Firefighters International Union Censures Kansas Fire Chief

Delegates at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Convention have unanimously adopted a censure resolution for Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell, reports The Wichita Eagle.

The censure was based on an IAFF resolution that said, among other things, that Blackwell risked public and firefighter safety by reducing front-line staffing, repeatedly violated the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the city and gave double-digit raises to department managers.

“The union will not tolerate injustice at the hands of any mayor or fire chief, and the 300,000 men and women of this great union are proud to offer this censure on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Wichita,” said IAFF general president Harold Schaitberger, in the release.

Blackwell said Saturday that he was unhappy about the resolution but said it would not take his focus off the department’s mission.

“The censure resolution is disappointing and unfortunate,” Blackwell said. “My management team and I work on a daily basis with some of the best firefighters anywhere, and we’ll continue to provide the high level of service our community deserves and has come to expect.”

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