September 22, 2017

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Who We Are, What We Do
The Greater Delaware Valley Professional
Fire Fighters' Association Trust

Our Mission is to Advance the Interests of Organized Fire Fighters
in the Greater Delaware Valley: By Promoting Better
Working Conditions (including wages and benefits) for Professional
Fire Fighters; Organizing the Unorganized; Promoting Safety in the
Workplace; Educating Members in all of the Aforesaid Areas; and
Assisting the Participating Local Unions by Providing Education to
Enable Such Unions to Better Represent their Members
on Employment Issues.

Coming Events:

Thursday, September 28, 2017
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday, September 29, 2017
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
COST: $60.00 per person per day

Click Here for a Registration Form
**Deadline for Registration is
September 25, 2017**

Price Includes: Light breakfast (Coffee, tea, juice, bagels, donuts) and Lunch, Certificate of attendance
(Technical Inspector/Official CEU’s will be awarded by the NJ Division of Fire Safety - PENDING)
Any questions contact: Bob Carr - 609-702-7158 ext. 3951 or by e-mail at

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017

What Happens After Suppression – Investigating and Litigating Fire Loss Claims
Presented By:
Chris Konzelmann, Esq.

Partner at Philadelphia
based law firm
White and Williams LLP
Captain, Moorestown Fire Department

A Basic Approach to Vehicle Fire Investigations
Presented By:
Joseph Herzberg

Origin and Cause investigator,
Sterling Investigation Services
Retired Captain - Bordentown Fire Department,
District 2

*NOTE: This Class is Limited to 35 Students*

Insurance companies hire lawyers and consultants following major fires to determine origin and cause and investigate subrogation recovery possibilities.  The investigation sometimes results in litigation against responsible third parties.  Public sector officials are usually asked to provide information and testimony during that litigation.

This presentation will discuss what happens, from the insurance company perspective, after suppression is complete and the scene is returned to the property owner.  Topics will include: (a) the claim submission process; (b) insurance company subrogation departments; (c) the forensic fire loss investigation process including joint site and evidence exams; (d)  litigating fire loss claims; (e) depositions; and (f) the role of public sector officials during the investigation and litigation process

Students will participate in both an interactive classroom lecture as well as hands on training with recently burned vehicles. The classroom lecture portion will cover the basic systems of vehicles and provide helpful tips websites and links, along with providing an overview of doing a completed vehicle fire investigation through the use of photos and videos of current and recent cases.

The hands-on portion will allow students working in small groups to do an examination of vehicles, which have been burned the night before the class for the most realistic scenes.

*Equipment Needed:  All students will be required to bring gloves/head & eye protection. Students may also bring photograph equipment at their preference.

What's New:

Upper Darby Gets Federal Grant to Hire Six New Firefighters

U. S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., announced the Upper Darby Township Fire Department was awarded a $1.2 million Department of Homeland Security grant to hire six firefighters.

The $1,188,043 grant to add additional firefighters will assist the department ensuring they meet National Fire Protection Association standards for sufficient staffing.

“We were notified last week,” Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie said. “We had to compete against other municipalities and received the grant his year.”

According to Micozzie, the 35 percent matching grant will allow the township to hire two new firefighters over the next three years and will be adding to the existing 51 paid firefighters employed.

“I am pleased to announce a federal grant that will assist Upper Darby Township in hiring six new firefighters,” Toomey said. “Additional firefighters can mean the difference between life and death for Upper Darby residents. I’m very grateful the Department of Homeland Security has recognized Upper Darby’s pressing needs ad granted its request.”

Is Allentown Neglecting its Fleet of Fire Trucks?

On the day fire gutted five row homes on Delaware Street in 2008 and made 19 people homeless, four Allentown fire engines were out of service, including the one at the nearby Mack South Fire Station. So officials at Mack were forced to send a pickup truck to the fast-moving fire, and Fearless Fire Station, also in south Allentown, helped by sending its engine.

Still, because of widespread equipment shortages at the city’s six fire stations, it would take about 15 minutes for two more engines and a ladder truck to arrive.

Determined to learn from experience, Allentown bought five fire trucks in the next two years and Bob Kudlak, then the assistant fire chief, was tasked with creating a vehicle replacement schedule. He started by taking inventory of every truck, noting age, mileage and location.

“It took a lot of time and effort,” said Kudlak, who retired as chief in 2015.

After submitting the plan, though, “nothing really came of it,” he said.

Nearly a decade later, fire officials say they could be left short-handed again, as equipment ages and no schedule is devised to replace it.

On Memorial Day weekend, for example, two heavily used engines were taken out of service for repairs and two engines in the reserve fleet were sent to replace them. But by the end of the weekend, one of the replacements had broken down, leaving the fire department with few options, according to the firefighters’ local union.

Are Firefighters More at Risk of Developing Dementia?

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 developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

According to an article on, 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.

How Much Is Each Addition Firefighter On An Engine Worth? About $600,000.

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?

Study Highlights Link Between Firefighters' Work and High Blood Pressure

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.

DISPATCH Special Edition: IAFF Center of Excellence
The grand opening of the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery - the first facility of its kind exclusively for IAFF members - was held March 5, 2017.

High Court Upholds Minimum Staffing Decision For Allentown, PA Firefighters

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.

NFPA Issues Tentative Interim Amendment to Change PASS Alarm Sound
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) that requires PASS manufacturers to change the PASS alarm sound required in the current edition of NFPA 1982–2013 for PASS devices manufactured after December 21, 2016, to a new, more audible PASS alarm sound. This impacts stand-alone PASS devices and PASS that are integrated with SCBA.

The 2013 edition of the NFPA PASS standard implemented a standardized PASS alarm sound for all PASS devices. The purpose of the standard alarm sound was to improve fire fighter safety, interoperability on the fireground and the directionality of the PASS alarm sound. For fire departments in the United States and Canada, most PASS devices are integrated with SCBA. 
In 2015, the NFPA committee responsible for PASS began to hear concerns from fire departments and fire fighters that the new standard alarm sound was harder to hear than the older PASS alarm sounds.   

The Technical Committee on Electronic Safety Equipment has identified a more effective pattern of sound and has incorporated it into the Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA), which requires all PASS manufacturers to implement the new universal PASS alarm sound to comply with NFPA 1982, 2013 Edition. The Technical Committee believes this new sound is more audible than the current PASS alarm sound and further enhances fire fighter safety.

New NFPA 1710 Explainer Video
NFPA 1710 is the internationally accepted standard on minimum crew size and operational staffing for career fire departments.

Second Edition Voice Radio Communications Guide Released
The importance of radio communications for fire fighter safety is the focus of the newly-released Voice Radio Communications Guide for the Fire Service.

Developed by the IAFF in partnership with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, First Responders Group, Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, this second edition provides the fundamental awareness of radio communications technology and human resource issues, and covers basic radio technology, digital and analog technology, conventional and trunked radio systems, portable radios, system design and implementation, interoperability and spectrum licensing.

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.

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 or call 202-824-8620.

Breaking News:

Kidde Recalls More Than 5 Million Combination Smoke, Carbon Monoxide AlarmsKidde is recalling 3.6 million smoke alarms in the United States, and another 1.5 mllion in Canada, the company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently said.

The Executive Board and represented paid professional firefighters, EMT'S and Paramedics of the Greater Delaware Valley Professional Firefighters Association congratulate Past IAFF Local 22 Vice President Tim McShea upon the occasion of his retirement after more than 37 years of service with the Philadelphia Fire Department.

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.


Harold A. Schaitberger
General President 

What Chris Christie Didn't Tell N.J. About Pension Payments: Opinion

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.

Christie's Pension Scam Needs Constitutional Remedy: Editorial
In an ideal world, the state Constitution would not be used to dictate policy. It would spell out the rules of the game, and leave policy to the players.

Because policy should often change as conditions change. And one generation of politicians should not dictate policy to the next.

But there are reasonable exceptions. Voters in November amended the Constitution to raise the minimum wage because they found it intolerable that so many hard-working people were stuck in poverty at a time of record corporate profits.

Because Gov. Chris Christie vetoed an increase, and obedient Republican legislators blocked an override, amending the Constitution was the only option.

We may be facing a second circumstance like that, on pension reform. Without an amendment requiring the state to make its promised payments into the fund, reform will likely be impossible. And without reform, this state’s future prosperity is at grave risk. Our credit rating will continue to sink as the shortfall grows, leading inevitably to large tax hikes and cuts to big-time items like education and health care.

Opinion: Presto, Gov. Christie Shifts Blame For Pension Hole
Magicians use misdirection to distract the audience from noticing the real trick. Likewise, politicians use misdirection to distract voters from the real issues.

For months, Gov. Christie, a master of misdirection, has been telling the public that New Jersey public employees receive exorbitant pension benefits that are destroying the pension funds: “You cannot raise taxes enough in New Jersey to pay for the pension hole that’s been dug over the period of time that these exorbitant benefits that have been promised to people.” But a new study by New Jersey Policy Perspective disputes the governor’s use of the term “exorbitant.” According to the study, New Jersey's public employee pensions are not exorbitant, at least not compared with other plans across the country.

According to the NJPP, New Jersey's pension plans rank 95th out of the 100 largest pension plans in the nation.

IAFF Continues Boycott Of All Staples Stores

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."

What Judges Know: The Fault for Underfunded Pensions Lies With Politicians, Not Workers
Advocates of gutting public pensions are running into the same wall over and over again.

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.

Study Finds Firefighter Cancer Rates have Increased
Running toward burning buildings is a risk firefighters face daily. But the true cost of the job could appear years later, reports USA Today. 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.

Study: Firefighters Have Higher Rates of Cancer

High-Rise Fire Study Results Support Need for Larger Crew Sizes

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.

Click here for the affiliate toolkit.

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.

Opinion: Christie Broke Promises To Police, Firefighters, N.J. Voters

IAFF Marches on Philadelphia

The IAFF led by General President Harold Schaitberger rallied at City Hall to
show their strength and stand-up to Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter.

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