Photo by Chris Lynn

The Union...and More

From the time they’re hired on for their first job, firefighters are committing to something more than just their own careers. Firefighters are making a commitment to their communities. To their families. To each other.

The nature of this commitment can be seen in actions from firefighters that go above and beyond the call of duty. 

Big things, like a proby L.A. City firefighter talking a man down from committing suicide on a Hollywood Freeway overpass. 

Little things, like a Sacramento firefighter adopting an abused puppy he had helped rescue a few days earlier.

The commitment to something greater at the heart of the profession also guides the heart of the unions that proudly stand for them.

At the national level, the commitment to service inspires the IAFF’s six-plus decades of commitment to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This legacy of support that has raised more than half a billion dollars in the fight against neuromuscular disease.

At the state level, it has guided California Professional Firefighters to take on causes that benefit the fire service as a profession, and the people and communities its members protect:

Cal-JAC: CPF’s 35-year training and recruitment partnership with the State Fire Marshal has brought labor and management together on issues ranging from terrorism response training to firefighter behavioral health.

California Fire Foundation: CPF’s non-profit foundation, formed three decades ago, not only built and maintains the California Firefighters Memorial, but also aids the families of the fallen, provides fire safety outreach to underserved communities, and even provides direct assistance to the victims of fire and natural disaster.

Alliance for a Better California: CPF’s leadership on a broad coalition of labor and good government groups makes it clear that California’s firefighters stand up for all working people.

As for your local union, you see the bigger commitment every day.

Big things, like Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522’s central role in creating and funding the Sacramento Firefighters Burn Institute. Co-founded by Local 522 in 1973, its efforts helped found the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at Sacramento’s U.C. Davis Medical Center.

Little things, like the dozens of local fundraisers held by firefighter unions up and down the state.

This level of engagement – large and small – is part of our DNA as firefighters. So it is with the unions that serve them … because the union is all of us.