Fire EMS, Firefighting, Leadership

Firefighters Union Comes Through for MDA

IAFF Presents More Than $27 Million During Annual Muscular
Dystrophy Telethon Live From Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 5, 2011 — The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), based in Washington, D.C., presented a check for $27,163,000 raised by career fire fighters to the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the 2011 MDA Telethon on Sunday.

The contribution was presented by IAFF General President and national MDA Vice President Harold Schaitberger to MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Abbey Umali.  The contribution represents year-round fundraising efforts for MDA by the IAFF, MDA’s largest sponsor.

“For 57 years, the IAFF and its members have worked tirelessly on behalf of the Association to bring help and hope to people with muscular dystrophy and other muscle diseases,” said MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg. “Their signature Fill the Boot campaign advances worldwide research and helps MDA provide a wide array of services to families affected by neuromuscular diseases.  It’s also important to note that many career fire fighters donate their time each year at summer camp, delighting thousands of youngsters ages 6 to 17 nationwide.’’

“For everything they do for MDA and for communities of every size as first responders,” Weinberg added, “professional fire fighters truly are America’s heroes.”

The Telethon raised $61.5 million during the six-hour primetime event.

“Fire fighters and paramedics are in the business of saving lives,” said Schaitberger. “The work our union and our members have been doing for more than half a century fighting muscular dystrophy is also about saving lives and we won’t quit until the job is done.”

About the Telethon

The show featured performances by some of the biggest names in show business and was broadcast from 6 p.m. to midnight in every U.S. time zone. The show was also streamed live at and social media followers of MDA’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube sites saw exclusive behind-the-scenes Telethon material.

About the IAFF
The IAFF has been an MDA national sponsor for 57 years. Its members have raised money for the Association through their involvement with the annual Fill the Boot campaign, golf and softball tournaments and other special events.  Many fire fighters also contribute their time at MDA summer camps across the country.  For more information on these programs, please visit MDA National Events.

The IAFF is the labor union representing more than 298,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel in the United States and Canada.

About MDA
is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research.  The Association also provides comprehensive healthcare and support services, advocacy and education.  See the award-winning MDA “Make A Muscle, Make A Difference” PSA

In addition to funding more than 300 research teams worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of some 200 hospital-affiliated clinics; orchestrates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and facilitates extraordinary local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters fighting progressive muscle diseases.  Known globally for the MDA Labor Day Telethon, the Association is the first nonprofit to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association “for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity.”

MDA maintains clinics nationwide for adults and children with muscle diseases, including clinics at Georgetown University Hospital and the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.