IAFF Opposes Arming Firemen, Urges Riot Protection Action

IAFF Opposes Arming Firemen, Urges Riot Protection Action

Recommendations for protecting fire fighters during civil disorders are detailed in a manual published by the International Association of Fire Fighters. The recommendations are in two parts. The first calls for immediate changes in operating procedures, and the second part proposes action in the fields of policy, legislation, research and education.

The committee of fire fighters that wrote the manual declared that efforts to arm firemen should be resisted “with all the vigor at our command.” It stood solidly behind the statement of W. Howard McClennan, IAFF president, that “fire fighters fight fires, not people,” and even chose, that quotation for the title of the manual.

The IAFF asks immediate consideration of the purchase of apparatus with enclosed cabs, sides, rear step and tiller seat. The use of riot helmets, face shields, and flak jackets also is urged. The IAFF manual calls for tire establishment of task forces protected by police or soldiers, tire abandonment of flashing lights and sirens, the use of guards at firehouses in riot areas, authorization for the officer in charge to halt salvage and other non-emergency work, and perimeters maintained by protective forces around areas cleared of mobs and snipers.

One of the committee’s recommendations was that the Fire Safety Act of 1968 receive adequate financing.

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