All month long, the Frontline Blog has warned IAFF affiliates to be skeptical of data compiled by ICMA-based consultant Leonard Matarese encouraging the merger of fire and police services.

Now, you’ll understand why after you listen to this audio recording that the IAFF has obtained of a 2005 presentation coordinated by Matarese and the International City/County Management (ICMA).

Fire fighters said they are concerned over the “anti-fire and anti-union” nature of Matarese’s presentations. (Around the 1:01:40 mark you will hear a swipe/compliment directed towards the IAFF).

Most importantly, fire fighters are concerned about skewed data that the consultant has used to persuade city councils to approve changes to fire departments.

IAFF members who read the Frontline Blog said they were successful in fighting against Matarese’s recommendations for their fire departments. However, they worry for their brothers and sisters who aren’t in a good political position to push back on the consultant’s work.

Don’t be blindsided by what’s happening in your City Hall and City Council Chambers. Pay careful attention to the firms/consultants that your City Council plans to use for projects pertaining to the fire department.  After our blog postings, several members shared their fire department’s experience when their municipality turned to the consultant for services. Matarese is a former police officer and serves as the director of Research and Public Safety Programs at the ICMA.

Keep up to date on the IAFF’s campaign against negative attacks on fire fighters’ pensions and other benefits by visiting IAFF Fighting Back.

And one more thing. Please share the ICMA audio with other IAFF members to help expose the attitudes of those people who claim to know fire fighting better than career fire fighters.

The professionals can teach them a thing or two.