The Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit/Ernest A. “Buddy” Mass Human Relations Conference opened today in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, giving local leaders the skills, knowledge and training on a range of issues affecting our membership.
More than 1,500 affiliate leaders are attending the conference, which also provides human relations and diversity training as part of the IAFF’s broad and sustained efforts to promote inclusion within the fire service.
In opening remarks, General President Harold Schaitberger said, “Unionization had long been a great equalizer, where everyone is treated as a brother and sister with a common purpose of making one’s work fair and rewarding, of giving a common voice to all of us regardless of background,” noting that the Conference kicked off on Martin Luther King Day.
The four-day conference provides five pre-conference events, 142 workshops and 23 other information sessions. Workshops address leadership training, occupational cancer, post-traumatic stress, wellness and fitness, building an inclusive workforce, pregnancy and parental rights and many other topics designed to help affiliate leaders manage their locals and assist members.
The health and safety of members are a top priority for the IAFF, including helping prevent and reduce occupational cancer. The workshop, “Toxic Substances and the Fire Fighter will be broadcast live January 21 at 10:30 a.m. (ET) to give all members an opportunity to learn more about the toxic substances fire fighters are frequently exposed to – such as PFAS – found in countless consumer products, and the work the IAFF is doing to address the issue, including research and legislative efforts.
Concluding his remarks, Schaitberger vowed that the IAFF will always strive to help its members stay safe and perform their jobs at the highest level.
“As long as fire fighters and paramedics respond to emergencies you can bet, this IAFF will respond with the latest and most current materials and resources to keep them safe.”