New Texas Local Focuses on Health and Family

October 14 • 2021

Zapatta, TX Local 5355 is the newest IAFF local.

The fire department in Zapatta County, located in southern Texas with only Falcon Lake separating the Texas county from the Mexico border, is a small all-career department that responds to emergency calls throughout the county. For many in the department, firefighting is more than just a job, says Local 5355 President Zenon Perez.

“We have fathers and sons, fathers and daughters and brothers and sisters working in our department. Some families have been in the department for two or three generations. So, for us, it is not just about the job, it’s about family,” he says. “We decided to organize and form a union so we could work to create workplace policies and improve medical benefits that promote fire fighter health.”

“The 11th District is proud to welcome a new local,” says 11th District Vice President Sandy McGhee. “The IAFF stands by, ready to assist our Local 5355 brothers and sisters on their health and safety priorities.”

Joining Perez on the Local 5355 Executive Board are Secretary Alberto Soto and Treasurer Antonio Saavedra.