Like many IAFF affiliates in these tough times, Norton Shores, MI Local 2559 is fighting to protect public safety. Their story illustrates how important public education is for making sure you have your community’s support when you need it.

Norton Shores Local 2559 needed to generate community support for a public safety milage to bring staffing to safe levels. Only one or two fire fighters were on duty at any given time at each of the city’s four stations.

When Local 2559 posted signs letting the public know how many fire fighters were on duty, it became clear that members of the community never knew that the stations were understaffed, or how much it put their safety at risk. The lack of education by the public was eye-opening not only for the members of Local 2559, but for the fire chief and city manager as well.

In February, citizens of Norton Shores voted YES on the public safety milage. It passed, thanks to Norton Shores fire fighters’ efforts to educate the public about what their fire fighters do and why staffing is so important to their safety and the safety of the fire fighters.

Norton Shores Local 2559 asked the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union (MPFFU) to share their story with other IAFF locals in the state in hopes that it would help them in these hard economic times. In turn, IAFF 8th District Vice President Paul Hufnagel sent us their story, and now we’re sharing it with all IAFF affiliates.

Do you have a story to share with other locals?