PFEM adds five more departments and districts

March 10 • 2023

The Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri (PFEM) Local 2665 – one of the IAFF’s largest locals – continues to grow, now representing 11 ambulance districts, two dispatch agencies, and 61 fire districts and departments across nine counties in eastern Missouri. 

“Every fire fighter deserves a voice; they deserve a union,” said General President Edward Kelly. “The continued growth of the PFEM is a testament to the importance of having a seat at the table and being part of our great union.” 

“The PFEM does not actively recruit. Local 2665 steadily attracts new members because they see the value in becoming part of an established local with a proven track record of success,” said 2nd District Vice President Mark Woolbright, a member of Local 2665. “I am very pleased to welcome the five newest fire departments and their members.”  

The latest departments and districts to join the local include the Festus Fire Department, Herculaneum Fire Department, Desoto Rural Fire Protection District, Saline Valley Fire Protection District, and Hillsboro Fire Protection District. These additions increase PFEM membership by 63 members for a total of 2,500 active and 230 retired members. 

The unique structure of the PFEM was modeled after the IAFF and its state associations. 

“There is someone to turn to at every level. Beyond the principal officers, we have seven district vice presidents, and shop stewards for each department, district, and agency,” said Local 2665 Secretary-Treasurer Andrew Shoop. “And because of our political action, our area of influence reaches all the way to the federal level.” 

Chartered in 1978 with 55 members, Dennis Murray was elected Local 2665’s first president. Murray continues to hold that position 45 years later, making him the longest-serving local president in IAFF history.  

“My service as president has certainly provided some continuity for the local. But the real key to the success of this affiliate is all the hard-working members who have held various other executive board positions,” said Murray. “They are the ones who have negotiated contracts, settled disputes with management, helped us increase our political influence, and kept us financially solvent.”