ON THE FRONTLINES
members are deployed until April 2013 with the 386th Air
Expeditionary Wing in support of "Operation Enduring
Freedom." Pictured from left kneeling: Master Sergeant
Jason Tidwell (Madison, AL Local 4566), Staff Sergeant
Jeremy Saul (Harrisburg, PA Local 428) and Staff
Sergeant Josh Bradley (Madison, AL Local 4566). Members from
left standing: Master Sergeant Chris Adams (Dekalb County,
GA Local 1492), Staff Sergeant Randy Dolhiemer (Manchester
TWP, PA Local 3503), Technical Sergeant Jeremy Weaver
(Frederick County, MD Local 3666) and Staff Sergeant Nathan
Adams (Daphne, AL Local 4647).
Gowen Field, ID Local 4571 sent this photo of three members
deployed to Bahrain in September;they are due back in March.
From left: SSgt Matthew Harrington, SrA Talin Wardein, and
SSgt Miguel Sandoval.
April 20, 2011 -
Lincoln, NE Local 644 member Jon Reed (left) is serving at COP Herrera in
Afghanistan. Jon is very much in the "thick of things" in terms of the fight
In fact, last week a suicide bomber attacked their camp.
March 8, 2011 - First Lieutenant Phillip M. Broderick, 2nd Platoon, Brovo
Company 1-168, 34th Infantry Division of the Iowa National Guard (34th Infantry
Division, The Red Bull Division)
is also a member of Des Moines, IA Local 4. All members of his platoon were
given Local 4 T-shirts to use during down time at their forward post in
December 20, 2010 -- Members of
the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, 386th Civil Engineering Squadron just returned
to the United States after serving five months
Ali Al Salem AB,
Kuwait. They were deployed as fire fighters, protecting various aircraft
and structures both on and off base.
From left are: Duluth, MN,
Local 101 member Brian Black, Kingsport, TN, Local 2270 member Kevin Risney,
Glendale, AZ, Local 493 member Jesse Bayne, Tucson, AZ, Local 479 member Drew
Stonecipher, Phoenix, AZ, Local 493 member Lynn Smith, Maricopa, AZ, Local
4561 member Will Sherwood, Altoona, PA, Local 299 Ben Parrish, ; SrA Jon
Templeton, Pittsburgh, PA, Local 1 member Pete Soergel, and Cleveland, PA, Local
3748 member Kevin Hair.
2010 -- Don Herbert, a member of Independence Township, MI
Local 2629, is serving in Iraq as a flight medic. He is pictured
walking through Hero's Highway at the Combat Support Hospital in Balad, Iraq.
2010 -- Greensboro, NC Local 947 fire fighter Jonathan Smith
returned home safely after a year at COP Shocker in Iraq. Smith, who is a
chaplain's assistant, says, "Chaplains are non-combatants, so it is my job to
help him with all things military so he can focus on the troops. It's also my
job to protect him and make sure he stays alive." Smith's platoon worked in
conjunction with the Iraqi border patrol, training Army personnel and working at
point of entry posts at the Iran/Iraqi border. Because of the remote location of
COP Shocker -- about two hours from the closest area to purchase items -- Local
947 and members of Greensboro Fire Department collected items for Smith and his
fellow soldiers, including more than 100 pounds of toiletries, snack and
personal care items.
2010 -- Clockwise from left: TSgt Anthony Wolf, SSgt A.J.
Sinsel, SSgt Cody Nichols and TSgt Craig Murdock. All are fire fighters from the
124th Fighter Squadron Idaho Air Guard and Gowen Field Local 4571 in Boise,
Idaho. The men were stationed in Ali Al Saleem AB Kuwait in support of
Iraqi Freedom from May through September of 2009.
2010 -- Several IAFF members are on a five-month deployment
in Kuwait as part of the U.S. Air Force 386th Expeditionary
Civil Engineering Squadron, 386th Expeditionary Mission
Support Group, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing. Due to security
concerns, their specific location is only described as “an
air base in Southwest Asia.” The fire fighters there provide
fire protection and emergency services for the structures
and personnel of our base and the aircraft that fly in and
out every day. They are operating just like a fire
department would back in the states, training the younger
fire fighters, responding to alarms and incidents and
providing fire prevention training to the rest of the base.
Back row from left are Centerville-Osterville, MA Local 2346
member Thomas Miskiv and Indianapolis, IN Local 416 member
Jacob Blair. Middle row from left are Tinker Air Force Base,
OK Local F-211 President Todd Lambert; Indianapolis, IN
Local 416 member James Michalisko; Sioux Falls, ID Local 814
member Michael Cross and St. Mary’s City, OH Local 3633. In
front is Indianapolis, IN Local 416 member Aric Baker.
January 4, 2010 --
Tualatin Valley, OR Local 1660 members SSG Jason Johnson, a
Flight Medic with C/7-158 AVN REGT (MEDEVAC), and 1LT Will Coker, Executive
Officer/Convoy Commander with A/1-141 Convoy Security Company, serve together in
Iraq. Both are Oregon Army National Guard soldiers.
23, 2009 --
Woonsocket, RI Local 732 fire fighter and First Lieutenant
Justin Prophet is serving in Iraq with the
747 Military Police Company. His unit is training the Iraqi
Fighting the Fight in Kirkuk, Iraq
October 15, 2009 --
Sixteen IAFF members fighting the fight in Kirkuk, Iraq, represent 11 affiliates
-- one of the largest numbers of IAFF members to serve together at Kirkuk
Regional Air Base. All are members of the 22nd Air Force Reserve Command.
Pictured are: Sgt William Burley (Winthrop, MA Local 1070); CMSgt John Fugelo
(Upper Moreland Township, PA Local 3407); SSgt Jeremy Williams (Winthrop, MA
Local 1070); TSgt Jason Browne (Mobile, AL Local 1349); MSgt Rodney Wilkinson
(Buffalo, NY Local 282); SSgt George Romvos (Malden, MA Local 902); MSgt James
Twist (Buffalo, NY Local 282); SrA Devon Parsons (Youngstown/Warren Rgl Aprt ARS
Vienna, OH Local F-154); TSgt Edwin Ortiz (Buffalo, NY Local 282); MSgt Toby
Scott (Fort Dix, NJ Local F-115); SSgt Mike O Connor (Buffalo Niagara Airport,
NY Local S-25); TSgt Ismael Alicea (McGuire Air Force Base,
Trenton, NJ Local F-106); MSgt Christopher McArdle (914th Tag, NY Local F-214);
TSgt Michael Coleman (Hattiesburg, MS Local 184);
TSgt Timothy Zak (914th Tag, NY Local F-214); and SrA Christopher Baer (914th
Tag, NY Local F-214).
Surprise Promotion Ceremony Held for Anchorage
Fire Fighter in Iraq
June 1, 2009 --
Anchorage, AK Local 1264 member Tech. Sgt. Ted Fussell, currently deployed to
Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq, with the 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer
Squadron, is a Reservist from Air Force Reserve Command’s 477th Fighter Group at
Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. He was recently promoted in his civilian job
as a fire fighter with the Anchorage Fire Department. Colonel Eric Overturf,
commander of the 506th Air Expeditionary Group and also deployed from the 477th
Fighter Group, held a surprise ceremony in honor of Sergeant Fussell’s promotion
to Senior Captain May 21.
Waterloo Member Helps Fire
Fighters in Afghanistan
April 16, 2009 --
Mike Schipper, a member of Waterloo, IA Local 66 was mobilized for active duty
in Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy. During his tour, Schipper helped the
city of Asadabad, Afghanistan's fire fighters with a donation of 16 basic fire
fighting manuals from the Hazardous Materials Regional Training Center in
Waterloo, where he works part time as an instructor. Local 66 shipped the
manuals to Schipper at Bagram Airfield. The Afghan fire fighters and local
tribal leaders were appreciative of the training manuals. Schipper has since
returned home, and started back to work.
IAFF Members Deployed to
Sather Air Base
April 9, 2009 --IAFF
members from across the United States serving in the Air National Guard in front
of a fire truck with 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineer fire fighters at Sather
Air Base, Iraq. Back row, from left: Technical Sergeant David Childs (Aliquippa,
PA Local 802); Staff Sergeant Sam Deverell (Letterkenny Army Depot, PA Local
F-170); Staff Sergeant Ed Barstow (Altoona, PA Local 299); and Technical
Sergeant James Robbins (Hanscom Air Force Base, MA Local F-78). Front row, from
left: Staff Sergeant Carlos Chavez Jr. (Dinuba, CA Local 3936); Senior Airman
Kevin Jones (Air National Guard Base, Martinsburg, WV Local F-276); Technical
Sergeant Peter Mickiewicz (Cambridge, MA Local 30); and Senior Airman Josh
Carder (Martinsburg, WV Local F-276).
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Amanda Currier
New York IAFF Member
Returns from Afghanistan
March 25, 2009 -- Ithaca, NY
Local 737 member Lieutenant Thomas W. Deis recently returned from a 12-month
deployment as a U.S. Army Sergeant in Afghanistan. Deis is the 3rd Platoon
Sergeant for Delta Company 2, 108th Infantry Battalion, 27th Brigade Combat
Team, New York Army National Guard. New York's 27th Brigade Combat Team was in
charge of Task Force Phoenix VII, Operation Iraqi Freedom. Delta Company was
tasked with Security Forces for Camp Phoenix, Kabul Afghanistan.
IAFF Members Serve in
2009 -- Thomas Smith, a member of Wheeling, WVA Local 12 and
12 of his union brothers are currently serving in Kirkuk,
Iraq. The group took this photo after painting the IAFF logo
on one of the jersey barriers protecting the fire station.
America’s Sons and Daughters In Good Hands in Afghanistan
January 21, 2009 --IAFF members with family and friends deployed to Afghanistan can maybe rest a little easier at night as C Company, 1st Battalion, 168th MEDEVAC is assuming the medical evacuation mission for the entire Afghan theater of operations. The 168th consists of 150 National Guardsmen from California, Nevada and Wyoming, as well as 15 UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters.
The IAFF is well represented across the board, from pilots to medics, including Laramie, WY, Local 946 member Captain Theron Ritzman, a pilot and 10-year veteran fire fighter. Ritzman’s previous tours include Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Stockton, CA Local 456 member WO1 Dan Jones (not pictured) last served as a flight medic in Afghanistan. Sacramento, CA Local 522 member SFC Al Smoot is a flight medic and 15-year fire veteran fighter and company officer/paramedic with previous tours as a flight medic in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Marin, CA Local 1775 member SSG David Cornell is a flight medic and fire fighter/paramedic, as well a civilian helicopter flight/critical care nurse. His last tour was as a Special Forces medic in Afghanistan.
Also serving are Sacramento, CA Local 522 member SSG Rob Walters, a flight medic and fire fighter/paramedic, with seven years with Sacramento Fire Department. He also had a previous flight medic tour in Afghanistan. Grand Junction, CO Local 2808 member SSG Matt Harmon is a flight medic, fire fighter/paramedic with two years at the Grand Junction Fire Department. Sacramento, CA Local 522 member Sgt. Mike Ferguson is a seven year fire fighter/paramedic. Denver, CO Local 858 Sgt. Eric Cothren, a fire fighter/Hazmat technician with 10 years at the Denver Fire Department last served in Desert Storm.
Also deployed are Sgt Alan Sharp a flight medic and fire fighter/paramedic in Central Lyon County, Nevada, and Spc Marc Dragony with Amador County, California, Federal District 16, a former Hotshot and Smoke Jumper with the U.S. Forest Service.
This level of care, talent and experience has never been fielded before in a MEDEVAC unit in Afghanistan or Iraq. Their training is well above what is required of an Army flight medic. Once in country, they’ll be divided across the major provinces. Your IAFF brothers have been training hard for the last several months, changing their focus from dropping water buckets on fires in the United States to weapons, night vision goggle flying, hoisting patients up to the aircraft and aviation tactics.
Back row from left: Flt Medic Spc Marc Dragony, Grand Junction, CO Local 2808 member and Flt Medic SSG Matt Harmon,
Laramie, WY, Local 946 member and Pilot Captain Theron Ritzman, Marin, CA Local 1775 member and Flt Medic SSG David Cornell
and Sacramento, CA Local 522 member Flt Medic SFC Al Smoot. Front row from left: Denver, CO Local 858 member and Flt Medic
Sgt Eric Cothren, Sacramento, CA Local 522 member and Flt Medic Sgt Mike Ferguson, Sacramento, CA Local 522 and Flt Medic
SSG Rob Walters and Flt Medic Sgt Alan Sharp.
Canadian IAFF Members Serving in Afghanistan
Two Canadian IAFF members are currently serving with
the Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan: Barry Bastow (left), a member of Halifax, NS
Local 268, and Lee Harrison, a member of Peterborough, ON Local 519. Bastow, a tactical
team leader who is contributing to the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team as a
member of the Civil Military Cooperation Unit, told Local 268 that the opportunity to
serve overseas is a rewarding and memorable experience.
IAFF Members Deployed to
December 3, 2008 --
IAFF members from Tennessee,
Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon and New York serve at Sather
Air Base in Baghdad. First row, from left: Moorhead, MN
Local 1323 members Rich Duysen and Jason Dewar; Fargo, ND
Local 642 members Jesse Schmidt and Chris Pieper; and
Tualatin Valley, OR Local 1660 member Chad Eason. Second
row, from left: Kingsport, TN Local 2270 members Darrell
Hayes and Gary Ornduff; Knoxville, TN Local 65 member Matt
Perkinson; Arnold AFB (Tullahoma, TN) Local I-14 members
Clint Montgomery and Lonnie Brown; and Cleveland, TN Local
3748 member Kevin Hair. Third row, from left: Uniformed Fire
Officers Association of New York Local 854 member Gregg
Magi; Uniformed Fire Fighters Association of New York Local
94 members Jeff Daniels, Erik Lahoda, Dale Catlett and
Kenneth Lynch; and Lake Mohegan, NY Local 2956 member
IAFF Member Makes Stop on
November 19, 2008 --
Matthew Lindewirth, a member
of Professional Fire Fighters of Missouri Local 2665 and a
flyer in the Air National Guard, stopped for a night’s sleep
on Wake Island while deployed in support of the Global War
on Terror with the Air National Guard (Air Force). Wake
Island, which is 2,300 miles from Hawaii and 1,500 miles
from Guam with nothing in between, was the site of a famous
World War II battle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
IAFF Members Deployed to Iraq
November 17, 2008 --
IAFF members from locals in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida were activated and
deployed by the U.S. Air Force Reserves to Kirkuk Regional Air Base in Iraq to provide fire
protection services through the end of the year. From left: TSgt. Dana Tesorero (Framingham, MA Local 1652);
SSgt. Derek Martinelli (Holyoke, MA Local 1693); SSgt .George Romvos (Malden, MA Local 902);
SSgt. Adam Horosky (Danbury, CT Local 801); CMSgt. David Wells (Springfield, MA Local 648);
MSgt. Russell Atkinson (Groton Sub Base, CT 219); SSgt. Scott Jacobs (Jacksonville, FL Local 122);
and SSgt. Peter Fulton, (Weymouth, MA 1616).
Massachusetts Local President Deployed to Iraq
September 30, 2008 – Springfield, MA Local 648 President Dave Wells is among the latest to be
deployed to Iraq. Wells is a Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves. His unit is stationed at the Kirkuk Regional
Air Base. While in Kirkuk, Wells is serving as fire chief, managing 39 fire fighters, many of whom are also IAFF members. Wells and
other fire fighters there are staffing three fire stations – 48 hours on, 24 hours off. Additionally, they are responsible for
training Iraqi fire fighters from the Iraqi Air Force and the City of Kurkuk.
IAFF Members Serving at Sather Air Base in Baghdad
IAFF members serving as part of the 447th AEG provide fire protection for Sather Air Base at Baghdad International Airport.
From left: SSgt Ronald Wareham, Watertown, NY Local 191; MSgt Terry Edwards, Ft. Smith, AR Local S-24; MSgt Billy Newton,
Tinker AFB, OK Local F-211; TSgt Jerry Carter, Ft. Smith, AR Local S-24; SSgt Justin Mankins, Ft. Smith, AR Local S-24; and
SSgt Daniel Oldham, Moorhead, MN Local 1323.
Massachusetts Fire Fighter Meets General Petraeus
During Attleboro, MA Local 848 fire fighter Paul
Jacques’s most recent tour to Baghdad, Iraq, he
had the opportunity to see General David Petraeus
several times. Recently, Jacques says the two spoke briefly about their experiences in Iraq. Jacques is
back stateside and expects to be back on the job June 17
Connecticut Fire Fighter Fights War on Terror for Third Tour
May 7, 2008 – As the War on Terror continues, more and more IAFF members find themselves leaving their turnout gear, families and friends behind to serve military tours of duty. West Hartford, CT Local 1241 James “Hooch” Matthews, a respected fire fighter and United States Army Reservist, is now on his third tour, serving as Battalion Command Search Major of the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion, 1st Armored Division in Tikrit, Iraq.
Connecticut Union Officer Returns From Afghanistan
Joe Duval, secretary-treasurer of Tolland, CT Local 3954, has returned stateside after a year in Sharana, Afghanistan. He served with the Connecticut Army
National Guard 1-102 infantry as a Humvee driver and gunner working to secure and protect the provincial reconstruction team. His unit completed hundreds of missions in the Pitika province, including humanitarian aid drops, medical assistance and assessing reconstruction progress. Duval expects to go back to being a fire fighter in July 2007.
Oklahoma Fire Fighter Recognized for Service in Iraq
Brent Judd, a member of Miami, OK Local 1969, has received the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq from November 17, 2003-January 1, 2005. Judd was deployed with the 319th Core Support Battalion in the U.S. Army Reserves.
He later was assigned to the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While serving with the 82nd Airborne, the unit came under fire multiple times at the Bagdad International Airport – sometimes for as long as five consecutive hours.
The members of the 82nd Airborne submitted Judd for a Bronze Star, which he received during a ceremony at the end of his tour.
Serve in Kuwait
IAFF members from across the United States serving in Kuwait at Ali Al Salem Air Base include
(back row, from left): MSGT Stacy Thomas, Miami Dade, FL Local 1403; MSGT Mark Adwell (CFD #2)
, South Johnson County, KS Local 3683; MSGT Gene Berkley, Bloomington, IL Local 49; MSGT Gary
Luke, Minneapolis International Airport Local S-6; TSGT Tom Fritz, Martin State Airport, MD
Local 3971; (center row, from left): SSGT Stacey Bernier, Portland, ME Local 740; SSGT James
Weglein,Baltimore, MD Local 734; SSGT Chris Pieper, Fargo, ND Local 642; SMSGT Chuck Rodway,
Bangor, ME Local 772; (front row, from left): TSGT James Cannon, Martin State Airport, MD
Local 3971; MSGT Christine Fisk, Des Moines, IA Local 4; and TSGT Bradley Herron, Kansas City, KS Local 64.
Nine of the 12 are serving in the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron Fire
Department. The other three are serving in other capacities at Ali Al Salem Air Base.
Upstate New York IAFF Members Serve in Middle East
New York local IAFF members currently working a 123-day
deployment as crash fire fighters with the 380th Fire
Department in the Middle East include: (top row) Bill
Burley, Rochester, NY Local 1071; Ken Eason, Buffalo,
NY Local 282; Paul Eason, Buffalo, NY Local 282; E Zupkov,
Buffalo, NY Local 282; Captain Ken Gippe, Rochester, NY Local
1071; Rodney Wilkinson, Buffalo, NY Local 282; (bottom row)
Jerry Aderhold, Niagara Falls, NY Local 714; Dave Beahen,
Niagara Falls, NY Local 714 ); Tony Nunez, Rochester, NY Local
1071; and Lieutenant Jim Twist, Buffalo, NY Local 282. All are
members of the Air Force Reserve with the 914th Civil Engineering
Fire Department out of Niagara Falls International Airport.
Dedicated Indiana Fire Fighter Serves Overseas
Duane Reddick, a six-year veteran fire fighter and member of Hamilton
County, IN Local 4416 is serving on the frontlines Northern Bagdad, Iraq. Deployed with the U.S.
Marine Corps B-Company 6th ESB, one of Reddick’s duties is to repair roads damaged by improvised
explosive devices (IEDs) and travels with military personnel who deactivate IEDs.
IAFF Fire Fighters in Iraq Honor 9/11
From left: SFC Patrick Rocco of Saratoga Springs, NY Local 343; SRA Mitch Dryer
of Oneida, NY Local 2692; TSGT Paul Cowdrey of Bowling Green, OH Local 2379;
MSG Kristian Andersen of Chesterfield County, VA Local 2083; MSG Vincent Martinez
of Salt Lake City, UT Local 1645; and TSGT Justin Kay of Richmond, VA Local 995.
Engine 343 is in the background and was numbered in remembrance of the 343 FDNY
fire fighters who perished on 9/11.
IAFF Fire Fighters Show Unity in Iraq
Bottom from left: Sgt. Sean Italiane of Otis Air Force Base Local F-264, Sgt. Christopher McGowan
of Saginaw, MI Local 102, Marco Castro of Boston, MA Local 718, and Sgt. Patrick Peterson of Virginia, MN Local 390.
Second row from left: Sgt. Stephen Jefferes of Cambridge, MA Local 30, Sgt. George Roig of Elyria, OH Local 474, Brian Campbell
of Rock Hill, SC Local 2106, Sgt. Tom McDonough of St. Paul, MN Local 21, and Chris Klaveter of St. Paul, MN Local 21.
Top row from left: Sgt. Chris Adams of Dekalb County, GA Local 1492, Sgt. Dan McBennet of Lorain, OH Local 267 and Sgt.
Christien Savard of Hanscom Air Force Base Local F-78. Standing on the top row: Sgt. Paul Jacques of Attleboro, MA Local 848.
Illinois Member Proudly Shows IAFF Colors
Streamwood, IL Local 3022 member Gary Jacobs (pictured on the left) is serving his second tour in Iraq as a Gunnery Sergeant.
When his fellow Local 3022 members sent him a local t-shirt, he got one of his fellow soldiers to take this picture. He is
expected to return at the end of this year.
IAFF Members Fly MEDEVAC Missions in Iraq
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ron Ryczek, a fire
fighter/paramedic with Amherst, MA Local 1764 and Chief
Warrant Officer 3 Phil Reeves, a pumper engineer with
Bridgeport, CT Local 834 are stationed in southern Iraq,
where both are assigned to C Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th
Aviation of the Massachusetts National Guard. The two IAFF
members fly MEDEVAC missions for the 101st Airborne Division
in a Sikorsky UH-60A Blackhawk in the Air Ambulance
Spring Hill Fire Fighter
Makes IAFF Proud In Iraq
Spring Hill, FL Local 2794 member Steven
Terry (right) proudly displays the IAFF banner in front of
an Iraqi fire and rescue vehicle. Terry has been in Iraq
with his unit since November 2005.
Tacoma Fire Fighters Supporting Troops
September 30, 2005 - Tacoma, WA Local 31
fire fighters are participating in the “Hero to Hero”
program to support troops deployed overseas. As part of the
program, fire fighters and police personal literally take
“the shirts off their backs,” sign them with messages of
support and send them to men and women serving in Iraq and
Proud IAFF Union Members in Iraq
Pictured from left are Sergeant and Bangor,
ME Local 772 member Phillip Hamm, Knoxville, TN Local 65
member Robby Copas and Topeka, KS Local 83 member Anthony
Standifer proudly displaying their union T-shirts in front
of a fire station in Iraq.
Norwich Local Member
Promotes IAFF in Iraq
Norwich, CT Local 892 fire fighter Len
Burgmyer proudly displays IAFF stickers on his company’s
ambulance in Iraq. more
IAFF on the Frontline at Home and Overseas
- July 5, 2005 -
Great Falls Members Return from Iraq -
Fire Fighters Deployed Overseas - Feb. 7,
IAFF Members Help Secure a Free Iraq -
Jan. 31, 2005 -
Fire Fighter Heroes In Iraq - Dec.
6, 2004 -