IAFF 4th District Conference (formerly PEP)

May 25-26, 2023 • Hilton Norfolk The Main (Virginia)

The 4th District Conference welcomes all affiliate leaders in both the 4th District and the 16th District from Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with a diverse group of affiliates and learn new skills and resources for facing your local’s unique challenges.

The registration fee for the IAFF 4th District Conference is $199.

Each PEP workshop track is capped at 60 participants. The capacity for the Peer Support Training Program is 30. Early registration is encouraged. View workshop descriptions.


When you register, choose from one of the PEP workshop tracks, each with a total of eight hours of instruction offered over two days. Peer Support Training Program is a two-day training event with eight hours each day.

For more information, email [email protected]. In addition, the IAFF app will have everything you need to guide you through this training event, including the agenda, workshop times and rooms, and online evaluations. Download the IAFF app.


3-5 p.m.Registration OpenExchange Registration Area (3rd Floor)
5-7 p.m.Virginia Professional Fire Fighters ReceptionThe Harbor Club
333 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia


7-8:30 a.m.BreakfastExchange Registration Area (3rd Floor)
7-9 a.m.Registration OpenGranby Salons A, B, C, & D


Norfolk Fire & Rescue Honor Guard and Pipe Band


Lawrence “LB” Brown
President, Norfolk Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 68

John DiBacco
Fire Chief, Norfolk Fire-Rescue, Norfolk, Virginia

Mamie B. Johnson
Councilwoman, City of Norfolk, Virginia

Andrew K. Pantelis
4th District Vice President
International Association of Fire Fighters

Frank V. Líma
General Secretary-Treasurer
International Association of Fire Fighters


Edward A. Kelly
General President
International Association of Fire Fighters


Kurt M. Becker
Chief Operating Officer, IAFF Financial Corporation

Dr. Joshua J. Smith
Assistant to the General President for Human Relations, Education, and Grants Administration

Maureen T. Green
Assistant to the General Secretary-Treasurer for Membership Services

Thomas Breyer
Assistant to the General President for Technical Assistance and Information Resources

Ryan Heffernan
Assistant to the General President for Communications

Kevin B. O’Connor
Assistant to the General President for Governmental Affairs, Strategic Campaigns, and Political Initiatives

Sean DeCrane
Director of Health and Safety Operational Services

Peter Leff
General Counsel

Granby Salon E
10 a.m.-5 p.m.IAFF Peer Support Trainer Program
11-11:20 a.m.BURNED Screening
11:20-11:30 a.m.Attorney James Ledlie, Motley Rice LLC
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.LunchGranby Salons A, B, C, & D
12:30-5 p.m.IAFF Partnership Education Program (PEP) Courses
5:30-7 p.m.IAFF 4th District Vice President’s ReceptionGrain Rooftop Beer Garden
Hilton Norfolk The Main (5th Floor)


7:30-9 a.m.BreakfastGranby Salons A, B, C, &D
8 a.m.-5 p.m.IAFF Peer Support Trainer Program
9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.IAFF Partnership Education Program (PEP) Courses


Overview of Membership Services provides essential information for new affiliate leaders so they can be effective in their roles. This course is ideal for affiliate leaders with up to two years of experience or seasoned veterans who want to refresh their skills. Overview of Membership Services examines the various IAFF departments/divisions and the services provided to members, as well as an understanding of their respective state or provincial organization.


Advanced Skills for Negotiators (6 hours)
To get results at the bargaining table, a negotiator must be able to develop a bargaining strategy and master key negotiation skills. In this six-hour workshop, you will learn how to strengthen your bargaining position, determine an acceptable settlement range, respond to common management tactics and objections, make concessions, and package your proposals. You will have opportunities to practice these skills and participate in mock negotiation sessions. This workshop is designed for experienced negotiators who wish to improve their skills at the bargaining table.

Negotiating Strategies for Tough Economic Times (2 hours)
We are a union regardless of the status of the economy. Therefore, when we are in tough economic times, we may adjust our mission but not change our vision to continually advance. These challenges may be in the form of decreased tax revenues, cuts in state aid to local government, or cuts in other sources of revenue. The reductions in revenue that result in municipal budget cuts have affected IAFF locals by influencing wages, benefits, or operational resources. This workshop will provide an understanding of how fiscal crises impact the negotiation process, as well as providing insight on how to address wages, benefits, working conditions, and staffing issues in tough times. The workshop will specifically address the above outlined issues for locals with collective bargaining agreements or a formal negotiation process.


Crisis Communications (2 hours)
Effectively addressing a crisis requires organization and planning. This workshop will address how to plan and organize in the case of a crisis and how to communicate with the public and media when crisis occurs.

Internal Union Organizing (2 hours)
For a local to be most effective in achieving its goals, it must have the majority of the fire department (or EMS organization) as members. A united membership has more resources at its disposal and more bargaining power. In this workshop, you will determine the key reasons for lack of affiliation within your local and develop strategies to increase your membership.

Organizing and Implementing a Community Outreach Program (2 hours)
One of the most important things a local can do is to organize and implement an effective community outreach program by reaching out to elderly, faith, and community-based organizations. Through a community outreach program, affiliates can create and foster good community relations, which can develop a reciprocal relationship between the fire service and the public. This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the benefits to both the community at large and the local, as well as how an effective program can reinforce the positive image of fire fighters. This workshop will use case studies from effective community outreach programs developed by other locals.

Social Media Legal Issues and Best Practices (2 hours)
While social media can be a powerful tool for positioning your local within the community and generating goodwill, it only takes one mistake or one bad apple to hurt your brand. Explore the social and legal issues pertaining to proper and improper use of social media, as well as the legal ramifications, limitations, and policies that can affect your members and your department.


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.

IAFF Union Leadership: Self-Awareness (2 hours)
What Kind of Leader Am I and What Kind of Leader Do I Want to Be? This workshop will help IAFF affiliate leaders learn what kind of union leaders they are and will provide them with several tools to become more effective leaders. During this workshop, participants will identify their own leadership styles and will learn how those styles are perceived by and impact the members that they lead. This is the first workshop in the IAFF Union Leadership Series.

IAFF Union Leadership: Leading Organizational Change (2 hours)
How Can I Help Our Union Become More Effective? This workshop will provide tools to help affiliate leaders become more effective as IAFF locals continue to evolve to meet the serious challenges facing our union and our members in the 21st century. During the workshop, participants will learn how to assess and to prioritize union resources and leverage and how to engage in strategic planning to establish and achieve effective organizational goals. This is the second workshop in the IAFF Union Leadership Series.

IAFF Union Leadership: Union Culture, Communications, and Coalition Building (2 hours)
During the workshop, you will identify and learn how to effectively model union values while communicating with the membership, building an effective culture of union solidarity, and creating and working with coalitions to achieve local IAFF political and legislative goals. This is the third workshop in the IAFF Union Leadership series.


Peer Support Training Program
After completing the IAFF Peer Support training, members will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to provide emotional support to their brothers and sister, have a basic understanding of common behavioral health issues affecting the fire service, and serve as a bridge to community resources or behavioral health treatment when indicated. This two-day curriculum focuses on active listening, confidentiality, general assessment and suicide assessment, crisis intervention, action planning, outreach, self-care, and how to build an effective peer support program. Registered participants must complete the two hour online prerequisite, IAFF Behavioral Health Awareness Course, which is emailed to student after registration.


Budgeting for Local Unions (2 hours)
Budgeting is an essential function for those who safeguard local union assets. In this workshop, you will learn the art of planning your local’s income and expenditures. Topics discussed will include preparing, adopting, and amending your budget, as well as common income and expenditure categories that should be part of your plan.

Duties of the Secretary and Treasurer (4 hours)
Students will gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of the secretary, treasurer, or the secretary-treasurer as a union officer. Students will also acquire knowledge on maintaining their local’s records, running a meeting, fiduciary responsibilities, and common IRS filing mistakes.

Ethics for Union Leaders (2 hours)
Most IAFF leaders are public employees and have fiduciary responsibilities to their membership. Due to the nature of your position, you are subject to higher ethical standards than the average member or employee. These standards must be upheld to maintain the trust of your members and run an effective local. Failure to do so can result in loss of credibility, loss of union position, or even criminal charges. This workshop will cover the principles of ethics, the requirements of public employees, and strategies for making ethical decisions. You will use these strategies to analyze scenarios and case studies.

Hilton Norfolk The Main (Hotel Block SOLD OUT)

100 East Main Street
Norfolk, Virginia

Overflow Hotel:

Norfolk Waterside Marriott 

235 East Main Street
Norfolk, Virginia

Book Online / Deadline May 3
Rate: $98/night