Brothers and sisters,

Welcome to the IAFF’s latest innovation. Today we are embracing the future with the launch of the IAFF Frontline Blog. This blog represents another step in the evolution of our communications effort.

Years ago we relied on our magazine to spread the word about our legislative efforts, developments in health and safety and other important news. But the communications landscape has changed drastically, even in the 10 years since you first elected me as your General President. The birth and rapid growth of the Internet and social media allows us to communicate with each other in ways we never imagined a decade ago. But since then, we’ve created an effective web site that has become indispensable. Our increasing use of e-mail allows us distribute important news and send e-mail blasts with timely information.

Now the IAFF Frontline Blog will allow me and others here at the International to build on that effort and provide you with important information, updates and commentary instantly on issues important to you.

I never anticipated that one day I would be a blogger – but I am excited to post our first blog today. I hope you participate in our virtual discussion. Any member can post comments to the blog entries you will see here simply by logging on. I encourage you to express your views, and I encourage debate. I know you well enough to know that our membership has a wide range of opinions and has diverse views on issues and that none of you is shy about expressing an opinion.

But as you express your views, I want to remind you of one thing – be civil. We reserve the right to remove remarks that are considered offensive or are racist, sexist or vulgar. Offensive remarks simply will not be tolerated. Your remarks should also be related to the blog item in question. Unrelated remarks will be deleted.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please refer to the blog rules, which are posted on this page and clearly state the rules of conduct.

With that….here we go!