HAROLD A. SCHAITBERGER
International Association of Fire Fighters
Harold A. Schaitberger is General President of the International
Association of Fire Fighters, representing more than 300,000 professional fire
fighters and emergency medical personnel in every state in the U.S. and in
President Schaitberger is the ninth president in the IAFF’s
95-year history, and was the first to have been elected by acclamation in 2000.
He was re-elected to another four-year term in July 2012.
Under President Schaitberger’s leadership, the IAFF’s Political
Action Committee, FIREPAC, has grown to more than $4.6 million and ranks among the
top one percent of PACs in the nation. His commitment to ensuring that the IAFF supports
candidates and lawmakers who are friendly to fire fighters and their issues,
regardless of political party, has significantly enhanced the union’s power and
influence at all levels of politics.
Schaitberger also serves as a vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy
Association. The IAFF’s partnership with MDA has spanned nearly 55 years, and
with a renewed commitment to a comprehensive fundraising process under President Schaitberger’s leadership, the IAFF has raised its support for MDA every year he
has been president, including a record-breaking $28 million contribution to
Jerry’s Kids in 2009.
During Schaitberger’s tenure, the IAFF also
raised and distributed more than $160 million for the
families of the 343 fire fighters killed in the line of duty
on September 11, 2001, and the IAFF raised and provided
financial assistance to the fire fighters who suffered
losses at the hands of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in
2005, as well as provided significant food, clothing, water,
shelter and medical and psychological assistance to its more
than 8,000 members in the hurricane zones.
IAFF Financial Corporation, an innovative for-profit
corporation whose only shareholder is the International
Association of Fire Fighters, was also created and launched
under Schaitberger’s leadership. The IAFF-FC offers
deferred compensation plans for fire fighter supplemental
retirement assets, a quality mortgage and refinance program and a full range of insurance protection,
all with competitive pricing for IAFF members. The IAFF-FC deferred compensation
program has $1.78 billion in 457 plan retirement assets. IAFF
members have registered $274 million in loans with its home
mortgage program, and more
than 12,500 members have taken advantage of the auto and home
Schaitberger also serves on the AFL-CIO Executive Committee,
is a vice president of the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council and
was a co-chair of Labor 2004, the AFL-CIO’s election
steering committee. He is currently the chairman of the
Board of Trustees of the IAFF Burn Foundation and a board
member of the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial and the
National Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial.
Schaitberger began his career as a professional fire fighter in
Fairfax County, Virginia, and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was one of the
leaders who originally organized what was then a 500-member department as an
IAFF affiliate. In 1970 he was elected the first president of Fairfax County
Local 2068. In 1973, Schaitberger was elected president of the Virginia
Professional Fire Fighters.
Prior to his election as General President, Schaitberger served
as a top advisor to three IAFF presidents. He came to the IAFF headquarters in
1976 to create, establish and head the union’s national political and
legislative programs. He played a key role in the creation of the Public Safety
Officers Benefit, the enactment of the FLSA overtime law and spearheaded the
passing of the NFPA 1710 Standard which governs the deployment and staffing of
professional departments – a breakthrough measure that will benefit every man,
woman and child protected by professional fire fighters and paramedics.
Schaitberger also worked for decades to protect fire fighter pensions and
secured federal funds to create the IAFF Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass
Destruction Training Programs.