McLean, VA – Firefighters and EMS Fund is proud to have focused its political efforts for a second time this year in Collier County Florida. Earlier this year, Firefighters and EMS Fund supported the the North Collier Firefighters Association as they sought a ballot measure to increase the department’s budget for the first time in over a decade so that it might adequately serve its population (which has since grown by over 60%). Unfortunately, that referendum failed and with the November 6, 2018 Midterms only a few weeks away and three Fire Commission seats on the ballot, there was no time to waste. In order to be successful, we were going to have to make a stronger push than before.
Firefighters and EMS Fund worked with a local PAC called Collier Tax Watch; a group formed by Firefighter’s Association members to advocate for measures which would help the fire department, but also require fire dept officials to remain neutral while serving in their official capacity. The PAC, affiliated with the North Collier Firefighters Association, was already in the process of vetting the Fire Commissioner Candidates to come up with three who they felt were the best for the job. They eventually decided that incumbents Jim Burke and Chris Lombardo, in addition to newcomer, James Calamari would serve the district best.
In our discussion to find different ways that we could supplement their efforts this November we found they were already making strong face to face impressions, delivering yard signs, and mailing literature, but needed help coming up with enough resources to make an effort in the digital and phone space.
Firefighters and EMS Fund made in-kind contributions of services to ensure the campaign was a success including targeted voter data and a get out the vote phone campaign encouraging over 40,000 households to vote for candidates who would ensure the North Collier Fire District has all the resources it needs to serve its constituents adequately.
As the results came rolling in on election day, we learned very quickly that all three candidates hand-picked and endorsed by the North Collier Firefighters Association, and supported by the Collier Tax Watch PAC would go on to win their elections. Chris Spencer, President of the local firefighters association was proud of the support provided by the Firefighters and EMS Fund. “I am just thrilled out of my mind that we won. Do I think you guys had an impact? 100 percent yes. We not only had our elections to to contend with but important things like labor contracts and such as well. This was not just a victory for firefighters, it was a victory for public safety throughout the community. There is a good reason we our candidate endorsements seriously. For us public safety is paramount and priority number one,” remarked Spencer after a successful election night.
Firefighters and EMS Fund is proud to have played a role in such an important election for the North Collier Firefighters. Without our grassroots supporters, the good that we were able to do for firefighters this year, not just in Collier but around the country, would not have otherwise been possible.