For the past week, the IAFF has continuously monitored the track of Hurricane Irene, and has provided updates regarding conditions or news affecting our members. Approximately 620 IAFF affiliates were located in this storm’s path.  Additionally, we updated our hurricane information and resources on our website.

The IAFF District Vice Presidents, whose members were in the path of Hurricane Irene, have now reported that there has been major flooding, wind damage and significant power losses from this hurricane.  We will continue to assess our members’ needs but we are thankful that Hurricane Irene didn’t cause more devastation across the East Coast over the weekend. Sixty-five million North Americans were in the path of the storm and 26 people were killed in eight states – with North Carolina being the hardest hit.

IAFF members were on the frontlines doing what they do every day and that’s to take care of others even when their own families and properties were at risk.
New York fire fighters saved 61 people from a Staten Island neighborhood Sunday as water from a lake flooded their homes. New Jersey fire fighters and other public safety officers rescued hundreds of people from hotels, homes and apartment buildings.

In Philadelphia, fire fighters rescued a man clinging to a tree.  |

And fire fighters outside of the East Coast were called to assist with rescue and recovery efforts.

In a time when public employees are being scape-goated for being greedy and hurting municipality and state budgets Hurricane Irene should serve as a reminder of the vital and important work every fire fighters and paramedics do every day.