Newark fire fighters vote to join IAFF

July 13 • 2023

Members of the Newark Firefighters Union voted in a standing-room-only meeting to join the International Association of Fire Fighters on July 12.

Reaffiliation provides Newark fire fighters with full access to the resources and benefits of the IAFF, including training programs, communications resources, legislative advocacy, and legal support. Newark originally joined the IAFF on April 15, 1918 as Local 71.

“We are excited to become part of the IAFF,” said Newark Firefighters Union (NFU) President Michael Giunta. “The International has an unwavering commitment to protecting its members and their families, and together, I know we can improve working conditions for Newark fire fighters.”

Newark fire fighters Augusto “Augie” Acabou, 45, and Wayne “Bear” Brooks Jr., 49, died last week after responding to a fire in Port Newark. The incident highlighted systemic concerns about staffing, training, and apparatus conditions that the NFU and Newark Fire Officers Union Local 1860 have long raised with city officials.

“The legacy of Augie’s and Bear’s sacrifice will be a safer Newark for citizens and the brothers and sisters they served alongside,” said General President Edward Kelly. “Our union will honor their memory by ensuring fire fighters in Newark have a stronger collective voice to advocate for the safety, wellbeing, and protection of the community.”

“We are stronger together,” added 1st District Vice President James Slevin. “I am proud to support and welcome the Newark Firefighters Union back to the IAFF.”