Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel for 2023 12th District Conference

Hyatt Regency Savannah

IAFF 12th District Conference

July 17-18, 2023 • Savannah, GA

The 12th District Conference will bring in local leadership from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Caribbean Islands. Don’t miss the opportunity to network with a diverse group of affiliates and learn new skills and resources for facing your local’s unique challenges.

The IAFF mobile app has everything you need to guide you through this training event, including the agenda, workshop times and rooms, and online evaluations. Download the IAFF mobile app.

Registration is now open to all leaders in the 12th District. The registration fee is $199. Registration is capped at 40 participants per track, so early registration is strongly encouraged.

View details on the event agenda.

Register Online

For more information, contact [email protected].

Monday, July 17
7:30 a.m.-12 p.m.Registration/Sign in
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.General Session

Walter Dix, 12th District Vice President, International Association of Fire Fighters
Johnny Hinton, President, IAFF Local 574
Savannah, GA City Councilor
Frank V. Lima, General Secretary-Treasurer, International Association of Fire Fighters
Edward A. Kelly, General President, International Association of Fire Fighters
Kurt Becker, Chief Operating Officer, IAFF Financial Corporation

10-minute intermission

Ryan Heffernan, Assistant to the General President, Communications
Thomas Breyer, Assistant to the General President, TAIR
Maureen Green, Assistant to the General Secretary-Treasurer, Membership
Jamie Burgess, Deputy Director, Hazardous Materials Training Department
Kevin O’Connor, Assistant to the General President, Government Affairs & Political Action
Timothy Dupin, Director, Political Action & Strategic Initiatives
Neil McMillan, Director, Science & Research
Peter Leff, IAFF General Counsel
Erin Lynch, Assistant to the General President, IAFF Foundation

12-1 p.m.Lunch
1-3 p.m.Workshop Breakouts
3-3:15 p.m.Break
3:15-5:15 p.m.Workshop Breakouts
6-7:30 p.m.12th District Hospitality Reception


Tuesday, July 18
7-8 a.m.Breakfast
8-9 a.m.General Session

Occupational Cancer and PFAS Overview

Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, Ph.D., D.O., M.P.H, University of Miami Health System
Neil McMillan, Director, Science & Research

PFAS Law Firms

James Ledlie, Motley Rice LLC
T.J. McManus
, Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C.
Mike Stewart
, Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC

9-11 a.m.Workshop Breakouts
11-11:15 a.m.Break
11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.Workshop Breakouts


Contract Language and Medical Marijuana (2 hours)
Today’s fire service is dealing with the challenges of legal medical marijuana. The panelists will discuss their experience with the legalization of medical marijuana, contract language, and propose solutions for current and emerging challenges.

An Introduction to Behavioral Health (2 hours)
The fire service has traditionally recognized the need for medical and physical fitness. However, the need to further develop knowledge and awareness about common behavioral health issues is also being recognized as an important function within the fire service. This workshop will address the importance of developing a behavioral health program, recognizing common signs of behavioral health conditions, where to obtain outside assistance, as well as understanding and minimizing the barriers and stigmas often associated with seeking support.

Cancer Awareness: Tools for Affiliate Leaders (2 hours)
It has been clearly documented in multiple studies that fire fighters are more likely to develop a number of occupational cancers resulting from their exposure to toxic chemicals and carcinogens over the course of their employment. This workshop will review recent studies on the incidence of cancer in fire fighters and will guide affiliate leaders on the resources available to educate their members on exposure hazards, from fire scene contaminants, and diesel exhaust, and the necessity of post-incident decontamination. This workshop will also review the tools necessary to affect personal commitment and organizational accountability to minimize the contraction of occupational cancers.

Overview of Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Policy for Union Leaders (2 hours)
The emerging threat of terrorism and asymmetric warfare, specifically small unit active shooter and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, is a concern for the fire service. An attack by radicals armed with weapons in public areas, such as schools, shopping malls, churches, or any other locations where people congregate is a real threat to a sense of security and daily life. Fire and police departments, regardless of size or capacity, must find ways to marshal appropriate and effective responses to these events. Therefore, it is important that – as a union leader – when these discussions, training and situations arise, we are prepared to advocate properly for our membership and understand how to keep our members working safely and effectively.


Building Coalitions (2 hours)
A coalition is a group of individuals or organizations that work together to achieve common goals and solve problems. A coalition can be formal or informal in structure depending on its purpose. Due to its size and scope, a coalition can accomplish significantly more than an individual organization. This workshop will teach you how to build coalitions and use them to achieve your goals.

Establishing & Maintaining a Political Action Committee (2 hours)
State and local officials — and state and local laws — affect your wages, benefits, labor laws and working environment. With a state and/or local political action committee (PAC), fire fighters can help support the campaigns of officials, candidates and ballot issues that represent their communities’ best interests. This workshop addresses not just the laws and regulations affecting state and local PACs, but also how to promote a PAC, raise funds and plan contributions.

Introduction to Political Action (2 hours)
Local government officials are ultimately responsible for making decisions that affect the wages and benefits of fire fighters. To secure the best working conditions for your members, it is essential that your local union becomes politically active to ensure that those candidates who support fire fighter issues are elected and remain in office. This workshop will give you an overview of the political process and teach you how to set up a political action plan that is most effective in achieving your goals.

Introduction to Public Relations (2 hours)
A strategic public relations program will enable your local to use public support to achieve its goals and handle an unforeseen crisis. By communicating effectively with the public and local officials, a union is more likely to secure better wages for its members, improve staffing and avoid budget cuts. This workshop is designed to give you the tools and tactics you need to set up a successful public relations program for your local.


Frontline Union Representative Basics (2 hours)
This workshop addresses the knowledge and skills involved in effectively enforcing contract provisions and representing workers’ rights with your fire service management and jurisdiction. It will introduce and explore the issues and best practices involved in handling grievances, enforcing contract language, and handling discipline issues. Additionally, this workshop reviews ways that key union personnel can inform membership on the benefits of union membership and active involvement..

Duty of Fair Representation (2 hours)
As an affiliate leader, you may be subject to a legal standard, known as duty of fair representation (DFR), that governs how you represent your members in contract negotiations, grievances, and other labor matters. In this workshop, you will study relevant case law to learn what is required of you, how the courts have applied this standard to unions, the consequences of violating the standard, and best practices to avoid DFR lawsuits.

Introduction to Grievances (2 hours)
The manner in which you process grievances will determine how quickly they are resolved and how your members will perceive you. A good understanding of the grievance process will better enable you to enforce the collective bargaining agreement and avoid costly arbitration hearings. In this workshop, you will learn how to evaluate and file a grievance, reduce your chances of receiving a DFR claim, and develop effective grievance strategies. This workshop is ideal for local union officers and grievance committee members who have limited experience with grievances.

Investigating & Processing Grievances: Non-Collective Bargaining Environments (2 hours)
A quick and efficient resolution to a grievance is the best strategy, but in order to resolve a grievance the process must be understood. Understanding the grievance process will enable you to assist your membership in navigating the process. In this workshop, you will learn how to determine if a grievance has merit and how to provide assistance to a member who is filing a grievance. This workshop is ideal for local union officers and grievance committee members who have limited experience with grievances in a non-collective bargaining environment.


IAFF Resiliency Training (8 hours)
The IAFF Resiliency Training is an eight-hour, in-person training focused on building individual and organizational resilience in the fire service. Through a combination of self-assessment, didactic instruction, group discussion, and video, participants will learn essential factors that contribute to personal resiliency and gain practical stress management skills to be applied on and off the job.



History of Title 25 & Collective Bargaining in Georgia (1 hours)

Roadmap to Passing a Title 25 Ordinance (1 hours)

Member Engagements (2 hours)

Lobbying 101: Understanding the Local Legislative Process (2 hours)
Whether at the local, state or federal level, learning and knowing how to lobby elected officials is one of the most effective ways to gain favorable legislation. Understanding the process and learning how to identify, organize and implement an action plan is an asset to provide a positive impact for fire fighter issues. In this workshop, you will examine the basics of lobbying and how to effectively address and organize an action plan for dealing with elected officials.

Negotiating the Contract (2 hours)

Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel for 2023 12th District Conference

Hyatt Regency Savannah

2 W Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Online Reservation

The hotel rate is $177/night.

The deadline to book your hotel room at this rate is June 23, 2023.