Legislative Action

The heart of the IAFF’s success on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the United States is the ability of every fire fighter to make their voice heard. Our members mobilize their elected officials to support priorities that will keep fire fighters safe, ensure fair wages, safeguard fire fighters’ retirement, and protect the public from life-threatening emergencies. Our online advocacy center allows fire fighters to share their opinions directly with elected officials on issues that matter most.

In This Section

Federal Action

IAFF priority federal legislation ensure fire fighters have safe working conditions, fair wages, and secure retirements. The IAFF proudly stands with any politician or policymaker, regardless of political party, who stands with our fire fighters. That’s why we work with all 535 members of Congress, the Executive branch, and federal agencies to advance policies that align with the IAFF’s mission. We collaborate with any member of Congress or presidential administration that support fire fighters.

Save the AFG/SAFER Grant Programs

The AFG and SAFER grant programs provide more than $700 million per year to ensure local fire departments are staffed and have the equipment needed to respond to emergencies. Unless Congress acts quickly, these programs will be eliminated on October 1. Congress must pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act (H.R. 4090/S. 870) to ensure fire stations are staffed and that 9-1-1 calls are answered.

Support Survivors of Fallen Public Safety Officers

The IAFF urges Congress to pass the Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act (S. 930/H.R. 1719) to recognize first responders’ occupational cancer deaths as line-of-duty deaths and provide death benefits to their survivors. Fire fighters have a significantly greater likelihood of developing cancer due to on-the-job exposures. Congress must stand by their survivors and recognize their sacrifice as a line-of-duty death.

Support the Development of Next-Generation Protective Gear

The IAFF urges Congress to pass the PFAS Alternatives Act (H.R. 4769) to drive the development of next-generation protective gear. America’s fire fighters are forced to use gear that offers limited protection and contains PFAS chemicals. The PFAS Alternatives Act will help fire fighters obtain gear that is safer and free of carcinogens.

Protect Fire Fighters' Right to Free Speech

Fire fighters work a dangerous job and deserve the right to speak openly and freely about the challenges they face. However, fire fighters and other public safety officers are routinely fired or suspended for expressing their needs. The IAFF urges Congress to pass the Public Safety Officer Free Speech Act and ensure our first responders are not unfairly denied the right to discuss job-related issues.

Support Collective Bargaining for Fire Fighters and EMS Personnel

The IAFF urges Congress to pass the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 3539). This legislation ensures fire fighters and EMS personnel have the right to work with their employers to address concerns related to working conditions.

Fairness for Retired First Responders

The WEP/GPO provision denies Social Security benefits for retired first responders who paid their fair share simply because they chose a career in public service. Despite paying into Social Security through a second job, thousands of fire fighters and EMS personnel are denied their full Social Security benefits because they were not eligible for Social Security through their primary job. The IAFF urges Congress to pass the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 82/S. 597) and end the penalty on public service.

How to Lobby: Tips and Best Practices

Every facet of a fire fighter’s job – from the right to collectively bargain, adequate equipment and staffing to pension benefits – is shaped by elected officials’ decisions.

Lobbying lets you tell your own story and fight for what matters to you and your members. IAFF members must be ready to fight for their own needs and to support their fellow fire fighters.

The IAFF Government Affairs Department has developed some tips and best practices to ensure you are prepared. This document breaks down everything you need to know about what lobbying is, how to prep for a meeting with your elected officials, what to do during the meeting, and how to follow up post meeting.

Act Now!

Send a letter to your elected official on the issues most important to fire fighters.