By Harold Schaitberger
Peaceful protests by our neighbors exercising their first amendment rights across America are being interrupted by violence and unrest. In the middle of the challenges and turmoil, I am proud of our International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) fire fighters, paramedics, and EMTs who are once again proving their dedication to keeping their communities safe when they are needed most.
As always, the safety of our members is our top priority. So, it was with disappointment and outrage that I witnessed our members—who are integral to keeping everyone, including protestors, safe—attacked over the weekend. In cities from Atlanta and Austin to Cleveland and Minneapolis-St. Paul, our members were subjected to having bricks or large fireworks hurled their way, simply for doing their jobs. This is inexcusable.
Throwing rocks, fireworks, or directing violence toward fire fighters, paramedics, and EMTs is never acceptable.
Fire fighters will continue to respond when needed; it is their job and their calling. On behalf of our 320,000 IAFF members, please allow your fire fighters on the frontlines to do that job, keeping everyone safe, without violence or incident.
To our members, stay safe and know that this IAFF has your back.
Harold A. Schaitberger is International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President.