To All IAFF Affiliate Leaders,
We need your help to provide needed emergency funds to our IAFF Disaster Relief Fund.
Over the last several weeks, you've seen our members in action in response to Hurricane Harvey, working around the clock to rescue literally tens of thousands of civilians, while risking their own lives and knowing their own homes were likely damaged or destroyed. And you've also seen this union helping our brothers and sisters in their time of need, providing food and water, direct financial assistance, vaccinations, behavioral health support and whatever else is required to make sure they get through the incident.
And now, with Hurricane Irma moving through Florida, where tens of thousands of our members are in the storm's path, we are again mobilizing a team to be on the ground to support our members with whatever they need. While Hurricane Irma had lost some of its strength as it made landfall, it has brought widespread destruction throughout the state, and our members' needs will be great.
The assistance we provide our members whenever they are displaced from their homes, whether it’s from a hurricane, floods, wildfires, tornadoes - any kind of disaster - is possible through our Disaster Relief Fund. That Fund is resourced based on decisions made during conventions, by our delegates, who have properly provided for it to be resourced for normal levels of these kinds of disasters.
But we aren’t funded at a level to take on these multiple, unprecedented events like Harvey and Irma. We have to rely on contributions to make up the difference - and that’s where this IAFF needs your affiliate’s help right now.
I am personally asking you and your local to step up to help our members affected by these devastating hurricanes by donating to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund as soon as possible.
You can send a check to:
IAFF Disaster Relief Fund
1750 New York Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20006Our union is able to continue to stand strong for our members because we all pull together in times of need. You know we have your backs, and I know you have ours.
Thank you for your continued generosity and support.
Brothers and Sisters:
First, I want to ask all members with serious problems to contact their DVP or Secretary Heinis so you can be put on a list for assistance. Remember, we can't help if we're not aware of the need. The contact information for both your DVP and the Principal Officers is available on the Local's website at www.iaff2546.com
Priority goes to open roofs and perforations that will lead to more damage if not secured quickly before rains. Since we don't have a cache of supplies, as the damage is statewide, being as self-sufficient as possible by trying to procure any supplies will be extremely helpful.
I just got off a Conference Call with IAFF and FPF and here is a recap of initial assessments:
The worst hit areas seem to be Everglades City, Ochopee, and Marco Island.
Jacksonville had major storm surge and flooding.
Supplies to assist will be prioritized to the hardest hit areas first.
The Keys faired better than expected, but have no water, sewage, electric, fuel, or communications. Go Teams are on the way there by boat today with emergency supplies and Miami Beach is sending a Task Force by vehicle today. The IAFF is sending a satellite phone for communications.
The IAFF arranged to have fuel tankers sent to fuel FF vehicles and generators in the most isolated regions - one is stationed in North Collier and one is heading to the Keys as soon as the roads are passable.
It's too early to mobilize volunteer help for the above-mentioned areas. They are still doing needs assessments and communications are very slow and poor.
For now, we are asking that you focus on helping each other within your individual units as you become aware of member needs. That is true Brotherhood and a rewarding experience to be a part of. Y'all know the member needs before we do.
If you need our help, PLEASE contact us via cell, text or e-mail.
Finally, I know the loss of electricity is challenging and may last for a while longer. That is well beyond our control and we must all be patient, make the necessary adjustments to loss of comfort and convenience, and be thankful we did not lose any members or their homes - at least that we know of. Speaking of which, if you know of a member (or family member) who has experienced a severe injury or loss of life event, please contact your DVP or Secretary Heinis ASAP so that we reach out to them to provide any needed assistance.
I have received several inquiries about the public records exemptions to Florida's "Government in the Sunshine" laws (Chapters 119 & 286 F.S.) afforded to firefighters and EMS personnel. Most have indicated that their concerns are a result of recent news that the President's Task Force of Voter Fraud has requested comprehensive voter information from all Secretaries of State, which the Task Force intends to make available to the public.
As you may know, 119.071(4) F.S. states the following regarding the release of information related to firefighters and EMS personnel:
The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of firefighters certified in compliance with s. 633.408; the home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such firefighters; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such firefighters are exempt from s. 119.07(1).
The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former emergency medical technicians or paramedics certified under chapter 401; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution if the emergency medical technicians or paramedics have made reasonable efforts to protect such information from being accessible through other means available to the public. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
Unfortunately, these protections are not automatic and you must specifically request that your protected information be exempted. As it pertains to your voter information, you must submit a form to the Office of the Secretary of State. A link to the form, along with submission instructions, can be found here. Additionally, you may wish to send a copy of the request, along with a cover letter requesting the same exemption, to your local Supervisor of Elections.
Finally, property owners may wish to contact the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector in any Florida jurisdiction(s) where they own property for information on how to submit a request to their respective offices.
Remember, it is an unfortunate fact that, despite the good work we do, there are risks that come along with our jobs and those who would seek to harm us for doing so. Please take a moment to make these requests for the safety and privacy of you and your families.
E. Scott Heinis, Secretary
Suncoast Professional Firefighters and Paramedics
Local 2546 of the International Association of Firefighters
740 Commerce Drive, Suite 1
Venice, FL 34292
Main Office: (941) 485-5193
Direct Line: (941) 441-3366
Fax: (941) 488-6134
You may have heard about the sale of Kaplan University to the Indiana-based Purdue University. We want to assure our members and family members who are enrolled through our partnership with Kaplan University that the benefits, academic programs and support services will not change.
The only thing that changes is future graduates will earn their diplomas from the new university. Students who graduate between now and the end of the year will continue to receive their diploma from Kaplan University.
The new university, which is yet to be named, will likely be established in approximately six to seven months, pending the necessary regulatory and accreditor approvals. Kaplan University students will be transferred to the new university but will keep the same instructors, courses and learning programs.
We are committed to providing opportunities for members to pursue higher education programs at a price they can afford and will provide additional updates as the purchase process progresses.
Our redesign of your Straight Streams newsletter has been completed and the latest edition is now available!
You can read it online in your web browser or download a PDF copy by following this link: Straight Streams – Summer 2017.
We are offering a beta version as an .epub file your your e-reader devices, which can be downloaded here. Please be patient with this pre-release product while we experiment with different presentation formats.
Please Note: As a part of our transition to online/electronic delivery of Straight Streams, all members have been set to receive it that way by default. If you wish to receive a printed hard copy of Straight Streams, please contact me via e-mail or phone (listed below) so that I can change your preference and verify your contact information.
Broward County, FL Local 4321, was officially sworn in at IAFF headquarters by General President Harold Schaitberger as the new 12th District Vice President, replacing Larry Osborne who has retired after 10 years of distinguished service on the IAFF Executive Board.
The International conducted special election nominations to fill Osborne’s seat. As the only person nominated for the position, a single ballot was cast for Dix and he was acclaimed as 12th District Vice President.
“I am confident that Brother Dix will follow the great legacies of all our past 12th District Vice Presidents and will serve our members in an outstanding manner,” says Schaitberger. “I know we all look forward to working with him on behalf of our great union.”
He adds, “On behalf of General Secretary-Treasurer Edward Kelly and myself, I congratulate Larry Osborne for an incredible career working on behalf of our great membership and for a long deserved retirement.”
Dix says, “I am extremely honored and humbled to follow such strong union leaders like Larry Osborne, Dominick Barbera and Charlie Hall. For more than 45 years, the 12th District has had the absolute privilege of being represented by good men who are union to the core. I believe that my time spent working alongside these great union leaders will serve me well in representing the 12th District.”
As a native of South Florida, Dix has spent his career of 37 years with Broward County Fire Rescue, serving as president of Local 4321 for the past 26 years. During his tenure as president, Dix helped orchestrate the merger of nine locals to form Local 4321 and spearheaded several municipal mergers with Broward County Fire Rescue.
In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious IAFF Leadership Award. In 2009, he was named the state of Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year.
Dix has also joined disaster relief efforts for major hurricanes, establishing IAFF disaster relief operations centers for Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita and Super Storm Sandy.
With more than 30,000 members, the 12th District is the third-largest district in the IAFF.
Local 2546 Update - Shift Calendars
Members, Family and Friends:
This year the Local will be providing shift calendars via three methods based on feedback from our members - the Local 2546 App for Android and iOS, a mobile web version and a physical pocket calendar.
Currently the Local 2546 App is in review by Apple's App Store. Once it becomes available, we will post an update on the Local's website, here on Facebook and via Twitter.
The mobile web version can be accessed by visiting the following link: http://calendar.iaff2546.com
Just select your department from the dropdown menu to see a version of the shift calendar that has been customized for you.
Click here for instructions to add an icon for accessing the online shift calendar to your home screen for both Android and iOS devices.
For those of you who prefer a physical calendar, we have two options for you - you can download a customized shift calendar that you can print at home or you can request a 'generic' folded pocket calendar by contacting your DVP. You can access the printable version of the shift calendar by visiting the following link: https://goo.gl/EXSk8j
Thanks for your patience while we expand our methods for keeping you all engaged and informed.
The Local 2546 YouTube channel is now live!
Visit our page via the link below to stay up-to-date via the latest Union-related media.
Firefighter iPhone Apps
Other Firefighter iPhone Apps
An easy and simply log for the events specific to fire activity to avoid fumbling for paper/pencil during an emergency.
Rescue Field Guide
Packed with valuable charts, diagrams, and how-to information with customizable notes and favorites.
Emergency Response Guidebook
Have the hazardous material information in your hand when responding.
Your pocket reference for hydraulics, water delivery, incident response checklist, EMS, training/study guides, and hazmat.
Fire Pump Calculator
Calculation tool for determining discharge pressure for firefighting pumps.
Eloquent and thorough phrasebook is like having a personal interpreter on call 24/7 in your pocket for a price less than a burrito
Listen to thousands of live police, fire, EMS, railroad, air traffic, NOAA weather, coast guard, and other emergency frequencies.
Fire Truck Lite
The "Fire Truck" puzzle is a variation of a classic block sliding game that has been played in many countries for over 100 years.
ShiftPro is a Firefighter shift calendar and a shift trade monitor developed by a firefighter for firefighters.
What's New at IAFF 2546Services Set for Slain Fireman
Lt. Sam P. Dreher II is not alone. Charlotte County firefighters are taking turns standing guard over Dreher’s body. Charlotte County Fire/EMS spokeswoman Dee Hawkins said they will continue to stand beside Dreher until his burial Saturday.
Dreher, 39, was shot outside a Sarasota apartment Saturday by his estranged wife’s boyfriend, Michael Minor, 27, authorities have said. Dreher died from his injuries Sunday.
The 18-year veteran of Charlotte County Fire/EMS will be remembered at a visitation today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Larry Taylor Funeral Home, 1515 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Burial will follow at Charlotte Memorial Gardens, where Dreher’s father is buried, said Taylor.
The Charlotte County Fire/EMS Honor Guard will be present at the service Saturday, along with honor guards from other agencies, Hawkins said.
The sudden, shocking death of Dreher — known as Sammy — has greatly affected his fellow firefighters and paramedics.
“We’re just taking care of each other, checking on each other,” Hawkins said.
Dreher’s Battalion Chief, Jon Miller, has “shown a tremendous amount of support,” Hawkins said, as have Battalion Chiefs Mark Crigler and James Stillwagon.
“Everybody’s suffering the loss,” Hawkins said. “Everyone’s feeling the pain.”
Critical incident stress management teams are working with crews at each of the fire stations across Charlotte County, Hawkins said.
“We’ll get through this as a group together,” Hawkins said. “Sammy was such a wonderful person.”
Dreher, a North Port resident and a graduate of Charlotte High School, worked as a firefighter and paramedic, in addition to serving on the Marine Operations Team. He also worked for the Punta Gorda Fire Department prior to Charlotte County Fire/EMS.
Memorial donations in Dreher’s honor can be made at any Sun Trust Bank to Firefighters for Kids of Charlotte County.