ARLINGTON, VA – Firefighters & EMS Fund, a grassroots political organization, released a statement on the recent firefighter layoffs and furloughs due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. These layoffs and furloughs are the largest cuts seen in modern times, and are a direct result of budget cuts directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, numbers have been released by the IAFC that provide but a glimpse of the widespread hurt fire departments are only beginning to experience. So far, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has sought to track the number of furloughs to date. Nearly 1,000 firefighters have been furloughed with the IAFC predicting that number will reach over 30,000 by 2022.
The mission of Firefighters & EMS Fund is to provide a grassroots voice for firefighters across the country in the state and local political process. Our mission begins by supporting ballot initiatives and working to elect political leaders at the state and local level that understand our firefighters’ and public safety officers’ interests. “These large scale layoffs and furloughs are exactly what we are fighting against,” the organization said in a statement. “We need our firefighters and EMS personnel more than ever in this time of uncertainty. Our first responders keep our communities and our citizens safe, and we need to be providing even more funding during this tumultuous time, not slashing and burning their already tight budgets. Fire & EMS services are non-negotiable.”
Nile Porter, Executive Director of Firefighters & EMS Fund went on to say: “This is an absolutely disheartening development, and it comes at a time when fire departments were just starting to double down on efforts to hire more people and find new training opportunities for currently employed personnel. The contraction that is to come as a result of the pandemic is undoing the progress so many departments were struggling to make toward operating with an adequate level of resources. It is more important now- more even than we have seen in recent years- that people take steps to fortify emergency preparedness in their communities.”
Firefighters & EMS Fund is a national political organization organized under Section 527 of the IRS Tax Code. Contributions made to Firefighters & EMS Fund are not tax-deductible. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
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