There is an attempt to lay off Air Force federal firefighters. I believe it is something like 900 positions. The IAFF is working with those locals and with congress to try to stop the massive layoffs and the disregard for current ARFF standards. There only laying off to help offset the budget of the new raptor fighters and other new aircraft.
The IAFF delivered a strong letter of warning to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urging the reversal of fire fighter layoffs currently taking place at Air Force installations until IAFF concerns about the staffing reduction and its ramifications for Air Force fire protection nationwide are addressed.
As a result of a 2005 budget directive from the White House, the Air Force is in the process of cutting as many as 920 fire fighters who protect Air Force assets and personnel, including 250 civilians, to pay for more aircraft. To accommodate these cuts, the Air Force has also initiated an overhaul of its fire protection standards and policies.
The letter from IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger demands that the cuts be suspended until the Secretary of Defense meets with the IAFF to ensure that the union’s concerns are addressed. “If the reductions are carried out, the Air Force is in danger of violating Department of Defense (DoD) Fire and Emergency Services (FES) Program regulations and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards,” Schaitberger wrote. The cuts expose “Air Force assets and personnel to unprecedented and unacceptable levels of risk.”
The IAFF has been working with its allies on Capitol Hill to attempt to reverse the planned cuts, but the Air Force has not been deterred. Members of Congress who represent Air Force installations, including Armed Services Committee members Senator John Warner (R-VA) and Representative Jim Saxton (R-NJ), have raised questions about the Air Force cuts to no avail.
“The Air Force cuts could have detrimental effects on fire protection at our nation’s Air Force installations, including significant increases in incident response times,” says IAFF 16th District Vice President Jim Johnson. “For example, at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, instead of dispatching one engine with four fire fighters, one ladder truck with four fire fighters, one rescue truck with three fire fighters, and one command truck to an incident, under the proposed reduction, only one truck will initially respond. That’s unacceptable.”
Shane very interesting to know that your friends who worked for the air force were laid off and contractors came in. I haven't heard of this happening any where else. So your friends were laid off and the air force hired contractors to fill there positions. I believe that is illegal to contract out. firefighting. Was that base on the brac closing list? Did you friends have a union where they were stationed?
I'm an A1C at McGuire and were having a lot of civilians do early retirement to keep there benifits and what not. So that way some of the younger guys can keep there job and not get laid off and lose everything they've worked for I want to say we lost like 7 Civilian postions and like 6 Military postions. It was supposed to be 13 civilian spots but the union talked them down from that to the current spot were in. Frankly I'm pissed about it because were losing all our exprience and knowlegde when those guys leave. So yes its true there trying layoff civilian federal fire fighters
We lost 8 positions in November...however we were 11 short and the other 3 positions have been hired. All 8 were non layoff cuts, but our workload definatly increased...not to mention we now run auto aid to the city 5-10 times a week.
While my base has not been affected because of the fact that we are on the brac ( base realignment and closure) list I know that the Air Force has shrunk the number of active duty FF's by forcing many who want to re-enlist to cross train to another career field and closing the number of new recruits down to almost half. I had to wait almost 6 months to get in Fire Protection as they call it. As far as the civilians go they may or may not have jobs when the army takes over our base. Several of them are either retiring early or trying to get hired elsewhere since they can't get a straight answer from Fort Bragg( the army post that is going to take over Pope). The other thing that sucks about being on a brac list is we have equipment that needs to be replaced but our budget keeps shrinking between what is supposed to get to us and the trickle affect were other flights on the base take a little here and there. The crazy thing about that is that we just got 60,000 back that had mysteriously disappeared from last years budget. I work at Pope AFB as an active duty FF/driver-operator/Haz-Mat Tech. I have only been in for a little over 2 years.
The civilians that work at my station may be dealing with a situation similar to that soon. They can't seem to get a straight answer from the army about what will happen to thier jobs once they take over the air base.
It does suck and we all know the big government will do what they want when they want. As for the issue of contracting out firefighters, there is a loop hole to the law. I use to work at naval Station Newport and we were an IAFF department. When the housing was privatized we had 2 housing areas that were off base and had there own stations to cover them. (1 Engine and 4 men.) Well the housing contractor was allowed to put out the fire protection for bid and the local departments who man there Engines with 2 men were the lowest bid. We shut down 2 stations due to that then they got a new station and that closed down the other 2 stations. Now the whole department is under 1 roof and shrinking regularly. I’m glad to be out of Navy fire.
Jim, Not to argue But your chief "F" you, Like others did in NRMA the contractor wanted you but your chief failed, Your base could been paid your full cost and them some. Only one base has retained PPV housing. Now the rest want it back. The Government real sqrewd up on that one. They could of had PPV Pay for most of their own firefighting cost.
Hope thing are well for you. Sorry you had to leave area.
Well Rob for me it ended up working out for the better. Here at Parris Island we also have our housing under contract and it is all on base so the department gets paid by the housing contractor and we get more money in our budget and things are a lot cheaper here housing wise and I can actually afford to own a home. Up in RI I didn’t stand a chance. Things are rather nice down here too. While everyone in NE will be getting snow today we are going to be in the 70’2 and I think I’ll take my Vette for a ride with the top off. :P