Durbin Meets With President Of International Association Of Fire Fighters

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Ed Kelly, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), to discuss union priorities.  During their meeting, Durbin and Kelly discussed the health risks posed by fire fighter turnout gear.  Studies show that fire fighter gear contains unnecessary per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of fluorinated chemicals known as “forever chemicals” that have been linked to cancer and other serious health effects.  They also discussed the need for more fire fighters and EMTs, and the importance of Durbin’s legislation, the SIREN Act, to provide rural fire and EMS agencies with funding for training and recruiting staff, conducting certification courses, and purchasing equipment. 

“Each day, firefighters run headfirst toward danger to protect their neighbors from life-threatening situations, regardless of the risks they face,” said Durbin.  “In my meeting with Ed Kelly, President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, I affirmed my support for robust federal grant programs for emergency responders in addition to their right to form a strong union.” 

A photo of the meeting is available here.