the bill anyway).
Christie also added a provision to the state’s financial disclosure laws in a 2010 executive order that expressly permits him to accept travel and related expenses from foreign governments.
When Gov. Chris Christie praised himself during the State of the State address for making the largest contributions to the State pension funds of any governor in New Jersey history, that statement was true, but not accurate.
While Gov. Christie has contributed $2.9 billion (if he makes the reduced $681 million payment for FY2015), what he fails to be clear about is that he will have skipped $14.9 billion in required pension payments during the past five years as Governor, according to his own Pension & Health Benefit Study Commission's Status Report.
Former Gov. Corzine made $2.1 billion in pension payments while skipping an additional $6.4 billion required from 2007 to 2010.
In fact, Gov. Christie's $14.9 billion skipped pension payments eclipses the $12.8 billion combined missed payments of his five predecessors over a 15-year period from 1996 to 2010. That was a pretty important fact that he omitted from his State of the State address.
For the last three years Gov. Christie has traveled the country congratulating himself for his 2011 bipartisan pension reforms, including prominently mentioning it during his keynote address for Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention. He then failed to follow through on making the required payments.
Late in October of 2009, New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie used the Ridgewood Moving Company in Mahwah to stage a campaign event headlined by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The cavernous warehouse was packed floor to ceiling with shrink wrapped pallets holding the possessions of dozens of families leaving New Jersey. It vividly symbolized the thousands of Jersey households that made the same decision that year to pull up stakes in hopes of a brighter future anywhere else.
The site was a compelling backdrop for Christie’s core campaign message. He was the candidate most likely to staunch the trend that had become so pronounced since the state’s congressional delegation shrank from 15 seats in the ’70s to 12. In his debating the incumbent Jon Corzine, he used the well documented Jersey diaspora, which separates grandparents from their grandchildren and parents from their children, like a rhetorical two-by-four.
“People are leaving the state in droves, businesses are leaving this state in droves and taking their jobs with them. That’s why we have the worst unemployment rate in 33 years,” Christie charged.
The State Of Our State: Neglected
Governor Chris Christie delivered his sixth State of the State address on January 15, 2015, and for anyone who was listening, it struck the tone of someone who is more interested in running for president than governing New Jersey.
The tone of the speech underlined a simple fact. Under Governor Christie, New Jersey has been neglected.
Residents know it. Legislators on both sides of the aisle know it. Reporters who cover the state know it.
And Governor Christie knows it.
December 24, 2014: Off duty Collingswood Firefighters, their families and friends spent their Christmas Eve helping Santa Claus deliver Christmas presents to families in need.
December 18, 2014: Thank you to all who supported Local 3249's 2014 Fill the Boot Campaign for the benefit of families impacted by Muscular Dystrophy. Local 3249 presented the Muscular Dystrophy Association with a check for $8,250.00 at Voorhees Fire Station 662.
Please hold the family of 7 year old Honorary Firefighter Aiden Riebel (Washington Township Fire Department, Gloucester County, New Jersey) in your thoughts.
December 15, 2014: Thank you to all who supported Local 3249's 2014 Toys 4 Tots campaign. Gloucester Township Engine 82 and Rescue 84 members delivered a shipment of toys to the township's municipal building today in support of Mayor Mayer's annual toy drive. More toys will be delivered to support the Collingswood Fire Department's annual toy drive later this week.
N.J. Pensions: All Payers Treated Equally?
Your local tax collector is a payment point for a number of other entities and obligations. A very large portion of the property taxes collected are sent to fulfill County and School obligations. In that list of payees is the pension payment due to the local pension systems to meet the obligation of the local employment contracts. The State of NJ has similar obligations for its employees.
You as a taxpayer have paid your tax bill and we as local government entities have subsequently paid the local pension obligations. So where is the problem?
If it is not already, it should be common knowledge that there are four significant pension systems (excluding teachers) Local PERS, State PERS (Public Employees), Local PFRS, State PFRS (Police and Fire). The two local systems are actuarially funded at greater than 70% while the two state systems are funded at 50% or less. The reasons for this have been well documented. Local employers and employees have been required by state law to make every payment required of them. The local payments are required in every annual adopted budget and the employees make them through payroll deductions. Every One. Without Fail.
On the other hand the State of NJ has excused itself from significant contributions over the years by simply not including the payments in the state budget. In more recent years they have budgeted for the obligation but simply did not pay for it while using the money for something else. Have you tried this tactic with your mortgage company and been successful? What would happen if your employer tomorrow decided to stop paying their contractually obligated match to your 401K?
Local 3249 congratulates Collingswood Firefighters Paul Bonamassa and Kyle Jarozynski upon the successful completion of their one year probationary periods. Probationary firefighters are required to undergo an extensive training program and demonstrate competency in fire suppression, emergency medical service and other emergency response work.
Fire Protection Through Fire Prevention
Local 3249 Vice President and Gloucester Township
Fire District 4 Firefighter Frank Reiss is pictured giving
a fire prevention talk to children at the Kindercare in Blackwood's Cherrywood section.
Squad 16 and BLS Ambulance 16 members are pictured with children from the Good Shepard School in Collingswood during their annual fire prevention week activities.
Camden County, New Jersey Local 3249 members recognized: From left to right, Firefighter Jason Shafer, Firefighter Timothy Zeck, Lieutenant Charles Knighton, Firefighter George Read and Firefighter George Bundick were recognized at the Voorhees Fire District's September 18, 2014 Board of Fire Commissioners meeting for their life saving actions after responding to a recent emergency involving a teenage boy struck by a vehicle.
As part of their regular training regiment, the Voorhees Fire District's paid professional Firefighters and Fire Officers complete initial arrival drills or "5 Minute Drills" monthly. They practice laying in from a hydrant, establishing their water supply and placing the first fire attack hose line in operation. All of this is accomplished within 5 minutes of arriving at a fire.
From California to Illinois to New Jersey and beyond, pension gutting efforts are being overturned by judges who recognize that breaking promises to workers isn’t just regrettable, it’s illegal. Pension opponents castigate the courts as the enemy while conveniently ignoring why legal protections exist in the first place—to protect public employees from politicians who spent years playing politics with their retirement savings.
For decades, elected officials across the country skipped pension payments, often while funneling money into pet projects. Until the Great Recession, politicians were able to hide these mistakes behind a booming economy. But by 2008 the economy had plummeted, shining the spotlight on this financial malfeasance.
IAFF Calls Out Looters Of Public Pensions
Across America, state budgets are being balanced on the backs of current and former public employees by breaking commitments to fund their defined-benefit retirement plans. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is the latest to go this route, recently warning his state’s fire fighters, police officers, teachers and other public employees that he’ll propose skipping a couple (more) yearly installments against the state’s pension liability due to an unexpected revenue shortfall.
Cross Trained Collingswood Firefighters Save 2 Overdose Victims
"Earlier this year, the New Jersey State Legislature passed regulations allowing Basic Life Support emergency crews to carry Narcan. On May 20th, 2014, the members of the Collingswood Fire Department completed necessary training to carry this life saving drug. Since completing that training, Collingswood’s cross trained Firefighter/EMT’s have used their new skills to save two lives.
On Saturday, July 19th, the members of Squad 16 and BLS Ambulance 16 (A Platoon) responded to a report of an unconscious person. The patient was found not breathing and exhibiting signs of an opiate overdose. Following protocols, the members administered Narcan and transported the person to the hospital where the patient made a full recovery. On Saturday, August 2nd, members of Squad 16 and BLS Ambulance 16 (C Platoon) responded to a report of a person in respiratory failure. Their patient was also found exhibiting indications of an opiate overdose. Narcan was again administered and the patient transported to the hospital where she made a full recovery."
Thursday, July 24, 2014: Gloucester Township members assisted our brothers and sisters from the Gloucester Township Police Department at their annual "Junior Police Academy". Engine 822's members reviewed engine company operations while Tower Ladder 84's members reviewed truck company operations with the cadets.
Tuesday, July 22: Gloucester Township Station 86 and Pine Hill Ladder 62 members provided children at the Point Ariel Park Nature Camp with some relief from the summer heat with this wet down.
Firefighters have higher rates of cancer than the rest of us, according to a recent study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Cancers of the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems account for much of the reported cases, the study found.
Collingswood Firefighters Bring Holiday Joy to Needy Families
Firefighters from Collingswood set out with Santa to deliver Christmas gifts to families in need as part of the Department's 3rd Annual Toy Drive. On Christmas Eve, Santa was escorted on a decorated American LaFrance engine and gifts were placed under the tree for 25 children.
Thank you to Everyone Who Supported Our 2013 Christmas Toy Drive
Operation Warm: Firefighters Coats for Kids 2013
On Thursday, December 5, 2013, Camden County Local 3249 members helped out at radio station 93.3 WMMR's annual Preston and Steve Campout for Hunger, buying food with money from the Local's First Responders' Charities Foundation for people in need.
Probationary Firefighter Harold A. Mitten Jr. was administered his Oath of Office during the December 2 Borough of Collingswood Commissioners' meeting. Prior to joining the Collingswood FD, Brother Mitten was a member of Gloucester County, NJ Local 3592 while serving within the Harrison Township Fire District. Welcome Brother Mitten.
Thank you to all who supported Local’s 3249's 2013 "Brave Enough to Wear Pink" campaign and 2nd Annual "Shaving of the Heads" event at Rizzieri's Salon in Voorhees.
Camden County, NJ Local 3249 Welcomes Probationary Firefighters Paul Bonamassa and
Kyle Jarozynski who were administered their Oaths of Office during the October 7, 2013 Collingswood Borough Commissioners meeting.
Both hires are the direct result of the Borough of Collingswood being awarded a 2012 SAFER Grant. Photo through the courtesy of Local 3249 Delegate Ted Aurig.
Interim Fire Chief Michael Brezee assumed command of Gloucester Township Fire District 6's reorganized combination fire suppression force effective 12:01 AM on Friday, October 4, 2013.
Chief Brezee, representatives of Local 3249 and the Board of Fire Commissioners have met to address initial transitional issues and will continue to do so as necessary.
Local 3249's Executive Board and represented membership wish Chief Brezee and Gloucester Township Fire District 6 success within this new operation.
Local 3249's 2013 "Fill the Boot" Campaign raised $6,576.87 for the benefit of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and all people affected by muscle disease.
We are in the process of planning a check presentation and will announce arrangements as soon as they are complete.
Thank you to all who supported our 2013 MDA Campaign
On June 29, 2013 Local 3249 began its 2013 Fill the Boot collection campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Jerry's Kids today with the Collingswood FD's A Shift holding this year's first collection. A regional campaign is being conducted throughout Camden County. All donations received will be used to help those affected by Muscular Dystrophy. Watch for announcements of future MDA Fill the Boot events.
Thank you Borough of Collingswood Mayor James Maley and Fire Chief Keith Davis for your support of our June 29th event. Special thanks to everyone who donated to Fill the Boot. Daily contributions will be posted as soon as possible. 100% of the donations will go directly to help those from our area who have been affected by Muscular Dystrophy.
Filling The Boot for MDA
On Saturday, July 27, 2013 the Collingswood FD's C Shift Filled the Boot for the Muscular Dystrophy Association @ Haddon & Collings Avenues.
$971.91 was raised in three (3) hours.
One hundred percent of the money raised will be used to support area people and families affected by muscular disease.
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3249 are requesting an investigation of Blackwood Fire Chief John Vannoni over concerns about a fire department response on May 24, said Keith Kemery, the union president. The local wants the chief to step down during the investigation.
"This isn’t the first time we've had problems with Chief Vannoni," Kemery said.
The issue last month involved a dispatching error for a hazardous-material call. The dispatching error was quickly discovered, but Vannoni ordered his crew to stand down, Kemery said. He calls this is just the latest salvo in a long-running dispute with the chief, and says action needs to be taken.
"Local 3249 believes that Chief Vannoni’s actions were a deliberate attempt to attack the professional integrity and good names of Local 3249 represented career firefighters," said a letter presented to the Fire District 4 Board of Commissioners Wednesday. "Local 3249 further believes that Chief Vannoni’s latest actions represent a continued pattern of behavior that is predisposed to be adversarial and discriminatory toward full-time paid professional firefighters serving throughout Gloucester Township."
Fire District 4 oversees the Blackwood Fire Co. It's one of five fire districts in Gloucester Township and one of two that have paid and volunteer firefighters. Chews Landing also has paid and volunteer firefighters.
The letter also requested the commissioners investigate Vannoni's response on May 24 and an order by Gloucester Township's emergency management director to investigate the incident, Kemery said.
The board took no action on the letter because only two of five members showed up for the scheduled work session and there was no quorum.
Michael Jones, the chairman of the board, said he planned to forward the letter to the board solicitor, David Carlemere, who is also the township solicitor. When asked if he knew what the dispute was about, he paused for several seconds and then declined to comment.
Vannoni also attended the meeting. When asked about the allegations, he said he hadn't seen the complaint. When a reporter handed him the complaint, he took a few minutes to read the one-page letter, pausing to smile on several occasions, and then refused to comment.
April 10, 2013 –Results were released today of a new federal government study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that scientifically documents the effects of crew size in responding to fires in high-rise buildings.
Information and materials are now available online to help affiliates better understand the study and potential ways to use it with local press and decision makers based on their jurisdiction and situation. The toolkit includes sample press releases and sample op-ed that can be modified/customized to submit to local newspapers, radio stations and television stations.
Whether your jurisdiction is contemplating cuts to crew sizes or you need additional evidence to document why crew sizes need to be increased for public safety and fire fighter safety, this groundbreaking study is an invaluable resource for IAFF affiliates to use to educate policy and decision makers about why having too few fire fighters on each apparatus can cost lives and property in high-rise building fires.
Additional information, including a video description of this landmark high-rise fire study is available here.
Links to the NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits Health Benefits Handbooks may be found here
In the NJ Direct Handbook those preventative services which are mandated by the National Health Reform to be covered without co-payment are listed on pages 76, 77, and 81.
NJ State Health Benefits Mobile Phone Applications Aetna, CIGNA, and Horizon have developed applications for the iPhone, smartphones, and other web-enabled mobile devices to provide State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) members with plan information "on the go."
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. has also developed the Medco Pharmacy mobile app for its Prescription Plan, now available at no cost on BlackBerry® and Android™ smartphones using the Verizon Wireless network.
N.J. Public Workers Aren't the Enemy - or the Solution - in Budget Battle
Sorry, but there were no "union thugs" on the streets of Trenton last week when the Legislature voted to impose thousands of dollars of new and unexpected costs on a half-million public workers and retirees. And, if the day brought a great political victory by Gov. Chris Christie over big, bad unions, it is likely to come at great cost to just plain people.
*Cuts to public safety WILL allow more small fires to grow into killer blazes.
*Cuts to public safety WILL allow violent criminals the opportunity to prey upon
citizens with too few cops on the street to intervene.
*Cuts to public safety WILL make response times longer when emergency medical
services members must arrive in time to save a life.
Help Us To Help You!!!
With the continued help of our families, friends, neighbors and other supporters,
we will continue to protect and serve our communities.
Make Sure We're There When You Need Us!
Firefighters and First Responders Support Rally
Protest Attacks Against Public Employees
February 25, 2011: Approximately 2,500 public employees and supporters, including more than 200 firefighters, assembled on the steps of the State House in Trenton to protest continued legislative attacks on public employees. Public employees from the State of Wisconsin also traveled to New Jersey in order to support this Rally.
Local 3249 President and recently retired Gloucester Township Fire Captain Keith Kemery reminds a local reporter that firefighters and other first responders are not nameless or faceless. We are taxpayers with families to support just like everyone else. "I resent being called a greedy special interest for expecting the right to earn a living that will support our families while we work to protect and serve the citizens of New Jersey".
Firefighter Joe Hunter - Pine Hill Fire Department.
11 Years on the Job
Married with a son and a daughter.
Tax Paying Resident of Berlin, NJ.
Getting his head shaved in support of kids with cancer
Kids are trapped!!!
Do you want to go in there with him?
Statement Concerning the Concept of Countywide Shared Fire and Emergency Services
The Camden County Uniformed Firefighters Association, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3249, can not comment directly concerning an endeavor for which we have no specific information.
We are willing to listen to presented concepts that will help us provide better Fire/EMS service to the people we protect while also insuring that we the people providing the emergency services, continue to be able to safely earn a living to support our families.
Any newly organized Fire/EMS services system must be carefully and properly organized. Its members would have to be properly prepared for any new emergency services work or response area that they would be responsible for. Such an endeavor would take time. FAILURE is not an acceptable option when lives are at stake.
Any newly created regional Fire/EMS services system must be organized for the right reasons. Undertaking such an endeavor for political purposes is a recipe for DISASTER.
For Additional Commentary Contact President Keith Kemery via 609-820-2675
Quarterly Pension Payments Sent to Governor
The New Jersey legislature is taking steps to shore up the state pension system, approving a bill that would require the state to make quarterly, rather than annual pension payments. The bill (S-2810/A-4) passed both the state Senate and Assembly unanimously and has been sent to the governor’s desk for approval. Christie vetoed this measure twice before, but the Senate President is optimistic about the bill’s prospects. With the bill now on the governor’s desk, the AFL-CIO urges him to take swift action and sign it into law. Quarterly payments would be scheduled for Sept. 30, Dec. 31, March 31, and June 30. The law would take effect on July 1, 2017.
The switch to quarterly payments would save the pension system and taxpayers billions of dollars over the long run. By front-loading payments, investments have the chance to grow throughout the year unlike an annual lump sum payment at the end of the fiscal year. Furthermore, quarterly payments lower the potential of reduced year-end contributions.
The Truth About N.J.'s Pension Crisis And How To Fix It | Opinion NJ.COM Next November, New Jerseyans will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment to require the state government to make regular quarterly pension payments, which would put the state's pension system — and the state of New Jersey itself — on the road to fiscal solvency within six years.
IAFF Continues Boycott Of All Staples Stores
Since July 14, 2014, the IAFF has stopped doing business with, and will continue to boycott, Staples until further notice. The IAFF has joined the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the AFL-CIO's boycott of all Staples stores.
N.J. Among Worst Run States In Nation, Study Finds
Although the Garden State has a relatively low poverty rate and the third-highest median income in the nation, it was offset by several negative factors, the study said. Among the items that worked against New Jersey: a downward trending credit rating as well as the 10th-highest unemployment rate and a high debt per capita.
Christie's Pension Overseer Invested New Jersey Money In Fund He Is Linked To Privately
In the context of a New Jersey pension system stocked with $81 billion in assets, here was a transaction that seemed unremarkable. It was 2011, the year after Gov. Chris Christie had installed his longtime friend Robert Grady to oversee the state pension fund’s investments. A former executive from the heights of finance and a national Republican Party power broker, Grady was pursuing a new strategy, shifting money into hedge funds and private equity holdings in the name of diversification and higher returns. He was now pushing to entrust up to $1.8 billion of New Jersey pension money to the Blackstone Group, one of the largest players in private equity.
Gov. Christie Shifted Pension Cash to Wall Street, Costing New Jersey Taxpayers $3.8 Billion
Gov. Chris Christie's administration openly acknowledged that more New Jersey taxpayer dollars were going to land in the coffers of major financial institutions. It was 2010, and Christie had just installed a longtime private equity executive, Robert Grady, to manage the state's pension money. Grady promoted a plan to put more of those funds into riskier investments managed by Wall Street firms. Though this would entail higher fees, Grady said the strategy would "maximize returns while appropriately managing risk."
Wall Street Firm Where Chris Christie's Wife Works is Pulling in New Jersey Pension Fees
Under Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Wall Street firms as management fees on the state's pension funds. Just a few hundred thousand dollars of that has gone to a firm called Angelo Gordon over the past couple years, but David Sirota makes the case that it's worth a closer look nonetheless. Why? Well, Angelo Gordon hired Mary Pat Christie—the governor's wife—in 2012, paying her $475,000 a year.
Update on S2220
We have been advised that the Senate Democrat's will not adopt the changes called for in Governor Christie's CV of S-2220 that would limit payouts to local and school district employees for accrued sick and vacation days.
What this means, at this point in time, is that if the changes are not adopted, the current existing law regarding accrued sick leave and vacation days will remain unchanged. So however you are currently being compensated under your existing contract remains in effect.
If anything changes with the legislature, we will notify our members via email and our website.
The Unspoken Truth About Pensions
The efforts to shift blame to public employee unions for any projected shortfalls in the pension system are the equivalent to calling in a fire alarm on a house that you set ablaze.
The Truth About Arbitration
Many politicians, local and state, want everyone to believe that binding arbitration is the reason local property taxes are high, when this simply is not true.
Video: Smoke Showing
Fire Engineering.com - "Smoke Showing" is a short film that visually demonstrates the dangers and challenges faced by firefighters during a structural fire. This film will serve to educate recruit firefighters, elected officials and the public in fire operations. "Smoke Showing" demonstrates the need for an aggressive interior attack coupled with adequate resources in order to save lives and reduce property loss. The film is opened by the cast of "Rescue Me." It is dedicated to the proud service of Tom F. Brennan.