IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger today told delegates the IAFF will remain on the frontlines for the 298,000 fire fighters in the U.S. and Canada who continue to face pressure at home from public officials who are trying to decimate wages and pensions and using the recession as cover to attack first responders.

“I want everyone who has tried to destroy what we’ve built for our members know that you may knock us down a time or two but you will never knock us out,” the General President said in his State of the Union address today. “And if it’s a fight you want, by God it’s a fight you’re going to get!”

The General President clearly hit a chord with the 2,273 delegates in San Diego for the IAFF 50th Convention when discussing the union’s success in obtaining SAFER funds.

He also received a standing ovation – one of many – when he closed his speech by urging IAFF members to stand together to fight hostile public officials.

“I said it when I walked out here this morning. We are so much better, we are so much stronger when we stand together,” the General President said. “So stand with me to protect what we’ve built! Stand with me to build a brighter future! Let’s stand together!”